Not real thrilled about a 3-9-1 week, but some of it was junk like the underdog Chiefs losing in overtime, the Colts covering on a ticky tack personal foul penalty on 4th-and-18 and the Steelers covering because Mike Nugent can't make a field goal. But you can't bitch too much about that - it's going to happen. The key is to realize when you're totally lost, and when you're not getting the bounces. I'm somewhere in between. This week's slate took me forever to get through. Maybe it's feeling out of sync, or maybe it's just not feeling like a lot of teams have defined themselves clearly yet. Actually not even sure there's a difference.
The only game I feel particularly good about is the Redskins.
Ravens +1 at Falcons
Roddy White looks like he's going to play, though that's no sure thing, and if he does, he might not be 100 percent. I have a Ravens feeling here - the Falcons were life and death with the Bucs last week, while the Ravens rolled over Miami. I think Baltimore's the better team, and they'll win this one on the road. Back the Ravens.
Ravens 23 - 17
Lions +3 at Bills
The Bills have been competitive of late, making them an attractive underdog, but I'm not ready to back them as a favorite. Back the Lions, who should have Shaun Hill back.
Lions 31 - 27
Jets -3 at Browns
I'm torn here - the Browns seem like the obvious play as a home dog given what they've done the last two games, while the Jets now have a fully integrated Santonio Holmes and a fully healthy Darrelle Revis. Still I'll roll with the home dog in the battle of the Ryan brothers. Back Cleveland.
Jets 19 - 17
Panthers +7 at Buccaneers
The Panthers are probably the worst team in the league that's still trying, but the Bucs are overachieving, and I don't like them as seven-point favorites against anyone. Back the Panthers.
Buccaneers 20 - 16
Bengals +7 at Colts
The Bengals looked good to me on Monday night - had Mike Nugent not missed a couple field goals, they might have beaten the Steelers. I think they match up pretty well against the banged-up Colts and expect them to stay in the game. Back Cincy.
Colts 27 - 23
Titans -2 at Dolphins
The Titans now have Randy Moss, while the Dolphins are starting his old Marshall quarterback Chad Pennington. I expect this to be a close, hard-fought game that both teams need badly, and the two points are enough to sway me. Back the Dolphins.
Dolphins 21 - 20
Vikings -1 at Bears
Like everyone else, I want to take the Vikings here - they just seem like the more legitimate team, and they need the win more. But they're coached by Brad Childress, they're laying a point on the road and their defense hasn't played like it used to. Back the Bears.
Bears 23 - 20
Texans +1.5 at Jaguars
Whichever one of these teams I pick, you should do the opposite because I've gone back and forth too many times. When that happens, you're guaranteed to lose. I'm going with Houston because as bad as their pass defense has been, Jacksonville's has been even worse. Back the Texans.
Texans 31 - 27
Chiefs -1 at Broncos
When I saw this line initially, I wanted to take the Broncos. It's contrarian, they're at home, and I don't think they'll lie down. But Kansas City has been a far better team so far this season - consider that their three losses to the Raiders, Texans and Colts have all been close, and some of their wins have been blowouts. Back Kansas City.
Chiefs 24 - 20
Rams +6 at 49ers
I think the Niners will win this game and get back into the NFC West hunt, but I'm not sure I can lay six with them just yet. It seems like this line should be closer to three. Back St. Louis.
49ers 20 - 17
Seahawks +3 at Cardinals
Which team is uglier? I have to take the points here. Matt Hasselbeck should be back, and the Cards' close game against the Vikings was an illusion made possible by defensive and special teams TDs. Back the Seahawks.
Seahawks 22 - 20
Cowboys +14.5 at Giants
As much as I'd like the see the Cowboys' disastrous season continue, I think the right play is taking this huge line in the hope that Jason Garrett gets them to try against a bitter rival. Back Dallas.
Giants 27 - 13
Patriots +5 at Steelers
My first inclination was to take the Pats after their debacle in Cleveland, but the more I thought about it, the Steelers are the better team on both sides of the ball, and they're only laying five at home. The question is whether the Steelers pass defense - which isn't that good - will do its job against Tom Brady. Unless Brady finds someone to stretch the field consistently, I think for the most part it will. Back Pittsburgh.
Steelers 26 - 19
Eagles -3 at Redskins
As a Giants fan, the Eagles are the NFC team that scares me most with Michael Vick playing so well, the speed and big-play ability at wide receiver and the aggressive, blitzing defense. But this is a bad setup for them, laying points in Washington who's coming off a bye on Monday night. Expect Donovan McNabb to play with extra focus against his former team (especially after last week's benching). Back the Redskins who win outright.
Redskins 24 - 23
We were 3-9-1 last week to go 60-65-5 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)