Three Road Favorites on the NFL Odds Grid: Are They Deserving?

Doug Upstone

Saturday, September 16, 2017 5:53 PM UTC

Saturday, Sep. 16, 2017 5:53 PM UTC

Last week to start the NFL season, road favorites did not perform particularly well with a 2-3 spread record, with Arizona losing outright. Are better days ahead for three away faves this Sunday?

You do not get to be a road favorite unless you have the oddsmakers respect and talent. Sportsbooks are not making teams an away choice unless they are convinced a team has the goods to be on the right side for NFL odds.

But just because you are favored away from your nicer and larger locker room does not guarantee victory against a potentially hungry home underdog.

We will grade these three favorites on a scale of 1 to 5, with five being you feel bad Lady Gaga has fibromyalgia and has to miss Rock in Rio show, to one, your interest in Mel Kiper changing his hairstyle after 35 years.

#5 New England -6 over New Orleans

We watched the Patriots play some their worst defense in years in their opening game, looking like a tourist who had lost track of his group in a foreign city. But this is Bill Belichick we are talking about and while everything will not be completely buttoned down, New England's defense will be much better, even against Drew Brees at home. The reason I say this is did you watch the New Orleans defense against Minnesota on Monday night? The Saints zone pass defense included linebackers singled up or having underneath coverage 20 to 25 yards downfield. No wonder Sam Bradford played like he was an All-Pro. Tom Brady must be grinning from ear to ear.

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#2 Arizona -7 over Indianapolis

Reports out of Indianapolis on Wednesday had Scott Tolzien and Jacoby Brissett both taking snaps with the No.1 offense. Tolzien said he's extra motivated after last Sunday's debacle and Brissett said he's still learning the playbook. That does not good for the Colts. But what about Arizona. With no David Johnson for months, that places the offense back in the hands of an aging before our eyes Carson Palmer, who last week was 27 for 48 for 268 yards and added three other completions to the other team. With coach Bruce Arians still coaching like Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald are in their 20's, as bad as Indy looks, for NFL picks, do you want to lay a touchdown with the Cardinals?

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#2 Dallas -2.5 over Denver

There is something about this line I find sinister. Dallas has the superior offense, yet Denver has the defense to matchup with the Cowboys across the field. Nobody is counting on the Broncos Trevor Siemian to be the next John Elway and as good as the Dallas defense played against the Giants, they still have warts that can be exposed. Denver has injuries to both offensive and defensive lines, but Dak Prescott has never a defense that as disruptive in his still very young career. Dallas is 17-7-1 ATS versus the AFC of late, however, this will be only the fifth time the Broncos have been a home underdog since 2013 and they are 3-1 ATS. Be very afraid.

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