Week nine. No excuses. No World Series. No Mad Men. No Halloween Parties. Just a nice long and lazy week to look at the lines. I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but we’ve got ourselves quite the little horse race here. Note my Breeders Cup specific terminology. With everyone bunching up, who knows which fearless handicapper will be on top after this Monday? Let’s get straight to the picks:
BIG DUB H: Record, 22-16-3
Your Philadelphia Eagles -3 against the Legend of Pey-Pey
The Eagles are a favorite in this spot? The Colts have been an underdog only 7 times over the past 3 years and they have yet to be a dog this season. So why are they a dog against an average Philly team? The best part is that most Eagles fans think this game is a slam dunk for the Colts. Lock this thing up. Eagles by at least 10.
Falcons -8 vs. Buccaneers
Raheem Morris says the Bucs are the best team in the NFL. Vegas says, “Not so much.” I will listen to Vegas.
Chiefs +3 vs. Raiders
Yep, I’m really doing it. I think the Chiefs are a legit playoff team that can hang with any team in the league.
Jets -4 @ Lions
This has trap written all over it and I’m stepping into it.
Bengals +4.5 vs. Steelers
I think I pick the Bengals every time they play the Steelers
KRAFT: Record, 22-17-1
I like quite a few games this week, but i am lacking in the stones to bet them- Who is Minnesota to lay 8 pts when they have quit on their coach? But, are you going to be confident that DA on the road is going to get it done? The Bears stink, and everyone knows that Toronto is a lion’s den to have to go into to get a ‘W’, but after all the Bills are 0-7….so, these are the 5 I will let decide my future:
NY Giants -6.5 over Seattle– Charlie Whitehurst, please report to the training room. That ferocious D Line is going to sack this poor guy 14 times, and the ’12th man’ isn’t going to be able to stop it.
Indy +3 over Philly– Sorry Birds, I see Peyton making minced meat out of Ellis Hobbs. If i was Ellis, i would ‘fall down the stairs in my house’ on Saturday and be injured for the game. Pull a Gilbert Arenas, just don’t go out on that field and make an undrafted rookie WR look like Jerry Rice.
NY Jets -4 over Detroit– When your offense is hurting, the Rx would be a horrendous pass defense. Thank you Lions- I actually like the Lions’ squad (Suh is a monster, Stafford has shown some signs, Calvin Johnson is a legitimate beast), but the Jets have to get back on track and Detroit gives up about 1 mile in passing yds per game.
TB +8.5 over ATL– TB is actually a good road team, and these NFC South games seem to be much closer than this spread. Josh Freeman is approaching ‘Best QB of the Franchise Status’ in Tampa Bay already with his stellar play- this “W” on the road goes a long way to topping Steve DeBerg on that list.
NE -4 over Cleveland– This is the marquee game for white skill players- Brady/Wes Welker/Danny Woodhead vs Peyton Hillis/Colt McCoy. Is Joe Jurevicious still on Cleveland? Because he’s not, I have to go with the 3 headed monster, and lay the 4. Maybe Cleveland can put in an offer for Riley Cooper to the Eagles for next week.
Atlanta (-8.5) vs. Tampa Bay.
But, Tampa Bay looks so good this year! Wah. You know when they didn’t look good? When they went on the road to play the Saints. Oh, they beat the Cardinals? Shut up. Turn the clocks back an hour Saturday night, turn ’em back a couple years on Sunday because you’ll think you are seeing your big-brother’s Bucs. They are going to get absolutely destroyed. And, this guy, the guy eating pretzels at the keyboard, likes a world where the Bucs stink.
San Diego (-3) vs. Houston.
You know who I don’t like on the road? HOUSTON!* When did Matt Schaub turn into Chris Miller? This is not a good spot for Schaub to get well. I don’t care if Gates plays, I don’t care if Kellen Winslow Sr. plays, Philip Rivers is a regular season workhorse. He’ll roll up some points on this joke of a defense, and the Texans will realize once again they are a 53-man train wreck of mediocrity.
*editor’s note–Houston is at home. This is like when I go to a Phillies game and just blurt out, you know what I don’t like? Soccer. It’s an FYI thing.
Oakland (-3) vs. Kansas City.
Is Kansas City terrible? No, they aren’t terrible. I’m happy for the football drunk denizens of Missou that their squad is a little bit better this year. Arrowhead is semi-Lambeau-esque, so they say. But, we tend to get overly excited about these smoke and mirror teams, ala the ’09 Broncos. Now, Oakland isn’t exactly a “reliable” football team, but they look different lately. Apparently there was a Tom Cable speech? According to Jason Campbell, a little fire? Given Cable’s history, I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a slide show of him punching all the players’ dogs in the face. Or, the underrated Randy Quaid speech from Caddyshack 2**
Steelers (-4.5) @ Cincy.
If this was last year, I’d bet the Bengals. I still think we haven’t quite realized that this Bengals team is basically in disarray. The Steelers need to come back strong this week, especially on offense, and I think this is the perfect spot. The Bengals identity this year has been piling up points in garbage time, so it makes them a bit dangerous, but I figure Polamalu takes his hatred for Goodell out on the “85” and the Steelers cruise to a couple touchdown win.
Tampa +8.5…I don’t see them winning the game but this is a large spread for this game in any year, and I might even give them the win if the game was in Tampa. The Bucs are playing well and always give the Falcons a run so 8.5 is just way too big. Besides, have you heard that Josh Freeman is black?
Arizona +8.5…Yes, the Cards are horrible and are nothing more than a guaranteed DA win, but last I checked the Vikings weren’t too hot either. Any other year I’d consider this a recovery game for Minnesota, and it may be, but not by more than a field goal.
New Orleans -7.5…This I can believe. Despite a fairly mediocre game last week Brees put up some points and looked good in the second half. This will be the game that he returns to SB form. Carolina will be down by 17 at the half and never really have a chance to win. If they pull within 10 it will be a moral victory, which means squat in the league.
Miami +5.5…I’ve convinced myself this will be a close game and will be decided by a field goal on either side. That’s my only thought on this one.
Green Bay -7.5…Another glorious opportunity to pick against the Cowboys. I do think they will win 4 games this year, which leaves me 3 opportunities to avoid them, but this isn’t one of them. Lambeau is not a place where a team like this can win. The Packers, on the other hand, need to keep rolling, and this is a great game for them to not only take the win but do it with pure dominance. Kitna gets sacked 7 times.
Mark me down for 2-3…here we go.
Pittsburgh (-4.5) @ Cincy – Let’s go Rapelisberger!
Green Bay (-7.5) vs. Dallas – Green Bay is sort of banged up; but Dallas…I mean really.
Giants (-6.5) at Seattle – Seahawks are 3-0 on their own turf….what does this all add up to? A BIG FAT A$$ kicking this week because those teams are SD, SF and Arizona. Giants continue to roll.
Chicago (-3) @ Maple Leafs – The Bills cannot win in the US, the Bills cannot win in Canada.
New England (-4.5) @ Mangini’s Man Boobs – This one smells a little funny to me….Browns are coming out of a bye, the whole Mangini/Belichick feud, and a Pats team maybe looking ahead to next week’s Pittsburgh game? I still think Brady has a big game and the Pats roll my double digits.
*And, now the weekly reminder to send those DA Teams in. Also, expect an email sometime this weekend or on Monday at the latest regarding drafting procedure for the Thursday games.