This season, I’ll be providing my picks every week for you, our readers. Last year, I was Gridiron’s top NFL Pick’em guru on Tallysight, going 167-99-1 (63%). We’re hoping to have even more success this year! Each week, I’ll give you my picks for the game, and a short write-up centered around the key reason why I’m making the pick that I am. You can also click over to see all our Free NFL picks for the week with more than a dozen Gridiron Experts picking each game.
And we’re off!
Seattle (-2.5) @ Buffalo
These teams are a combined 12-3 and are sitting atop their respective divisions. Seattle leads the league in scoring, averaging 34.3 points per game. Buffalo came out of the gate hot on the offensive side but has faltered over the past few weeks. Russell Wilson is playing MVP caliber football, and WR DK Metcalf can change a game at any moment on his own. While Josh Allen has flashed brilliance this year, he’s also come back down to earth over the past few weeks. I do think that Stefon Diggs will post some big numbers and pace the Buffalo offense. However, an overlooked fact is that Seattle ranks 4th in the league in Interceptions, despite its middling defense. I expect them to make just enough stops and force a turnover or two to win a high scoring game in Buffalo. Seahawks 33-28.
Baltimore (-2.5) @ Indianapolis
With both teams in the thick of their division races, this game will be pivotal for both the Ravens and the Colts. Lamar Jackson was up-and-down before falling to the Steelers last Sunday, while Philip Rivers & Co. cruised to a win in Detroit. This game will be a battle of strong defensive units with the Colts and Ravens ranking 3rd and 2nd respectively in scoring defense. While Baltimore ranks top 5 in the league in Sacks, Indianapolis ranks 1st in interceptions. Being that the Steelers intercepted Jackson twice last week, it’ll be interesting to see how he fares against the Colts. I do think this game will be tight on the turf in Indy, but feel that Jackson and the Ravens offense is better suited to pull this game out late. Ravens 28-24.
Chicago @ Tennessee (-5.5)
The Titans dropped their second game in a row last week to the young Bengals, while the Bears fell in a thriller against New Orleans. Derrick Henry is undoubtedly the focal point of this Titans offense and everything will run through him on Sunday. While the Titans’ secondary has been one of the worst in the league (especially on 3rd down), they do have reinforcements on the way with the trade they made for Desmond King II. Additionally, Adoree’ Jackson might return from Injured Reserve after the team cut veteran DB Johnathan Joseph on Tuesday. Nick Foles’ play will determine how the Bears fare, regardless of who’s on the field. With 8 TD compared to 7 INT so far this season, he’ll certainly need to play better against the Titans to keep Chicago competitive. Although the Titans’ biggest weapon is Henry, they also have additional firepower through the air. Ryan Tannehill will certainly keep the Bears honest as he targets Corey Davis, AJ Brown, and Jonnu Smith. I just think the Titans have too much offensive firepower for the Bears to keep up with. I do think it’ll be close, but expect the Titans to pull this one out at home. Titans 26-23.
Detroit @ Minnesota (-4)
Sitting at 3rd and 4th in the NFC North, these teams appear to be evenly matched. To me, the biggest X-factor is RB Dalvin Cook who was fantastic last weekend, totaling 226 yards and 4 TD against the Packers. Cook will be the best player on the field again, especially with the Lions missing WR Kenny Golladay. Matt Stafford has had the better year of the two quarterbacks, but neither he nor Kirk Cousins has stood out through 8 weeks. Now with Stafford on the COVID list, I’ll have to side with Minnesota here. Vikings 30-23.
Carolina @ Kansas City (-10.5)
While all eyes will certainly be on QB Patrick Mahomes, and pass catchers Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, the biggest weapon on the field just might be the Chiefs defense. So far this year, Kansas City’s defense ranks 6th in points against and 4th in Interceptions. While Teddy Bridgewater has performed admirably, he will need to be at his absolute best on Sunday to keep up with Mahomes and Kansas City. With that said, the Panthers might get All-Pro RB Christian McCaffrey back from injury. If they do, I think this game will be much closer. However, at this point, I just can’t pick against the Chiefs, especially at home. Chiefs 34-20.
Houston (-7) @ Jacksonville
With Gardner Minshew missing this contest, it looks like Jake Luton will make his NFL debut. Houston took the first matchup between these two teams, and I think this game will go the same. I just don’t trust Luton to move the needle enough. While he does have some weapons with the likes of DJ Chark and James Robinson, the Jaguars’ defense leaves a ton to be desired. With Will Fuller V still donning a Texans jersey, he could prove to be a huge problem for the Jacksonville secondary. Look for Fuller and Watson to dominate, and for the Texans to cruise in Jacksonville. Texans 27-18.
Denver @ Atlanta (-4)
After a rocky start to the season, Atlanta has won 2 of their last 3 games. However, they’re still winless at home this year. With this contest being played in Atlanta, the Falcons will want to end that trend on Sunday. However, WR Calvin Ridley injured his foot last weekend and might miss this game. Ridley’s presence would provide a huge boost. With the Falcons’ defense as ineffective as ever, I could see this game turning into a shootout with Drew Lock exploiting the Atlanta weakness. However, in the end, I think Denver will struggle to contain Julio Jones and Hayden Hurst. I’ll take the Falcons to win by a touchdown for their first home victory of the year. Falcons 29-23.
New York Giants @ Washington (-3)
The Giants pulled out their first win of the season when these teams met a few weeks ago. With this game taking place in Washington, I think the advantage shifts towards the Football Team. The Redskins rank 6th in the league in Sacks and 7th in interceptions. With Daniel Jones struggling to protect the ball, as usual, I envision the Giants making too many mistakes against this stout defense. Look for the Football Team’s defense to lead them to victory at home. Football Team 24-20.
Las Vegas @ Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5)
The Raiders knocked off the Browns last week, but their offense didn’t quite click, only scoring 1 touchdown. Los Angeles, on the other hand, logged 30 points but fell just short against Denver on the road. Justin Herbert has thrown 15 TDs, compared to only 5 INT this year while accumulating 1,820 passing yards in the process. On the other side, Derek Carr has also been efficient, tossing 14 TD vs. only 2 INT. The Los Angeles offense has the 2nd highest yards per game total (427) in the NFL, but the 17th highest-scoring offense. To me, this means more points are coming soon. One major factor I look at in this game is the lack of a pass rush we’ve seen out of Las Vegas. Their 7 sacks rank 30th in the NFL, meaning they’ve had trouble getting to the quarterback. I expect Herbert to excel if he has ample time in the pocket. In the end, these teams are very evenly matched, but I’ll give the edge to the rookie sensation to pull it out at home. Chargers 31-28.
Pittsburgh (-13.5) @ Dallas
It looks like Garrett Gilbert or Cooper Rush will start this game for Dallas. The Steelers are the lone undefeated team left in the NFL. They also tout the best defense in the NFL, with the most sacks (30), the 3rd most interceptions (10), and the 4th fewest points against. With Gilbert or Rush at the helm, I just don’t give Dallas much of a chance in this one. Steelers 30-14.
Miami @ Arizona (-4.5)
Arizona won 3 straight games before their Week 8 bye. Now well-rested, the Cardinals will face off with the surprising Miami Dolphins and their young QB Tua Tagovailoa. Tua never found his stride in his first start, logging only 93 passing yards and a single TD. However, he didn’t throw any interceptions, and the defense led Miami to an impressive home win over the LA Rams. Now on the road, Miami will have to slow down yet another potent offense. Kyler Murray has been fantastic so far this year, throwing for 13 touchdowns while also rushing for 7 more. He’s amassed 347 yards on the ground while also logging 1,847 yards passing. A true dual-threat, Murray will continue to focus on stud WR DeAndre Hopkins (57/704/3) and breakout WR Christian Kirk (18/277/5). I do think the Miami defense is for real and should keep this contest close, as they’ve yielded the least points in the entire NFL. With that said, the Cardinals defense has proven to be stout as well, ranking 5th in scoring defense themselves. In the end, I think it’ll be close. However, with the game on the line, I need to side with Kyler (for now) over the young Tua. Cardinals 24-21.
New Orleans @ Tampa Bay (-5)
In this battle for the NFC South, you can bet that Tom Brady will be out for revenge after dropping the season opener to New Orleans. Since then, Brady has led Tampa Bay to wins in 6 of their next 7 games. New Orleans has also played well, compiling a record of 5-2. The Saints’ top weapon has undoubtedly been their dual-threat RB, Alvin Kamara. This season, Kamara has logged 987 all-purpose yards and 7 TDs. QB Drew Brees would also benefit from the return of their star WR Michael Thomas, who has missed multiple weeks due to injury. New Orleans will have a tall task in any event, as the Tampa Bay defense is one of the league’s best. Specifically, they rank 2nd in the NFL with 28 sacks, and 1st in the NFL with 11 interceptions. On the other side, Tom Brady will benefit from the return of Antonio Brown. While it remains to be seen how many snaps Brown will play, he’ll certainly garner some attention. Brown’s return will certainly be welcomed, especially if Chris Godwin (finger) can’t play. Given the quality of the Tampa Bay defense and the mediocrity of the New Orleans defense, I think Tom Brady can lead the Bucs to a revenge victory at home. Buccaneers 33-26.
New England (-7) @ New York Jets
The Patriots are 2-5 and have looked horrible at times. However, with Bill Belichick across the field, I just can’t pick the Jets. Patriots 28-17.
Enjoy the games! Until next week…
A former D1 College Wrestler at Boston University, Brad hails from New Jersey. By day, Brad works in the corporate automotive world, but by night, he is an avid sports, football, and fantasy sports enthusiast with a passion for winning. Fun Fact: Brad ran and finished the 2019 Boston Marathon!
Over the past decade, Brad has won dozens of fantasy league championships and has been writing for Gridiron Experts for the past 4 seasons. While he’s surrounded by Giants and Jets supporters, Brad is a diehard Tennessee Titans fan, and, accordingly has dumped a ton of money into NFL Sunday Ticket in his years!