It’s been a weird week! The football (I took an L on the Niners unfortunately and a BAD BEAT on the under) hasn’t been incredible. But we’re due for some excitement and drama in our lives. We’ve been lacking that this week. We need some wild swings, some crazy leads blown and win probability charts swinging all over the place. Things have been too stable lately. 

So let’s enjoy some football and hit some winners. Shortened version of the picks column below. 

All NFL odds are via William Hill Sportsbook.

Detroit (3-4) at Minnesota (2-5)

1 p.m. (CBS)
Point spread: Vikings -4

Tough spot for Detroit, who may not have Matthew Stafford for this game, after the QB was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, reportedly because of a close-contact situation. That makes it extremely difficult to handicap this game but I liked Minnesota before the news so I’ll take them now as well. Everything you hear about the Vikings is they’ll be absolutely feeding Dalvin Cook this week and moving forward for the next several weeks. They have a legitimate chance to get back in the division/playoff hunt but they’ll need Cook to have a nuclear stretch. I think he can. 

The Pick: Vikings 31, Lions 21

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Carolina (3-5) at Kansas City (7-1)

1 p.m. (Fox)
Point spread: Chiefs -10.5

Getting in front of the Kansas City Scoring Machine feels like a very dangerous proposition, especially coming off a week where Patrick Mahomes went wild against the Jets, throwing for five passing touchdowns in a rout. But Andy Reid’s shown a willingness to run the ball where necessary and this is sort of necessary? The Chiefs can probably do whatever they want in this game — if Mahomes wants to throw 12 touchdowns he can, but the Panthers are a bad run defense, and I think we could see the Chiefs lean on Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell in this spot. (One week after not giving Lev Bell the revenge game and me losing my face on those props, I’m 100 percent convinced Reid will let him loose against Carolina.) If that’s the case, Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers offense should be able to sneak through the backdoor worst case here. 

The Pick: Chiefs 28, Panthers 20

Baltimore (5-2) at Indianapolis (5-2)

1 p.m. ET (CBS)
Point spread: Ravens -3 

Is the wrong team favored here? I think that might be the case. The Ravens are a really good team, don’t get me wrong, and I would still back them to win the AFC North. But basically their entire defense is on the COVID list and this is a good Colts team! Philip Rivers is playing excellent football and while I’d have some worries about Jonathan Taylor missing this game and Indy being unable to run, I think they can attack with the shorter passing game and pull off the upset. 

The Pick: Colts 24, Ravens 21

Denver (3-4) at Atlanta (2-6)

1 p.m. (Fox)
Point spread: Falcons -4

Everyone is trying to talk themselves into the Falcons being good again. Maybe it’s because it’s the second half of the season? I’m not entirely sure, but I’m not completely buying in. This defense isn’t “good” because it took down Teddy Bridgewater a week ago in Charlotte. I’m going to bank on Drew Lock and Co. riding the wave of that fourth quarter into Atlanta and Jerry Jeudy having a breakout game against the Birds. 

The Pick: Broncos 31, Falcons 28

Seattle (6-1) at Buffalo (6-2)

1 p.m. ET (Fox)
Point spread: Seahawks -2.5

The over, the over, the over. This is going to be a shootout in beautiful Buffalo weather: 68 degrees and sunny, perfect table smashing weather. And neither of these teams plays any defense whatsoever. We’re getting tons of points in this one. The Seahawks are throwing the ball like crazy right now and the Bills can’t stop D.K. Metcalf or Tyler Lockett. Seattle also can’t defend outside receivers who get deep and Stefon Diggs is as good as it gets. Shootout time with Seattle emerging with a close win.

The Pick: Seahawks 35, Bills 28

New Orleans (5-2) at Tampa Bay (6-2)

8:20 p.m. ET (NBC)
Point spread: Buccaneers -4.5

I’m not saying this will turn into a blowout, but I don’t think the Saints — even with Michael Thomas back — are as good as the Buccaneers. Tampa has a great defense and a great offense. New Orleans … does not? Everyone would take Tom Brady over Drew Brees at this stage and while New Orleans has an impressive group of players on defense, they haven’t lived up to billing yet. I’ll take Tom Brady to take care of business here against a team that I think might be a little overrated. The Bucs know how important this game is for the NFC South. 

The Pick: Bucs 28, Saints 21

The rest of the Picks:

Bears 24, Titans 21
Texans 24, Jaguars 10
Washington 21, Giants 10
Raiders 28, Chargers 17
Cardinals 24, Dolphins 14
Steelers 28, Cowboys 10
Patriots 21, Jets 7

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