Last week was one of my worst betting weeks in a long time. I won one out of my five picks, and I’m not thrilled about it. In the Bengals-Titans game, the game which I predicted correctly, the Titans needed a late fourth quarter comeback to beat the lowly Bengals. In the Pats-Broncos game and the Dolphins-Panthers game, both the Panthers and Broncos made crucial mistakes at bad times which led to these teams getting blown out. In the Charger-Jaguars game, a fumble recovery for a touchdown would have made my prediction correct, but it was called back because the defender was ruled down by contact. The Jaguars ended up winning by three in overtime. And finally, I underestimated the injury of Dallas Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith. Without him, Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott had no time to throw, and the Cowboys had no chance against the Falcons. Hopefully I’ll learn from last week’s mistakes and my picks this week will be much better. Here we go!
- Los Angeles Rams (+2) at Minnesota Vikings: I’m taking the Rams to cover the spread and win outright on the road against the Vikings. Both of these teams are scorching hot, playing tremendous offensively as of late. LA has scored over 30 points in their last 3 games and the Vikings have scored over 30 points in their last two. However, the Rams’ defense has been a little bit better than the Vikings recently Even though Minnesota won last week against the Redskins, they gave up thirty points. The quarterbacks on each team have both done a terrific job of moving the chains while taking care of the football. The x-factor in this game is Rams’ running back Todd Gurley. If the Vikings can’t contain him, I like the Rams to win this game. Rams 31, Vikings 27
Arizona Cardinals (-1) at Houston Texans: In a battle of backup quarterbacks, I like the Cardinals to win outright in Houston. First, the Cardinals have had an extra four days to prepare since they played on Thursday of Week 10. Cardinals’ backup quarterback Drew Stanton has played well since taking over for the injured Carson Palmer. He has thrown three touchdown passes with only one interception in his first two games as the starting QB. Meanwhile, Texans’ quarterback Tom Savage has been a turnover machine since taking over for the injured Deshaun Watson. In his last two games, he has thrown two interceptions and fumbled the ball three times. In addition, Will Fuller, his number two receiver and deep threat, will not play this week because of a hamstring injury. I like the Cardinals to take this game on the road. Cardinals 23, Texans 14
- Cincinnati Bengals at Denver Broncos (-2.5): I know. It must be surprising that I’m taking the Broncos at home again even though they were dominated by the Patriots last week. Well, consider a few of these points. First, the Bengals are not the Patriots. The Patriots are a great team situationally in all aspects of the game. This is quality the Bengals badly lack. More importantly, Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton is not Tom Brady. The Broncos defense should dominate an offensive group that relies on the big play. Cincy has trouble running the football. They will be in a lot of third and longs in this game. Broncos pass rusher Von Miller should be able to put pressure on Dalton and force him into a couple turnovers. Meanwhile, I thought Denver’s offense played better last week but they had trouble finishing drives, resulting in three field goals. Also, this is Cincy’s last of their three straight road games. This is going to be a low scoring, defensive minded game. I like the Broncos to end their five game losing streak. Bengals 12, Denver 16
- Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) at Dallas Cowboys: I’m taking the Eagles to cover the spread on Sunday Night against the Cowboys. First the Eagles are coming off their bye week, meaning they had an extra seven days to prepare. Meanwhile, the Cowboys were dominated in a game I thought they would win in Atlanta. If Cowboys’ left tackle Tyron Smith has to miss more time due to injury, the Cowboys could be in major trouble. In Smith’s absence, Chaz Green replaced him and gave up SIX sacks. SIX! The Philadelphia defense on the year has 25 sacks to this point. If the Cowboys’ quarterback doesn’t have time to throw and Dallas can’t run the football, the Eagles could dominate this games. I like Philadelphia to continue their winning streak in Arlington. Eagles 27, Cowboys 20
- Baltimore Ravens at Green Bay Packers (+2): I’m taking the Packers to win outright at home against the Ravens. I was tempted to take the Packers last week, and I should have considering the Packers beat the Bears in Chicago. Packers quarterback Brett Hundley showed some improvement in the win over the Bears. Meanwhile, the Ravens are 3-8-1 against the spread in their last 12 road games. In their last two road games against good defenses, the Ravens are only scoring an average of 18 points per game. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is ranked dead last in yards per attempt among qualified quarterbacks at 5.83. This is a very important game for Green Bay. If they win this game they are right back in the playoff race. I like the Packers to win this game at home. Ravens 17, Packers 20