NFL Week 8 Picks

Slowly, very slowly, I’m gaining ground. In week 6 I went 7–7 and Al went 5–9, and in week 7 I went 7–5–1 and Al had another down week at 4–8–1. I’m only down seven games! For the season I’m still above even at 53–49–1 and Al’s blistering start has him at 60–42–1. I like the trend! If I gain an average of 2.5 games per week, I’ll catch Al in a mere three more weeks… ha, ha.

Sunday 1:00
Broncos @ Baltimore(-3)
What exactly do the Broncos have to do to get some respect? How are they underdogs, even on the road? I’m taking Denver.

Texans @ Buffalo(+3.5)
I think I’m like 0-7 on picking the Texans this year, so Al should just go against anything I pick. The Texans might have trouble offensively because while the Bills aren’t very good against the run, the Texans don’t run. Will it be windy? If the Texans have to run to win, I’m worried, since Steve Slaton has more fumbles lost than any NFL team this year. With Andre Johnson probable but hurt, putting even more pressure on the Houston ground game, I’m going to have to go with the Bills.

Browns @ Chicago(-13)
I have little doubt the Bears will win this. But will they blow the Browns out? I mean, they looked like complete ass last week against Cincinnati… but this it at home, and the Browns are simply horrific. Give the points.

Seahawks @ Dallas(-9.5)
I don’t know what to do with this one. The Cowboys have more talent, but it certainly seems like a lot of points. Can the Cowboys actually put together two big wins in a row? Well, since the Seahawks secondary is nicked up, and they’ve been pretty bad on the road over the last few years. OK, I’ll take Dallas.

Dolphins @ New Jersey Jets(-3)
Beating up on the Raiders is not impressive. Can the Jets stop the run? I’m not so sure. Mostly to riverside Al, I’m taking Miami.

Niners @ Indianapolis(-13)
Is there any reason to think the freight train that is the Colts will be derailed this week? Nothing that I can see.

Giants @ Philadelphia(+1)
This is the kind of game the Eagles blow because they forget to run the ball. I’ll give the point.

Rams @ Detroit(-4)
Here’s something I haven’t thought for a long, long time: the Lions are just better. Wow.

Sunday ~4:10
Raiders @ San Diego(-16.5)
Wow, that’s a lot of points. Apparently the logic is that the Chargers blew out the Chefs last week and the Raiders got blown out last week. But really, for the season, the Chargers haven’t been very good against the spread. I’m going to got a bit nutty and take the big pile of points…

Jaguars @ Tennessee(-3)
WTF? Didn’t these teams play a few weeks ago? Didn’t the Jags beat the Titans senseless? How is Tennessee favored here? Do people think Vince Young is the answer? Really? Unless he’s playing CB and/or safety, I don’t see how that’s going to help enough. Take the points.

Vikings @ Green Bay(-3)
You know, the Vikings should be a really dominant team. Yes, sure, they’ve only lost once, but they mostly haven’t been blowing folks away… except the Packers a few weeks ago. Well, this time the Vikings have a much worse secondary and the Packers o-line has looked better of late, so I’m going to be bold and lay the points.

Panthers @ Arizona(-10)
Carolina is horrific. Ten is kind of a lot, but the Cards defense might score ten all by itself, so I don’t think it’s too much.

Falcons @ New Orleans(-10.5)
The Saints got a scare last week and will be ready. The Falcons got embarrassed on the road and they’ll be up for a division game. Again, though, I think the Saints are just better, and they seem to play inspired at home, so I’ll give the big number again.

NFL Week 7 Picks

I’ll have to update scores later, it’s been a long day after a long week.

Sunday 1:00
Patriots vs. Buccaneers(+15) in London
Yes, Tampa is awful, but they’re not as bad as Tennessee. Of course, the Pats beat Tennessee by a lot more than 15. I expect the Pats to run it up again.

Packers @ Cleveland(+9)
Nine seems like about the right number, so that leaves me in a quandary. I think the week off for the Packers helped. (OK, technically they didn’t have the week off, but they had the Lions at home). I like the Packers to cover the big number.

Vikings @ Pittsburgh(-5.5)
Uhh, what? The Vikings are undefeated, and the Steelers, well, they’re still trying to get it to gel. Maybe the Steelers steal it by a field goal at home, but they won’t win by this much.

Colts @ St. Louis(+14)
Doesn’t Indy get Bob Sanders back this week? Yeah, they win by three, maybe four TDs.

Chargers @ Kansas City(+5)
Hmph. I was thinking the spread would be more like three. I think the Chefs have life. They probably won’t win, but they’ll stay in it, I’ll take the points.

Niners @ Houston(-3)
Wrong team favored. The Texans don’t put together back-to-back surprises.

Sunday ~4:10
Bills @ Panthers(-7)
A touchdown? A full touchdown? Look, I agree that the Bills aren’t good, but come on—the Panthers barely squeaked by the Redskins! Just too many points not to take them.

Jest @ Oakland(+6)
I was thinking Jets by 4, not by 6. I do think the Jets will get back to a win here, but I don’t like the spread, so I’m (yikes) taking the Raiders!

Falcons @ Cowboys(-4)
WTF? The Cowboys aren’t good, the Falcons are good. Wrong team favored, I’m going Atlanta all the way here.

Saints @ Miami(+6.5)
My thought was Saints by a TD. The spread is only 6.5, so on the notion that they’ll cover by a half a point, I’ll take New Orleans.

Bears @ Cincinnati, pick
I don’t have any idea, either. Two teams who need to decide if they’re good or mediocre; I think we’ll learn something in the game. As for picking it, I have no idea. Since Al went with Chicago, I’ll riverside and go with the Bengals on the “Cedric Benson revenge theory.” <shrug>

Cardinals @ New Jersey(-7)
Arizona’s only getting a touchdown because they blew up the Seabags last week, but Seattle really isn’t good. I’ll give these points.

Eagles @ Washington(+7)
Philly will be hungry to redeem themselves after last week’s horrible performance, and the Redskins will soon be part of the dictionary definition of “dysfunctional.” Iggles big.

Ah, I see Al’s picks are up under last week’s game. I’ll copy those over here soon as well.

NFL Week 6 Picks

Man, I can’t believe I almost forgot to do these…

Last week I went a wretched 6–8. OK, maybe not wretched, but not good when I have a big lead to try to close. Al finally had a human week, going 7–7, but of course that means I still lost ground. Ugh. I’m 39–37 and Al is a nutty 51–25.

One thing I’ll point out about this week is how many of these spreads are “home team -3”. That’s the Vegas way of saying “we have no idea, either.” Interesting week!

Sunday 1:00
Texans @ Cincinnati(-5.5)
Houston can’t stop the run, and Cedric Benson is the leading rusher in the NFL—seriously, how weird is that? Bengals cover this, win by at least a TD.

Lions @ Green Bay(-14)
Stafford is still out, right? I know the Lions actually put up a fight against the Steelers last week, but not two weeks in a row. Packers.

Rams @ Jacksonville(-9.5)
Has St. Louis covered the spread at all this year? Only once? Yeah, I’ll take Jax to bounce back and blow out a very bad team. Give the ball to MJD!!

Ravens @ Vikings(-3)
Man, that’ll be a lot of friggin’ purple on the field. Anyway, I constantly have this feeling like the Vikings are doing it with smoke and mirrors. Nonetheless, they are undefeated and at home, so I will give the points.

Giants @ New Orleans(-3)
This should be quite a game! Both teams unbeaten, AND unbeaten against the spread. Want more unhelpful stats? The G-Men are 17-4 against the spread vs. a team with a winning record; the Saints are 9-1-1 against the spread in their last 11 games, 6-1-1 ATS in last 8 vs. NFC. So, uhh, they’re both hot. Well, the Giants are a little more banged up, with Manning and Bradshaw a little hobbled and Manningham probably out. So, based on health and home field, I’ll take the Saints. Oh, and because they still owe the Giants for that bonus home game in the Katrina year.

Browns @ Pittsburgh(-14)
When you go 2 for 17 passing against Buffalo you ache. I don’t like the Steelers in terms of running up the score, though, but they’ll try to in what was once a rivalry game and is still at least a divisional game, so I’ll go with Pittsburgh here.

Panthers @ Tampa Bay(+3)
I’m not sure after last week that the Panthers should be favored against anybody… then again, the Bucs are millions under the cap and have neither offense or defense. Are they paying fans to come to this game? Carolina.

Chefs @ Washington(-6)
The Redskins are not six points better than anybody, even Kansas City. Take the points!

Sunday ~4:10
Eagles @ Oakland(+14)
I was not sure about Philly’s ability to really blow out bad teams last week and wouldn’t give the 15.5. I think Oakland is probably even worse than Tampa, if that’s possible, so I guess I should give the points this time. Iggles.

Cardinals @ Seattle(-3)
I’m as clueless as Vegas here. Which Kurt Warner will show up, the guy in the first half last week or his evil twin who played the second half? Which Seattle team will show up, the one that’s blown out a couple opponents or the one that’s been blown out three times? Cards are 2-2 against the spread, Seabags are 2-3. Yeah, OK, coin says… Arizona. Sure, why the hell not?

Titans @ New England(-9.5)
There are still people out there saying that eventually Tennessee will come around. Yeah, well, until they can actually stop somebody from throwing the ball all over the field, it ain’t gonna happen. Worst secondary in the NFL, maybe. This game will cause no end of gushing ESPN stories on how Tom Brady finally really looks all the way back, but of course and NFL quarterback—no, JaMarcus Russell doesn’t count as one—will look good. Pats huge.

Bills @ New Jersey Jest(-9.5)
One of the unexpected expenses of last week’s Bills-Browns game was cleaning up all the blood left in the stands as fans slit their wrists to get the game over with. Gang Green will be pissed after losing last week and will take it out on the Bills; they should have no trouble covering this.

Bears @ Atlanta(-3.5)
Great, both teams 3-1 and both 3-1 against the spread. I have no idea, so… <peeks at Al’s picks> I will go with the Bears just to riverside Al.

Broncos @ San Diego(-3)
Wow, still no respect for unbeaten Denver. Look, the Chargers cannot run the ball. And against this defense, being one-dimensional will simply not cut it. I will gladly take the points as Denver should win this straight-up, and doing that might lock up the division.

NFL Week 5 Picks

Ugh, last week I had my first under-.500 week, and I went 6–8. Al, of course, continued to light it up and went 10–4. That makes me 33–29 for the season and Al a blistering 44–18 for the season. I have nothing to add to this complete beating, except that all two or three of you out there who read this should bet whatever Al says and you’ll clean up. Al is the NFL Pick God this season, that’s 71% against the spread. That’s insane.

Anyway, on to the picks…

Sunday 1:00
Bengals @ Baltimore(-8.5)
Wow, that’s a lot of points. The Bengals aren’t the Bungles this year! I like Baltimore to win this game, but not by that much, so I’ll take Cinci.

Browns @ Buffalo(-6)
Both of these teams are simply awful. I’m not sure the Bills are six points better than anyone, including the hapless Browns. Too many points for me.

Redskins @ Carolina(-4)
I think the Redskins are simply worse than the Panthers, records notwithstanding. Are they five points worse? On the road, I say yes. Carolina.

Steelers @ Lions(+10.5)
Stafford is hurt so Culpepper is probably going. The spread should be like 20; Pittsburgh should have no problem covering 10.5 with Daunte starting.

Cowboys @ Kansas City(+8)
I love when the Cowboys struggle. And, given how bad they’ve been late in the season for the last few years, well, I can hardly wait to see how this train wreck finishes up. On the other hand, they’re playing a team that fired its offensive coordinator in the preseason. Give the points.

Raiders @ New Jersey Giants(+15.5)
It appears Eli will play. We know the Giants can stop the run, so for Oakland to stay in this game, they’ll have to throw a lot. Hahahahaha… yeah. Giants by two TDs… at halftime. This could easily be 42-0 with only 21 scored by the Giants’ offense. This will be ugly, ugly, ugly…

Buccaneers @ Eagles(-15.5)
Another huge spread, and another team that fired it’s offensive coordinator in the preseason that still hasn’t won a game. Eagles win this easily, but I’m actually going to take the points because I think the Eagles will only win by two TDs. Yikes.

Vikings @ St. Louis(+10.5)
Another huge spread, and another well-deserved huge spread. Vikings cover this easily, as the Rams, bad enough with their starter in, will probably be playing Kyle Boller again. Ewww.

Sunday ~4:10
Falcons @ San Francisco(-2.5)
Toughest call of the week, I’ll probably be switching between three games in the later block and may just skip the 1:00 games completely, though if I need a laugh I might dial up the Raiders-Giants. Anyway, I’m not really sure here. Go with the home team since they don’t have to lay the full three.

Texans @ Cardinals(-5.5)
Well, OK, that was a nice win last week for Houston, but come on, it was the Raiders. I don’t think the Cardinals are really all that good, but at home against the Texans does not require a team to be. Arizona.

Patriots @ Denver(+3)
Intriguing because the Pats don’t have Fred Taylor and it’s not clear how they’ll be able to run the ball against a good run D without him. Can they win being one-dimensional? With Champ Bailey back there, I’m not sure. However, it’s the mentor vs. mentee thing that makes me think the Pats will pull it out, since Big Bad Bill tends to beat up on his proteges. New England.

Jaguars @ Seattle(-1)
Ahh, the Seabags and their 12th man. Can #12 stop the run? No? Even if they can, Garrard has looked really good lately. Hasselbeck is still iffy, and we know that Seattle can’t run. Yeah, I’ll take the point.

Colts @ Tennessee(+3.5)
Err, what? How is this spread so small? Someone clearly believes that the Titans have a recovery of some kind coming. Look, let’s lay it out: Tennessee cannot, simply cannot, defend the pass. Not even a little. Manning will throw for 400+ and many TDs here. Colts by two TDs or something like it.

Jets @ Dolphins(+2)
Rex Ryan’s team can stop the run. Miami can’t pass. Lay the measly two here; I thought the spread would be more like six. No brainer.

NFL Week 4 Picks

I’m having a good season, last week I went 9–7 again and for the season I’m now 27–21, six games above .500. Not shabby. However, it’s meaningless, because Al is simply lighting it up. 13–3 last week, and now 34–14 for the season. That’s freakin’ 20 games over .500, after only three weeks. Al, this is your season to go to Vegas. Holy crap, Al, give a guy a chance. I’m doing well and I’m down 14 games. We’re going to be talking about your magic number by Halloween. However, Al did turn in a 4–10 week last year, and so I have to hope that I can keep the 9–7 going and Al will cough up a few of those… Oh, and I want a pony.

Sunday 1:00
Lions @ Chicago(-10)
Detroit had their moment in the sun last week, and the Bears seem to be figuring things out. I’m going with the home team here, but again, I’d love to see the Lions pull one out, I can’t imagine how it could happen, particularly in Chicago.

Bengals @ Cleveland(+6)
How is the spread only six? The Browns are completely horrific, and the Bengals are actually OK this year.

Raiders @ Houston(-8.5)
I know Oakland is awful, but so are the Texans. I think the home team will prevail, but not by that much—that’s just too many points. The Texans are starting some guy they signed off the street at safety. Even if Jamarcus throws directly at the Texans’ secondary, they still won’t catch it. Oakland ought to just hand off to McFadden on every play, since Houston can’t stop the run, either. Texans win, but not by nine.

Seahawks @ Indianapolis(-10)
Hasselbeck is most likely still out… Seattle has no chance whatsoever. Give the big number.

Titans @ Jacksonville(+3)
I was pretty unimpressed with both of these teams last week, but you have to figure Tennessee will get off the schnide sooner or later. I say it’s this week, but will it be by more than a FG? I say this is a push.

Giants @ Kansas City(+9)
The Chefs might not get the ball past midfield. Nine is not nearly enough.

Ravens @ New England(-1.5)
Someone in the Pats coaching staff remembered last week that it’s possible to run the football, and that worked out pretty well. However, I really think the Ravens are one of the best teams in the league. I’ll go with Baltimore, especially since Moss is dinged up.

Buccaneers @ Washington(-7.5)
Wow! I really don’t think the Redskins are more than a touchdown better than anybody, even the hapless Bucs starting a rookie QB. Again, I think they’ll win, but they won’t cover this, especially since Portis might not play.

Sunday ~4:10
Bills @ Miami, even
Were this for real money, I wouldn’t get anywhere near this game… I have absolutely no idea. I was planning on just taking whoever was the underdog figuring I could use the points—but there are no points. D’oh. Coin says… heads, and buffaloes have more impressive heads, so I’m taking the Bills. <shrug>

Jets @ New Orleans(-7)
I’m really looking forward to this game. I think the big stage and an improved Saints defense will give New Orleans the win here, but the Jets might be able to keep it close. I’m taking the team from New Jersey because it’s a full TD.

Cowboys @ Denver(+3)
Yeah, sure, Denver is 3–0 but against some of the worst competition possible the last couple of weeks. The Cowboys haven’t looked all that impressive, either, so this might actually be a game. I’ll take Dallas, though.

Rams @ San Francisco(-9.5)
Speaking of teams that might not get across midfield, we have the Lambs. I’ll give this big number as well.

Chargers @ Pittsburgh(-6.5)
Neither of these teams is right. However, the Chargers have at least shown some signs of life. I’m really not sure who will win the game, but I don’t see it as a blowout either way, so I’ll be taking these points.

Packers @ Minnesota(-3.5)
Ahh, yes, the Favre-bowl. If I watch, I’ll have to have it on mute, or the sound of the constant ESPN sucking up to Favre might cause me to start throwing up. It’s a football game between two teams, neither of which is great. The Vikings should be dominant, but they’re just not. The Packers should be good, and they’re… OK. The O-line needs work and the defense isn’t anything special. I have to say that the Vikings are just the better team and give the points, but I’m not happy about it… I almost think the Packers will pull the upset, but I just can’t pick it.