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Sunday, October 22, 2006

NFL Weekend Picks

Here's my picks against the line:

I'll start with the Jets, giving 3.5 points to the Lions. Home game for the Jets, Lions are awful, Jets are not quite.

Next I'll take the Chargers, giving 5 to the Chiefs. The Chargers have the complete package, Chiefs are not competitive and won't even make it a close game. They'll be lucky not to get blown out yet again.

The Titans will do better than the 9.5 spread against the Jaguars. While their defense is crap, the Titans do have a pretty decent offense. Jacksonville has a solid defense but its offense is mediocre, so I just don't see them running up the score that much. The Titans seem to be slowly improving and are playing at home.

Patriots giving 5.5 to Bills is a hard one to call. Bills aren't bottom dwellers but aren't much better than one. Patriots are playing their usual hard, scrappy, resourceful football, so I'll have to go with them even though they are depleted from their Super Bowl strength on both sides of the ball. Patriots have a chance for a high playoff seed simply because the rest of their division is so weak - they're not going to screw that up on the Bills.

I'll take the Falcons and 2.5 points against the Steelers. The Steelers are not as bad as their record indicates, but are not so good that they should be getting points on the road against a winning team. The Falcons, stunned into humility by utter destruction at the hands of the Giants, will be less overconfident and better prepared to win this one.

Miami gives 5 at home against the Packers, another tough call for me. Both these teams stink. I'm going with Miami simply because they're playing at home, and it's easier for a bad team to fall apart on the road. Miami will show flashes of the good team people expected at the start of the season.

I'll take the Bucs and five points over the Eagles. The Bucs are showing new life and the Eagles are finding ways to lose. Donovan McNabb is playing great but can't alone change Philidelphia's self-destructive streak. Then again, maybe I just hate Philly.

The Panthers will beat the 3 points they give to the Bengals, playing in Cincinnati. The Panthers have been a wrecking ball since Steve Smith's return, and as much as I dislike saying that one player makes that much difference, I think it does to Carolina in this case. Bengals aren't playing their best and won't be competitive in this game.

I take Denver, giving 4.5 to the Browns. Cleveland needs to score some points before I believe they can beat a spread.

I'll take the Colts, giving 9 to the Redskins. That's a lot of points to give, but the Colts have something to prove right now, and the Redskins aren't clicking well.

Vikings are offered 6.5 against the Seahawks, and I'll take the Vikes and the points. Vikings are a decent team that seems to know how to stay in games. Seahawks have been looking weaker and weaker in successive games - it's time for them to break.

Contrary to popular opinion, I do not think that this is Oakland's week to win. Contrary to all known sports tradition I will actually take Arizona - on the road no less - and GIVE points, 3 to be precise. Arizona's first 40 minutes on Monday were something to build on. Oakland has nothing to build on.

and finally, I take the Giants and 3.5 points against the Cowboys. These Giants see themselves as Superbowl winners, and based on their play for most of the last two games, I believe it. When the Giants set their mind to something, the only thing that can stop them is the clock. Sure, Cowboys have the league's #1 run defense. But before last week's games, Atlanta had that honor, and the Giants piled up 259 running yards on the ground. Giants can and will play into the teeth of the Cowboys' strength and win.

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