Welcome back to Fooch's Super Contest picks. Just when you think I'm going to zig, I proceed to zag. Or, to quote Rowdy Roddy Piper, "Just when you think have all the answers, I change the questions!" After weeks of mediocrity left me at 9-11, I bounced back in a big way in Week 5, putting together a 5-0 performance.
This past week, I took the Chiefs (+6) to cover against the 49ers, Browns (+1.5) over Titans, Broncos (-7) over Cardinals, Patriots (+1) over Bengals, and Seahawks (-7) over Washington. The 49ers handled their business, but as I was expecting, kept it close. Elsewhere, Cleveland stormed back with a huge comeback to beat Tennessee, Denver rolled Arizona, New England had no problem with Cincinnati, and Seattle kicked a late field goal to get the cover.
Just a reminder, the folks at our partner site, OddsShark have staked me in a pick 'em contest in Las Vegas. I pick five games each week against the spread, taking on over 1,400 people. The top 30 win money. Going into this I simply wanted to finish closer to the top than the bottom. Right now I'm in the bottom half, but a few good weeks will get me right back in this thing. Thank god it's not my own money.
49ers over RAMS (+3.5): I was tempted to take the Rams with that extra half point, and hopefully give the 49ers a little karma to beat down the Rams. I even said as much in my Thursday picks post. But I have changed my mind! With the return of Vernon Davis and the struggles of the Rams defensive line, I think the 49ers can handle their business in St. Louis. The 49ers are 1-3 against the spread in their last four games in St. Louis, but they have an overall solid road record, as well as MNF record lately. They are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 games as a road favorite, and they are 8-1 ATS in their last nine Monday Night Football games. I think they can do it.
BROWNS over Steelers (+2): History is against the Browns, particularly in their status as a favorite. And yet, I am convinced this Browns squad is different. They are 2-2 on the season, and 2-1-1 ATS. They face a Steelers squad that just does not impress me. The Steelers beat the Browns in Week 1 at Heinz Field, but they had to hold off a furious Browns comeback to do it. Additionally, the Browns are actually 4-2 ATS in their last six home games against Pittsburgh. The 49ers were underdogs in all but one of those games, and the Browns were 2-4 SU, so we'll see if they can reverse that trend and get a win.
BILLS over Patriots (-3): I took the Patriots last week, expecting a bounce-back effort against the Bengals, after New New England's disastrous showing against the Chiefs. I got it in spades as the Patriots destroyed Cincinnati. And yet, I don't think that necessarily meant the Patriots were "back" or whatever cliche we want to use. They're not a bad team, but they're not as good as they have been in the past. On the other hand, Buffalo has shown some things lately, tied with the Patriots at 3-2 atop the AFC East. Buffalo is 2-7-1 ATS in their last ten home games against the Patriots. I'm going to bet on them continued their moderately inspired under new ownership.
Chargers over RAIDERS (+7): This is a dicey proposition given the Raiders change at head coach. It creates a wild card. And yet, the Chargers are absolutely on fire. San Diego is 4-1, and 5-0 ATS this season. I could have just skipped this game, but I'm inclined to try and take advantage of that San Diego bandwagon. I'm sure I am just the person to send it careening into a ditch, but maybe I'll get lucky.
SEAHAWKS over Cowboys (+8): I'm going to ride the Seahawks at home until they prove otherwise. The Cowboys are off to a strong start this season, but I think most people outside of Texas remain a little bit skeptical about how long this can last. Dallas could very well hang with Seattle if the Cowboys run game keeps going, but I think the Seahawks will end up containing them.
TEXANS vs. Colts (-3) - Texans
JETS vs. Broncos (-8.5) - Broncos
BROWNS vs. Steelers (+2) - Browns
TITANS vs. Jaguars (+5.5) - Titans
FALCONS vs. Bears (+3.5) - Falcons
DOLPHINS vs. Packers (-3.5) - Packers
VIKINGS vs. Lions (-1.5) - Vikings
BENGALS vs. Panthers (+7) - Bengals
BILLS vs. Patriots (-3) - Bills
BUCCANEERS vs. Ravens (-3) - Ravens
RAIDERS vs. Chargers (-7) - Chargers
SEAHAWKS vs. Cowboys (+8) - Seahawks
CARDINALS vs. Washington (+3) - Washington
EAGLES vs. NY Giants (+3) - Eagles
RAMS vs. 49ers (-3.5) - 49ers