heroes degenerates of this column have been plugging away and for the third consecutive week split on their picks.
This time however, it was Jeff who notched the win on the spread and Sam who took the L. Sam did take the over, on a whim it must be said, but that worked out better than the under Jeff took.
As for the survivor pool, there are still 45 active players, but three were eliminated last week. Ouch, going 0-3 to start the season in a three-strike survivor pool is no bueno. Eight other players are up to two strikes though and nine have taken one of their three, leaving 28 with no strikes, your humble narrators among them.
In the pick ‘em league, t4m8shn holds onto the lead at 26-22 overall and Jeff pulled past Sam with a stellar 8-8 week, 22-26 overall (tied for seventh) and our boss man, Lester is at 19-29.
Picking against the spread is hard, in case you were wondering.
Sunday, 3:25 p.m.
Sam: The Bears return to Soldier Field for a game that, and I am not trying to be overdramatic, can be seen as a must-win in order to really keep their season on track. An 0-2 division hole, with both losses coming at home, would be very tough to overcome. I think Nagy is going to get the team locked in and focused and really drive home the importance of defending their home turf.
This match up opened at Bears -3 at most books and has come down, suggesting that there’s a lot of money pouring in on the Vikings. I am not entirely sold on them. They beat a mediocre-to-bad looking Falcons squad and a bad Raiders squad at home but were smacked around on the road in Green Bay, an opponent that the Bears managed to hang around with, even if they couldn’t ultimately win.
Minnesota hasn’t had a ton of success at Soldier Field, notching just two wins in Chicago since 2008, one over the 3-13 John Fox squad and then beating Mitchell Trubisky in his first start. They’re also 2-9 against the spread in that time, including 1-6 as underdogs. The lost all seven of those games outright.
For those reasons, I’m riding the Bears this week. The defense will get after Kirk Cousins and I think that the game plan is going to sell out to slow down Dalvin Cook and make Cousins beat them.
I am going to roll with the under on the total side. These teams are going to deploy run-heavy attacks in effort to minimize what their quarterbacks are asked to do and obviously, the defenses are very good.
For the survivor pool, I’m going to go with a strong(ish) home team and I’m rolling with the Colts. I know the Rams are at home but even against the lowly Bucs, I am not going that route. Picking against Miami is also a solid strategy, but a west coast team in the Chargers going cross-country to play an early game? No thank you.
Picks: Bears -2, under 38.5, Colts (survivor)
Bears pick record: 4-1
Jeff: I’m happy to take a split on the bets when the Bears win in dominating fashion. I was pretty darn convinced of that under last week but the second quarter explosion really challenged it early. Oh well. This week’s line is even lower at 38.5. It’s so low, in fact, that I wouldn’t want to actually bet this thing with real life money. But since we’re just talking as friends, I’ll go ahead and stick with my prediction from the Bears over Beers podcast and say Bears win a grinder, 16-9. That gives me the Bears cover and the under. I’m sure that means we’ll see a 31-27 offensive showcase.
As for survivor, I love where Sam’s head is at. My Miami plan will be put to the test with the Chargers traveling to the east coast for an early start as Sam mentioned. It would be a total Chargers thing to do to play a bad team tight and lose in the final seconds on something ridiculous. I can absolutely see it happening. I can also see it being the case that the Chargers start off a little sluggish but crank it up by the end of the first half and pull away late. Sam’s pick of the Colts is a really smart one, but I’m actually saving them for Week 10 when they play, you guessed it, the Miami Dolphins.
Picks: Bears -2, under 38.5, Chargers (survivor)
Bears pick record: 2-3
What are you picking this week? Chime in on the comments below or take the conversation to Twitter with Sam @samhouseholder and Jeff @gridironborn.