As the NFL season marches on, it appears as if we know less and less about the teams. The Saints lose one week and win by a blowout the next. The Jags win two in a row then lose in a blowout the next. The Rams get hammered 44-6 by the Lions and then beat the Chargers at home. Who can predict some of these outcomes with all the erratic performances? It’s not easy for anyone, and even true geniuses like the Doc is having a tough time. But the Doc has been been busting his butt all week and looking into the oracle to find some strong picks for you. Let’s start with the top three.
Colt McCoy actually played well against the Steelers last week. The Browns had good field position and their defense isn’t completely embarrassing. The Saints haven’t been world beaters (until last weekend), and if there’s one thing Cleveland can do it’s keep a game reasonable. They just can’t fall behind early the way the Bucs did.
Speaking of the Bucs, I think this sets up as a nice bounce-back week for them. They can’t hang with the best teams in the league but they do fine against opponents their own size. Being on the road and outdoors will hurt the Rams who have been ravaged by receiver injuries.
We’ve talked about the Bears allowing Jay Cutler to get beat up this year. Think that will change when they face Brian Orakpo at home? Skins will get Albert Haynesworth involved too and that will help them pressure the quarterback. It will be two good defenses, and I like Washington’s chances of scoring points more than Chicago’s. More analysis after the picks chart.
(ATS = Against the Spread, SU = Straight Up)
With Todd Bouman starting at quarterback it will be a long day for the Jags. They do have some hope; if MJD breaks off a big run or two, they can stay in the game. Their secondary problems make me think KC will put up points.
Tennessee looked good on Monday and their defense is playing well. You could say the same for Philly, so this is an even game. I give the edge to the home team and I think Vince Young will play.
Atlanta was embarrassed last weekend at Philly and never got into the game. They’ll be at home in the dome which will help, but Cincy is coming off a bye. I envision a low scoring game in the teens won by the Falcons on a field goal.
Pittsburgh has been my team all year. If there’s one factor we can count on from week-to-week, it’s their defense showing up. There aren’t many teams that instill more confidence in me than theirs. Still, Miami has a strong defense as well and a decent offense. I would be surprised if this game weren’t decided in the final five minutes.
Buffalo is coming off a bye but that won’t even help them they’re so bad. They’ll get destroyed again, but they have a shot at the backdoor cover. Ray Rice is due for a big game.
I don’t think Carolina will win more than three games this season (if that), but I think they can get a victory here. They’re at home against the 49ers, coming off a bye, and they have one of their best players back in the lineup in Steve Smith. Matt Moore isn’t the answer, but he may be able to come up with one or two big plays and that could be enough to win.
Seattle is much better at home and they have a good defense. They should win this one pretty handily, though Arizona’s defense could keep it interesting if they keep forcing turnovers the way they have been. This won’t be an easy assignment for rookie Max Hall in such a loud stadium.
We’re hearing that Kyle Boller is likely to start at quarterback for the Raiders. That means you can guarantee a victory for the Broncos. They’ll be up so big in this one their players will be able to pull a Gilbert Arenas and play some blackjack online at halftime. Even if Jason Campbell plays, Denver will win this one. Neither quarterback gives Oakland much of a chance and the Broncos should win easily.
It’s hard to know which Chargers team will show up. I still believe in them, but the Patriots seemed to have figured things out defensively and their offense is getting the job done. They put together a nice comeback against the Ravens and should be able to pull this one out in San Diego, but I’m not giving up on the Chargers yet.
I never really bought into the Packers as a Super Bowl team this year (their current online casino odds have dropped to 14:1) and their rash of injuries doesn’t help. I think Minnesota is a better team and will prove it this weekend. The Vikings have pulled it together in the second half in consecutive weeks and I say they make it three in a row.
I had the Giants winning this division and finishing ahead of the Cowboys, but that doesn’t mean Dallas can’t win a big game before their season goes further into the crapper, right? The Giants have been on a role lately winning three straight while Dallas has lost two in a row. Something tells me the Boys will avoid the dumb penalties that have killed them all year and win this one.Google+