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We’re a little more than halfway through the NFL season and what have we learned? New England may be the best team in the league (and yes they still are after the loss to Baltimore) but the competition may not be as far behind as many, including me would’ve thought last week. It’s also been a weird year picking games…I’ve done better recently but for a few weeks there, I picked more losers than winners.
With 8 more regular season weeks to go, here’s a quick one liner rest of the season / offseason prediction for each team:
Arizona: Kyler Murray wins Offensive Rookie of the Year nearly unanimously.
Atlanta: Coach Dan Quinn is fired on or before ‘Black Monday’.
Baltimore: Lamar Jackson finishes in the top-3 of NFL MVP voting.
Buffalo: The Bills’ late season fade leaves them one game short of an AFC playoff berth.
Carolina: Kyle Allen fades and is no longer viewed as a possible long term answer at QB to replace Cam Newton.
Chicago: Mitchell Trubisky plays well enough to slightly restore Bears fans’ confidence.
Cincinnati: Ryan Finley surprises and emerges as a shot to open 2020 as the Bengals’ starting QB.
Cleveland: The Browns go at least 6-2 with an easier schedule to save Freddie Kitchens’ job.
Dallas: The Cowboys finish 9-7 and miss the playoffs costing Jason Garrett his job.
Denver: 2nd round rookie QB Drew Lock doesn’t see the field all season.
Detroit: After another mediocre finish, the Lions seriously explore trading Matthew Stafford.
Green Bay: The Packers win the NFC North but do not perform well enough to secure a first round bye in the NFC Playoffs.
Houston: Bill O’Brien’s job is saved as the Texans make the playoffs and for once, win a home playoff game.
Indianapolis: After more chip shot misses, the best kicker of all-time, Adam Vinatieri retires BEFORE the season ends.
Jacksonville: Nick Foles performs admirably down the stretch but the Jaguars still decide to trade him this offseason in favor of rookie Gardner Minshew.
Kansas City: Patrick Mahomes is healthy enough to lead KC to the #2 seed in the AFC and a first round bye in the playoffs.
LA Chargers: After just missing out on the playoffs, coach Anthony Lynn finds himself a coaching casualty on ‘Black Monday’.
LA Rams: The Rams sneak into the playoffs by virtue of a late-season Dallas collapse and prove to be a scary foe for Green Bay in the first round.
Miami: Josh Rosen is traded this offseason for peanuts as he’s clearly shown to be far from the answer as the Dolphins’ franchise QB.
Minnesota: The Vikings narrowly miss the playoffs and Minnesota drafts a QB of the future in the first two rounds of April’s draft.
New England: The Patriots yet again win the AFC and take on…
New Orleans: …the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl LIV.
NY Giants: Eli Manning retires this offseason and plans are made to retire his number next season.
NY Jets: Adam Gase is unceremoniously fired immediately after New York’s Week 17 game vs. Buffalo.
Oakland: The Raiders make a valiant playoff run and win the AFC’s 6 seed before getting trounced in round 1 by the Ravens.
Philadelphia: The Eagles win the NFC East as Carson Wentz puts up MVP-caliber numbers in the 2nd half.
Pittsburgh: Mason Rudolph performs well enough over the last eight games that the Steelers have a bit of a QB controversy this offseason.
San Francisco: The 49ers go 13-3 and make it all the way to the NFC Championship Game before losing to New Orleans in a thriller.
Seattle: Russell Wilson is named the NFL’s MVP after orchestrating a road win in Philadelphia in the NFC Wild Card round.
Tampa Bay: Jameis Winston is not retained by the Bucs in the offseason and Tampa Bay pursues a trade for Dallas’ Dak Prescott in the offseason.
Tennessee: The Titans draft Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts as their QB of the future in the middle of the first round in April’s draft.
Washington: The disfunctional Redskins make another baffling head coaching hire leaving their fans exasperated and upset yet again.
Last Week: 10-4 Straight Up (SU), 8-6 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 81-53-1 SU, 68-67 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; HOME TEAMS IN CAPS)
Los Angeles Chargers 24, OAKLAND RAIDERS 21 (ATS: Chargers -1.5)
Have the Chargers finally figured it out? Their upcoming schedule still isn’t nearly as soft as the Raiders’ which makes this a must win game for LA. At least one Wild Card team from the AFC will get in the playoffs at 9-7…and I’d hardly be surprised if it was one of these two teams. For now, LA wins a CLOSE one on a late Mike Badgley field goal.
Baltimore Ravens 27, CINCINNATI BENGALS 20 (ATS: Bengals +9.5)
What am I doing picking a rookie QB, Ryan Finley, making his first NFL start, to cover against mighty Baltimore? There is a letdown factor for the Ravens coming off the huge New England win.
CLEVELAND BROWNS 24, Buffalo Bills 20 (ATS: Browns -2.5)
Why are the lowly Browns favored in this game? As I like to say, there’s a reason the casinos in Vegas are so big. Follow the points…and the money…and take the home team. Dare I call this the Freddie Kitchens-Baker Mayfield combo’s last stand?
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 38, Atlanta Falcons 27 (ATS: Falcons +12.5)
Shootout of the week alert. But because Atlanta will be chasing at the end of the game as usual and will backdoor cover late to ruin hopes for Saints betters. I just don’t see how the Falcons haven’t fired coach Dan Quinn yet…this team is a mess.
CHICAGO BEARS 23, Detroit Lions 17 (ATS: Bears -2.5)
This is the week that the Bears defense rises up and saves them, right? Partially. Look for a strong rushing game from rookie David Montgomery as Chicago holds on late and the Lions lose yet another heartbreaker.
New York Giants 24, NEW YORK JETS 20 (ATS: Giants -2.5)
Ugh. I have to pick a winner in this one. Give me the Giants just because the Jets have been an absolute disaster on offense lately. But I’d lean towards flipping a coin and avoiding this game altogether.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 31, Arizona Cardinals 27 (ATS: Cardinals +4.5)
Should be an exciting game down in Tampa this week – plenty of points and action. Look for 600+ passing yards in a game that I believe new Bucs coach Bruce Arians has circled on his calendar. Bet against Tampa straight up at your own risk.
Kansas City Chiefs 28, TENNESSEE TITANS 20 (ATS: Chiefs -3.5)
Will Patrick Mahomes play for KC? If so (as I believe is the case), I don’t see how the Chiefs lose. Get the 3.5 points with KC while you can.
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 23, Miami Dolphins 16 (ATS: Dolphins +10.5)
Will Jacoby Brissett play or not? Either way, the pathetic Dolphins have shown some life lately and just might find a way to cover this double digit spread against the likely run-heavy Colts.
Los Angeles Rams 29, PITTSBURGH STEELERS 23 (ATS: Rams -3.5)
A rematch of Super Bowl XIV, I love the Rams coming off a much needed bye to win on the road against a scrappy, yet undermanned Steelers team.
GREEN BAY PACKERS 27, Carolina Panthers 17 (ATS: Packers -4.5)
This one might fall into the “Best Bet of the Season” or as I like to refer to it, the “Bet Your House” category. Great spot for the Packers to bounce back at home off a road loss heading into a bye week.
DALLAS COWBOYS 30, Minnesota Vikings 17 (ATS: Cowboys -2.5)
Did the Dallas offense figure something out in the second half against the Giants on Monday night? The second of two tough road games for the Vikings who will fall even further behind the division leading Packers after a two score loss.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 24, Seattle Seahawks 19 (ATS: Seahawks +6.5)
I almost picked the Seahawks to pull the Monday night upset…but the 49ers are just playing too well right now and I’m hard pressed to see them losing a home game at this stage. The loss of Kwon Alexander on defense hurts…but look for the 49ers rushing attack to control the clock and keep Russell Wilson and company off the field.
Week 10 Betting Locks
(Last Week’s Result, Season Record in Parentheses)
Favorite (WIN, 4-5): Packers -4.5 vs. Panthers
Underdog (WIN, 5-4): Dolphins +10.5 vs. Colts
Bet the Over (WIN, 3-5-1): Falcons / Saints Over 51
Bet the Under (LOSS, 3-6): Bears / Lions Under 42.5
Week 10 Fantasy Football Guidance
(15+ PPR fantasy points from a non top-10 player)
Last Week: 1-2
QB: Jared Goff (Rams)
RB: Marlon Mack (Colts)
WR: Emmanuel Sanders (49ers)
(12 or less PPR fantasy points from a top-15 player)
Last Week: 1-2
QB: Josh Allen (Bills)
RB: Chris Carson (Seahawks)
WR: Kenny Golladay (Lions)