Thursday, 24 September 2009

NFL Picks Against the Spread 2009: Week 3

Back for the always challenging picking against the spread! When I used to do these in the past, my goal was always .500... so I will stick with that as a goal. Let's just say there is a reason I don't gamble! But picking against the spread is more fun and challenging than picking straight up.

I just got my odds from here, taking the most common line at the time if there are any discrepancies between all of them.

Titans (+3) over Jets
Perhaps no team has been more impressive over 2 weeks than the Jets (#5 in my power rankings), but I think this will be a case of one team desperately needing a win, and the other wanting a win. The Titans, at 0-2, need a win. They have playoff and Super Bowl aspirations, and they are too good to fall to 0-3 and let them die.

Packers (-6.5) over Rams
The Rams are averaging 3.5 PPG over the first two weeks. Nope, that is not a misprint.

Lions (+6.5) over Redskins
A lot of people are saying this is the week the streak ends (including Peter King, though he said that last week too)... I'm not sold, but I think it will be an ugly game. I like the Redskins to win a game that feels like a loss... sorta like last week. Something like 16-13 with a late FG.

Chiefs (+8.5) over Eagles
Without Donovan McNabb, I like the Eagles to struggle for this victory. The defense got shredded last week by the Saints. And while no one will mistake this Chiefs offense for the Saints offense, I think Todd Haley will be able to exploit some things to keep the game at least close.

Patriots (-4) over Falcons
Another desperation game... not that the Patriots are done if they fall to 1-2, but they just need to get some of their mojo back. This would be a good place to start by beating a good Falcons team. Tony Gonzalez has added another dimension to the Falcons offense. New England needs to get better pressure on the QB or else Matt Ryan will pick them apart. I like Bill Belicheck to get it done.

Texans (-3.5) over Jaguars
Jack Del Rio, start updating your resume.

Vikings (-6.5) over 49ers
I know Frank Gore is real good, and the Niners have looked solid going 2-0. But they beat a sleepwalking Cardinals team and a Seahawks team that didn't have Matt Hasselbeck for much of the game. Let's not get too crazy yet. The Vikings need to start getting off to quicker starts, but I still like them by two touchdowns.

Ravens (-13) over Browns
Yep, the Ravens offense is pretty stinkin' good this year too. The Browns lost to Denver by 21 last week... I like the Ravens to do the same thing to them.

Giants (-6.5) over Bucs
The Bucs defenders keep dropping, and the passing game can't get much consistency. Cadillac is a great story, but the Bucs are just not a good football team right now. Meanwhile, the Giants passing game is finding its groove, which should only open things up more for the running game.

Saints (-6) over Bills
Until the Saints prove me wrong, I will assume nobody can stop them. Buffalo has been fairly impressive this year and they look like they could challenge for a playoff spot if things break right. But they still aren't getting TO very involved, and you have to think he won't like that for too much longer. The Saints defense has just been good enough to think the Saints could be contenders this year, and I like that trend to continue against Buffalo.

Bears (-2) over Seahawks
If Matt Hasselbeck plays, he won't be anywhere near 100%. That does not bode well for a very mediocre Seahawks team. Plus, the defense didn't look so good either giving up TD runs of 79 and 80 yards against Frank Gore. Look for Forte to finally get on track running the football this week.

Bengals (+4) over Steelers
I'm not sure the Bengals have enough to upset Pittsburgh, but I think they keep it real close. Pittsburgh has not looked very dominant through 2 games, while the Bengals looked surprisingly solid winning at Lambeau last week. Look for them to try to get Cedric Benson involved again, which will set them up to make just enough plays in the passing game to keep this a tight ballgame.

Dolphins (+6) over Chargers
I am guessing the Dolphins will try a similar strategy that they tried against the Colts... with about the same result.

Raiders (+1.5) over Broncos
Not that JaMarcus Russell and his 35% completion rate (seriously... 35%... no, seriously) is that impressive, I think the Raiders are a better overall team than the Broncos. With the game being played at Oakland, I like them to take a squeaker against their bitter rivals from Denver.

Colts (+2.5) over Cardinals
I know Arizona is at home and played well last week... but the Cardinals are favored? I was a bit surprised, I must admit. I simply think the Colts are a much better team than the Cardinals. They got gouged in the running game last week against Miami, but Arizona is not exactly a team that is going to exploit that weakness.

Panthers (+8.5) over Cowboys
For some reason, the Panthers just bore me. I don't know what it is about them, but I am just not interested at all in them. I think something about Jake Delhomme is just so unenticing to me, that even with the dynamic running backs they have (not to mention Steve Smith), I just don't care to ever see them play. What that has to do with me picking them to cover, I don't know.

What are your thoughts? Which picks do you disagree with?