In last week's column, I told you to take the Falcons Over 25.5. That number dropped to 24.5 when news broke that Julio Jones would miss the game, and I was fine with it. The Falcons had spent enough time without Jones this year that his absence wasn't likely to hinder them too greatly, and they were facing the Chargers. The same Chargers team that had allowed at least 27 points in nine straight games.
I felt vindicated in the first half. The Falcons scored 17 points in the first 30 minutes, and I thought we were cruising to an easy win. But then the Falcons decided to just stop scoring points. It was the difference between a winning week and a losing week for us. I felt it was still the right pick; it just didn't work out.
I cannot say the same about the Saints pick. In retrospect, that was dumb, and I relied too much on the Eagles still being a bad team, and Jalen Hurts not looking great in his first appearance. With a week of prep as a starter, Hurts looked much better. Also, as somebody who has been yelling about Carson Wentz not being very good for a while -- as a Bears fan, I know a bad QB when I see one -- I didn't factor in how much better Philly might look without him.
This week, I'm doing my best to make the right picks no matter the result.
Pete Prisco, Kenny White and R.J. White join Will Brinson on the Pick Six Podcast to break down all the games and make best bets. Give it a listen below and be sure to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform:
When we get late into the NFL season, I like to look for unders worth playing. It becomes a smarter bet as the year goes on, particularly in divisional matchups like this one. When the two teams have already played a game, it can prove to be even more valuable. Particularly in this spot, where the Texans and Colts have not only played already, but they played just a couple of weeks ago.
Indianapolis won that game 26-20, though if we look at the box score, we see the Texans offense performed a bit better. It was two Houston turnovers that decided the game. That's why I'm somewhat hesitant to take the Texans here, though if you're betting the spread, that's the side I prefer to be on, particularly if it's at 7 or better. But the best value is on the total.
Projected score: Colts 28, Texans 21
Best bet: Under 51 (-110)
Bears at Vikings
This is a similar situation to the last pick, as two division rivals that have already played meet again. The first meeting in Chicago was a sleepy affair. The Vikings won 19-13 but weren't able to do much of anything on the ground, as the Bears defense kept Dalvin Cook in check as it typically does. The Bears offense was even more pathetic than usual, managing only 149 yards in the game, averaging 3.0 yards per play. Things should be a little better for Chicago this time, as they've replaced Nick Foles with Mitch Trubisky (yes, it's an upgrade), and David Montgomery will play after being injured for the first meeting. That will improve the Bears offense, but not to a degree where I think the final result will look all that different.
Both of these teams are outside the playoff picture but have a slim chance of getting in. That will cause both coaches to do what they typically do in these spots and get conservative. Nobody is going to want to be the one to make the mistake that ends their playoff hopes.
Projected score: Vikings 20, Bears 17
Best bet: Under 47 (-110)
Chiefs at Saints
So will it be Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston starting for the Saints? I'm rooting for Hill because I think Winston gives the Saints a better chance of keeping up with the Chiefs in this spot, but I'm good with either as long as the spread stays at -3 or better for the Chiefs. The Saints defense was playing very well until last week against the Eagles, but in their defense, they didn't know exactly what it was they were getting into facing an Eagles offense with Jalen Hurts. Still, if we look at New Orleans' recent schedule, it's not as if they were up against a murderer's row of offenses.
Since completely shutting down Tampa Bay, they'd played the Falcons twice, a 49ers team with Nick Mullens, and a Broncos offense with Kendall Hinton. The Chiefs offense is an entirely different animal, and I don't see how the Saints get enough stops to keep this game close. We already know Jameis Winston is turnover-prone, and Taysom Hill wouldn't be in danger of losing his job right now if he could hold onto the football.
Projected score: Chiefs 30, Saints 24
Best bet: Chiefs -3 (-120)