This week you have some real referendum games.  Is New Orleans going to snap out of their funk?  Is New England just an average team now?  Are Detroit, San Diego and Arizona really this good?

“I can’t believe what we’ve seen so far” is what we’re gonna get all season.

Last Week’s Picks:  12-6    Best:  2-2
Season Total:  38-32-1       Best:  7-7

Ugh.  I was en route to one of the best weeks I’ve ever had, and then the afternoon games happened and then the Sunday and Monday Night games happened and my week went from historically good to just pretty good, except that I won my office football pool again.  Hells yeah!

Chicago (+3) @Carolina (William Hill)

Carolina has looked brutal the last two weeks.  The Bears, meanwhile, always look better when they are playing the not-Packers.  This season, in addition, Chicago is 2-0 on the road.  I like the Bears to win this game outright, and I’ll take the 3 points as a lovely parting gift.

Chicago Bears 24 Carolina Panthers 20


Cleveland (+2) @Tennessee (Westgate Superbook)

Jake Locker is supposed to return for Tennessee this week, but I’m still leaning Browns here.  The Titans have looked absolutely awful for three straight weeks (two of them with Locker) while the Browns are a hard luck 1-2 and are coming off their bye.  I wouldn’t bet this game because it’s tough to take a road team as traditionally bad as Cleveland, but look at the line.  When’s the last time the Browns were getting less than 3 on the road.

Cleveland Browns 24 Tennessee Titans 17


St. Louis (+7.5) @Philadelphia (5Dimes)

I get the Eagles wrong pretty much every week, so whatever I say to do here, do the opposite.  Ummm…..take the points.

Philadelphia Eagles 27 St. Louis Rams 22


Atlanta (+3.5) @NY Giants (MGM Mirage)

The Falcons have been an absolutely Jekyll and Hyde team in terms of how much worse they are on the road.  The Giants play their lone home game here in the midst of a swing that has them visiting all of their NFC East opponents in the space of four weeks.  I say they take full advantage.

New York Giants 28 Atlanta Falcons 23

Tampa Bay (+10) @New Orleans (Westgate Superbook)

Are you done with the Saints?  It’s pretty clear Vegas isn’t, as this is the weeks’ biggest spread.  The fact is, the Saints aren’t done yet, but they will be if they lose here, and with their bye coming that would be one hell of a long two weeks.  Tampa, meanwhile, is almost certain to have a little comedown after how thrilling last week’s win was.  I like New Orleans at home, but not enough to put them in Bests.  They’ve burned me too many times this season.

New Orleans Saints 31 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20

Houston (+7) @Dallas (5Dimes)

I wouldn’t touch this one.  You’ve got both teams with look ahead games coming up, plus the Texans have to play on Thursday which is a bad spot.  Plus, this is the battle of the 3-1 frauds.  Houston has beaten Oakland, Buffalo and Washington.  Dallas has beaten Tennessee, St. Louis and 1-3 New Orleans.  How many quality wins is that?

Dallas Cowboys 23 Houston Texans 19


Buffalo (+7) @Detroit (Westgate Superbook)

The Bills are benching E.J. Manuel in favor of Kyle Orton, but I don’t think it matters.  Detroit’s defense is for real this season, and I don’t expect the Bills to fare any better here than they did last week at Houston.

Detroit Lions 21 Buffalo Bills 10

Baltimore (+3) @Indianapolis (5Dimes)

Andrew Luck has been on fire, so it’s hard to bet against him at home.  Moreover, I’m looking at a shootout type game and those usually end with a wider margin than just a field goal.  I’m taking the Colts to cover, even though I expect an entertaining and competitive game.

Indianapolis Colts 34 Baltimore Ravens 28


Pittsburgh (-6) @Jacksonville (Westgate Superbook)

The Steelers aren’t a good road favorite, but you’re crazy to bet on Jacksonville until they actually turn their shit around.  I wouldn’t take either side here, but if I had to, I’d bet against the Jaguars not for the Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers 23 Jacksonville Jaguars 14


Kansas City (+7) @San Francisco (Belmont)

San Francisco saved their season with last week’s win over Philadelphia, but damn if they didn’t do their darndest to blow it, giving up 21 points on returns.  I’ve figured out the Niners, somewhat.  They’re the Lions, only a little more competent and a little less mistake prone.  That said, I don’t trust them to cover 7 points against a Chiefs team that is hardly a scrub.

San Francisco 49ers 24 Kansas City Chiefs 20


Cincinnati (-1.5) @New England (Wynn Las Vegas)

I don’t know the last time you could take New England at home and get points, but I’ll bet the next time won’t be anytime soon.

New England Patriots 23 Cincinnati Bengals 20


Seattle (-7) @Washington (Westgate Superbook)

I know the Seahawks are a different team on the road, but the 7 point spread ought to tell you what you need to know about Washington, home or road, at this point.  Washington can’t stop anyone defensively, and Kirk Cousins will only look good against trash defenses like Philadelphia.  Against Seattle, don’t be surprised if they get shutout.

Seattle Seahawks 21 Washington RacialSlurs 6

Seattle @Washington o/u 46 (Stations)

I can’t pass up the under here, I just don’t see the Seahawks putting up a big blowout win on the high side points wise.  I do see a shut ‘em down and hold ‘em down type game, with Seattle relying a lot more on Marshawn Lynch and a lot less on big passing plays to score.

Seattle Seahawks 21 Washington RacialSlurs 6


Best Picks of the Week

You know what's really scary?  The Eagles defense!

You know what’s really scary? The Eagles defense!

Buffalo @Detroit o/u 44 (MGM Mirage)

In defense we trust.  The Lions have a legitimate stop unit this season, and the Bills one strength is also on the defensive side of the ball.  I like this game as an under.

Detroit Lions 21 Buffalo Bills 10


Baltimore @Indianapolis o/u 48 (Wynn Las Vegas)

Last week I pointed out that the Colts had yet to play a game under 55.  That still holds true as once again the point total pushed 60.  Why would that change against the Ravens, a team that has been doing a good job scoring points itself.  I’m looking for a shootout that easily eclipses 50.  Go with the over.

Indianapolis Colts 34 Baltimore Ravens 28


Arizona (+7) @Denver (Westgate Superbook)

This is one of those situations where the line is telling you to take the Broncos.  The Cardinals are 3-0 with three good wins in hand, so why is the spread so big here?  Arizona is still without Carson Palmer.  Back up Drew Stanton played well in his one game vs. San Francisco, but the jury is still out on whether Arizona can win with strictly “game manager” quarterbacking.  And that depends on the defense allowing you to play like that.  As good as the Cardinals’ stop unit is, they are on the road, facing Peyton Manning and one of the most prolific offenses in the NFL.  If Denver gets ahead early, this could be a very long day and the score could get out of hand.

Denver Broncos 28 Arizona Cardinals 17


NY Jets (+6.5) @San Diego (Golden Nugget)

The Jets are hilarious.  Rex Ryan basically announced last week that Geno Smith would be on the bench if he had anything to do with it.  You have a lame duck head coach who doesn’t care anymore, so much so that he just announced to the world that the owner and/or general manager are playing puppet master with the team on the field.  Add in that the Jets don’t travel well and the Chargers are a hot ticket right now.

San Diego Chargers 27 New York Jets 17

Cincinnati @New England o/u (Wynn Las Vegas)

I don’t know if I have the outcome on this game right, but I do have a bead on the point total.  The Bengals’ defense is excellent and the Patriots defense is significantly improved off last season and last week’s Monday Night game was a fluke (defensively at least).  I like the under here, no matter who wins the game.

New England Patriots 23 Cincinnati Bengals 20

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