When Aaron Rodgers scrambled into the end zone to score a touchdown that finished off the Chicago Bears on Sunday, he turned to the crowd and let them know the situation. As a Chicago Bears fan, this did not hurt me. It was not new information, as I've spent nearly my entire life watching Packers quarterbacks terrorize the Bears.
Instead, I just related to how Rodgers felt because he owns the Bears, much like I've owned the board this season. After going 2-1 last week with my picks, I'm now 12-6 on the season, and while I don't like bragging about a good run, when it comes to the NFL, you almost have to.
I mean, if you don't puff out your chest when you're winning, you won't have anything to cling to when the losing comes. And I'm sure it'll come eventually, but not this week.
Part of the reason I've done so well this season is that I'm willing to eat my vegetables when so many others aren't. No, it's not fun to bet on the New York Giants, but do you want to bet on the Panthers as road favorites? Carolina will be without Christian McCaffrey again this weekend, and it has lost three straight after starting 3-0. Sam Darnold was playing excellently to begin the season, but he's thrown four touchdowns to go with six interceptions in his last three games. The Panthers' offense ranks 23rd in the league in offensive success rate, and since losing McCaffrey, it ranks 28th.
There's not a lot about the Giants that I love, but defensively they've been good enough to believe they'll be able to limit the Panthers on Sunday and help keep this game close. Yes, we must live in fear of Daniel Jones slipping on a banana peel and fumbling for the millionth time, but Carolina's just as accident-prone.
Prediction: Panthers 21, Giants 20
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More vegetables! We find ourselves in another situation where Mac Jones and the New England Patriots are heavy favorites. Two weeks ago, the Patriots were eight-point road favorites against Houston, and we backed the Texans, who covered for us. Now the Pats are playing another terrible team, but this time they're at home where they've gone 1-3 ATS to start the season and 0-2 ATS as favorites. In fact, New England is only 1-3 ATS as favorites overall this season because the Patriots simply aren't that good.
They rank 21st in the NFL in points per drive on offense and 19th in success rate. They're solid on the defensive side of the ball, and that's why I fully expect them to win this game. But I'm not ready to trust this offense's ability to cover spreads this size, even against the Jets.
Prediction: Patriots 24, Jets 20
The obvious storyline for this game is Jared Goff returning to Los Angeles to face his old team and the quarterback they traded him for. It's hard to argue that the trade hasn't gone exactly how the Rams hoped, as they're 5-1, and Matthew Stafford is lighting it up. Goff is not. Following Detroit's 34-11 loss to the Bengals last week -- that dropped the team to 0-6 -- Detroit coach Dan Campbell openly challenged Goff to play better.
I don't know that he can. While I thought this Lions team played well and fought hard to begin the season, it looked like a team that had lost the will to fight back last week. Maybe Goff will be rejuvenated this week against the Rams, but I have serious doubts about how the Detroit offensive line will hold up against this Rams front. My read is the Lions struggle moving the ball, and the Rams hand off a lot in the second half while nursing a comfortable lead.
Prediction: Rams 31, Lions 14
So what NFL picks can you make with confidence? And which Super Bowl contender goes down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams win and cover the spread, all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $7,700 since its inception, and find out.