We went 5-9 last week, and it was mostly my fault, as I switched two of our picks - the Jaguars and Browns - at the last minute and was wrong on both. The Charger pick was especially bad - trying to time the market for when they'll actually play a good game is a fool's errand.
This week Damon's unreachable due to the storm, so I'm flying solo. I particularly like the Redskins, Bengals, Seahawks and Steelers. I was stuck on the Bears-Titans, Lions-Jaguars and Bucs-Raiders.
Chiefs +9 at Chargers
I'm sure this will finally be the week the Chargers play well, as I'm fading them again, but I don't care. They haven't earned nine-point favorite status against anyone, and if they suddenly play well, I'll treat it as an "I had Kings and you had Aces" situation. Back the Chiefs.
Chiefs 20 - 19
Panthers +3 at Redskins
The Panthers played well in Chicago before giving the game away, while the Redskins got worked in Pittsburgh. Still, I'd expect Washington's offense to have its way against Carolina at home. Back the Redskins.
Redskins 27 - 17
Cardinals +11.5 at Packers
I keep getting the Packers wrong. I laid the points vs. the Saints, laid the points in Indy, faded them in Houston, faded them in St. Louis and laid the points vs. Jax. Everytime I believe, they let me down. Everytime I doubt them, they roll. Bottom line, I think AZ gives them a game, so they'll probably roll. But I can't fade myself without falling into an infinite loop. Back the Cardinals.
Packers 26 - 16
Lions -3.5 at Jaguars
Detroit's turned a corner of late beating the Eagles and Seahawks, while the Jaguars biggest achievement is not getting blown out in Green Bay. This game might be close for a while, but the Lions pull away late. Back Detroit.
Lions 24 - 17
Bears -3.5 at Titans
Assuming the Bears defense doesn't win the game by itself on turnovers, this game really turns on whether Jay Cutler and the Bears offense can muster a competent showing. They scored only 13 points against Detroit and only won against the Panthers because of a pick-six in the fourth quarter. I'll say they get it done against a generous Titans defense. Back Chicago.
Bears 27 - 13
Broncos -3.5 at Bengals
The Broncos look like legitimate contenders, while Cincinnati has lost three games in a row. So it should be a good time to buy the Bengals low as a home dog off the bye week and sell Denver high. Back Cincy who keeps it close enough.
Broncos 24 - 23
Ravens -3.5 at Browns
The Ravens might rediscover their defense again - especially with Terrell Suggs back. But Cleveland played them tough on the road earlier this year, and I'd rather have the points at home. Back the Browns.
Ravens 17 - 16
Bills +10.5 at Texans
The Texans should roll here, but I have an odd Buffalo feeling. Maybe Houston runs it too much, and scores more slowly than it should. Maybe Buffalo makes a few big plays on special teams. Either way, I'm taking the Bills.
Texans 28 - 20
Dolphins -1.5 at Colts
Even though the Colts have the bigger name QB, these offenses have been roughly equal to date, while the Dolphins' defense has been considerably better. Is it enough to lay points on the road? Probably. Back the Dolphins.
Dolphins 27 - 20
Vikings +5 at Seahawks
The Vikings are struggling to pass the ball, and that problem's not likely to go away in Seattle, a defense that was able to throttle Aaron Rodgers and held Tom Brady to 6.8 YPA with two picks. Back the Seahawks.
Seahawks 23 - 16
Buccaneers +1 at Raiders
These seem like roughly equal teams to me, but the game is in Oakland and Tampa's getting just one point. Back the Raiders.
Raiders 24 - 20
Steelers +3.5 at Giants
As a Giants fan I hope I'm wrong, but two things are true about this team: (1) They have almost no home field advantage; and (2) they always play better as underdogs. The Steelers look like they're getting it right on defense again, and I see this game as a 50-50 coin toss. Back the Steelers.
Giants 23 - 20
Cowboys +4 at Falcons
I expect Dallas to be winning for most of this game before giving it away with some ghastly sequence late in the fourth quarter. The question is whether they lose by less than four. I'll say they do. Back the Cowboys.
Falcons 20 - 19
Eagles +3.5 at Saints
I'm awfully sick of backing the Eagles who can't seem to live up to their talent level and now are contemplating a change at quarterback. But no matter who lines up under center, the Saints defense is almost guaranteed to make him look good. I'll back to the well this last time. Back Philly.
Eagles 31 - 27
We went 5-9 last week to go 55-60-3 on the year. From 1999-2011 we've gone 1,689-1,512 (52.8%), not including ties.