In all honesty, I should stop doing these. It's getting ugly. I went 1-2 in my first two attempts (Week 2 I had some stuff come up), and on the season I am brutal against the spread, but at least last week I went 9-7 in that regard.
So, in what might best be construed as counter-logic, I decided I am actually going to pick more games as best bets this week, to try to at least get myself over .500 more quickly. And, I've picked up on a trend -- one that I undoubtedly am about to jinx. I have been all over the Sunday night games, so I am going to keep that in the best bet mix here as well.
Colts (-8½) at Jaguars: The Jaguars could seriously flirt with 0-16 this season. I don't see why not. Going back to Blaine Gabbert will likely only hasten another blowout loss, although Maurice Jones-Drew does have very impressive career numbers against Indy. And I suppose this could be a letdown game for the Colts after beating the snot out of San Francisco. But the Colts know they can't blow a division game with Houston in the mix in the AFC South. Andrew Luck is due for a four-TD game. The Colts' rushing attack looked good last week. After the Seahawks easily covered three TDs last week, 8½ looks low to me.
Patriots (+2½) at Falcons: It hasn't looked pretty for New England, but the Pats know how to win these games. Tom Brady connected a bit more with his young receivers last week, I think New England runs the ball well here and the injury situation with the Falcons concerns me. Winning in Atlanta isn't easy, but the Falcons aren't catching the kind of breaks they were in the first half last season. Teams can focus more energy on stopping Julio Jones and forcing someone else to beat them given the Falcons' absences. I like Brady finding matchups he likes against this secondary and putting up points.
Seahawks (-3½) at Texans: I know Seattle isn't the same team on the road and the Texans are tough at home, but I see a hangover from last season's poor finish for Houston. And I see a Seattle team intent on proving it can beat anyone, anywhere. The Texans have a beat-up Andre Johnson, if he plays at all. Both teams are without their left tackles, and that could be a factor. I have questions about Houston's secondary and Matt Schuab's performances would lead one to believe he will fall prey to Seattle's superb defensive backs a time or two.
Steelers (-1½) at Vikings: Some home game for the Vikings. I can't see the Steelers losing four in a row. The offense started coming around last week, they get Le'Veon Bell back and Heath Miller has his legs under him. Minnesota's struggles in the run game figure to continue against this defense, forcing Christian Ponder or Matt Cassel to win through the air (I don't think they can). The Vikings are allowing too many big plays. Antonio Brown and Big Ben finally started connecting last week; I expect that to continue.
Ravens (-6½) at Bills: The Bills are reeling. C.J. Spiller and Mario Williams are nicked up, the offensive line is a mess and EJ Manuel is not getting the time or space to do what he wants. The Baltimore defense is getting better by the week. Buffalo's secondary will still be without Jairus Byrd and Stephon Gilmore here, and Dallas Clark, Marlon Brown and Brandon Stokley have all flashed that they can move the chains a bit when Joe Flacco comes their way. This one could get ugly.