NFL Picks - Week 6

Welcome to week 6 folks. Last week wasn’t such a good football week for me, I lost my fantasy game badly and my confidence league was less than stellar. My pick 5 went south (2-3), and the most frustrating part was that two of the ones I got wrong were the early games…games that the losing team scored garbage time TDs to just cover. Had Indy winning by 14, 13½ point spread, then inside of 90 seconds Cincy recovers a onside kick and scores a meaningless TD to make it a 7 point win. Not 5 minutes later the frigging Steelers score a TD and get a 2-pt conversion inside of 2 minutes to make it a 3 point push. That just ruined my day knowing I could have been 4 of 4 in the first round of games and ended up 2-2.

…and then there was the biggie. The Monday Night game. You may recall that one rabid Bear fan you all have a passing acquaintance with had a ticket in the 24th row straddling the 50 yard line. He had amazing seats, and it was in his alma mater’s stadium. So this chap decided to go down to the campus early, stomp around his old haunts and bounce from bar to bar in a extended pregame celebration. Let it also be know that this lad has a seething vocal hatred of the heathen cheeseheads from the North. You can trust that he spent a large portion of the day heckling and trash-talking any clown seen wearing dairy products or green jerseys bearing the number 4 or 66. Unfortunately the festivities became rather gloomy around the start of the 3rd quarter. Lets just say that beyond that my memory is hazy.

A few comments about the Bears. This bye week couldn’t have come at a better time. We’ve got some serious problems. John Shoop needs to go, I don’t know what this guy is thinking. Everyone one can see that this banged up Bear defense can’t do what it did last season, and the logical solution is to gamble and open the offense a little. I guess a little success has made him stubborn, too bad for Bears fans and players. Here’s what they should do. You take the bye week and make wholesale changes, if you’re gonna do it and salvage the season, its now or never. You let guys get healthy, and you work on extending the passing game. The one needed change is Chris Chandler as the QB. Jim Miller isn’t a bad QB, and he was the right QB last season with that conservative system. However he doesn’t have the game to stretch the field. Chandler is great at it, so now’s the time to do it. And you use the bye week to get him up to speed and get the WRs used to working with him. Dez white isn’t getting the job done, but the injury to Terrell makes yanking him useless. However, I think you need to make Robinson the #2 WR if they are going downfield. That’s his forte and Dez tends to struggle that way. You need to bench Robertson at LT, Columbo didn’t exactly look great in the preseason, but I think you have to gamble. You’ve seen what Robertson does, and its not good, even if it means you’ll have two new starters on the left side of the line. Defensively we don’t need to make many changes, just get healthy. Shoop has to understand that he can’t expect them to pitch shutouts every week, so as long as the offense puts up a few points and we can play with the lead once in a while, the defense will be just fine. That’s my evaluation. Its not time to write off the season yet, we’re still in it, and we’ve got alot of talent.

Anyways, on to the rest of the picks. There’s alot of No Line games, but I have a feeling that come tomorrow they’ll get spreads assigned. When they do, I’ll step back in and adjust accordingly.

Sunday Games
Atlanta @ NY Giants 1:00 ET (No Line)
I’m not sure why this game is off, Vick is out according to everything but the official report. In either case I’m pretty sure I’d go with the Giants, and unless this game comes out tomorrow with a huge spread I’d take the Giants to cover against a Vick-less Falcons. The only real question is if Johnson will finish the game or if Kittner will get some playing time, I hope he does because Reeves has been high on him so far. The loss of Shockey and Peterson could be a huge problem for the Giants, but odds are that the Falcons won’t exploit it. The Giants will load up the box and stuff the running game no matter who carries the rock, and the Falcons run defense has been softer than the stats show. Expect a slow ugly game with the Giants winning by 10.

Baltimore @ Indianapolis 1:00 ET (Colts by 6)
Jamal Lewis has found his stride and its turning the Ravens into a completely different team. It takes pressure of Redman, and softens the middle to give Heap chances. The wideouts are still hopeless, but they’ve shown that they don’t need them. Then again, they’ve had two strange primetime wins. In both they got all the breaks and ran up big leads, and in both they almost let the other team back in the game. It wasn’t a fluke that these teams got back in either, and if they’d executed the outcomes might have been different. Ray Lewis is likely out of this game due to that shoulder, but I won’t count on that until I see him in street clothes on Sunday. Now for the Colts, they’ve been less than automatic too. They’ve managed to scramble to 3-1, but in less than convincing fashion considering the talent they have on offense. While the Colts are improved on defense, they are soft on the run, bad news against this team, and they played up to and down to their competition week-to-week (must be a Dungy trademark). Both teams are banged up (who isn’t), but the Ravens are in more critical places. Tricky game, but I think I’m going to take Indy at home to win and cover as long as Ray Lewis is out.

Buffalo @ Houston 1:00 ET (Bills by 7½)
Can you hear Bledsoe’s mouth watering? Can you hear the Bills defense taking a deep relaxing breath? I’m sure its a happy day in Buffalo after the teams they’ve had to cope with so far this season. I suppose that could be a bad thing and they might take Houston for granted, but I don’t plan on betting it. Houston’s strength is their secondary and they might be able to slow the Bills down some, but not nearly enough to keep them in this game. Bledsoe is looking flat out surgical these days and there probably won’t be many TOs. The Bills absolutely must abandon this 46 defense, they don’t have the personnel to make it work. You can see how good its working in Tennessee. Unless you’re the '85 Bears, you probably shouldn’t even try it. If they just play conservative and blitz less often, Bledsoe will outscore the Texans easily. Bills win and cover here.

Carolina @ Dallas 1:00 ET ('Boys by 2½)
People must be expecting Carolina to being its big slide. But lets face it, the Cowboys aren’t exactly a sure thing with Carter at the helm. He could be Kordell Lite. There’s talk that Muhammad will be back in the line up, great news for the Panthers and Rodney Peete (god that feels strange to type). Here’s another thing I can’t believe I’m typing…the Panthers might be the best defense the Cowboys have faced this season so far. Looking at the records and the final scores, I’m not sure I grasp why Campo’s gang would be favored, I’d flip this around and make it 2½ the other way. The Cowboys are banged up on defense, so its not likely they’ll stifle Smith entirely. Don’t discount the fact that Smith is probably hearing DeShaun Foster’s footsteps, could have the same effect as the infamous “contract year”. Panthers win and cover, the Panthers might shot down the Cowboys offense entirely. Take the under.

Detroit @ Minnesota 1:00 ET (Queens by 4½)
Two of the worst teams matching up here. Talent wise its clear the Vikes are the better team, and my fantasy team could use a big day from Moss. I’m not counting on it, but I can’t see any way the Lions defense can match up. Both teams are off bye weeks at very good times. The Lions should really have a chance to try and gel around Harrington, and I think he’ll be successful against the Vikes weak defense, especially if Stewart has a solid day. The bye week will do one of two things for the Vikings, they’ll lose focus and spend too much time apart or they’ll solidify. I’m sure Culpepper wouldn’t mind some of that separation, but Tice really needs to sequester them and make them immerse in work and forget the press and the outside world. Sadly, I don’t see Moss and Culpepper fixing things, but nevertheless Moss could blow up on the field out of spite. Tough game to judge, and I think the winner will have a great chance to turn the season around. Frankly its probably a homefield disadvantage for both teams, if things go poorly for the Vikes offense, the crowd might tear them apart. If for not other reason than optimism for my Fantasy team, I predict the Vikes win but the Lions cover. Take the over for sure.

Green Bay @ New England 1:00 ET (Pats by 4½)
I don’t know. If I were a wise individual this is all I would say about this game. But, I never claimed to be wise. So here goes nothing. Where are the weaknesses. The Pats haven’t been able to stop a strong running attack, especially one with a fast back who can run and catch. Ahman Green is just that guy, and he might really have a big day as long as the Pack doesn’t get too pass happy after their MNF success. As for the Pack, they are really banged up in what was already a very weak defense. They’ll have virtually no pass rush unless KGB can fight through triple teams. However, Brady’s strength is the quick 3 step drop passing game, but the Pack would be most vulnerable to the deep pass. The Pack managed to deal with that short pass game plan very well last week, but they also got alot of guys dinged. Frankly I think the scales are tilted in the Pats favor, and unless there is a huge swing in turnovers they’ll probably out score Brett. Of course this is Favre in cold weather… Still, I’m taking the Pats to win and cover.

Jacksonville @ Tennessee 1:00 ET (Jags by 2)
The big three for the Jags are playing awfully well so far. The defense is starting to gel (evidenced by me grabbing them up in FF) and might turn into a formidable unit, they really gave McNabb and crew nightmares. All signs are pointing to a big Jags win here, so I’m baffled why its only a 2 point spread. The Titans are giving up nearly 32 points a game, and their offense isn;t picking them up. Granted the Titans have been tough as hell at home in their short history, especially on divisional rivals so they might make a game of this. If it were a 7+ point spread maybe there’s a reason to worry, but not this week. I expect the Jags big three to have huge games, and the Titans flounder. Jags win and cover, take the over.

New Orleans @ Washington 1:00 ET (Aints by 1½)
This spread seems a little low, but I suppose people are thinking that Ramsey is the cure to all of the ball coach’s ails. Two problems though, Ramsey was successful against a really weak Titan’s defense, and Steven Davis is likely to not play, and if he does he’ll be less than 100%. Granted the Saints defense isn’t exactly strangling, but they’ll score more than enough to make up for the occasional letdown and Ramsey won’t be able to work them over all game mistake free. On the flipside, the skins defense hasn’t lived up to the hype, especially the linebackers. Thats where the Saints are gonna kill them with Mcallister. Saints win and cover on the road.

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati 1:00 ET (Stihlers by 6½)
I know that Cincy is going to leap up and nip a team in the ass this season at least once, and I have a hunch it’ll be a decent team you won’t see coming. Not that this game would be that, cause its a stretch to call Pittsburgh “decent”, however the rivalry factor makes this game a crap shoot. Unfortunately for Cincy, Pittsburgh matches up well against their strength in Dillon and Kitna is a crap shoot. Pittsburgh will probably have continued success with Maddox against Cincy’s pass defense. The fact that its a road game should give people pause after seeing how Cincy hung in against Indy, but that 6½ point spread is tempting. Anyone looking at the final scores of the Bengals’ would probably expect them to struggle to score here, but I’m going to take a stab and say that they score. Pittsburgh will win, but the Bungles find a way to cover. That said, I won’t be betting it.

Cleveland @ Tampa Bay 4:15 ET (No Line)
Another mysterious No Line. Holcomb is out, Couch is in. Unless his concussion is worse than reported, he’ll be in there. Unless I’m forgetting something, that’s the only question mark. I have a feeling that Browns fans should be very worried, just as all confidence is Couch slips (unjustly IMHO) the fan fave gets hurt for a month at least. Talk about bad news. Things haven’t been going the Browns way much this year, and things like that to become constant trends for either good or bad. The upside is that the Browns WRs are really coming into their own it seems, but their defense seems to be coming apart. Tampa however seems to be coming together in its own way, still not scaring anyone offensively, but they are at least putting points on the board consistently. I don’t see any way that Couch can get his game together without a solid running game against the TB defense that is hitting its stride. As long as this isn’t a monster spread, I’m taking the home team to win and cover.

Kansas City @ San Diego 4:15 ET (Chargers by 3)
This game will be great to watch, can’t wait. I really hope we get to see it in my area. These two teams are charging to the top fast and this could be a great week to see who’s the better of the two, and its a divisional game! I think its clear that neither one is a pretender, no matter what the strength of schedule says. Holmes looks flat out awesome and LT is no slouch. If Brees gets the chance to air it out some against the Chiefs defense it could be lots of fun. Really these teams seem pretty even, one great offense and a capable defense and another great defense and a very capable offense. I’m going to give the edge to San Diego because they are at home, have Seau and a defense that might slow down Holmes just enough, and lastly the Chief’s kicker is hurting. Chargers win and cover.

Oakland @ St. Louis 4:15 ET (Raiders by 7)
This is wild, I never thought the Rams would totally roll over. By all rights this should be a much bigger spread. I suppose the bookies and bettors are paranoid that the old Rams could come out of hiding at any time, especially at home against a less than dominating defense. But then again the Raiders are the best team in the league and are firing on all cylinders offensively. There’s no doubt that they’ll score plenty against the Rams weak D, but will Martin find a way to get the ball to the studs once in a while? Maybe, but I doubt it’ll be enough to make this a close shootout. I just can’t see the Rams going 4-12, but you can’t pick em this week. Raiders win and cover.

Miami @ Denver 8:30 ET (Broncos by 3)
The Broncos always seem to get the tough games at home, not sure why that is. Something tells me that the Broncos aren’t that good, and I have a tough time putting my hopes on Jay Fiedler. Then again, I have absolutely no evidence to back those gut feelings up, its just a hunch. However, I’m pretty sure that one of these teams weaknesses will be exposed this week. My bet is that its the Broncos. I think that Griese will fold under the pressure the Miami defense puts on him, he won’t make those perfect decisions you need against Miami’s man-to-man. Also, I think that Miami’s power running game will neutralize the speed Denver’s linebackers possess. I’ve got a feeling defense will dominate this game and it’ll stay close, so a big defensive or special teams play could turn it. Nevertheless, I’ll take the points on the road and go with Miami to upset.

Monday Night Football
San Francisco @ Seattle 9:00 ET (Niners by 3)
This spread seems a little low looking at the records. Its a brand spanking new divisional rivalry, so I don’t suppose it’ll be all that emotional just yet. Alexander seems to explode on Sunday night, we’ll have to see if that trend continues on Monday. The Niners offense hasn’t lit things up like you’d expect them too, but the Seahawks secondary didn’t exactly shut down the Vikings either. Both these teams are something of an enigma. I haven’t had a chance to watch a SF game all the way through so I don’t feel that confident prognosticating them. The niners D has held up well against the run, so I’m tempted to think that Alexander won’t dominate the game. If he’s limited every other facet of the game favors San Fran. So, I’m gonna pick the Niners to win and cover.

I’d like to to test my theory concerning football tipping, being that the accuracy of ones tips is inversely proportional to their knowledge about the game. Hence, being a foreigner who does not keep up with the sport at all, I can tell you without doubt that this weekends winners will be:

Green Bay
New Orleans
Tampa Bay
Kansas City
St Louis
San Francisco.

My week 5 lesson: It works better when you just don’t care. Ended up falling only 4 places at the office pool but-- and this is the important part-- I’m still 8 places ahead of my cube-mate. The one who calls my picks “irrational girlie picks” (not that I’m denying that many of my picks are irrational or that I’m a girl-- only that that is no reason to tease me, is all).

My best prediction for this seek-- THE JETS WILL NOT LOSE!
My Irrational Girlie Picks–
Atlanta @ New York
Could it be? Have the Giants called AAA and gotten road maps to the end zone? Don’t tell me that Dallas has allowed almost twice as many points as they have scored so far this year, because I don’t wanna hear it. Which part of irrational don’t you understand?
New Orleans @ Washington
With nothing to recommend either team and a 1.5 spread, I’ll let Billy Joel pick 'em-- I’d rather laugh with the Redskins than cry with the Saints. the Redskins are much more fun!

Carolina @ Dallas
Did I already mention Dallas’ points scored vs points allowed? The Panthers don’t do that and they’ve got that cool roaring Panther on their helmets. All the Panthers have to do to win is remember that turnovers are only good with apples in them.

Buffalo @ Houston
All of my indicators in this match-up of the two non-US teams point to our neighbors in the South: The Canadians bummed me last week, the Texans have more than a touchdown advantage in the spread, and they (the Texans) are nice and rested. So of course I’m going with the Bills.

Miami @ Denver
Can Denver beat Miami with Williams? Well, I dunno! Alls I know is that I hate Miami and Denver has those pretty horses.

Jacksonville @ Tennessee
It’s the battle of the accents! The Titans lost to the Redskins last week and the Jaguars beat Phillie. Even though their Jaguar is nowhere near as cool as Carolina’s panther, I’m sticking with the cat theme.

Cleveland @ Tampa Bay
What is it that’s going to stop the Bucs from whooping the Browns butts this week? Is there something I’m missing? Why only a 7.5 spread?

Kansas City @ San Diego
San Diego lost to the only really good team they played this year. Are the Chiefs a really good team? Well, I’m not sure, but the do have a 3.5 point advantage.
San Francisco @ Seattle
There are too many damn teams to keep track of. I have no idea what’s going on here.

Detroit @ Minnesotta
Out. . . of. . .steam. . … Must. . .pick. . . …

Hey Omni, where are you getting your spreads? They guy who runs it in my office gets them from the local paper.

I have been getting the initial spreads off, they’re the only sports page I know of that posts them before Thursday. Every Thursday I get my “official” spreads from the commish of my pick 5 pool, last year he pulled them from the Chicago Tribune, I’m not sure about this season, but I assume they are still the Trib.

And one question, what am I missing about the “non-US” teams? I figure you have some reason other than proximity to the border for calling the Bills that, but what about the Texans? I know Texas likes to talk about being its own country, but then wouldn;t that make the Cowboys in the same boat? Did I miss a joke somewhere, just curious.

See cowboys are American, Texans are from a different country-- go ask 'em.

What? You didn’t think there was a rational reason, did you?

Um, and the Bills?

Buffalo is in Canada. Oh sure, they like to pretend they’re a New York team, but I know different.
What’s this no line stuff? I guess no line makes more sense than Tampa by 7, but what does it mean, betting-wise?

It means you just pick the winner straight up

No, thats wrong. It means you can’t bet on the game. A “pick 'em” spread means that the two teams are so equally matched that neither team gets any points, and you just pick the winner straight up. An “OFF” or “No Line” game means that there is something uncertain about the game (98% of the time its a injury or unclear roster choice) and the bookies are unablto determine a spread. For example in the Giants-Falcon’s game Mike Vick is hurt, and hasn’t been completely ruled out according to the offical inury report. (The news all says he’s definately out, so its should probably not be OFF, but it is) In this case if Vick plays it’ll probably be a very close spread, less than 3 points either way, however if Vick doesn’t play and the Falcons go with the back up, the Giants will be something like a 7+ point fave. The bookies need to cover their ass in these cases, because someone with inside info or if there’s last minute change it could create a easy win situation and the bookies would lose their shirt.

Hey, where is everyone this week?!?!!?

I’ll try to get my picks in tonight. I’m a little busy lately.

Here’s the revised spreads. OMNI picks will be forthcoming tomorrow.

Sunday Games
Atlanta at N.Y. Giants 12:00pm, OFF
Baltimore at Indianapolis 12:00pm, Indianapolis -6.5
Buffalo at Houston 12:00pm, Buffalo -7.5
Carolina at Dallas 12:00pm, Dallas -2.0
Detroit at Minnesota 12:00pm, Minnesota -4.5
Green Bay at New England 12:00pm, New England -5.0
Jacksonville at Tennessee 12:00pm, Jacksonville -2.0
New Orleans at Washington 12:00pm, New Orleans -1.0
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati 12:00pm, Pittsburgh -6.0
Cleveland at Tampa Bay 3:15pm, OFF
Kansas City at San Diego 3:15pm, San Diego -3.0
Oakland at St. Louis 3:15pm, Oakland -7.0
Miami at Denver 7:30pm, Denver -3.5

Monday Night Football
San Francisco at Seattle 8:00pm, San Francisco -3.0

And let me say…mother fuckers! Lots of adjustments on spreads and almost all of them drop the half points. Fucking bookie cocksuckers. Sorry…pushes really piss me off.

Note these changes:
Indy is now -6½ instead of -6.
Dallas is now -2 instead of -2½.
New England is now -5 instead of 4½.
New Orleans in now -1 instead of -1½.
Pittsburgh is now -6 instead of -6½.
Denver is now -3½ instead of -3.

I think thats all of them, but you might want to glance on your own if you’re interested. How lame is it that those two games are OFF, can anyone explain why to me? Vick and Holcomb are both out…what am I missing?

Here’s the revised spreads. OMNI picks will be forthcoming tomorrow.

Sunday Games
Atlanta at N.Y. Giants 12:00pm, OFF
Baltimore at Indianapolis 12:00pm, Indianapolis -6.5
Buffalo at Houston 12:00pm, Buffalo -7.5
Carolina at Dallas 12:00pm, Dallas -2.0
Detroit at Minnesota 12:00pm, Minnesota -4.5
Green Bay at New England 12:00pm, New England -5.0
Jacksonville at Tennessee 12:00pm, Jacksonville -2.0
New Orleans at Washington 12:00pm, New Orleans -1.0
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati 12:00pm, Pittsburgh -6.0
Cleveland at Tampa Bay 3:15pm, OFF
Kansas City at San Diego 3:15pm, San Diego -3.0
Oakland at St. Louis 3:15pm, Oakland -7.0
Miami at Denver 7:30pm, Denver -3.5

Monday Night Football
San Francisco at Seattle 8:00pm, San Francisco -3.0

And let me say…mother fuckers! Lots of adjustments on spreads and almost all of them drop the half points. Fucking bookie cocksuckers. Sorry…pushes really piss me off.

Note these changes:
Indy is now -6½ instead of -6.
Dallas is now -2 instead of -2½.
New England is now -5 instead of 4½.
New Orleans in now -1 instead of -1½.
Pittsburgh is now -6 instead of -6½.
Denver is now -3½ instead of -3.

I think thats all of them, but you might want to glance on your own if you’re interested. How lame is it that those two games are OFF, can anyone explain why to me? Vick and Holcomb are both out…what am I missing?

They need to buy new hamsters.

OK, the weeks are getting alot harder to predict with all these injuries. Is seems like big players for every team are having a rash of them.

Quick update:

Raiders @ Rams - OK, its just been reported that Jamie Martin is riding the pine this week due to an injury, and Mark Bulger will be starting. Not good news for Rams fans, but then they report that its becoming less likely that Charlie Garner will start for the Raiders on th eturf as he hasn’t been practicing. Nevertheless, I can’t see the Rams covering, and Garner is more likely to play than Martin.

Saints @ Redskins - Looks like Stallworth is out for NO again. Probably will still go with the Saints to win and cover, but its something to consider.

OK, just got a note that my spreads have been updated to include the two OFF games. Here’s what they’re calling them.

Atlanta at N.Y. Giants 12:00pm, N.Y. Giants -6.0
Cleveland at Tampa Bay 3:15pm, Tampa Bay -7.0

As I said above, I’m gonna have to go with the Giants to cover here, 6 isn’t enough to get me to change when they are playing at home. As for the Cleveland-Tampa game, I’m not sure frankly. 7 points is a scary number for a team like the Bucs who have been winning but not exactly scoring at will. I’m pretty confident they’ll win, but I’m not sure I would count on another defensive score to make it a 14 point win. Couch has been talking nice after getting alot of fan mail supporting him, so maybe the confidence thing isn’t such a serious issue. They’ve been right in alomst every game. Could be a push, but I’m gonna take the Bucs to cover at home, but not confidently.

Just a little tidbit that might be helpful on the Browns v Bucs. Robert Griffith, another one of their DBs, is injured and out.

That might help boost the Tampa Bay offense past the spread. Or not.

I’m starting to feel more confident about teams this season. Boy that was one hell of a start to the season wasn’t it. OK lets get started. I’m using America’s Line for the spreads and Over/Under. Favorites are shown in CAPS.
Sunday Games

Atlanta @ NY GIANTS 1:00 ET (5 O/U No line)
What a weak freaking forecast. If Vick was playing I’d take the Rams in a minute. Still the way the Giants are playing, I’m still more confident in the Falcons. If they do decide to put up a line, take the under. Falcons win.

**Baltimore @ INDIANAPOLIS 1:00 ET (6 ½ O/U 44) **
You know, last season I though Ray Lewis was mostly hype. But damn that’s a one-man defensive front the Ravens got. I have reservations he could make much of a difference in this game even if he does play. Indy wins, Ravens cover and under.

BUFFALO @ Houston 1:00 ET (7½ O/U 44)
Seven and a half snort Buffalo wins and covers, over.

**Carolina @ DALLAS 1:00 ET (2 O/U 34) **
I can’t for the life of me figure out why the Cowboys are favored in this game. Sure that was a good win against the Rams a couple of weeks ago. But after I watched the Rams rollover and expose their bellies for the Niner’s, I wouldn’t use that game as a benchmark. Carolina wins. Take the over.

Detroit @ MINNESOTA 1:00 ET (4½ O/U 49)
Want to cure the Vikings? Get rid of Moss, just that simple. Detroit still has time to make something of the season, and a win here would be a great step in that direction. Call it a hunch. Lions upset. Under.

**Green Bay @ NEW ENGLAND (4½ O/U 47) **
There’s a reason the Pats are favored here; it’s that lousy defense of the Pack. Still Favre is a guy that’s hard to count out. I’ll take the Pats to win and cover. Over.

**JAX @ Tennessee 1:00 ET (2 O/U 44) **
I haven’t seen the foreign sports car play this year. So I’m picking blind. However there are three teams I don’t bet against at home, Denver, KC and lately the Titans. So keeping that in mind Titans and under.

NEW ORLEANS @ Washington 1:00 ET (1 O/U 45 1/2)
All I can say is that Steve Spurrier must have some real hard-core fans amongst the bookie crowd. No freaking way the Saints won’t dominate this game. NO wins and cover, take the over here.

**PITT @ Cincinnati 1:00 ET (6½ O/U 41) **
Let me say just one thing about this game. Take the under.

**Cleveland @ TAMPA BAY 4:15 ET (7 NO LINE) **
The odds makers are scared of the fans, that’s the only thing that makes sense of these numbers. That TB offense has to pull it together eventually, and Cleveland fans deserve whatever happens to their team. TB wins and covers. Should they post a line lower the 47 take the under.

**Kansas City @ SAN DIEGO 4:15 ET (3 O/U 46 1/2) **
Now why this one wasn’t a no-line I don’t know. I’m staying the hell away from this game. If you hold me down and make me choose, I’d take the Chiefs, I just don’t believe in that Chargers team.

OAKTOWN @ St. Louis 4:15 ET (7 O/U 49)

Not that I’m going to disagree with much of what Omniscient said; but I do have a minor quibble. The Raiders are certainly not the best team in the NFL. True I’ll give you that their offense is performing beautifully, however ‘team’ infers both sides of the ball. The Raiders defense is decidedly non-spectacular. Homework challenge for anyone who cares, go read the press on the Raiders last season; same time frame. That out of the way, there is no excuse for the way the Rams are playing (see the Detroit commentary above) and you don’t overcome it in one week. Take Oakland to win and cover, and take the under.
Miami @ DENVER (3 40 1/2)

If this game were anywhere but Denver, I’d be surely picking the Dolphins. I’m tempted to pick it anyway, but see above. Take the over here.

Monday Night Football **

**SAN FRANCISCO @ Seattle 9:00 ET (3 O/U 42 1/2) **
Unless you’re a Niner fan like me, there’s no reason not to spend time with the family Monday night. The spread I believe represents a nod to Holmgren, who coached Green Bay against some of those playoff wins against the Niners. I guess they forgot they need a team to back up the coach. Oh and don’t expect Alexander to get great numbers against this D-Line. Everything about this game says yawner. Niners win and cover take the over here too.


Just wanted to keep it current

The Raiders aren’t flawless, but can you name a team better? Yes their defense has some holes, but they are definately improved and don’t need to be suffocating to win with that offense.

They are the only undefeated team, and they haven’t exactly played a bunch of cupcakes. Philly is more questionable on offense than Oakland is on defense. If you can stop the run you can beat Miami, and they’ve given up points to good teams on defense. The Pack has no defense, they make Oakland look dominating. Lets see, who else could there be? Buffalo, Pats, Chiefs, Chargers? I didn’t think so. Niners, Saints, Panthers? Not likely. They are the best team in the league right now, are they beatable on a given Sunday, yup, but I find it tough to argue that there’s a better team.

ok, not so much last minute picks as last minute analysis. I did my pick’em league by Tuesday or Wednesday, just checked back there this morning and only ‘adjusted’ one pick. I think I had the Falcons over the Giants, which I originally assumed Vick would return for. With D. Johnson in the lineup, I don’t think the Falcons have much of a chance. Although a steady diet of TJ Duckett could swing things.

Ok, I see that’s a good segue to:

Sunday Games
Atlanta at N.Y. Giants
I like Doug Johnson, he’s an ex-Gator after all, but I can’t think of any former Gator QBs that have thrived in the NFL. Maybe Strahan will wake up and remind Dougie why he should have stayed with the Devil Rays.
Giants 24-10

Baltimore at Indianapolis
I started to take Baltimore in this game. Indy just looked too vulnerable last week. Then I remembered that Ray Lewis might not play and that this is a day game.
Colts 21-14

Buffalo at Houston
All indications are that this game should be a blowout. But there is a nagging little voice in the back of my head that says that Houston will be spunky enough to make this a game. When I take my meds the little voices in my head go away, though.
Bills 35-24

Carolina at Dallas
The bloom is off the rose. This is one of the tougher games for me to pick this week, but since Dallas seems to be winning every other game, I’ll go with Quincy to make the completion this week.
Cowboys 13-10

**Detroit at Minnesota **
Do the Vikings play the Bengals this year? No reason, just asking. As inept as the Lions can be, I think that they at least want to win.
Lions 17-14

Green Bay at New England
Maybe it’s Jarbaby rubbing off on me, which wouldn’t be such a bad thing, mind you, but I’ve begun to kind of root against the Packers. I don’t actively hate them, it’s more of a distrust. Also, I think this is more a necessary game for the Patriots. But the line may indicate that the Patriots are getting a little more respect than they deserve right now.
Patriots 31-27

Jacksonville at Tennessee
Gotta stick with the Jaguars while everyone is still pretty much healthy. If this continues I think the Jaguars could go far into the playoffs. I mean, c’mon, who’s their competition in the AFC South?
Jaguars 28-14

New Orleans at Washington
Now that Patrick Ramsey has settled in at QB (tee hee) it’s likely we’ll see some of those high scoring affairs that the pundits were predicting early on. A big key for Washington is that Stephen Davis remain healthy. The Spurrier teams at Florida were never one-dimensional. Everyone seems to forget that Fred Taylor was a stud RB there on their best teams.
Redskins 30-28

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
Yeah, I know I’m crazy, and even though I live here I’m definitely not a homer. It’s just that the Bengals, particularly with Kitna under center, have had the Steelers number of later. Their big come from behind win at the end of last year was probably the blue print that the Raiders brain trust used to tear the Steel Curtain to pieces in week 1. If I had an “upset pick of the week” this would be it.
Bengals 28-20

Cleveland at Tampa Bay
Tim Couch is just the sort of QB that the Bucs eat for breakfast. A bit skittish, but not a runner. And the Browns don’t have Holcomb to fall back on this week. And they’re missing two-three of their starters in the secondary. And this is the Bucs only home game in October. Unless the Bucs are looking past the Browns to the Eagles, this game won’t even be close.
Buccaneers 27-10

Kansas City at San Diego
The running game is going to be the key here. Whoever can stop the other guy’s stud RB will win this. I am going to go uncertainly with the Chargers to rebound here, but I should probably check a little more on how banged up the Chargers defense is. I seem to have in the back of my head that Seau is hurt and possibly not playing, in which case the Chiefs would be the smart play. And which would make for a much higher scoring game. Have opposing RBs every run for 200 yards apiece in the same game?
Chargers 24-21

Oakland at St. Louis
I don’t understand why this isn’t a double digit spread. Particularly with Marc Bulger at QB. The Raiders defense has shut out teams, but they rival the Bucs D in putting points on the board.
Raiders 35-21

Miami at Denver
After last week it seems like the Dolphins should be favored, but Mile High, even though it’s not technically the same stadium, is a big home field advantage. I remember my first trip to Denver you just feel lightheaded. And about the worst place you can go there from is Miami, which has thick, warm, sea level air. If the Dolphins get going they could blow out the Broncos, especially if they can get their defensive line to put Griese on his back. Still, I’m going with the Broncos. Maybe I should skip the meds.
Broncos 21-20

Monday Night Football
San Francisco at Seattle
Logically this is a no-brainer. Should be 49ers in a cake walk. But I just have this feeling that Dilfer is going to be flawless and Alexander is going to chew up the SF defense.
Seahawks 27-24