I was a rotten turkey last week with my NFL picks during Thanksgiving week.
Call me Sammy Salmonella.
I went 4-11-1 against the spread, which is darn near impossible to do. It was the first totally abysmal week for me, which dropped my season record ATS to 84-89-3, the first time I've been under .500 all year.
That is bad.
My Best Bets on the Pick Six Podcast went 2-2. Why 2-2 and not 2-4 when I made six best bets? Because the Broncos game doesn't count. I said it. I make the rules. We picked that game with the idea that they would have a quarterback, and I still think they would have had a chance to win if Drew Lock played.
So it's 2-2 with the Best Bets — no matter what my friends on the podcast say. That keeps me well on the plus side with my Best Bets at 42-27-1.
I have that at least.
This is bounce-back week. I promise.
This is a big game in terms of playoffs for both teams. The Titans are in first place in the AFC South after beating the Colts last week and are home for the first time in three weeks. The Browns are playing consecutive road games and struggled last week at Jacksonville. The Titans will limit the Cleveland run game on their way to a victory.
Pick: Titans 27, Browns 19
Washington Football Team at Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are undefeated, but they didn't look good against the Ravens Wednesday afternoon. Now they have a tough turnaround against a rested team. Even so, I think the Steelers will limit what Washington does on offense and they find a way to pull away.
Pick: Steelers 26, Washington 13
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The Raiders were lifeless last week against the Falcons, but they won't make the same mistake here. The Jets are bad. Even with a long trip, the Raiders will handle the Jets in this one. If they don't, they are in big trouble. Derek Carr bounces back with a good game.
Pick: Raiders 30, Jets 14
The Jaguars are playing out the string, while the Vikings are still alive. Jacksonville is 1-3 in Minnesota and has been outscored 103-38 in the three losses. This one will be lopsided as well. The Vikings will move the ball against a banged-up Jaguars defense, and the Jaguars won't keep up. Vikings big.
Pick: Vikings 31, Jaguars 17
The Dolphins are in the thick of the playoff race and get a break here with Joe Burrow out. The Bengals played hard last week without Burrow, but it took a kickoff return to keep them in it with the Giants. That won't happen this week, with Miami continuing to make a strong playoff push with an easy victory.
Pick: Dolphins 30, Bengals 17
Indianapolis Colts at Houston Texans
Deshaun Watson has been on fire the past five weeks, but now he is without receiver Will Fuller, who was suspended six games. That will hurt. The Colts didn't play well last week in their loss to the Titans, but I think they will bounce back this week. The Texans still have defensive issues, which will show up. Colts win it.
Pick: Colts 30, Texans 23
The Lions will be playing for interim coach Darrell Bevell after the firing of Matt Patricia last week. Will it matter? Probably not. They have issues on defense. The Bears showed some offensive life with Mitch Trubisky last week against Green Bay and he has had some success against the Lions in the past. He does it again here.
Pick: Bears 28, Lions 17
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons
The Saints beat the Falcons two weeks ago with Taysom Hill at quarterback, but this will be a lot tougher. It's on the road and there is now tape on Hill. The Falcons are barely alive in the playoff chase, so they will be focused. The Saints defense ate up Matt Ryan last time. That won't be the case here. Falcons take it in an upset.
Pick: Falcons 27, Saints 20
New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks
It looks like it will be Colt McCoy starting for the first-place Giants in a tough road game with Daniel Jones likely out with the hamstring injury. McCoy is a capable backup, but the Seattle defense has really come alive lately. They are pressuring well and the Giants have line issues. Seattle wins this one big.
Pick: Seahawks 31, Giants 14
The Rams are coming off a bad loss to the 49ers at home, while the Cardinals have lost two straight. That makes this an enormous division game. The Rams beat the Bucs the last time out on the road and I think they will play well here to win a second straight road game. The Cardinals just look out of sync on offense lately. Rams take it.
Pick: Rams 28, Cardinals 22
This is a long trip for the Patriots, who haven't played that well despite still being alive in the playoff chase. Cam Newton has struggled two of the the past three games. The Chargers are done, but they have Justin Herbert, so the future is bright. Herbert will play well as the Chargers find a way to win a game after so many heartbreaks this year.
Pick: Chargers 28, Patriots 20
The Packers are flying high right now, while the Eagles are mess. The Packers have an explosive offense that will again put up a good number against a solid Eagles defense. The Eagles won't be able to keep up. Aaron Rodgers continues to do his thing. Packers big.
Pick: Packers 33, Eagles 21
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs
The Broncos will have quarterback Drew Lock back this week after they were forced to play with a backup receiver last week in their loss to the Saints. Will it matter? Not here. The Chiefs are rolling on offense, while the defense is getting better. Patrick Mahomes will have another good game as Kansas City continues to play well, but the Broncos get the back-door cover.
Pick: Chiefs 32, Broncos 20
Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens
This game was moved to Tuesday night for Covid reasons, and it's essentially a survival test for both teams. The Ravens are playing on a short week, while the Cowboys will have almost two weeks off after playing on Thanksgiving. Who will be back for the Ravens? No matter who they get back, it will be close but they will win it.
Pick: Ravens 27, Cowboys 24
Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers (In Arizona)
This game will be played at the Cardinals stadium because of Covid issues, which means it's the second time Buffalo will have played in the stadium. They lost on a Hail Mary to the Cardinals earlier this year. San Francisco is coming off an impressive road victory against the Rams, but this Bills team is better than the Rams on offense. That will show up. Bills take it.
Pick: Bills 26, 49ers 20