Last week: 10-6. Season: 113-95. Home teams in CAPS.
BEARS (-3) over Saints – New Orleans is a horrific 1-5 on the road and it will not be particularly hospitable in terms of weather in Chicago tomorrow, if the recent storms in the Midwest are any indication. Consider tomorrow’s NFL Network game a heavy dose of Matt Forte and short passes from Kyle Orton.
FALCONS (-2.5) over Bucs – Atlanta needs it to stay in the Wild Card hunt, Tampa needs it to catch up with Carolina. Giving this one based on homefield advantage after disappointing losses, but not by much. Hopefully it has another nice catch or two for a score like Antonio Bryant’s below (thanks to Sportaphile):
Redskins (-7) over BENGALS – It’s a disappointment and a question of how dysfunctional the offense actually is if Washington doesn’t cover.
Titans (-3) over TEXANS – I don’t think the Titans are particularly interested in letting up in advance of the playoffs, and the Texans aren’t good enough on defense to stop the roadgrading this O-line will give them.
COLTS (-17.5) over Lions – Move along, please avert your eyes to the carnage in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Packers (-1.5) over JAGUARS – Normally, I’d be all about taking the home team here because Green Bay has a horrendous rushing defense. Absolutely awful. But again, Jacksonville has obviously had it with Jack Del Rio’s shit and is not playing hard for him.
CHIEFS (+5) over Chargers – Upset pick of the week, as much as any AFC West game has upset potential. San Diego is woeful on the road and KC has covered their last few games. Look for the disgraced SD secondary to give up a good day passing to Tyler Thigpen.
49ers (+6.5) over DOLPHINS – The real upset pick of the week. The Niners have taken both the Bills and the Jets to the woodshed lately; this may say more about the AFC East and those individual teams than the Niners. Having watched bits and pieces of the smackdown of the Jets last week, I like the direction they’re going in, and Shaun Hill looks like a reliable, if not spectacular starter who can notch a couple TD passes to keep up with Chad Pennington. I’d say this is the win that gets the interim tag removed from Mike Singletary’s title.
JETS (-7.5) over Bills – Buffalo is just sinking deeper. Should be an easy mark for recovery for the New York Bretts.
Seahawks (-3) over RAMS – Seattle at least has something to build on for this contest. St. Louis is lamentably bad. Seattle is on the bad end of mediocrity, compounded by injuries.
CARDINALS (+3) over Vikings – Not only are the Vikings a bad road team, for some reason, Brad Childress insists on starting Gus Frerotte despite the fact that the team got a spark from Tarvaris Jackson, that is, until Frerotte was declared to be out for the next two weeks. Also, they still looked bad against the Lions.
RAVENS (-1) over Steelers – Because Bruce Arians will get too cute with the play-calling and rely on five wide formations one too many times against the Baltimore blitz.
PANTHERS (-7.5) over Broncos – Too much of a running attack, too much Steve Smith, and it’s on the road. I do not like these chances at all.
RAIDERS (+7) over Patriots – The weekly “pick the cover but not the win” game. The Pats don’t run away from teams right now, even the bad ones. Last week’s game in Seattle showed this, and they’re back on the West Coast again.
Giants (+3) over COWBOYS – Even without Plaxico Burress to take up a safety, this offense is still much more talented and on point than Dallas’ dysfunction, put on display last Sunday after the midpoint of the third quarter.
EAGLES (-14.5) over Browns – Cleveland just has nothing left to play for, do they?