Definitely one of the weirder picking weeks I’ve ever had. On one hand, I was awesome against the spread, coming a Chicago-Carolina push away from having a 10-win week. However, I was completely pathetic straight up, actually guessing wrong on 10 of the 15 winners. I would have been more successful playing darts blindfolded.
Anyway, lets see if we can get some more winners this week. If not, I’ll lose whatever remaining credibility I might have.
Kansas City (+5.5) at Atlanta
These two teams are pretty bad. One, the Falcons, has a rookie quarterback, a couple decent RBs and nothing else. The Chiefs have three bad qbs and a frustrated Pro Bowl running back. However, I can’t see how the Falcons should be favored by this much over anyone (except the Lions apparently). I’ll go with KC to cover in an ugly game.
Atlanta 13, Kansas City 12
Oakland (+9) at Buffalo
The Bills look to be legit. Marshawn Lynch is a Pro Bowler in waiting, the defense is opportunistic and QB Trent Edwards is improving. I like what the Raiders did in KC, but there’s still too much drama in Oaktown right now. It’s a large number to give, but I’ll do it.
Buffalo 26, Oakland 13
Houston (+4.5) at Tennessee
I really don’t think the Titans are that good (seriously, Kerry Collins at QB), but the Texans have had quite an ordeal with Hurricane Ike and its aftermath. Between taking care of family, dealing with housing damage and just overall drama, its going to be hard for the Texans to do much against a good Titan defense.
Tennessee 23, Houston 10
Cincinnati (+13.5) at N.Y. Giants
Once again, this seems like a big number to give. However, the Giants have looked great in both of their games, while the Bengals might have the most dysfunctional family this side of Marlon Brando. Ok, old reference, but the Giants are humming on both sides and I don’t see Cincy putting up much resistance.
N.Y. Giants 30, Cincinnati 14
Arizona (+3) at Washington
Are the Cardinals truly ready to take that step towards becoming a playoff contender? A win here would definitely do that. Washington is no slouch, as it showed by defeating New Orleans. I’m going with the Cardinals, though this one could seriously go either way.
Arizona 21, Washington 20
Miami (+12.5) at New England
The Patriots silenced a few doubters last week by beating the Jets, but Miami linebacker Joey Porter wasn’t impressed, proceeding to talk an insane amount of trash for a person who’s team is 1-17 since he joined last year. However, I’m still not sold on the Patriots being able to score much. They’ll win, but I’ll grant the Dolphins a weak cover.
New England 21, Miami 10
Tampa Bay (+3) at Chicago
A year ago at this time, Brian Griese was getting booed by impatient Bears fans. Now he takes the Bucs into Chicago against what looks to be an improved Chicago offense. Rookie RB Matt Forte looks to be the real deal, and the Bears look to be closer to the 2005-06 versions than the substandard version of a year ago.
Chicago 21, Tampa Bay 16
Carolina (+3.5) at Minnesota
It’s really hard to believe that the Panthers are getting points. I guess the oddsmakers are expecting the absence of Tavaris Jackson to give the Vikings a boost. I don’t know, but I’ll take the Panthers with Steve Smith returning over Minnesota with Gus Frerotte starting.
Carolina 19, Minnesota 14
St. Louis (+9.5) at Seattle
The Seahawks are 0-2, lost to the 49ers at home and are taking out ads on Craigslist for wide receiver help. I applied, but I haven’t heard back from Mike Holmgren. I guess they are busy preparing for the Rams, who are somehow last in offense and defense in the NFL. I can’t pick them to cover any spread against any team right now.
Seattle 28, St. Louis 13
Detroit (+4.5) at San Francisco
I’ll actually be at this game tomorrow. It’s definitely nothing to brag about, as both of these teams are pretty bad. The Niners should win this game, but they won’t for two reasons. No. 1 is that the Lions defense knows the Mike Martz system in and out, as Martz was the offensive coordinator in Detroit last year. Second is that the Lions are 4-0 in the last four games I’ve attended dating back to Thanksgiving 1997. Never mess with a streak.
Detroit 24, San Francisco 22
New Orleans (+5) at Denver
This might be the most entertaining game of the day, as Drew Brees and Jay Cutler could both threaten 400 yards passing in this game. There will be touchdowns galore and many fantasy football owners will exult. As far as the actual game, I’ll go with the home team here.
Denver 36, New Orleans 27
Pittsburgh (+3) at Philadelphia
I’m somewhat upset that I have tickets to the Niners game because it means I’ll miss this one. And the battle for Pennsylvania should be a battle indeed. The first two weeks have identified these teams as Super Bowl contenders, and the battle between Philly’s offense and the Pittsburgh D should be intense. I’ll take the Eagles in a good one.
Philadelphia 24, Pittsburgh 20
Jacksonville (+4.5) at Indianapolis
The Jaguars, regarded as Super Bowl contenders by many, will be desperate coming into this game. There is no way they can afford to be 0-3 and reach their lofty goals. The Colts, while struggling, have a win under their belt, which takes a bit of the desperation out. I’ll go with the most desperate team here.
Jacksonville 17, Indianapolis 15
Cleveland (+2.5) at Baltimore
These first two weeks have been hell for the Browns, who have gone 0-2 and seen Pro Bowl WR Braylon Edwards drop every pass in sight. Apparently there are Vegas bookies who are taking over/under bets on the number of Edwards’ drops Sunday. That’s bad news. What isn’t is the Ravens and rookie QB Joe Flacco. Cleveland gets on the board.
Cleveland 17, Baltimore 16
Dallas (-3) at Green Bay
This might be the first time these two teams have played in Wisconsin since the Ice Bowl. I don’t think the NFL has been punishing the Packers for that -14 degree game for making them play the Cowboys in Dallas constantly, but its pretty weird how uneven the discrepancy is. Both of these teams have looked great on offense, but Tony Romo is pretty untouchable – at least until December.
Dallas 31, Green Bay 24
New York Jets (+8.5) at San Diego
Talk about desperate. The Chargers, after two last-second losses and one prodigious officiating screw-up, are ready to eat glass at this point. Meanwhile, it doesn’t seem as if the Jets are completely comfortable with gunslinging Brett Favre as their quarterback. Their play-calling has been conservative, which won’t get it done in this game.
San Diego 28, N.Y. Jets 17
Straight up: 12-18. Against the spread: 14-15-1