Welcome back for another week of Fooch's Super Contest picks. I'd suggest fading them, but I find myself mixing in some decent weeks with the not so decent weeks. A week after putting up a 2-3 meh week, I went 3-2 against the spread, improving to 19-16 on the season. It was not a monster performance, but with a decent number of folks going 2-3 and 1-4, I actually climbed in the rankings. I find myself in the top half of the standings. I won't say "firmly" because one bad week could send me plummeting.
This past week, I took the Ravens (-6.5) over the Falcons, the Browns (-5.5) over the Jaguars, the Colts (-3) over the Bengals, the Giants (+6.5) over the Cowboys and the Steelers (-3.5) over the Texans. I figured I was going to finish 2-3 midway through Monday Night Football, but then the Steelers woke up in a big way, scoring 24 points in the final three minutes. I can live with that!
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. I'm hanging around the middle of the pack, so we'll see if I can at least build back some positive momentum. Don't hold your breath!
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS over Chicago Bears (+5.5): The Patriots are riding a 3-game winning streak, although they had to fend off a game Jets squad. In one interesting stat, the Patriots are 12-3 ATS in their last 15 home games when not a double digit favorite. I love random stuff like that. I"m concerned about the absence of Chandler Jones, but I think the Patriots can win this won by at least six.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS over St. Louis Rams (+6.5): I feel obligated to go for the emotional letdown by the Rams following their huge upset of the Seahawks. The Chiefs are 2-12 ATS in their last 14, including five straight recent losses, so I suppose I should not feel overly comfortable with this. And yet, the Rams are missing Brandon McGee, and could be without Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson. Alex Smith is not one to shred secondaries that frequently, but I like the matchup.
Indianapolis Colts over PITTSBURGH STEELERS (+3): The only thing that makes me uncomfortable about this pick is the Colts questionable run defense. If Indianapolis can contain Le'Veon Bell, I feel like it will be an easy cover. Fingers crossed!
Philadelphia Eagles over ARIZONA CARDINALS (-2.5): I was going to stay away from this game, but the Eagles seem to be the play. I think we start to see the Cardinals come back to earth, and I'll bet on it starting this week.
CLEVELAND BROWNS over Oakland Raiders (+6.5): I probably should not continue with my minor Browns obsession, but I am back for more thanks to their home matchup against the Raiders. Oakland is playing some decent ball under interm coach Tony Sparano, but have still lost two straight under him. The Raiders are 0-6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings with the Browns, and I'm going to bet on 0-7-1.
BRONCOS vs. Chargers (+7.5) - Broncos
Lions vs. Falcons (London) (+3.5) - Lions
BUCCANEERS vs. Vikings (+2.5) - Vikings
PATRIOTS vs. Bears (+5.5) - Patriots
CHIEFS vs. Rams (+6.5) - Chiefs
PANTHERS vs. Seahawks (-5) - Panthers
JETS vs. Bills (+3) - Bills
JAGUARS vs. Dolphins (-6) - Jaguars
TITANS vs. Texans (-2) - Texans
BENGALS vs. Ravens (+1) - Bengals
CARDINALS vs. Eagles (+2.5) - Cardinals
STEELERS vs. Colts (-3) - Colts
BROWNS vs. Raiders (+6.5) - Browns
SAINTS vs. Packers (+1.5) - Saints
COWBOYS vs. Washington (+9) - Cowboys