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Hurley's Picks: Tom Brady Uncut Is Just What The World Needs To See

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- Thank goodness for Foot Locker.

That's a sentence that most people don't ever anticipate writing, but seriously -- thank goodness for Foot Locker. After nearly two full calendar years of everybody and their mother chiming in with emotional outbursts regarding the silliest "scandal" in sports history, Tom Brady has finally joined the conversation.

Yes, he did so in a commercial, which was written by somebody else, and yes, he was paid to do it, and yes, ultimately, he was just reading his lines. He was acting. All of that's true. But for those of us who were stuck in the muck for the better part of 20 months as Brady found himself the target of the league office and Roger Goodell, it was at least nice to suspend reality for just a few fleeting seconds and pretend for a few seconds that Brady was for the first time sharing with the world some honest emotions.

The response to the ad was interesting in that everybody seemed to believe Brady was laughing about the unnecessary soap opera that overtook his life for so long.

"Tom Brady is finally ready to laugh at Deflategate," wrote Darren Rovell, king of the brands.

"[Brady] mocks the scandal about the deflated footballs," said CNN Money.

"[The ad] jokes about the infamous Deflategate scandal," said U.S. News & World Report (taking a break from ranking colleges, I see).

"He makes fun of Deflategate," said Sports Illustrated.

You get the idea. Ha ha. Tom is joking. Very funny. A laugh riot.

Call me crazy, but this doesn't look like the face of a man who's joking around:

Tom Brady
(From YouTube/Foot Locker)

No. That's the face of someone who for two years has always worn a smile, deflected all questions and refused to admit publicly that he was bothered by the commissioner of the league in which he grew up dreaming to play dedicating millions of dollars and endless resources to bringing him down at all costs. He's letting it rip for a few seconds. How nice.

(OK, fine, it's the same face he made when pretending to be mad about a Boston accent a few years ago. Fine. Pretend time is over.)

In any event, thank goodness for Foot Locker. We all got to see what Tom Brady looks like when he succumbs and falls victim to his human emotions -- which he definitely (probably?) has.

Speaking of deep-seated rage, last week was a disaster in this here picks column. Weeks of progress, flushed down the drain in non-dramatic fashion. It managed to put a damper on the best football weekend of the season. It was bad enough that it would send any sane person into retirement. So, obviously, here I am, back for another kick at the can.

CAROLINA (-3) over New Orleans
Thursday night games are blowouts. Scientific fact. No joke -- the average margin of victory this season on Thursday Night Football has been 14.1 points. So pick a winner and forget the spread.

INDIANAPOLIS (-3) over Tennessee
Both of these teams are coming off butt-whoopings of the Green Bay Packers. Man, the Green Bay Packers must be unfathomably bad -- at football, at least. Anyway, the Titans haven't beaten the Colts since Marcus Mariota was a redshirt freshman at Oregon. It's grisly.

Tampa Bay (+7) over KANSAS CITY
Two teams that are each 4-5 against the spread, and a seven-point line to boot? How fun.

The Bucs have been an underdog seven times, going 5-2. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are 3-4 as favorites, and the biggest spread they've covered was 3.5 points.

You don't want to trust either of these teams this weekend. But at least you can trust the points.

Buffalo (+2.5) over CINCINNATI
When the Bills aren't getting distracted by looking ahead to a game against the Patriots, and when they're not playing the Patriots, and when they're not getting hosed by an officiating crew on national TV ... they're not bad!

Pittsburgh (-8) over CLEVELAND
There is, quite literally, not one good reason for this line to be anywhere lower than 16. The Browns have six double-digit losses this year. Six. They can keep it close with the likes of the Jets. But the Steelers? What's going on here?

Rather than spend too much time trying to solve it, I'm just going to check this one off as an early W and move along.

MINNESOTA (Pick 'em) over Arizona
Two preseason NFC favorites who have fallen on some hard times. I'll pick the team that just cut Blair Walsh. Most teams would have unceremoniously cut the kicker after the season-crushing shank in the playoffs in January. But the Vikings kept him and gave him a chance. That chance expired after four failed PATs, but it was a chance nonetheless. Maybe Sammy Sleeves will be rewarded for that good karma from his organization.

(No, there's no convincing reason to pick either team this Sunday. Yes, I'm starting to lose my wits. It's Week 11. It happens.)

Baltimore (+7.5) over DALLAS
It's a bold pick, sure, and it runs the risk of being my most embarrassing one of the week. But there are a couple of factors at play. For one, the Cowboys have to have a hiccup at some point. They're good, yes, and they're perhaps the best team in the NFL. But they're not warm-knife-through-butter good. Only half of their victories have been by more than seven points. They're not rolling through everybody.

Second, the Ravens' defense is no joke. They're first in yards allowed and tied for third in points allowed. First in run defense. Fifth in pass defense.

They might win this thing. At the very least, they are good enough to make it much closer than seven points.

DETROIT (-6.5) over Jacksonville
NEW YORK GIANTS (-7.5) over Chicago
LOS ANGELES (+1.5) over Miami
Maybe it's because I've reached a certain age, but I believe there are teams that at this moment are not worth my time. Life is too precious. Five out of these six teams would fall into that category.

New England (-13.5) over SAN FRANCISCO
The combination of losing on national TV on Sunday night and Bill Belichick reminding everyone on his team that they lost to the Eagles last year means the Patriots are going to put up 50 points.

SEATTLE (-6.5) over Philadelphia
A rookie QB is going to a very loud stadium to face a very potent defense. This line is ludicrous.

WASHINGTON (-2.5) over Green Bay
You have no other option but to stay away from the Packers until they prove they're anything but a team with the same uniforms as the team that used to be very good. It might burn you eventually, but until then, that's not a team you can feel good about. Getting thumped at home vs. Indy and at Tennessee tends to leave a mark.

Oakland (-5.5) over Houston (in Mexico City)
The Texans' giving Brock Osweiler $37 million of guaranteed money just may go down as the most delightfully humorous development in modern football history. Hilarious. A classic goof.

Last week: Not good!! (3-11)
Season: I'll tell you next week ... maybe.

You can email Michael Hurley or find him on Twitter @michaelFhurley.

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