Tuesday, November 11, 2008

More NFL picks

After last week, I am now 81-64 straight up, 87-57 against the spread. Back to the 16 game weeks, which ordinarily are a chance to catch up, but I am doing so poorly in my pools that I have no chance. Except the ATS pools. Where I'm doing fine. Stupid football.

New York Jets - New England: A really short week for both teams, and I am really not sure about this one. The Jets looked awfully impressive this week, destroying the Rams by running up to 40-0 at halftime. The Patriots looked very good as well, with that clock-killing drive at the end of the fourth quarter that basically sealed the game. The fact that the Patriots allowed a score so late is cause for concern however, and I'm pretty sure their defense is not as good as it seems. I think Brett Favre could perhaps take advantage. They will certainly cover the 3-point spread. I think. And I am tempted to take the Jets in the upset, for a symbolic passing of the torch. So I will.

Jets, 34-31. The torch has been passed. The Patriots defense came on strong in the second half, except when New England needed it most. Favre did what the Jets hoped he would do when they picked him up. Did anyone really think the Jets were going to make the playoffs this year? Anyone? Raise your hands...here's the thing. The Packers are still a better team, outside the QB position, than the Jets. And yet the Jets are 7-3, and the Pack is 4-5. Not only does this really show the value of a team leader, and the value of Favre, but I think it shows that my Packers would have pulled out the upset, with Favre, in the Super Bowl had they beaten the Giants in overtime last year. Stupid New York. Giants, that is.

Atlanta - Denver: The Broncos, I am still convinced, are pretty darn bad. Yes, they are first in their division, and yes, they have beaten some decent teams. But they have given up 27 points more than they have scored, whereas the second-place team in their division, the 4-5 Chargers, have scored 26 MORE points than they have given up. I still think San Diego will take this division, and Denver will be back at .500 after running into a very surprising Atlanta team in Atlanta this week. The Falcons haven't lost at home yet this year, and they will not lose to the Broncos. Also, the Falcons will cover the 5 1/2 points.

Broncos, 24-20. Well, I was pretty wrong. The Broncos seemed to pull this one out of their collective asses, looking terrible in the first half and then pulling out three long scoring drives in the second. I am still not sold on the Broncos. At all. But with Jay Cutler, it appears as though they always have a chance to win.

Carolina - Detroit: The Panthers are very good. You can't tell anything from their win this week, because it was against a terrible team and although they looked sloppy Carolina was going to win, no matter what. This coming week, they play one of the only teams that is worse. And even with the sloppiest play in the world, they ought to cover the 14 points.

Panthers, 31-22. I really shouldn't have taken Carolina to cover. In retrospect. After all, double-digit favourites have had a terrible time covering this year. But really, was there any doubt they would win outright? They didn't put the Lions away until late though - could there be a little trouble in Carolina?

Washington - Dallas: OK, let me get this straight. The Redskins are 6-3 overall, 3-2 at home, and have won 3 of their past 5. The Cowboys are 5-4 overall, 2-3 on the road, and have 2 wins in their past 5. The Skins are 2-1 in their division, the Cowboys are 1-2. If the Cowboys had a 3-6 record, these teams would be exact opposites, as one is on the way up and the other on the way down. And yet Dallas is favoured by 2 1/2 points? Come on. Skins in the "upset" here.

Cowboys, 14-10. Well, I'm not going to go crazy here and say that Tony Romo made all the difference. Because frankly, he didn't look that good. In fact, at certain points in the game, he looked terrible. But it is certainly possible that he gave the team as a whole a big lift. Let's not go throwing the 'Boys back into the mix of the NFC "elite" quite yet, but they certainly took a step in the right direction last night. Romo will not fix all of their (many) problems. But he gives them a chance to win, and sometimes that's all they need.

Green Bay - Chicago: OK. The Packers have been quite disappointing, losing two in a row, and going 2-2 at home. But I still (and this is the third straight week I have said this) think they are the best team in the NFC North. I will stop saying this if the Bears beat the Packers in Green Bay. The Bears ARE 3-0 in the division this year. But they will lose here and be tied with the Pack at 5-5. And if not, I will stop talking about the Packers as though they can do something this season. There is no line on this game at the moment.

Packers, 37-3. OK. The Packers are now 5-5. Like the Bears. And Minnesota. And I still think they are the best team in the NFC North, because this game was a total no-doubter. The Bears are a pretty decent team, and they got hammered in this one. Packers will win this division, thereby making the playoffs. You heard it here first.

Arizona - Seattle: Yes, the Cardinals almost gave it away at the last second to the Niners. And yes, there is a good chance that they will squander the very good start they have had to their season. And yes, Seattle is still capable of beating any team in the league on any given day in the right conditions. But of late, Seattle is more likely to lay a giant egg and Arizona is more likely to be able to squeak one out. Were this game in Arizona, I would suggest that the Cards could run up the score in a big way. In Seattle, I think they will squeak one out. There is no line at the moment.

Cardinals, 26-20. I don't know if this qualifies as "squeaking one out". In the end, it was more "holding on to win". But Arizona looked dominant in the first half, Kurt Warner is the early MVP front-runner, he is absolutely on fire, and the Seahawks are going nowhere.

Indianapolis - Houston: The Colts are looking as though they have started to put it together. They've won two in a row, and are looking at a wild-card playoff spot if they can keep up the momentum. They ought to be able to keep up the momentum against Houston, who have yet to win a single game on the road. Colts by more than the 8 1/2 spread.

Colts, 33-27. OK, they didn't cover the spread, but the Colts did run away from the Texans twoard the end. Houston is still a halfway decent football club, but Indianapolis looks to be coming into their own. And if Marvin Harrison is really back, as he appeared to be in this game, look out AFC.

Miami - Oakland: It has been pretty easy to go through an eliminator pool this year picking against Oakland, Detroit or Cincinnatti. And the Raiders are making it easier and easier with each passing week. Since giving Buffalo a run for their money a few weeks ago, they have been worse and worse each Sunday. And Miami have been getting better and better. Dolphins have won three in a row, Raiders have lost three in a row, take the Fish to win. Raiders to cover the 10 1/2 though, Oakland can keep this a little closer than that.

Miami, 17-15. Apparently, Oakland can keep it a LOT closer than that. Although Miami has been, I would say, the biggest surprise of the season so far, they are not yet an elite club, or even a very good one. They are better than average. And that's all. The Raiders are worse than average. Much worse.

New Orleans - Kansas City: The Saints have been decidedly disappointing this season, particularly in the last few weeks. But even on their worst day, they can beat the Chiefs. So I'm taking the Saints to win, but because they have yet to win a game on the road this year, I will take the Chiefs to cover the 5 1/2.

New Orleans, 30-20. Well, the Chiefs did not cover. And the Saints remain disappointing, despite covering the spread and looking pretty good. But until New Orleans can do this against a good team, or lay a complete beating on a bad one, they are not there yet.

New York Giants - Baltimore Ravens: The Giants are that good. They have lost only one game this season, and they beat a very very good Eagles team in Philadelphia this week. Which is a more impressive win that it may seem. But then - all of a sudden, the Ravens are also that good. They have won four in a row. And Joe Flacco looks like he could be fantastic. While I wouldn't anticipate the Ravens being able to beat the Giants in New York, I think they will be able to cover the 6 1/2 spread.

Giants, 30-10. Well, it looks like the Ravens are still a way away from becoming one of the truly top-tier teams in the NFL. Flacco came down to Earth, hard, against that Giants defense. Hopefully he can rebound, because if he can't, the Ravens promising season could be lost.

Philadelphia - Cincinnatti: The Eagles need to make a move, and they need to do it fast. After being edged out by the Giants this week, they have yet to win a game in their division. Which means they better win all the games they play outside that division. Especially against weak-ass opponents like the dreadful Bengals. Look for Philly not to take it easy here, and win huge, covering the 9.

Tie game, 13-13. What? OK, the Eagles are not the team I thought they were. Perhaps they think they are a great team, and can ignore teams like the Bengals. But they can't. Week after week, Cincinnatti is getting better. And Philly is, apparently, getting worse.

Pittsburgh - San Diego: The Steelers had a heartbreaking loss to the Colts this week, and the Chargers, lame though they have seemed this year, are still dangerous. The Chargers have been weak on the road this year, however, and the Steelers are just too good to let San Diego surprise them. Pittsburgh to win, and cover the 3 1/2.

Steelers, 11-10. Frankly, that TD at the end of the game should have made this 18-10. Which would have made my prediction come true, and the Steelers would have covered. But no matter. Until LT breaks out and becomes the LT of old, the Chargers have no chance of becoming the Chargers of old. And that Steelers defense looks fantastic. Amazingly, the Chargers D looked terrific in this game.

San Francisco - St. Louis: The Rams just got blown up by the Jets, and one can only suspect that their confidence is pretty low right now. Both teams are 2-7, and they suck. And they are terrible at home and on the road. The Niners home field advantage is negligible here. Their divisional records are terrible. Someone has to win this game, and there is no line. I am going to pick the Niners to do that.

Niners, 35-16. Well, someone had to win. And someone had to lose. And I was right about who would do both. But I could never have foreseen this final score. The Niners absolutely pounded the Rams, who seem to have forgotten their mini-surge against the Giants and Cowboys earlier this year. Where is that team now?

Tampa Bay - Minnesota: Adrian Peterson had a huge game against the Packers, but here he's on the road, and he is nowhere near as good on the road as he is when he's at home. Tampa is undefeated at home, and they will stay that way. They will beat up on the Vikings, covering the 4 point spread.

Buccaneers, 19-13. Well, OK. They didn't exactly beat up on the Vikes, but they did cover the spread, they did look good, they did stay undefeated at home, and Minnesota looks more and more like a home-only team. They also look like a team that has little chance of winning their division, now that they are tied at 5-5 with the Bears and Packers.

Tennessee - Jacksonville: The Titans look unstoppable. They have been able to beat all comers, and they likely will do the same against the disappointing Jags. Jacksonville has been terrible at home, for some reason. The Titans will cover the three points, and then some.

Titans, 24-14. Well, I thought Tennessee would win even bigger than this. But Jacksonville remains a team that has the capacity to be tough, and they were pretty tough in this one. In the end, though, the Titans defense is what will carry them through this season with the best record in football. But not undefeated. Come on people.

Buffalo - Cleveland: The Bills are pretty good at home, but Cleveland is pretty good on the road. And Buffalo has been falling quickly over the past few weeks, with three losses in a row. The Browns to win, squeaking by in an upset. Bills are favoured by 4.

Browns, 29-27. The Bills made it close. In fact, they almost won. But in point of fact, this team is in freefall, having now lost four straight. And I really needed this win in my pools. So far so good.

I am now sitting at 94-66-1 straight up, and 94-67 ATS. I'm even again! Perhaps the world is righting itself. I went 13-2-1 straight up this week...I'm still too far behind to win my pools, but at least I feel good.

No comments:

Post a Comment