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MDS is broadening one lead, and chewing into another.
He had a solid showing in Week 14, getting 12 games right straight up, and 11 against the spread.
I went 10-6 to his 12-4 straight up. This has allowed him to double his lead from two games to four, 134-76 to 130-80.
Against the spread, I went 8-8 to his 11-5. I now lead, 97-103-5 to 87-117-3.
For this week’s picks, scroll away.
Chargers (+3.5) at Raiders
MDS’s take: The final Thursday night game of the season should have the Raiders remain in playoff contention with a win over a Chargers team that has already been eliminated from playoff contention.
MDS’s pick: Raiders 21, Chargers 13.
Florio’s take: Could the Raiders actually blow this one? If the opponent was anyone other than the Chargers, I’d say, “Yes.”
Florio’s pick: Raiders 27, Chargers 20.
Bills (-6.5) at Broncos
MDS’s take: The first Saturday game of the season should have the Bills continue their march to the playoffs with a win over a Broncos team that has already been eliminated from playoff contention.
MDS’s pick: Bills 27, Broncos 17.
Florio’s take: Buffalo continues to prove that it’s ready to do more than just make it to the playoffs.
Florio’s pick: Bills 30, Broncos 17.
Panthers (+8.5) at Packers
MDS’s take: It’s hard to imagine the Panthers even keeping this one close. Aaron Rodgers will get a Saturday prime time game to showcase his MVP candidacy.
MDS’s pick: Packers 33, Panthers 16.
Florio’s take: A pair of consecutive prime-time games requires Green Bay to focus on the Panthers and not peek ahead to the Titans.
Florio’s pick: Packers 37, Panthers 23.
Buccaneers (-6) at Falcons
MDS’s take: The Bucs are far from the most impressive playoff contender, but they usually find a way to beat the mediocre teams in front of them, and “mediocre” pretty well describes the Falcons.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 27, Falcons 17.
Florio’s take: The Bucs will be a dangerous team in the postseason, barring an unlikely collapse in a pair of games against Atlanta that sandwich a game against Detroit.
Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 31, Falcons 20.
49ers (-3) at Cowboys
MDS’s take: The 49er are favored, but they’re such an injury-plagued team that I have a tough time picking them against just about anyone at this point.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 21, 49er 17.
Florio’s take: The mighty have fallen, and they can’t get up.
Florio’s pick: 49ers 27, Cowboys 23.
Lions (+10.5) at Titans
MDS’s take: The Lions are playing harder for interim head coach Darrell Bevell, but the Titans are just too good for them. Look for Derrick Henry to rush for well over 100 yards as the Titans take an early lead and grind it out.
MDS’s pick: Titans 21, Lions 16.
Florio’s take: Can Derrick Henry catch Eric Dickerson? The Lions won’t do much to slow Henry down; don’t be surprised if he comes close to another 200-yard day.
Florio’s pick: Titans 31, Lions 10.
Texans (+7) at Colts
MDS’s take: Colts quarterback Philip Rivers is having a better season than he’s getting credit for, and he should put up big numbers against a Texans team that looked last week like it has just about given up on the season.
MDS’s pick: Colts 31, Texans 17.
Florio’s take: The Colts will be a tough team to beat in January, even if there’s still a chance they won’t get there.
Florio’s pick: Colts 34, Texans 24.
Patriots (+2.5) at Dolphins
MDS’s take: The Patriots are out of AFC East contention before the last week of the season for the first time since 2000, the year before Tom Brady became their starting quarterback. The Dolphins are just the better team now.
MDS’s pick: Dolphins 24, Patriots 20.
Florio’s take: The Patriots rarely get a chance to play the role of spoiler. They hope to not make a habit of it.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 20, Dolphins 17.
Bears (+3) at Vikings
MDS’s take: Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had a big game last week, but that was a last hurrah. He’ll struggle in Minnesota as the Vikings cling to their playoff hopes.
MDS’s pick: Vikings 24, Bears 17.
Florio’s take: It’s an elimination game in Minnesota, even though the winner will eventually have a fork stuck in them, too.
Florio’s pick: Bears 23, Vikings 20.
Seahawks (-5.5) at Washington
MDS’s take: Washington has a big lead in the NFC East — big enough that they’ll remain the favorites to win the division even after losing this game.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 20, Washington 10.
Florio’s take: I keep picking against Washington to win and, to my delight, Washington keeps winning. Let’s let it ride.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 24, Washington 17.
Jaguars (+13.5) at Ravens
MDS’s take: I won’t be surprised if the Ravens have a little bit of a letdown after their big Monday night win, and I won’t be surprised if Gardner Minshew plays well for the Jaguars. I’m not picking an upset, but I do think this will be a closer game than the point spread suggests.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 24, Jaguars 20.
Florio’s take: Desperation looks good on the Ravens, and it could make them ready to actually win a playoff game, if they get there.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 38, Jaguars 20.
Jets (+17) at Rams
MDS’s take: The Jets are huge underdogs once again. When they were 20-point underdogs against the Chiefs they lost by 26, and when they were 16.5-point underdogs against the Seahawks they lost by 37. I see them losing against the spread again.
MDS’s pick: Rams 35, Jets 10.
Florio’s take: The 2008 Lions and 2017 Browns are getting closer and closer to having company in their misery.
Florio’s pick: Rams 42, Jets 17.
Eagles (+6.5) at Cardinals
MDS’s pick: Cardinals 31, Eagles 21.
Florio’s take: Kyler Murray faces Jalen Hurts, the guy who replaced him at Oklahoma. It could get interesting, it should be fun. The Cardinals should find a way to win.
Florio’s pick: Cardinals 26, Eagles 17.
Chiefs (-3) at Saints
MDS’s take: This could easily be a Super Bowl preview, but I don’t think it’s going to go well for the Saints, who will need to pass the ball a lot to keep up after Patrick Mahomes gets the Chiefs an early lead.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 34, Saints 20.
Florio’s take: The Chiefs are at their most dangerous when they know they’re facing a dangerous foe.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 34, Saints 27.
Browns (-4) at Giants
MDS’s take: How crazy is 2020? The Browns have been flexed into prime time. They lost a heartbreaker on Monday night, but I see them taking care of the Giants comfortably.
MDS’s pick: Browns 27, Giants 13.
Florio’s take: Although both lost last weekend, the Browns showed that they’re ready to step up.
Florio’s pick: Browns 30, Giants 20.
Steelers (-13) at Bengals
MDS’s take: The Steelers are struggling, but a trip to Cincinnati is just the thing to get their season back on track.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 38, Bengals 14.
Florio’s take: If the Steelers don’t get back on track against the Bengals, they never will.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 34, Bengals 17.