It’s a great time to be an NFL handicapper, because as The Antagonist said yesterday, this is one of the worst slates of NFL games you’ll ever see. Here in Philly the TV highlight could very well be Chargers/Jets at 1pm. Let that settle in. With no local action, with no marquee match-ups, and with it only being week 7, the only thing to lock into right now is fantasy football and pure, Ivory Snow winners. I acquired Julio Jones for my fantasy team this week, and I’m pretty excited about that, but I’m more excited about the great feeling I have as I start this post. It doesn’t have anything to do with the lines this week, but I think we’re about to go on a run here–blog wide. A couple of weeks down the road, you are going to sit back and say, “One or two of those idiots might actually know what they’re talking about.” Gonna start with JCK this week. He’s aborted his analysis again, but since he sent them in bright and early and others are straggling, we’ll let the leader lead off.
JCK: Record, 20-9-1
- San Diego (-2) over New York Jets
- Green Bay (-9) over Minnesota
- Detroit (-3.5) over Atlanta
- Pittsburgh (-3.5) over Arizona
- Denver (+1.5) over Miami
Big Dub: 17-10-3
Once again, this is a sampling of Dub’s analysis from his self-congratulatory piece over at Bleacher Report.
Detroit (-3.5) over Atlanta. The Falcons struggle against dynamic passing offenses. What’s going to happen if they get torched by Detroit? Matt Ryan and his 14-13 record on the road get exposed. The Falcons will end up in a hole early and won’t be able to use Michael Turner and their running game effectively. Lions bury the Falcons for the rest of the season, 27-17.
Tampa Bay +1 over Chicago. Chicago beats an awful Vikings team and everyone is a believer? I’m not buying it. I’m also not buying the Bears have figured out how to protect Jay Cutler. But, the real difference will be the turf at Wembley Stadium. Every year someone complains about the turf, and this year it slows down Matt Forte. Tampa Bay 16-10.
Green Bay (-9) over Minnesota. I’d play this game if it was Green Bay (-29). Minnesota will send rookie QB Christian Ponder out there and pray he can read Clay Matthews and the Green Bay defense. Adrian Peterson will take some of the pressure off, but not enough for a QB who was routinely benched in the ACC. Get this line before it climbs to 13–not that it matters, Green Bay 43-13.
New York Jets (+2) over San Diego. I’m waiting for San Diego to hit the bump in the road before cruising to the Super Bowl. A trip east for a 1pm game is the perfect time for a slip up. The Chargers haven’t been setting the world on fire, struggling with the Vikings, and almost coughing up leads against KC and Denver. I’m not betting Sanchez as much as I’m fading the Chargers, Jets 20-17.
Carolina Panthers (-2.5) over Washington. I don’t care who is playing QB for the Redskins. Beck are Grossman are the same guy wearing different numbers. By the end of the game, Washington will be regretting the three wins that took them out of the Luck sweepstakes. A 1-5 team favored over a 3-2 team? If that doesn’t tell you how bad Washington is, nothing will. Carolina, 23-13.
Tennessee (-3) over Houston. Want me to say something without any basis? Fine, I feel like Tennessee is a pretty tough home team. They beat Baltimore, didn’t they? Proof. Really, though, without Andre Johnson and Mario Williams the Texans are just a pedestrian pile of slop. (Takes Phone Call from Houston). Ok, apparently that’s all the Texans have ever been. The Schaub slide continues with reckless abandon, and who knows, maybe Chris Johnson gets a little swagger back.
Carolina (-2.5) over Washington. I guess the Redskins aren’t worse than the Rams (yet), so I can’t say they’re the worst team in the NFC, but they are very, very bad. Let’s not confuse their effort last week as hanging in against a good team. The Eagles couldn’t put four quarters together if they were standing outside a $1 Vegas buffet. They stink. John Beck is like Rex Grossman without the upside. Cam Newton will run wild, this game will be hideously ugly, but the Panthers are going to 2-5.
Cleveland (-3) over Seattle. I was all set to pick the Raiders. No one picks against Carson Palmer! But, now it sounds like CP isn’t going to be out there. There goes my pet cover team. So, in a change of gears, how about just picking against a really bad team? Seattle maybe has Whitehurst out there, maybe the T-Jack show, but regardless they’ll likely just lay down for the Browns. This is the week Greg Little charges out fog to save my fantasy team.
Denver (+1.5) over Miami. Part of me says, how in the world can Miami be favored over anyone? Especially when they are just as dreadful at home as they are on the road. And, there’s a very good chance they might be tanking the whole season at this point. It doesn’t make a ton of sense, but I’m just jumping on the Tebow one or two-week boost bandwagon like everyone else. Tebow has the baby Jesus on his side and also Will Farrell’s sons Walker and Texas Ranger. Mark Duper bitch slaps Matt Moore on the sideline, Tony Sparano gives up his headset to sell hot dogs, and the Broncos officially lose out on Luck.
Baltimore (-7.5) over Jacksonville. You know me, gotta have my Monday Night fall back insurance. You can’t go 0-5 on one day if you pick the Monday night game. I’ll repeat that every week. This comes down to Blaine Gabbert vs. the Ravens defense. I don’t know how Baltimore does it, but they are still ridiculous on D this year, and Jacksonville will have no answers. The Ravens can stumble, Flacco can futz around, but they’ll still cover…going away. Monday night magic.
Time to regroup, and get back in the race.
Green Bay -9 over Minnesota. I was laughed out of the room last week with my Vikings pick. Won’t make that mistake again. Christian Ponder? Meet Gilbert Brown.
New York Jets +2 over San Diego. San Diego is 4-1 in 2011. Their 4Ws: Minnesota, KC, Miami and Denver. They are 4-17. West Coast team, 1pm Eastern start, I’ll take the Jets +2. This line has moved up to 4, I’ll go against Joe Q. Public.
Atlanta +3.5 over Detroit. I think Atlanta may be starting something. Detroit continues to let people run on them, even with their much ballyhooed run defense that has a rotation the size of NE’s TE corps. Note to Mike Smith: Do not get aggressive with your post-game handshake.
Arizona +3.5 over Pittsburgh. This is a pro Vegas pick, plain and simple. Every sharp I have read this week is on Arizona while the public is hammering Pittsburgh. I do like the Whisenhunt factor in this game, and how can you not love (gulp) Kevin F&^#$# Kolb? Pittsburgh better win the coin toss or Kevin Kolb will take that ball and march it down Online University Field.
Cleveland (-3) over Seattle. A head-scratcher, but I have to go with my gut. The same gut that Minnesota +3 last week…
- Atlanta +3.5 over Detroit
- Pittsburgh -3.5 over Arizona
- Green Bay -9 over Minnesota
- Indianapolis +14 over New Orleans
- Baltimore -7.5 over Jacksonville
Commissioner’s D.A. Top-10:
- Matt Moore–Professor Emeritus of Suck.
- Christian Ponder–Handoffs and Concussions.
- Blaine Gabbert–Run Fo’ Yo’ Life.
- John Beck–Next Week Heath Shuler Starts.
- Kyle Boller–Even Against the Chiefs.
- Curtis Painter–Eight (?) Sacks.
- QB Seattle–Does it really matter if Jackson plays?
- Tim Tebow–Running Stats don’t count.
- Kevin Kolb–Neil Lomax at 52 is Better.
- Sam Bradford–Still Shell-Shocked.
All right, that’s going to be it for the week. Get your D.A. picks in. The rest of the picks will go up when I get them. Enjoy the bye-week Philly, go take the dog for a walk or something–relax. See you Monday.