Two big winning weeks in a row and I’ve finally overcome a very poor start to the first half of the season. Hopefully we can keep it running.
New Orleans Saints (+3.5) at Carolina Panthers
The Panthers had the game in hand last week vs. the Chiefs until they fall apart at the end of the game, and that’s just been the story of their season. They can’t put everything together. The Saints beat the Panthers by three in New Orleans, but I think the Panthers will make a late-season run here in a division where they still have a puncher’s chance if they can win this weekend.
Tennessee Titans (+3) at Indianapolis Colts
I think overall the Titans are the better team. They run the ball better than the Colts, they play better defense than the Colts and they score just as well as the Colts — 26.4 vs 26.6. The Titans are the better team and they are getting points.
Jacksonville Jaguars (+6.5) at Detroit Lions
The Jaguars are coming off a loss to the Texans to face the Detroit Lions who are coming off a bye. The Lions are the better team, but they are a team that eeks out victories and does not dominate in any one facet. The Lions haven’t won a game by more than 6 points all season and their average margin of victory in their five games is 3.4 points.
Tampa Bay (+7.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have been one of the best teams in the league. They are 17-2 in their last 19 games. Bet you didn’t know that.
Chicago Bears (+7.5) at New York Giants
Choo, choo! I’m on the bandwagon. There’s a lot of reasons to think that the Giants won’t cover the 7.5 points, and even more reasons to think they could possibly lose this game (reason number 1: I’ve been a Giants fan since birth and they often lose games like this). The facts are some of the Bears best players are probably Alshon Jefferey (IR), Kyle Long (IR), Kyle Fuller (IR) promising rookie Kevin White are all on Injured reserve. That’s three recent first-round picks. When you’re beat up like that it makes it hard to compete (as we have seen from the Giants the past few seasons).
The Giants’ defense is also tough and it’s gelling. Hopefully the offense can get on track. The Bears do get after the quarterback a little bit and they do play pretty good defense, but what do they have to play for? The Giants need to get the offense on track, and I think they do here.
Pick: Giants win big
Arizona Cardinals (pick em) at Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings have completely come off the track. They can’t block anyone (and the Cardinals have some guys who can get after the quarterback), they can’t move the ball on offense and their defense has given up 20 or more points four games in a row, which isn’t terrible, but it’s a drop off from the beginning of the season where teams averaged 12.5 points per game over the first five games. I like when teams are aggressive and I was hoping that this would pay off for the Vikings, a franchise that hasn’t seen a ton of success lately, but I need to see improvement before I pick them to beat talented teams like the Cardinals.
Buffalo Bills (+3) at Cincinnati Bengals
The Bills are coming off a bye and the Bengals are coming off a tough month. They only have one win since Week 4 (against the Browns) and even though they are a talented team I feel like this could be a team that packs it in soon. They’ve had the same coach for a long time, they are a veteran team and they are coming off a short week while the Bills are coming off their bye week. I think the Bills will be able to run on the Bengals and keep the game close, and I think have a legitimate shot at winning.
Baltimore Ravens (+7) at Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys could potentially be the best team in the league, but I think it’s a bit of a mirage. The Cowboys non-divisional schedule this year has been the Browns, Bengals, Steelers, Packers, and Bears. Not one team with a winning record. This is too many points. The Ravens aren’t a great team, but they are a big, tough, physical team on defense. They are number one in the league at stopping the run and No. 3 in total yardage. I think this’ll be the Cowboys first major test on defense and I think they will struggle some. Though they may win, I think it’ll be pretty close.
Pick: Ravens (hopefully with the upset)
Pittsburgh Steelers (-8) at Cleveland Browns
Miami Dolphins (-1) at Los Angeles Rams
How are you supposed to pick this game, where there is so much unknown with Jared Goff? Is Goff the next Aaron Rodgers, or is he going to be Ryan Leaf? The Dolphins are the better team, I believe and this is a tough test for Goff, who’ll be running from Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake.
New England Patriots (-13) at San Francisco 49ers
I like to take home underdogs, though New England makes me re-think this. The 49ers aren’t good at all, but the Patriots will be without Rob Gronkowski.
Philadelphia Eagles (+6.5) at Seattle Seahawks
The Eagles’ defense is legit. They’re number one in Football Outsiders DVOA on defense, fifth in points allowed and sixth in yardage. Defense tends to travel and I could see Russell Wilson struggling in this game.
Pick: Eagles lose by less than 6.5
Green Bay Packers (+2.5) at Washington Redskins
If the Packers are going to be anything, it has to start this weekend. At the beginning of the season who thought the Packers would be getting points vs. the Redskins?
Oakland Raiders (-5.5) vs Houston Texans (Mexico City)
When two teams meet up in Mexico City who knows what will happen? I’ll just take the better team. The team that’s out there to prove that they are legit on Monday Night Football.
Week 1: 8-7-1
Week 2: 9-7
Week 3: 7-9
Week 4: 6-8
Week 5: 5-9
Week 6: 5-8-1
Week 7: 8-7
Week 8: 6-7
Week 9: 9-3-1
Week 10: 10-4