When in doubt, bet against the Browns. (Leah Klafczynski/Akron Beacon Journal/TNS)

Palmer’s Picks: No such thing as gimmes in unpredictable 2017 NFL season

No more excuses. This season isn’t going well, and it’s no one’s fault but my own. How many times can one person bet on the Detroit Lions and think it’s going to work out? The answer is, “Don’t be an idiot and consider the Lions better than they are, you dimwit.” I’d say this week will be different, that I’ll get back to my winning ways. But I’m not here to make promises, I’m here to make picks that crumble into dust by about noon every Sunday.

Titans -5.5

Despite playing against a bad Indianapolis Colts team, Marcus Mariota impressed on Monday Night Football. The Browns have never impressed me once in my life. Cleveland still doesn’t have a quarterback, and at this point, it’s fair to wonder if the team ever will. The Titans will put a couple touchdowns on the board against the worst defense in football, and the Browns will continue to fail to generate anything on offense — in their home town — leading to a low-scoring cover for Tennessee.

Jaguars/Colts — under 43.5

A shaky quarterback (Jacoby Brissett) faces a top-five defense. On the other side, a worse-than-shaky quarterback (Blake Borltes) plays a bad defense. Leonard Fournette has been a revelation for fantasy owners throughout the country, but he’s expected to play on a bad ankle and wasn’t good last week after busting a long touchdown run early in the contest. I struggle to see how either of these teams can find success consistently moving the ball, and 43.5 points is a considerable number considering the guys running the respective offenses.

Cardinals +3

It took too long for the Arizona-Adrian Peterson partnership to happen. But now that it’s here, bettors should capitalize on the advantageous lines created by the Cardinals struggling after David Johnson’s injury. This game is in London, so there’s no true advantage for the Rams — even if they are the de facto home team — and games at Wembley Stadium always have quirks. Give me the points and the veteran quarterback.

Broncos ML

It’s not a great week if you like to pick underdogs for the moneyline. The spreads are all too wide, and there are few home dogs. Denver has been a tough team to figure out all season, and losing at home last week to the previously winless New York Giants is a bad look. But when I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place, I bet against Philip Rivers and the Chargers. Been doing it for years, and I won’t stop now.

Falcons/Patriots — over 55.5

Tom Brady at home plus Matt Ryan playing the New England defense equals points. The nagging voice in the back of my head keeps reminding me that Atlanta’s defense has been solid this season and that Brady hasn’t been the rock for gamblers as he has in the past. (Missing Julian Edelman has had a huge effect on the Pats’ offense). But I’m a believer in big sample sizes, and over his career, Brady has never had a problem putting points on the board in primetime. I think it’s fair to assume that the Falcons really want to embarrass New England after that whole Super Bowl LI thing.

Week 6: 2-3

2017: 12-18

MATCHUP SPREAD MONEYLINE OVER/UNDER

Tennessee at Cleveland TEN -5.5 TEN -245, CLE +205 +/- 46.5

Jacksonville at Indianapolis JAX -3 JAX -165, IND +145 +/- 43.5

Cincinnati at Pittsburgh PIT -5.5 CIN +205, PIT -245 +/- 41

Baltimore at Minnesota MIN -5.5 BAL +205, MIN -245 +/- 39.5

NYJ at Miami MIA -3 NYJ +155, MIA -175 +/- 38.5

Tampa Bay at Buffalo 

Carolina at Chicago CAR -3 CAR -170, CHI +150 +/- 41

New Orleans at Green Bay NO -4.5 NO -220, GB +190 +/- 48

Arizona vs. LA Rams (London) LAR -3 ARI +155, LAR -175 +/- 46.5

Dallas at San Francisco DAL -6 DAL -265, SF +225 +/- 47

Seattle at NYG SEA -5.5 SEA -240, NYG +200 +/- 40

Denver at LA Chargers LAC -1 DEN EVEN, LAC -120 +/- 41

Atlanta at New England NE -3.5 ATL +160, NE -180 +/- 55.5

MNF

Washington at Philadelphia PHI -4.5 WAS +190, PHI -220 +/- 49

Lines courtesy William Hill; updated Friday, Oct. 20

On bye week: Detroit, Houston

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