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We’re about to wrap up the first month of action in the 2016 season, and there have been plenty of surprises to start the season. Who would have thought that the Carolina Panthers, who only lost once in the regular season last year, would already have two losses? Or that the Los Angeles Rams would be atop the NFC West, ahead of the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals? Or that the Carson Wentz-led Philadelphia Eagles would be 3-0, fresh off a blowout win over the well-respected Pittsburgh Steelers? The Steelers will be looking to rebound after a lousy effort last week and will benefit from Le’Veon Bell’s return.

 

Game of the Week

Kansas City Chiefs @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Favourite: Steelers -5

The Pittsburgh Steelers were thumped 34-3 in Philadelphia last week. Their offense just couldn’t get anything going against the Eagles, but they’ll get an offensive boost this week with the return of star running back Le’Veon Bell from suspension.

The Kansas City Chiefs rocked the New York Jets 24-3 last week. Their defense forced eight turnovers out of Ryan Fitzpatrick and company. The Chiefs will try to build on that momentum when they face the Steelers on Sunday, but the Chiefs haven't won a road game in Pittsburgh since 1986, which spans five games.

 

Games with the Biggest Spread

Cleveland Browns @ Washington Redskins

Favourite: Redskins -8

The Washington-Cleveland game was supposed to feature the return of Robert Griffin III, but he’s hurt and so is backup Josh McCown. Rookie Cody Kessler is now the quarterback of the 0-3 Cleveland Browns. The Redskins, who are 1-2 and coming off a win over the New York Giants, haven’t fared well as favourites, failing to cover in seven of their last eight when laying points.

 

Los Angeles Rams @ Arizona Cardinals

Favourite: Cardinals -8

Initially, the Cardinals had the biggest spread; they were 8.5-point favourites over the Rams, but that line dropped to 8 points – possibly because the Cardinals are coming off a lousy performance. The Rams, on the other hand, are coming off a good performance. Their offense finally showed up in a 37-32 win in Tampa Bay, but it will be tough to replicate those results in Arizona. The Rams are 1-4 SU and ATS in their last five meetings with the Cardinals.

 

Game with the Smallest Spread

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Favourite: Colts -3

The Jaguars, a once promising team, are now 0-3 after a loss to the Baltimore Ravens. The team seems to be regressing, including QB Blake Bortles, who ranks 28th in the NFL in quarterback rating. Only Fitzpatrick has thrown more interceptions.

The Colts are 1-2 after a late win over the San Diego Chargers, but they should be able to even things out. Indianapolis is 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings with Jacksonville, but the Jaguars can be surprising; they thrashed the Colts 51-16 in Jacksonville last December. Neither team will have home-field advantage in this game, though, which takes place in London, England.

 

*Odds as of September 29, 2016