Five underdogs won outright last week. Nine of them kept the favorites from covering.
A 10th would have covered, but Bill Belichick — his heart growing like the Grinch’s on Christmas morning — decided to beat the Jets by only 16 when they were getting 22. So, yes indeed, last week’s prediction of a 100-point New England victory fell 84 points shy.
I also picked three of the underdogs to win. They just weren’t three of the ones who, you know, actually won.
And, overall, point spreads were an issue last week. A 3-12 issue to be exact. (BTW, you know the Vegas boys know their stuff when you pick the Chiefs to win by 6, but they win by 5 when they’re favored by 5 1/2).
This week, your first-place Detroit Lions — ouch, sprained a tongue saying that one — won as an underdog for the second straight week. After beating the Chargers at home as a 1-point dog, the Lions went to Philly and won as a 4-point dog.
Will that trend continue? Hardly. Not with Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid’s scoring machine visiting Ford Field. Mahomes has played 22 games including playoffs. The Chiefs have scored 26 or more in every one of them.
At Soldier Field, the Bears are favored by 2 over the Vikings. I’m taking the Bears to win. They have home torture chamber advantage, the league’s most opportunistic defense and a quarterback who … never mind.
And, for what it’s worth Bears fans, I haven’t been this certain of a Windy City victory since the Eagles playoff game last year.
Doh! Sorry, Double Doh!
Here are this week’s picks:
Vikings plus-2 at Bears: Bears 20, Vikings 17
Record picking Vikings/vs. spread: 2-1/2-1
Redskins plus-3 at Giants: Giants by 6
Chiefs minus-6 1/2 at Lions: Chiefs by 10
Titans plus-3 1/2 at Falcons: Titans by 7
Panthers plus-3 1/2 at Texans: Texans by 6
Chargers minus-15 at Dolphins: Chargers by 3
Patriots minus-7 at Bills: Patriots by 10
Raiders plus-6 1/2 at Colts: Colts by 7
Browns plus-6 1/2 at Ravens: Browns by 6
Buccaneers plus-9 1/2 at Rams: Rams by 7
Seahawks minus-5 1/2 at Cardinals: Seahawks by 3
Jaguars plus-3 at Broncos: Broncos by 6
Bengals plus-3 1/2 at Steelers: Steelers by 7
Cowboys minus-2 1/2 at Saints: Saints 28, Cowboys 27
Yes, it feels strange to call a Saints home win an upset. But the Cowboys are favored and they should win. But the same could be said of the Seahawks last week when they hosted the Brees-less Saints. Last week’s pick: Steelers 24, 49ers 20. Score: 49ers 24, Steelers 20. Record: 0-3.
Record/last week: 27-19 / 7-8
Vs. spread/last week: 18-27 / 3-12