Surviving Week 9
Last week was almost a bloodbath with the Giants and Ravens losing big in the first half, but in the end, only the Saints went down, and most people had used them up already. Let's take a look at this week's slate:
|Team ||Opponent ||% Picked* ||Vegas ML** ||Vegas Odds
|TEXANS ||Browns ||38.60% ||530 ||84%
|COWBOYS ||Seahawks ||19.00% ||550 ||85%
|Falcons ||COLTS ||15.90% ||305 ||75%
|RAIDERS ||Broncos ||8.60% ||380 ||79%
|CHIEFS ||Dolphins ||5.60% ||205 ||67%
|SAINTS ||Buccaneers ||3.60% ||385 ||79%
|EAGLES ||Bears ||3.50% ||365 ||78%
|PATRIOTS ||Giants ||3.30% ||405 ||80%
|49ers ||REDSKINS ||0.70% ||170 ||63%
|CARDINALS ||Rams ||0.60% ||185 ||65%
Home Team in CAPS
* according to OfficeFootballPools.com
** average of the two moneylines
1. Philadelphia Eagles (my pick)
Maybe I'm buying back into the "dream team" hype, but the Eagles look like they've hit their stride, Trent Cole
is healthy again and the Bears have fallen off defensively this season. That said, Chicago beat the Eagles last year, and they're coming off a bye, so there's some risk. I give the Eagles a 79 percent chance to win this game. Given that only 3.5 percent of the the field is on them, they're my pick this week.
2. Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys are the biggest favorites on the board, but they have some issues. For starters, Mike Jenkins
, their best cover corner is out, as is Sean Lee
, their best interior linebacker. Moreover, Seattle has a deep group of receivers, and Tarvaris Jackson
is healthy and has played better of late. Still, Dallas should be focused off the blowout loss in Philadelphia, and Tony Romo
should be able to exploit Seattle's pass defense. I give Dallas an 82 percent chance to win this game.
3. Oakland Raiders
The Raiders are a wild card with Carson Palmer
starting his first game of the year after sitting out all of training camp and the first six weeks. And Tim Tebow
is also a wild card - capable of abysmal or inspired play without much notice. Moreover, Darren McFadden
might miss the game, Sebastian Janikowski
is coming back from a hamstring injury and the team is trying to integrate T.J. Houshmandzadeh
into the offense for God knows what reason. But Denver is a doormat - averaging 5.4 yards per passing attempt (less under Tebow) and allowing 7.5. I give the Raiders a 78 percent chance to win this game.
4. New Orleans Saints
The Saints were a 90 percent favorite last week and still lost, and they face a Bucs team that beat them in Tampa earlier in the year. Still, I'd expect the Saints to come out focused at home off the loss and pull this one out. I give New Orleans a 75 percent chance to win this game.
5. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons are a slightly above average team that doesn't travel very well, but they're consistent. They don't have a ton of upside against the league's best teams, but they're unlikely to lose to its worst. The Colts are in my opinion the worst team in the league, in large part due to their head coach who actually elected to kick a field goal down 20 on the road in the third quarter last week with an 0-7 team. But Indy played Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and Kansas City tough earlier in the year, and they're at home. I give the Falcons a 76 percent chance to win this game.
6. Houston Texans
The Texans are the second biggest favorites on the board and with good reason. Even without Andre Johnson
they've won convincingly the last couple weeks, and they could have Johnson back. The Browns don't have a lot going for them, but Colt McCoy
played well last week in San Francisco, and the Houston secondary is beatable. I give the Texans an 81 percent chance to win this game, but because 39 percent of the field is on them, they're below the top five teams.
New England Patriots
- The Pats are hard to beat at home, but the Giants match up well against them, and their pass rush could get to Tom Brady
Kansas City Chiefs
- The Chiefs should handle the Dolphins at home, but Miami is still playing hard, and the difference in talent between these two teams isn't that great.
San Francisco 49ers
- Going cross country on the road for an early game isn't easy, and this could easily be a letdown game for the Niners who are running away with the NFC West.