It’s that time of year in the NFL, the start of your football drunkenness on Thursday instead of Sunday. A moment when we can shed ourselves of those less than inspiring mid-week college football affairs like last night’s thrilling battle between Miami (OH) and Bowling Green.
On with the picks!
BAL@ATL (-1) 43.5 o/u
Analysts are still hanging on old ideas about the Ravens, namely Ed Reed’s presence enabling the defensive to shutdown opponents. Baltimore’s defensive indeed looked solid against the Bills and let’s face it any defense can look good against recently benched Chad Henne. Matt Ryan, home field advantage, and a short travel week will give the Falcons the edge.
Take the Falcons minus the 1 and the over in this game.
CIN@IND (-7) 47 o/u
So what if the Bengals can run effectively against the Colts defense? Of real importance will be the Bengals’ o-line’s futile attempts to block the Colts pass rush and keep Palmer from counting the roof panels of the Lucas Oil Barn. Cincinnati will keep this game close, but even though the Colts offense is on life support, Manning should handle a porous Bengal defense and provide the win.
Take the Colts minus the 7 and the over.
DET@BUF (-3) 43.5 o/u
Just like Carl Weathers says…“Here we go!” Bills have played their last three opponents tough. Look for them to drop a few pounds and hand over the trophy of the biggest loser to Carolina. Neither teams should be running up the score, but an emotionally deflated Lions team will be buying the chicken wings this week.
Take the Bills minus the 3 and stay away from that over/under.
MIN@CHI (+1) 40.5 o/u
Basic point in this game…The Vikings really aren’t that bad and the Bears are that bad. Bet on “Wonder Boy” Jared Allen haunting Cutler’s backside this week, as the fabulous Mike Martz lays out a game plan for sending his quarterbacks into early retirement.
Take the Vikings minus the 1 and if you’re feeling luck that over is mighty tempting.
NYJ@CLEV (+3) 37.5 o/u
There is no way to stop Patrick Hillis, but every wild beast can be contained once in a while and the Jets defensive will do just this. The timing is right for the Jets offensive to finds its groove as the Browns will not have come back down from their ecstasy trip of last week.
Take the Jets minus the 3 and this one will be over the top.
HOU@JAC (-2) 50 o/u
Only way to describe this game is ugly. Vegas is giving it a toss up and at first I was inclined to do the same. The Houston’s pass defense might make David Garrard look like superman, but lets remember Jacksonville underachieves and aside from a last minute field goal kicked from Mars against the Colts they haven’t beaten anyone.
Happily take the Texans plus 2 points and stay away from that over/under
TENN@MIA (+1) 43 o/u
Another ugly affair and with Chad Pennington returning to the starting quarterback position it’s difficult to determine what you will get from the Dolphins this week. I wouldn’t bet on this game, but look for the two time comeback player of the year to steady the storm and lead the Dolphins to their first home victory.
Take the Dolphins plus 1 and avoid the over/under
CAR@TB (-6.5) 36.5 o/u
Oh sweet Carolina…please make sure to lube yourselves up properly because there is a boatload of hungry Buccaneers who are about to make your pain their pleasure. The Panther’s are cellar dwellers, who’s only wish is not be molested by each team for the remainder of this season.
PICK OF THE WEEK: Take the Buccaneers minus the 6.5 and avoid the over/under
KC@DEN (+1) 43 o/u
I don’t believe in Matt Cassel nor do I believe in Josh McDaniels. But I do know that the Chiefs rushing offense is 1st in the league and the Broncos rushing defense is 30th. The Chiefs running game and stingy defense will overcome any mistakes that “Mr. Frustration” Cassel will cause, while Romeo and Chubby Weis provide McDaniels with an “Ex-Patriots Coaching for Dummies” manual.
Take the Chiefs minus the 1 and if you’re feeling lucky the over.
SEA@ARI (-3) 41 o/u
Does this game even exist? Is it truly necessary to play? Will anybody be in the stands watching? I’ll switch this game on only to find the answers to these pressing questions. Hasselback is back in the saddle again and the Cardinals aren’t as good as they played last week. Seattle it is!
Take the Seahawks plus the 3 (!) and avoid the over/under.
DAL@NYG (-14) 45 o/u
I doubt that the Cowboys would be interested in playing any opponents unless it was the Panthers. Instead Dallas is facing a New York team that actually seems to be intimidating. Scared little boy Manning will not show up this week and look for the Giants to steamroll the Cowboys and their “new” head coach.
Take the Giants minus the 14 (oh God) and heck take the over.
STL@SF (-6) 38 o/u
Classic old rivalry match-up and a game that carries some interest for once. Although the Rams have become a solid team, I’m going to drink the Kool-Aid and believe that the 49ers are mentally refreshed by not having Alex Smith under center. Look for a low scoring affair and the 49ers to eek out the victory.
Take the Rams plus the 6 and the under is mighty juicy.
NE@PIT (-4.5) 45 o/u
An afternoon of mind numbing games you should leave you begging for this Sunday night match-up. Let’s be honest, no one is ignorant enough to believe that the Pat’s loss to the Browns was anything but a one week blunder. They’ll come into Pittsburg refocused and ready to continue their history of success at Heinz Field. The Steelers are a top team, but over the last three games their metal armor is not as strong as analysts project it to be.
Take the Patriots plus 4.5 (loving the points) and avoid the over/under.
PHI@WASH (+3) 42 o/u
Soap Operaville here…McNabb plays his former team who he already beat this year, McNabb is feeble mentally and physically, Mr. Vicky sure is tricky….blah blah blah. Don’t get caught up in all the hoopla. The Skins are bet up and a mess. The Eagles have Vick back and are electric. My advice to you and McNabb is to sit back, relax, have a McRib and enjoy a low scoring beat down by the Eagles.
Take the Eagles minus the 3 and the under!