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So I had a Thursday night where I pretty much couldn’t have been further from right so let’s hope that form doesn’t spill into today’s picks! Firstly, however, can I pick up any more points in the trivia competition:

How many of the 31 NFL stadiums have Grass playing surfaces? I’ll give a score of  2 points for an exact hit or a consolation 1 if you are within 3 of the actual figure.’

So I’ve been through a list of teams and assigned those that I think play on grass but looking at the number I think I’m wrong. I’ll go for it anyway, so twenty-one.

‘We’re back to guessing again. Question for me is do I think more or less than half have turf… I think it’s close. I’ll say 15 have Grass.’

Titans @ Chargers (-6.5)

These are two teams in very different places and I have a lot more faith in the Chargers given they have only lost to very good teams for quite a while now. I’m hesitant because of the size of the line but given the frequency with which London games seem to be one sided I’m going to pick them to cover this line against a Titans team who gave up eleven sacks last week.

Gee’s Pick:      Chargers
Dan’s Pick:       Chargers

Bills @ Colts (-6.5)

I think the Indianapolis Colts are a better team than their 1-5 record indicates and having played four games on the road so far this season t this looks to be as good a chance as they’ve had to get a home win. The Buffalo Bills defence actually ranks third by DVOA but after Josh Allen picked up an elbow injury they’re starting Derek Anderson who has only been on the roster for a little over a week. This could bite me but there is a big difference between these two teams’ overall DVOA percentage and I’m backing Andrew Luck and his team to cover, even if I don’t like laying this number of points.

Gee’s Pick:      Colts
Dan’s Pick:       Colts

Patriots @ Bears (+3.5)

So I am very curious about this game as the New England Patriots will be riding high after a big win against the Chiefs on Sunday night football last week, whereas the Bears are coming off a disappointing loss to the Dolphins in the heat of Miami. Not only did the Bears lose, but Khalil Mack picked up an ankle injury although is expected to play. It feels strange to me that the Bears are actually ranked higher than the Patriots by DVOA, particularly as there’s a fairly large difference in DVOA percentage between them, but it’s not a figure I trust. The Bears had such a huge win over the Buccaneers I suspect it is skewing the figures and there is no way you can trust Mitch Trubisky even if Matt Nagy is at least scheming him a way to have a chance of success. I like the Patriots to win this game but in a matchup of the seventh ranked offence versus the number one defence by DVOA I’m going to grab this number of points at home for the cover.

Gee’s Pick:      Bears
Dan’s Pick:       Patriots

Browns @ Buccaneers (-3.5)

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the first team to fire a co-ordinator when Mike Smith was let go after their loss to the Falcons last week. Yes, the defence has been a big problem but their offence has thrown for a lot of yards and scored points but more often not has not been able to overcome their porous defence. This week a welcome a Cleveland Browns team who had their first bad loss of the season last week, but who still have a top ten defence even if the offence is struggling. I don’t know how Baker Mayfield will look given the ankle injury he picked up last week but this could be a tough spot for them on the road but also represents an opportunity to get right. The extra half point worries me as I don’t really trust either team so I’m going to grab the points and hope.

Gee’s Pick:      Browns
Dan’s Pick:       Buccaneers

Lions @ Dolphins (+0.5)

The Miami Dolphins remain in contention for a playoff spot thanks in large part to an unbeaten home record, aided by heat and humidity that has sapped the strength of their opponents. Last week they beat an improved Bears team and now they welcome an up and down Detroit Lions who have two quality wins, including the Packers last week. The emergence of Kenny Golladay at receiver and rookie running back Kerryon Johnson has caught the eye but only led to a DVOA ranking of twentieth. In fact, there is a huge difference in overall DVOA percentage between these two teams that’s leading me to join Dan in backing the Dolphins this week, even if Brock Osweiler likely being the quarterback again doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

Gee’s Pick:      Dolphins
Dan’s Pick:       Dolphins

Vikings @ Jets (+3.5)

Things have picked up for the Minnesota Vikings in the last couple of weeks as they managed to beat the Eagles and Cardinals but their vaunted defence just isn’t the same this season and whilst Kirk Cousins has generated a lot offence, he has also fumbled a number of times and thrown three interceptions to go with his twelve touchdowns. This week they travel to face the New York Jets who are actually ranked five placed ahead of the Vikings by overall DVOA as well as having the same number of wins. Sam Darnold may have looked like a rookie quarterback but he’s looked like a good one, although his favourite receiver Quincy Enunwa is going to be missing for a couple of weeks with an ankle sprain. This is quite a lot of points for the Jets at home and with the extra half point I’m strongly tempted to pick them but I can’t quite bring myself to do it. I could regret this but I’m nervously backing the always competitive Vikings.

Gee’s Pick:      Vikings
Dan’s Pick:       Vikings

Panthers @ Eagles (-4.5)

After a straight forward road win on Thursday night, the Philadelphia Eagles return home to host a Carolina Panthers who lost on the road in Washington last week. The Panthers still rank better by overall DVOA and the Eagles have been up and down all season, mainly due to the problems they’ve had on offence. The last couple of weeks have looked better though as Carson Wentz has found his feet behind centre and he got Alshon Jeffery back from injury. The Panthers not only lost to Washington, but needed a last minute sixty yard field goal to beat the New York Giants and with them being on the road for a second week in a row it feels like the Eagles have the edge in this one. I’m not thrilled with the points but I think the Eagles are on the up whilst the Panthers are having a wobble. This is usually the cue for me to get the pick wrong.

Gee’s Pick:      Eagles
Dan’s Pick:       Eagles

Texans @ Jaguars (-4.5)

These are two teams that right now are performing pretty similarly in that they both have top ten defences and under-performing offences. The Jaguars come home after losing two on the road and you have to think the defence will be desperate to put things right after shipping forty against the Cowboys last week. The Texans struggling offensive line could be just the tonic to facilitate that and the fact that Deshaun Watson is fighting a chest injury is perhaps not surprising given the amount of times he has been hit. It’s a big if, but if Blake Bortles can stop the turnovers this week then things could easily settle for the Jaguars and I fancy them to bounce back big now that they are finally home. The points worry me though, and in the end I’m going to grab the points in a game that has far too many unknowns for me to feel comfortable making a strong pick.

Gee’s Pick:      Texans
Dan’s Pick:       Jaguars

Saints @ Ravens (-2.5)

This should be a cracking matchup when the New Orleans Saints’ offence takes on the Baltimore Ravens’ defence and this looks to be one of the more interesting matchups of the week. The Saints are coming of a bye having won their previous four weeks, but this will be as stiff a challenge as they have faced all season and the Saints are actually ranked three places lower in DVOA thanks to the balance the Ravens have across all phases of the game. The numbers for Drew Brees on the road are markedly different and going against the leagues number two defence by DVOA in Baltimore where they Ravens only need a field goal to cover I’m going to back the home team but it would not surprise me if the Saints win this one.

Gee’s Pick:      Ravens
Dan’s Pick:       Saints

Cowboys @ Washington (-1.5)

I almost have no idea what to do with this one. After joining the chorus of people stating their frustration with the Cowboys offence, they came up with a game plan that scored forty points against the Jaguars vaunted defence last week and this week they travel to a perennially average Washington team who seem to specialise in being around 8-8. I don’t have a lot of faith in either side so it’s hard to pick. That said the Cowboys defence is just outside the top ten by DVOA and is fifth against the run so whilst Washington have done well when Adrian Peterson has got yards, I’m not sure he can do it week to week or against this defence. The Cowboys have been bad on the road but in this divisional matchup they have won the last four and getting points I’m going to take a risk. Watch Washington prove me wrong now!

Gee’s Pick:      Cowboys
Dan’s Pick:       Cowboys

Rams @ 49ers (+10.5)

It’s a trap! The LA Rams are rolling and are the only remaining undefeated team having swept aside all before them and this week they travel to San Francisco to face a 49ers team who have one win so far this season. However, as much as the Rams don’t let up on their opponents, they have some injuries and it has been three weeks since they beat a team by enough points to cover this spread and they are on the road for a third straight week. I’m not predicting an upset, certainly for a team on a short week but I think the 49ers can keep this within eleven.

Gee’s Pick:      49ers
Dan’s Pick:       Rams

Bengals @ Chiefs (-5.5)

I am properly terrified by this game. Even though it wasn’t the worst defeat to the Steelers last week, the Bengals picked up a bunch of knocks and worrying injuries in the secondary. Now they are taking their twenty-fourth ranked defence on the road to face the terrifying Kansas City Chiefs’ juggernaut of an offence. This game had loss written all over it even before it was flexed into prime time, which has historically not been a happy place for the Marvin Lewis led Bengals. I think this will be a shootout and it is possible the Bengals will hang with the Chiefs but I don’t know if they can keep it close enough to make a cover worth a pick. In a second week of emotional hedging, I will hope to be proved wrong but I wasn’t last week.

Gee’s Pick:      Chiefs
Dan’s Pick:       Chiefs

Giants @ Falcons (-6.5)

This is a strange primetime matchup in that it pits a New York Giants team struggling to put together much on either side of the ball against an Atlanta Falcons team who are beset by injuries. The Falcons defence is ranked thirty-first in league by DVOA having lost key players up its spine and so their offence has not been able to score enough to win games. The Giants have two world class skills position players, but with the problems on the offensive line and Eli Manning’s struggles they have not been able to really take advantage of them enough to win. The ability of Saquon Barkley is breath taking, but he has been very boom or bust with long runs combined with getting stuffed at the line. This is a big line for a team with two wins, but the Falcons have one unit that is still in the top half by DVOA and with Matt Ryan at home let’s push the boat out as I just can’t trust the Giants on the road.

Gee’s Pick:      Falcons
Dan’s Pick:       Falcons