It’s getting a little tighter.

With one disagreement last week, MDS cut the deficit through nine weeks to two games. His 9-4 performance, combined with my 8-5 showing, resulted in a season-to-date record for me of 85-49 (63.4 percent). MDS is 83-51 (61.9 percent).

MDS had a very good week in the picks against the spread, where he used having dibs over me to squat on all the games I liked. He went 3-0, I was 1-2. For the season, I’m 13-13-1. MDS is 11-14-2.

This week’s best bets appear in the attached video. For all picks (not against the spread), scroll away.

**Panthers at Steelers**

**MDS’s take**: The Steelers’ offense is humming along, and demonstrating that Le'Veon Bell wasn’t particularly important. They’ll keep humming along against the Panthers on Thursday night.

**MDS’s pick**: Steelers 28, Panthers 20.

**Florio’s take**: A sneaky great game, and the Panthers won’t be sneaking up on anyone after scoring 99 points in nine quarters. Advantage, home team.

**Florio’s pick**: Steelers 28, Panthers 24.

**Saints at Bengals **

**MDS’s take**: The Saints could be due for a letdown after their big win over the Rams, but I think they’ll pull it together and pull off a late victory in a close game.

**MDS’s pick**: Saints 28, Bengals 27.

**Florio’s take**: The Saints need to win games like this one, because for the most part the challenges will only be getting more daunting.

**Florio’s pick**: Saints 27, Bengals 21.

**Falcons at Browns **

**MDS’s take**: The Falcons look to me like they’re ready to go on a late-season run. The Browns look . . . otherwise.

**MDS’s pick**: Falcons 30, Browns 17.

**Florio’s take**: The Falcons have found their way, and the Browns are lost.

**Florio’s pick**: Falcons 30, Browns 17.

**Lions at Bears **

**MDS’s take**: The Lions couldn’t protect Matthew Stafford last week, and the Bears’ pass rush will make life miserable for Stafford again.

**MDS’s pick**: Bears 24, Lions 14.

**Florio’s take**: The Bears enter a challenging three-game stretch (Lions, Vikings, at Lions) with perhaps the only win they’ll get.

**Florio’s pick**: Bears 23, Lions 16.

**Cardinals at Chiefs **

**MDS’s take**: If the Chiefs want to pour it on, this could be the biggest blowout of the NFL season. But I suspect Kansas City will take its foot off the gas early.

**MDS’s pick**: Chiefs 30, Cardinals 21.

**Florio’s take**: The Cardinals are getting 17 points. And it still doesn’t feel like it’s enough.

**Florio’s pick**: Chiefs 41, Cardinals 17.

**Patriots at Titans **

**MDS’s take**: It’s student against teacher with Mike Vrabel coaching against Bill Belichick, and I’ll take the Patriots’ defense to shut down the Titans’ offense.

**MDS’s pick**: Patriots 24, Titans 13.

**Florio’s take**: The Titans are capable of beating anyone. The Patriots currently don’t seem to be susceptible to losing to anyone.

**Florio’s pick**: Patriots 27, Titans 17.

**Washington at Buccaneers **

**MDS’s take**: I can’t get much of a read on either of these teams, but I’ll pick Ryan Fitzpatrick to have a big game, and the injury-plagued Washington offense to struggle to keep up.

**MDS’s pick**: Buccaneers 27, Washington 17.

**Florio’s take**: Two teams whose seasons are in the midst of falling apart, one slowly and one more suddenly. Someone needs to win. Give it to the home team.

**Florio’s pick**: Buccaneers 27, Washington 13.

**Bills at Jets **

**MDS’s take**: The Jets may be without rookie quarterback Sam Darnold and going to Josh McCown, but at this point I wouldn’t pick the Bills to beat anyone.

**MDS’s pick**: Jets 20, Bills 10.

**Florio’s take**: Josh McCown may get a chance to earn his $10 million. Given that he’ll likely face Nathan Peterman or Derek Anderson, McCown will.

**Florio’s pick**: Jets 20, Bills 6.

**Jaguars at Colts **

**MDS’s take**: These two teams are going in different directions, and the Colts may give the Jaguars’ playoff hopes a death blow on Sunday.

**MDS’s pick**: Colts 24, Jaguars 20.

**Florio’s take**: The Jags return from the bye as underdogs against a Colts team that not long ago was regarded as woeful. The Colts are woeful no more.

**Florio’s pick**: Colts 27, Jaguars 20.

**Chargers at Raiders **

**MDS’s take**: The Chargers have quietly put together one of the NFL’s best rosters. The Raiders have . . . not.

**MDS’s pick**: Chargers 34, Raiders 14.

**Florio’s take**: The Raiders are winning by losing. So they win again on Sunday. And they lose.

**Florio’s pick**: Chargers 27, Raiders 10.

**Seahawks at Rams **

**MDS’s take**: The Rams can basically wrap up the NFC West with a win, and I think they’ll do exactly that against a Seahawks team that is playing hard but can’t quite compete with the best teams in the NFL.

**MDS’s pick**: Rams 28, Seahawks 17.

**Florio’s take**: It’s the last chance for the Seahawks to position themselves for a run at the division title. Come Monday they’ll be thinking about their last chance to position themselves for a run at a wild card.

**Florio’s pick**: Rams 31, Seahawks 21.

**Dolphins at Packers **

**MDS’s take**: This is a game the Packers need to win if they’re going to have any hope of keeping pace in the NFC North. I think they will, but the Dolphins will give them a closer game than most are expecting.

**MDS’s pick**: Packers 21, Dolphins 20.

**Florio’s take**: Aaron Rodgers goes from GOAT vs. GOAT to GOAT vs. literal goat.

**Florio’s pick**: Packers 34, Dolphins 17.

**Cowboys at Eagles **

**MDS’s take**: The NFC East remains a three-team race, but the Cowboys probably have to win this one to have a realistic chance of staying in that race. I like the Eagles to put a dagger in the Cowboys.

**MDS’s pick**: Eagles 28, Cowboys 20.

**Florio’s take**: Troy Aikman is right.

**Florio’s pick**: Eagles 30, Cowboys 13.

**Giants at 49ers**

**MDS’s take**: Eli Manning vs. Nick Mullens. The team with the better quarterback will win this one.

**MDS’s pick**: 49ers 24, Giants 17.

**Florio’s take**: 28 years after a classic Monday night game between the Giants and 49ers, it’s the exact opposite.

**Florio’s pick**: 49ers 27, Giants 20.