Titans (-3) over BEARS – Sending Sexy Rexy Grossman in there for Kyle Orton doesn’t inspire supreme confidence, but having Matt Forte in the backfield helps. This is a bad team to have to start against, though; expect the Tennessee D to rattle Grossman a bit.
LIONS (+6.5) over Jaguars – Jacksonville has lost the benefit of the doubt. It’s amazing how they’ve gotten away from rushing Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew.
Ravens (PICK) over TEXANS – Really not sure why this is now a pick game. With Matt Schaub getting injured again, picking Baltimore’s defense and the way Joe Flacco is handling the whole “game managing” concept seems obvious.
PATRIOTS (-3.5) over Bills – Onus is on Buffalo to win at Gillette for the first time. If Coach Hobo doesn’t fuck up the time outs last week, the Pats probably crawl out of Indy with a win. They’ll be fine at home.
FALCONS (-1) over Saints – New Orleans has too few weapons and not enough on defense. I sense another monster Michael Turner game.
Packers (+2) over VIKINGS – I like nothing about Minnesota’s pass defense and think Aaron Rodgers will be hitting Greg Jennings and Donald Driver at will.
DOLPHINS (-7.5) over Seahawks – Seattle is the team that gave us this whole “West Coast traveling east” theory that doesn’t really tell us much, but that rule always works for them. Plus, they suck.
Rams (+9) over JETS – The Bretts have an amazing ability to play down to opponents they’re supposed to beat handily; count this as one of those weeks.
Panthers (-8.5) over RAIDERS – This week, Oakland cut the starting corner, DeAngelo Hall, that they traded 2nd and 5th round picks and then signed to a multi-year deal. Two years ago most of us could have told Al Davis that Hall made All-Pro with his mouth more than his cover skills. It’s entirely possible that the Raiders could be shut out for a second week in a row. It’s not a bad idea to place a bet on this, either — considering that Carolin’a D, while not dominant, is no slouch.
STEELERS (-4) over Colts – Battle of weaknesses: Indy’s suspect secondary and Pittsburgh’s non-existent O-line. The latter is more devastating, but if it can stand up enough to give Byron Leftwich a chance to win the game against the Redskins on Monday night, they can hold off the Colts’ pass rush.
Chiefs (+14.5) over CHARGERS – San Diego, like the Jags, has also lost the benefit of the doubt. That is an atrocious defense and Tyler Thigpen actually put up good numbers against Tampa Bay last week, which is at least a respectable team when defending the end zone. (Don’t take this to mean KC wins, that’s not happening — but two-touchdown spreads with the Chargers are foolish.)
Giants (+3) over EAGLES – The Eagles are the litmus team: if you beat them, you’re a good team, or at the very least on the good end of mediocre. If you lose to them, you’re probably not as good as you thought. The Giants are just flat out better than the Eagles. Big rivalry game, at Philly, but the Giants like being on the road. That won’t enter the mentality much.
CARDINALS (-9.5) over 49ers – San Francisco just doesn’t have anyone of note that isn’t Frank Gore right now and are in complete disarray.