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1:00PM EST: Texans -5.5 (4 Units)
Don't really care that Kyler Murray is back. The Cardinals are one of the worst teams in the league and a walk off win over the Falcons isn't some reason to jump for joy. For starters they were at Home and Atlanta HC Arthur Smith is doing just an atrocious job of getting his guys the ball in space. The Falcons lost to Josh Dobbs and the Vikings 3 days after he arrived at the facility. Dobbs was literally being explained the play inside the huddle and the Falcons still found a way to lose.
Houston on the other hand is riding hot with all the momentum. CJ Stroud snatched victory from the Jaws of defeat against TB a couple weeks ago and then went into Cinci last week and delivered another game winning drive. This is a damn good Houston football team and they're starting to play their best ball of the season. Stroud's thrown for 826 yards and is responsible for 7 touchdowns the last 2 weeks. He returns home to face the 28th ranked scoring defense.
Arizona had lost 6 straight before Kyler Murray returned. They lost by double digits in 5 of them. Josh Dobbs was also the starting QB for ARI for 5 of those games. He's proven more than capable in Minnesota with sufficient talent around him. The Cardinals roster is flat out bad and beating a bad team doesn't make you a good team. Houston should handle Arizona today.
8:20PM EST: MIN/DEN Over 41.5 (3 Units)
Speaking of Dobbs we like him to keep doing his thing tonight. He's 2-0 with the Vikings and helped lead the MIN offense to a combined 58 points in those games. Quarterbacks need playmakers to throw the ball to if they're to succeed and Minnesota has plenty of them. Even without Justin Jefferson the Vikings receiving corps keep finding ways to step up. Rookie WR Jordan Addison turned out to be an incredibly valuable pick. Dobbs also has 110 rushing yards through those 2 games. The off schedule and ability to extend plays helps keep this offense scoring.
Defensively the Broncos have been playing better as of late, but you don't go from letting up 70 points to elite defense. They held Buffalo to 22 points in Buffalo but that's because the Bills turned the ball over 4 times. Testament to the defense for sure but Buffalo's been sloppy all year. In 2 of the 3 weeks prior they held the Chiefs offense in check but there's that strange interdivision match-up with them. The KC offense isn't as great as years past either. Then they also held a bad Green Bay offense to 17 at Home. Minnesota just has one of the best offenses in football and they should find ways to score.
On the flip side the Minnesota defense has done a good job against some lesser teams but struggle vs good offense. MIN DC Brian Flores is bringing the heat at an unprecedented rate and it's working against young QB's and bad offensive lines. The better teams, not so much. Even the Falcons scored 28 on them a couple weeks ago so not every bad team either. They’re in the middle of the pack in points allowed per game.
One of the things flying under the radar is the play of the Broncos offense. Sean Payton's got vintage Russ back and playing his style of football. They've scored 24 in back-to-back weeks. That doesn't sound too special until you realize it came against the #1 and #5 scoring defense in the NFL. Last week’s game was in Buffalo too, one of the toughest places to go into. Now they're playing at Home with another one of the NFL's greatest Home Field advantages behind them.