6-8 against the spread last week; 9-5 straight up. Now 34-43-2 ATS and 40-37 SU. Probably no hope of finishing above .500 this year. I am dismayed but going to stick to it and see if I can turn it around. But this whole season is stupid and makes no sense.
Here's how I see it: on a scale of 1 to 100, the best teams in the league are about a 53 and the worst teams are about a 47. If Houston plays Cleveland, even though Houston will be favored by 14, the chances of the Browns winning straight up are probably 47%. I know that sounds idiotic, but look at the surprisingly bad seasons for the Packers and Pats and Saints ... what about the Vikings being 4-1... nothing makes sense. I'm done trying to figure it out. I'm just looking at every game as a 50-50 or maybe 53-47 proposition, so might as well take the home teams.
Here's the week 6 picks:
Steelers (2-2) @ Titans (1-4)
Predicted Line: PIT by 6.5
Actual Line: PIT by 6.5
Jake Locker is out. So is Polamalu for the Steelers, and probably Lamar Woodley. Rashard Mendenhall made his debut last week (and started for all 4 of my fantasy teams) and ran for 81 yards ... about as many as Chris Johnson has in 5 games. With no Locker and a lethargic CJ, it seems likely that the Titans offense will be unable to move the ball. But with no Polamalu or Woodley, Pittsburgh's defense is pretty average, maybe even subpar. Matt Hasslebeck is a wily veteran who can move the chains in spurts, but CJ will do everything he can to halt Titans' drives and keep up his hideous 1.8 YPC. Whether the Titans offense sucks and scores 3 points, or they play fairly well and score 24, I don't think it'll matter ... Ben Roethlisberger is in a groove, and the Titans D has no playmakers. The combo of Mendenhall, Wallace, Brown and Heath Miller gives Pittsburgh too much firepower. Even on a short week and without their defensive stars, I think the Steelers kick some butt to get to 3-2. I'll say they win 34-20.
Lions (1-3) @ Eagles (3-2)
Predicted Line: PHI by 5.5
Actual Line: PHI by 4
I've picked the Lions every week and they've yet to win against the spread. I'm not doing it again until they play differently. Congrats to DeSean Jackson on returning 6 punts for TDs. That's gotta be a new record.
Raiders (1-3) @ Falcons (5-0)
Predicted Line: ATL by 13.5
Actual Line: ATL by 9
This line is too low. Right? I don't know .... I guess Atlanta's due for a disappointment. I would pick against them if this were any team except Oakland. But I hate Oakland. Especially their defense, which is on pace to be the worst third-down defense ever. Falcons 30-13.
Bengals (3-2) @ Browns (0-5)
Predicted Line: CIN by 3.5
Actual Line: CIN by 3
So much for Cincy. They lost to Miami, they can't be taken too seriously anymore. Joe Haden comes back for Cleveland, just in time for AJ Green. That matchup will largely determine the game. However, Cleveland could be without stud linebacker D'Qwell Jackson, which would make their run defense nonexistent. I'd like to take Cincy, but this has 13-15 written all over it, so I'll go with the points. Cincy by 2.
Rams (3-2) @ Dolphins (2-3)
Predicted Line: MIA by 1
Actual Line: MIA by 3.5
(Flipping coin). Heads it is. Fins +3.5.
Colts (2-2) @ Jets (2-3)
Predicted Line: NYJ by 1.5
Actual Line: NYJ by 3
Is the Andrew Luck Era officially underway after he led his team past Aaron Rodgers? Was that symbolic of the years to come? I mean, it sure seems like that should be a bigger deal than "What color is Tim Tebow's WWJD bracelet?" I think the Colts are the better team, so I'll take those 3 points. Indy 27-16.
Chiefs (1-4) @ Bucs (1-3)
Predicted Line: TB by 3
Actual Line: TB by 4
Brady Quinn hasn't started a game since 2009. (In fact, his last start was when Jerome Harrison nearly broke the single-game rushing record with 286 yards.) Since then, Quinn spent two years in Denver without ever seeing the field, and now he replaces Matt Cassel, who was concussed last week, much to the delight of Chiefs fans. Not a big Tampa fan this year, but I'm even less of a Brady Quinn fan. Bucs 20-13.
Cowboys (2-2) @ Ravens (4-1)
Predicted Line: BAL by 6
Actual Line: BAL by 4
My favorite thing was listening to Colin Cowherd try to convince us that Tony Romo's 5 interception game against Chicago wasn't actually a bad game, and that Romo is still one of the elite QBs in the league. That guy can be a real moron when he doesn't want to admit he's wrong. I mean, Romo is okay sometimes, but he threw 5 interceptions for crying out loud! But Cowherd goes off into one of his condescending rants .... "So what if he threw 5 picks ...come on ... 1 was Dez Bryant's fault, 1 time the defender made a great catch, 1 he threw into triple coverage trying to make a play, and 1 was a late-in-the-game desperation throw. Really, if you watched the game, he only threw 1 that was a bad interception. And a 1 interception game isn't that bad because he also had a TD! So, Romo still is elite!! He only threw 1 interception!!! He's like Michael Jordan - sometimes he throws an interception, but he also won 6 championships! Tony Romo won 6 championships! He's elite! Tebow sucks! USC USC USC!!! ahhhhHHHH!!!!"
I like the Ravens. Until Dallas realizes how good DeMarco Murray is they'll continue to lose these tough games. Baltimore 23-17.
Bills (2-3) @ Cardinals (4-1)
Predicted Line: ARZ by 5
Actual Line: ARZ by 5
Well so much for Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams. Both guys are on IR, so now it's William Powell getting the start. That dude doesn't even have a Wikipedia page, so he must be fairly irrelevant. It's funny to me that he'll probably start for tens of millions of fantasy football teams, and nobody knows what he looks like or anything about him. It's also funny that he'll either run for less than 20 yards or more than 250, with no chance to be in the middle. I like Buffalo to pull the upset here, or at least keep it close. In the midst of their 4-0 start, everyone forgot that the Cardinals have the league's worst O-line. Nine sacks against the Rams and people started to remember. But this line is still inflated because of their fluky start to the season. In fact, I'll say Bills outright, 27-23.
Patriots (3-2) @ Seahawks (3-2)
Predicted Line: NE by 3
Actual Line: NE by 4
(Flip...) Tails it is. Seahawks -4.
Giants (3-2) @ 49ers (4-1)
Predicted Line: SF by 4.5
Actual Line: SF by 6.5
With as awesome as the Giants are on the road, I'm taking these points gleefully. SF by 2.
Vikings (4-1) @ Redskins (2-3)
Predicted Line: Griffin?
Actual Line: Sounds like RG3 will play, so the line should be WAS by about 3
If RG3 can't play, every indication is that Kirk Cousins has beat out Rex Grossman for the backup role. That would be awesome to see. But it sounds like RG3 had a "mild" concussion, whatever that means, and he'll probably start. If he does, I'm saying the Redskins will rally around him and the Vikes will wilt on the road. If RG3 does not play, let's call the line MIN by 3, and I like Washington to pull the upset straight up.
By the way, with the awful year that Cam Newton is having, how much longer do we have to wait before we ask who will end up being the best QB from the 2011 draft class? Ponder looks fantastic; Locker and Dalton look solid; and Gabbert is actually improving. Cam has a huge early lead, but I think Locker and Ponder could pass him by the end of this year.
Packers (2-3) @ Texans (5-0)
Predicted Line: HOU by 4.5
Actual Line: HOU by 3
My favorite football website used to be walterfootball.com. Unfortunately, that site has completely fallen to crap as Walt tries to be funny and is tragically unfunny. However, he still provides a few nuggets of good wisdom. For example:
Rodgers is 9-5 ATS as an underdog.
Rodgers is 10-4 ATS after a loss.
Rodgers is 18-9 ATS on the road.
Granted, Rodgers is good against the spread as a favorite, at home, after a win, pretty much always. But I really like getting points with him, even if it's just 3. I am not bailing on the Packers yet. In fact, I still like my Super Bowl pick (Pats over Pack), because both teams have somehow snuck under the radar. I'll say Green Bay wins outright, 24-20, and leaves Atlanta as the only unbeaten.
Broncos (2-3) @ Chargers (3-2)
Predicted Line: SD by 2.5
Actual Line: SD by 1.5
This is one of those week 6 games with huge playoff implications. If San Diego can get the win, they control the division. But on a Monday Night, is there anybody you can trust more than Peyton Manning? Broncos 37-27.
Go Lions. Let's not suck this week.
Also, go Tigers tonight. Game 5, win or go home. I have a great feeling that Verlander throws a 15-strikeout no-hitter in a game that becomes immortalized. I also think Verlander might get worked for some tough at-bats and only last 7 innings, and then the bullpen will ruin our season. After Jose Valverde's epic failure last night (he blew a 2 run lead in the 9th, you can say whatever crap you want about the A's being clutch and magical but that was a crappy closer having a crappy game and nothing else), does that mean we can finally get a new closer next year? How bout Albuquerque? I'm ready to see what Bruce Rondon (AAA closer) can do with his 102MPH stuff. Heck, Benoit would be a better closer, except that it takes him 95 seconds between pitches. Anyway, you can take Valverde, Delmon Young and Jim Leyland and send them all to Antarctica and we'll be a better baseball team effective immediately. I really hope we win tonight so we can take our shot at the super overrated Yankees and their lousy pitching staff, but I think there is a silver lining if we lose: Leyland will be history. Either way, there's no better spot than having the best pitcher in baseball pitching the deciding game. Verlander's going to need a shutout because we can't expect our offense to produce more than 2 or 3 runs the way they are playing.