For the second week in a row, I turned in a winning record against the spread. My 9-7 record in Week 2 was modest, but effective. However, I still stand outside the top 10 of Pride of Detroit’s pick’em league by just one win (17-13). Here’s a look at the top of the leaderboard:
Onto this week:
Rams (-2) at 49ERS (Thursday)
The conclusion I have come to after the 49ers nearly beat the Seahawks isn’t, “Wow, maybe I underestimated the 49ers.” It’s “Wow, the NFC West is going to be pretty bad this year.” And because the NFL is forcing “Thursday Night Football” down our throats, we get a “huge” NFC West matchup on primetime TV!
I wouldn’t count the Rams out to contend for the division. Their defense is for real, and has been for a long time. Jared Goff somehow actually looks competent, and he has real weapons in Cooper Kupp and a reanimated Todd Gurley. “Thursday Night Football” is always wacky, so anything can happen, but I’m starting to believe in the Rams, even if the rest of this city doesn’t care about them.
Ravens (-3.5) at JAGUARS
The Ravens haven’t exactly been tested yet this season; games against the Bengals and Browns didn’t reveal much, but there is something to say about defeating your divisional opponents handily, even if they both come from the worst state ever. As much as I’d love the Jaguars to turn things around this year—mostly because of our friends at Big Cat Country—Blake Bortles is still their quarterback. No upset this week.
Broncos (-3) at BILLS
Starting this thing off by taking three road favorites is something I know I’m going to regret next week, but the Broncos are rolling right now. The Bills defense is definitely capable of keeping this one close for a little bit, but I really don’t understand why this line is so low. It opened with the Broncos as just one-point favorites. I could see them eventually winning this game by two touchdowns.
BEARS (+8) vs. Steelers
Soldier Field is hell to play on. The grass is horrible, the sight lines are terrible for fans, the weather seems to always play a stupid factor and it’s just an ugly stadium.
It’s also a place where weird things happen, like the Bears being a dropped pass away from beating the Falcons in the season opener. I know the Bucs son’d them last week, but I think the Bears keep this within a touchdown.
Browns (EVEN) at COLTS
Jacoby Brissett breathed a little life into the Colts’ offense last week, but this is still a horrible football time. This matchup doesn’t deserve more than 40 words, but the Browns are headed in the right direction.
VIKINGS (EVEN) vs. Buccaneers
I don’t buy the hype in Tampa Bay. I just don’t. I think their offense is a fraud, and the Vikings are going to prove it on Sunday.
That being said, I fully retain my rights to change this pick if Sam Bradford is sidelined again this week. Who knew he was so integral to their offense right now? Me, and only me, that’s who.
PATRIOTS (-14.5) vs. Texans
New England is out to prove Week 1 was a fluke and they’re going to start seriously steamrolling teams. I know they’re beat up right now, but when has that ever really stopped a Bill Belichick team? Also, the Texans are really, really bad. If they weren’t handed a stupid win on “Thursday Night Football,” and didn’t reside in the AFC South, they could easily lose 14 games this season.
Dolphins (-7) at JETS
I’m really going to pay for taking all of these road favorites, but come on, it’s the Jets. The Bills beat them by nine points.
Last week, I spent my Lions-less Sunday in a sports bar in LA. It was packed with Raiders fans, who were the loudest, most obnoxious fans I’ve ever encountered, and I’ve sat in the Black Hole before. I don’t think they realized they were playing the Jets.
So I warn you, Dolphins fans, don’t get too excited when your team flattens the Jets with a three touchdown win.
Giants (+6) at EAGLES
I get it. People think the Giants are free-falling after losing to the Lions on the road. But they aren’t going to be quite the dumpster fire everyone is expecting them to be, especially this guy:
Their defense will keep the Eagles in check for much of the game, and you never know what happens in an NFC East matchup. I expect this one to finish within a touchdown, but, yeah, the Giants are totally going 0-3.
Saints (+7) at PANTHERS
The New Orleans defense is still garbage, but it’s not like they’re running into a 2015 Panthers offensive juggernaut. Carolina has scored just 32 points in two games, and managed to win last week without a touchdown.
Their defense, however, has only given up six total points—granted it was against the 49ers and Bills.
I think Carolina wins this one comfortably, but New Orleans adds some late scores to make it look closer than it was.
TITANS (-2.5) vs. Seahawks
I have no idea what’s going to happen in this game. My pick is completely based off of the Titans defense going up against that horrible Seahawks offensive line. Seattle has scored just 21 points through two weeks, and they aren’t going to score that much this week. The NFC West is going down, y’all.
PACKERS (-10) vs. Bengals
I picked the Bengals last week. They let me down. Put whatever offensive coordinator you want back there, Cincy, I’m never picking you again.
Chiefs (-3) at CHARGERS
The Chargers are cursed worse than the Lions are. The Lions have always been the Bill Burr of “finding a way to lose a game,” but the Chargers are George friggin’ Carlin. They may keep this one close, but don’t be fooled, this team doesn’t have a home game on their schedule. Chiefs win by 10.
Raiders (-3) at WASHINGTON (SNF)
Too many road favorites. WHAT AM I DOING?
Cowboys (-3) at CARDINALS (MNF)
Why not make it one more? Carson Palmer, I think it’s time you and I took a walk. No, no, leave your things. You won’t need them where you’re going.
LIONS vs. Falcons - PICK REDACTED
Come back Friday.