Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Week 10 Picks

Raiders (4-4) @ Chargers (4-4)
Thursday night
Predicted Line: SD by 6.5
Actual Line: SD by 7

The Chargers actually played pretty well against Green Bay. They put up 38 points and 460 yards against a really good defense. The Raiders have done nothing but self-destruct since Al Davis died. The Palmer trade, the 28-0 home loss to crappy KC, and then getting trashed by Tebow. Now McFadden's injury keeps him out again, meaning it's Carson throwing on 3rd downs again. I sense a really, really big blowout coming. Let's go with SD 45-3. Let the Terrelle Pryor Discussion begin!

Saints (6-3) @ Falcons (5-3)
Predicted Line: NO by 1.5
Actual Line: Pick Em

Humongous game in the NFC South. Not sure exactly why, but I definitely see the Saints winning. Maybe because Drew Brees and Sean Payton are superior to Matt Ryan and Mike Smith. Maybe because I like New Orleans' defense about 5% more. Or maybe because a Falcons loss helps Detroit. But it should be extremely close. How about 34-31 Saints in OT.

Steelers (6-3) @ Bengals (6-2)
Predicted Line: PIT by 3
Actual Line: PIT by 3

With Woodley and Farrior out, it is tempting to take the Bengals at home. Mendenhall should struggle against the Cincy defense, which shockingly ranks 1st in opposing YPC. But Ben Roethlisberger thrives on 3rd and longs, and he rarely loses to the inferior Ohio teams. I'm a little worried about some garbage points keeping this game close, but I think I'll side with Pittsburgh, 26-19.

Tebows (3-5) @ Chiefs (4-4)
Predicted Line: KC by 2.5
Actual Line: KC by 3

IF somehow San Diego loses to Oakland on Thursday night, which is a massive improbability, then Tim Tebow could have the Broncos at the top of the AFC West. In a four-way tie. But since I picked San Diego to win by 42 points, let's assume that doesn't happen.

I do like Denver to win again. They are playing better football right now than the Chiefs, McGahee is coming off perhaps the best game of his career, and Tebow has a nice rapport with Decker and Royal right now. By the way, is the word "rapport" ever used in any context other than QBs and WRs? Has anyone ever said that Obama has a nice rapport with Biden, or my taste buds have a good rapport with Thai food? What the heck does it mean other than the QB throws to that particular receiver a lot?

KC might be pissed following the embarassing loss at home to Miami, but they just don't have the talent to respond. For the second straight week, Tebow is playing against an inferior QB. I'll take the Broncos straight-up, 20-13.

Jags (2-6) @ Colts (0-9)
Predicted Line: JAC by 3
Actual Line: JAC by 3

Whatever .... Colts 17-12.

Bills (5-3) @ Cowboys (4-4)
Predicted Line: DAL by 3
Actual Line: DAL by 5.5

Buffalo is still missing stud NT Kyle Williams, and they've really struggled without him. Dallas is without linebacker Sean Lee and WR Miles Austin. Both running backs should go balistic (150 total yards each, at least), and the QB that makes fewer mistakes will get the win. So naturally, I have no idea. But since I'm undecided on the winner, I'll take the points. Why is this line 2 points too high? Buffalo 23-20.

Texans (6-3) @ Bucs (4-4)
Predicted Line: TB by 1.5
Actual Line: HOU by 3

Houston is due for a loss, and Tampa needs a win. Plus Andre is probably still out. AND this line is completely wack. But despite all that, I still like the Texans. Arian Foster is too good, plus Gerald McCoy is out. HOU 31-26.
*EDIT* The Bucs got Albert Haynesworth. Not sure he'll play in this game. Even if he does, not sure it'll matter.

Titans (4-4) @ Panthers (2-6)
Predicted Line: CAR by 3
Actual Line: CAR by 3

If Chris Johnson was still Chris Johnson, I'd be taking the Titans against the crappy Panthers D. But I don't know. Probably going Panthers 24-13.

Redskins (3-5) @ Dolphins (1-7)
Predicted Line: MIA by 3
Actual Line: MIA by 4

Probably the two worst coaches and the two worst starting quarterbacks in the NFL right now, so I don't know nor do I care what happens in this game. Washington's entire offense is hurt, and wasn't any good in the first place, but they do have a great pass rush (3rd in sacks). Miami just got their first win (31-3 at KC) and proved that they weren't tanking the first 7 games, they just really were that bad. This should be a game of three-and-outs and field goals, so I'll take the 4 points. Miami 16-13 as time expires.

Rams (1-7) @ Browns (3-5)
Predicted Line: CLE by 3
Actual Line: CLE by 3

Another dismal matchup. Cleveland has no offense and is down to their 3rd string running back. St. Louis just followed up a beatdown of the Saints by losing to the freaking Cardinals. But I've gotta go with my heart - the Rams are the better team. I swear, they aren't as bad as 1-7. I like St. Louis on the road, 14-13.

Cardinals (2-6) @ Eagles (3-5)
Predicted Line: PHI by 13.5
Actual Line: None (Kolb)

Really, is there such a dramatic dropoff from Kevin Kolb to John Skelton that you can't even give a line? Especially when you factor in Beanie's lingering injury and the Eagles' great pass rush and the unfortunate reality that Asomugha>Fitzgerald. The Cards aren't doing anything offensively. When Kolb is officially ruled out, which should happen sometime today, the spread will be in the PHI by 14 or 15 range. And although Vick has been erratic this season, the Cards don't have any defensive players that can contend with McCoy and the receivers. This has all the makings of a 35-0 blowout, followed by the standard "Wait, maybe the Eagles still have a shot at a Wildcard!" discussion. For what it's worth, I'm not counting them out until it's mathematically impossible. I've never looked at a 3-5 team before and thought, Yeah they could realistically win 8 straight. But Philly could.

Ravens (6-2) @ Seahawks (2-6)
Predicted Line: BAL by 7.5
Actual Line: BAL by 6.5

What the heck. I'll take the Hawks at home. To cover the points that is. BAL 27-21.

Lions (6-2) @ Bears (5-3)
Predicted Line: CHI by 3
Actual Line: CHI by 3

I am nervous.

Forte > Lions' run defense
Bears D > Lions' running game
Peppers > Backus

Chicago could control this game in the trenches and run all over us. Detroit has been susceptible to great running backs all season. The more Cutler drops back to pass, the better I feel. Fortunately, Chicago's offense is still led by Mike Martz.

For Detroit's offense, the key is going to be the same as it was in Denver. Forget the running game. Pass early, pass often, pass short, pass deep; just don't waste plays with Keiland Williams up the middle on 2nd and 8. That crap has to stop. You've got the best receiver in football and Chicago has nobody who can contain him.

Both teams obviously need this game for playoff positioning, and if it comes down to 'Who wants it more?' I think Detroit has an edge. It's almost definitely going to be decided in the final 2 minutes, so if nothing else, I want the points. But I'm also taking Detroit straight-up, 27-23. Cutler's comeback effort falls just short.

Giants (6-2) @ 49ers (7-1)
Predicted Line: SF by 3
Actual Line: SF by 3.5

Hmm ... the mighty Giants who just took down New England, or the 49ers who are dominating everybody? I hate that stupid half a point. I like San Fran by 3.

Patriots (5-3) @ Jets (5-3)
Predicted Line: NYJ by 1.5
Actual Line: NYJ by 2

Patriots are pissed, Jared Mayo is back, and Mark Sanchez sucks. But ... the Jets have better players at pretty much every position except QB. Hmmm ... I'll go with New England for the sake of common sense. 23-20.

Vikings (2-6) @ Packers (8-0)
Predicted Line: GB by 28
Actual Line: GB by 13

When will Vegas learn? All Aaron Rodgers does is cover spreads, no matter what. He's 29-14 against-the-spread in the last two years, and I'm pretty sure 7-1 this year. I like Ponder, I like AP, heck I like Minnesota to finish strong and end up with 6 or 7 wins. But this won't be close. GB 41-27.

That's all for now ... Go Lions

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