Look away, Bears fans.
This week’s Upset Special assumes Chicago spent last week’s bye figuring out a way to score at least 21 points and sneak out of Lambeau Field with a victory that will shock the “Sunday Night Football” audience.
Sorry for the jinx, Bears fans. (And, while we’re at it, sorry for that tweet about how there was no way the kicker would miss right before that whole double-doink thing in the playoffs a couple of years back.)
But the gut instinct here is to snap Chicago’s four-game losing streak and hand the wobbling Packers and Matt LaFleur back-to-back losses for the first time in LaFleur’s 29 games as Packers coach.
As for the Vikings, well, they keep zagging when we pickers zig.
We all assumed they would win last week. They lost.
This week, they’re back to being a lousy team that’s 1-4 at home. All hope has been lost. It’s over.
So, give us a Vikings win over Carolina, Teddy or no Teddy!
Last week’s picks: 7-7; vs. the spread: 7-7.
Year to date: 102-58-1; 81-79-1
Vikings games: 5-5
Here are this week’s picks:
Ravens (+4½) at Steelers: Steelers by 1
The marquee game of the week was moved from Thursday night to Sunday to Tuesday after a COVID-19 outbreak on the Ravens that included Lamar Jackson. The Steelers manhandled Jackson in the first meeting this year. There’s no reason to think they won’t stay undefeated by doing the same or worse to Robert Griffin III.
Panthers (+4½) at Vikings: Vikings by 13
The roller coaster continues. No longer presumed to win the next two games and even their record at 6-6, the Vikings will, naturally, do just that. The offense has the ability to outscore old friend Teddy Bridgewater, P.J. Walker or anybody else the Panthers put at quarterback. Score: Vikings 38, Panthers 25.
Raiders (-3) at Falcons: Raiders by 6
The Raiders are 4-1 on the road and Derek Carr is playing way too well for Atlanta’s defense to keep up.
Cardinals (-2½) at Patriots: Patriots by 3
The urge continues to be to pick the Patriots. But my football therapist tells me to repeat the following: Don’t pick the Patriots. Don’t pick the Patriots. DO NOT pick the Patriots! Oops.
Giants (-6) at Bengals: Giants by 7
The Giants win their third straight game while smacking around Brandon Allen. Might be one of the easier picks of the week.
Browns (-6½) at Jaguars: Browns by 10
People keep picking the Browns to win games. And they keep winning games. A win Sunday would end Cleveland’s 12-year streak of losing seasons.
Titans +3½ at Colts: Titans by 3
The Colts hammered the Titans for all the world to see in prime time three weeks ago. So the logical pick obviously is Tennessee to win the rematch.
Chargers (+5½) at Bills: Bills by 6
Justin Herbert will face a tougher defense than Josh Allen will. The Bills finally get to move on from that Cardinals Hail Mary.
Dolphins (-7) at Jets: Dolphins by 3
The Jets will start slow, show some life, blah, blah, blah, and then lose.
Saints (-6) at Broncos: Saints by 3
Riding a seven-game win streak, the Saints are so due to lose this one on the road. But their run defense will put the game in the hands of a Denver QB TBD. And that won’t get it done for Denver.
49ers (+7) at Rams: Rams by 10
Dare we say it? Defense and Jared Goff have the Rams looking like the … best team in the NFC?! My apologies, Rams fans.
Chiefs (-3) at Buccaneers: Buccaneers by 5
It’s hard to bet against Patrick Mahomes. Even against Tom Brady. So let’s bet against a Chiefs defense that’s given up 31 points in each of the past two weeks.
Seahawks (-5) at Eagles: Seahawks by 7
Russell Wilson > Carson Wentz. Nothing else matters.
Bears (+7½) at Packers: Bears 21, Packers 17
Yeah, I know. It’s hard to imagine the Bears offense scoring 21 points whoever is the quarterback. So make one of Chicago’s touchdowns a defensive score.
Last week’s upset special: Rams (+3½) 31, Buccaneers 28.
Result: Rams 27, Buccaneers 24.
Upset special record: 5-6.