After a bad first week and a mediocre second week of NFL picking, I’m recovering nicely. Last week’s picks were good, going 11-5 and basically getting screwed over by teams that should have been more than capable of handling their spreads (save me overvaluing Detroit.) That’ll teach me. Now, I’m at 27-21 for the season.
Here’s this week’s fun; home teams in CAPS:
Texans (-2.5) over FALCONS – Atlanta fans will look bitterly on the competent QB that Matt Schaub has become. I actually expect a win by a touchdown by Houston.
Jets (-3.5) over BILLS – The Bills are too depleted to make it close with Jersey/B, and they were offensively deficient before J.P. Losman got hurt.
Ravens (-4.5) over BROWNS – Derek Anderson looked mortal again (but serviceable!) against the Raiders, but those are the Raiders and this is Baltimore coming to Cleveland. I suspect the Ravens have an even better chance if they keep Kyle Boller in the whole game for once (and I can’t believe I’m typing that.)
COWBOYS (-12.5) over Rams – No Steven Jackson, Marc Bulger’s getting battered via a porous offensive line, a terrible St. Louis secondary, and Tony Romo to T.O. and/or Jason Witten is fucking automatic. Two touchdowns may be conservative.
LIONS (+2.5) over Bears – As documented previously, I have no faith in Brian Griese to be a competent QB and the Bears’ defense has been decimated by injury. I am aware the Lions got lit up by McNabb and crew last week, but this is not a comparable offense, because Griese is not a threat to throw downfield, and Cedric Benson doesn’t get going until the 2nd half.
Raiders (+3.5) over DOLPHINS – The dregs of the AFC West are better teams than the dregs of the AFC East.
Packers (-3.5) over VIKINGS – If the Vikings can allow Damon Huard to get one over on them in the last minutes of the fourth quarter, then why can’t Brett Favre do the same?
PANTHERS (-2.5) over Buccaneers – Tough one. The Bucs have looked revitalized while the Panthers have been their usual maddeningly inconsistent on offense; however, I will go home team on this one.
Seahawks (-1.5) over 49ERS – The Niner offense is just so ugly looking and Seattle would likely be 3-0 if not for a bad handoff in Arizona. This has to be a win outright type pick, so give me the Seahawks.
Steelers (-5.5) over CARDINALS – Arizona is still another season away from putting it together, and having to switch QBs to go no-huddle is not an example of progress. Expect Mike Tomlin to get the better of the men he beat out for the Steelers head job.
COLTS (-9.5) over Broncos – I’d love nothing more than to be wrong here, but Peyton owns the Broncos and has for years. The Broncos can’t defend the run right now and they’re vulnerable over the middle. Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai will be having good days.
CHARGERS (-12.5) over Chiefs – This reeks of a trap game to pick the Chargers. An atrocious KC team that lost to Minnesota against a San Diego team that has looked subpar in every way. Still, there are talented players in Bolt unis, and the Chiefs have looked awful against much worse squads.
Eagles (-2.5) over GIANTS – Nice finish against the Skins aside, the Giants return to earth this week against a pissed off McNabb, ready to rip another secondary.
Patriots (-7.5) over BENGALS – New England has beaten the Jets, Chargers, and Buffalo by more than the two-touchdown-plus spread so far this season. The Bengals gave up six passing TDs to Derek Anderson. If Tom Brady has fewer than four TD passes, I’ll be disappointed.