Well, that was embarrassing.
After the Steelers huge win last Thursday I thought I might be ready to turn my season around. My picks had been struggling, but Pittsburgh jumped out to a huge lead and never looked back, easing me to a 1-0 start to Week 10. Maybe this was my moment!
Dear reader, it was not, as I watched in horror as my picks went an astonishing 1-10-1 through Sunday and Monday night. The degree to which my picks were bad felt less like a string of poor luck and more like a convergence of metaphysical forces working in tandem to ensure money left my wallet.
They got me good.
But as they say, it’s always darkest before the dawn, and man oh man is it dark times for these picks right now. Let’s hope the light starts shining soon.
Take a look below as we try to turn things around with our predictions for who covers this weekend (* indicates home team).
LAST WEEK: 2-10-1
Byes: Buffalo Bills, Cleveland Browns, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers
Green Bay Packers (+3) over Seattle Seahawks*
This is realistically a must-win game for both the Packers and the Seahawks, but with Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson both known for last-second miracles, it feels safer to take the points here.
Detroit Lions* (+4) over Carolina Panthers
I’ve been losing on the Lions all year, but if I’m trying to break a poor streak of picks, my only option is to trust the process, and that means backing home underdogs in spots like this.
Atlanta Falcons* (-3) over Dallas Cowboys
The Falcons blew it against the Browns last week while the Cowboys beat up on the Eagles on national television. This feels like an over-correction, as Atlanta would have likely been 5- or 6-point favourites in this spot before last Sunday.
Indianapolis Colts* (-1.5) over Tennessee Titans
The Colts have won three straight games after a dreadful 1-5 start to the year, and are facing off against a Titans team that always seems to play to the level of their opponent. Tennessee is coming off a huge win over the Patriots and looks due for a let-down.
New York Giants* (+1) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers are a scary side in this game – last week they cleared 500 yards of total offence but somehow managed just three points. That’s not a trend that feels likely to repeat itself.
But the Giants finally showed some signs of putting things together against the 49ers, and while Eli Manning is certainly still missing throws, he’s making a few more as well. Odell Beckham Jr. said the goal after the Giants’ bye week was to win eight straight and take the division – let’s see if they can do it.
Houston Texans (-3) over Washington Redskins*
I know we should be backing the home dog again, but the Texans are better than the Buccaneers team that put up 500 yards against the Redskins last week. Washington is being held together by duct tape right now and is due to collapse eventually.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-5.5) over Jacksonville Jaguars*
Last year the Jaguars humiliated the Steelers with a 30-9 victory in Pittsburgh that saw Ben Roethlisberger picked off five times. Then in the postseason, the Jaguars did it again, eliminating the Steelers in front of their home crowd after jumping out to a 21-0 lead and never looking back.
With the Steelers surging and the Jaguars in absolute free-fall, this looks like a perfect spot for some revenge on Pittsburgh’s behalf.
Baltimore Ravens* (-3.5) over Cincinnati Bengals
There’s no line being offered at most sportsbooks at the time of this writing because Joe Flacco is currently questionable to start for the Ravens, but I honestly might prefer Baltimore start Lamar Jackson in this spot.
Either way, backing the Ravens.
Oakland Raiders (+5.5) over Arizona Cardinals*
Neither of these teams are good and the Raiders have now lost five straight games by two touchdowns or more. But the Cardinals are the lowest-scoring team in the country, managing under 14 points per game in a year when offenses are exploding like never before. It’s impossible to pick them as a favourite.
Denver Broncos (+7) over Los Angeles Chargers*
While their 3-6 record might not show it the Denver Broncos have been far more competitive than one might think. The Broncos have lost six of their past seven games, but just one of those losses has come by more than one score.
Being spotted a touchdown in a divisional game with this Broncos team feels like a steal – take the points.
Philadelphia Eagles (+8) over New Orleans Saints*
The Eagles have been feeling the Super Bowl slump all season, culminating in Sunday night’s absolute dud against the Dallas Cowboys.
But now, facing the Saints on the road, the Eagles are more desperate than they have been all year for a win, and it feels like they will find a way to keep things close in this one.
Minnesota Vikings (+2.5) over Chicago Bears*
The Vikings are coming off of a bye week and look ready to put together an impressive second half.
While the Bears do currently have a surprise lead on the NFC North, their wins are far from impressive, with victories over the Bills, Jets, and Cardinals counting towards their record but doing little to build their resume.
Minnesota will be a bigger test for the Bears than they have seen in some time, and it feels like the Vikings find a way to come out on top.
Los Angeles Rams* (-3.5) over Kansas City Chiefs
The Rams have only lost once all season, but against the spread, they have been a nightmare, barely scraping themselves to a victory while falling short of covering the number.
That changes this week, with the Rams as relatively short home favourites against the Kansas City Chiefs.