Well, I overthought the Vikings game last week. That tends to happen later in the season when a team gets good enough to successfully play through the normal NFL pitfalls like losing a road game when they’re the better team but overdue for a loss.
But I did nail the Rams game, although I underestimated them a tad at home against Houston. I had them winning by 28. They won by 26 against a poor Texans team that should be sent home or to the emergency room to heal up for next year.
I went 10-4 straight-up last week, but only 7-7 against the spread. The Titans were favored by 4 ½ and won by 4 over Cincinnati. The Jaguars were favored by 4 ½ at home and beat the Chargers by only 3. Narrow wins/losses like that lead to a season ATS record of 67-78, and my reason never to throw money away gambling on the NFL.
Four road favorites won last week: Saints (rolling), Steelers (barely), Patriots (of course) and Vikings. Only one road underdog won: Packers at Bears.
This week, my upset special is Dallas over Philly at home. But don’t get too mad, Carson Wentz fans. I picked the Cardinals to win at Seattle last Thursday. That dropped me to 3-7 on the year in upset not-so-specials.
There are a whopping six home underdogs this week. The Giants are 10 ½-point dogs against the Chiefs. The Browns are 7 ½-point mutts against the Jaguars. Houston, Chicago, Green Bay and Dallas are the other home underdogs.
Another upset to keep an eye on is Cincinnati at Denver. The Broncos seem to be on a 309-game losing streak since we all thought they might be something special. They’re favored by 2 ½ points at home against the Bengals.
Here are this week’s games …
Rams plus-2 ½ at Vikings: Vikings by 3
After picking the Vikings to lose as the better team at Washington last week, I’m going with a new formula for this team. Rather than look for those typical surprising NFL bumps in the road, I’m just going to pick the Vikings because I think they’re a little better than the Rams, and they’re at home. The offensive line and the defense should be able to control this game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Titans plus-6 ½ at Steelers: Steelers by 7
Buccaneers plus-2 ½ at Dolphins: Dolphins by 3
Cardinals minus-1/2 at Texans: Cardinals by 3
Jaguars minus-7 ½ at Browns: Jaguars by 10
Chiefs minus-10 ½ at Giants: Chiefs by 12
Lions minus-2 ½ at Bears: Lions by 3
Ravens minus-1 ½ at Packers: Packers by 3
Redskins plus-7 ½ at Saints: Saints by 10
Bills plus-4 ½ at Chargers: Chargers by 7
Patriots minus-6 ½ vs. Raiders at Mexico City: Patriots by 14
Bengals plus-2 ½ at Broncos: Bengals by 3
Falcons plus-2 ½ at Seahawks: Seahawks by 7
Eagles minus-3 ½ at Cowboys: Cowboys by 3
Eagles seem like a no-brainer. They’ve won seven straight. They’re coming off a bye. The Cowboys are banged up. They’re missing suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott. They were humiliated in Atlanta last week. But … A home game in prime-time against a team that’s ripe for a loss is the setting for one of those head-scratching NFL moments.
Last week straight up; versus spread: 10-4; 7-7
Year to date: 93-51; 67-78
Upset specials: 3-7
Record picking Vikings games: 6-3