So far, so good, as I came through with another winning week last week, going 8-6 in the process. While I'm not putting up those 10-win weeks, slow and steady is just fine for me. These results were much better than those of my confidence pool, as everybody got crushed in that. So I'll take winning records whenever I can.
I've also noticed some trends in my picking, with some teams consistently matching my expectations, and others still confounding me. Philly, I'm looking in your direction...
This week, home teams reclaimed the betting line, as 10 of the 14 home teams are favored this week. Of course, this is the NFL, so we'll see how this plays out. With that, here are my picks for a week in which I hope my Bears don't fall to 1-4. At least I still have my Illini... And as always, you can find the spreads here.
New Orleans (-3) vs Carolina - The Saints have had a week to regroup and prepare for this battle against David Carr and the Panthers. Really, I should just stop right there. As long as David Carr is determining the outcome, I'm going the other way. Of course, I've been wrong on the Saints all three times this season so...
Kansas City (+2.5) vs Jacksonville - Maybe the Chiefs aren't as bad as we all expected. I'm still waiting for Larry Johnson to get on track, but with some solid play from the defense and spectacular play from rookie Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs will ride the home crowd over the well-rested-but-still-unreliable Jaguars.
Redskins (-3.5) vs Detroit - Sadly, beating the Bears at home is not as awe-inspiring as it once was. For 3 quarters, Detroit looked awful, with only a couple Brian Griese interceptions keeping them close. Now on the road, things get even tougher. The Redskins might not have Santana Moss, but Clinton Portis is definitely a step up over Cedric Benson.
Tennessee (-8) vs Atlanta - The Titans have covered all three times this season, although I've picked them just once. Until they prove otherwise, I'm going to back them going forward. I believe, Vince Young, I believe. Joey Harrington? You've been solid, but no, I still don't believe... Prove it on the road and then we'll talk.
Texans (-5.5) vs Miami - Ronnie Brown seems to finally be getting it, and my fantasy team couldn't be happier, but despite the two impressive performances the past couple weeks, Miami has still struggled as a team. Coming off a disappointing loss to the Falcons last week, the Texans return home, still without several key players, but enough to hold off the Dolphins.
Seattle (+6) at Pittsburgh - So the Seahawks beat the 49ers on the road, who knocked off Arizona to start the season, who has defeated both Seattle and Pittsburgh. Okay, my head hurts. I was tempted to pick the Steelers here, but I haven't given the Seahawks enough credit this year. I'll take a flyer on them this week.
New England (-16.5) vs Cleveland - Until they prove otherwise, I'm taking the Patriots and giving the points...
Arizona (-3) at St. Louis - I can't even bash the Rams this week. I think everybody else has beaten me to it. And really, they're starting Gus Frerotte at QB. They know the position they're in. The Cardinals may not know who their quarterback is, but they're still better off than the Rams.
New York Giants (-3) vs New York Jets - How can this be described as a home game for the Giants? Well, that shouldn't really matter either way as the Jets are considerably worse than I expected. Losing to Trent Edwards and the Bills last week? The Giants may not be good, but at least they put up a fight.
Tampa Bay (+10) at Indianapolis - Joseph Addai may be out. Marvin Harrison may be out. The Bucs have shown a lot of life this season. True, they've lost their RB for the season, but Michael Pittman has been around for a while and will fill in just fine. Colts still win, but the Bucs keep it close.
San Diego (+1.5) at Denver - The good news is that somebody has to cover the spread this week, which will double the total amount of wins vs. the spread these two teams have combined for thus far. It's hard to judge which of these teams has more issues at this point, so let's just go with the one whose RB will actually be around for the remainder of the season. Speaking of which, thank you Travis Henry for getting caught AFTER I had cut Selvin Young from both my fantasy teams. Note: This pick may be out of spite...
San Francisco (+3.5) vs Baltimore - Similar to the Patriots, but in the completely opposite direction, I'll wait for the Ravens to actually cover a spread before I consider picking them again. The 49ers may not be great, and Trent Dilfer may be involved, but... wait, Trent Dilfer is involved? And it's not 2001, right? I could go back and forth on this for a while, but the Illinois-Wisconsin game has started so I have to keep this moving. Let's stick with my initial pick.
Green Bay (-3.5) vs Chicago - The Packers have covered each week. The Bears have yet to cover. The game's in Green Bay. And Madden gets to talk about Brett Favre for 3+ hours this Sunday night. Oh, this should be a fantastic game from my perspective...
Dallas (-10) at Buffalo - Even though they're on the road, the talent disparity between these two teams is too great to overcome. Trent Edwards looks to make the start again, on national television. That's not a good thing. I'll take the team that undefeated against the spread this season.
Last week: 8-6