According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the New York Jets are 11.5 point home underdogs against the Cincinnati Bengals In East Rutherford, New Jersey on Sunday. That’s a very big spread against a home team, but with the Bengals shaping up as one of the best teams in the NFL, and the Jets offense being led by Mike White at quarterback, I suspect the Jets should be even bigger underdogs. The Jets are coming off an absolute annihilation at the hands of the New England Patriots, and the Bengals are coming off a dominant beatdown over the Baltimore Ravens. Maybe the Bengals are set up for a letdown, and maybe the Jets are set up to come out breathing fire, but even that does not look like enough for a Jets win. I hate to pick against the Jets every week, but until they show me a reason not to, I’ll say the Jets lose another one.
Last week was an unexpectedly good one for me picking the games. I went 11-1, and got all three of my upset specials right. That is ... surprising. And completely unsustainable. There’s nowhere to go but down from here. Ah well, I peaked in my very first week doing this. Whatcha gonna do?
Here are my picks for the rest of the NFL matchups this week. These picks are just a simple who wins the game deal. Odds do not factor in. DISCLAIMER: This is just for fun. I make no claims to actually being any good at this. Anyone who chooses to bet according to my picks will likely prove the old maxim, a fool and his money are soon parted.
SUNDAY 1 PM GAMES
Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills. Divisional rivalry games are always a bit tricky. Emotions run high, and strange things sometimes happen. Maybe the Dolphins surprise and hang tough in this game. Maybe the Bills look past the hapless Dolphins. Maybe. But in the end, the Dolphins just don’t have enough to win in Buffalo. Bills over the Dolphins.
Los Angeles Rams at Houston Texans. Huge mismatch here. The Rams are legitimate Super Bowl contenders. The Texans are legitimate #1 pick contenders. Home field won’t be nearly enough to narrow the gap. Rams over the Texans.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts. The Titans are coming off a total destruction of the Kansas City Chiefs. Winners of three straight, the Titans may be due for a letdown in a road game against a division rival. The Colts have been playing good football since starting the season 0-3. Football is a game of matchups. The Colts have a good run defense that may have some success limiting the superb Derrick Henry. The Colts also are one of the best teams in the NFL at generating turnovers on defense, playing against a Titans team that has had problems with turnovers on offense. Colts over the Titans.
Philadelphia Eagles at Detroit Lions. This has become a trendy upset special pick in many circles this week. I’m not buying it. The Lions have made many games interesting this year, but the bottom line is they have scored as many as 20 points just once all year, and have not won. The Eagles have scored more than 20 points in six out of seven games. The Eagles also have two wins, both on the road. The Lions will probably win a game sometime this year. I don’t think it will be this game. Eagles over the Lions.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns. Ben Roethlisberger has nothing left. Somehow the Steelers managed a win over the Buffalo Bills on opening day. They’ve also beaten a couple of patsies in the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks. The Browns are no patsies, especially at home. Their 4-3 record this year is not better mostly because they have faced the Los Angeles Chargers and the Arizona Cardinals in back to back games. The Browns’ defense and offense are both better than their Steelers’ counterparts. Browns over the Steelers.
San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears. The 49ers have been turning the ball over at an alarming rate recently. Despite last Sunday’s beatdown against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Bears defense is still capable of giving opponents trouble at home. Only the Green Bay Packers have scored more than 17 points against the Bears at home. In an upset special, the Bears defense carries the day against a 49ers team that struggles on offense. Bears over the 49ers in an upset special.
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons. After an 0-2 start, the Falcons have won three out of four, feasting against some of the worst teams in the NFL. The Panthers without Christian McCaffrey are one of the worst teams in the NFL. The Panthers have lost four straight, and without McCaffrey Sam Darnold has reverted to his usual form of being one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL. I’ll take the home team with the better quarterback trending in the right direction. Falcons over the Panthers.
SUNDAY LATE AFTERNOON GAMES
New England Patriots at Los Angeles Chargers. The Patriots have won three games this year, two against the Jets and one against the Texans. The Chargers ain’t the Jets or the Texans. Chargers over the Patriots.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Seattle Seahawks. When picking between two bad football teams, I usually pick the home team. Not this time. Trevor Lawrence is beginning to come into his own. Geno Smith never had his own to come into. Jaguars over the Seahawks in an upset special.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints. The Saints have the best run defense in the NFL. The Buccaneers don’t care. They just keep passing the ball. Last year the Saints swept this divisional series. Tom Brady remembers and will return the favor. Buccaneers over the Saints.
Washington Football Team at Denver Broncos. The Football Team was supposed to have a dominant defense this year. Instead they have allowed the most points in the NFL. The Broncos actually have an excellent defense. Take the real defense against the sham defense. Broncos over the Football Team.
SUNDAY NIGHT GAME
Dallas Cowboys at Minnesota Vikings. This one is an impossible trap pick. The outcome of this game likely depends on whether Dak Prescott plays or not, and right now, nobody knows if he will play. I’ll go on the supposition Prescott is playing and take my lumps if he doesn’t play. With Dak in the lineup nobody has been able to stop the Cowboys offense all year. Only the Chargers have limited the damage. The Vikings won’t be so fortunate. Cowboys over the Vikings in an upset special which will probably blow up in my face.
MONDAY NIGHT GAME
New York Giants at Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs are a good team that has fallen victim to a brutal schedule and some bad bounces this year. The Giants are bad team that has fallen victim to being a bad team. Take the good team at home over the bad team. Chiefs over the Giants.