Last week, we agreed on all the winners. We didn’t agree on the points by which they’d win. And it showed.
We both went 9-6 straight up. Against the spread, I went 6-8-1. MDS slipped even farther underwater, at 4-10-1.
For the year, he’s 42-21 straight up and 31-31-1 against the spread. I’m now 40-23 and 32-29-2.
For this week’s picks, featuring one straight-up conflict and several spread variations, scroll away.
Buccaneers (-4.5) at Bears
MDS’s take: Nick Foles struggled in his first start in Chicago against a good Colts Defense, and he’s going to struggle against another good defense on Thursday night. I don’t see Tom Brady having a big game, but I do see the Bucs holding Foles in check well enough for the Bucs to win a low-scoring matchup.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 17, Bears 10.
Florio’s take: The Bears got a harsh dose of reality on Sunday, when they faced a good team. Another good team is coming to town on Thursday night.
Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 24, Bears 16.
Jaguars (+6) at Texans
MDS’s take: I expect the Texans to come out strong in their first game under interim head coach Romeo Crennel. They’ll win this one big.
MDS’s pick: Texans 30, Jaguars 17.
Florio’s take: The Artificial Interim Coach Bump is very real, as players begin to realize the very real benefit to themselves of ensuring that a new coach who may make big changes doesn’t show up.
Florio’s pick: Texans 27, Jaguars 20.
Panthers (+2) at Falcons
MDS’s take: The Falcons will get their first win of the season against a Panthers team that has been playing well but still has a lot of holes on the roster.
MDS’s pick: Falcons 23, Panthers 20.
Florio’s take: I believe in the Panthers. I don’t believe in the Falcons. And I believe that Dan Quinn will soon be watching games from home.
Florio’s pick: Panthers 27, Falcons 17.
Rams (-7.5) at Washington
MDS’s pick: Rams 28, Washington 10.
Florio’s take: Kyle Allen would like to wait a week to start his first game for Washington, given the presence of Aaron Donald on the L.A. line.
Florio’s pick: Rams 31, Washington 17.
Cardinals (-7) at Jets
MDS’s take: The Cardinals’ offense has struggled the last couple weeks, and it’s making me think opposing defenses are starting to get a handle on Kliff Kingsbury and Kyler Murray. But the Jets are a mess, and I still see the Cardinals winning this one.
MDS’s pick: Cardinals 21, Jets 17.
Florio’s take: A flock o’ Cardinals should be able to overcome Joe Flacco.
Florio’s pick: Cardinals 28, Jets 20.
Raiders (+13) at Chiefs
MDS’s take: The Chiefs just keep rolling right along, and this game looks to me like a shootout in which the Raiders won’t have the ammunition to keep up.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 35, Raiders 21.
Florio’s take: The Chiefs need to re-establish themselves after a close call against the Patriots. They will.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 38, Raiders 20.
Eagles (+7) at Steelers
MDS’s take: The Eagles finally got a win on Sunday and are actually in first place in the NFC East, but I see them taking a beating in Pittsburgh.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 34, Eagles 20.
Florio’s take: An unscheduled bye and a salty disposition for having to take an unscheduled bye should help the Steelers finally win a game convincingly.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 30, Eagles 17.
Bengals (+13) at Ravens
MDS’s take: I like Joe Burrow a lot, but I think it’s going to be another year before the Bengals have a team around him that can win consistently. They’re certainly not winning in Baltimore.
MDS’s pick: Ravens 30, Bengals 10.
Florio’s take: Joe Burrow has the goods, the Lamar Jackson has an injury. I’ll split the baby on this one, with the Bengals covering but not winning.
Florio’s pick: Ravens 21, Bengals 13.
Bills at Titans (no line)
MDS’s take: We’re not even sure if this game is going to be played, given the COVID-19 situation with the Titans, but if it is played, I see the Bills winning big.
MDS’s pick: Bills 40, Titans 20.
Florio’s take: We’ll likely be picking this game again, during the week when they play the makeup games. For now, the Bills are too good and the Titans seem to be in disarray.
Florio’s pick: Bills 30, Titans 17.
Dolphins (+8.5) at 49ers
MDS’s take: The 49ers have been ravaged by injuries, which might keep them out of playoff contention. But I still think they ought to beat a bad Dolphins team.
MDS’s pick: 49ers 23, Dolphins 20.
Florio’s take: Toughest game of the week to pick. The 49ers fell flat against the Eagles, the Dolphins are better than 1-3 would suggest, and Jimmy Garoppolo remains up in the air.
Florio’s pick: 49ers 22, Dolphins 19.
Giants (+9.5) at Cowboys
MDS’s take: The Cowboys’ offense will score a lot. The Giants’ offense will not. This game won’t be close.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 42, Giants 14.
Florio’s take: If the Cowboys were in any other division, they’d be done. In the NFC Easy (it initially was a typo but then I realized it works), they’re sitting pretty.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 38, Giants 20.
Broncos (+11) at Patriots
MDS’s take: The COVID-19 situation surrounding the Patriots is alarming, but if this game is able to go on, I think they’ll beat the injury-plagued Broncos without much difficulty.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 30, Broncos 20.
Florio’s take: The Patriots are the better team, if they ultimately have a team that can be put on the field.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 31, Broncos 17.
Colts (-1.5) at Browns
MDS’s take: The Browns ran for an incredible 307 yards in Sunday’s win over the Cowboys, but they won’t be able to control the game like that against this Colts defense.
MDS’s pick: Colts 17, Browns 14.
Florio’s take: The Cleveland offense is pretty good. The Indy defense is even better. The absence of Nick Chubb makes the difference.
Florio’s pick: Colts 20, Browns 17.
Vikings (+7) at Seahawks
MDS’s take: The Vikings are starting to turn it on after a rough start, but Russell Wilson will cook up a big game as the Seahawks win.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 38, Vikings 28.
Florio’s take: Mike Zimmer has never beaten the Seahawks. This is his best chance, especially with no fans in Seattle. He’ll come close to doing it, and could possibly pull it off.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 34, Vikings 31.
Chargers (+7.5) at Saints
MDS’s take: The Saints are better than their 2-2 record suggest, and are a better team than the Chargers in all three phases of the game.
MDS’s pick: Saints 34, Chargers 21.
Florio’s take: New Orleans, Indianapolis, L.A., San Diego, wherever. The Saints are the better team, and they’re starting to hit their stride.
Florio’s pick: Saints 38, Chargers 24.