For those opposed to Thursday night NFL games, whether players, coaches, fans or gamblers, this week is a prime example of why.
It’s hard enough preparing for a Sunday game when you have major injuries, especially at quarterback. And when both teams aren’t sure where they are as quarterbacks, well, that doesn’t make football’s best mark in a short week.
As for the Pro Picks, it would be better to avoid making a choice for Denver, ranked 20th in the AP Pro32, at 13th Cleveland. The Broncos were a 3-1-2 point underdog before the Browns scratched Baker Mayfield with his left shoulder injury. Case Keenum takes the start and the line fell to 2 points with this news.
“Case Keenum will be our starter tomorrow night and we have full confidence in him to guide us and do the things necessary to put us in a position to win,” Browns coach Kevin Stefanski said Wednesday. “Baker fought really hard to play, he’s a competitor and obviously wants to be there, but he just couldn’t do it in a short week.”
Denver, on the other hand, believes QB Teddy Bridgewater’s sore foot won’t sideline him. Drew Lock, who lost his job to veteran Bridgewater at training camp, is the replacement.
Broncos star linebacker Von Miller virtually assured his team would break a three-game slide. We’re not so sure, even against Keenum.
KNOCKOUT POOL: Tampa Bay kept us going and now Pro Picks takes the most obvious choice, undefeated ARIZONA.
No. 30 New York Jets (plus 7) at No. 22 New England
Yes, the Patriots tend to play at the opponent’s level. A bad habit that they will break on Sunday.
No. 25 Atlanta (plus 2 1-2) at No. 29 Miami
I thought of four other potential upsets, but I settled near South Beach as the only one.
MIX SPECIAL: FALKS, 22-20
No. 31 Houston (plus 17 1-2) at No. 1 Arizona
So I wanted to make this the best bet, but it’s a ton of points and we’ve already been burned this year.
# 12 New Orleans (minus 5) at # 23 Seattle, Monday night
A sign of the times in Seattle with the Seahawks being an underdog like this.
No. 10 Kansas City (minus 5 1-2) to No. 9 Tennessee
The Titans don’t have much of a chance to savor their win over Buffalo.
No. 26 Washington (plus 9 1-2) at No. 7 Green Bay
Can the Packers clinch the NFC North this week? Not quite, but soon.
No. 32 Lions (plus 15) at No. 4 Los Angeles Rams
Matthew Stafford defeats Jared Goff after being traded.
No. 11 Cincinnati (plus 6) to No. 3 Baltimore
The Bengals have come a long way, but they’re not ready to beat the Ravens.
No. 21 Indianapolis (plus 3 1-2) to No. 19 San Francisco
Two of the most inconsistent teams in the league.
No. 18 Chicago (plus 12) at No. 2 Tampa Bay
Giving this 44-year-old Bucs quarterback extra rest between games means …
Philadelphia # 24 (plus 3) at # 14 Las Vegas
Philly could be a tough exit by December. It’s October.
# 27 Carolina (minus 3) vs. # 27 New York Giants
If the Panthers can’t complete their slip here, they’re heading down.
Last week: Direct: 11-3. Against propagation: 7-7.
Season: Straight: 60-34. Against propagation: 50-41-2.
Best bet: Straight: 4-2. Counter propagation: 4-2.
Upset Special: Straight: 6-0. Against spread: 6-0.
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