In 2019, we’ve seen two teams go from rock bottom to the champions of their respective sports. The St. Louis Blues were in last place at the beginning of January…and Stanley Cup Champions in June. The Washington Nationals were 19-31 in May…and just won the World Series.
Is there a team in the NFL that can do the same thing?
I hate to admit it…but there’s not a chance.
In fact, I only believe there are two teams right now that sit under .500 with a legitimate chance to make the postseason. Sorry Steelers, Browns, and Bears fans…it’s not happening for you this year.
The only two sub-.500 teams that can make the postseason are the Chargers and Raiders…and one of them will be eliminated, in my mind, when they play next Thursday.
The team I’d take of those two is the Raiders, whose upcoming schedule with games against the Jets and Bengals is friendly enough to compete for a Wild Card spot. Call me crazy…but I’m not counting out the Silver and Black just yet…assuming they win this weekend.
On to the picks where I, like most people crushed it last week. But can it continue for the second week in a row? With the way the games have been going this year, don’t hold your breath!
Last Week: 13-2 Straight Up (SU), 10-5 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 71-49-1 SU, 60-61 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; HOME TEAMS IN CAPS)
San Francisco 49ers 27, ARIZONA CARDINALS 13 (ATS: 49ers -9.5)
I hate laying this many points for a road team…but do you really think the Cardinals’ inconsistent offense can steadily move the ball against 2019’s NFC best defense? I don’t and hence I’m picking an easy win for SF.
Houston Texans 30, JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 24 (in London) (ATS: Texans -2.5)
I know the Jaguars only lost by one in Houston earlier in the season…but this line seems about 3 points too low. I know Vegas hotels are so big for a reason…but they’re going to regret this one. Deshaun Watson leads the Texans to a win in a higher scoring game in London.
BUFFALO BILLS 26, Washington Redskins 13 (ATS: Bills -9.5)
The Redskins’ franchise is an utter disaster. The Bills will bounce back from last week’s pounding at home vs. the Eagles and easily cover the two possession spread. The first of the Super Bowl rematches this week (Super Bowl XXVI).
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 27, Minnesota Vikings 23 (ATS: Chiefs -2.5)
In this Super Bowl IV rematch, expect a thriller at Arrowhead. This pick is a toss-up and I’m assuming Patrick Mahomes DOES NOT play…so Matt Moore leads the Chiefs on a late scoring drive to disappoint the Vikings and their fans. KC can’t possibly lose four in-a-row at home, right?
New York Jets 26, MIAMI DOLPHINS 19 (ATS: Jets -5.5)
The Jets stink but I’m not picking Miami until at least Week 16 when they play the hapless Bengals. Give me NY and the points all day!
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 24, Chicago Bears 16 (ATS: Eagles -4.5)
Did the Eagles get their mojo back last week in Buffalo? Is the Bears season officially wrecked after last week’s debacle against the Chargers? The answer to both, in my opinion, is yes.
Indianapolis Colts 23, PITTSBURGH STEELERS 20 (ATS: Colts Pick’em)
These two teams are so hard to predict right now. How did Indy not blow out Denver last week? And how were the Steelers actually behind by 14 early on to the pathetic Dolphins on MNF? I think both defenses are comparable but Indy has the better offense so I’ll take them in a close game on the road.
CAROLINA PANTHERS 24, Tennessee Titans 17 (ATS: Panthers -3.5)
Why is this line only 3.5? It’s not like Tennessee is dramatically better with Ryan Tannehill though they’re 2-0 with him as a starter (both C-L-O-S-E wins). And Kyle Allen is still 4-1 as Carolina’s starting QB. So give me the Panthers with the 3.5 and don’t look back!
OAKLAND RAIDERS 27, Detroit Lions 21 (ATS: Raiders -2.5)
The Raiders play a home game for the first time since…September!? Coming off a close loss (as I predicted) in Houston, I think this is the perfect bounce back spot against the better than expected Lions (though I’m still not a believer).
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23 (ATS: Seahawks -6.5)
This is a weird game for me. The Bucs have played a heck of a lot better on the road as compared to at home. I feel like this is a week for the favorites to win and cover so I’ll go with Seattle but I wouldn’t recommend putting your life savings on this pick. Crazy thought: if Jameis Winston turns the ball over less than twice, TB has a real shot to pull the upset.
Cleveland Browns 24, DENVER BRONCOS 16 (ATS: Browns -2.5)
The Browns may be a mess but they aren’t losing to Brandon Allen (who?). What a waste of a season for the Broncos who hopefully have realized that Joe Flacco clearly isn’t an answer, short-term or long-term.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 27, Green Bay Packers 21 (ATS: Chargers +3.5)
Upset of the week. I hate to pick against my favorite team but this is a trap spot coming off an emotional road win in KC last Sunday night. The Chargers are riding high off a win in Soldier Field and I expect their defense to slow Aaron Rodgers just enough to edge out a victory in front of 75% Packers fans in Carson, CA.
New England Patriots 30, BALTIMORE RAVENS 22 (ATS: Patriots -3.5)
I’m sure the Ravens are a trendy upset pick this week but I don’t see it. The Patriots have just been so darn good on both sides of the ball and even Lamar Jackson can’t derail this team which might have a legitimate chance to finish the regular season undefeated yet again.
Dallas Cowboys 28, NEW YORK GIANTS 20 (ATS: Cowboys -7.5)
Great spot for the Cowboys coming off a bye. I expect this game to be somewhat entertaining (as MNF games go) but I’ll tentatively lay the 7.5 points with the road favorite. The RB matchup between Ezekiel Elliott and Saquon Barkley is always a must watch.
Week 9 Betting Locks
(Last Week’s Result, Season Record in Parentheses)
Favorite (LOSS, 3-5): Texans -2.5 vs. Jaguars
Underdog (WIN, 4-4): Chargers +3.5 vs. Packers
Bet the Over (LOSS, 2-5-1): Patriots / Ravens Over 45
Bet the Under (WIN, 3-5): Cardinals / 49ers Under 43
Week 9 Fantasy Football Guidance
(15+ PPR fantasy points from a non top-10 player)
Last Week: 1-2
QB: Derek Carr (Raiders)
RB: Tevin Coleman (49ers)
WR: Odell Beckham, Jr. (Browns)
(12 or less PPR fantasy points from a top-15 player)
Last Week: 1-2
QB: Kyler Murray (Cardinals)
RB: Derrick Henry (Titans)
WR: JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers)