Last week ATS: 1-3
Overall ATS: 20-19-1
1. Tennessee Titans (+3) at Indianapolis Colts
Despite the Colts’ dominance over the Titans over the last decade-plus I can’t help thinking the Titans are the best team in the AFC South. The Colts are favored in this game as they should be, and they are only a few weeks removed from beating Tennessee on the road, 34-17.
Still, the NFL is a tough guy sport, and the Titans have perhaps the most Tough Guy Coach in the entire league. I think there’s some added motivation after getting cracked on their home field, because no one likes to lose twice to the same division team in the same season. Give me a good old fashioned football game where Derrick Henry rushes 25 times and the Titans do enough to secure a road win.
Score prediction: Titans 26, Colts 24
2. Kansas City Chiefs (-3) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is a square pick, no doubt, but I’m in such a slump that I’m going to zig while all the sharps are zagging. Tampa Bay feels like the right pick here, because they just lost on Monday Night Football as home favorites and the Chiefs just got done wrapping up their division with a close 35-31 win over the Raiders last Sunday night. The motivational edge easily belongs to the Bucs since they have a lot more to play for in this spot.
However, Kansas City had a BYE week before they played the Raiders. Did Andy Reid really spend two weeks preparing for just the Raiders — a team he plays twice a year that he is well aware of — or did he dedicate some time to peaking at his opponent the following week? I don’t know how NFL head coaches roll, but I know Reid is one of the best to ever do it and it wouldn’t entirely surprise me if he was setting up some packages for Tampa Bay with some of the extra time he had to work on the Raiders.
I’m not saying this is a good pick, because it isn’t. The smart play would be to take the home underdog. At the same time, sharp bettors are only right like 55% of the time, and every so often it’s necessary to throw caution to the win and roll with the 45% who make stupid bets. This is one of those.
Score prediction: Chiefs 38, Buccaneers 28
3. San Francisco 49ers (+6.5) at Los Angeles Rams
I don’t have a whole lot to say about this game other than the 49ers and Rams each have well-run programs, and I can’t imagine this game getting away from either side. The Niners have their backup quarterback, Nick Mullens, playing, and they have the advantage of coming off a BYE week while the Rams are operating on a short week (given they played the Bucs on Monday Night Football).
I think this game is going to be nasty and low scoring, but I think Kyle Shannahan and San Francisco have enough in the tank to keep it interesting late into the 4th quarter.
Score prediction: Rams 23, 49ers 20
4. Denver Broncos (+7) vs. New Orleans Saints
Again, this is another of those Fuck It picks. The Saints are a different team on the road than they are at home, and the Broncos are a different team at home than they are on the road. If this was Saints -9 at home I would roll with them. Since I’m catching a full touchdown in Denver I’m going to take the underdog.
Score prediction: Saints 26, Broncos 23