Maybe all the displays of unity at NFL games last weekend also overshadowed an awful week for Pro Picks. We sure hope so: It was more like Poor Picks.
And that came with a rare win in a Thursday night game, Rams over 49ers. Hopefully, we can get it right with this week’s opener, Bears at Packers, then follow it up with some more winners.
Green Bay struggled to beat lowly Cincinnati in overtime last Sunday, hours after Chicago stunned Pittsburgh, also in OT. Working extra time heading into a short week isn’t exactly an ideal way to prep for a Thursday nighter.
The Packers were undermanned, particularly on the offensive line, against the Bengals and had to stage a big rally to win. The Bears used their impressive running game to overcome the Steelers.
With so little rest between outings, the disparity in talent can tend to get skewed a bit. Green Bay appears to be a Super Bowl contender when healthy. Chicago has the look of an also-ran in a tough division.
Still, this is Bears-Packers, one of the more emotion-packed series in pro sports.
The Packers, No. 4 in the AP Pro32, are 7-point favorites over their long-time rival Bears (No. 25).
KNOCKOUT LEAGUE TIP
The Patriots made us sweat but survived as Houston couldn’t make a third-and-1 conversion that might have clinched an upset. We’ll go with SEATTLE to keep us going.
No. 17 (tie) Los Angeles Rams (plus 7 1-2) at No. 5 Dallas
Rams seem to be putting together nice offense. We already know Dallas has one of those.
BEST BET: COWBOYS, 30-19
No. 11 Tennessee (minus 2) at No. 21 Houston
It’s early, but Texans loss would be very damaging in division.
UPSET SPECIAL: TEXANS, 20-17
No. 24 New Orleans (minus 3) vs. No. 22 Miami at London
Rebound time for Dolphins after that New Jersey fiasco.
No. 9 Pittsburgh (minus 2 1-2) at No. 14 Baltimore
Best rivalry in football, nasty and physical, but clean.
No. 6 (tie) Oakland (plus 2 1-2) at No. 6 (tie) Denver
Both teams come off offensive stinkers.
No. 17 (tie) Carolina (plus 8) at No. 3 New England
Both teams come off defensive stinkers.
No. 13 Washington (plus 7) at No. 1 Kansas City, Monday night
Redskins might be better than we thought, can prove a lot here.
No. 15 Jacksonville (minus 3 1-2) at No. 29 New York Jets
Road favorites destroyed us last week. We barely learned a lesson.
No. 19 Buffalo (plus 7 1-2) at No. 2 Atlanta
Falcons have escaped twice on road, but routed Green Bay at home.
No. 26 New York Giants (plus 5) at No. 20 Tampa Bay
Just a feeling Giants aren’t bad enough to be 0-4.
No. 12 Philadelphia (pick-em) at No. 27 (tie) Los Angeles Chargers
Just a feeling Chargers aren’t bad enough to be 0-4.
No. 27 Cincinnati (minus 3) at No. 32 Cleveland
Just a feeling Bengals aren’t bad enough to be 0-4.
No. 31 San Francisco (plus 7) at No. 23 Arizona
Just a feeling … oh, never mind.
No. 30 Indianapolis (plus 13) at No. 16 Seattle
Until Andrew Luck is behind center, staying away from Colts doing anything special.
No. 6 (tie) Detroit (no line) at No. 10 Minnesota
Really like what we have seen from Lions thus far.
Last week: Against spread (5-9-1). Straight up (8-8)
Season Totals: Against spread (18-27-1). Straight up: (29-18)
Best Bet: 2-1 against spread, 2-1 straight up.
Upset special: 3-0 against spread, 3-0 straight up