Friday, 20 October 2006

NFL Picks Against the Spread: Week 7

As we inch closer towards the midway point of the year, well, most things still aren't clear about the NFL. Ok, the Colts offense is good, the Bears defense is good, and the Raiders suck. We do know that, I guess.

Jaguars (-9.5) over Texans
Apparently Gary Kubiak reads this blog, because after last week I sad that Ron Dayne was atrociously bad, and now it looks like he may not even play, leaving Wali Lundy and Samkon Gado to split carries. Coincedence? I THINK NOT! Well, actually yes it was, but let's not get into that right now. The moral of the story is, the Texans are bad, and the Jags offense is a lot better now that Maurice Jones-Drew is getting more time.

Panthers (+3) over Bengals
This pick worries me, because it seems like everyone is picking the Panthers, and that can only mean bad things. I think I read that all of ESPN's "experts" picked the Panthers to win this game. Regardless, the Bengals are struggling a bit right now, while the Panthers have looked unbeatable with Steve Smith in the lineup. And Julius Peppers is a freak, if you haven't noticed. I'll ride the hot hand.

Bills (+5.5) over Patriots
In the first meeting between these two teams, the Patriots eeked out a 19-17 win on opening day after a JP Losman fumble. Now, it's in Buffalo, McGahee is running the ball well, and I don't think Losman will take another safety. I like the Pats to win, but the Bills to cover.

Bucs (+5.5) over Eagles
Vince Young's been ok, Matt Leinart's been solid, but Bruce Gradkowski has been the best performing rookie QB so far. I'm not kidding. He's sparked the offense, is making plays, and now they even have Cadillac going. In Tampa's two games with Gradkowski at the helm, they lost @ NO on a punt return, and beat the Bengals. I'll take them to cover at home against Philly.

Jets (-3.5) over Lions
The Lions were pretty solid last week, as Roy Williams has finally erased some of the Lions 1st Round WR Curse by being, well, real good. But they did get some bad news, as stud DT Shaun Rogers was suspended. Other than the game against Jacksonville, the Jets have been a consistent team that has been in ever game under Coach Eric Mangini. I look for them to get above .500 with the home game against Detroit here.

Packers (+5.5) over Dolphins
Wow. This is not a game I'd like to have to watch this week.

Chargers (-5) over Chiefs
I realize this game is at Arrowhead, but did anyone watch the Steelers/Chiefs game last week? And the spread is only 5? So much for that improved KC defense. As for the Chargers, as I keep saying, as long as they continue to let Philip Rivers throw the ball, they're very possibly the best team in the NFL. Great running game, great defense, and what looks to be a real good, young QB.

Steelers (-2.5) over Falcons
I'm sorry, I have officially jumped off the Michael Vick Bandwagon. His completion percentage is a shade above 50%, 5 points lower than last year. That's not enough to make up for a few more rushing yards a game. Now that it looks like Big Ben is back to his old self, and Willie Parker is firmly entrenched, I'll take the Steelers.

Broncos (-4.5) over Browns
Until someone does something against this Denver defense, I have a hard time picking against them. As long as Jake Plummer doesn't really have to do anything, the Broncos are real good. I don't foresee the Browns forcing this game into a situation where Plummer has to make plays.

Cardinals (-3) over Raiders
Lost in the Leinart Hype (including by me) is that early on when the numbers were great for him, he didn't really have to do anything. They put him in shotgun, he dumped the ball off, and the receivers made plays. Now, Leinart was great on the last drive, but my point here is that if the WR are making plays against the Bears defense, they'll make plays against the Raiders defense.

Seahawks (-6.5) over Vikings
I love love love the Vikings D, but I'm not sure they can score enough with Brad Johnson. Plus, if they win and my pick is wrong, well, I'm ok with that too.

Redskins (+9.5) over Colts
If the Titans can come within a point of the Colts, the Redskins can, right? Well, that logic is stupid, but I'll still take the Skins to cover. I'm still having a hard time believing they're this bad though... I'll give them one more week to redeem themselves.

Cowboys (-3) over Giants
Two very good teams, two inconsistent QBs. Drew Bledsoe is Drew Bledsoe. If he has time, he's not bad. If he doesn't, he's really, really bad. Eli Manning, I have a tougher time figuring out. At times he'll look great (2nd half vs Philly), and other times he'll make passes that leave you scratching your head. I can't figure it out. What this means is that your guess is as good as mine regarding this game... but I'll go with the home team and the Dalls Cowboys.

Last Week: 6-7
Season: 43-39-5