This year has not been my best year in prognostication. After two years of doing very well picking against the spread, this year I haven't quite hit my stride with a 30-31-1 record thus far. Hopefully, this is the week.
Drew Stanton is terrible. The 49ers play tough, Cardinals on a short week, this seems like a game the 49ers could possibly pull off an upset. Full disclosure again I'm terrible on Thursday night games (as are most Thursday night games - terrible).
The Vikings are a tough team, but they are not especially explosive on offense and the Texans defense is pretty good (first in passing yards, fifth in yards, eighth in points). That seems like too many points to give up in what could be a tough defensive battle. Also, we love Sterling Shepard, who might end up being the number one receiver in this class when all is said and done, but it might also be Will Fuller, who has been dynamite for the Texans.
I think the Dolphins have more playmakers and I think the Titans are the league's least interesting team, but they are solid. Though Demarco Murray is playing very well. Take the Dolphins, take the points, take a nap.
Everyone is expecting the Patriots to blow out the Browns with the return of Tom Brady and that seems likely to happen, and perhaps I'm over thinking this, but I've watched the Browns a few times and there's something there. They're very young and I think they're just stupid enough to not know they're supposed to get blown out.
The Bills will get Marcel Dareus back this week, which should help them contain the Rams and Todd Gurley. The Bills have been playing well as of late, but they lack a lot of playmaker. I think this game will say a lot about these two teams and the difference to me in the game will be Taylor's legs.
Last week was severely disappointing and now the Giants have to play a night game again against the Packers and Aaron Rodgers. The Giants have lost two straight games, the whole world is against Odell Beckham Jr. The team is coming off a very poor performance on Monday night and is watching the other teams in the division thrive. They have to come out and play well this week if they have a pulse, don't they?
The Packers don't cover like the Vikings do and the team has to get a takeaway at some point this year just based on probability. I don't know if they can pull out a victory as nothing they have done over the last three years gives me confidence that they will play well in a big moment, but here's to hoping.
The Panthers are 1-3 and could be without Cam Newton. The other factor I like here is that the Panthers lack great corner play and the Buccaneers have two wide receivers who can cause problems in Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson (though Jackson is rapidly declining).