I am officially declaring myself on a hot streak. It’s not nearly as impressive as what the Eagles have done, but I’m now at three straight weeks above .500 on my picks. And I could have been even better last week if the Vikings, Chargers, and Rams all didn’t miss the cover by a half of a point. Those ones stung. But that surely won’t happen this week because I’m going to get all 14 games right. Is it possible? Yes. Is it probable? Nope. Am I going to let that stop me? Absolutely not. So, if you too want to correctly predict all 14 games this weekend, just continue on and read my picks and then make them your picks.
Carolina Panthers (+3) over Atlanta Falcons
I thought I was a Panthers hater but it turns out I was just a Matth Rhule hater because I’ve picked them every week since he’s been fired. But really, this pick just makes too much sense. If you don’t remember the last time these two teams played (which means you probably have some sort of memory issue because they only played a few weeks ago) the Panthers should have won and probably would have won if either D.J. Moore didn’t remove his helmet or the refs just had some fun for once and didn’t throw a flag on him. So as long as Moore keeps his helmet on in this game, I see the Panthers getting the win. I also feel like this could just be a close game like it was last time so taking the points seems like a good bet no matter which team wins.
Seattle Seahawks (+3) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Can someone please explain this line to me? Does Tom Brady have some sort of mansion in Germany with a magical bed that will restore all his powers? Does Geno Smith turn into the old Geno Smith when he leaves the United States? I can’t find a single reason to explain why the Buccaneers are a three-point favorite in this game (which is in Germany by the way if you didn’t know). The Seahawks have been exponentially better than the Bucs this year. Do the sportsbooks really think the extra hours of flight time from Seattle to Germany are going to cause these teams to switch roles like it’s Freak Friday? Or is it always opposite day in Germany or something? Picking Smith over Brady is not something that anybody would have ever thought would make sense but it’s 2022. If Dr. Oz can run for senate, then why can’t Smith defeat the greatest quarterback of all time?
Kansas City Chiefs (-9.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars
The Chiefs failed to cover a similarly large spread last week but that was against the Titans. The Jaguars are not the Titans. I don’t really see the Jags keeping this one close unless Patrick Mahomes just has an off day, and even then he still might be good enough to win this one by 10. The Chiefs are one of the good teams that don’t ever seem to come out flat against inferior opponents. And with the Bills losing to the Jets last week, the Chiefs are back in the running for the top seed in the AFC so every win matters. I still like this Jaguars team and am hoping they can put it all together at some point this season but I’m not sure Trevor Lawrence is at a point in his career when he can compete with Mahomes.
New York Giants (-5.5) over Houston Texans
I think I’m just fully out on the Texans. Most of the other teams have at least one reason that they are interesting, but I genuinely believe the Texans don’t. I do like Dameon Pierce and find him a fun player to watch but that isn’t enough to make this team competent. The Giants, somehow, actually are competent and should easily cover the spread against the Texans. Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley could each rush for 100 yards and this game could be over by halftime.
Chicago Bears (-3) over Detroit Lions
The Bears are . . . good? Maybe? No, I’m not ready to go that far yet. But a few weeks ago I wrote about the watchability of teams and had the Lions at number two. They have dropped drastically since as they are no longer a fun team to watch. And at the same time, the Bears have skyrocketed up the rankings thanks to the emergence of Justin Fields. He has had good games against everybody lately, including a very good Cowboys defense, so imagine what he is going to do to a Detroit defense that is absolutely horrendous. The Bears are rightfully favored in this one and I don’t really see a scenario where the Lions win this one, even though they are coming off a big win against the Packers. But the Bears’ offense might be too much for Detroit to handle, and Justin Fields may be able to break the record for quarterback rushing yards in a game, which he set last week.
New Orleans Saints (-1.5) over Pittsburgh Steelers
Every week there is an ‘I wish I could pick neither’ game and this week the Saints and Steelers have the distinction of playing in that game. When that is the case, I tend to go with the team that I want to not pick less (if that makes any sense at all), which is the Saints. I think the Steelers are flat-out bad and nothing is going to be able to change that this year. The Saints, on the other hand, are also bad but at least they have players like Alvin Kamara and Cameron Jordan to bring the badness down a little bit. I’m not confident picking a team that continues to willingly start Andy Dalton at quarterback, but we don’t always get to like everything we do, so here I am.
Cleveland Browns (+3.5) over Miami Dolphins
Could this be the first game in history where a team has possession for over 50 minutes? These two squads could not be more different on offense. The Dolphins want to score as fast and explosively as possible, and are very good at doing so. The Browns want to run the ball down their opponent’s throat and take their time, and are very good at doing so. I’m not sure who will emerge in this clash of styles so I’m taking the underdog and hoping that no matter who wins, this game is decided by three points or less. Both Tyreek Hill and Nick Chubb should have big games because that is just what they do, and the winner could come down to which elite player can have the bigger impact on the game.
Buffalo Bills (-3.5) over Minnesota Vikings
I’m not going to lie, I had the Vikings as my pick initially. And then I actually thought about it for a couple of seconds and changed my mind. Now, this could certainly change if Josh Allen, who is nursing an elbow, doesn’t play, I’m operating as if the star will be on the field. There were a few reasons that I changed my mind and went with Buffalo. One, I don’t think the Bills drop two games in a row. Yes, that loss to the Jets was not exactly a good sign, but this Bills team is too good to lose two games in a row. They seem like the type of team that will play even better following a loss. Two, I really don’t think Kirk Cousins is going to come into Buffalo and outplay Allen. I know he doesn’t necessarily have to do that for his team to win, Zach Wilson certainly didn’t do it last week, but most of the time the better quarterback wins, which is why the Bills win a lot of games. Three, the Bills are better than the Vikings.
Tennessee Titans (-2.5) over Denver Broncos
This line can’t be right. How can anyone justify making the Titans just a 2.5-point favorite over the Broncos? The Titans are playing at freaking home. This line should be seven because the Titans are good and the Broncos are not. I am done giving Denver the benefit of the doubt. They are going to have to prove to me that they aren’t a terrible team for me to start picking them and beating the Jaguars in London two weeks ago is not enough for me to believe that yet. Plus, the Titans just lost to the Chiefs in overtime by three points without their wide receivers catching a single pass. They are basically in a fight with one arm tied behind their back and still holding their own, thanks to Derrick Henry, who could win plenty of fights with just one arm. The Broncos look like they are in a fight with both arms tied behind their back, and then you look and you realize there is nothing tying their arms back there, they’re holding them back there on purpose. The Titans are going to steamroll the Broncos, you can take that to the bank.
Indianapolis Colts (+5.5) over Las Vegas Raiders
There is a phenomenon sweeping through football, both college and NFL, called the interim coach boost. When a team fires a coach, it wins a game. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s just science (I am being informed that it is indeed not a science and that is not how science works but I refuse to believe that). The Colts are going to test the limits of that theory because the interim coach they hired is Jeff Saturday, a former player that has no coaching experience above the high school level. But the Colts do get to play the Raiders, who have kind of been like an interim team at times. To be real, both of these teams are bad and honestly, the Raiders are probably better. But some things in this world are unexplainable, and the way that a team plays after its coach just got fired is one of them, so I’m trusting the science on this one.
Arizona Cardinals (+1.5) over Los Angeles Rams
Oh man, am I really doing this? Am I really picking the Cardinals to win against the defending Super Bowl champs? The Cardinals are one of the most poorly run franchises at every level. But the Rams have been tremendously bad this year, and, at some point, you have to look past the mismanagement and pick the team that might actually be better. Kyler Murray is more consistent than Matthew Stafford, which is weird to say about the only quarterback that is treated like a teenage boy, and the Cardinals have less obvious flaws. I don’t feel good about this pick, especially considering the Cardinals didn’t reach the endzone the last time these two teams played, but I don’t think the Rams are good enough to beat any team twice this year.
Dallas Cowboys (-5) over Green Bay Packers
It hurt me last week to pick against the Packers, but it ended up being the right call so I’m doing it again. But really it makes all too much sense to pick the Cowboys in this one. We just saw Aaron Rodgers and the Packers struggle against the Lions’ defense, and you know which defense is better than the Lions’ defense? Okay, well yes technically every defense, but the Cowboys’ defense is much better. That defense is so good that I don’t even care if the Cowboys’ offense gets shut out, I still think the Cowboys would win this game. Dallas is good, like legit good. I know that makes a lot of people angry because everybody hates the Cowboys, but it’s the truth. I know most of America would like to see both of these teams lose but that isn’t going to happen. So they’ll have to settle for watching the Packers continue their unexpected downfall this year.
San Francisco 49ers (-7) over Los Angeles Chargers
I really wanted to pick Los Angeles in this one because I like the Chargers and I think seven points is a lot to cover, but then I let logic take over and decided to take the Niners. The Chargers are too banged up and too flawed to pick them against a 49ers team that looks very dangerous with Christian McCaffrey in the backfield. I’m also very worried about how Justin Herbert and the Chargers’ offense is going to look against an extremely good San Francisco defense. Herbert will be without Mike Williams and maybe even Keenan Allen, who is essentially the Avatar 2 of wide receivers, which will make scoring on the Niners even more difficult. I still think the Chargers have a shot to be pretty good this year but I don’t think they are good enough to get the job done this week.
Philadelphia Eagles over Washington Commanders (+10.5)
I almost went the entire slate of games without picking a losing team to cover, but that just didn’t feel right. So obviously a picked the team going up against the unstoppable Eagles to keep it close. To be fair, this strategy worked last week when the Texans kept it within 14 points so it isn’t the craziest idea. The Eagles are good. Like, really good. But they aren’t blow-you-out-of-the-water good. Although the Eagles did beat the Commanders by 16 the last time these two teams played, there is one huge difference this time around. Taylor Heinicke will be under center for Washington and nobody personifies covering while losing than him. I’m a massive Heinicke fan, as I’ve mentioned before, so that is totally a compliment. He has the ability to make games closer than they should be. And if you’re really feeling wild, which I might be, he may be exactly the type of guy to topple the mighty Eagles and give them their first loss of the season.