Publication:

The Hamilton Spectator - 2021-10-14

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PICKS

>>SPORTS

BARRY WILNER

Tom Brady has a boo-boo. Well, a bit more than that: Brady’s right hand — the one he throws with — was wrapped up earlier this week after he injured it while demolishing Miami’s defence on Sunday. Will it impact his play on Thursday night at Philadelphia? Not likely. In fact, the joke going around the league is Brady could lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory as a lefty. It’s unwise to downplay injuries to quarterbacks’ throwing arms or hands, of course. But it’s even more foolish to doubt the seven-time Super Bowl champion. “It’s a little sore but I expected it to be,” Brady says. “We signed up for a contact sport. You get different bumps and bruises throughout the year and we’ll just deal with it the best we can. This bump and bruise happens to be on my hand. Just trying to be preventive and precautious, be smart. It’s less than 48 hours since it happened so it’s not like it’s had five days, but again I feel confident I’ll be able to go out there and do what I need to do.” Philadelphia Eagles coach Nick Sirianni is emphasizing exactly that: Do your job. “That’s been our message right from the beginning,” he stressed. “Regardless of who we’re playing, is play within yourself, play within your game.” Tampa Bay, ranked third in the AP Pro32, is a seven-point favourite at No. 23 Philadelphia, according to FanDuel SportsBook. Pro Picks trusts the 44-year-old quarterback so much it considered making the Bucs its Best Bet. BUCCANEERS, 30-20 KNOCKOUT POOL: The Patriots scared us before rallying against Houston. Hopefully it’s a smoother ride this week with TAMPA BAY. No. 1 (tie) Buffalo (minus 41⁄2) at No. 11 Tennessee, Monday night The Bills proved themselves at Kansas City in prime time. They’ll continue doing so. BEST BET: BILLS, 33-23 No. 1 (tie) Arizona (plus 3) at No. 9 Cleveland Soon, the Cardinals will lose. But the Browns are so banged up now. UPSET SPECIAL: CARDS, 22-20 No. 5 Los Angeles Chargers (plus 31⁄2) at No. 6 Baltimore It’s becoming impossible to pick against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens. It will be close, though. RAVENS, 30-28 No. 15 Las Vegas (plus 3) at No. 17 Denver Just a feeling the Raiders will respond with a strong performance. RAIDERS, 23-16 No. 10 Kansas City (minus 61⁄2) at No. 24 Washington It’s time for the Chiefs to find their mojo, and Washington’s D could accommodate them. CHIEFS, 33-29 No. 13 Cincinnati (minus 31⁄2) at No. 31 Detroit At some point, Lady Luck will decide she likes the Lions. Not this weekend. BENGALS, 23-14 No. 8 Green Bay (minus 41⁄2) at No. 16 Chicago The Packers could almost put away the division with a win here. PACKERS, 26-23 No. 18 (tie) Minnesota (plus 11⁄2) at No. 14 Carolina Minnesota makes things more exciting than they should be. PANTHERS, 20-19 No. 7 Dallas (minus 4) at No. 20 New England Jerry Jones’s voice is not the only one that is mentioning the Super Bowl chances for his team. COWBOYS, 23-20 No. 4 Los Angeles Rams (minus 101⁄2) at No. 28 New York Giants Another potential Best Bet, especially with New York so ravaged by injuries RAMS, 33-16 No. 29 Houston (plus 10) at No. 25 Indianapolis Houston doesn’t have the playmakers to threaten the disappointing Colts. COLTS, 31-17 No. 21 Seattle (plus 41⁄2) at No. 22 Pittsburgh Don’t quite believe the Steelers have turned a corner, but they should win here. STEELERS, 20-13 No. 27 Miami (minus 31⁄2) vs. No. 32 Jacksonville at London Two more bad teams that could spoil England’s NFL taste. DOLPHINS, 15-13 2021 RECORD Last week: Straight up: 12-4. Against spread: 8-8. Season: Straight up: 49-31. Against spread: 42-36-2. Best Bet: Straight up: 4-1. Against spread: 4-1. Upset Special: Straight up: 5-0. Against spread: 5-0.

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