Bears (-3) over FALCONS – By the Bill Simmons logic, Atlanta had a +7 at Green Bay (which I would have taken in a heartbeat) and it would have made me 8-6 last week. However, this is one of those situations where Matt Ryan has to go up against an actual defense again, and picking Chicago is advisable in that situation (picking for or against Atlanta by that criterion hasn’t gone wrong yet, actually.)
Dolphins (+3) over TEXANS – Something about Chad Pennington completing between 70-80 percent of his passes and Ronnie Brown breaking out in this Wildcat gambit has me rolling with the Fins this week. Also, the defense has been better than advertised.
Ravens (+4) over COLTS – Indy wins by an FG. Peyton Manning is capable of good games against Baltimore, but his line is so banged up right now it’s hard not to think that he’ll be on his back often, or at least hurried frequently. Plus, anyone can run on the Colts D when it doesn’t have Bob Sanders.
VIKINGS (-13) over Lions – I don’t like spreads this big in the NFC North, but if Kyle Orton is torching the Detroit secondary for 300+ yards and two scores while the defense stiffs Jon Kitna, it’s safe to say a combination of the Minny D and a strong dose of Adrian Peterson should win by two touchdowns.
SAINTS (-7) over Raiders – Oakland is not as bad as they look, but they settle for FGs when the Saints like to score touchdowns.
JETS (-5.5) over Bengals – Originally, I’d gone with the points, but Carson Palmer is out. New York, please.
Panthers (+1) over BUCCANEERS – Really? Seriously? In what world is Tampa Bay’s non-existent offense favored by one point? Divisional game at home, yeah, but honestly, I’d take Carolina with up to a 6 point margin here.
REDSKINS (-13.5) over Rams – Until proven otherwise, bet against St. Louis.
Jaguars (+3.5) over BRONCOS – Guh. I’m treating the Denver D as a one-week fluke until further observation, and having Rashean Mathis sit back there in the secondary and wait to pick Jay Cutler’s passes scares me.
CARDINALS (+5) over Cowboys – The Dallas secondary is thin right now. Why do I think Arizona will send the wideouts deep against them and have success. Probably because they’re at home, but that’s still as good a reason as any. (Also, because Dallas is still way too impressed with itself in the passing game to the detriment of the run right now.)
Eagles (-5) over 49ERS – This is one of those games, with or without Brian Westbrook, that Donovan McNabb has every once in a while where he just goes OFF on a team. I sense it is coming.
Packers (+1.5) over SEAHAWKS – Sorry. I like nothing about Seattle’s play right now.
Patriots (+5) over CHARGERS – By every statistic and measure of offensive talent on the field, San Diego should win this handily. But their defense looks ill-prepared and lifeless without Shawne Merriman, and Philip Rivers was nowhere near himself last week, never mind LaDainian Tomlinson. The Bolts will be 2-4 after Sunday night.
Giants (-9) over BROWNS – So, do we get to see Brady Quinn play in the 3rd or 4th quarter?