…off to yet another bad start, what with the ‘Skins getting their arse handed to them on the most recent edition of Thursday Night Football. But Sunday is another day…
San Francisco at Chicago (-3.5)
JIMMY FOOTBALL!! Finally!! Not sure what the Niners were waiting for. Playbook? Please. Seattle? Please. Get him in there. Get it done. And?
San Francisco 24, Chicago 13.
Minnesota at Atlanta (-2.5)
This is a tough one. Atlanta is rejuvenated. The Vikings seem to be waiting for Case Keenum to crumble. This may be the week. Let’s face it…it’s Case F’ng Keenum!!
Atlanta 31, Minnesota 21.
Houston at Tennessee (-7.5)
I’m honestly not sure the Titans should be favored by this much over anyone…well, except Cleveland. But Tom Savage really is terrible.
Tennesse 27, Houston 17.
Tampa Bay (-1.5) at Green Bay
Tampa is really favored AT Green Bay? Seriously? Brett Hundley notwithstanding, seems like a stupid idea.
Green Bay 23, Tampa Bay 21.
Denver at Miami (-0.5)
Brutal. How does anyone pick this game? Shot in the dark here.
Denver 20, Miami 14.
New England (-8.5) at Buffalo
I shouldn’t do it, but I’m going to. Pats on the road. Divisional foe. Bills hanging on to playoff hopes. Pats banged up. Blah, Blah, Blah. But I am doing it…
New England 38, Buffalo 17.
Detroit at Baltimore (-2.5)
The Ravens seem rejuvenated as well. Yes, I already used this word to describe the Falcons. So be it. Either way, can’t trust the Lions.
Baltimore 24, Detroit 21.
Indianapolis at Jacksonville (-9.5)
Jacksonville lost to the Arizona Cardinals last week. Let that sink in for a while. And yet, I’m doing it against my better judgement this week with the Jags.
Jacksonville 31, Indianapolis 17.
Kansas City (-3.5) at New York Jets
KC has plummeted since their Opening Day win over the Pats. Good for them. Then they lost at home to a mediocre Bills team last week. This week? At least the Jets won’t be the New York team starting Geno Smith this weekend.
Kansas City 23, New York Jets 13.
Cleveland at Los Angeles Chargers (-13.5)
Josh Gordon is back! I guess you can still make it back to the NFL after ingesting all kinds of drugs for several years. If Aaron Hernandez was still alive, maybe he would have a chance to get back. Wait, he (allegedly) murdered several people as well, so maybe not…
Los Angeles Chargers 34, Cleveland 20.
New York Giants at Oakland (-6.5)
Oakland is miraculously only a game out now in the AFC West. The G-Men just turned to…Geno Smith. I hate Eli Manning of course. But Smith simply cannot play in the NFL. And the way the team handled the whole benching was absolutely atrocious. Realistically, I could have just said “GEEEEEEEENNNNNNN-OOOOOOOOOOO” here and that would have been all that needed to be said.
Oakland 23, New York Giants 7.
Los Angeles Rams (-6.5) at Arizona
Still not in on the Rams? Not sure I am either. BUT…I think I am this week.
Los Angeles Rams 38, Arizona 20.
Carolina at New Orleans (-3.5)
Matchup between a pair of 8-3 teams. Who saw this one coming? No one. Yup. No one.
New Orleans 30, Carolina 23.
Philadelphia (-5.5) at Seattle
I say it every week, Philly is on a roll. The Seahawks are believe it or not a pedestrian 3-2 at home. Plus they are ravaged by injuries. But you know what? Seattle is getting it done this week. Another hunch. But a legit one this time, I will promise you.
Seattle 33, Philadelphia 30.
Pittsburgh (-5.5) at Cincinnati
Speaking of hunches, I am going against myself this time. The Steelers play down to their competition. Seems like 5.5 is too high, especially on the road. Even against the Bungles. So, we shall see…
Pittsburgh 27, Cincinnati 20.
Week (against the spread): 0-1
Week (straight up): 0-1
Season (against the spread): 92-85
Season (straight up): 116-61
…and let’s not waste any time:
Minnesota (-9.5) “at” Cleveland
Another London game. I know Cleveland played Tennessee tight last week and covered. The week before they got blasted and did not cover an even larger spread. They are 0-7 and clearly stink…on every continent I would say. My inclination is that they will get beat fairly big in England, so let’s just go with that.
Minnesota 27, Cleveland 9.
Carolina at Tampa Bay (-2.5)
I can’t figure these two teams out at all. Let’s just go with the home team.
Tampa Bay 24, Carolina 21.
Chicago at New Orleans (-8.5)
I’m fairly certain that Mitchell Trubisky will have to throw more than 7 passes in this one.
New Orleans 34, Chicago 10.
Atlanta (-4.5) at New York Jets
If Atlanta loses this one, they will have lost 4 consecutive games, all against AFC East teams. Would be pretty astounding. I’m actually astounded that they played all their “AFC division” games all in a row. Weird how the schedule makers drew that one up. Anyway, Atlanta didn’t look great against the Pats last week and kind of seem in a little bit of a funk overall. Find it hard to believe they will lose to the Jets though.
Atlanta 27, New York Jets 17.
San Francisco at Philadelphia (-12.5)
These double-digit spreads are always enticing, but dangerous. The Niners played 5 games in a row where they lost all of them by 3 or less. That ended last week when they got smashed by the Cowboys. Maybe they will be able to keep this one close, based on their season as a whole thus far? I don’t know. Philly is rolling. It’s in Philly, so I’m thinking blowout.
Philadelphia 34, San Francisco 13.
Indianapolis at Cincinnati (-9.5)
Hard to fathom the Bengals being favored by this much over anyone. But the Colts are giving up points by the bushel. And Cincy shouldn’t really be this bad.
Cincinnati 31, Indianapolis 17.
Oakland at Buffalo (-2.5)
Always tough to take a West Coast team flying to the East Coast for a 1:00 EST game. But I think Oakland’s win 10 days ago against Kansas City may have brought some of its mojo back. Not to mention I have a hard time seeing the Bills at 4-2 now.
Oakland 27, Buffalo 24.
Los Angeles Chargers at New England (-7.5)
The Chargers are better than their 3-4 record really and the Pats are a little banged up, especially defensively. Philip Rivers historically always seems to keep his team close against New England. The Patriots looked much better last week against the Falcons, but I don’t believe all their ills are cured. Maybe some rain for this one. Seems like a close game to me.
New England 31, Los Angeles Chargers 27.
Houston at Seattle (-5.5)
Deshaun Watson has been awesome this year. Not sure why the Texans even bothered with that Tommy Savage business at the start of the year. But at Seattle this week. Thinking a bump in the road is in order.
Seattle 34, Houston 16.
Dallas (-2.5) at Washington
Both teams are 3-3. They could be headed in opposite directions though.
Dallas 37, Washington 23.
Pittsburgh (-3.5) at Detroit
Lions. Enough said. Well that, and the Steelers seem to have righted the ship.
Pittsburgh 27, Detroit 13.
Denver at Kansas City (-7.5)
The Broncos have been absolutely putrid the last two weeks. The Chiefs were playing over their head to start the season but have lost two in a row themselves. Divisional battle, have to believe it ends up being a good game.
Kansas City 24, Denver 21.
Week (against the spread): 0-1
Week (straight up): 0-1
Season (against the spread): 50-57
Season (straight up): 64-43
…no, I am not really going to talk much about Zeke here. But I will say, now I know how the rest of the world felt about the Deflategate circus. Well, I knew how they felt anyway on that, since I felt the same way. Dragged on for far too long, with all the appeals and all the lawyers and all that nonsense. Serve the suspension already. That’s how I felt about Tom Brady at the time, even though I thought the offense was ridiculous and that every team likely does something similar, just that the Patriots were dumb enough to get caught. In a nutshell anyway. But I just wanted him to serve the suspension so that the whole thing went away.
Now, Elliott is supposed to start serving his six game suspension after the latest court ruling this week. But does anyone think it is really “over”? Zeke’s men are “considering all options” and, though I am far from an attorney, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him on the field during the Cowboys next game in Week 7.
The reality is, he has (allegedly) a brutal history of domestic violence. Again, serve the suspension already. You know you deserve it. Not to mention some jail time too. Zeke gets six games for “allegedly” beating women on a regular basis. Brady got four for taking the air out of footballs. Sigh…
That’s enough of that…from me anyway.
As for the picks, almost picked the correct score for Thursday Night this week (picked 27-24 and ended up 28-23). Solid. Better game than I thought it would be as well. We shall see if this is a good sign for the rest of them…
Green Bay (-3.5) at Minnesota
Minnesota is always a tough place to play. Divisional matchup to boot. But Case Keenum under center again. No Dalvin Cook. No Stefon Diggs. Tough for me to take the Vikes here.
Green Bay 27, Minnesota 17.
Cleveland at Houston (-9.5)
All aboard the Kevin Hogan bandwagon!! Hell, I don’t know if Hogan can actually play. But with the Texans injury issues, I feel like taking the points with the Browns here. I know, Houston put up 57 on the Titans at home 2 weeks ago and even 34 at home against the Chiefs in a loss a week ago. How does anyone think the Browns are going to stop these guys? I don’t know. I just feel like the spread is too big. I’ve been wrong plenty though.
Houston 24, Cleveland 17.
Miami at Atlanta (-10.5)
On the flip side, this spread may not be big enough. In Atlanta, who is off a bye and off a terrible loss at home to Buffalo before the bye. This could be over by halftime.
Atlanta 44, Miami 10.
San Francisco at Washington (-9.5)
Yup, I’m taking the points with another awful team on the road. The Niners have lost all five games they have played. But did you realize that 3 out of the last 4 have been on the road and they have lost all 4 by a field goal or less? Sure, some of the competition has stunk too (Colts, Cardinals). But the other 2 (Rams, Seahawks) were decent foes. Similar to Cleveland, they may not win. But I’m looking for them to keep it close.
Washington 31, San Francisco 24.
Chicago at Baltimore (-6.5)
Mitchell Trubisky looks like he has some skills. But he looked nowhere near ready to play in the NFL when I saw him last Monday night. I don’t expect that to change against the Ravens.
Baltimore 23, Chicago 13.
Detroit at New Orleans (-4.5)
I put my faith in the Lions last week, while acknowledging it could be a mistake. Surprise! It was. Not this week. The Saints at home off a bye. Stafford banged up. Feeling good about N.O. I’m sure I’ll be wrong on this one though.
New Orleans 27, Detroit 20.
New England (-9.5) at New York Jets
Battle for first place!!! Who saw that line ever being printed in 2017, regarding the AFC East? No one. But this is where the Pats kick it into high gear and take off. So says me. Brady hurt? Pffffffft. This one won’t be close.
New England 38, New York Jets 17.
Los Angeles Rams at Jacksonville (-2.5)
Goes without saying that these two teams, both sitting at 3-2, are the biggest surprises (on the positive side) in the league this year. Unless you count the Bills and the Jets with the same record…which I don’t. Although maybe I should count the Jets, since they did beat Jax. Anyway…the Jags have been kind of inconsistent this year, alternating dominant efforts with mediocre to poor ones. So I haven’t bought in on them at all. But last week’s demolition of the Steelers in Pittsburgh finally got me to take notice. So I guess it’s time for me to actually pick them to win for once.
Jacksonville 28, Los Angeles Rams 24.
Tampa Bay (-2.5) at Arizona
The Bucs stunk a week and a half ago and still almost came up roses at the end. Arizona simply stinks. Don’t try to convince me that AP is going to save the day here either. Certainly not this week.
Tampa Bay 31, Arizona 13.
Los Angeles Chargers at Oakland (-3.5)
I don’t believe that the Chargers have been as bad as their record. Oakland probably has played as bad as their record. Derek Carr is back after missing the last game. Maybe Amari Cooper will finally show up too. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking that I think Oakland takes this game. They were supposed to be battling for one of the top seeds in the conference after all. Maybe this is the springboard.
Oakland 31, Los Angeles Chargers 24.
Pittsburgh at Kansas City (-3.5)
Is Big Ben done? I hope so! KC seems like a juggernaut. Typically, this is where the underdog wins and makes everyone look foolish. Sticking with the Chiefs at home this time though.
Kansas City 27, Pittsburgh 23.
New York Giants at Denver (-11.5)
The Giants lost 14 wide receivers for the year last week. Zero running game. Plus their coach seems to be a buffoon. And they plain suck this year. Denver coming off a bye should be ready to roll in this one.
Denver 34, New York Giants 17.
Indianapolis at Tennessee (-1.5)
Could go either way on this one. Mariota or Cassel, does it matter? Indy has surprised to go 2-3 in the absence of Andrew Luck. The Titans have underachieved for sure. Divisional matchup. I have no idea.
Tennessee 20, Indianapolis 17.
Week (against the spread): 1-0
Week (straight up): 1-0
Season (against the spread): 38-40
Season (straight up): 49-29