We only have two weeks of regular season left, which means this is a critical time for NFL teams and for those of us making NFL picks.
Last week didn’t go as planned for me as I got 8-8 ATS, 11-5 straight and 2-4 with my best bets on the Pick Six podcast. This brings my season records to 125-112-3 ATS, 148-91-1 straight and 51-48 with my best bets.
I need to close better than to be solid the last couple of weeks. Let’s go high in the playoffs with two exceptional weeks. Can I get the triple crown, with winning weeks in all three areas? Let’s just hope COVID doesn’t brutalize choices like it has in recent weeks.
Latest odds: Washington Soccer Team +3
If the Eagles win their last two games, they’re in the playoffs. This makes it a huge game for them. The Eagles blew up Washington two weeks ago with their rushed offense, which will also be the key to this game. Washington’s defense is in trouble and Jalen Hurts will take advantage. The Eagles will continue to ride.
Take: Eagles 23, Washington Football Team 14
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Latest odds: New Orleans Saints -6.5
The Saints were crippled by COVID, which is why they had almost no chance against Miami on Monday night. But they should bring a lot of guys back here against a Carolina team that isn’t very good. Carolina’s offensive line is bad, while the Saints’ front is good. It’s a combination that will lead to a Saints victory with some big takeaways.
Take: Saints 24, Panthers 16
Latest odds: New York Jets +13
Tom Brady has to lick his chops as he prepares to face this Jets defense, which is bad and has been hit hard by COVID. The Bucs knocked out Carolina on the road last week and they will do the same with the Jets here. The Bucs pass rush will own the line of scrimmage, forcing many short fields.
Take: Bucs 34, Jets 13
Latest odds: Tennessee Titans -3.5
The Dolphins play a short week after a win on Monday, while the Titans are rested after playing on a Thursday. This is a huge advantage for Tennessee. The Titans played a lot better on offense with AJ Brown back against the 49ers, but this Miami defense is playing well. Look for a low scoring match with the Titans winning it. Ryan Tannehill gets a victory against his former team.
Take: Titans 23, Dolphins 17
Latest odds: New England Patriots -16
The Jaguars are a complete disaster, and now they play back-to-back road games against a Bill Belichick team that just lost at home. Good luck with that. The Patriots will get back on track here with a defensive performance that will force Trevor Lawrence to a few turnovers. It will be ugly.
Take: Patriots 31, Jaguars 7
Latest odds: Indianapolis Colts -7
This will give an impression of play-off. The Raiders almost have to have it to stay alive in the playoff pursuit, while the Colts can lock in a playoff berth with a win. The Colts could do without quarterback Carson Wentz due to COVID, which would make Sam Ehlinger the starter. This will call into question the infringement. The Colts have played really well over the past two weeks, using their running game with Jonathan Taylor so maybe they can get over it. But I think the Raiders will come and hang out in this one.
Take: Colts 26, Raiders 24
Latest odds: Cincinnati Bengals +5
It’s the game of the week. The Bengals are on the rise after beating the Ravens last week, while the Chiefs are the AFC seed. It has all the makings of an offensive shootout, with Joe Burrow trying to match Patrick Mahomes. It will be a treat to watch. It will be very close too.
Take: Chefs 33, Bengals 31
Latest odds: Chicago Bears -6
This game features two teams that will make big changes after the season. Both have quarterback issues due to their health. I think the Bears’ defense is the best unit in the game, and they’ll play that way. The Giants can’t protect whoever plays the quarterback. The bears take it.
Take: Bear 25, Giants 13
Latest odds: Buffalo Bills -14.5
The Bills now sit first in the AFC East after beating the Patriots last week. This is the Bills team that many expected to see. The Falcons are still alive in the playoff race, but it will be a tough one for Atlanta. Look for Josh Allen and his gang to have another big day on offense.
Take: Tickets 31, Falcons 17
Houston Texans vs. San Francisco 49ers (-12.5)
Latest odds: San Francisco 49ers -12.5
The Texans impressed when they beat the Chargers last week, but it’s a tough trip for a team playing for nothing. The 49ers need this game in the worst possible way. I think Davis Mills will struggle this week as the 49ers rush hits him a lot. The 49ers bounce back from losing to the Titans – even if it’s Trey Lance for injured Jimmy Garoppolo.
Take: 49ers 29, Texans 10
Denver Broncos vs Los Angeles Chargers (-5.5)
Latest odds: Los Angeles Chargers -6.5
Both of those teams just suffered bad losses last week and now have to regroup with their playoff lives on the line. The Chargers were bad losing to the Texans, but I think they’re bouncing back here. Denver will throw the ball against the Chargers’ poor defense, but I don’t think that’s enough. Chargers take it.
Take: Chargers 23, Broncos 17
Latest odds: Baltimore Ravens +4.5
The Ravens have been crippled with injuries and COVID and hardly look like the same team we saw seven weeks ago. But they’re going to get some guys back this week, and one of them should be Lamar Jackson as quarterback. The Rams play back-to-back road games and Matt Stafford has struggled lately. Expect the Ravens to fight for their playoff life here and win a slight surprise.
Take: Ravens 27, Rams 26
Latest odds: Seattle Seahawks -7
It’s one of the dog games of the week, featuring two non-playoff teams. The Lions are in their second straight road game, while Seattle is at home after losing to the Bears on Sunday. The Lions are expected to get Jared Goff back, which will help them stay in this game. It’s close, but Seattle is taking it.
Take: Seahawks 28, Lions 25
Latest odds: Dallas Cowboys -6
The Cardinals have lost three games in a row, but they’re still in the playoffs. They have to play better. Dallas appeared to raise the bar last week against Washington, especially up front. The Cowboys will use their racing game to get around the Cardinals in this one. Arizona continues to lose as the Cowboys take it.
Take: Cowboys 27, Cardinals 20
Latest odds: Green Bay Packers -7
The Vikings still have slight playoff hopes as the Packers look to lock in the No.1 seed. Green Bay lost to the Vikings earlier this year, but they won’t be in this one. Aaron Rodgers will lead Green Bay to a victory in a high scoring game as both defenses struggle.
Take: Packers 34, Vikings 27
Latest odds: Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5
These two still have playoff hopes, but the loser is dead. The Browns will be removing a lot of guys from the COVID list, which will help. The Steelers looked terrible last week losing to the Chiefs, but being back home to a rival means they’ll play a lot better. The Steelers will find a way to win this one.
Take: Steelers 24, Browns 20