I need to pick up my game. Another soft week, as I went 5-9 against the spread. No excuses, but this clearly shows why I write about football rather than actually bet on it. I don’t feel very good about this week either, so I’ll probably nail 10 plus.
BROWNS (-3) over Texans. It’s party time in Cleveland, as the Browns are alone in first place for the first time since 1994. That was before the Browns moved to Baltimore and were reborn. Friday’s news ruling out Arian Foster makes this game slightly easier to pick. No Foster, and a new quarterback for Houston (Ryan Mallet), and the advantages all lie with Cleveland. It won’t be pretty, but the Browns will win.
BEARS (-3) over Vikings. I don’t feel super confident after the nightmare effort the Bears had last week, but the Vikings aren’t any good either. If Chicago has any plans to save their season, this is the time. Wins against Minnesota Sunday, and the Buccaneers next week would have them 5-6 heading into their Thanksgiving day tilt at Detroit.
PACKERS (-6) over Eagles. I’m still not on the Mark Sanchez bandwagon. Carolina has clearly packed it in and showed zero effort Monday night. Sanchez definitely took advantage, but the Packers are a definite upgrade in opponent. Aaron Rodgers and company need this game to keep pace in the NFC.
CHIEFS (-2) over Seahawks. The Giants made me look like a genius last week until the wheels fell off in the fourth quarter. Seattle is not the same team as they were last year, and I expect their road struggles to continue in this one. Expect a low scoring, defensive affair. Bet the under.
PANTHERS (+1) over Falcons. I did just say that the Panthers have packed in their season, but so have the Falcons. Neither team is showing much effort at all. Atlanta was lucky to steal the win against Tampa last week. Worst game of the week, by far.
SAINTS (-7) over Bengals. The last team to beat the Saints at home? The 49ers. I knew that stat last week and ignored it, and then the Niners did it again. New Orleans is 19-2-1 against the spread at home in their last 22 home games. The Bengals are not going to keep up with the Saints, but they will look better than they did last week against Cleveland.
Buccaneers (+7) over REDSKINS. Prove me wrong Redskins. Fresh off the huge win at Dallas, they laid an egg in Minnesota. If the Redskins want to be taken seriously, they need to blow Tampa Bay out. Tampa continues to play close games, while Washington always plays to the level of their opponent. The Redskins might cover late, but more than likely they’ll win on a last second field goal.
Broncos (-9 ½) over RAMS. The Rams played another tough game last week, and was in that game against the Cardinals until two defensive touchdowns finished them off. The Broncos offense is about 300 times better than Arizona’s, and the Rams will struggle to keep up. Shaun Hill will not provide much of an offensive spark either.
GIANTS (+ 4) over 49ers. The Giants hung around for three quarters in Seattle last week. The Giants have enough talent to hang around in most games. The 49ers won a tough game in New Orleans last week, flew back to San Francisco, then flew out to New Jersey. That’s a lot of miles. The Giants should take advantage and jump out to a lead early Sunday, then control the ball. I see this game being a field goal either way.
Raiders (+ 10) over CHARGERS. When these teams met last month, the Chargers won by only three points. The Chargers are struggling in all phases, and the Raiders match up well with them. Division games are also tricky, so I’m taking the points.
Lions (+1 ½) over CARDINALS. The Drew Stanton effect. Stanton played well enough earlier in the season in wins over New York and San Francisco, but the Cardinals are going to have to score more points to hang with Detroit. The Lions will win this game if they can score 21 points. For Detroit to do that, Matthew Stafford should stop forcing the ball to Calvin Johnson. They were lucky to escape with the win over Miami, and in the 4th quarter Stafford only had one target. I saw at least six passes Stafford forced into double or triple teams. With Theo Riddick and Golden Tate, there are enough weapons to go around. Stafford needs to use the whole team, because eventually the luck will run out.
Patriots (+3) over COLTS. Points. Tom Brady. I’ll do that every time. Just sit back Sunday night and enjoy this game.
Steelers (-6) over TITANS. Giving the terrible road Steelers one more week. They looked uninterested against the Jets last week until it was too late. Mike Tomlin won’t let them do that again. If Pittsburgh has thoughts of getting to the postseason, it has to win this game.
Last week: 5-9