1) Cin +1 @ Bal
This is really just a case of taking a much better team, at least in terms of last season, in a game they just have to win. By DVOA Bengals were the #6 ranked team and the Ravens were 23rd. Andy Daulton struggled mightily in the Bengals playoff loss but overall he was very effective as a passer last year, Bengals.
Defensively these teams were pretty similar but you see the advantage Bengals have in the passing game averaging 7 yards per pass compared to 5.8 by Bal and Cin also averages almost a yard more per play. Ravens will be without Ray Rice and need to rely on the pass game, I like Bengals to be in control of this game early and the win.
2) NE @ MIA +4.5
This is a game that pops up a couple of times every year, Pats go on the road and are favored by more than a FG and less than a TD against a Div opponent and the majority of bets placed are on NE. For this game we see almost 80% of bets on NE yet the opening line is dropping. Add to that the fact that NE was not a good road team last year finishing s 2-7 ATS on the road.
Gronc is back but hasn’t played all pre-season, add to that less than stellar outside WRs and its difficult to expect NE to be fully efficient on offence. Miami is a notoriously difficult place to play in September due to heat and humidity and the Pats have struggled to look good there even when they had dominant offenses.
On defense NE last year was substantially worse on the road giving up 7.2 ards per pass on road compared to 6.3 at home, with new Miami OC Bill Lazar showing well in the preseason I expect Miami to be able to score in this game and stay within a FG with a chance to win.