Patriots (2-5) over At Jets (0-8), 8:15 p.m. Monday (ESPN)

Spread: Patriots by 7 1/2

Outlook: The Monday night stage welcomes a real stinker – but yet a rather delicious one! Normally, Dead Man Coaching Adam Gase of the Jets would be plenty to enjoy as he pratfalls through what could be an 0-16 season. Ah, but Bill Belichick! Now we shall probe and dissect, in prime time, the public disintegration of the Patriots Dynasty in a sort of living autopsy of Belichick’s suddenly mortal facade. The Jets have lost all eight, but the Patriots’ four-game losing streak seems oh so much worse. Alas, somebody’s gotta win.

Prediction: Patriots, 19-10

GAME OF THE WEEK

Saints (5-2) at Buccaneers (6-2), 8:20 p.m. (NBC)

Spread: Buccaneers by 4

Outlook: A battle for first in NFC South, but more than all that, it’s Drew Brees at Tom Brady in Sunday prime time. It is Tom at 43 and young pup Drew at 41. Brees leads the all-time head-to-head meetings 4-2, including a 34-23 win in this year’s season opener. Tampa’s edge on defense is clear, but I respect Brees enough to run with that added point on the bet line and see it as a field-goal difference in a must-watch game.

Prediction: Buccaneers, 37-34

UPSET OF THE WEEK

Giants (1-7) at Washington (2-5), 1 p.m. (FOX)

Spread: Washington by 2 1/2

Outlook: Picking the Giants to win is of course inherently dangerous. Daniel Jones is a human turnover machine, Washington is coming off a bye and the Giants off a short week. Still, I feel oddly confident in this pick. The Giants are playing hard for Joe Judge, with their last three losses by six total points, and they’re 10-4 straight up in their past 14 trips to D.C.

Prediction: Giants, 23-21

OTHER GAMES

At Falcons (2-6, -3 1/2) over Broncos (3-4), 27-20: The Falcons are 2-1 (the loss by one point) since a coaching change, and the Broncos are on 3-1 run. Matt Ryan brings more pop on offense, and Atlanta’s D has improved.

Seahawks (6-1, -3) over At Bills (6-2), 34-26: A pair of disappointing defenses here, and DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett vs. Stefon Diggs and John Brown could make for an air show and point fest. The big difference? Russell Wilson remains MVP-caliber hot.

At Titans (5-2, -6) over Bears (5-3), 23-16: Each team has lost two straight. Chicago is better on defense, but Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry will still score too much for Nick Foles and the Bears.

Ravens (5-2, -2 1/2) over At Colts (5-2), 24-21: Two strong defenses vs. two can-be-erratic QBs in Lamar Jackson and Philip Rivers complicate the pick. A Ravens cover looked a lot more like the gift you don’t return once the line fell below a field goal.

At Chiefs (7-1, -10 1/2) over Panthers (3-5), 37-24: The Panthers expect RB Christian McCaffrey back for the first time since a Week 2 injury. That’s a difference-maker vs. an average opponent. The Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes are not average.

At Vikings (2-5, -4) over Lions (3-4), 30-20: Minnesota has won five straight in this division rivalry. Make it six. Dalvin Cook went wild in the Vikings’ upset of Green Bay last week and could shred the Lions’ typically porous run defense.

Texans (1-6, -7) over At Jaguars (1-6), 34-13: The Jags D can’t hold anybody to less than 30 points, and they are starting raw-green rookie QB Jake Luton because Gardner Minshew is injured. Deshaun Watson should feast here.

At Cardinals (5-2, -4 1/2) over Dolphins, 23-20: Will rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa be up to hanging tough in a shootout if Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins can unlock Miami’s hugely improved D? I will give the slightest nod to the home team coming off a bye, but the Dolphins will cover.

At Chargers (2-5, even) over Raiders (4-3), 28-24: I’m surprised Vegas isn’t favored. The Chargers keep blowing leads, but their five losses have been by 19 combined points. The Chargers are not a bad team, and way overdue to show it.

Steelers (7-0, -13 1/2) over At Cowboys (2-6), 31-10: Dallas will use its fourth starting quarterback in five weeks and is a double-digit home dogs for only second time in Super Bowl era. Dallas is an incredible 0-8 against the spread. Why stop now?

Last week: 8-6 overall, 8-6 vs. spread.

Season: 73-45-1, 59-58-2

– Greg Cote Miami Herald


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