The pattern normally finds us scuffling at the beginning of the season as teams sort themselves out into contenders and pretenders. By the middle portion of the season, things are a bit more predictable. And by the end, with teams clearly separated, it's much easier.

Well, so much for normalcy. As we head into the next-to-last week of the regular season, we're scuffling mightily with the picks, particularly against the spread. Things started out rocky once again last night, as we missed on the Titans at home against the Chargers. Missed badly, in fact, as the Titans stunk out the place against Phillip Rivers (pictured) and the red hot Chargers.

So here goes nothing. Oh, and in case you're playing the Beat Bob Glauber picks contest, here's the link.

Good luck, as always.

Falcons (-9) over Bills, Falcons straight up
 

Bengals (-14) over Chiefs, Bengals straight up

Browns (-3) over Raiders, Browns straight up

Packers (-14) over Seahawks, Packers straight up

Dolphins (-3) over Texans, Dolphins straight up

Giants (-6) over Panthers, Giants straight up

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Patriots (-7 ½) over Jaguars, Patriots straight up

Saints (-15) over Buccaneers, Saints straight up

Steelers (-1) over Ravens, Steelers straight up

Cardinals (-14) over Rams, Cardinals straight up best bet

49ers (-12) over Lions, 49ers straight up

Broncos (+7) over Eagles, Eagles straight up

Jets (+6) over Colts, Colts straight up

Cowboys (-6 ½) over Redskins, Cowboys straight up

Vikings (-7 ½) over Bears, Vikings straight up

Last week's results: 9-7 straight up; 5-9-2 against the spread.
Season results: 147-76 straight up; 114-105-6 against the spread.

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Mascaro's picks (home team in caps): FALCONS (-9) over Bills, Chiefs (+14) over BENGALS, Raiders (+3) over BROWS, PACKERS (-14) over Seahawks, DOLPHINS (-3) over Texans, GIANTS (-6) over Panthers, PATS (-7.5) over Jaguars, SAINTS (-15) over Bucs, Ravens (+1) over STEELERS, CARDINALS (-14) over Rams, Lions (+12) over 49ERS, Broncos (+7) over EAGLES, Colts (-6) over JETS, Cowboys (-6.5) over REDSKINS, Vikings (-7.5) over BEARS

Best Bet: Packers

This week: 1-0

Last week: 5-9-2

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Best Bets: 9-6

Season (not including this week's game): 118-101-6