PATRIOTS THIS WEEK

Patriots (6-0) at Jets (1-4),
8:15 p.m. Monday (ESPN)

Spread: Patriots by 10

Outlook: Call me crazy (been called worse), but I give Adam Gase’s low-flying Planes a fair upset shot as huge home underdogs. They’ve dropped seven in a row to the Patriots, but Sam Darnold’s return has brought spark. And defensive linchpin C.J. Mosley is expected back for first time since Week 1. New England counts on its defense as injuries mount on Tom Brady’s side of ball. Pats rolled over Jets 30-14 a month ago, but Monday’s rematch will be a dogfight.

Prediction: Patriots 24-16

GAME OF THE WEEK

Eagles (3-3) at Cowboys (3-3),
8:20 p.m. Sunday (NBC)

Spread: Cowboys by 3.

Outlook: It’s a top-tier rivalry for NFC East lead in prime time, with both teams desperate but the heat is really on Dallas at home after three straight losses. Cowboys Coach Jason Garrett’s pants are smoldering from that hot seat, but I like Dallas against an injury-racked Philly defense – with a big caveat. WRs Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb all are fighting injuries, and Dak Prescott better hope to have at least two available. Dallas also needs more from Ezekiel Elliott.

Prediction: Cowboys 27-23.

UPSET OF THE WEEK

Rams (3-3) at Falcons (1-5),
1 p.m. Sunday

Spread: Rams by 3.

Outlook: Desperate after three straight losses, the Rams shipped two first-round picks to Jacksonville for star corner Jalen Ramsey. He may or may not play Sunday and they need him. A defense whipped for 105 points in the past three games isn’t L.A.’s only issue. Jared Goff has been bad, the O-line can’t spring a running game and Todd Gurley is questionable. Atlanta has beaten the Rams five games in a row and is due a prideful showing.

Prediction: Falcons 34-31.

OTHER GAMES

• At Bills (4-1, -16 1/2) over Dolphins (0-5), 23-10: Winless tanking-suspect Miami is switching from Josh Rosen back to Ryan Fitzpatrick, who gives Miami a better shot, but it’s slight. Buffalo, off a bye, presents really strong defense to an offense averaging fewer points per game (8.4) than any team has averaged over a full season since 1977.

• Jaguars (2-4, -4) over At Bengals (0-6), 23-20: A.J. Green is close to back but not counting on him here. Miami would love a Cincy win to further clear Fins’ draft path to Tua, and that upset shot is very high. Came this close to calling it and do like Gals-with-points. But Leonard Fournette should feast on NFL’s worst run defense.

• Vikings (4-2, -1) over At Lions (2-2-1), 27-24: Minny is better on both sides of ball, but venue makes it near pick-’em game. Go with team, not stadium. Vikes have beaten Lions three in a row.

• At Packers (5-1, -5 1/2) over Raiders (3-2), 30-20: Oakland has cashed consecutive upset wins over Colts and Bears, but Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau is a step up. Raiders coming off bye and Gee Bees off Monday game, but still like Pack as a touchdown better.

• Texans (4-2, +1) over At Colts (3-2), 27-20: Upset! Well, technically, sort of. Quality test for AFC South lead finds Houston having won two in a row, with Deshaun Watson getting good run support. Texans also on 7-2 road streak. Indy comes in off bye having won four of past five in series.

• At Giants (2-4, -3) over Cardinals (2-3-1), 34-28: The expected return from injury of Giants star RB Saquon Barkley bumps the Daniel Jones-Kyler Murray rookie QB duel from top of marquee here. Jones also should have TE Evan Engram back.

• 49ers (5-0, -10) over At Washington (1-5), 28-0: If you put stock in such things, you’d worry that Niners – coming off big division statement win at Rams – face a letdown here. Forget it. SF’s record is no fluke. This Nick Bosa-led defense is the real deal.

• At Titans (2-4, -2) over Chargers (2-4), 17-16: Ryan Tannehill replaces Marcus Mariota at QB, but Tennessee’s stout defense will steer this one. Confidence in this pick is low, though. Bolts have won eight of past 10 on road and have the better QB.

• At Bears (3-2, -3 1/2) over Saints (5-1), 20-17: Mitchell Trubisky appears on track to resume piloting the Bears. (Is that a good thing?) Chitown, home and off a bye, will ride its defense, not Trubisky. N’Awlins could be missing Alvin Kamara, iffy with knee/ankle issues, but still like Saints with the points.

• At Seahawks (5-1, -3 1/2) over Ravens (4-2), 34-27: We’re going to find out who’s legit-good and who’s pretending. Seattle’s five wins have been over teams currently a combined 9-20-1. Baltimore’ four W’s are over opponents now 4-18-1. They can beat bad teams. Can they beat a good one? Dynamic marquee QB duel in Russell Wilson vs. Lamar Jackson. Give me Russ vs. Crows defense that doesn’t bring much pressure and has banged-up secondary.

Last week: 10-4 overall, 11-3 vs. spread

Overall: 58-33-1, 52-39-1

– Greg Cote, Miami Herald

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