Six weeks in, the competition between MDS and yours truly is getting very tight.
Last week, I picked up a game in the head-to-head competition, 8-6 vs. 7-7. We each went 6-8 against the spread.
For the year, we’re dead even in the straight-up chase, at 57-34. Against the spread, I’m 44-45-2 and he’s 41-49-1.
We disagree on a pair of Week Seven games. For all picks, scroll away.
Giants (+4) at Eagles
MDS’s take: The Eagles have been ravaged by injuries, but I still think they’re a better team than the Giants, not that that’s saying much. This game has major NFC East title implications, not that that’s saying much.
MDS’s pick: Eagles 28, Giants 17.
Florio’s take: Someone has to win. Anyone who watches will lose.
Florio’s pick: Eagles 24, Giants 10.
Lions (+2.5) at Falcons
MDS’s take: After ugly starts to their seasons, the winner of this game will find itself on a two-game winning streak. I think that when Julio Jones is healthy the Falcons still have an elite passing game, and the Lions will struggle to stop it.
MDS’s pick: Falcons 28, Lions 24.
Florio’s take: Lions coach Matt Patricia must win the games he should, or his chances to continue to lose games will disappear. The Falcons’ Week Six win was impressive, but they beat a team that has by all appearances given up on the season.
Florio’s pick: Lions 24, Falcons 21.
Browns (-3) at Bengals
MDS’s take: The Steelers and Ravens have made clear that the Browns aren’t the best team in the AFC North. But in Cincinnati on Sunday, the Browns will make clear that they aren’t the worst team in the AFC North, either.
MDS’s pick: Browns 30, Bengals 17.
Florio’s take: Cleveland beats the teams they should, loses to the teams they should. The Browns should beat the Bengals, especially with so many players not happy with their roles.
Florio’s pick: Browns 34, Bengals 21.
Steelers (-2) at Titans
MDS’s take: The best matchup of the day is in Tennessee, where the Titans have been surprising people all season. I think they’re going to keep surprising with an upset victory.
MDS’s pick: Titans 21, Steelers 20.
Florio’s take: The Steelers had their most complete game of the season against the Browns, and they’ve already spent a week preparing for Tennessee while the Titans were locked out of their building. If Tennessee pulls this one off, they definitely should not desecrate any Terrible Towels.
Florio’s pick: Steelers 23, Titans 20.
Panthers (+7.5) at Saints
MDS’s take: The Saints have been a little more up and down than I was expecting them to be, but I still believe they’re Super Bowl contenders. The Panthers have been a little more up and down than I was expecting them to be too, but I still see them as a rebuilding franchise.
MDS’s pick: Saints 28, Panthers 17.
Florio’s take: The bye week coupled with the potential return of Michael Thomas spells the difference for a Saints team that knows it’s time to find the gas pedal and mash on it.
Florio’s pick: Saints 38, Panthers 27.
Bills (-13) at Jets
MDS’s take: The Bills have lost two in a row, but if there’s one team they can bounce back against, it’s the Jets.
MDS’s pick: Bills 38, Jets 10.
Florio’s take: The Bills get the next best thing to a bye week after playing a couple of good teams.
Florio’s pick: Bills 28, Jets 7.
Cowboys (-1) at Washington
MDS’s take: Andy Dalton is no Dak Prescott, but he’ll play better than he did on Monday night and the Cowboys will remain atop the terrible NFC East.
MDS’s pick: Cowboys 20, Washington 17.
Florio’s take: Unless and until Washington flips to Alex Smith, the losses will continue.
Florio’s pick: Cowboys 23, Washington 20.
Packers (-3.5) at Texans
MDS’s take: The Packers got dominated on both sides of the ball last week against the Buccaneers, but they can do too many things on offense for the Texans to keep up.
MDS’s pick: Packers 30, Texans 20.
Florio’s take: A get-right game for Green Bay, which can’t afford to lose another game with the Bears surging.
Florio’s pick: Packers 34, Texans 24.
Seahawks (-3.5) at Cardinals
MDS’s take: I like the way Kyler Murray is playing right now, but I love the way Russell Wilson is playing, and I don’t see the Cardinals’ defense stopping him.
MDS’s pick: Seahawks 28, Cardinals 20.
Florio’s take: The Cardinals have a six-day turnaround, the Seahawks have two weeks to get ready. Also, the Cardinals may not be able to slow down the high-octane Seahawks Offense enough to outscore it.
Florio’s pick: Seahawk 34, Cardinals 27.
Chiefs (-9.5) at Broncos
MDS’s take: The Broncos’ defense did impressive work in upsetting the Patriots on Sunday, but there’s no slowing down the Chiefs’ offense.
MDS’s pick: Chiefs 28, Broncos 17.
Florio’s take: The Chiefs already have stubbed their toe in the division this month. It’s not likely to happen again, Denver’s upset of the Patriots notwithstanding.
Florio’s pick: Chiefs 31, Broncos 21.
49ers (+2.5) at Patriots
MDS’s take: The Patriots are better than they looked Sunday against the Broncos. The 49ers are worse than they looked Sunday against the Rams.
MDS’s pick: Patriots 21, 49ers 14.
Florio’s take: A full week of practice will make a difference for the Patriots, who should be able to generate enough points to slow down San Francisco’s creative attack. Also, no one knows the flaws and limitations of Jimmy Garoppolo like the coach who drafted him.
Florio’s pick: Patriots 24, 49ers 17.
Jaguars (+8) at Chargers
MDS’s take: The Jaguars came out playing hard this season, but the reality that they’re among the NFL’s least-talented teams is starting to sink in. Justin Herbert should have a big game.
MDS’s pick: Chargers 31, Jaguars 20.
Florio’s take: The Jaguars continue to be the tonic for bad teams who need a win, and the Chargers got two weeks to get ready for this one.
Florio’s pick: Chargers 34, Jaguars 17.
Buccaneers (-3) at Raiders
MDS’s take: Tom Brady is playing efficient football and the Buccaneers’ defense is playing physical football. I think Tampa Bay is going to be a tough team to beat and will go to Las Vegas and win big.
MDS’s pick: Buccaneers 35, Raiders 17.
Florio’s take: With the entire starting Las Vegas offensive line sent home due to COVID-19 protocols, they won’t be ready to deal with the best defense the Bucs have had since the days of Warren Sapp.
Florio’s pick: Buccaneers 34, Raiders 21.
Bears (+5.5) at Rams
MDS’s take: Khalil Mack is playing excellent football and the Bears’ defense should keep this game close, but I don’t trust the Bears’ offense and think Aaron Donald is going to give Nick Foles a very hard time.
MDS’s pick: Rams 14, Bears 10.
Florio’s take: A get-right night for the Rams and an overdue correction for the Bears.
Florio’s pick: Rams 20, Bears 9.