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Week Six Picks (post Thursday night)

October 14th, 2017

I suppose I should be feeling pretty confident right now. You know, considering that I correctly predicted not only that there would be an upset on Thursday night, but how the upset would happen.

Thing is, I know what really happened is that I fell as backward, as I do from time to time, into creating the illusion that I know what I’m talking about.

Now here come 13 games guaranteed to bring the truth back to light.

That is to say, here’s what not to expect in the rest of week six.

Cleveland (+9.5) at Houston
The Texans are almost certainly too banged up to have any real hope of salvaging their season. But no team is banged up enough to lose to the Browns. Houston by 14.

New England (-9.5) at NY Jets
There’s no reason the Patriots shouldn’t win this game. New Jersey’s offense is completely inept. So even with the advantage of facing the New England D, they should only be able to rise to the level of average. And the Jets have no run defense, which should give the Patriots an opportunity to protect Tom Brady (for a change) by not forcing him to carry the offense. So, yeah, the Patriots, who come in on 10 days rest, not only should win this game, but should win it handily. But winning handily doesn’t seem to interest New England this season. And division games are always closer than they ought to be. So I’m thinking Patriots by seven (and expecting the Jets to have the ball with a chance to force overtime in the closing minutes only to fall just short).

Miami (+12.5) at Atlanta
I’ve got a hunch the Dolphins complete lack of an offense might present a problem here. Atlanta by 17.

Detroit (+4) at New Orleans
I’m taking the Saints because they’re at home. But I think the only safe bet on this game is the over (somehow the line is only 50). New Orleans by a field goal.

Green Bay (-3) at Minnesota
The line feels about right to me on this one. The Packers are the better team, certainly. But playing at home with their ability to stay competitive within the division on the line, I think the Vikings should be able to make it interesting. Packers win it straight up. It’s a push with the points.

Chicago (+6.5) at Baltimore
The Ravens still have some stuff to figure out. But not nearly as much as the Bears. Baltimore by 10.

San Francisco (+11) at Washington
Everything the Niners still need to figure out they need to figure out for next season. Washington by nine.

LA Rams (+2.5) at Jacksonville
Like pretty much everyone else, I have almost no idea what to make of either of these teams. And that means I have no idea what to make of this game. For the moment, I’m thinking the Jags control the game on the ground and come away with a narrow victory. Jacksonville by a point.

Tampa Bay (-1.5) at Arizona
If the Cardinals pull off a win here, it won’t have anything to do with trading for an overconfident retread running back. It’ll have to do with getting healthier along their O line. Arizona by three.

Pittsburgh (+4.5) at Kansas City
Even if he’s going to have a career season (and it looks for all the world like that’s inevitable), I continue to believe that Alex Smith at some point is going to tick down a bit from the dazzling stats he’s put up so far this season. And even if Ben Roethlisberger is going to have one of the worst seasons of his career (I’m not at all sure that’s a given quite yet), odds are he’ll eventually pull himself up a bit from where he’s been to date. The former may start to happen this week. The latter likely will not. Chiefs by six.

LA Chargers (+5.5) at Oakland
The Raiders have Derek Carr back. That should probably be enough. For this week. Oakland by a field goal.

NY Giants (+12) at Denver
Do the Giants even have enough semi-healthy bodies to field a team? Broncos by 20.

Indianapolis (+5.5) at Tennessee
Two teams without a starting quarterback or a defense between them. This could be … um, let’s say intriguing. Titans by a point.

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