…jumping right in and feeling confident…let’s see how long that lasts:
New Orleans (-2.5) at Buffalo
Actually, starting off on one that I have no confidence in at all. Buffalo at home, where they are 4-0. New Orleans outside a dome, where they historically don’t play as well. Probably a cold weather game. Buffalo with 10 days to prepare after getting blasted by the Jets. Seems like a Buffalo pick, no? Well, no…and this is purely a gut feeling with no rhyme or reason behind it.
New Orleans 27, Buffalo 23.
Pittsburgh (-10.5) at Indianapolis
Indy has been a fairly competitive 3-6 team. But not this week.
Pittsburgh 31, Indianapolis 17.
Cleveland at Detroit (-11.5)
There’s usually no way in hell I’d ever lay 11.5 with Matty Stafford and the Lions. But I just have no more words to describe how bad the Browns really are.
Detroit 38, Cleveland 13.
Los Angeles Chargers at Jacksonville (-4.5)
Kind of another gut feeling here as well. Jax at 5-3 just doesn’t feel right to me. The Jags at 6-3 just seems even sillier. I think that’s all it comes down to for me actually.
Los Angeles Chargers 24, Jacksonville 21.
Green Bay at Chicago (-4.5)
Hard to believe that the Packers lose one guy and they completely fall apart. I know, Aaron Rodgers as that one guy is obviously huge. But Tom Brady missed a year and the Pats rode Matty Cassel to a more than respectable 11-5. Though when the Colts lost Peyton Manning for his year, they went 2-14. So I guess it shouldn’t be too hard to believe for the Packers. Whatever…
Chicago 20, Green Bay 13.
New York Jets (-2.5) at Tampa Bay
Tampa is reeling, no doubt. Lost 5 in a row. Jameis Winston is out. The J-E-T-S are a (very) surprising 4-5. But can this be a Ryan Fitzpatrick revenge game? FITZY!!!!
Tampa Bay 31, New York Jets 27.
Minnesota (-1.5) at Washington
This one I think could be a good one. Really? Yup. Big win for the ‘Skins last week at Seattle, coming back late…not one of Kirk Cousins’ strengths. Got them back to .500. The Vikes have cruised to 4 in a row, but against inferior competition. Should be a close battle, but going with the home team here.
Washington 24, Minnesota 23.
Cincinnati at Tennessee (-5.5)
How did A.J. Green not get suspended? Guess it really doesn’t matter for the Bungles.
Tennessee 27, Cincinnati 14.
Houston at Los Angeles Rams (-11.5)
Doesn’t appear that anyone can stop the Rams this year. Certainly not the injury-ravaged Texans, I would think.
Los Angeles Rams 34, Houston 13.
New York Giants (-0.5) at San Francisco
Hopefully no one is subjected to this game being televised in their market. Teams are a combined 1-16, so I suppose the half a point spread is about right. I don’t know if the Niners plan on starting (or even playing) Jimmy Garoppolo. But I say they should. The Colts threw Jacoby Brissett right into the mix and he has been serviceable. Isn’t Jimmy G supposed to be better? Plus, what better team to start him out at than the pathetic G-Men? OK, maybe the Browns, but you get my point. Just do it!
New York Giants 14, San Francisco 13.
Dallas at Atlanta (-2.5)
So I guess the Ezekiel Elliott suspension is back in force. I still believe the ‘Boys have enough to win without him. I said last week that I thought the Falcons look like they are done and I’m sticking to it. Especially after that brutal drop by Julio Jones last week on that 4th down play where he was 10 yards behind the defense. There’s really no explanation for that. Other than that the team is done.
Dallas 27, Atlanta 20.
New England (-7.5) at Denver
Speaking of things I said last week, I said that Denver’s D was still legit. Then they went out and gave up 51 to the Eagles. Nice call. But still, I am not ready to give up on the Bronco D at this point. I’ll give up on their QB’s, but not the D. The Pats are coming off a bye, but believe it or not, they’ve struggled some in that situation over the years…from what I recall anyway. Denver is always a tough place to play. It appears that Phillip Dorsett will log heavy snaps at receiver Sunday night, obviously not ideal. Game will be closer than most think. I wouldn’t even be shocked if the Broncos won.
New England 27, Denver 23.
Miami at Carolina (-9.5)
I still think Miami stinks, despite their 4-4 record. But the 9.5 seems a little high to me. The Panthers don’t exactly blow teams out.
Carolina 24, Miami 17.
Week (against the spread): 1-0
Week (straight up): 1-0
Season (against the spread): 66-67
Season (straight up): 85-48
…and cruising at about a 46% success rate. Welp, it’s better than 36% I guess. Let’s see if doing the picks a couple of days early makes any difference. Week Nine, here we go…
Baltimore at Tennessee (-3.5)
I don’t like either of these teams. So I flipped a coin. We are off to a great start!
Tennessee 24, Baltimore 20.
Cincinnati at Jacksonville (-4.5)
As noted in previous weeks, Jacksonville is alternating wins and losses this year. This is the Jags week to lose, according to the schedule. But I am going against the grain. Kind of because they are playing the Bungles. We’ll see.
Jacksonville 30, Cincinnati 20.
Atlanta at Carolina (-1.5)
Not in love with the Panthers, but I think the Falcons are done.
Carolina 20, Atlanta 17.
Denver at Philadelphia (-7.5)
Brock Osweiler? Yikes! The Broncos D is still very legit. But with the Brockster back in the saddle, does that inspire confidence in Denver? Doubtful. Though Bronco Nation has lived through Trevor Siemian this year. So maybe they love the fact Brock has taken the reins. What I do know is that the Eagles are on fire. The Bronco D may actually have some trouble stopping them. I’m riding the Eagles in this one. Not to mention that I will be rooting for Denver to lose as well…even though of course that is irrelevant when picking games.
Philadelphia 33, Denver 20.
Indianapolis at Houston (-12.5)
I initially had Houston covering the huge spread. Then Deshaun Watson blew out his knee on Thursday. The Colts are putrid. But the Texans with Tommy Savage under center are not much better. Especially when you factor in the other injuries the Texans have had this year…J.J. Watt, Whitney Mercilus, etc. This one could be ugly. (Side note: I know the line will go down due to the Watson injury, but it’s locked in at this number on the site I use every week. Need to be consistent!).
Houston 17, Indianapolis 13.
Tampa Bay at New Orleans (-7.5)
I’m not sure what happened to the Bucs this year, but it’s not going in the right direction. The Saints are a surprising 5-2. And there seems to be some semblance of a defense there. When’s the last time anyone thought that?
New Orleans 34, Tampa Bay 24.
Los Angeles Rams (-3.5) at New York Giants
Both teams are coming off a bye, but I don’t think it will help the G-Men one iota.
Los Angeles Rams 27, New York Giants 17.
Washington at Seattle (-7.5)
The Seahawks have won 4 straight and the ‘Skins have lost 3 of 4, with the one win coming by 2 points over the 0-8 49ers. This one seems too easy. Of course it won’t turn out that way, but…
Seattle 38, Washington 27.
Arizona (-2.5) at San Francisco
Drew Stanton versus Jimmy Garopp…er, I mean C.J. Beathard. Sign me up!
Arizona 13, San Francisco 10.
Kansas City (-1.5) at Dallas
Cowboys seem to have their mojo back, Zeke or no Zeke. The Chiefs have lost 2 of 3 since their 5-0 start. Even though KC is still a pretty good team, going with the ‘Boys at home.
Dallas 31, Kansas City 27.
Oakland (-2.5) at Miami
The Raiders got hammered out East last week in Buffalo. I’d be surprised if it happened again in Miami this week. I have no idea how the Dolphins are over .500.
Oakland 30, Miami 13.
Detroit (-2.5) at Green Bay
I hate to take the Lions here…especially at Lambeau. But I kind of feel like I have to. Both teams are reeling. But the Aaron Rodgers injury just overshadows everything.
Detroit 21, Green Bay 17.
Week (against the spread): 0-1
Week (straight up): 0-1
Season (against the spread): 55-65
Season (straight up): 74-46
…this week’s Thursday Night Football game, that is. But we pick every game here, so there’s that. I’m still getting over the excitement of Brian Hoyer signing a three-year deal with the Pats on Wednesday. Ok, everyone knew that. And absolutely no one was actually excited. But three years? Were other teams lining up to sign him?
Yeah, I know a “three-year NFL contract” isn’t really a “three-year NFL contract”. But still. Seems a little steep. But I guess Hoyer may have finally realized that his remaining NFL future is as a backup, at best. And he may as well spend that in what should be a sweet situation behind Tom Brady in New England. For as long as he can.
What it also tells me that the Patriots probably are comfortable with this QB situation for those 3 years. And perhaps they use San Fran’s 2nd rounder on a third QB to develop into the starter after Brady finally shows his age and hangs it up? Supposed to be a deep quarterback draft…at least I think that’s what I have heard.
One thing is for sure: I’m still not digging the Jimmy G trade. But I will probably eventually come around. The Patriots pretty much make me do that almost every time.
As for the Thursday game…
Buffalo (-3.5) at New York Jets
Is it time to start taking the Bills seriously? I don’t know. Besides beating the Jets already, the Bills have beaten the Broncos, Falcons, Buccaneers and Raiders. Looks great on paper, right? But in reality, those four teams have all underachieved to some degree this year. The Bills have also lost to the Panthers and Bengals. Couple of middle of the road teams as well. So it’s hard to say if we all should be buying in on them yet.
That all being said, I feel comfortable taking them against the J-E-T-S…even on the road this time…
Buffalo 23, New York Jets 17.
Week (against the spread): 5-8
Week (straight up): 10-3
Season (against the spread): 55-64
Season (straight up): 74-45