Time is running out.
Last week didn't go as planned for me, as I went 8-8 ATS, 11-5 straight up and 2-4 with my Best Bets as part of the Pick Six Podcast. That brings my season records to 125-112-3 ATS, 148-91-1 straight up and 51-48 with my Best Bets.
I need to close better than just being solid the last two weeks. Let's ride high into the playoffs with two outstanding weeks. Can I get the triple crown, with winning weeks in all three areas? Let's just hope COVID doesn't brutalize the picks like it has in recent weeks.
Philadelphia Eagles (-3.5) at Washington Football Team
If the Eagles win their last two, they are in the playoffs. That makes this a huge game for them. The Eagles blew out Washington two weeks ago with their rushing attack, which will key this game as well. The Washington defense is struggling and Jalen Hurts will take advantage of that. Eagles will keep it rolling.
Pick: Eagles 23, Washington Football Team 14
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Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-6.5)
The Saints have been crippled by COVID, which is why they had almost no chance against Miami on Monday night. But they should be getting a lot of guys back here against a Carolina team that isn't very good. Carolina's offensive line is bad, while the Saints' front is good. That's a combination that will lead to a Saints' victory with a few big takeaways.
Pick: Saints 24, Panthers 16
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-13) at New York Jets
Tom Brady has to be licking his chops as he readies to face this Jets defense, which is bad and has been hit hard by COVID. The Bucs blew out Carolina on the road last week and they will do the same to the Jets here. The Bucs pass rush will own the line of scrimmage, forcing a lot of short fields.
Pick: Bucs 34, Jets 13
Miami Dolphins at Tennessee Titans (-3.5)
The Dolphins are playing on a short week after a Monday victory, while the Titans are rested after having played on a Thursday. That's a huge edge for Tennessee. The Titans played much better on offense with A.J. Brown back against the 49ers, but this Miami defense is playing well. Look for a low-scoring game with the Titans winning it. Ryan Tannehill gets a victory against his former team.
Pick: Titans 23, Dolphins 17
Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots (-15.5)
The Jaguars are a complete disaster, and now they are playing consecutive road games against a Bill Belichick team that is coming off a home loss. Good luck with that. The Patriots will get back on track here with a defensive showing that will force Trevor Lawrence into some turnovers. This will be ugly.
Pick: Patriots 31, Jaguars 7
Las Vegas Raiders (+7.5) at Indianapolis Colts
This will have a playoff-like feel to it. The Raiders almost have to have it to stay alive in the playoff chase, while the Colts can lock up a playoff berth with a victory. The Colts could be without quarterback Carson Wentz because of COVID, which would make Sam Ehlinger the starter. That will challenge the offense. The Colts have played really well the past two weeks, using their run game with Jonathan Taylor, so maybe they can overcome it. But I think the Raiders will come in and hang around in this one.
Pick: Colts 26, Raiders 24
Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals (+5)
This is the game of the week. The Bengals are riding high after blowing out the Ravens last week, while the Chiefs are the top seed in the AFC. This has all the makings of an offensive shootout, with Joe Burrow trying to match Patrick Mahomes. It will be a treat to watch. It will be close, too.
Pick: Chiefs 33, Bengals 31
New York Giants at Chicago Bears (-6)
This game features two teams that will be making big changes after the season. Both have quarterback issues because of health. I think the Bears defense is the best unit in the game, and it will play that way. The Giants can't protect whoever plays quarterback. Bears take it.
Pick: Bears 25, Giants 13
Atlanta Falcons (+14.5) at Buffalo Bills
The Bills are now in first place in the AFC East after beating the Patriots last week. That's the Bills team many expected to see. The Falcons are still alive in the playoff race, but this will be a steep task for Atlanta. Look for Josh Allen and gang to once again have a big day on offense.
Pick: Bills 31, Falcons 17
Houston Texans at San Francisco 49ers (-12.5)
The Texans impressed in beating the Chargers last week, but this is a tough trip for a team playing for nothing. The 49ers need this game in the worst way. I think Davis Mills will struggle some this week as the 49ers pass rush gets to him a lot. The 49ers bounce back after losing to the Titans -- even if it's Trey Lance for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo.
Pick: 49ers 29, Texans 10
Denver Broncos at Los Angeles Chargers (-5.5)
Both these teams are coming off bad losses last week and now must regroup with their playoff lives on the line. The Chargers were bad in losing to the Texans, but I think they bounce back here. Denver will run the ball at the bad Chargers run defense, but I don't think it's enough. Chargers take it.
Pick: Chargers 23, Broncos 17
Los Angeles Rams at Baltimore Ravens (+3.5)
The Ravens have been crippled by injuries and COVID and hardly look like the same team we saw seven weeks ago. But they will be getting guys back this week, and one should be Lamar Jackson at quarterback. The Rams are playing consecutive road games and Matt Stafford has struggled some lately. Look for the Ravens to fight for their playoff lives here and pull off a mild upset.
Pick: Ravens 27, Rams 26
Detroit Lions (+7) at Seattle Seahawks
This is one of the dog games of the week, featuring two non-playoff teams. The Lions are playing a second straight road game, while Seattle is home after losing Sunday to the Bears. The Lions should have Jared Goff back, which will help keep them in this game. It's close, but Seattle takes it.
Pick: Seahawks 28, Lions 25
Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys (-5.5)
The Cardinals have lost three straight, yet they are still in the playoffs. They need to play better. Dallas seemed to right things last week against Washington, especially on offense. The Cowboys will use their running game to push around the Cardinals in this one. Arizona keeps on losing as the Cowboys take it.
Pick: Cowboys 27, Cardinals 20
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers (-6.5)
The Vikings still have slight playoff hopes, while the Packers are looking to lock up the No. 1 seed. Green Bay lost to the Vikings earlier this year, but that won't be the case in this one. Aaron Rodgers will lead Green Bay to a victory in a high-scoring game as both defenses struggle some.
Pick: Packers 34, Vikings 27
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (+3.5)
These two still have playoff hopes, but the loser is dead. The Browns will be getting a lot of guys back off the COVID list, which will help. The Steelers looked terrible last week in losing to the Chiefs, but being back home against a rival means they will play much better. The Steelers will find a way to win this one.
Pick: Steelers 24, Browns 20