BOSTON (CBS) -- Just in case your wife/girlfriend/roommate/mom didn't hate you enough, just wait until this Sunday, aka the day the NFL officially declares its ownership over your soul.
What sets this coming Sunday apart from all the other football Sundays, of course, is the game between the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets.
"But wait," you might say, "I am not interested in seeing the New York Jets play the Miami Dolphins! Not this weekend, not any weekend. That sounds miserable!"
That may be true, but the Jets-Fins game has what we like to call the exclusive TV window, because it's being played in London at 2:30 p.m. local time. And on the East Coast of the U.S., 2:30 p.m. in London equates to 9:30 in the morning.
So you may sit here now and say, "Bah, Jets-Dolphins, no thanks." But you'll wake up Sunday, brew a pot of coffee, flip on the TV, and before you know it, you will be entranced by the NFL aura that has us all hooked like idiots. And all of a sudden, it'll be 11 p.m., and you'll still be staring at your TV while sitting in your jammies, wondering where the hell your entire day just went.
Prepare your loved ones now. Sunday is not going to be pretty.
On that cheery note, let's make some football picks.
(Home team in CAPS; Wednesday lines)
Baltimore (-2.5) over PITTSBURGH
This game is actually really intriguing. By no means do I think it will be a palatable football game, and I fully expect it to be a real mess, but I can't say I'm not intrigued.
The Steelers will play without Ben Roethlisberger for the first time since the middle of the 2012 season. Last week against St. Louis, Michael Vick led Pittsburgh on four real drives. Three ended in punts, one ended in a field goal, and the average drive gained 12.25 yards. It was quite ugly.
But nobody's been uglier than the Ravens, who rank 26th in points allowed, 22nd in yards allowed, 16th in points scored and 15th in yards gained. They do rank near the top of the league in penalties, though. So they've got that going for them, which is nice.
I'll take Baltimore, because I think Joe Flacco has a better chance of generating points than Mr. Vick, but if you think you can really predict this one, you're a liar. A dirty, rotten liar.
New York Jets (-1.5) over Miami (in London)
As part of my preparation for last week's Patriots game, I had to endure watching the Week 2 matchup between the Dolphins and Jaguars. These are the things they don't tell you about when you want to be a sports writer. My main takeaway (I could only stomach watching the first half) was that the Dolphins are just completely lost, essentially floating around on the football field without a directive or a goal. It's truly tough to watch.
Maybe they have a terrible coach, or maybe they're failing on purpose in order to get a new coach. But my goodness, those Dolphins are terrible. They lost to the Jaguars, man.
On another note, I feel that on behalf of all Americans, I apologize to the country of England for sending you another trash bag football team to watch. But don't worry, you'll get another game before the end of October. Let me just check who's playing that ga-- ... oh ... oh ... it's the Jaguars. Well, I'm sorry in advance for that one, too. At least you'll get to see Jim Caldwell in November?
Football is better than this, England. I swear. (I think?)
Ridiculous Quote From Last Week's Picks: "The Jets have looked startlingly competent thus far on the season. Startlingly competent!"
Note: Spoke too soon.
Houston (+6.5) over ATLANTA
The Falcons will ultimately be seen as a mirage, and their incredibly easy schedule ensures that they'll be the paper tigers of the 2015 NFL season.
So yeah, they'll beat the Texans. But they're not a touchdown favorite right now.
New York Giants (+5.5) over BUFFALO
Like with the Falcons, I can't trust the Bills to cover a huge spread. Sure, they can blow out the Dolphins, but who can't blow out the Dolphins?
Oakland (-3) over CHICAGO
This will be a big test for how willing I am to remain on the Raiders bandwagon. I was ALL ABOARD that puppy a few weeks ago, but then I saw Jack Del Rio, and I'll be honest with you, folks. I got scared. I just can't trust this guy ... or, I should say, these guys.
Jack Del Rio and Mark Davis (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
I can't do it.
I mean, the guy wore a T-shirt on the sidelines. A T-shirt!
Jack Del Rio (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
But I did believe in a lot of their talent, and they are playing the Bears, so let's stay aboard that Raiders train for at least one more week.
Kansas City (+4) over CINCINNATI
As much as I dislike Alex Smith (he stinks, in case you hadn't heard), the Bengals are right in line with the Falcons as teams that aren't as good as their records might suggest.
The Bengals are fine. They're OK. But so are the Chiefs. So I'll take the points.
RQFLWP: "Are the Ravens going to start 0-3? No. Are the Bengals going to start 3-0? No. Class dismissed."
INDIANAPOLIS (-9) over Jacksonville
It's crazy that even though Andrew Luck is hurt, I can't even force myself to blink before taking Indy.
I do think Luck will play, but even still, a 57-year-old Matt Hasselbeck against the Jags? I still think Indy wins.
Carolina (-3) over TAMPA BAY
I'm not saying this is a 100 percent guarantee, a slam dunk, or anything of the sort. It's the NFL, and very few picks can be made with great certainty.
At the same time, I struggle to find one reason to like the Bucs. You can try for yourself, if you'd like, but there's just nothing.
Philadelphia (-3) over WASHINGTON
I picked Washington last week. I'm not putting myself through that again, OK? I just can't do that two weeks in a row. I'm sorry.
I was a little nervous taking the road favorite, because anecdotally I've felt they've stunk this year. So I looked it up on Covers.com, and it turns out they're 7-8 so far. So we're looking at a 50-50 proposition.
Interestingly, I found that overall, favorites are 24-24 and underdogs are 24-24 on the season. That's incredible and is a reminder that all of the research and though that goes into making these picks has so far been poppycock this season.
Anyways ... moving along ... .
SAN DIEGO (-7.5) over Cleveland
The last time these two teams played, the Browns won by a final score of 7-6.
What a thrill.
Minnesota (+7) over DENVER
I'm not sure I quite understand this line. At the same time, I can already envision Peyton Manning throwing a wounded duck for a BS touchdown to Demaryius Thomas in the final minute of the game to give Denver a 10-point victory and leave me screaming at nobody in particular. I can already see this happening. But I've made the pick.
RQFLWP: "Never pick a team that's locked in a nasty contract dispute with its mascot. Too much bad juju there."
Note: Ragnar's value just keeps dropping. Sad Ragnar.
ARIZONA (-7) over St. Louis
The field catching on fire will serve as the highlight of the 2015 Rams season.
Green Bay (-9) over SAN FRANCISCO
Remember a few short weeks ago, when it was irrefutable that Jim Tomsula was the greatest head coach in 49ers history?
Those were the days!
Yet since then, the 49ers have been outscored 90-25 and look every bit like the mess we all expected them to be.
Aaron Rodgers is poised to have a great night. Maybe he'll even earn a positive grade from PFF this time.
Dallas (+7) over NEW ORLEANS
The perils of making picks midweek. This one's obviously subject to change, based on Drew Brees' status, but even if the Saints do have a partially healthy Brees, I'm not sure they're good enough to hang with the Cowboys. Yes, that's the Romo-less and Dez-free Cowboys, but the Saints are just a lousy football team.
Detroit (+9.5) over SEATTLE
The Seahawks are kind of a mess. Things aren't right out there. I expected a drop-off, because honestly, there is no way to just cleanly and neatly get over what happened last February. There was bound to be a residual effect that takes a lot of mojo out of that locker room.
That may sound silly. But it's also true.
Last week: 9-7
for more features.