Last week was a disaster, but I supposed the good news is that a lot of people took a bath on it. The good news is that even though I swung and missed like crazy, I’m excited for this week’s games. Like an idiot, I think there are a bunch of easy ones to call. Be afraid, be very afraid.
The key is that there are a number of teams ready for a fall plus some divisional trends that will pay off for you if you brave the tide and stick with them. I fully expect to be writing this next week telling you how I knew all along I’d do great. Let’s find out.
Last Week’s Picks: 8-9 Best: 0-5
Season Total: 60-46-1 Best: 10-14
Tennessee (+6) @Washington (Golden Nugget)
How the hell is Washington giving 6 points? They’re pretty much just as bad as the Titans. Jake Locker is probable for this game, and even if he’s not, I have no faith that the ‘Slurs can run it up on anyone right now.
Washington RacialSlurs 23 Tennessee Titans 20
Miami (+3.5) @Chicago (MGM Mirage)
Miami is better than people think. The 2-4 record does not reflect how tough they have played teams this year. And you’re crazy if you trust any team from the NFC North that doesn’t have Aaron Rodgers. Maybe the Bears put two good performances out there in a row, but that’s a big maybe.
Chicago Bears 27 Miami Dolphins 24
Cleveland (-5) @Jacksonville (MGM Mirage)
This spread seems a little too high. Cleveland is coming off a big win over arch rival Pittsburgh, so how will they get up for the lowly Jags on the road besides? Then again, the Browns absolutely creamed the Steelers after winning a crazy comeback dogfight game with Tennessee the week before. Who knows with Cleveland, but I’m still on the bandwagon, and it’s hard to believe in a Jags team that, while capable of fighting the good fight, is also capable of going face down in the mud like a drunk who had one too many sips of war nog.
Cleveland Browns 27 Jacksonville Jaguars 21
Seattle (-6.5) @St. Louis (CG Technology)
It’s really kind of a myth that St. Louis plays the NFC West really tough. They’re 2-16 in their last 18 against Seattle. How tough is that? I don’t love the Seahawks as a road favorite, especially by a pretty big number, but I’m sure as hell not taking the Rams.
Seattle Seahawks 24 St. Louis Rams 17
Carolina (+7.5) @Green Bay (5Dimes)
Anyone who’s watched the Packers lose to the 49ers in the playoffs the last two years knows Green Bay can’t defense a running quarterback to save its life. Activate Cam Newton on your fantasy team, he’s gonna have a big day. The Packers are a very good home team, and I expect they’ll be able to outscore Carolina, but I think the game stays within a touchdown.
Green Bay Packers 30 Carolina Panthers 24
Atlanta (+6.5) @Baltimore (Westgate Superbook)
The Ravens are playing great football right now, and Atlanta stinks as a road team. This is a bit of a hefty spread, but I think giving the points is the way to go. Normally, I’d also like the over 49 in this game, but both teams are in look ahead mode: the Ravens have a revenge game against the Bengals next week while the Falcons are traveling to England to play Detroit.
Baltimore Ravens 28 Atlanta Falcons 21
Minnesota (+6) @Buffalo (Golden Nugget)
There’s no way the Bills should be giving 6 points. This is a sandwich game for Buffalo – they took on arch rival New England last week and have divisional rival New York coming up next week. Also, while the Bills’ defense is good, it’s not as dominating as Detroit’s, so I don’t expect the Vikings to have as many offensive problems this week as last.
Buffalo Bills 24 Minnesota Vikings 19
New Orleans (+3) @Detroit (MGM Mirage)
I must be an idiot to still believe in New Orleans, but you have to think that Sean Payton having an extra week of prep coming off the bye is worth something, even with Jimmy Graham having to sit this one out. Plus, Detroit plays such a brainless brand of football they’re like the kid on the playground who will eat bugs for a quarter. The Saints’ troubles on defense will be aided by the absence of Calvin Johnson, enough, I think, to get New Orleans a win.
New Orleans Saints 27 Detroit Lions 24
Kansas City (+4.5) @San Diego (Bookmaker.eu)
Last season, both games these teams played were field goal games won by the Chargers. San Diego is playing great football this year, but they have a huge look ahead in this game because they play in Denver on Thursday. The Chiefs, meanwhile, are underrated. Their defense is really pretty good and I expect this will be a close game.
San Diego Chargers 24 Kansas City Chiefs 21
Arizona (-3.5) @Oakland (Westgate Superbook)
The Raiders are like the Jaguars. Even when I think they may come up with a good effort, I can’t trust them enough to take them until they put two good games together back to back. Until then, I’ll pick against them.
Arizona Cardinals 20 Oakland Raiders 16
San Francisco (+7) @Denver (5Dimes)
I kind of feel like the line is telling me to take Denver because it’s so high, but no, in this case, I think it’s really that people overrate Denver a little too much. The Broncos will win this game, but they won’t run and hide.
Denver Broncos 27 San Francisco 49ers 23
Houston (+3.5) @Pittsburgh (Golden Nugget)
I can’t take the Steelers here. I just can’t. They are reeling and until they turn it around they are a stay away team. I don’t love the Texans getting only 3.5 in this one, so I wouldn’t touch it, but Houston is the side if I have to choose one.
Houston Texans 21 Pittsburgh Steelers 20
Best Picks of the Week
Cincinnati @Indianapolis over/under 48.5 (MGM Mirage)
Five of the six Colts’ games this season have gone over 55. Cincinnati obviously knows how to score points themselves, and the Bengals’ defense is clearly not as good as people thought. This game should cruise past 50 easily. The Bengals burnt me twice last week, so I’m really going out on a limb putting them in Best Picks twice again this week. God help me.
Indianapolis Colts 31 Cincinnati Bengals 24
Carolina @Green Bay over/under 48.5 (MGM Mirage)
Carolina had a great defense last season – it was the strength of the team, but that was then and this is now. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will go wild on this unit, and I expect the Panthers to put up plenty of points of their own. This game should easily go over.
Green Bay Packers 30 Carolina Panthers 24
NY Giants (+6.5) @Dallas (Westgate Superbook)
Dallas is headed for a massive letdown. After they beat the Seahawks in Seattle, Jerry Jones called it “Jason Garrett’s finest hour as a Cowboy.” This is why you lose, guys. It’s October. You don’t want to be having your finest anything in October unless you play baseball. Get it? Need more convincing? The Giants have owned this rivalry. They’ve won 8 of the last 12. Not only do I pick New York to cover. I pick them to win. You heard it here.
New York Giants 26 Dallas Cowboys 24