Well, at least I’m consistent.
For Week 12, I went 6-8 straight up for the second straight week. I also went 6-8 against the spread.
MDS, in contrast, went 8-6 on straight-up games but 6-8 against the spread.
MDS is now 100-63, and I’m 97-66. Against the spread, I’ve at 73-83-4. MDS is 64-94-2.
Texans (-3) at Lions
MDS’s take: The Texans are coming off perhaps their best performance of the season against the Patriots, and the Lions are coming off perhaps their worst against the Panthers. Houston will show it’s continuing to play hard for Romeo Crennel.
MDS’s pick: Texans 27, Lions 17.
Florio’s take: If the former Houston Roughnecks quarterback can master the Lions, the current Houston Texans quarterback should be able to do it, too.
Florio’s pick: Texans 24, Lions 17.
Washington (+3) at Cowboys
MDS’s take: It sounds ridiculous for two 3-7 teams, but this is a big one in the NFC East race. I think the Cowboys are going to make a statement.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 28, Washington 14.
Florio’s take: Strength coach Markus Paul’s medical emergency wiped out Tuesday’s practice and left the players and coaches rattled. Playing on Thursday could be a welcome respite, and a way to pay tribute to Paul.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 27, Washington 20.
Ravens (+5.5) at Steelers
MDS’s take: The Ravens would love nothing more than to be the team to give the Steelers their first loss of the season, but I just don’t see greatness from Baltimore this year. The Ravens are going to lose, and struggle to reach playoff contention.
MDS’s pick: Steelers 28, Ravens 20.
Florio’s take: The Ravens are on the ropes. It’s time for the Steelers to punch them through.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 23, Ravens 20.
Raiders (-3) at Falcons
MDS’s take: The Raiders suffered a tough loss on Sunday night, but I like the way this team is playing. They shouldn’t have much trouble against a Falcons team that’s going nowhere.
MDS’s pick: Raiders 31, Falcons 17.
Florio’s take: Jon Gruden faces the guy who replaced Jon Gruden in Tampa. Jon Gruden currently has the better overall team.
Florio’s pick: Raiders 28, Falcons 20.
Chargers (+5.5) at Bills
MDS’s take: I love Chargers rookie quarterback Justin Herbert, but the rest of the Chargers’ roster has a lot of holes in it, and I like the Bills to win big.
MDS’s pick: Bills 30, Chargers 20.
Florio’s take: The Bills surely would have preferred to get right back on the horse after the Hail Murray, but with two weeks to get ready for L.A., the Bills should be ready to make their run at the franchise’s first division title in 25 years.
Florio’s pick: Bills 31, Chargers 21.
Giants (-5.5) at Bengals
MDS’s take: Without Joe Burrow, there’s not much reason to watch the Bengals this year. The Giants are playing hard and might just be the favorites to win the NFC East.
MDS’s pick: Giants 27, Bengals 14.
Florio’s take: Without Joe Burrow, the Bengals’ cupboard is bare-o.
Florio’s pick: Giants 20, Bengals 9.
Titans (+3.5) at Colts
MDS’s take: This game may be decisive in the AFC South race. I like the Colts’ defense to shut the Titans’ offense down and win a low-scoring game.
MDS’s pick: Colts 14, Titans 10.
Florio’s take: The Titans know the stakes. If they can avoid special-teams miscues, they should be able to even the season series.
Florio’s pick: Titans 24, Colts 20.
Panthers (+4) at Vikings
MDS’s take: The Panthers’ defense is coming off a shutout of the Lions, but the Vikings’ offense should put up plenty of points on Sunday.
MDS’s pick: Vikings 30, Panthers 13.
Florio’s take: Minnesota’s window is closing. It won’t slam shut just yet.
Florio’s pick: Vikings 28, Panthers 23.
Cardinals (-2.5) at Patriots
MDS’s take: I have a very hard time seeing this Patriots Defense slowing down Kyler Murray & Co. The Cardinals should cruise in this one.
MDS’s pick: Cardinals 31, Patriots 21.
Florio’s take: If the Patriots couldn’t stop Deshaun Watson, they won’t be able to stop Kyler Murray.
Florio’s pick: Cardinals 24, Patriots 17.
Dolphins (-7) at Jets
MDS’s take: The Jets are continuing their march to 0-16, and the Dolphins are trying to keep their playoff hopes alive. Tua Tagovailoa won’t get benched this time.
MDS’s pick: Dolphins 24, Jets 14.
Florio’s take: Miami gets the best chance to get things back on track.
Florio’s pick: Dolphins 27, Jets 13.
Browns (-7) at Jaguars
MDS’s take: The Browns have a very good chance of getting to the playoffs, in part because of their easy schedule. This should be another easy win.
MDS’s pick: Browns 30, Jaguars 10.
Florio’s take: Cleveland gets a break from bad weather. The Jaguars don’t get a break from bad football.
Florio’s pick: Browns 24, Jaguars 13.
Saints (-6) at Broncos
MDS’s take: The Saints will move to 2-0 with Taysom Hill at quarterback, and 7-0 in games Drew Brees has missed the last two years.
MDS’s pick: Saints 24, Broncos 20.
Florio’s take: Vic Fangio came up with a way to confuse Tua. Can Fangio do it again with Taysom? Not with Sean Payton drawing up the plays.
Florio’s pick: Saints 30, Broncos 13.
49ers (+7) at Rams
MDS’s take: The 49ers will play tough in this one, but they just don’t have the firepower to keep up with the Rams.
MDS’s pick: Rams 24, 49ers 21.
Florio’s take: The Rams get a chance to return the favor against the 49ers, at a time when the Rams are getting ready to make a run at the No. 1 seed.
Florio’s pick: Rams 27, 49ers 17.
Chiefs (-3.5) at Buccaneers
MDS’s take: Sunday’s best game will give Patrick Mahomes a big opportunity to show that he has taken over Tom Brady‘s title of best quarterback in the NFL.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 30, Buccaneers 21.
Florio’s take: The Bucs don’t have a prime-time problem; they have a big-game problem. And this is another one.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 31, Buccaneers 24.
Bears (+8.5) at Packers
MDS’s take: This game probably represents the Bears’ last chance to establish themselves as playoff contenders, and I don’t think they have it in them.
MDS’s pick: Packers 27, Bears 20.
Florio’s take: Nick Foles or Mitch Trubisky, it doesn’t matter. The Packers get back on the right track, at least for now.
Florio’s pick: Packers 24, Bears 13.
Seahawks (-6) at Eagles
MDS’s take: The Seahawks’ pass defense is weak, but Carson Wentz is weaker. Seattle shouldn’t have much trouble winning in Philadelphia.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 34, Eagles 21.
Florio’s take: This was a playoff game last year. It won’t be this year.
Florio’s pick: Seahawks 30, Eagles 17.