At the beginning of this season, we launched our Sports on Earth Confidence Pool, which allows you to compete against me (and Vegas and FiveThirtyEight, ESPN's smart analytics site). The winner of the pool gets to assign me to write about whatever they would like for my weekly newsletter. And I am proud to say that after eight weeks I am third out of 123 participants. But this is less because "I am smart" and more because "I'll make sure to do my picks every week because it's my job and not every reader will have time to do that." I'll wait you out, people!
Actually, we can track how I'm doing against FiveThirtyEight and Vegas. Current scores:
FiveThirtyEight: 563 (2nd place)
Leitch: 557 (3rd place)
Vegas Odds: 556 (10th place)
Check those standings out! First place is held by "adamcohen15," but, man, is it ever tight. FiveThirtyEight will always win in the end, I suspect. Anyway! It's not too late to join, if you want to join: Just go here.
For now, though: Week 11! Here goes! Vegas and FiveThirtyEight picks are after mine. Home teams are in all caps, with spreads (via Bovada, subject to change, with points indicating first team listed) and tune-in info below (all times ET).
14. Kansas City Chiefs (6-3) over NEW YORK GIANTS (1-8)
(-11) 1 p.m. Sunday, CBS
Is this the worst non-Knicks NYC team since the 1996 Jets? It's possible, right?
13. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-3) over CLEVELAND BROWNS (0-9)
(-8) 1 p.m. Sunday, CBS
Don't look now: Considering their schedule, the Jaguars have an inside track to a first-round bye.
12. New England Patriots (7-2) over OAKLAND RAIDERS (4-5)
(-7) 4:25 p.m. Sunday, CBS
The real question is when the Patriots play the Eagles in the Super Bowl, will Carson Wentz be able to hold down his lunch?
11. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (7-2) over Washington Football Team (4-5)
(-8) 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox
The Drew Brees-Saints resurgence might quietly be the best story in the NFL this season.
10. PITTSBURGH STEELERS (7-2) over Tennessee Titans (6-3)
(-7) 8:25 p.m. Thursday, NBC
It feels like the Steelers haven't really played well this year, and here they are, at 7-2.
9. Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) over DALLAS COWBOYS (5-4)
(-4) 8:30 p.m. Sunday, NBC
One wonders if Ezekiel Elliot maybe should have just taken the suspension at the beginning of the season after all, no?
8. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (6-3) over Atlanta Falcons (5-4)
(-3) 8:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN
The Falcons held off disaster last week, but the schedule remains brutal. The Seahawks and Rams are putting together a legitimately compelling NFC West race.
7. DENVER BRONCOS (3-6) over Cincinnati Bengals (3-6)
(-2½) 4:25 p.m. Sunday, CBS
This game looked a lot more compelling in August than it does now.
6. Detroit Lions (5-4) over CHICAGO BEARS (3-6)
(-3) 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox
The Bears missed a chance to make a second-half run last week. If the Packers can win in Chicago, the Lions sure can.
5. Los Angeles Rams (7-2) over MINNESOTA VIKINGS (7-2)
(+2) 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox
I'm now officially a Rams believer. Jeff Fisher probably shouldn't show his face in public anytime soon.
4. MIAMI DOLPHINS (4-5) over Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-6)
(Pick) 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox
Lamest rivalry game ever.
3. Baltimore Ravens (4-5) over GREEN BAY PACKERS (5-4)
(-2) 1 p.m. Sunday, CBS
It would be pretty amazing if the Packers put together a wild-card run now.
2. Buffalo Bills (5-4) over LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (3-6)
(+4) 4:05 p.m. Sunday, Fox
I am not entirely ready to quit on the Bills just yet. I might immediately regret this statement.
1. Arizona Cardinals (4-5) over HOUSTON TEXANS (3-6)
(+1) 1 p.m. Sunday, Fox
Blaine Gabbert fever. CATCH IT.
14. New England over OAKLAND
13. NEW ORLEANS over Washington
12. Jacksonville over CLEVELAND
11. PITTSBURGH over Tennessee
10. Kansas City over NY GIANTS
9. GREEN BAY over Baltimore
8. Detroit over CHICAGO
7. MINNESOTA over LA Rams
6. DENVER over Cincinnati
5. MIAMI over Tampa Bay
4. SEATTLE over Atlanta
3. HOUSTON over Arizona
2. LA CHARGERS over Buffalo
1. DALLAS over Philadelphia
14. Kansas City over NY GIANTS
13. Jacksonville over CLEVELAND
12. NEW ORLEANS over Washington
11. New England over OAKLAND
10. PITTSBURGH over Tennessee
9. LA CHARGERS over Buffalo
8. Philadelphia over DALLAS
7. Detroit over CHICAGO
6. SEATTLE over Atlanta
5. MIAMI over Tampa Bay
4. DENVER over Cincinnati
3. Baltimore over GREEN BAY
2. MINNESOTA over LA Rams
1. ARIZONA over Houston
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