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Week Ten Picks

November 9th, 2017

Well, I knew 13-0 wasn’t a repeatable result.

But, uh, 8-5? Ugh.

I did ever so slightly better against the spread in week nine than I did picking straight up. There, I ended up 8-4-1.

That brings me to 84-48 (.636) overall and 65-62-5 (.511) against the spread for the season. Not terrible, I suppose.

But here’s the thing. I think my picking record’s about to get worse. Maybe a lot worse. Because when I look down the list of week 10 games, I see more double-digit spreads than I’m ever going to be comfortable with, and entirely too many road teams giving points. Somewhere in there I’m going to get bit in the ass. And maybe I’m going to get bit in the ass in more ways than one. It’s all a bit too frightening to ponder, frankly.

Here’s what not to expect.

Seattle (-6) at Arizona
I should go with the Cardinals here. I really should. The Seahawks are a seriously flawed and painfully inconsistent team. They’re traveling to face a division opponent on short rest after a heartbreaking home loss. All of that points in a bad direction for Seattle. But I can’t. I just cannot bring myself to pick the Cardinals to win two straight — or to beat a team that isn’t outright awful. Just can’t. Seahawks by a field goal.

Minnesota (-1.5) at Washington
Can I skip this game? Would that be OK? No? OK, then, let’s say the Vikings defense wins it. By a point.

Green Bay (+5.5) at Chicago
What about this one? Can I skip this one? Please? I just can’t come up with a reason to pick either team. And I can come up with plenty of reasons to pick against both. So, yeah. Bears? By three?

Pittsburgh (-10) at Indianapolis
There’s no real question about which team is going to win this game. I defy you to come up with one reason to think the Colts have even the slightest chance. It’s just a matter of by how many points. In Pittsburgh, I’d take the Steelers and happily give 20. In Indy? Ah, hell, Pittsburgh still has to be good for a two-touchdown margin of victory, right? Sure. Let’s go with that.

LA Chargers (+3.5) at Jacksonville
Set the over/under on total Blake Bortles pass attempts in this Jaguars six-point win at 20.

NY Jets (-2.5) at Tampa Bay
Fitz‘s revenge? Eh, probably not. Jets by four.

Cincinnati (+4.5) at Tennessee
If the Titans are looking ahead to Pittsburgh, they may find a way to lose. If they’re focused on Cincinnati, they should win by at least a touchdown. I’m going with focused.

New Orleans (-3) at Buffalo
The Bills live and die by turnovers. And the Saints just don’t give the ball away much. New Orleans by five.

Cleveland (+12) at Detroit
There’s no denying the awfulness of the Browns. But I just don’t think enough of the Lions to go giving 12. Detroit by eight.

Houston (+12) at LA Rams
This one promises to get ugly in a hurry. Rams by 20.

Dallas (+3) at Atlanta
If the Cowboys had been able to field a complete team, I’d have liked them to come out ahead by five or so. But since it appears they won’t be, I’m thinking the Falcons win straight up and it’s a push with the points.

NY Giants (-2.5) at San Francisco
It’s really hard to get through an entire 16-game NFL schedule without somehow stumbling into at least one win. And this might be the only winnable game left on the 49ers’ schedule (unless the Rams end up locked into postseason seeding heading into their week 17 game). San Francisco by three.

New England (-7.5) at Denver
The thing that’s likely to keep the Broncos in this game is not some kind of Denver magic (as way too many fans in New England seem to believe), but the fact that the Patriots, even coming off their bye, are dealing with injury issues. But the Pats still come out on top. Because the Broncos are still a bad football team. New England by nine.

Miami (+9) at Carolina
The Dolphins are done. Panthers by 13.

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