R.J. cashed in the world's most prestigious handicapping contest, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest, in 2015. He tied for 39th out of a record 1,727 entries with a 51-32-2 record on NFL picks. R.J. has been with CBS Sports for six years as a writer and editor and previously contributed to FanHouse, FanDuel, Razzball and the Fantasy Cafe. R.J. has many years of experience analyzing NFL statistics and trends, beginning with Super Bowl XXV. For R.J. White media inquiries, contact SportsLine@CBSInteractive.com.
LAST 170 NFL PICKS
92-71-7 LAST 170 NFL PICKS | +1338
The Bucs should have beat the Packers last week, but a freak defensive TD helped them to another loss. They should bounce back here at home, where they're 3-2 this season with the losses coming to potential playoff teams in the Patriots and Panthers. The Tampa Bay rushing attack found life last week, and they could keep rolling against a Lions defense that's given up two 200-yard games on the ground in the last four weeks. The Lions don't have the running game to take the pressure off a banged-up Matthew Stafford, and if his hand injury forces the overmatched Jake Rudock on to the field, look out.
92-71-7 in last 170 NFL picks | +1338
This line opened at Bills -4 online on Saturday and quickly steamed down to -3. I expect it to keep dropping on Sunday. With Tyrod Taylor not expected to start due to injury, the Bills will have to turn to rookie Nathan Peterman, who threw five picks in his first start. He has a much easier matchup here, but in addition to having a clear advantage at quarterback, the Colts have played quality rush defense, ranking 13th in DVOA in that category. They've also held five straight opponents to less than 100 rushing yards. That adds up to a definite play at Colts +3.
The 49ers have something cooking with Jimmy Garoppolo under center, as the new starting QB engineered five scoring drives last week while drumming up nearly 400 yards of offense. This was already a team with a good rushing attack, and now they can strike through the air as well. The defense stepped up last week, holding the Bears to just eight first downs and 147 yards of offense. The 49ers also have the 12th-best special teams, per DVOA. On the other side, we have a Texans team that has lost five of six and is starting a limited backup QB. I think the 49ers keep moving in the right direction here.
There's no doubt that Chicago is a bad team, and it's possible they fail to show up in this road game to play hard for a coach that's expected to be on his way out. But it's impossible for me not to take all these points considering the Bengals are decimated by injury, particularly on defense, where two linebackers and four DBs have already been ruled out (including Vontaze Burfict and Dre Kirkpatrick). Geno Atkins could easily be sidelined too after missing practice Thursday and Friday, and Darqueze Dennard is also questionable. The effect of this amount of injuries compounds and guts the team's strength on a short week, allowing Chicago to come in and steal a win.
The Titans are 8-4, but they're nowhere near as talented as their record suggests, sporing a negative point differential and negative DVOA. Even when they win a game by more than one score, it takes a garbage-time TD when a first down is all that's needed. Since beating Jacksonville in Week 2, they've had trouble on the road, either getting blown out by good teams or struggling against bad ones. Arizona feels like the latter, but their defense is good enough (sixth in DVOA) to give Tennessee trouble, and with the Titans' pass defense ranking 25th in DVOA, the door is open for Blaine Gabbert to have a solid day and get the win.
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