Last week: 2-1-1
Season total: 150-113-1
Patriots -7.5 versus Jaguars
Shocking, I know. I probably would have stuck with them at the inflated -9 the line opened at, so seeing it come down after concern over Brady's banged up hand is actually nice to see (although a teaser, possibly with the Over is probably the best bet of weekend). Consider me not worried about the GOAT playing injured with a Super Bowl berth on the line, especially at home against the still shaky Blake Bortles. You could be worried that a weak New England front seven can't contain Leonard Fournette, but they just held the similarly large and explosive Derrick Henry to 28 yards on 12 carries. And although I love Jacksonville's defense, that unit just gave up 42 points to Pittsburgh and allowed 37 (not counting the Bortles pick-six) a few weeks ago to San Francisco. Their few weak spots over the middle are likely to be exploited by Rob Gronkowski and Dion Lewis. I said at the beginning of the year that the Pats would win their third championship in four years like in '01-'04, and now I'll even double down on that by saying it actually will be in a repeat of SB XXXIX.
Eagles +3 versus Vikings
Minnesota has the amazing narrative of being on the verge of hosting its own Super Bowl after that miraculous ending following years of playoff torture, and there's so much to talk about with that. How there were four lead changes in the final 3:01 to play. How Marcus Williams ended his tremendous rookie season, which included a huge interception earlier in the game, with a total whiff due to concern over pass interference and became the new Rahim Moore with inexplicably no one else behind him. How there was a fleeting moment of thought that Stefon Diggs needed to get out of bounds with a second left in order to try for a field goal before realizing he had nothing but green in front of him to score the winning touchdown. Or how it seemed like that would result in a cover of my -5 pick until after all the chaos they chose to just kneel on the extra point attempt for a push (although I've seen that the line ended at a brutal -5.5 for late Vikings backers after it opened at -3.5). I get it; it would be fun for 'Sota to continue on for a fairy tale ending. But this is real life instead, and they're facing the old adage of being a dome team going outdoors for a night game. More importantly, I think Philadelphia's offensive line is superior overall and will do a better job blocking in a game featuring two fierce defensive fronts. Maybe Jay Ajayi's work through both the air and ground results in another long gain. Sometimes you just have a feeling that letdown is coming for a team, and in this case, I think older brother Mychal Kendricks comes out on top over his younger brother Eric on the Vikes.