Despite the COVID madness that forced games to be rescheduled, it was a good week for my NFL picks.
I went 11-5 ATS in my expert picks, 12-4 straight up and 3-3 with my Best Bets as part of the Pick-Six Podcast.
That brings my season records to 117-104-3 ATS, 137-86-1 straight up and 49-45 with my best bets.
I’ll take it.
I am still waiting for another triple crown, which would be getting winning records for all three. Let’s hope the holiday fever helps give the picks some good feelings and allows me to give you the triple as a nice gift.
The 49ers have turned their season around and they have the look of a playoff team. The Titans are struggling. But this is a tough road trip for the 49ers on a short week against a Tennessee team that is in big-time need of a victory. I think the Titans will do enough on offense to pull this out as their defense will limit San Francisco.
Pick: Titans 23, 49ers 17
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Green Bay Packers
The Browns will get a bunch of guys back off the COVID list this week, but now they face a brutal road game against the Packers. Green Bay held on last week against the Ravens. That won’t be the case here. Look for Green Bay to roll against a Cleveland defense that might be without Myles Garrett.
Pick: Packers 33, Browns 23
The Cardinals are looking to regroup after an embarrassing loss to the Lions where they were outplayed in every area. The Colts beat the Patriots last week with their run game keying the win. I think Arizona will bounce back here and play well as they put the game on Carson Wentz. In that scenario, Arizona gets the best of it.
Pick: Cardinals 30, Colts 20
The Eagles beat up an undermanned Washington team thanks to a dominating rushing performance, which has become their calling card. The Giants looked bad losing at home last week to Cowboys. The Giants did beat the Eagles three weeks ago. They won’t this time.
Pick: Eagles 30, Giants 17
This is a bigger game for the Vikings if they are to have any chance to be a playoff team. The Rams are coming off a nice victory over Seattle that saw the defense play well. But the offense wasn’t as crisp. It will be here. But Minnesota will also play well on offense. Look for a lot of points with the Vikings pulling off a home upset.
Pick: Vikings 30, Rams 28
Buffalo Bills (+2.5) at New England Patriots
This is essentially for the division title. If the Bills win, they have two winnable games left. If the Patriots win, they pretty much lock up the division. So this will be fun. There won’t be wind like the last meeting, but there could be snow. That favors the better passing team, which is the Bills. I think they get revenge from the wind game and take it behind a good day by Josh Allen.
Pick: Bills 28, Patriots 23
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs are banged up as they come off a shutout loss to the Saints at home. The Carolina defense will present another tough challenge for Tom Brady, especially down his two top receivers. That’s why the Panthers will keep it close. The Bucs will win, but barely.
Pick: Bucs 24, Panthers 20
New York Jets
This is the dog game of the week, with two teams looking to next year. The Jaguars didn’t get a bump from firing Urban Meyer last week, and now must head out for a road game in the cold. The Jets have shown some fight lately, which will play out here. The Jaguars don’t do enough on offense.
Pick: Jets 19, Jaguars 14
The Lions impressed in a big way in beating the Cardinals last week. Atlanta blew too many scoring chances in losing to the 49ers. Neither one of these teams is going to the playoffs. Both still compete for first-year coaches and I think the Falcons at home will play better this week in the red area. The Falcons win it.
Pick: Falcons 30, Lions 24
Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers are coming off a tough home loss to the Chiefs, but they played well in that game. The Texans beat the Jaguars last week, but this is a big step up. The Chargers will be without Joey Bosa, which will hurt. Justin Herbert will get the best of the Texans, but something says the Texans will hang around.
Pick: Chargers 31, Texans 23
This is for first place in the AFC North. The Bengals dominated in beating the Ravens in Baltimore earlier this year, with Joe Burrow having a big day. With the Ravens secondary an issue, I think he has another big day here. Lamar Jackson should be back for the Ravens, but the offense has struggled since mid-October. The Bengals are the better team and will show it.
Pick: Bengals 28, Ravens 23
These two are playing for next year, which means this could be one of Russell Wilson’s last home games. Wilson didn’t play well in losing to the Rams last week. But I think being back home he will bounce back and play well. Justin Fields will have a tough time playing in this environment. The Seahawks take it.
Pick: Seahawks 27, Bears 20
Kansas City Chiefs
The Steelers are pretty much playing for their playoff lives, which won’t be easy against the best team in the AFC. The Chiefs have played great defense the last five games, which will make it a challenge for Ben Roethlisberger. The Chiefs offense has shown signs of coming to life lately, but they could be without Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. The Steelers will hang around here, but the Chiefs will win it.
Pick: Chiefs 24, Steelers 23
Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders won a tough road game with a schedule change against the Browns, but now must play on a short week. The Broncos will start Drew Lock for the injured Teddy Bridgewater. The Raiders have a chance to be a playoff team, and I think they will play like it here. Raiders take it.
Pick: Raiders 26, Broncos 19
Washington should have Taylor Heinicke back off the COVID list here. But this is a tough road game on a short week. That matters. The Cowboys haven’t played well on offense lately, but that will change in this one. Washington gets handled in big way by the Cowboys as Dak Prescott gets back on track.
Pick: Cowboys 33, Washington 16
New Orleans Saints
The Dolphins have won six straight to get into the playoff hunt, but the Saints are coming off an impressive shutout of Tom Brady and the Bucs. The defense was outstanding, which will be the case here against Miami. Look for the Saints pass rush to dominate this game. The Saints will do enough on offense to pull this one out.
Pick: Saints 21, Dolphins 13