This article is part of our Beating the Book series.
Last week I needed to go 10-6 to get to .500, and I went 12-4 instead, putting me four games over .500 for the year. That's not where I wanted to be at the start of the year – it still loses money with the vig – but given my struggles in the first half of the year, it could have been a lot worse. I also lost my best bet (Giants) last week, finishing with a disappointing 8-9 overall mark. The Giants were my only loss in the Super Contest (4-1), and I wound up 43-40-2 there too, despite a terrible start.
This week, my strongest lean is probably the Saints.
Bills +2.5 at Texans
I made this game a pick 'em, so I'm on the Bills, but I liked it a lot better when the line was the full three. The Bills' secondary is a tough matchup for Deshaun Watson and his receivers, while the Bills should be able to move the ball against an average Texans group. Maybe J.J. Watt's return gives Houston a significant lift, but it's unlikely he'll have a full snap-load. Bottom line, I see this game going down to the wire, so I'd rather have the points.
Texans 21 - 20
Titans +5 at Patriots
The Patriots are coming off one of the bigger upset losses in recent memory, while the Titans seem to have a healthy Derrick Henry back, bulldozing everything in his path. It would seem to be