Week 9 NFL picks

Terrible week against the spread, but better overall. I don’t know, I still stink at this. We’ll try harder this week.

Houston (+4.5) at Minnesota
If you are a Texans fan, you have to be just sick about the loss to the Colts where Sage Rosenfels turned into Santa Claus. Without that, you’d have a Houston team with a four-game win streak. Now they have three, but I don’t see them getting a fourth in the dome.
Minnesota 24, Houston 17

Jacksonville (-7.5) at Cincinnati
The Jags have been one of the most maddeningly inconsistent teams in the NFL. Winless Cincinnati, not so much. With Ryan Fitzpatrick still captaining the Bengals and Jacksonville desperate, you know how I’m calling this.
Jacksonville 26, Cincinnati 10

Tampa Bay (-9) at Kansas City
The Chiefs showed some spunk last week. Of course, it helped to have Brett Favre gift-wrap a pick six. I don’t see the Buccaneers gunslinging that much in this game, therefore, I don’t see KC managing much of anything.
Tampa Bay 24, Kansas City 13

Baltimore (+1.5) at Cleveland
I must admit, Joe Flacco’s diving catch against the Raiders last week was pretty sweet. Cleveland has quietly played much better lately and could be in line to get back in the wild-card hunt. The Browns will have to beat the Ravens to do that, something I think they can handle.
Cleveland 17, Baltimore 14

N.Y, Jets (+5) at Buffalo
This is a huge game for the Jets, who have struggled since coming back from their bye week. Buffalo dropped a division game to Miami as well and might be reeling a little bit. I’ll go with the home team here in a close, but no cover, situation.
Buffalo 21, N.Y. Jets 19

Arizona (-3) at St. Louis
This was a no-brainer Cardinals pick a couple weeks ago, but the resurgent Rams are 2-1 since Jim Haslett took over despite playing three quality teams in the Redskins, Cowboys and Patriots. However, I like Kurt Warner to have a big game against his old team.
Arizona 28, St. Louis 21

Detroit (+12.5) at Chicago
Yes, the Lions are winless and most likely hopeless. But Detroit has been more competitive of late, almost beating Minnesota and Houston on the road and giving Washington a decent game at home. I’m not picking a Lions win, but they’ll cover.
Chicago 23, Detroit 14

Green Bay (+4) at Tennessee
Is it me, or are the Titans the most anonymous 7-0 team in recent memory? Tennessee isn’t flashy at all – it just wins by running the ball and playing outstanding defense. The Packers have been good under Aaron Rodgers, but its hard to pick against the Titans here. I’m learning my lesson from last week.
Tennessee 24, Green Bay 14

Miami (+3.5) at Denver
I’ve had a hard time getting a handle on the Dolphins. They have some great wins against AFC contenders, but they are just as likely to stink up the joint. The bloom is off the Denver rose a bit and the Broncos’ defense is a walking disaster area. I think the Wildcat offense leads the Dolphins to the road upset.
Miami 28, Denver 20

Atlanta (-3) at Oakland
The Falcons are the type of team that should annoy a Raiders fan. They looked hopeless coming in, but thanks to a few good draft picks and a solid coaching hire in Mike Smith, look like players in the NFC. The Raiders aren’t players, haven’t been players for a while and probably won’t be until Al Davis ceases to have his hands on the franchise.
Atlanta 21, Oakland 10

Dallas (+8.5) at N.Y. Giants
You got to hand it to the Cowboys defense, which gutted out a victory over Tampa Bay despite getting no help from the offense. With Brooks Bollinger possibly starting and injured TE Jason Witten possibly sitting, it’ll be more of the same. I think the Cowboys keep it close but fall.
N.Y. Giants 23, Dallas 16

Philadelphia (-7) at Seattle
I just hope Andy Reid doesn’t feel the need to drop his pants at any time during this game, like Mike Singletary did last week. Would be bad times for everyone. Even with a win last week, this season has been bad times for the Seahawks and Philly won’t help it get any better.
Philadelphia 31, Seattle 19

New England (+6) at Indianapolis
What was thought to be a battle of elite Super Bowl contenders has Matt Cassel playing against a Colts team that can’t stop the run and can’t quite get untracked. Joseph Addai comes back for Indy though, giving them a much-needed win over their archrivals.
Indianapolis 27, New England 17

Pittsburgh (+2) at Washington
Apparently Chris Berman is going to interview Barack Obama and John McCain at halftime of this game. The only thing I can think of that would be worse than that is Stuart Scott interviewing Sarah Palin. I get the shakes just thinking about it. Oh yeah, the game. I like the home team in what should be an entertaining one.
Washington 24, Pittsburgh 21

Overall record: 60-56. Against the spread: 50-64-2