Hey, the Cubs are going to the World Series for the first time since 1945—when they lost in seven games to the Detroit Tigers—and they are favored to win their first World Series in over 100 years. So, this begs the obvious question: How ‘bout them Lions?
Here are this week’s picks:
Bears (+7.5) over PACKERS
I really think this one would have hit if not for Brian Hoyer breaking a bone in his arm. I thought it was going to be an ugly game in which the Bears won by a field goal or the Packers won by six. Instead, Hoyer broke his arm, the Packers offense found itself a little bit in the second half, and the Packers won by 16. We'll never know what could have been.
Rams (+2.5) over Giants in London
The Beckham-net twisted love affair story is getting weird. Rams are more accustomed to traveling a long ways—you know, because they just moved to LA—and they win in London. Nobody will watch it, though.
Browns (+10) over BENGALS
Good news for Ohio is that they can't lose in this one. The Indians seem destined to lose to the Cubs in the World Series and and the Ohio State University lost to Penn State this weekend, but Ohio will win this one. It might be close, but Ohio will win. (Can you imagine if there's a tie?)
LIONS (pk) over [Red—-acted]
I texted my buddy who is good friends with the offensive coordinator for the Redskins to see if the Redskins are licking their chops. I got no response, which can only mean the Redskins are unprepared. It might also mean my buddy is bad at answering texts and/or doesn't like me very much (trying to use him for info). That's less unlikely, though. But seriously, I think the Lions roll in this one despite the other winnable home games that were much tougher to pull out. I'd like that, Kirk Cousins.
TITANS (-2.5) over Colts
Ordinarily I'm picking the Colts in this spot, but that loss to the Texans was bad. B-A-D-D-D-D-D-D, repeating. There is no coming back from it. Might as well stay at home. Meanwhile, the Titans have won two straight and are ready to beat the Colts for the first time in five years.
CHIEFS (-6.5) over Saints
The spread, once at seven, is only at five now, but I still like the Chiefs at Arrowhead. The Saints have a more efficient offense, but Drew Brees makes a couple mistakes and the Chiefs cover.
DOLPHINS (+3) over Bills
I said last week that the Dolphins are not a 1-4 team and they beat the Steelers with Ben Roethlisberger (to start), Le'Veon Bell, and Antonio Brown. I'll double down on that: The Dolphins are not as bad as 2-4 indicates. The Bills have been built up so much over the last few weeks during their four-game streak that it's high time to bring them back down to Earth. LeSean McCoy is expected to be active, but that doesn't make a difference to me.
Ravens (pk) over JETS
Elite Quarterback vs. Elite Beard—-oh wait, Ryan Fitzpatrick was benched. Full circle in this one as the reason the Jets acquired Fitzpatrick was because of how bad Geno Smith was, including a horrific showing against the Ravens during his rookie year. I like the Ravens to win this one.
EAGLES (+2.5) over Vikings
Does Sam Bradford have a chip on his shoulder? Will those tiny shoulder pads hold a chip without weighing down his throwing arm? I don't think so. Bradford's eyes don't open any wider either. The Eagles are not going to let the QB they sold at a premium beat them. Sometimes the bye weeks do not come at good times. The NFL's only unbeaten goes down this week.
JAGUARS (-1) over Raiders
Just when the Jaguars couldn't look any worse against one of the NFL's worst last week in Chicago, they turned it on late and came away with a 17-16 win. Now they are somehow favorites against the 4-2 Raiders. These two teams are the future of the NFL! And the Jags are actually 2.5-point favorites now.
Chargers (+6.5) over FALCONS
The Falcons are enjoying a nice season in which they have beaten last year's Super Bowl teams in back-to-back weeks, and nearly beat the 2013-2014 Super Bowlers last week if not for some poor execution and officiating. Philip Rivers has had another two kids, I think, since the last time the Chargers won two in a row. The Falcons will be happy to be back home in front of their own crowd and they may win, but I like the Chargers to cover this inflated spread.
49ERS (+2) over Buccaneers
Oh, did I forget about this game happening today? Oh.
Patriots (-7) over STEELERS
EVERYONE—well, 67%—thinks the Patriots will more than cover this game, because the Steelers are starting someone named Landry Jones at quarterback. I'm not as convinced, but I'm not going to get burned the wrong way by Tom Brady or Bill Belichick the way they've been playing.
CARDINALS (-2) over Seahawks
When the Cardinals lose to the Seahawks, they really lose. I mean *really* lose. The average margin of defeat for the Cardinals in their last five losses to the Seahawks is 29! Yes, that includes a 58-0 game, but the closest loss was 12. The Cards have lost three straight at home vs. the Seahawks, including the 30-point playoff loss this calendar year, but I think they break that streak here.
BRONCOS (-7) over Texans
The Trevor Siemien vs. Brock Osweiler game nobody's been waiting for. No wonder the Monday Night Football ratings are down. Yawn.
Last Week: 10-3