I had a nice bounceback last week after a couple of down weeks, going 2-1 in my three picks and very nearly going 3-0 if it hadn’t been for overtime between the Bears and Saints. I found myself in that unenvious position plenty of bettors have found themselves in when betting on games with a team they care about.

I was faced with a situation late in the game. The Bears trailed 23-20 in the final minutes, and I was on the Under 43.5. So as Cairo Santos lined up for a 51-yard field goal on a windy day, I was staring at two outcomes. Either Santos made the kick, forcing overtime and giving the Bears a chance to win the game, or he misses the kick, the Bears lose, and I win my bet.

What happened was the worst result possible. Not only did Santos drill the kick to kill my under, but the Bears went and lost by three in overtime. The same deficit they’d have lost by had Santos just missed the kick in the first place.

Still, a winning week is a winning week, and we’ll take any we can get. Let’s put together another one this week.

All lines via William Hill Sportsbook.

1. Broncos at Falcons

The Broncos had an unlikely comeback win against the Chargers last week. The Broncos came back from a 24-3 deficit to beat the Chargers 31-30 despite being outgained on the evening by over 130 yards. That’s strange, but it’s also something the Chargers are great at doing. In this spot, Denver is playing another team known for blowing leads, but I trust the Falcons here more than I would the Chargers. First of all, this game is in Atlanta, and secondly, Matt Ryan isn’t Justin Herbert. I’ve been impressed by Herbert and love his potential, but he is still a rookie. Ryan’s a proven vet going up against Drew Lock, who can be anything from amazing to awful on any given play. However, what’s incredible to me and one of the reasons I’m big on Atlanta is that the Broncos have covered five of their first seven games despite turning the ball over on 17.6% of their offensive possessions. They can’t keep getting that lucky playing so poorly. The Pick: Falcons -4 (-110)

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2. Bears at Titans

It’s no secret that the Bears offense has struggled mightily this season. Nor is it a secret that the Titans defense has had problems of its own. Well, even though the Bears have had success against bad defenses like the one they’ll be facing in this spot, they had their offensive line in the games they put up 27 points on Detroit and 30 on Atlanta. As the Bears have dealt with injuries up front in the last four weeks, they’ve averaged 19 points per game. And their offensive line is even thinner. Left tackle Charles Leno is the only original starter on the Bears OL likely to start this week. Left guard James Daniels is out for the season, and center Cody Whitehair is out this week. Right tackle Bobby Massie was recently put on IR, and this week the Bears put right guard Germain Ifedi, as well as Jason Spriggs — who replaced Massie at right tackle — on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Rashaad Coward, who has been starting at left guard for James Daniels, is on the injury report with a knee injury, though he’s likely to play. It’s hard to imagine a Bears offense that has already been struggling to move the ball consistently will have an easier time doing so this week with so many injuries up front. The Pick: Bears under 20.5

3. Dolphins at Cardinals

Latest Odds:


Miami won Tua Tagovailoa’s debut against the Rams, 28-17, in a surprising upset. However, what that result overshadowed is that the Dolphins won because their defense forced four Rams turnovers. The Rams ran 92 plays to Miami’s 48. When Miami’s offense was on the field, it averaged only 3.0 yards per play, and Tagovailoa completed only 12 of his 22 passes for 4.2 yards per attempt. Oh, and now the Dolphins will be without Myles Gaskin. Oh, and while the Dolphins defense has been great against the pass (it ranked 3rd in DVOA), it’s the worst rush defense in the NFL (32nd in DVOA). So now a Dolphins team that can’t stop the run and has a rookie QB making his first career road start will be facing an Arizona offense that ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing DVOA. It’s also an Arizona team coming off a bye. Tua might be the future, but Kyler Murray is now. I’m backing Kyler and the Cards. The Pick: Cardinals -4.5



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