NFL Week 13 Predictions: Super Sunday Edition

It’s about time we had a strong looking Sunday schedule in the NFL. The only shame is Chiefs-Bengals and Dolphins-49ers are in the same window and neither game gets a national platform. Why didn’t they flex out Cowboys-Colts? Christ.

Not to oversell it, but these two games could have a significant impact on the races for the No. 1 seed in the AFC, the AFC East, the AFC North, and the MVP race.

If the Chiefs get past the Bengals, they really could go 15-2 as their only other game left against a team with a better record than 4-7 is a home battle with the Seahawks where KC will be favored for sure.

We get to see what the Chiefs learned from the AFC Championship Game, their second blown lead of 14+ points against the Bengals last year. Patrick Mahomes played the worst half of his career after the Bengals used a three-man rush and he repeatedly held the ball long and made bad decisions. I’m surprised this hasn’t been a dominant strategy against the Chiefs this year. Double Travis Kelce and only rush 3-4 while making them beat you with the other guys, who aren’t consistent. Maybe the Bengals do it again, and they are likely getting Ja’Marr Chase back on offense. just in time. Should be a good one.

As for the Dolphins-49ers, it’s a fantastic matchup of great offense vs. great defense plus the whole mentor/assistant coach angle between Kyle Shanahan and Mike McDaniel. I’ve actually been warming up to going with the Dolphins to win this one, if only because I expect the 49ers to disappoint in big games, and I think McDaniel may be smart enough to realize they’re not going to run the ball well in this game and adjust accordingly. Plus, I’ve been doing some digging into Tua this week and definitely went from skeptical to impressed. But the odds are stacked against him as they usually are when a quarterback on a team with a weak running game takes on a top-ranked defense on the road. But it is easier to win such a game in the regular season than in the playoffs.

Some of this week’s articles:

NFL Week 13 Predictions

The Bills came through on Thursday night, though I thought we’d see a few more points than we did.

I’m riding with Mike White to end the Vikings’ close-game win streak. Jets by 1-13 will be something I play several times.

I think the Jags lose a high-scoring game this week after winning their first in multiple years last week.

Counting on a huge game from Nick Chubb in Kyle Allen vs. Predator in Houston.

Taking the Giants to get back on track as we’re getting too used to Washington winning and I still don’t think the team is that good.

Is it just another boring Aaron Rodgers vs. Justin Fields game in Bears-Packers? This would be the moment for the Bears to come through and defeat Rodgers in a big way, but this team just stinks more than Green Bay. Packers until proven otherwise.

All I’ll say about Monday night is we’ve seen the Bucs host the Saints in prime time two years in a row. The Saints won 38-3 in 2020 and 9-0 in 2021 in two of the most dominant defensive performances you’ll ever see against a Brady-led team. The Saints don’t look capable of doing it this year, but after losing 13-0 in SF last week after a 24-0 win over the Raiders a few weeks before that, who knows anymore? It’s not like Tampa looks good.

I’ll aim for more sleep but it’s looking doubtful.

NFL Week 11 Predictions: Everything Old Is New Again Edition

The NFL’s Week 11 schedule is filled with familiarity. There are five division matches, including four rematches from earlier this year. We also have a game moved from Buffalo’s blizzard to Detroit as the Bills look to avoid a soul-crushing third loss in a row.

The Cowboys will try to end Minnesota’s absurd close-game winning streak for the third year in a row after pulling off comeback wins behind Andy Dalton and Cooper Rush the last two seasons.

The Saints will never get proper revenge for the 2018 NFC Championship Game over the Rams, but the two meet this week with the Rams at 3-6 and no Cooper Kupp.

Baker Mayfield gets to start another game against the Ravens for Carolina, and it’s the biggest spread of the week at 13 points. But it reminds me of this interesting and still true fact:

I also have an eye on how the Eagles handle their first loss of the season against the Colts, a team that would probably be a 20-point underdog if the Eagles were still undefeated and Sam Ehlinger was still the starting QB in Indy. But Jeff Saturday knew he had to get the Poor Man’s Peyton back in the lineup to have a shot with this team, so that is another interesting game tomorrow.

Plus we also have the Washington Commanders going from beating the team with the best record to facing the team with the worst record. It would be such a random NFL thing for this team to beat the undefeated Eagles and lose to the 1-7-1 Texans in the same week.

Some articles I did from another busy week:

NFL Week 11 Predictions

At least Green Bay gave its fans four nights of thinking the season was still alive before that awful performance on Thursday night. It was just the second time in 37 games that Aaron Rodgers lost by more than seven points in a prime-time start at home.

I really like some of the underdogs to cover this week. One game I had no idea what to do with was MNF as it is uncertain who will be the quarterback for Arizona with Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy both injured. But it would be funny to see the 49ers blow that game because this is the sixth time Kyle Shanahan has come into a game with his career record at .500. He is 0-5 in those games and has never been above .500 as a head coach in the NFL. Is this finally the game that gets him over the hump?

I also want people to understand the crazy run Minnesota has been on. It’s in those articles linked above, but this team is 7-0 in close games and 5-0 at 4QC/GWD opportunities. If you go back to last postseason for Kevin O’Connell where he was the Rams offensive coordinator and they became the first team in history to win three straight playoff games by 3 points, that means he is on a personal streak of 10-0 in close games and 8-0 at GWD opportunities.

The 2022 Vikings can also become the first team in NFL history to win eight straight games by 1-to-8 points. They have tied the record by the 1996 Jaguars and 2020 Chiefs. Those Jaguars lost their eighth game, 20-6 in the AFC Championship Game in New England. Those Chiefs blew off Week 17 against the Chargers by resting starters to end their streak, technically won an eighth straight game under Patrick Mahomes by one possession against Cleveland in the playoffs (Mahomes left injured), then beat Buffalo by 14 in the AFC Championship Game before getting smoked 31-9 in the Super Bowl.

But what amuses me most about these Vikings is the scoring differential that ranks 94th out of 95 teams to start 8-1 since 1940. The only team below them (1976 Raiders) never lost another game and won the Super Bowl. The team above them (1987 Chargers) never won another game and missed the playoffs at 8-7 in that strike replacement game season.

Talk about two extremes. I don’t think the Vikings will follow either path, but it sure would be funny to see them finish 9-8 after an 8-1 start just to cement Cousins as the ultimate .500 QB.

NFL Week 10 Predictions: Prove It Edition

The NFL’s 2022 regular season is already halfway over, and the schedule this week figures to have several games that could have a dramatic impact on how the second half of the year plays out. A lot of games where teams will either start making their turnaround, or games where it’s all about to fall apart.

Remember, just last year the Cardinals were 7-0, the Chiefs were 3-4, and the 49ers were 3-5 around this time of year. We know the directions they went after that.

I’ll share some thoughts on several games below, but first a list of articles I did during a busy week:

NFL Week 10 Predictions

The Atlanta series finale aired Thursday night on FX, and the Atlanta Falcons season finale was also airing on TNF. Maybe Marcus Mariota needs to sit on the bench if they can’t run a modern NFL offense with him. What a waste of some solid weapons and a weak opponent (Carolina).

SEA-TB: Geno Smith leads the NFL with seven games of 2+ TD passes while Tom Brady has just one. The oddsmakers have Geno O1.5 TDP at +100 and Brady at -146. Either the Tampa Bay defense is that much better than Seattle’s, or they think Brady found a new witch to fuel his voodoo and go on another run here. I’d love to see Seattle get to 7-3 in this one, but I just have my doubts. Blame the Rams for not pushing the stake through the heart last week. Then again, NFC South is an embarrassment.

JAX-KC: Love the prop picks for the Travis players here, Kelce and Etienne.

HOU-NYG: Giants might disappointment with reshaped OL after bye, but I’m still going against that Houston run defense and Saquon Barkley is a good one.

DET-CHI: Justin Fields was prolific as a runner last week. I think he changes it up and has a great passing game this week. He was 11-of-17 for over 200 yards in his lone start against the Lions last year and they’re still the bottom-ranked defense this year.

NO-PIT: I laid out in the links above why I love the Steelers to win this one with T.J. Watt back. Andy Dalton is 3-13 vs. Steelers. Never scored more than 21 points against them.

CLE-MIA: Multiple touchdowns for Nick Chubb and Tyreek Hill? It’s worth a small bet. Could be a fun shootout.

MIN-BUF: I said last week this could be a season-altering game. But it sounds like Josh Allen is healthy enough to start, so I am going to do what I always do with Kirk Cousins and the Vikings in a big game: fade them.

DEN-TEN: Really wanted to pick Denver, but I need to see something improved on offense first. Looks like Ryan Tannehill is back for the Titans too.

DAL-GB: A bit nervous about betting any ML/ATS here. Cowboys should win, but we’ve seen that story end in disappointment before. If Aaron Rodgers has one great game left in him this year, I can see him doing it against Mike McCarthy, but they’re just so shorthanded. Allen Lazard should have a good game though.

IND-LV: The game with the highest meme potential all season. I’m going to be betting everything from LV -16.5 to Colts winning outright to IND +4.5/LV ML parlay. Josh McDaniels has to be fired immediately if they lose this game to a guy with no NFL/NCAAF coaching experience who was tweeting this two weeks ago:

NFL Week 9 Predictions: The Fake NFC Championship Game Edition

Three weeks ago, we had a clear-cut Game of the Year in the AFC between the Bills and Chiefs. They are still the two best teams in the league in my view, and the Eagles are the best in the NFC. All three are favored by double digits this weekend and we already watched the Eagles slip by Houston 29-17 on Thursday.

But what is the Game of the Year this regular season in the NFC? It wasn’t Packers-Buccaneers when both are 3-5 to start November. It was looking like it could be Week 12 Packers at Eagles on SNF, but not if the Packers are still playing like they have the last month.

Tomorrow had another option with Rams-Buccaneers, which I thought could have been an NFC Championship Game preview after it was the most pivotal matchup in last year’s playoffs to determine the Super Bowl winner. The Rams improved to 3-0 against Tom Brady in Tampa in a wild one that had no business being that close.

But both teams come into this one with a losing record, and either the Bucs will be 3-6 or the Rams will be 3-5 after it’s over.

Since I’m not a believer in the Vikings or Giants as legit Super Bowl contenders, that really just leaves Philadelphia at Dallas on Christmas Eve as the potential Game of the Year in the NFC. That would assume both keep winning and maybe the Eagles slip up once or twice so that Dallas has a chance to tie them or take the division lead with a win. That’s also assuming Dak Prescott is going to play like he did last year and keep this offense scoring to go along with the improved defense.

That might be the one to circle, but tomorrow, we’re going to see if the Rams or Bucs take an early TKO. But who are we kidding? Even if the Bucs lose to fall to 3-6, that division is still up for grabs.

Some of my articles this week:

NFL Week 9 Predictions

My trusty pick of the Eagles winning the second quarter/first half did not pay off on Thursday, but they did win the game at least.

It doesn’t look like many games with the big bye (six teams). Weird.

Definitely a RedZone afternoon for me. Glad to get a week off from watching the Steelers. Only two games in the late window is bad, but I’d probably be focusing on Rams-Bucs anyway. It’s just not as exciting a matchup as it could have been, but we’ll see what happens.

My SNF pick is also tough to make when I don’t know if Ryan Tannehill is playing. If he plays, I think the Titans cover. If it’s Malik Willis, I’m taking Chiefs ATS. They’ll eat him alive if he tries to throw in this offense that misses A.J. Brown a lot. We don’t even talk about that one too much because the Titans have found other ways to win, but this is a game he will definitely be missed.

I’ll be mad if Chargers-Falcons doesn’t have a crazy 4Q finish.

NFL Week 8 Predictions: The Fall of Brady and Rodgers Edition

Week 8 started on Thursday with Tom Brady falling two games under .500 for the first time in his career after a loss to the Ravens, then the next day the news broke that he is officially divorced from his famous wife. All I’ll say is let’s hope he’s right when he says his favorite ring is the next one.

Speaking of old quarterbacks with a broken family situation decaying in front of our eyes on prime time, Aaron Rodgers is a double-digit underdog for the first time in his NFL career. He’s playing Buffalo, so, duh. The Packers don’t even have Allen Lazard or Randall Cobb available for this one. I’m not expecting much from it, but maybe unlike Brady against the Ravens, Rodgers will pull out one last miracle on Sunday night. How does it happen? I honestly have no idea. Josh Allen air mails every third and fourth-down throw? The special teams decide to block an opponent’s punt for a touchdown instead of the other way? Beats me.

Some of my articles from a busy week:

NFL Week 8 Predictions

I’m honestly shocked Baltimore went from 10-3 at halftime to 27-22 final in Tampa. Great job by the shorthanded Ravens to grind it out and dominate the second half.

I’m not going to let Malik Willis starting his first game change my mind on the Tennessee-Houston game. Maybe stay away from the ML, but continue to pound those Derrick Henry props. Hell, maybe Willis’ mobility will open the running game up even more a la Vince Young in Tennessee years ago.

I’m not buying the Steelers and Packers keep it close enough to cover this week, but we’ll see. I wouldn’t be risking bringing T.J. Watt back when I’m 2-5 and an underdog like this. Not when the bye week is next week too. Just wait one more game.

But if I said I was overly confident in any one of these ATS picks, I’d be lying. One thing I felt after the Bears smoked the Patriots on Monday is that in these matchups between so-so teams, no one deserves to be an 8-point favorite right now. These teams are all too inconsistent to be getting that kind of line.

NFL Week 7 Predictions: Snoozer Edition

We go from the Game of the Year last week to a prime-time slate that the NFL must have been high when they put together. No one wanted to see this shit in April, let alone late October.

I said I would nap during the island games, and so far I’m 1-for-1. What I saw of Saints-Cardinals actually wasn’t that bad in a surprisingly high-scoring game, but that had more to do with my jacked up sleeping pattern this week. I’ll stay awake for Dolphins-Steelers. Probably.

But quarterback injuries are a huge theme again this week.

Not just which players are out, but how will the guys returning from injury look? I’ll share a few thoughts on those games below in the predictions, but first, here are some of the articles I wrote this week:

NFL Week 7 Predictions

Okay, TNF was probably the most far off I’ve been about an island game this season. Still, I wonder how it goes without that bobbled pick-six the Cardinals scored.

Dak Prescott’s return: Was he just off in Week 1, or what was that all about? I think he’s going to look fine in this one, but I’m taking the Lions to cover as a precaution. I’d say we know the Lions can score but they did just get shut out before the bye week.

Taylor Heinicke takes over for Carson Wentz (finger): This one is interesting because Heinicke marched Washington up and down the field in Lambeau last year. The 430 yards of offense were the second most the team has had in any game in the last three years. They just couldn’t finish in the red zone at all. With the way the Packers have been playing, I can’t trust them in any game that isn’t at home on SNF against the Bears right now.

How the hell does Carolina score?: The game I’m planning on betting on a lot is Tampa Bay to beat Carolina by 14+ points. I know, Tampa Bay hasn’t looked right all year, but how the hell does Carolina score on this defense without Christian McCaffrey? He had most of their yards last week and they still only scored 3 points on offense. You know Brady is pissed off and won’t blow another double-digit favorite game here. Even if TB doesn’t light up the scoreboard, this could end 21-6. The Panthers haven’t been this unwatchable since 2010 Jimmy Clausen year, and at least that team had Steve Smith.

Brett Rypien replaces Russell Wilson (hamstring) vs. Jets: This one is funny cause Rypien played against the Jets in 2020 in his only other NFL start, a weird 37-28 game in prime time. A lot of people are going to jump on the Jets (4-2) bandwagon here, but I’m going against the grain and taking Denver to still win at home. I don’t trust the offense, but I trust the defense at home, and I think it’d be funny if Rypien led the offense to its best game of the season the moment Wilson goes down. Let’s root for chaos and have him light it up.

Kenny Pickett vs. Tua Tagovailoa: I thought Tua changed the concussion protocol enough to where we wouldn’t see Pickett in this game, but here we are. It’s anecdotal evidence, but my experience says fade the Steelers quarterback coming off a head injury in his next game. Look up what Tommy Maddox did against the 2002 Texans after an injury scare, look what Ben Roethlisberger did to the 2006 Raiders after a concussion, or just look at how bad the Pittsburgh offense is in general. They may not get blown out here like they have been on the road lately, but I can easily see a 24-16 loss.

NFL Week 6 Predictions: Game of the Year Edition

Week 6 brings the start of byes and the two biggest games on the schedule to this point. Bills at Chiefs should be the biggest game of the regular season period with everything on the line in that epic matchup. But Cowboys at Eagles is a surprisingly big one in the NFC on Sunday night. It’s just a shame this won’t be Dak Prescott’s return game as that would add more intrigue to it. I expect the Eagles to move to 6-0, and if they get past this one, they may not lose until after Thanksgiving.

Articles this week:

But clearly I’m all about talking Bills-Chiefs this week.

Game of the Year: Bills at Chiefs (+2.5)

I want to draw attention to the nearly 3,000-word QB-centered preview I did for this game already, the first of two previews I wrote about it (see above link too). I covered the first four meetings between Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes as well as what can happen this time around.

That piece covers a lot of my feelings about this game and budding rivalry, which should be drawing comparisons to the 1990s 49ers-Cowboys and 2000s Colts-Patriots. But for it to step up to that level, the Bills have to be the better team this year. That means winning this game to give themselves the best shot at hosting a rematch in January instead of going to Arrowhead for the third year in a row.

Not only is homefield advantage at stake here, but the leader in the MVP race is going to get a big boost from this outcome, assuming both QBs won’t be as stellar as they were in January’s playoff decision. Someone should create a gap in this game, and my pick for that is Allen going up against the lesser defense. That should be the main reason why the Bills are favored by 2.5 points, the first time Mahomes is a home underdog in the NFL.

But if Mahomes pulls this game out, I think you have to never bet against this guy as an underdog again. He has 28 touchdown passes in eight games as an underdog (6-2 SU, 7-0-1 ATS). I just think this is the game where not having Tyreek Hill is going to stand out, and if the Bills can keep up the attacking style the Raiders had in the first half on both sides of the ball on Monday night when they led 17-0 and 20-10, then they should win this game. I knew before Monday night that I was picking Buffalo in this one, but that emotional Kansas City comeback, fueled largely by a terrible roughing the passer penalty, actually strengthens my pick of Buffalo in this game. I just don’t think the Chiefs have as much margin for error anymore on offense, and the defense is not up to championship caliber like what the Bills have.

Not Sure Allen-Mahomes Can Be Manning-Brady

Something I wanted to touch on that I didn’t write about in either preview was the comparison of Allen and Mahomes to Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady. These quarterbacks are playing better than anyone else right now, and after meeting in the playoffs the last two years and being the two favorites to win it all (plus MVP) as we head into Week 6, that is why this is possibly the No. 1 rivalry in the NFL today.

But I have a lot of issues with calling Allen-Mahomes the new Manning-Brady.

The first huge problem: which one is which?

Throughout NFL history, so many of the great quarterback rivalries were instances of a naturally gifted player who had to carry his team each year and another top-tier player who had more winning and championship success despite lesser statistics because he was on a better team with superior coaching/defense/ST and maybe just some better luck.

  • Sammy Baugh vs. Sid Luckman
  • Bobby Layne vs. Otto Graham
  • Johnny Unitas vs. Bart Starr
  • Ken Stabler/Roger Staubach vs. Terry Bradshaw
  • Dan Marino/John Elway vs. Joe Montana
  • Steve Young vs. Troy Aikman
  • Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady

In just about every case there, it is clear which QB is serving which role. But when it comes to Mahomes and Allen, that is not very clear at all.

One of the main hallmarks of a traditional QB rivalry is here with Mahomes having the better stats/weapons/honors and Allen having the better defense, but Mahomes also has the better coach, and he has the better record (reg. season and playoffs) and the only MVP and ring between the two of them.

That really throws this one for a loop, because Mahomes does not match up well with the traditional “rings” QB as he is so prolific as a passer. But in time, this could shake out to make more sense. Maybe Allen wins a couple of Super Bowls here, leapfrogging Mahomes in the ring count and matching him in MVPs. The slow start to Allen’s career (rare Year 3 breakout) certainly does him no favor in these comparisons.

Also, it’s only 2022. There is plenty of time for this to change. This would be like me writing in 2006-07 about comparing Manning and Brady to Marino and Montana. I absolutely could have done it then, and those comparisons are stronger than the ones presented here. But I also can say with confidence what kind of quarterbacks Manning and Brady ultimately turned out to be. We still have no idea if Allen will ever get to a Super Bowl or if Mahomes will win multiple rings/MVPs or not. They both should do great things, but they also are both starring at the same time, and that is going to lead to one limiting the other. Without those 13 seconds last year, Allen might already have a ring.

That’s why hyping this up as a chief NFL rivalry is fun, and why this game deserves hype similar to the levels of 2007 Patriots-Colts (or at least 2017 Patriots-Steelers). Games like this don’t come around often in the regular season. Let’s hope it’s a classic, but if I had to guess which Bills-Chiefs game from 2021 it will look more like, I’d say the 38-20 Buffalo win rather than the 42-36 playoff masterpiece.

Maybe I’ll be wrong about Buffalo, my preseason pick to win it all, but if I’m right about this being their 1994 49ers or 2006 Colts type of year for them to vanquish KC, then that means they are going to win this game.

Final: Bills 31, Chiefs 27

NFL Week 6 Predictions

I nailed my TNF pick (Washington) and I would have nailed my SGP but Carson Wentz is a bum who couldn’t throw for 100 yards.

Like half of Pittsburgh’s defense is out with injury tomorrow, so nice of Tom Brady to catch a break in Year 23. He really deserves one…

The Jaguars may sweep Indy, who is down both RBs again, but that loss to Houston last week really soured me on Trevor Lawrence and the offense. I think Matt Ryan is a threat to fumble every time he’s touched now, which is often behind this OL, but I’m still going to back the Colts this week.

I like the Dolphins to upset the Vikings, who can’t keep pulling off 4QCs every week behind Kirk Cousins. The world isn’t that warped yet. I also think the Ravens are in dangerous territory in NY against the blitzing Giants. It could look like that Miami loss last year where they just teed off on Jackson, so I hedged with NYG ATS/BAL ML.

I’ll change my ATS pick to Carolina if Cooper Kupp doesn’t play, but whatever. Carolina still stinks after going with a different HC (Steve Wilks) and QB (P.J Walker) this week.

Cooper Rush is a wild story and that Dallas defense is tough this year. I just think the Eagles are going to score too much in the first half to get the Cowboys out of their comfort zone. We’ll see.

And finally, I am crazy enough to trust Russell Wilson to play his best game in a Broncos uniform. I wasn’t crazy enough to pick them to win outright, but in a MNF game between Wilson and the Chargers, how the fvck can it not be super close at the end?

NFL Week 4 Predictions: Breaking Point No. 1 Edition

This week would normally conclude the first-quarter mark of the regular season with all teams playing four games, but thanks to the 17-game season, it’s slightly less than that.

But this Week 4 schedule does look like a pivotal one that I will call the first major breaking point of the season: a week where the outcomes of these games will have far-reaching impact on how the narrative of this 2022 season (and beyond) unfolds.

We’ve already seen this play out on Thursday night when the Dolphins sacrificed Tua Tagovailoa’s health and career by playing him four days after they let him go back into a game following what looked like a pretty obvious concussion. His decision making look compromised on Thursday night, and he took another hard hit that may have given him a second concussion in less than a week. Hopefully this will bring some changes to the concussion system going forward, but it was a terrible sight to see his fingers lock up like that in a game he really shouldn’t have been playing in.

But that was a big game since it could have led to Miami at 4-0 and the Bengals at 1-3. Instead, Teddy Bridgewater threw a pick late and the Bengals are back in the hunt at 2-2.

There should be a lot of these breaking point moments this week:

First, keep in mind that 14.9% of teams starting 1-3 since 1990 have made the playoffs, and 63.7% of teams starting 3-1 have made the playoffs. It hurts more to start 1-3 than it helps to start 3-1, but it’s a big week for teams in those positions.

The Vikings can drop the Saints to 1-3 with Jameis Winston and Michael Thomas sitting this one out, denying us a battle of the last two QBs (Winston and Kirk Cousins) in the NFL to throw a pick-six in overtime. I wrote an upset pick for the Saints earlier in the week, but I’d change my pick after that injury news dropped.

The Colts (1-1-1) have a big home game with the Titans (1-2) in the AFC South.

Dallas can get to 3-1 and drop Washington to 1-3 in the first game of the Cowboys-Commanders era, also known as The Battle of the Gingers (Carson Wentz and Cooper Rush)

Chargers-Texans is the No. 32 rushing offense vs. No. 32 rushing defense, but if the Chargers start 1-3 with losses to Jacksonville and Houston, you might as well forget this season for them.

One of the Giants-Bears should be 3-1 after tomorrow, but this isn’t a breaking point. Neither team is going to amount to anything this year.

Jaguars-Eagles is shockingly decent on paper, and it would be something if the Jaguars are for real this year and Doug Pederson got the win in Philadelphia.

If Mitch Trubisky sucks against the Jets at home, the Kenny Pickett era might be here now, or else the Steelers aren’t winning another game until after the bye.

Bills-Ravens is a huge game in both the MVP race and AFC playoff standings. I wrote about the intertwined careers of Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, who are both looking at the Five-Year Rule with their head coaches this season as they hope to win their first Super Bowl.

With Mac Jones down and Brian Hoyer starting, the Patriots are in real danger of falling to 1-3 in Green Bay where Matt LaFleur doesn’t lose to scrubs.

Remember when Josh McDaniels started 6-0 in Denver in 2009? He might be 0-5 to start his job with the Raiders if they don’t get the win over a struggling Denver team this week.

The Chiefs-Bucs Super Bowl rematch (preview) is going to look a lot different, but it’s still about Todd Bowles’ defense, which is allowing 9.0 points per game this year. The Chiefs are a 1-point underdog for now, and if that holds, then Patrick Mahomes has to defend his 6-0-1 ATS record as an underdog.

Finally, the Rams can get to 3-1 and drop the 49ers to 1-3 on Monday night (prop picks), but we know Shanahan has gotten the best of McVay most of the time in that matchup.

For Week 4 prop picks, see here.

For a Week 4 parlay (+553 after last week’s +531 hit), see here.

For updated Super Bowl 57 winner odds and my best picks for the favorite, value pick, and dark horse, see here.

It should be a very important week in the NFL.

NFL Week 4 Predictions

TNF has been good to me this year even if it hasn’t been that good to watch. I also went 11-4-1 ATS last week and still felt like a total bum for the way the Chiefs and Bills lost.

To be honest, the Bengals winning on Thursday night was the second-highest confidence I felt in any pick this week. My only stronger pick is Green Bay taking care of New England. I can see the argument for every other side, including the Texans over the Chargers since they already upset them after Christmas last year.

Fun fact: Browns and Falcons are the only teams to score at least 26 points in every game this season. Now watch that game end 15-10, but it could be an entertaining shootout in the dome while some of these games may be affected by the weather thanks to this awful Hurricane Ian. I really am doing my best to not go nuts on SGPs for Ravens-Bills. Not after the huge disappointment that was 17-3 when they last met in the 2020 playoffs.

NFL Week 3 Predictions: The Truth Comes Out Edition

Not to sound like John Oliver, but I have time for just a quick recap of the week.

After talking about the big point spreads in Weeks 1-2, we seem to have the opposite in Week 3. There are currently zero games with a spread higher than 6.5. This is largely due to the Justin Herbert (ribs) injury situation as that line has come down from -9 to -7 to -3.5 as I currently see it with Herbert being a legit game-time decision. So, we’ll just have to see what the final line is.

But this would be the only non-strike season since 1978 where Week 3 didn’t have a single game with a spread of 7+ points.

Just as Week 2 is one of the hardest weeks to predict in a season, Week 3 ranks right up there. Because now the task is which week do I put more trust in?

Are the Packers a terrible offense without Davante Adams like they were in Week 1 in Minnesota, or are they going to be okay like we saw in Week 2? Tough task in Tampa Bay where neither team is coming in with healthy skill players.

Are the Jaguars actually good this year and ready to roll a limited Herbert or rough up Chase Daniel? Or are they going to get shredded like the defense that gave up a 4 touchdown/300-yard game to Carson Wentz in Week 1?

Can the Falcons continue playing competitive football against one of the worst teams on their schedule, or will the Seahawks look more like the offense that moved the ball well in Week 1 instead of the offense that was shut out in Week 2?

Are things any different in Minnesota this year, or did they just do their usual “beat Green Bay and shit the bed on a Monday night” thing under Kirk Cousins? I have a lot riding on Amon-Ra St. Brown to deliver for the Lions tomorrow.

Finally, the big game of the week is Bills at Dolphins, but is Miami a 42-point dynamic offense, or is it more like the offense that had 27 points in seven quarters before Tyreek Hill exploded on Sunday against a Baltimore defense that has allowed five 400-yard passers since 2021? I really like the Bills this week, though safety Micah Hyde going on IR (neck) is not good timing.

Again, I’d say some more but I’m working on a side project on weekends. Here’s a fun Colts-Chiefs preview, the first meeting between these teams since 2019

Here are some other articles I did this week:

NFL Week 3 Predictions

Going against the Steelers the last two weeks has proven to be a smart move. That team could be 1-5 in a few weeks. With the pressure already mounting on Mike Tomlin, I don’t see how he doesn’t make a major change soon.

Does the table look better this week? I finally learned how you can save Excel cells as a picture without using the Snipping tool.

Should be an interesting day with all these small spreads. The truth is going to start coming out about these teams.

NFL Week 2 Predictions: Haves vs. Have Nots

It really feels like the NFL stacked this Week 2 schedule at the front (LAC/KC) and back (BUF/TEN, MIN/PHI) and forgot about Sunday.

Also, I have no idea why there is a doubleheader on Monday night in Week 2, and it’s not even a true doubleheader since the games will be going on simultaneously. But I wrote about how Justin Jefferson could follow Cooper Kupp’s lead last year to an Offensive Player of the Year award and maybe more if Kirk Cousins can pull off a Matthew Stafford.

But I really do think the Sunday schedule is lacking tomorrow. Part of that isn’t really the NFL’s fault as Bengals-Cowboys could have been a fun game based on last year, but we didn’t know the Cowboys would be this injured already, especially Dak Prescott again. But check the picks below as I think Cooper Rush can surprise some people.

The weird thing about this week is that five games already have a team favored by 9.5 points, or another way of saying favored to win by double digits.

That is a lot for Week 2, because the spreads usually grow later in the season once we see these teams separate from one another. For example, there were five Week 2 games in 2019-21 combined (three seasons) where a team was favored by double digits. We’re possibly matching that this week depending on where the lines close.

This hasn’t happened in a while. The 2007 and 2006 seasons both had five Week 2 games with a 9.5+ point spread. It usually happens once or twice a season since. If this holds, then 2022 will tie 2006 and 2007 for the most Week 2 games on record of having a spread this big.

In Week 1, we observed a lot of unusually high underdogs at home (5.5+ points) for an opener.

So, what is going on with this season from a betting perspective? Is it a case of the haves vs. have nots?

Maybe some of it is the preseason predictions still carrying too much weight, and teams like Denver and San Francisco may not be as good as we thought they’d be with new quarterbacks. At the same time, maybe teams expected to be among the very worst like Seattle and Atlanta may actually be halfway decent.

We know Week 2 can always be the toughest week of the season to predict because you’re trying to wrap your head around what was real and what was an outlier in the first game. But something I’m looking at for this week’s slate is division familiarity and motivation, and how those factors can change sharply from last week. Here are some examples:

Are the Rams really going to be that bad this year, or were they just playing the Super Bowl favorites from Buffalo who haven’t punted in four of their last six games now? Something tells me the Falcons won’t look that good this week as they did last week when they blew a 16-point lead to division rival New Orleans. Guess what happened last year? A bad Atlanta team blew an 18-point 4Q lead (in less time even than last week) to the Saints, but Matt Ryan got the ball back with enough time to get a FG and avoid the blown lead. I’m not worried about the Rams yet.

Speaking of Ryan, after that slow start in Houston, another division team that usually plays Indy close outside of 2021, I think he has a chance to do big things this week. Sure, the Colts have shit the bed in Jacksonville every year since 2015, but I think he’ll be okay in this game. Still, it’s not one I’d be betting good money on for ML or spread.

Meanwhile, is Houston going to look that decent in Denver? Are the Broncos really this badly coached, or was it just a tough debut in a loud place to play with everyone fired up to beat Russell Wilson? At the same time, will the Seahawks play that well in San Francisco? Oh, that is one I can believe. The 49ers haven’t beat Seattle by 10+ points since the 2011 opener. Kyle Shanahan without Jimmy Garoppolo should not be trusted. The evidence keeps growing by the week. That’s another game I’d avoid ML bets.

NFL Week 2 Predictions

Justin Herbert seriously went from a painful looking injury that prevented him from running for an easy first down on a third down to throwing the pass of the night on fourth-and-1. It led to a touchdown and late cover for the Chargers, who I picked to lose 28-21 on the night. At least the under hit.

I picked the Jets for an upset at first, but I think I’ll just stick with the cover. It seems like every year the Jets are a team I keep betting ATS early, thinking they can’t be this bad, but time and time again, they prove me wrong. They are this bad. But we’ll see against Cleveland.

I think Tom Brady gets his first regular-season win over the Saints with Tampa, but I’d be lying if I said I felt confident about it. Saints look as unpredictable as last year.

This might be the Steelers-Patriots game with the least impact on the AFC since they met in 1991 during bad seasons. Not used to this not being a big game, but I expect low scoring and close. Just can’t imagine Trubisky avoids the big turnovers again this week. The Patriots haven’t been getting takeaways, but all those recent games with 0s in that column were against the Bills and Dolphins. The AFC East has absolutely caught up to them (Jets aside). They won’t be able to beat the Steelers the way they used to, but Mac Jones can dink and dunk to a high completion percentage at least. No T.J. Watt was the deciding factor for me. This is the kind of game he could win on his own with splash plays.

Dolphins-Ravens is potentially the best game on Sunday. We’ll see if the Ravens can protect Lamar Jackson this time. Miami roughed him up good on Thursday night last year. I like Tyreek Hill to score his first touchdown of the season.

I am giving the Cowboys a shot at covering against the Bengals. Maybe Cooper Rush can put on his best Mike White impression. The difference is Rush has a start and 300-yard game and win under his belt over Minnesota last year. Cowboys were beyond bad on offense last week, but maybe Micah Parsons can harass Joe Burrow into more turnovers and sacks. The defense has to get the job done for Dallas now.

On Monday, I think the Bills get some revenge on Tennessee for losses the last two years, but I’m not ready to count out the Titans from keeping it close.

Vikings-Eagles really might be the game of the week as Chargers-Chiefs didn’t quite deliver on expectations. If both of these teams are going to win 10+ games and win division titles, it will be interesting to see how they perform Monday as those are the opponents that both have been losing to for years. The Eagles are 1-15 against playoff teams since drafting Jalen Hurts. The Vikings usually never beat a good team not named the Packers. Looking forward to this one and I think I may end up watching more of it than the Buffalo game.

Why I have to choose at all between two games on a Monday in Week 2? Damned if I knew…