I hate spending 4 and a half hours behind the wheel without a break. Stupid Thanksgiving holiday travel. Was out last night at an L.A. club called Republic, playing DD, and since I was sober, I’m pretty sure we saw Mavs owner Mark Cuban clubbing (can’t say for sure; didn’t have enough balls to ask if he was who I thought he was.) Anyway, the Shakedown’s coming later today before USC-Arizona State, but let’s reel off the NFL picks with three games coming starting at 9:30 Pacific. 10-6 last week, 88-72 this season. Home teams in CAPS. Usual non-expertise disclaimers apply.
Packers (-3.5) over LIONS – If there’s one very glaring hole in this Detroit team, it’s that they don’t defend the pass particularly well, which is a problem if your secondary is dealing with Brett Favre.
COWBOYS (-14.5) over Jets – I was right in thinking the Redskins would beat the spread against the Boys last week, but I don’t see the Jets doing the same.
FALCONS (+11.5) over Colts – I don’t care how awful and disheveled Atlanta is; I’m not picking the Colts so long as Peyton is lacking those two offensive linemen and Marvin Harrison. That’s too much to be missing to cover a spread. Feel free to pick the Colts to win.
Saints (-3.5) over PANTHERS – The Panthers are still winless at home and with Old Man Testaverde and possibly no Steve Smith, don’t expect that to change.
Titans (-1.5) over BENGALS – Think VY’s two TD passes and 300+ yards passing on Denver in a loss was impressive? I say he does the same against the Cincy secondary.
BROWNS (-3.5) over Texans – Yeah, it’ll be shootout central between Anderson/Edwards and Schaub/Johnson, so take the home team on this one.
JAGUARS (-7.5) over Bills – Last I checked, Marshawn Lynch is still out and J.P. Losman is going to have to try and hit Lee Evans deep to get anything going. Take the Jags.
Raiders (+5.5) over CHIEFS – This will be a low-scoring affair and probably determined by a field goal. I don’t really see it going any other way.
GIANTS (-7.5) over Vikings – Chester Taylor may get his, but not enough to make up for the Vikes’ QB deficiency.
Rams (+3.5) over SEAHAWKS – Trap game alert. I’m just playing a hunch here regarding the Rams having their offensive weapons back. Plus, it is the NFC West.
Redskins (+3.5) over BUCCANEERS – I’m kinda mancrushing on Jason Campbell even though I’m neutral on the Skins, and after three TD passes last week on the Cowboys, I’ve got no reason to deviate.
CARDINALS (-10.5) over 49ers – God, San Francisco is so hapless right now that it feels foolish to give them the points.
Broncos (-2.5) over BEARS – Normally, I wouldn’t be inclined to give my homer pick this shot on the road. However, the Broncos look like they are gelling on offense again, and Rex Grossman starting for the Bears should always give you pause, especially when the cornerbacks are Champ Bailey and Dre’ Bly.
Ravens (+9.5) over CHARGERS – Maybe I’m too enamored of any team going against Norv right now, but until Philip Rivers recovers some sense of form, it makes sense to go against the Bolts.
PATRIOTS (-22.5) over Eagles – There are too many variables going against Philly to pick the Eagles: game’s in Foxborough, McNabb is gimpy, no respectable passing targets for Philly save Brian Westbrook.
STEELERS (-16.5) over Dolphins – Expect a pissed-off Pittsburgh team after blowing it against the Jets. They’re going to run it down Miami’s throat, particularly with Joey Porter on the receiving end.