|"Thanks for scoring that TD. Lemme make sure to never give you the ball again, alright?"|
After a good couple of weeks for me, the underdogs had their day last week, and I went 6-8 overall and ATS in my picks. To be fair, I picked a bunch of upsets, just not the right upsets. Also, I will continue picking against the Bills all season. If they lose, I'm right. If they somehow win, I'm wrong, but I just don't care. Just an altogether better way to spend a Sunday.
This week has begun in better fashion, as The 49ers won a brutal game over the Seahawks, and Jim Harbaugh decided to fuck with millions of gamblers by declining a last minute safety that would've pushed the game to 15-6. That safety would've given me a push, but other people who had the -7 or -7.5 line would've lost money. There is no reason that safety was declined besides gambling. Just no way.
Tennessee at Buffalo (-3.5)
As I mentioned before, I will not stop picking against the Bills, especially since last week they ran into a Cardinals team with no offensive line, or offense, and still almost lost the game. Chan Gailey still has a predilection to NOT giving the ball to his two best offensive players (CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson) and instead runs gadget Brad Smith plays or lets Ryan Fitzpatrick throw yet another wounded duck deep in the general direction of a downfield receiver. The Titans look like a garbage team, and the Bills should win this one and reinsert themselves into the playoff hunt (the Bills chance to make the playoffs hinges on them beating all the bad teams on their schedule). Also, they need this one, as they play Houston and New England in the next two weeks (4-5 is a lot better than 3-6, obviously). But they're this year's Bills, and they are just sure to crap the bed. Chris Johnson will probably have his one good game of the year, Matt Hasselbeck will have his swan song as an NFL QB, and Ryan Fitzpatrick will throw another three picks for good measure.
Pick: Titans win, cover
Arizona at Minnesota (-6.5)
The Vikings are better than what they showed last week (they were due for a letdown), and the Cardinals are just as bad (or worse) than what they showed last week- playing the Bills will help. The Vikings have a good pass rush- well, anyone wood against the turnstiles that make up the offensive line of the Cardinals- and their offense should be able to move the ball on an overrated Cardinals defense.
Pick: Vikings win, cover
Cleveland at Indianapolis (-2.5)
Tough pick here, since Indy has been good at home this season. But for some reason, I still have this gut feeling that the Browns pull off another win. They have a strong running game going against a horrible Colts run defense, Brandon Weeden shows varying degrees of competence, and the return of Joe Haden has completely changed the makeup of the Browns defense. God knows why, but I'm feeling the Browns this week.
Pick: Browns win, cover
Baltimore at Houston (-7)
Baltimore's defensive core has been decimated by injuries; which is to say, all their "big name" players- Ed Reed, Ray Lewis, Haloti Ngata, Terrell Suggs and LaDarius Webb- have some sort of injury. But seven points is a ton for a team whose pass defense was just eviscerated, and whose offense was exposed as somewhat one dimensional- and that's against a poor Packers defense. Joe Flacco is no Aaron Rodgers, but he should have success against the Texans. Unfortunately, though, I don't think the Ravens depleted front will be able to hold back the Texans run and play action attack.
Pick: Texans win, Ravens cover
Green Bay (-5.5) at St. Louis
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers announced that they were back in grand fashion, as Aaron Rodgers threw SIX touchdowns and swung like ten million fantasy matchups. Still, questions remain about their defense and offensive consistency without Greg Jennings. The Rams aren't an amazing team, by any means, but they have the defense to stick around. Packers should win, but the Rams will make the game ugly and stay somewhat close. The Rams are about one stud receiver away from contending seriously. But not yet.
Pick: Packers win, Rams cover
Dallas (-2.5) at Carolina
Carolina just looks all out of sorts this year, and Cam Newton has yet to regain his mojo after last season's gangbusters start. The Cowboys beat themselves in last week's game against the Ravens, but I don't think this game will be close enough for the Cowboys to shoot themselves in the foot yet again. Cowboys have too much on both sides of the ball, and the Panthers are stuck spinning their wheels.
Pick: Cowboys win, cover
Washington at NY Giants (-6)
The Robert Griffin III hype-bandwagon has reached full steam heading into this matchup with the Giants. There's no doubt that Griffin has been remarkable this season, fully looking the part of franchise savoir. Unfortunately for the Redskins, their defense is banged up, and doesn't look up to stopping the Giants dynamic attack. The Giants look to be the class of the NFC at this point; the Redskins, the entertaining sideshow.
Pick: Giants win, cover
New Orleans (-2.5) at Tampa Bay
I like the Saints here, despite the trainwreck football they've played this season. It's not that I think the Saints are especially good or yet again playoff bound. I just think Tampa Bay is a bad team, and won't be able to keep up with the Saints passing attack.
Pick: Saints win, cover
NY Jets at New England (-10.5)
The wonderful wrinkle of this season has been seeing the Patriots lose close games against clearly inferior opponents. They've lost the ability to close out games, basically, and it is SO MUCH FUN TO WATCH. The Jets, though, can barely throw the ball- the best way to beat the Patriots- and an old, overrated defense. Hmmm, Jets overrated defense against Patriots star-crossed offense? I guess I'll take the better team to win and the points.
Pick: Patriots win, Jets cover
Jacksonville at Oakland (-6)
Ah, here's this week's "only if I was in the Clockwork Orange Ludovico machine" game. Oakland put up a spirited effort against the Falcons, only to lose in a heartbreaker. The Jaguars took a bye last week, but I doubt anyone really missed their presence. Oakland should get the win here, but the Jaguars defense will keep them in the game. I look forward to not seeing the highlights afterwards!
Pick: Raiders win, Jaguars cover
Pittsburgh (-1) at Cincinnati
Both teams have looked stunningly mediocre this season, but, at the end of the day, I trust the offensive ability of the Steelers more than the Bengals. If Roethlisberger has time, he can find Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown downfield and the Steelers can continue to try and run the ball with their tenth string running back. The Bengals don't have a good enough defense to stop the Steelers consistently, and their offense is going through fits this year without a solid running game and the lack of a complementary receiver for AJ Green.
Pick: Steelers win, cover
Detroit at Chicago (-6.5)
Detroit may think they got their mojo back after last week's victory over the headcase Eagles, but the Bears should give them a rude awakening. Coming off a bye week, the Bears should be able to succeed against a weak Lions secondary, and the Bears' defense should not have much trouble shutting down the Lions "chuck it to Calvin Johnson and pray" offense. The Bears look pretty good right now. I can't to see how that affects all my Chicago friends and the always level-headed, reasonable Chicago media. If the Bears win this one comfortably, you can bet the words "Super Bowl" will be plastered across front pages, and the spirit of Ditka will be invoked in thousands of calls to local sports radio.
Pick: Bears win, cover
Last Week (ATS): 6-8 (6-8)
This Week ATS: 1-0 (1-0)