In a bit of a role reversal from the first two weeks, the late games proved to be my downfall while the noon games saved me from suffering my first losing week. In the end, however, I still ended up on the positive side of .500, if only by the slightest of margins.
Bye weeks finally kick in for the season, so that's two less games I have to ponder this week. But it doesn't get any easier, as the spreads are littered with road favorites, which should make things interesting. Well, more interesting than usual, that is. As always, spreads are taken from the USA Today and can be found here.
Oakland (+4) at Miami - One of the few home favorites this week and I'm immediately going the other way. Why? Well, I think Oakland is on the right path and I obviously don't feel the same about Miami. It took an insane week from Ronnie Brown against a team he consistently runs over (Jets) to just tie the spread. I'm thinking that's more anomaly than regular occurrence.
Houston (-3) at Atlanta - Speaking of teams going in the right direction, the Texans held their own against the defending champs with a depleted WR-core. Atlanta is no Indianapolis. Joey Harrington had a good game last week, but that was against the never-trusted Panthers. Houston will take care of him this week.
Cleveland (+4.5) vs Baltimore - The Ravens have yet to cover a single spread this season. They continue to be overrated, and I've used them for three victories this season. I'm going against them again this week, as the Browns will be able to move the ball as Jamal Lewis faces his old team for the first time.
Detroit (+3) vs Chicago - Again, I hate going against my home team, but there's just too much negativity going on with the Bears right now. Both starting corners are out. Lance Briggs is out. Tommie Harris might be out. I think Griese is going to be alright, but playing at home, the Lions catch the Bears at a good time.
Green Bay (-2) at Minnesota - There was a time when you could immediately pick against Favre in the Metrodome, but he's come around the last few years and he's playing through a hot stretch he hasn't seen in quite some time. Of course, I just put Favre in my starting lineup this week, so 4 picks is also a possibility.
Dallas (-12.5) vs St. Louis - There's always the fear of letdown after an emotional, NFC-altering victory, like the Cowboys had in Chicago last week. But playing back at home against what may be the worst team in the league this year, the Cowboys should be able to keep their perfect record against the spread intact.
New York Jets (-4) at Buffalo - Although the fans aren't his biggest supporters, Chad Pennington continues to manage this team well. The picked up their first victory against Miami last week, and I see no reason why they won't continue this trend this week against a banged-up Buffalo team.
Tampa Bay (+3) at Carolina - Maybe it's just me, but David Carr just doesn't do it for me. Actually, it's not just me, it's at least me at the entire city of Houston. The Bucs defense has come to life this season, and the Panthers are still the inconsistent Panthers, who were a DeAngelo Hall meltdown away from losing to the Falcons last week.
San Francisco (+2) vs Seattle - I've barely trusted the Seahawks at home this season, so I'm not going to start trusting them on the road, especially when they haven't shown me much to this point. The 49ers don't exactly exude confidence either, but they should have enough weapons to hold off Seattle at home.
Pittsburgh (-4) at Arizona - These two teams have combined for a 5-0-1 record against the spread this season, so something's gotta give this week. Going off my logical analysis from last week, Pittsburgh is a better team than Baltimore, so they should win by more than the Ravens, even on the road. That should be enough to cover.
San Diego (-12) vs Kansas City - At some point, the Chargers have to break out of their slump. Norv Turner can't hold them back the ENTIRE season, can he? Okay, that might be a bad question... I'm once again going against my big-spread-vs-divisional-opponent theory, but there's just too much talent on this Chargers team.
Indianapolis (-9.5) vs Denver - Coming off an embarrassing home loss to the Jaguars, you expect the Broncos to bounce back this week, but the Colts defense has been surprisingly solid thus far, and they're playing at home, which is always good for their offense. With Jay Cutler hurting, this one should be easy for the Colts.
Philadelphia (-3) at New York Giants - Both teams are coming off huge wins last week, with the Eagles trouncing the Lions and the Giants holding off the Redskins. Of the two, I'm thinking the Eagles can carry their momentum through this week, as it seems like McNabb is getting his act together. The Giants are just searching for a healthy RB.
New England (-7.5) at Cincinnati - When the Patriots fail to cover the spread, I'll start considering picking against them. At this point, though, going up against the Bengals defense, I'll stick with the top team in the league.
Last Week: 7-6-3