Home teams in CAPS.
KANSAS CITY (-7) over Jacksonville
This one feels like stealing. Sure Spencer Ware is out, and Jamaal Charles may be broken beyond repair, but Charcandrick West had 160 carries at 4 yards a pop last season. The Chiefs are good at running back. The Jaguars are terrible pretty much everywhere, and if last Thursday is any indication, they aren't inclined to rally around their embattled head coach.
MINNESOTA (-6) over Detroit
It's one thing to go on the road to a bad divisional opponent and poop the bed. It's another thing to let a mediocr-ish divisional opponent to come into your stadium and walk out with a result. Minnesota's defense gets back on track this week against the Lions.
Philadelphia (+2.5) over NEW YORK GIANTS
The Eagles defense is legit, and I don't see Eli putting up big numbers against it. This is a team that held the Cowboys down for most of the game last weekend.
Dallas (-7) over CLEVELAND
At least the Browns can't possibly blow a 3-1 lead in this game. Sorry, Cleveland.
MIAMI (-3.5) over New York Jets
Miami has (pretty quietly) found their stride by (get this), limiting Ryan Tannehill's impact on the game as much as possible. I know, shocking, right? No? Well, I tried. I'm not expecting Ajayi to roll for 200 yards yet again (run defense is the one thing the Jets do well), but I do expect to see Ryan Fitzpickalot show up under center for New York.
Pittsburgh (+1.5) over BALTIMORE
Everything is pointing to Ben Roethlisberger playing. And yes, this is a divisional game, and yes, the Steelers and Ravens tend to engage in epic slugfests no matter what the records are, but Pittsburgh is simply a MUCH better team than the Ravens right now.
New Orleans (-4) over SAN FRANCISCO
The 49ers are one of the 2-3 worst teams in football. The Saints are not one of the other two.
Carolina (-3) over LOS ANGELES
The Panthers' offense should put up some points on the Rams, they're not the type of offense that the Rams' front four can simply dismember. And while Carolina's secondary is a dumpster fire, the Rams quarterback situation is hot garbage itself.
Indianapolis (+7.5) over GREEN BAY
Look, I've been as consistent a non-believer in the Colts since before last season started. But Green Bay has been very inconsistent themselves, and the Colts usually find a way to put points on the board at some point during the game. The Packers of 2-3 years ago would absolutely wipe the floor with these Colts, but those Packers aren't walking through that door. This Packers team isn't as good defensively, and isn't nearly as consistent offensively. So no, the Colts won't win, but they'll secure the old backdoor cover.
Tennessee (+4) over SAN DIEGO
The Titans look like a legitimate threat to get the AFC's pity playoff spot (AFC South Champion). I actually expect this to be an entertaining game as both of these teams are aggressively mediocre, with very different strengths and weaknesses. And while the Chargers have the better quarterback, I like Tennessee's overall team more.
Denver (+1.5) over OAKLAND
So far this is the year of the defense, I'm banking on that to continue on Sunday night. I do believe in the Raiders as a playoff team, but I don't believe in them as contenders. Not this season.
Buffalo (+7) over SEATTLE
I really wanted to switch this pick, especially after reading this tweet:
Rex Ryan says he and about a dozen friends left during rain delay of Game 7 of World Series. "I hate to admit it," he says. He's a Cubs fan.— Mike Rodak (@mikerodak) November 4, 2016
I mean, good lord, talk about legitimately terrible sports karma. Not that Rex has been held up as the paragon of good decision-making, but how can you do that??? The rain delay lasted about 20 minutes! You were in the central time zone! You had an extra hour! Jeez.
But despite that, Seattle's offense has officially reached show-me status. As in, I won't believe the offense isn't completely broken until I see evidence otherwise.
This week: 1-0 (Whoo-hoo!)
Last week: 8-3-1 (.708)
Season: 53-60-6 (.471)