For the first time since Week 3, I’ve moved above .500 in picks against the spread, and like the Rams, I’m thinking playoffs.
Week 9 was the third consecutive week in which I crushed it straight up, and finished with a winning record against the spread. Like all contenders in the NFL, I’m rising at the right time. I went 7-5-1 against the spread, and 9-4 straight up. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (winning team in red, spread winner in red):
Bills (-3) at Jets
- Jets 34, Bills 21- No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills! This was such a typical Jets-Bills game. The Bills have been playing great this year, and the Jets have been failing at their tank job. The Jets hurt the Bills playoff chances, as well as their own chance at getting a top-10 picks in the next draft.
Falcons (+1) at Panthers
- Panthers 20, Falcons 17- The spread actually ended up moving in the Falcons favor before the game, but that did not matter. The Falcons continue to point signs that last years playoff run may have been the peak of a Falcons hot streak. However, they could have easily won this one, if Julio Jones did not drop a WIDE OPEN TD in the 4th quarter on 4th down.
Colts (+6) at Texans
Note: After DeShaun Watson was announced out, the spread changed dramatically, so I adjusted my pick.
- Colts 20, Texans 14- One day after winning the World Series, the city of Houston learned that good things happening in the sports world only last for so long. DeShaun Watson’s injury is devastating, and I hope he comes back strong, as he was my favorite non-Cowboy in the NFL this year. The Texans, like Week 1, clearly suck without him under center.
Bengals at Jaguars (-5)
Buccaneers at Saints (-7)
Rams (-3.5) at Giants
Broncos (+8.5) at Eagles
- Eagles 51, Broncos 23– Stop it Philly, stop it! The Eagles were very impressive in this one, but the Broncos continue to look nothing like the team that looked like the best in the NFL Week 2 against the Cowboys. Can’t wait to see this Eagles team up against my Cowboys live next weekend in Dallas.
Ravens at Titans (-5)
- Titans 23, Ravens 20- If the Titans want to make the jump this year, they are going to have to win games over inferior opponents by more than 3. I view them as a team similar to the Dolphins of last year. They will grind out wins over teams that are not as good as them, but they will get crushed by the elite AFC teams in the playoffs unless they clearly improve by season’s end.
Cardinals (-2) at 49ers
Redskins at Seahawks (-7.5)
- Redskins 17, Seahawks 14- In an NFL season that has been anything but predictable, it’s hard to dwell on one game. However, I think the Redskins have a chance to play spoiler this year and can compete with any team, and I think the Seahawks will still be a tough out come playoff time, but they commonly play to their opponent, whether that opponent is a good or bad team.
Chiefs at Cowboys (-2.5)
Note: After it was announced that Ezekiel Elliott was playing, the spread adjusted, so I changed my pick.
Raiders (-3) at Dolphins
- Raiders 27, Dolphins 24– Pushed in this one. I don’t think the Raiders have it this year, and while they are not out, I’m already looking forward to what they could do next year in their last year in Oakland, hopefully with a fully healthy Derek Carr.
Lions (-2.5) at Packers
2017 Straight-Up: 85-47, 2017 Vs. Spread: 65-63-4
Week 10 is now upon us.
Seahawks (-6.5) at Cardinals
- This is a tough one to pick, because the Seahawks are a much better team, but they commonly play to their opponent no matter what. I don’t think the Seahawks blow the Cardinals out, but I think they get to redeem themselves in a short week after their bad performance against the Redskins, and win and cover in Arizona.
Saints at Bills (+3)
- After last week’s performance, it’s easy to question whether the Bills are for real this year or not. However, the Bills have been undefeated at home this year, including wins over the Broncos and Raiders, who were coming into Buffalo after impressive wins (vs. the Cowboys and Chiefs, respectively). I think the Saints can win their division, but their winning streak will come to an end this weekend in Buffalo.
Packers (+5.5) at Bears
- The difference between Aaron Rodgers and his backup would be greater than any other starter vs. backup in the NFL no matter who the backup was, but this Packers team would be among the worst in the NFL is Brett Hundley was their regular starter. And that is not even a knock on Hundley. They have a great chance to compete against their arch rival this weekend in a matchup of two young QBs, and I think they will cover, but the Bears defense will continue to impress this year and win.
Browns at Lions (-12)
- This spread is huge, and is definitely a very risky bet for any bettor, as the Lions could easily dominate, but only win by 10. However, I think a strong home team like the Lions will crush a young road team in the Browns, and the Lions will easily cover in this one (once again the over was hit on MNF on a last play touchdown, video below).
Steelers at Colts (+10)
- The Steelers have been finding their groove at the right time in the season. It will be interesting to see if the Colts play better or worse down the stretch. They now know this is the team they will be sending out for the rest of the year with Andrew Luck out for the year, but for that same reason, they may fall apart and tank. I’m going to go with the former, as the Steelers will win in Indy, but the Colts will cover.
Chargers at Jaguars (-3.5)
- Even week Jaguars, what could go wrong? The Chargers are the perfect team to come in and beat the Jaguars during an even week. However, I think this is the week that trend ends. With both teams having had their bye, I think the Jaguars finally begin to breakout this year, and the Chargers will regress more towards the way they started the season. The Jaguars will beat the Chargers, the spread, and the even week Gods this weekend.
Jets (-2.5) at Buccaneers
- The ultimate revenge game this weekend, as QBs Josh McCown and Ryan Fitzpatrick go up against their former teams. The Bucs are really falling, and now they don’t have Jameis Winston for a few weeks, and Mike Evans this week. I think the Jets continue their anti-tank, and the Bucs begin their tank to get a great draft pick to pair with the young core they have. The Jets will win and cover in Tampa.
Bengals at Titans (-4.5)
- The Titans have a very similar matchup this week, with an average AFC North opponent coming into Tennessee. And once again, I think the matchup will be similar. The Titans will win this one by less than one score, but enough to get the cover.
Vikings at Redskins (+1.5)
- For the second straight year, the Vikings head to DC for Week 10. And for the second straight year, it’s a Vikings team that is slightly better and favored to win. I think the Vikings have overachieved a little this year, and the Redskins have flown a little under the radar at 4-4. I think this year will be just like last, and with the Vikings coming off a bye and the Redskins winning in Seattle, which almost no one else does, I think the Redskins pull off the upset at home.
Texans at Rams (-11.5)
- The Rams continue to by be far the most impressive and improved team in the NFL this season. This could have been a thriller if DeShaun Watson did not get hurt, but based on the way the Texans have looked in Tom Savage’s two starts this year, that won’t happen. Los Angeles will get its World Series revenge over Houston, and the Rams will blow out the Texans at home.
Giants (-2.5) at 49ers
- This could be the worst matchup in the NFL this season, and since I live in the New York market, I have to find another location to watch the Cowboys-Falcons game, which is at the same time on FOX. The Giants have been really bad, but I still think they are better than the 49ers. The Giants will win a close game, but enough to cover. How things can change for two franchises in just a few seasons.
Cowboys (+3) at Falcons
- There is still much question as to Ezekiel Elliott’s status, but for now I’ll act as if he will be in the lineup. With the inconsistencies of the Falcons offense and the Cowboys defense, it would not be crazy if the Falcons had a great day on offense. However, I think the Cowboys are rising at the right time, and the Falcons are falling at the wrong one. The Cowboys are a better and more mentally and physically tougher team than the Falcons, and I think they go into Atlanta and show they are among the NFC’s elite, and show that the Falcons are not.
Patriots (-7.5) at Broncos
- Playing in Denver has been Tom Brady’s kryptonite over the past few seasons, as the Pats are 1-3 in Denver since 2013, including playoffs. Every week I feel as though Denver has way too many veterans to get blown out, but I’ve lost all faith in them. The Patriots will continue their climb back to the top of the AFC, and the Broncos will continue their fall, as the Patriots will win and cover on Sunday night.
Dolphins (+9) at Panthers
- With the inconsistencies of these two teams this season, I have no clue how this one is going to end up. I could easily see the Panthers blowing them out, but could also see the Dolphins keeping it close for a reason that has no explanation. I don’t think the Panthers will dominate, but they are clearly the better team, so they will win, but the Dolphins will cover, because the Panthers are way too inconsistent to dominate.
That’s it for this week, be back for Week 11’s picks. Can Brock and the Broncos play spoiler against New England on Sunday night once again?