We almost dipped below .500 for the first time this season, but my extensive knowledge of football wouldn't let that happen. My locks are hitting, the board is clear, and children around the world are being fed off the back of these articles. I don't expect any different this week, so first, let's admire my record, and then jump into the picks.
Last Week: 8-7-0
Current Record: 69-52-0
SuperLock Record: 9-4-0
San Francisco 49ers (-9.5) @ Arizona Cardinals
Pick: Cardinals (+9.5)
I keep siding with the Cardinals, and I don’t know why. Their defense? Stinks. Their offense? Not great. Their coaching? They have none. Despite all this, I’m taking the home dogs on Thursday night. This probably makes no sense as the 49ers are better on both sides of the ball and coaching, but in a divisional game, I think the Cardinals find a way to keep it close. I could see Kyler rushing for a ton of yards if he can’t get anything going through the air, but I certainly wouldn’t count on it. If you have been tailing me, I’d fade this pick because honestly, there is no logical reason for you to side with Zona.
Houston Texans (-1.5) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (London Game)
Pick: Jaguars (+1.5)
This is basically a home game for the Jags. London loves Jacksonville more than Jacksonvillians do, and with Minshew under center rather than Blake Bortles, they will be backing the Jags even harder than ever. Also, I’m not sure that the Texans are even good. Their only big win this year was against the now 1-7 Falcons, and the last time they faced the Jaguars, they won by one point at home in Minshew’s first career start. With some experience and a jockstrap under his belt, in what will be a home game, I think Gardner leads the boys in teal to victory in a divisional bout.
Washington Redskins @ Buffalo Bills (-9.5)
Pick: Bills (-9.5)
The Skins haven’t been terrible, surprisingly, but this is a prime bounceback spot for the Bills. They were just exposed by the Eagles in a tornado, so as long as the weather doesn’t act up again, Buffalo should steamroll the mediocre Washington defense. As for the Skins’ O, I don’t see how they break double digits. Their QB situation is an absolute abomination, their best active runningback is twice as old as their actual best RB, and their young promising receivers are getting little to nothing done due to the ineptitude at the helm. If the Bills break 20, which isn’t unreasonable with Josh Allen throwing 60 yard bombs and running headfirst into linebackers and the endzone, then there should be a zero percent chance that Washington keeps this within double digits.
Minnesota Vikings @ Kansas City Chiefs (-2.5)
Pick: Vikings (+2.5)
I like the Vikings whether or not Mahomes is back. If he’s out, the Vikings’ defense should give Matt Moore the blues, and if Mahomes is in, then Moore will be in after five minutes after his knee gives out. What it really comes down to is Minnesota’s biggest strength, running the ball a million times with Dalvin Cook, is KC’s biggest weakness, stopping literally anybody on the ground. If they pound the rock all game and keep the Chiefs out of the endzone with their defense, this could be a situation where they chew the clock all day and settle for three if they need to. Now, I don’t think the Vikings are Super Bowl contenders by any means, but what they’re good at is a perfect match for taking down the Chiefs in this spot. Give me the PPP on the road as 2.5 point dogs this week.
New York Jets (-3.5) @ Miami Dolphins
Pick: Jets (-3.5)
For as bad as the Jets have been, this line is still disrespectful. The Jets are actually trying to win, something the Dolphins can’t say for themselves, and after their Monday night showing where they rolled over at the hand of Mason Rudolph, I don’t see how this game is close. Despite the Jets’ GM trying to ship everyone off, it seems like the players still want to play for gang green, and as long as there’s continuity in that locker room, I’d assume they’d band together to take down Miami. Darnold should actually have time to throw, the run game should be able to come to fruition, and their defense should dominate Fitzmagic, even if it is a revenge game. I think, and honestly hope, the Jets can win this game by double digits, so taking them at this number is a no-brainer.
Chicago Bears @ Philadelphia Eagles (-4.5)
Pick: Eagles (-4.5)
The Bears might have the worst offense I’ve ever seen, which doesn’t bode well for them going up against a team that dropped 31 on the stout Bills’ defense. Chicago all of a sudden has struggled stopping the run, likely due to the loss of Akiem Hicks, and although the Eagles’ running game is by no means elite, they should atleast be able to turn to Jordan Howard in a revenge game to spark the offense if need be. I just don’t see how, after their atrocious performance and coaching this week, the Bears show up for this game. Eagles win, and big.
Indianapolis Colts @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-0.5)
Pick: Colts (+0.5)
Did somebody say superlock? No? Okay, I will. This line makes zero sense to me. The Steelers nearly lost to the Dolphins on Monday night, mostly due to terrible QB play, and I’m very confident in saying the Colts’ defense will be able to take advantage of Mason Rudolph’s shortcomings more often than Miami did. Jacoby Brissett is also coming off of a somewhat down week, and even though Pittsburgh boasts a pretty strong defense, I’d bet against him putting up a donut again. The only concerning thing about this game is Pitt being at home, but defense travels, and so do W’s, which makes me extremely confident in this spot.
Tennessee Titans @ Carolina Panthers (-3.5)
Pick: Panthers (-3.5)
Another pick I’m overly confident in. The Panthers just got manhandled by San Francisco, and now, going up against the Titans, should we expect the same? Hell no. The Titans are basically 49ers impersonators but are substantially worse in every department, and because of that, Carolina has more experience against this style of play than the Titans are with Carolina, and you can’t prepare for McCaffrey. The Titans are frauds and I want the whole world to know it. Whatever the over/under for this game is, I’d smash the under, and am fairly confident in the cats covering.
Detroit Lions @ Oakland Raiders (-1.5)
Pick: Lions (+1.5)
These are two sneaky good teams, so I’ll just take the underdog. Matthew Stafford is making me look like a genius with all these offseason takes I had, and their whole offense is eating despite the loss of Kerryon Johnson. The Raiders also have looked good recently, but their pass defense is atrocious, and I think that’s the straw that breaks Gruden’s back. Staffman might go out and throw for 400 yards and three touchdowns and I wouldn’t even blink at the box score. Now, I will say that Josh Jacobs has a beautiful matchup against a lowly Lions run defense, but I don’t think this is a game that will be won by running 40 times. The Lions should outpace the Raiders and end up on top by day’s end. This is my second SuperLock of the week because I think there’s a pretty good chance Detroit walks out of the black hole with a W.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Seattle Seahawks (-6.5)
Pick: Seahawks (-6.5)
I hate this pick. I think the Seahawks are worse than the public thinks while the opposite is true for Tampa. The Legion of Boom is no more and even at home, they have struggled to win big, but Jameis would make UConn’s defense look like the ’85 Bears. They are still a run heavy team that is now facing a defense that can only stop that facet of the game, so I’m hoping they put the ball in Wilson’s hands all day. If that happens, they should have no issue winning by 50. If they are stubborn and give Chris Carson 25 carries to the tune of three and a half yards per tote, then there is no chance they win by a touchdown. I’m putting my faith in Pete Carroll, which I’m comfortable with because the last time there was a line that he wanted to surpass to win a big game, he decided to pass and not run.
Cleveland Browns (-3.5) @ Denver Broncos
Pick: Browns (-3.5)
I have no explanation other than the Broncos are starting Brandon Allen. Chris Harris was recently asked what he thought about the guy and he refused to answer. That’s all you should need to know. The team is dead and so are their chances of keeping this within four. I will say, though, that if the Browns fail to cover or lose this outright, then I vow to never select them from here on out.
Green Bay Packers (-3.5) @ Los Angeles Chargers
Pick: Packers (-3.5)
I never pick against the Chargers, so this is for you to figure out whether or not I’m trying to reverse curse them into a win. Honestly, they have zero chance here. Their offensive coordinator just got canned, which means Anthony Lynn will run Melvin Gordon up the middle no short of 22 times, and with how poor the Packers’ run defense is, they’ll be content to keep up with this gameplan. This isn’t going to work. At all. The Chargers’ defense is terrible and Rodgers is going to tear them up, and at this point, I have zero faith in Phil keeping it close. The only time he’s ever good at playing from behind is when his wife asks for their 12th child, but on a football field, he’s been pretty shoddy. This line should be closer to double digits than it is to an even spread, so give me GB.
New England Patriots (-3.5) @ Baltimore Ravens
Pick: Ravens (+3.5)
I get it, I get it, the Patriots’ defense is a wild animal. They are absolutely ruining everything in their path, but the one time they struggled this yea was against the Bills. As we all know, Josh Allen isn’t the best at slinging the rock, but he adds a different dimension with his legs. Guess who else does that? Lamar Jackson. On top of that, he has a better arm than that stallion in Buffalo, and I think his style of play will be a completely different matchup than they’re used to. I’m not saying that Uncle Bill won’t get the team in line to prepare for it, but at home, I feel pretty good about Baltimore keeping it close an have a chance at making New England’s undefeated hopes nevermore. Also, the Patriots will likely face the Patriots at some point during the playoffs, something he can’t say about any team (save the Bills) he’s faced thus far, so maybe they don’t show their hand to them this early in the year.
Dallas Cowboys (-7.5) @ New York Giants
Pick: Cowboys (-7.5)
I feel like these two teams have played like five times already this year. I really have no take on this game. 7.5 is a pretty big spread for a team that hasn’t really looked great any time recently, but against a terrible defense in a divisional bout, I’m sure they have potential to blow out the G-Men. Also, for as bad as Dallas’ defense has been, Daniel Jones will help to flip that narrative as he’s a turnover machine. If he doesn’t clean up his fumbling issues, the Cowboys should revert to their offense of old (aka weeks 1-2) and hang a crooked number on the road.