It's been a roller-coaster of a season for both Washington and San Diego this season, but one of these teams will be feeling good about their prospects after everything's said and done this weekend.
The NFL betting odds show the Redskins favored by a point after the opener had this thing as a pick'em. On the season the Chargers have been the far better team against the spread, going 5-1-1 ATS as opposed to Washington's 2-5 ATS mark.
Why do we like San Diego today?
Well, the Chargers have turned the corner over their last two games. They were excellent defensively in a 19-9 Monday Night Football win over Indianapolis and then had no trouble beating Jacksonville (24-6) on the road in Week 7.
Now San Diego's had an extra week to get ready and game-plan for Robert Griffin III and the Redskins. The whole traveling across the country thing shouldn't be taken too seriously, especially after the Chargers were so dominant two weeks ago in the same situation.
This is a desperate Washington franchise that will have a loud crowd behind them, but San Diego is simply the better football team. The Chargers have given up only 15 total points over their past two appearances and Philip Rivers and company are still ranked in the top five in total offense.
Many believe San Diego is due for a letdown spot, but we're taking the visitors to win here and extend their streak to three straight games.
Free Pick: Chargers +1
Our next stop features another small line, this time in the AFC South showdown between the struggling Texans and the Colts. Current lines have Houston as a one-point underdog at home in Reliant Stadium.
The Texans come in with a 2-5 SU and 1-6 ATS record, while Indianapolis is 5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS. Last year, the both home teams won their respective matchups straight up and against the number.
Both teams are also coming off their BYE weeks, so no real advantage there. The Colts went into their week off having won four of five, which includes wins over Denver, Seattle, and San Francisco. Not bad there.
As for Houston, the BYE couldn't have come at a better time. They've lost five straight games, topped off by a close 17-16 road loss to the unbeaten Chiefs two weekends ago.
Case Keenum did an admirable job in his first start and should fare even better now that he's had more time to adjust to the role as the starter. He's got plenty of weapons around him so we expect a good day out of the rookie in Week 9.
With such a short number, it looks like oddsmakers are trying to draw in a lot of Colts backers. However, we feel as if this is a great situational spot for Houston.
Texans fans have really gotten behind Keenum as their guy and we believe he'll lead the offense just fine here.
Houston's balance is still legitimate – they rank number eight in total offense and are tops in the NFL in team defense, thanks to a unit that's allowing only 145.6 passing yards per game. Wade Phillips' crew is definitely going to have to be at its best against Andrew Luck, but we suspect they'll rise to the challenge, helping the Texans to a much-needed victory at home.
Free Pick: Texans PK