Jonathon Lee

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NFL Week 14 Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Picks:

Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers Over 50.5

I like the Packers scoring points and bouncing back after losing their head coach during one of the worst years in recent Green Bay history. The Falcons’ defense has allowed over 26 points per game in their four-game losing streak, and I expect that to continue. Green Bay is a different team at home where they are 4-1-1, so I like them winning this game outright while putting up points for a 31-27 final score.

Miami Dolphins @ New England Patriots Under 48

We’ve reached the point of the year where the Dolphins play the Patriots late in the season, and the Dolphins make the whole country question if the Patriots are still Super Bowl contenders. It’s like clockwork every year. While I am too afraid to touch the spread on this game due to those reasons, I do like the under. I expect Miami to keep this close and low scoring until the Patriots decide to put the game away. Patriots win, 27-17, and the under cashes.

NY Giants -3.5

Just like it’s the right thing to fade Brock Osweiler, it’s entirely the right thing to fade Mark Sanchez. If the NY Giants defense is available in fantasy, start them. If you have any Redskins receivers, bench them. Mark Sanchez is in the league to be a third string Quarterback that doesn’t play and just serves as a good teammate to help prepare. He was not supposed to be the guy under center for a 6-6 Redskins team. Fade Mark Sanchez, lay the points. Giants win and cover the spread.

Chris Kennedy’s Picks:

New Orleans Saints -9:

I feel like this pick is a fairly easy one, as the Saints have the best point differential in the league, at plus 150. Yes, the fell to a streaking Cowboys team last week, but I think this will be a big bounce-back week against the Bucs. Tampa Bay gives up the third most points in the league, and even though Brees tends to not play as well on the road, I think that the Saints have enough firepower to get them a double-digit win.

Oakland Raiders +10.5:

Yes, the Raiders are a hot mess this year, but the Steelers are on a two-game skid and are without their bell cow in James Conner. The Raiders played the Chiefs pretty closely last week, and I don’t think the Raiders lose by double digits this week. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers cover, but I usually shy away from double-digit spreads.

Cincinnati Bengals +14:

The same reason I picked the Raiders above is why I’m taking the Bengals. The Chargers run defense has struggled lately, and with the absence of A.J. Green, I see the Bengals involving Joe Mixon a lot more into the game plan. The Bengals should be able to keep the game close, even with Driskell behind center. Cincinnati is 3-2 against the spread, when on the road, while the Chargers are 2-4 at home against the spread.

***All stats from ESPN and Vegas Insiders***

Week 13 NFL Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Picks:

Houston Texans @ Cleveland Browns OVER 47.5

Both of these teams have figured out how to score the football. Over the last four weeks, the Browns are averaging 25.5 points per game while the Texans are averaging 29.5. Baker Mayfield has the offense clicking, and despite the Texans’ defense improving every week, they will still allow points on the board. I am looking for a 30-24 final score.

LA Chargers +3.5 @ Pittsburgh Steelers

Something isn’t right with this Steelers team lately, coming off a loss to the Broncos and a dirty game against the Jaguars that was way too close. On the other side, the Chargers are freshly rested off a 45-10 beat down over the Arizona Cardinals last week. I think the 3.5 number is a little high because of the Chargers not having Melvin Gordon in the lineup, but Austin Ekeler should fit right in. The Steelers might win this ball game, but the Chargers keep it close.

Chicago Bears @ New York Giants UNDER 44.5

As of Thursday, Nov. 30, Mitchell Trubisky is ruled doubtful for this week’s contest in New York. Chase Daniel is a solid backup to have, but their main agenda will be to grind out a tough win through defense and the run game. Last week, the Giants went 1/3 in the Red Zone and as long as they continue kicking field goals instead of extra points, the under will be the play.

Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins -3.5

Last week, the Dolphins put up a good fight against a hot Indianapolis Colts team and almost walked away with the victory after being up 24-14 in the 4th quarter. Ryan Tannehill returned from injury and went 17 of 25 for 204 yards and two touchdowns. They are a different team with Tannehill throwing the ball instead of Osweiler. The Bills are coming off a two-game win streak, but it ends this week.

Indianapolis Colts @ Jacksonville Jaguars OVER 47.5

The Jaguars are banged up on defense and haven’t allowed less than 20 points to their opponent since week 3 against the Titans. They are not the same team defensively as last year, and I expect Andrew Luck to carve them up, especially if Jalen Ramsey is out. During the Colts’ five-game win streak, they are averaging 34.6 points per game. As long as the Jaguars find the end zone twice, I like the over. The last time these two teams faced off, the final score was 29-26 in the Colts’ favor. I think we see the same kind of game this week. The Colts win this game 30-21.

Chris Kennedy’s Picks:

New York Giants +4:

This is just the kind of game that the Giants should lose, but could very well win. They’re going up against a Bears defense that has won five straight games, without allowing more than 22 points in any of them. With that said, while I don’t have any data to back up my prediction, I just have a hunch that the G-Men will cover this spread.

Oakland Raiders +15:

I know the Raiders won’t win, but this spread is just too high for me to bite on. The Chiefs defense is bad enough for Derek Carr to put up some points, even with Seth Roberts and Marcell Ateman at receiver. The Raiders are a mess, and the Chiefs are a juggernaut, but I’m taking the Raiders for the points.

New England Patriots -5:

I like the Patriots to win the game, but I think the Vikings keep it close. The Patriots’ secondary has been exploited all season, which means that Diggs and Thielen will get their opportunities to score. New England is 4-1 at home, and the Vikings are 2-2-1 when on the road, against the spread. The Patriots are fighting for home field in the playoffs, and Belichik knows how to push the right buttons towards the end of the season.

All stats provided by ESPN and Vegas Insider

Houston Trio Milestone Tracker

On November 14th, LeBron James passed Wilt Chamberlain to move to fifth place on the all-time NBA scoring list. At his current pace, he will pass Michael Jordan for fourth on the list in January of 2019, and as long as he averages at least 22 points per game over the next three to four years, he will become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer. What’s arguably just as significant is that the 6’8” forward is currently 11th all-time in total assists and will likely finish his career third overall behind only John Stockton and Jason Kidd. Want to go even further down the rabbit hole of ridiculous accomplishments James will achieve? He’s currently 16th in all-time steals, and as long as he keeps his current average of 1.6 per game, he’ll jump to seventh all-time in three years. This is a repetitive jaw dropper for each statistical category about LeBron James, so I will just quickly sum it up by saying when it’s all over with, the somehow still-improving 16-year veteran will likely finish his career top 75 in blocks, top 50 in rebounds, top five in steals, top three in assists, and number one in all-time points.

That got me to thinking, while his career is fun to see polish out as the greatest statistical career of all time, he chose L.A. over Houston. He’s not a Rocket, and that’s ok. We have a trio of guys in our city that we can look forward to celebrating significant milestones one day. Very few cities out there can say they have the luxury of preeminent players across all three sports all in their prime together at the same time.

Here’s what we can all anticipate over the next decade with our Houston core. Don’t take it for granted.

Jose Altuve: All-Time Hits

Jose Altuve is currently at 1,419 career hits and is 28 years old. If you take out his first year when he was called up in July 2011, he has averaged 194 hits per season. At that rate, he will reach 2,000 hits in the 2021 season. By then he will pass up Bob Watson (1,448), Lance Berkman (1,648), Cesar Cedeno (1,659), and Jose Cruz (1,937) for third all-time in franchise history behind only Jeff Bagwell (2,314) and Craig Biggio (3,060). As long as the 5’6” second baseman stays healthy, he should become a member of the 3,000-hit club in just over eight years and then quickly become the franchise’s all-time hit leader. The Astros have secured the second baseman for the next six years, showing they are committed to keeping him for his whole career, so we will all be able to witness this event in 2026 for the second time in franchise history.

Side Note: If you ever want to hear me vent about something, it’s that I had tickets to the game after Craig Biggio reached 3,000. How dare he get five hits in one game.

James Harden: All-Time Points

On November 21st, James Harden passed Rudy Tomjanovich for third on the Rockets’ all-time scoring list behind just Calvin Murphy and Hakeem Olajuwon. As a member of the Houston Rockets at age 29, Harden has a total of 13,518 points scored. Since becoming a Rocket, Harden has averaged 27.9 points per game, which equals out to 2,169 total points per season. At this pace, he will pass Murphy’s 17,949 total in the 2020-2021 season. We can all agree that this feat is inevitable.

Hakeem Olajuwon is the sole leader in Rockets’ points scored at 26,511. I’d like to assume with his durability and style of play not completely dependent on athleticism that we will see his prime continue for four more years. By that time, he will be 33 years old and need to average just 22 points per game over the following three seasons to reach The Dream. It’s a long way away, but we should look forward to seeing Harden pass Olajuwon at least by the 2024-2025 season.

The Beard will be eyeing 30,000 total career points quickly after passing Olajuwon. He has a disadvantage, having started his career with three seasons coming off the bench in Oklahoma City. With those three seasons added to his Houston Rockets total, he will have a career total of 29,306 points upon reaching the top of the Rockets mountain. This will leave him with just 694 points to go, or one half of a season. If or when this happens, we might be celebrating two incredible milestones in the same season.

Despite his first three seasons coming off the bench, this is entirely possible; the only thing holding him back is his durability and longevity. Only seven players have accomplished this feat: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Wilt Chamberlain, and Dirk Nowitzki. Can you imagine seeing James Harden join that list?

J.J. Watt All-Time Sacks

Upon J.J. Watt’s 2015 season that resulted in his third career Defensive Player of the Year award, there was some hope that he would one day be the NFL’s all-time leader in career sacks. After his first five seasons, the three-time DPOY was 26 years old, had not missed a single game, and had 74.5 sacks. At the rate he was going, he would have reached 200 sacks in just over eight more years. If you take out his rookie season of 5.5 sacks, he was on pace to reach 200 even quicker with his 17.25 sacks per season in a four-year span. The man was on a completely different level than everyone else in the NFL.

Then, unfortunately, Watt was set back nearly two full years with multiple injuries. From back surgery to a tibial plateau fracture topped with numerous other injuries, it was a consensus thought that we had seen the end of J.J. Watt as we knew him and he would be an average player on a superstar contract with the potential of even being released from the team sooner rather than later. But the difference is that number 99 is a super-human and now has 11.5 sacks through 11 games in the 2018 season. It makes no sense how he is able to be back to a top five defensive player in the league, but I choose to just not question it.

On Monday Night Football against the Titans in week 12, Watt cracked the top 50 list in all-time sacks at 87.5. While odds are against the defensive end to continue this success, who are we to even think we know what this guy can or can’t do? He’s going to make it a fun ride to see how far he can get on the list. He’s on pace to finish this season with 16.5 sacks and go into next season with 92.5 in his career. Let’s just enjoy the history of the greatest player to ever wear a Houston Texans uniform and prepare to celebrate each 10 spots he moves up the rankings. Below are expected dates to pass each landmark by using a baseline rate of 15 sacks per season.

40th All-Time: 95.5 Sacks (Robert Porcher)

Expected To Pass: 2019 Weeks 1-4 (Age 30)

30th All-Time: 100.5 Sacks (William Fuller)

Expected To Pass: 2019 Weeks 9-12 (Age 30)

20th All-Time: 122.0 Sacks (Simeon Rice)

Expected To Pass: 2020 Weeks 13-17 (Age 31)

10th All-Time: 137.5 (Richard Dent & John Randle)

Expected To Pass: 2021 Weeks 13-17 (Age 32)

5th All-Time: 150.5 (Chris Doleman)

Expected to Pass: 2022 Weeks 13-17 (Age 33)

1st All-Time: 200 Sacks (Bruce Smith)

Expected to Pass: 2026 Weeks 1-4 (Age 37)

Bruce Smith can most likely sit comfortable with no worries of being passed and will remain the all-time sacks leader, but Watt will climb far up that list. If only the sports gods wouldn’t have taken away those two years from him…

What Light at the End of the Tunnel?

You know what’s pretty cool? Maybe in a few years we’re talking about Alex Bregman being on the same pace to become the third Astro to reach 3,000 hits. Maybe Deandre Hopkins starts flirting with some all-time receiving records. Deshaun Watson is only 23 years old, what can he accomplish? Let the dominoes fall in Houston, TX.

All stats via baseball-reference.com, basketball-reference.com, and football-reference.com

NFL Week 11 Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Week 11 Picks (Last Week 1-2, YTD: 10-13)

Atlanta Falcons -3

Who are these Dallas Cowboys? I don’t think anyone knows. This pick will be settled in the first quarter, because what we do know about the Cowboys is that they have one way they are able to win games: take the lead early and control the game by running the ball. I think the Falcons prevent this from happening in Atlanta and they never look back. Matt Ryan going toe to toe with Dak Prescott? Give me Matt Ryan and lay the 3 points.

Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints OVER 55.5

55.5 is not too far off the monstrous total in the Monday Night Football game in Los Angeles. It’s definitely a high number for an NFL game. Who are we kidding, though? The Saints are at home where their game is elevated even more, and they’re coming off a week where they did not punt the ball one single time. On the other side, Philadelphia is officially in desperation mode being two games behind the Redskins in the NFC East. The Saints win this game but the Eagles score some points, and with this Brees/Kamara/Thomas three headed monster, we might only need about one Eagles touchdown to hit the over.

Arizona Cardinals -5.5

The Raiders simply just suck. They’re awful. They’re in Vegas mode and coming for the number 1 draft pick. Out of all the terrible things Jon Gruden has done in his first of ten years as head coach, the one thing he’s not going to do is win this game and jeopardize having the top overall pick. The Cardinals, on the other hand, have a rookie Quarterback looking to figure things out, and actually did put up some effort against the Chiefs last week. This game will be ugly, but I expect the Cardinals to win by at least two field goals.

Minnesota Vikings +2.5

Let’s all pump the brakes a little bit on the 2018 Bears. Yes, they are having an impressive year with young talent spread all around the field both offensively and defensively, but that key word is young talent. At 6-3, five of those six wins were against the Cardinals, Buccaneers, Jets, Bills, and Lions. Now they head to the bright lights on Sunday Night Football against their division rival Minnesota Vikings freshly rested off a bye week. This matchup will be a test for the Bears, and like most divisional games, I’m taking the points.

Kansas City Chiefs vs Los Angeles Rams OVER 63.5

This game is the second time this year for both the Rams and the Chiefs to have a heavy matchup between two offensive juggernauts. For the Chiefs, it was the highly anticipated Week 6 Sunday Night game against the Patriots that didn’t disappoint with a 40-43 final score. For the Rams, it was the equally anticipated Week 9 meeting with the Saints that also lived up to the hype with a final score of 45-35. Both of those games went way over the total. Now here we are in Week 11 in a clash of offenses on Monday Night Football. I can’t think of any scenario where the final score doesn’t have both teams in the 30’s. Grab your popcorn and take that over.

Chris Kennedy’s Week 11 Picks (Last Week 1-2; YTD: 5-4):

Kansas City Chiefs +3.5:

This game has the highest over-under in the history of the NFL, at 63.5, and features two of the top three highest scoring offenses in the league. The Chiefs are 8-2 against the spread, and 5-0 against the spread when on the road this year. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Chiefs win by 6 or more.

Carolina Panthers -4:

The Panthers offense has been impressive so far this year, though their pace of play has been one of the slowest in the league. They face the Lions who actually have the second slowest pace of play this season, mostly due to their inconsistent offense. Carolina has struggled on the road this year, but I think the Lions defense is too bad to lose to.

Arizona Cardinals -5.5:

Since Byron Leftwich took over as the head coach, he’s been making sure that his playmakers are getting the ball. We’ve seen an uptick in targets and usage for both Larry Fitzgerald and David Johnson. Oakland is a complete dumpster fire right now, and I’d be shocked if they win another game this year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ New York Giants OVER 52:

Ryan Fitzpatrick is back behind center, and he’s just slinging the ball all over the field (sometimes to the other team.) I can see both teams exceeding their season averages in points this Sunday, as neither defense is very good. The Giants give up more points at home than they do when on the road. Give me the over.

Week 10 NFL Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Week 10 Picks

Overall Record: 9-11 (Last Week: 2-3)

Atlanta Falcons -5.5

The Falcons have now won three in a row and absolutely in the playoff race at 4-4. They seem to be clicking now and were even able to get Julio Jones in the end zone last week. On the opposite side, the Cleveland Browns have now lost four in a row by an average margin of 14.5 points. Baker Mayfield and company will get it right one day, but this is way too important of a game for the Falcons and their season. Atlanta wins and covers.

Tennessee Titans vs. New England Patriots OVER 46.5

I hate to say this, but Marcus Mariota looked like a good Quarterback last week against what is regarded as a good Dallas Cowboys defense. Combine a healthy Mariota with the Patriots quick offense that has averaged 35.5 points per game in their six-game winning streak, and I really like this over the pick.

Seattle Seahawks +10

This is a divisional game between two teams that clearly do not like each other. Seattle was coming off a loss to the Chargers last week, and at 4-4, they are stuck fighting for their season against arguably the best team in football. While I obviously don’t think they beat the Rams, they will play with desperation and put up a fight. This is their second meeting of the season, in which the first match was a 33-31 Rams victory. I’m looking for another close game that the Seahawks cover.

Chris Kennedy’s Week 10 Picks (Last Week: 3-0):

Tampa Bay Buccaneers -3:

The Redskins have quite a few injuries throughout the offense, which doesn’t bode well for one of the lowest scoring teams in the league. The Buccaneers have scored 27 points at home this season with Fitzpatrick behind center. The Redskins defense has been fairly good this season, ranking in the top ten, but I like Fitzmagic to come in and hand Washington their fourth loss of the year.

Arizona Cardinals +17:

I don’t see this being the blowout that most are expecting. Yes, the Cardinals have been abysmal on offense this year, scoring just 14 points per game. They don’t give up a lot of big plays (20+ yards), however. On the other side, the Chiefs defense is susceptible to big plays, especially against RBs. I think we see much solid production from David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald on Sunday, with a bit of Christian Kirk sprinkled in. While I fully expect the Chiefs to win this game, I’m still taking the Cardinals to cover the spread.

New Orleans Saints @ Cincinnati Bengals UNDER 54:

The Bengals will be without A.J. Green this week, which means we should see more of Joe Mixon in the passing game. John Ross will also be relied upon more, especially if C.J. Uzomah can’t go this week. The Saints have been stellar against the run this year, giving up just 56 yards per game. The Bengals defense has had their issues this season, and that will continue in this game. I just don’t see it being the total shootout that it could have been if A.J. Green were playing.

- All stats from ESPN

October NBA Storylines

Up until last year, the NBA season normally tipped off at the end of October.

Then superstars like LeBron James cried for more rest and less back-to-back games, so, fortunately for us NBA fans, we are now a solid two weeks into the season. If you’ve been distracted by football or were one of the few people to watch the World Series, sure, you only missed two weeks of the NBA season. However, we’re talking about the most dramatic league in all of sports, so if you’re behind, you have ALREADY MISSED TWO WEEKS OF THE NBA SEASON! Allow me to express my thoughts, concerns, and summaries of my favorite storylines (in no order) that have already occurred in literally just 14 days.

Jimmy Butler Trade Talks

I am not one to necessarily buy into trade rumors, because most of the time they either don’t end up happening or take a significant amount of time for the trigger to finally be pulled. Then last year, Kyrie Irving was traded almost immediately after reports came out that he requested to move teams, and Eric Bledsoe was dealt with the Bucks less than a month after tweeting “I don't wanna be here.” It’s a new age in basketball and certainly a player’s league. Mix Butler’s trade request with the hometown Houston Rockets at the top of the mix, and you’ve got me bought into the most intriguing story of the year so far. Will, the Rockets, give up four first-round draft picks for him? Will Butler commit to signing with Houston long-term instead of coming on a rental? Is Eric Gordon part of this deal? Either way, Daryl Morey has a short leash, and if this team keeps struggling, he’s going to make this deal happen one way or the other.

Chris Paul vs. Rajon Rondo

Less than one week into the season, on LeBron James’ first home game, on primetime television, we received our first fight of the year. These two guards have been going at it for ten years now, and they each finally got some licks in. A few thoughts on this mini Saturday Night rumble:

- What in the world was going on in Brandon Ingram’s head?

- Chris Paul has a ridiculous amount of patience. 99% of the male population is doing much more after being spit on than poking that person in the face. He should’ve swung on the spot.

- Both players landed blows. It was a decent and fun fight that was obviously broken up quickly.

- Really, what in the world was going on in Brandon Ingram’s head?

Ingram was suspended for four games, Rondo for three, and Paul for two. These amounts were low in comparison to past similar altercations, and I love that. The NBA needs a little more toughness back in the league.

The Offense Explosion

We all know the game of basketball is constantly evolving, and this is the era of analytics. We are seeing more three-pointers attempted than ever, and it will continue to rise every year. The NBA League average for points scored per game so far is six points higher than last year and the highest it’s been since the 1970-71 season. If you’re a bettor, take the over until Vegas catches up. Here are some mind-blowing scores that have already happened in the first two weeks of the season:

- October 19th: New Orleans Pelicans 149, Sacramento Kings 129

- October 20th: Dallas Mavericks 140, Minnesota Timberwolves 136

- October 22nd: San Antonio Spurs 143, Los Angeles Lakers 142

- October 24th: Golden State Warriors 144, Washington Wizards 122

- October 29th: Golden State Warriors 149, Chicago Bulls 124

You can take these final scores whatever way you’d like - higher efficiency, continued use of analytics, lack of defense, etc. The bottom line is that last season, a team scored 140 points in a game a total of 13 times. This year, it’s already happened six times before the calendar hits November.

Klay Thompson’s Record-Setting Night

Speaking of offense, Klay Thompson got hot. On October 29th, the sharpshooter broke his teammates’ record with 14 threes made in a game. Yes, 14 threes off 24 attempts for 58%. He scored 52 points on the night in only 27 minutes. That’s absurd. Before this night, he was shooting 13.8% on 5-36 from beyond the arc. After this one night of 14-24, he is now shooting 31.7% on the season. It’s safe to say that he is no longer in a slump. And my favorite stat of the entire night, which is by far the number one reason why he will never choose to be the number one guy somewhere: he dribbled the ball NINE total times!

Tyronn Lue – First Coach Fired

After LeBron James left the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2010, the Cavaliers finished the following season 19-63. Did Dan Gilbert and the Cavaliers’ front office expect something different this time around? Yes, the Cavs are off to a 0-6 start, but why not just let him go before the season even started? I truly want to know if he failed to meet expectations in their eyes. However, hey, at least it happened only six games in. He would’ve been on his way to tarnishing his 128-83 record, Finals Championship, and appearances in the Finals each of his three years coaching. Technically, you could say he dodged a bullet.

Rockets 2015-16 Deja Vu?

Does anybody else feel this vibe so far? The Houston Rockets are off to an awful 1-5 start, which is their worst since the 2015-16 season. Houston is fresh off a Western Conference Finals appearance loss to the Golden State Warriors, the same situation as in their 2015-16 season. The Golden State Warriors are off to a ridiculous start with their leader, Stephen Curry, looking as if he is trying to match his unanimous MVP year, which occurred in the 2015-16 season. The Rockets’ entire identity and the theme this year is to “Run It Back,” which clearly implies bringing back essentially the same team. However, Daryl Morey’s leash will always be short, and if the losing continues, he will do whatever it takes to get Jimmy Butler. This is pretty similar to when he fired Kevin McHale after starting the year 4-7 in, that’s right, the 2015-16 season.

However, wait, there’s more

All that so far in 14 days. That goes without mentioning the new-look Lakers, the Milwaukee Bucks starting out 7-0, Blake Griffin looking like a point guard and dropping 50 points in Detroit, Kawhi Leonard looking like his old normal self up in Canada, Joel Embiid continuing to troll whoever gets in front of him, and much more. This is the most entertaining league in all of sports.

If only we didn’t already know who’s going to win the championship…

All stats via Basketball-Reference.com & NBA.com

Week 9 NFL Picks

Jonathon Lee’s Picks:

Overall Record: 7-8 (Last week: 2-3)

Pittsburgh Steelers +2

The Steelers face the Ravens this Sunday in one of the greatest rivalries we have in the NFL. This divisional matchup always seems to be a close one and like I said last week, I believe this is the time we see the Steelers start to pull away. While I think this will be a close game, I will take the 2 points but have Pittsburgh winning this game outright.

New York Jets +2.5

This is another game that I like the team to win outright but will take the points. For the third week in a row, I am fading Brock Osweiler and the Miami Dolphins. This is a game where Sam Darnold can show he is a liable Quarterback for the future. Give me the Jets in an easy win and put the cherry on top with a Brock Osweiler pick-6.

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Cleveland Browns UNDER 52

The Kansas City Chiefs are a team that has been a good bet on the over this year, but 52 points is getting high for an NFL game this far into the season. It’d be one thing if it were two high scoring offenses like the Rams/Saints matchup this weekend, but the Browns are averaging just 16 points per game over the last four weeks. The Chiefs are going to convincingly beat the Browns early and run the clock out in the second half for a final score of around 28-10.

Denver Broncos -1

I’m sorry, I know this is a Houston based website, but this is the game the Texans lose. I hate to do this, but you aren’t supposed to bet with emotions. Just think about it, the Texans are not going to win the rest of their games to finish 13-3, and that’s fine. The Broncos are a different team at home and opponents don’t usually perform well in Colorado; just look at Pat Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs losing all game before barely squeezing out a comeback win on Monday Night Football a month ago. It was only two weeks ago that Deshaun Watson had to ride a bus to Florida instead of flying because of the altitude, so that could definitely be a factor in the Mile High City. The Denver pass rush is an advantage to Houston’s offensive line. Let’s just get out of there healthy into the bye week with a favorable schedule the rest of the way. My heart and wallet disagree on this one. Broncos cover the spread.

Minnesota Vikings -5 *J-Lee & CK Consensus Pick*

If the Vikings want to go back to the playoffs, they need to win this game against the Detroit Lions. Both teams are coming off a loss, but the Vikings hung in there with the Saints while the Lions put up an ugly performance against the Seahawks. I think the Vikings get right, at home, before heading into the bye week and prepare to face the Bears, Packers, and Patriots over the following three weeks. Vikings win by at least a touchdown.

Chris Kennedy’s Picks:

Minnesota Vikings -5:

The Detroit Lions rank in the bottom five for overall DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average), but also in Passing and Rushing DVOA.z This means they just can’t stop anyone whether it’s on the ground or through the air. The Vikings have only once failed to score less than 20 points in a game this season. The Lions defense is a mess, and even their top cover corner, Darius Slay, hasn’t been up to par this year. I like the Vikings at home this week.

Atlanta Falcons +1.5:

The Falcons are coming off the bye week with a two-game winning streak, and are scoring an average of 27 points per game this year.y While the Redskins defense has been stout this year, giving up the third least amount of points per game, I’ve been really impressed with the way Matt Ryan has been playing since Freeman landed on IR. I think that Atlanta comes into Washington this week and steals a victory.

L.A. Rams @ New Orleans Saints OVER 58.5:

Both of these teams have combined for an average of 66 points per game.y You add that on top of the fact that they are playing in NO, which is pretty much the “Coors Field” of the NFL, and you have the makings of a crazy high scoring game. Cooper Kupp is on track to play, and that will certainly help to open things up for Goff.

Stat Source Reference: y = ESPN, z = Football Outsiders