A week after going 4-1 on upset picks, this NFL guesstimator now brings good news — or two unwanted jinxes — to the remaining NFC North underdogs in action on Sunday.
No, Da Bears aren't good. But neither are the visiting 49ers, and it's time we stop respecting them like it's still 2019.
As for that other upset pick ...
Wait for it …
Lions win! Lions win! The LIIIIII-ons win!
Thanks to the Philly Not-so-Specials, the Lions will delay for at least another 14 months the possibility/probability of becoming the NFL's first 0-17 team.
Worse luck next year, Lions fans.
The week started off with four NFC North upset predictions. The Packers did their part, knocking off the NFL's last unbeaten team in Arizona on Thursday night.
Then the Original Upset Special for Week 8 got turned upside down when Cowboys went from 2 1/2-point favorites over the Vikings to 2 1/2-point underdogs when quarterback Dak Prescott and his gimpy calf woke up not feeling so well Friday morning.
Officially, Prescott came out of Friday listed as questionable for Sunday night's game. Whether he plays or not, look for the Vikings to cap the day by beating the Cowboys and taking time to thank the NFL for giving Purple fans an extra 7 hours, 20 minutes of Halloween drinking time before kickoff.
Other upset picks: Jaguars at Seahawks in Urban Meyer's 10th-from-last game as an NFL head coach, and Washington at Denver, which really doesn't feel like much of an upset.
Three teams are favored by double digits, including the Lock of the Week (Again) Rams, who face a Texans team that's about as close to being a homecoming opponent as you'll ever find in the NFL.
Here's a look at this week's games:
Cowboys (+2½) at Vikings
The Cowboys have won five straight, are 6-0 against the spread and, like the Vikings, are coming off a bye. But a Vikings defense that's ranked first in sacks and second in third-down percentage gains an additional major advantage with a prime-time home game on Halloween night. A rested Dalvin Cook and a rolling Kirk Cousins will upset the top scoring team in the league. Vikings 31, Cowboys 28
Bengals (-11½) at Jets
It doesn't matter who starts at quarterback for the Jets. New York is 1-5 against the spread, 22nd in yards allowed per pass attempt (7.3) and the only team in the league without an interception. Good luck stopping the Burrow-to-Chase connection. Bengals 34, Jets 16
Titans (+2 ½) at Colts
Tennessee's rampage through the AFC isn't ending after back-to-back wins over Buffalo and Kansas City. The Titans have won three of the past four meetings, including two straight at Indy. Titans 31, Colts 24
Rams (-15 ½) at Texans
The Rams are the Lock of the Week for a third straight week. They covered against the Giants and didn't cover against the Lions. They'll cover this week. Rams 41, Texans 13
Steelers (+4) at Browns
After the Browns' run defense makes Pittsburgh one-dimensional, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will offer up enough turnovers to drop him to 11-3-1 at First Energy Stadium. Browns 27, Steelers 21
49ers (-3 ½) at Bears
It's time to stop treating the 49ers like it's 2019. They aren't that good, they're minus-7 in turnover differential, and they'll prove unworthy of being favored in Chicago. Bears 24, 49ers 21
Panthers (+3) at Falcons
The Falcons have won three of four with Matt Ryan throwing 10 touchdowns and one interception. The Panthers are dead-team-walking with Sam Darnold unable to keep P.J. Walker on the bench. Falcons 34, Panthers 24
Dolphins (+14) at Bills
It won't be as ugly as Week 2, when the Bills won 35-0. But you should be OK giving the points. Bills 30, Dolphins 14
Patriots (+4) at Chargers
New England almost beat Tom Brady (19-17) and almost beat Prescott (35-29 in OT). The Patriots will almost beat Justin Herbert, too. Chargers 29, Patriots 26
Jaguars (+3 ½) at Seahawks
Jacksonville is coming off a bye and its first win in 21 games. Seattle is 0-3 at home, playing on a short week and still stuck with Geno Smith at QB. Ugly gets uglier for Seattle's vaunted 12th Man.Jaguars 17, Seahawks 16
Washington (+3½) at Broncos
Washington's pass rush finally showed up early in last week's loss at Green Bay. It will pressure Teddy Bridgewater more this week as Denver loses a fifth straight game. Washington 21, Broncos 14
Buccaneers (-4½) at Saints
Tampa Bay has sputtered on the road, going 0-3 against the spread with two- and six-point wins against lesser teams (New England and Philly). The Bucs will sputter, but they won't lose. Buccaneers 30, Saints 27
Giants (+9½) at Chiefs
A terrible defense + a league-high 17 giveaways > Patrick Mahomes' magic. The Chiefs aren't a Super Bowl contender right now, but they will get some much-needed relief in playing the Giants at home on Monday night. Chiefs 33, Giants 29
Eagles (-3½) at Lions
The Lions have been trying oh so hard to do the most un-Detroit thing there is: win a professional football game after The Year of our Lord 1957. Well, brace yourself, because it's time to say the NFL's two rarest words: Lions win! Lions 19, Eagles 17
Last week's Upset Special: Giants (+3) 22, Panthers 19. Actual score: Giants 25, Panthers 3. Record: 5-2.
Last week's record straight up/against the spread: 11-2/7-6.
Season record straight up/against the spread: 72-35/52-55.
Vikings picks straight up/against the spread: 5-1/3-3.