Beware. When I say Week 9 didn’t go so well, I mean Week 9 REALLY didn’t go so well.
In fact, just picking the games straight-up, the record here was 6-7. Can’t remember ever going sub-.500 just picking the stinkin’ winners.
So, yeah, this here spot gave you Packers over Lions, Bengals over Jags, Texans over Colts …
But I am requesting an asterisk on the Texans pick and the 6-7 record. When that pick was made last Thursday, Deshaun Watson was still upright and mobile. Later that day, he tore an ACL during a non-contact drill in practice.
At some point, the NFL has to start seriously looking into what can be done to prevent some of these ACLs from popping without contact. Dontcha think?
There were four upsets last week, including the Colts, which were 13 1/2-point underdogs before Watson’s injury. The Redskins were the other road team to pull an upset. They were 7 1/2-point underdogs when Seahawks kicker Blair Walsh started doing, well, you know.
This week, seven of 14 road teams are favored, including the Vikings at Washington, where bad things always seem to happen to good Purple teams.
Also favored on the road are, believe it or not, the Giants. They’re 1/2-point favorites as they put their 1-7 record up against the 0-9 49ers. Heck, this is a matchup made for Thursday Night Football. Or maybe the debut of Wednesday Night Football.
Five teams are favored by more than seven points. Leading the way are the Lions, who are spotting the Browns 12 1/2 points.
On a brighter note for the Browns, they’ll only have to travel 169 miles to lose a road game to the Lions. That’s 3,564 fewer miles than they had to travel to lose to the Vikings in a “home” game.
Here are this week’s picks …
Vikings minus-1 1/2 at Redskins: Redskins by 3
The Vikings should win. They’re superior on the offensive line and on defense. But all instincts scream that this will be one of those re-balancing weeks you see in the NFL. The Vikings have won four straight, although they slept through half the Browns game, but they’re on the road against a strong opponent that doesn’t beat itself and has a upper-echelon quarterback. Plus, you do know the Vikings won’t be able to go too long without feeling the pressure to start Teddy Bridgewater, right?
Saints minus-2 1/2 at Bills: Saints by 3
Packers plus-4 1/2 at Bears: Bears by 7
Browns plus-12 1/2 at Lions: Lions by 30
Jets minus-2 1/2 at Buccaneers: Jets by 3
Steelers minus-10 1/2 at Colts: Steelers by 7
Bengals plus-4 1/2 at Titans: Titans by 7
Chargers plus-4 1/2 at Jaguars: Jaguars by 10
Texans plus-11 1/2 at Rams: Rams by 28
Cowboys plus-2 1/2 at Falcons: Falcons by 3
Giants minus-1/2 at 49ers: 49ers by 3
Patriots minus-7 1/2 at Broncos: Patriots by 14
Dolphins plus-9 1/2 at Panthers: Panthers by 6
Seahawks minus-5 1/2 at Cardinals: Cardinals by 3
Last week straight up; versus spread: 6-7; 4-9
Year to date: 83-48; 60-71
Upset specials: 3-6
Record picking Vikings games: 6-2