PATRIOTS THIS WEEK

Patriots (1-3) at Texans (1-3), 1 p.m. Sunday (CBS)

Spread: Patriots by 9

Outlook: Houston’s best hope? That Patriots have a huge letdown performance after spending so much emotion and want in last week’s ballyhooed visit by Tom Brady. But ask yourself this: How is Texans rookie QB Davis Mills going to fare against a New England defense that just held Brady to 19 points? Exactly!

Prediction: Patriots, 26-9

GAME OF THE WEEK

Bills (3-1) at Chiefs (2-2), 8:20 p.m., NBC

Spread: Chiefs by 2 1/2

Outlook: Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen have equally high-powered offenses, but only one great defense will take the field. The Chiefs have yet to allow fewer than 29 points in any game so far. The Bills have given up the fewest points, and yards. By a lot. Granted, Buffalo has faced a fairly soft schedule thus far. That and last year’s playoff loss to Mahomes leaves the Bills with the motivation here, but also the pressure. You think it’s finally your time, Buffalo? Prove it.

Prediction: Bills, 34-30

UPSET OF THE WEEK

Packers (3-1) at Bengals (3-1), 1 p.m. Sunday (FOX)

Spread: Packers by 3

Outlook: Aaron Rodgers is my guy, and Cincy’s 3-1 record is on the backs of opponents who are a combined 4-12. Joe Burrow has been really good; his QB rating is better than Aaron’s right now. Cincy is scoring about as much as Green Bay, but the Bengals defense got pretty good along the way. That and the home field, with extra time to prepare after playing last Thursday, are enough for me to chance Cincy.

Prediction: Bengals, 26-23

OTHER GAMES

@Falcons (1-3, -3) over Jets (1-3), 24-20: This year’s first game in London, with its a 9:30 a.m. kickoff, offers a tepid matchup. The Jets are coming off a rare win and Falcons are wildly erratic thanks to a shaky D. Give us Matt Ryan outscoring Zach Wilson.

@Buccaneers (3-1, -10) over Dolphins (1-3), 27-20: Tom Brady and Tampa Bay, after last week’s emotionally draining trip to face Bill Belichick, suffer a palpable letdown Sunday, but not enough. Miami’s map to an upset (or at least to cover) is Jacoby Brissett being really good, the defense being even better. And here’s what’s crazy: It could actually happen.

@Vikings (1-3, -9 1/2) over Lions (0-4), 30-16: Detroit joins Jacksonville as the only winless teams left. Minnesota has faced a brutal schedule, isn’t that bad and is on a 7-0 run against the Lions. Motown tempts getting this many points, but Vikings should roll.

Broncos (3-1, +1) over @Steelers (1-3), 19-17: I would like this mini-upset pick a bunch more if QB Teddy Bridgewater would clear concussion protocol and play. It’s a steep drop to backup Drew Lock, but I’m rolling the dice anyway, albeit nervously. Ben Roethlisberger is fading fast and will find no remedy in Denver’s excellent defense.

Saints (2-2, -2) over @Washington (2-2), 24-20: Jameis Winston and the Saints are so unpredictably erratic and it may be time to take the handcuffs off Winston, especially with Washington’s defense giving up 300 (well 299) passing yards per game.

@Panthers (3-1, -3 1/2) over Eagles (1-3), 27-23: The wild card here is Christian McCaffrey (hamstring) being legit-iffy to play Sunday. Expect the Panthers’ defense to be the difference either way, but I’d feel better if McCaffrey plays.

Titans (2-2, -4 1/2) over @Jaguars (0-4), 28-20: A bad week for Urban Meyer – a viral video in a bar with a woman not his wife – earned a rebuke from the owner and an apology to the team, ends with the Jags staying winless as the Titans ache to get past the stench of last week’s loss to Jets.

@Raiders (3-1, -5 1/2) over Bears (2-2), 27-16: Chicago is better than Vegas on D (though not appreciably), but I can’t see Justin Fields outscoring Derek Carr, and now Chicago is without injured RB David Montgomery, a major blow to an already weak offense.

@Chargers (3-1, -2) over Browns (3-1), 27-24: It feels like a coin-flip call, so I’ll tip the cap to the home-field edge, and the fact Justin Herbert is in better current form than Baker Mayfield, who is playing through an injury to his non-throwing shoulder.

@Cowboys (3-1, -7) over Giants (1-3), 30-24: Just when Jerry Jones is starting to dream this is finally the Cowboys’ year, Dallas loses a game like this, right? It could happen, but it will take Daniel Jones hanging with Dak Prescott in a shootout. The Giants are on an 11-1 run covering the spread as road ’dogs, and I’ll hunch they do it again.

@Cardinals (4-0, -5) over 49ers (2-2), 24-20: San Fran QB Jimmy Garoppolo (calf) is out and rookie Trey Lance gets the call, so an outright upset feels risky. But San Fran has held the Cardinals to 26 or fewer points in the past five meetings.

@Ravens (3-1, -7) over Colts (1-3), 28-14: This Monday nighter is Baltimore’s third prime-time game already this season, and they will live up to the lights. The Ravens have won 15 of past 16 games vs. teams with a losing record, and you can saddle up that trend and giddy-up, baby!

Last week: 9-7 overall, 6-10 vs. spread.

Season: 40-24, 32-32

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