I went 7-7 last week, but aside from the Sunday and Monday night games, which were totally wrong, I picked pretty well. I lost the Texans-Jags on that hail mary (remember I said I'd gone back and forth too many times and to do that opppsite - and that's probably about as good a call as I can make on a game like that). I also lost on the Browns getting three at home when Santonio Holmes scored a TD in overtime and on the Ravens who took the lead with 50 seconds left and lost when Roddy White shoved a DB to the ground. So while I'm not thrilled with the result, I'm fine with the process. One tweak I made this week was not checking where the public is on these games. Not that you can't tell much of the time (clearly the public's on the Ravens, for example), but I wanted to pick without any undue influence. My best bets are the Bengals and Lions. I initially liked the Vikings, but now I'm more lukewarm on them.
Bears +1.5 at Dolphins
I think the Bears defense is legit, but I expect the Dolphins to play well at home, and I think Tyler Thigpen's mobility might give their offense the added dimension it needs. Back Miami.
Dolphins 23 - 19
Bills +5.5 at Bengals
This seems like a lot of points for the Bengals to part with, but I could see an explosion here at home against a weaker team, especially now that the Bills have gotten their win out of the way. Back Cincy.
Bengals 31 - 20
Lions +7 at Cowboys
The Cowboys showed up last week, but that just means it's a good time to sell them as seven-point favorites. Seriously, you can't go from being the worst team in the NFL to seven-point favorites in just one week. I also like buying the Lions low after they gave the Bills their first win. Back Detroit.
Cowboys 24 - 23
Cardinals +7.5 at Chiefs
The Chiefs fell apart last week, but Arizona is really one of the weakest teams in the league. I think I'll lay the points in Arrowhead. Back Kansas City.
Chiefs 27 - 13
Texans +7 at Jets
This is the game that gave me the most trouble. The Texans have the personnel to keep up with any team, but they're also disastrous in pass defense, and Matt Schaub is banged up. The Jets were life and death with Denver, Detroit and Cleveland, but at home, I could see them destroying the Texans if Mark Sanchez gets the ball downfield early and they build a lead. This is a coin flip, but I'm going with Houston on a hunch. Back the Texans.
Jets 27 - 21
Browns +1 at Jaguars
The Browns beat the Saints and Pats and went toe-to-toe with the Jets the last three weeks, and as a result, they're only getting a single point despite being on the road. The Jaguars might be a total fraud, but I think they're the value play here. Back Jacksonville.
Jaguars 19 - 16
Raiders +7.5 at Steelers
I'd like to take the Steelers as as bounce-back team, but I expect this game to be a slugfest, and I think this line is a little inflated. Back Oakland.
Steelers 19 - 13
Ravens -10 at Panthers
Vegas knows everyone's on the Ravens, so the value has to be with the Panthers. Don't try to figure out how it'll happen. Just take the points.
Ravens 21 - 13
Packers -3 at Vikings
I know the Packers are the better team right now, but laying three in Minnesota is a lot to ask. There's so much baggage between these two teams, season records and past performance are almost irrelevant. I think the Vikings will stick around. Back Minnesota.
Packers 22 - 21
Redskins +6 at Titans
The Redskins took a beating Monday night the likes of which I've rarely seen, while the Titans lost in Miami. I'd like to pick both teams if that were possible as the value should be good, but I have to go with the Redskins who I expect to keep it close after their embarrassing home loss on national television. Back Washington.
Titans 24 - 21
Falcons -3 at Rams
I'm just not that impressed with Atlanta who can't play pass defense and isn't the same team on the road. The Rams haven't rolled over (except against the Lions), and I like them as a home dog here. Back St. Louis.
Rams 23 - 20
Buccaneers +3 at 49ers
The Niners really don't play well as favorites, and I keep waiting for the Bucs correction that never comes. The thing with young and improving teams is sometimes, it never does because while they were playing over their heads early, they grow into that level as the season goes on. Still, a broken clock's right twice a day, and the Niners need this one. Back San Francisco.
49ers 20 - 16
Seahawks +12 at Saints
I'm by no means a believer in the Seahawks, and the Saints have handled weaker teams like the Panthers (the second time) and the Bucs. But this is too many points. Back the Seahawks.
Saints 27 - 17
Colts +4 at Patriots
The Patriots were impressive Sunday night in Pittsburgh, and Indy's pretty banged up, but I expect Peyton Manning to do a better job against the Pats' defense than the Steelers did, and the Colts pass defense is probably better than Pittsburgh's. Back Indy.
Colts 24 - 20
Giants +3 at Eagles
I initially took the Giants as a buy-low, sell-high play, but I'm not feeling it. I hope I'm wrong, but New York has injuries on the offensive line and is missing its most reliable possession receiver in Steve Smith. But more importantly, Michael Vick looked unstoppable against the Redskins, and the Giants defense didn't remotely look up to the task. The Eagles will bring pressure, and unless Eli Manning and the receivers play an almost perfect game, I think the Eagles will handle them at home. Back Philly.
Eagles 30 - 20
Broncos +10 at Chargers
The Chargers are one of the best teams in the league if you just look at the numbers that correlate with success, and they're playing at home, so this is probably the right line. But for some reason whenever I lay the big points with them, they manage to get into a dogfight or lose the game outright. Back Denver who stays in it.
Chargers 26 - 19
We were 7-7 last week to go 67-72-5 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)