Tampa Bay appears to be safest pick this week
By Barry Wilner
The Associated Press
Man, did the Steelers make us sweat against a mediocre (to be kind) Dallas team last week in the knockout pool. But the Steelers came through, and now Pro Picks relies on Tampa Bay this week at Carolina.
No. 7 Seattle (+2) at No. 10 Los Angeles Rams: That Seattle defense is way too charitable. And the Rams are rested. Best bet: Rams, 36-30.
No. 5 Buffalo (+2) at No. 13 Arizona: Pro Picks doesn’t see any other likely outright upset, so … Upset special: Bills, 33-31.
No. 19 Philadelphia (-3¢) at No. 28 New York Giants: Were the Eagles not coming off a bye, an upset pick here would be tempting. Eagles, 20-19.
No. 31 Jacksonville (+14) at No. 6 Green Bay: Laying all those points with the Steelers last week has made us gun-shy. Packers, 27-14.
No. 27 Houston (+3) at No. 15 Cleveland: A loss here would drop the Browns from contenders to pretenders. Browns, 26-24.
No. 24 Los Angeles Chargers (+2¢) at No. 12 Miami: We all know how these games end for the Chargers. Kind of ugly. Dolphins, 25-24.
No. 9 Tampa Bay (-6) at No. 20 Carolina: It’s never a good idea to rile up pirates the way the Saints did to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Buccaneers, 27-23.
No. 23 Denver (+4¢) at No. 11 Las Vegas: The Raiders are in the middle of a prove-it three-game string of division games. Raiders, 23-21.
No. 18 San Francisco (+9¢) at No. 3 New Orleans: Are the Saints as good as they looked at Tampa Bay? No, but they’re good enough to cover here. Saints, 30-16.
No. 4 Baltimore (-7) at No. 21 New England: Nothing the Patriots showed in eking past the awful Jets was persuasive. Ravens, 23-13.
No. 17 Minnesota (-2) at No. 16 Chicago, Monday night: The Bears play the run pretty well, but Dalvin Cook will be their biggest 2020 test. Vikings, 20-13.
No. 25 Cincinnati (OFF) at No. 1 Pittsburgh: COVID-19 issues keep this game off the board. The Bengals are getting tougher. Steelers, 27-23.
No. 29 Washington (OFF) at No. 26 Detroit: Nobody cares keeps this game off the board? Lions, 24-19.
Last Week: Straight up: 10-4. Against spread: 6-8.
Season: Straight up: 88-44-1. Against spread: 70-58-2
Best Bet: Straight up: 8-1. Against spread: 6-3
Upset Special: Straight up: 4-5. Against spread: 4-4-1