Hmm.  I couldn’t have a more non-descript record so far but I’m not too worried about not yet gaining any traction.  This time two years ago I was still digging out of a huge hole and I finished above water so I’m sure I’ll get it going soon.

Soon, however, may not be this week.  What a tough roster of games on hand.  I’m finding most of them pretty hard to call, so we’ll have to tread carefully this week.  Oh, by the way, Las Vegas Hilton is now known as Westgate Superbook in case you’re wondering.

Last Week’s Picks:  10-8    Best:  2-2

Season Total:  26-26-1.       Best:  5-5


Miami (-3.5) @Oakland (CG Tech Race & Sportsbook)

Oakland is the home team here in name only, as the game will be played in England.  As usual, we are trying to persuade the British to start following American football by sending them great teams to watch like Buffalo, Jacksonville and, this season, the Oakland Raiders.  The Raiders aren’t doing anything well right now, and while Ryan Tannehill is currently on the hot seat in Miami, he gets a free pass this week as the Dolphins cruise.

Miami Dolphins 24 Oakland Raiders 17


Green Bay  @Chicago o/u 50 (Stations)

Paging either one of these defenses.  Either defense, please show up.  (Silence).  I actually believe Green Bay’s problems on defense are as much systemic as they are a talent deficit (don’t be surprised if Mike McCarthy doesn’t last too much longer there).  For Chicago’s part, they were already a team that was counting on its offense to just flat out outscore people.  Now they’re banged up on defense besides.  The points should flow freely in this one.

Green Bay Packers 28 Chicago Bears 24


Buffalo (+3) @Houston (MGM Mirage)

I don’t love either side here.  Both offenses are inconsistent and untrustworthy, while both defenses are capable of playing well.  Arian Foster being back in the lineup for the Texans, and home field, are probably enough to get them over the hump but I wouldn’t really want to touch this game.

Houston Texans 20 Buffalo Bills 16


Tennessee (+9) @Indianapolis (5Dimes)

The Colts have only lost once to Tennessee since 2009, and that was in their 2-14 year.  Andrew Luck’s beaten them all four times he’s faced them, but only once by more than 7 (and that was by 8).  This spread seems a little high for a division rivalry game, and as good as the Colts looked last week they were playing the Jaguars who haven’t looked very good at all since the first half in week 1.

Indianapolis Colts 27 Tennessee Titans 22


Carolina (+3) @Baltimore (William Hill)

The AFC North is undefeated this season vs. the NFC South, and that’s not just them playing Tampa Bay every week.  It includes Cleveland knocking off the Saints, the Steelers routing the Panthers and Cincinnati shutting down the Falcons.  It’s Baltimore’s turn, and honestly Carolina hasn’t impressed me enough for me to think they’ll break the string here.

Baltimore Ravens 24 Carolina Panthers 20
Detroit (pick ‘em) @NY Jets (5Dimes)

I like the Lions to win and cover here, but they’re propensity to screw up has me running scared, so I’m leaving this game out of Best Picks.  I do believe Detroit is the right side though, even though the Jets play a lot better at home.

Detroit Lions 22 New York Jets 20


Detroit @NY Jets o/u 45 (Caesar’s)

As much as these two teams both have a propensity to screw up, that usually means turning the ball over on offense and leaving points on the field, not giving them away on D.  In fact, these two defenses are both top 5 in multiple categories.  I like the under here.

Detroit Lions 22 New York Jets 20


Tampa Bay (+7.5) @Pittsburgh (Wynn Las Vegas)

Let me start off by saying don’t touch this game.  The Bucs are the play here but they’ve played too bad to trust them.  That said, it’s hard to imagine Tampa playing any worse than they did last week.  Especially with 10 days rest.  I don’t expect them to win this game, just to show up.  If it helps any, Pittsburgh is so banged up on defense they just signed James Harrison out of retirement.

Pittsburgh Steelers 28 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21


Jacksonville (+14) @San Diego (5Dimes)

This is another game to just stay away from.  I think the Jaguars will be energized, at least a little, by having rookie Blake Bortles in there starting.  By contrast, the Chargers might be a little flat – after all, Jacksonville hasn’t done much to strike fear in the hearts of their opponents.  It’s a classic situation where the game winds up much closer than it probably should be.  But to take advantage, you’d have to trust a Jaguars team that’s been on life support the last couple of weeks.

San Diego Chargers 27 Jacksonville Jaguars 16


Philadelphia (+4.5) @San Francisco (Caesar’s)

This is a game where the line is telling you something.  I’ve seen it as high as 5.5 this week.  This despite the fact that the Eagles, ostensibly, are 3-0 while the 49ers are 1-2 and struggling.  But that just means the Niners needs this game and the Eagles really don’t, and anyone whose watched Philadelphia play knows that whatever offensive problems San Francisco has had the last couple of weeks are going to disappear against the Eagles woeful stop unit.  Can Philadelphia turn this into a shootout?  The line says no.

San Francisco 49ers 27 Philadelphia Eagles 21


Atlanta (-3) @Minnesota (Westgate Superbook)

Here’s another game I really don’t like.  Atlanta is much better at home and the Vikings have played good defense this season.  But I’m not sold that Minnesota can mount enough offense without Adrian Peterson to think they’ll cover a small spread like 3 points.

Atlanta Falcons 21 Minnesota Vikings 17


New Orleans @Dallas o/u 53 (CG Tech Race & Sportsbook)

Are you ready for some offense?  These are two teams that are top heavy in terms of scoring points and giving them up – I foresee a high scoring affair.

New Orleans Saints 31 Dallas Cowboys 24


New England (-3) @Kansas City (

The Patriots have given up just 16 points total over the last two weeks.  But no one seems to have noticed because all I’m hearing about New England is how Tom Brady isn’t a good fantasy quarterback anymore.  Fine, then don’t play him on your fantasy team.  On your real football team, where Brady leads a balanced run-first offense supported by a stingy defense, he’s just fine.

New England Patriots 21 Kansas City Chiefs 17


Best Picks Of The Week


Give me the Colts. That Andrew Luck has a particular set of skills. . .

Green Bay (-1.5) @Chicago (Stations)

At 1-2, the Packers are really in a must win situation here.  And that’s what they usually do against Jay Cutler, who is lifetime 1-8 vs. Green Bay.  Moreover, it’s not like Chicago has looked a whole lot better than the Packers have going 2-1, they just managed to pull one of those games out.  It’s hard to buck the trend coming in, or to believe that the Bears are going to bury the Packers early.

Green Bay Packers 28 Chicago Bears 24


Tennessee @Indianapolis o/u 45.5 (MGM Mirage)

Indianapolis has yet to play a game this season where the total came in under 55.  I realize the Titans can play a little defense, but again, the Colts have played three games where the low was 55 total.  I can’t understand this over/under, but I sure as hell can take advantage of it.

Indianapolis Colts 27 Tennessee Titans 22


New Orleans (-3) @Dallas (CG Tech Race & Sportsbook)

I am sticking with the Saints one more week.  Even though they looked a bit lethargic last week, I’m going to credit the Vikings’ defense.  The Cowboys have no such ability to slow down Drew Brees and friends, although Dallas has shown a propensity for offense that should not surprise anyone.  In a shootout, I tend to think the margin will be  touchdown.

New Orleans Saints 31 Dallas Cowboys 24


New England @Kansas City o/u 45 (MGM Mirage)

Two teams that want to establish the run.  One team (New England) that’s also good at stopping it.  It all adds up to a more methodical battle with a total score under 40.  I like the under here.

New England Patriots 21 Kansas City Chiefs 17


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