I stepped in the proverbial doo-doo with two awful picks last week. I got burned by my heavy Saints worship (-8 at home against the winless New York Giants). Then, I fell for the Tom-Brady-is-going-to-rub-their-noses-in-it mentality as he returned to Foxborough. More than the loss I suffered, I wasn’t close to the tone of that game. Hoodie didn’t get the win, but he prevailed.
Last Week’s Record: 3-3
Season Record: 9-7
Here we go with six likable games.
Buffalo Bills (3-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (2-2)
Kansas City -3
The Bills can’t “unlose” that first stinker at home against Pittsburgh, but they come into Kansas City on a big-time roll, scoring 118 points and allowing just 21 the past three weeks. True, those games were against Miami, Washington and Houston, but the Bills did totally dominate. The Chiefs still may win this game despite having not fired on all cylinders to this point, but I like the Bills with the three extra points in their back pocket.
The Pick: Buffalo 25, Kansas City 24
Green Bay Packers (3-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (3-1)
Green Bay -3
Believe me, I am no disbeliever in what head coach Zac Taylor and his budding genius quarterback Joe Burrow have going on in the Queen City. And while I’m sure Burrow will have his offense more than ready to meet the moment, this isn’t Travis Lawrence and the Jaguars coming to town. Aaron Rodgers will be on his “A” game to try to take down the young gunslinger. I think this is a close game, but Burrow will make the one extra mistake and Rodgers will make the one extra play.
The Pick: Green Bay 29, Cincinnati 23
Chicago Bears (2-2) at Las Vegas Raiders (3-1)
Las Vegas –5.5
Sometimes when you pick games, you can’t help yourself in thinking the “dog” will win outright. In this game, I suffer no such delusions. I just think this number is at least a half-point too high. The Bears’ defense can step up. The Raiders, while they were only in L.A., have a day less to prepare for a game they may not even think they have to bother getting get up for. On the Bears’ side of things, it’ll be interesting to watch quarterback Justin Fields gain confidence and become more comfortable at the position. In the end, I think the Raiders probably eke out the victory.
The Pick: Las Vegas 26, Chicago 24
New York Giants (1-3) at Dallas Cowboys (3-1)
It’s been so long since we have really been able to believe in the Cowboys. This number (-7) is an unusually large spread in this mediocre division. But while I was shocked that the Giants pulled off the victory in the Big Easy, there’ll be nothing “easy” in this one for the Giants. Even if Saquon Barkley shows up like he did last week, Dak Prescott will have none of the issues that Jameis Winston had. Prescott is back at the top of his game.
The Pick: Dallas 34, New York Giants 20
Indianapolis Cowboys (1-3) at Baltimore Ravens (3-1)
I’m not expecting the Ravens to struggle to break that “meaningless” old record (right, Vic Fangio?) the Ravens tied last week in Denver. I liked the physicality with which the Ravens’ defense played against the Broncos. And while Matthew Judon is playing great in New England, Eric DeCosta delivered the goods in replacing him with Odafe Oweh. I still don’t believe what Carson Wentz is selling. Gotta love Lamar Jackson with so many weapons under the bright Monday night lights.
The Pick: Baltimore 31, Indianapolis 17
Cleveland Browns (3-1) at Los Angeles Chargers (3-1)
Los Angeles -2
I make this pick even as I get more sold on Cleveland as a legit Super Bowl contender. Holding Kirk Cousins and that Vikings offense to seven points was impressive. But the fact that the Browns scored just 14 points against the Vikings’ defense gives me pause in thinking they’ll win this game at SoFi Stadium. Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert has the look of a future Aaron Rodgers type. Let’s hope his personality is a little better. Cleveland’s Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt form a dynamic duo, but I don’t think the Browns are dynamic enough to outscore the Chargers.
The Pick: Los Angeles Chargers 29, Cleveland 24
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox