The overall picks so far against both the spread and straight up have been downright middling, which is frustrating.
I went 7-8-1 against the spread last week to put my season total at 15-15-2 and I went 10-6 straight up to even the mark at 16-16. That’s not very exciting.
What is exciting is my 5-2 Best Bets record last week on the Pick Six Podcast, which ups my season mark to 8-5 ATS. That I like.
This week there are some really interesting games, but some that should feature backup quarterbacks, which makes the picking challenging. The lines usually reflect the backup, but there is no way of really knowing how he will play until the game starts.
So be careful this week. I am.
Carolina Panthers at Houston Texans (+7.5)
Latest Odds: Carolina Panthers -8
This will be rookie Davis Mills at quarterback for the Texans. He did some good things coming in as a backup last week, but this Carolina defense is playing so well, it will be a real challenge. Sam Darnold is off to a good start for the Panthers, but this will be his first road game. That’s why I think the Texans will keep this close.
Pick: Panthers 21, Texans 19
Washington Football Team (+9) at Buffalo Bills
Latest Odds: Buffalo Bills -8.5
Washington is supposed to have a dominant defense, but it hasn’t been that way yet. The front has to be better. Buffalo rebounded against the Dolphins to even the record. Josh Allen looked much better. But this will be a tough game against the Washington front. I think the Bills win a close one.
Pick: Bills 24, Washington 20
Chicago Bears at Cleveland Browns (-7)
Latest Odds: Cleveland Browns -7
Whether this is Andy Dalton or Justin Fields starting for the Bears, it really won’t matter. The Browns haven’t yet played up to the preseason hype, but I think that will change in this one. Even with some banged-up players on offense, the run game will dictate tempo and the Bears won’t be able to keep up. Browns take it.
Pick: Browns 27, Bears 14
Baltimore Ravens (-8.5) at Detroit Lions
Latest Odds: Baltimore Ravens -8
The Lions showed on Monday that they have major defensive issues. The Ravens came alive on offense against the Chiefs in a big way. That will show up here, and the Lions won’t be able to keep up. The Ravens take it in a blowout.
Pick: Ravens 33, Lions 16
Indianapolis Colts at Tennessee Titans (-5)
Latest Odds: Indianapolis Colts +5
Carson Wentz is banged up, which means it will likely be Jacob Eason making his first NFL start. The Titans are struggling on defense, but any first start can be overwhelming for a young quarterback. The Tennessee offense seemed to find its way against the Seahawks, getting Derrick Henry going. I think that continues here. Titans take it.
Pick: Titans 27, Colts 14
Los Angeles Chargers (+6.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
Latest Odds: Kansas City Chiefs -6.5
The Chargers and Chiefs both lost tough games last week, so they are tied in the division behind Denver and Las Vegas. That makes this an early big game. The Chiefs defense looked bad against the Ravens. The Chargers have played Patrick Mahomes well in recent years and I think that plays out in this one. The Chargers will keep it close, but Kansas City wins it late.
Pick: Chiefs 30, Chargers 27
Latest Odds: New England Patriots -3
The Saints looked bad in losing at Carolina and technically are playing a third road game in a row since they played their first home game in Jacksonville. They looked flat in losing to the Panthers last week, and now face a tough challenge on the road against the Patriots. New England’s defense is playing well and will again here against Jameis Winston to get the victory.
Pick: Pats 23, Saints 16
Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-3)
Latest Odds: New York Giants -3
The Falcons are playing consecutive road games, which is always tough to do. They have had protection issues, which will show up again for Matt Ryan. The Giants lost a tough one last week, but Daniel Jones played well. This time Jones and the Giants will find a way to pull it out.
Pick: Giants 24, Falcons 17
Latest Odds: Pittsburgh Steelers -3.5
The Bengals are on the road for a second straight week after losing at Chicago. They get a Steelers team that looked bad in losing to the Raiders, but the Bengals have struggled against the Steelers in recent years. That will continue here as the Steelers bounce back with a good defensive showing.
Pick: Steelers 27, Bengals 13
Arizona Cardinals (-7.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
Latest Odds: Arizona Cardinals -7.5
The Cardinals are flying high on offense and now travel to face a Jacksonville defense that has issues. Look for Kyler Murray to have his way in this one. The Arizona defense wasn’t good against Minnesota. In fact, it was terrible. But the Jacksonville offense isn’t good. Cardinals big.
Pick: Cardinals 31, Jaguars 20
New York Jets at Denver Broncos (-10.5)
Latest Odds: Denver Broncos -10.5
The Broncos are 2-0 behind their defense and solid play by Teddy Bridgewater. The Jets have had offensive woes, which is never a good thing in Denver against that defense. Look for Zach Wilson to struggle again. Denver big.
Pick: Broncos 28, Jets 14
Miami Dolphins at Las Vegas Raiders (-4)
Latest Odds: Las Vegas Raiders -3.5
The Raiders are playing well on both sides of the ball, but especially on offense. Derek Carr has been lighting it up in two games. The Dolphins, on the other hand, have done little on offense and probably will be without Tua Tagovailoa, who has injured ribs. That means it should be Jacoby Brissett. He will face a fierce pass rush with a struggling offensive line. Raiders take this one big.
Pick: Raiders 28, Dolphins 10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1) at Los Angeles Rams
Latest Odds: Tampa Bay Buccaneers -1
This is the game of the week featuring two 2-0 teams that have legitimate Super Bowl expectations. The Bucs offense has been explosive so far, as Tom Brady is off to a great start. Tampa Bay’s defense has issues, which Matthew Stafford can exploit. This will be an offensive treat, with Brady getting the best of it.
Pick: Bucs 33, Rams 30
Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings (+2)
Latest Odds: Minnesota Vikings +1.5
The Seahawks are coming off a tough loss to Tennessee at home, while the Vikings lost a tough one at Arizona. Both teams have defensive issues. That will lead to a shootout. That could be fun. First one to 35 wins. I will go with the Vikings.
Pick: Vikings 37, Seahawks 30
Green Bay Packers (+3.5) at San Francisco 49ers
Latest Odds: Green Bay Packers +3.5
The Packers are playing on a short week and now must play the 49ers on the road for their home opener. That’s a challenge. But I think Aaron Rodgers and the offense found something against Detroit that will carry over here. The 49ers will win the game with their running attack — no matter who carries it — but Rodgers will keep up. It’s close, but the 49ers take it.
Pick: 49ers 27, Packers 26
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-4)
Latest Odds: Dallas Cowboys -4
The Cowboys will be playing their home opener in this one after winning last week against the Chargers. The Cowboys played well on defense in that game, despite missing some key defensive players. Jalen Hurts will present a different challenge with his ability to get outside and run, but I think they will be ready to handle it. Dak Prescott will lead the Cowboys to their second win in a row.
Pick: Cowboys 25, Eagles 17