I won't complain about 8-6 last week, especially with the Jets picking off Brett Favre for the cheap cover in the last minute on Monday night. This week's slate is also tough. Had a really hard time with Browns at Steelers, Seahawks at Bears and Chiefs at Texans. I expect to go 1-2 at best on those games, so you should probably do the opposite. But if I switch them, then the original way I have them now will have been right all along. So I'm leaving it alone. The ones I like best are the Eagles, the 49ers and the Broncos.
Falcons +3 at Eagles
The Falcons are off to a nice start, but I think it's a bit of smoke and mirrors. They lost in Pittsburgh, barely beat the 49ers at home and would have lost in New Orleans but for a missed chip shot FG. Atlanta's solid but not spectacular, and the Eagles should handle them at home. Back Philly.
Eagles 24 - 20
Browns +14 at Steelers
Who knows with these crazy double-digit lines, uncertainty at quarterback for Cleveland and Ben Roethlisberger's first game back? Even if it's Colt McCoy making his first start at Pittsburgh of all places, the Browns at least are stout on the offensive line, and I'd expect a good deal of ground and pound by both teams. Back Cleveland who keeps it close enough.
Steelers 23 - 10
Seahawks +7 at Bears
I just have no idea who the Seahawks are. They could be an 8-8 team and win the NFC West, or they could be 5-11 and finish last. Plus, they're coming off a bye. This is a total crap shoot, but when in doubt, take the points. Back Seattle.
Bears 20 - 17
Lions +10.5 at Giants
This is a tough call. The Giants have been playing great lately, but the Lions just blew out the Rams, and held Green Bay's offense scoreless for an entire half the last two weeks. It's a big number, but Calvin Johnson's banged up again, and I think the Giants defense is too much here. Back New York.
Giants 24 - 13
Ravens +2.5 at Patriots
The Ravens have been the better team thus far, and the Patriots just lost Randy Moss. Maybe Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have some magic tricks up their sleeve, but I'm going to do the obvious here. Back the Ravens.
Ravens 27 - 17
Chargers -8 at Rams
This line is begging us to take the Rams - both teams have the same record, but yet one is laying eight on the road? Totally insane. What's worse - while the Chargers have the net YPA to back it up, their absymal special teams and Norv Turner are great equalizers. Nonetheless, I'm going to back San Diego who should cover so long as they don't give it away yet again.
Chargers 31 - 20
Dolphins +3* at Packers
Obviously, this line hinges largely on whether Aaron Rodgers plays, and we won't know that until later in the week. Without Rodgers it probably goes down to 1 or 2, and with him up to 4-plus. I'll split the difference here and take Miami in any event. The Packers are banged up and not playing well.
Dolphins 21 - 17
Saints -4.5 at Buccaneers
Maybe the Saints snap out of it and blow out the Bucs, but they just lost to Arizona and went down to the wire with Carolina at home. I can't lay the 4.5. Back Tampa.
Saints 21 - 20
Chiefs +4.5 at Texans
The Chiefs are the clear value here as they've played better than Houston of late and are getting more than a field goal. But something tells me this is a trap - Houston is probably better than it showed against the Giants and Cowboys, and the Chiefs probably aren't as good as they showed against the 49ers and Colts. Back the Texans.
Texans 31 - 23
Jets -3 at Broncos
The Jets look like the real deal, but this strikes me as a letdown game - short week, coming off a big Monday night win and having to travel and play in altitude while laying three points. Maybe the Jets are good enough to pull it off, but this is a high degree of difficulty. Back Denver.
Broncos 20 - 19
Raiders +6.5 at 49ers
It's awfully strange to see an 0-5 team favored by 6.5 points and an underdog that's backed by 65 percent of the public. Are the Niners the savvy play, or is this overthinking it? I'll back the Niners who will cover if they're minus one or better on the turnovers.
49ers 24 - 17
Cowboys +1.5 at Vikings
Assuming Brett Favre plays, I like the Vikings at home here. Dallas has the talent to win this game, but rarely the heart. My main concern is the tough Monday night loss, a short week and Brad Childress. But Wade Phillips is roughly as bad. Back the Vikings.
Vikings 27 - 20
Colts -3 at Redskins
The Colts lost in Jacksonville and barely escaped with a home win against the Chiefs last week. Maybe they turn it around and live up to their name brand. But I'm taking the home dog. Back the Redskins.
Redskins 24 - 23
Titans -3 at Jaguars
The Titans are better defensively, but they're hardly a shut-down unit, and I have a hard time taking them as a road favorite on Monday night. Back the Jaguars.
Jaguars 27 - 24
We were 8-6 last week to go 39-34-3 on the season. We were 131-122 last year against the spread. From 1999-2009 we've gone 1439-1262 (53.3%, not including ties)