At the pseudo-halfway point of the season, I've maintained a decent record, hitting just over 56% of games to this point. Not great, but not awful. If I were actually betting, I'd take the profit.
In actual football news, the Patriots finally lost, but only versus the spread, which may be the only thing that can stop New England at this point. Purple Jesus also has me officially scared for my Bears for the next decade, so that's fantastic. If the Vikings ever figure out their quarterback situation, watch out. And to repeat a phrase I've spoken quite a bit these last few years, I hate fantasy football... But that's its own separate post.
So on to the picks... As always, spreads can be found here.
Tennessee (-4.5) vs Jacksonville - The Titans have been playing solid football all season, and that's had very little to do with Vince Young. If he can get it going, the Titans will take a big step towards making the playoffs this season. If not, LenDale White will still find room in the Marcus Stroud-less Jaguars defense. And of course, there's still the Quinn Gray on the road factor.
Kansas City (-3) vs Denver - There's no Larry Johnson, but against the Broncos, I'm not sure it matters at this point. They were embarrassed in Detroit last week, and while the Chiefs might not have the firepower of the Lions (there's a sentence I never thought I'd say...), they'll find enough to get by the free-falling Broncos.
Buffalo (-3) at Miami - Okay, okay... the Bills are a solid team. I get it. I still think they'll hit a tailspin at the end of the season, but against the Dolphins, they'll be fine. Miami, playing without Zach Thomas, will become all too familiar with Marshawn Lynch this week. And J.P. Losman could earn his job back with another solid performance.
Cleveland (+9.5) at Pittsburgh - I went with the Steelers giving tons of points against the Ravens last week, but that was a Monday night game and the Ravens have no offense. Coming off a short week, I think Pittsburgh plays it a little slower, and the Browns will put up some points. Plus, it's a divisional game, so I'm going back to my taking the points technique.
New Orleans (-11.5) vs St. Louis - The Saints are developing that swagger they had all of last year. Meanwhile, that's not a swagger on the Rams' side, that's a limp. Injuries still plague this team, even though Bulger appears to be back to throwing it down the field. But the Saints defense has been solid and I don't see the Rams changing that.
Atlanta (+4) at Carolina - When I was filling out my confidence pool for the week, I uncomfortably went with the Panthers. Then I heard that Testeverde might be out for this one, which sadly, actually could affect the outcome of this game. The Falcons may not be lighting it up, but they've holding their own against the spread. And Carolina has had troubles at home.
Washington (-3) vs Philadelphia - Neither team has been impressive against the spread this season. So looking purely at the teams, the Redskins have been playing somewhat better than the Eagles to this point, near loss to the Jets last week not included... Playing at home, Clinton Portis will again carry the load for Washington. The Eagles will continues to try to figure out where it all went wrong this season.
Minnesota (+6.5) at Green Bay - Another game that conflicts with my confidence pool, I think the Packers will win, but these two always play it close, and Adrian Peterson will continue to grind out yards to keep the game close. This is too many points to give when the teams are so familiar with either other.
Cincinnati (+4) at Baltimore - Two teams I had at the top of their division before the season began, both teams have severely disappointed. I'm still keeping a little faith in the Bengals to at least be respectable, thanks mostly to the potential of their offense. The Ravens... no confidence there. Their strength should be their defense, and as they showed Monday night, strength it is not.
Oakland (+3) vs Chicago - The Bears are coming off of a bye week, but things haven't really changed too much. The defense still needs to prove itself. The offense still needs to find a running back that doesn't just fall down the first sign of trouble. The Raiders claim that they'll kick it to Devin Hester, so at least there's that. But you can't depend on special teams to win on the road.
Dallas (-1) at New York Giants - The Giants are the surprise team in the NFC East, especially after their start to the season. However, the Cowboys are still the most potent, especially if Plaxico Burress can't go for the Giants on Sunday. Dallas has a chance to give themselves some space within the division, and I think they take advantage.
Detroit (+1) at Arizona - The Lions, gulp, have a chance to go 7-2 on the year. The Lions. Matt Millen's Lions. Excuse me while I start harding canned good for the impending end of days. But that's the world we're living in right now, as the Cardinals had trouble containing the Bucs offense, and don't look ready to win these potentially high-scoring games.
San Diego (+3.5) vs Indianapolis - The Chargers were embarrassed last week, which should only motivate them more. The Colts were disappointed, which raises the concern of a mental hangover. I can't really imagine the Colts losing two in a row, but even in their Super Bowl season last year, they let down in the middle of the season. And the Chargers play much better at home than on the road.
San Francisco (+9.5) at Seattle - The NFC West is on a combined 18-game losing streak. I don't know how anybody in this division can be favored by 9.5, no matter how bad everybody may be. I think I'll pass on watching this one on Monday night.
Last Week: 7-7
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