Another good week at 9-4, and it could have been better had Buffalo not given away a game it dominated and Aaron Rodgers not gotten hurt early in the Sunday night game. Still, I had some missed FGs go my way in Houston-Indy, and overall it was much better than I expected in what I considered a tough slate. I went 2-1 on the games I liked and 4-3 on coin flips, again just about how it should be.
This week makes me nervous as I'm still five games under .500, and I'd hate to give any of the recent progress back. I particularly like the Cardinals, Vikings and Ravens. Bills-Steelers, Lions-Bears and Cowboys-Saints are coin flips.
Redskins -2.5 at Vikings
My inclination is to take the home dog here on the short week, especially after the Redskins got a somewhat lucky home win. Back the Vikings.
Vikings 24 - 23
Jaguars +12 at Titans
I know the Jaguars are terrible, but coming off a bye and getting 12 against a merely decent Tennessee team is too much. Back Jacksonville.
Titans 27 - 17
Eagles +1.5 at Packers
I was all set to take the Eagles, but the Packers have to be the value, right? With Philly coming off an historic passing performance and the Packers looking terrible at home, I think this is a buy-low. Take Green Bay.
Packers 27 - 24
Bills +3 at Steelers
The Steelers were even with the Patriots until the wheels came off late, and the Bills should have beaten the Chiefs easily last week. In short, I think both teams are buy-lows, and the Bills might even have a top-10 defense now, but the Steelers, with the better quarterback, pull it out. I actually think it's a push here, but if forced, I'll take the Steelers.
Steelers 23 - 20
Raiders +7 at Giants
The Giants have won but two games all year, and those were against the Josh Freeman-led Vikings at home and the Matt Barkley-led Eagles in Philly. Suddenly, they're seven-point favorites? That said, the Giants defense has been strong of late, and coming off the bye, the offense which doesn't lack talent could get it together, too. The smart pick is probably the Raiders, but I'll say the Giants roll.
Giants 31 - 13
Rams +9.5 at Colts
The Rams have shown a pulse of late even though they lost at home to the Titans and narrowly lost to the Seahawks. Indy is a good team, but I think the Rams hang with them. Back St. Louis.
Colts 27 - 19
Seahawks -6.5 at Falcons
The Falcons are terrible, but this is a big line in the Georgia dome, and Seattle has been exposed the last two weeks by other bad teams. Of course, those teams were defense-heavy, and the Falcons - if anything - are the opposite, but I'll back the home dog.
Seahawks 20 - 16
Bengals -1.5 at Ravens
I know the Ravens got worked in Cleveland, and the Bengals are another tough defensive team. But this game is in Baltimore, and the loss of Geno Atkins is pretty big. I expect the Ravens to win this one at home.
Ravens 24 - 20
Lions -2.5 at Bears
I don't usually like taking road favorites, but that Packers-Bears game meant nothing, and the Lions should shred Chicago's defense. Back Detroit.
Lions 34 - 24
Panthers +6 at 49ers
It's unclear why the 49ers should be considered better than the Panthers at this point, so this line should be closer to three rather than six. I do have a 49ers feeling as the Panthers tend to choke in these spots, but I'll keep riding Carolina.
49ers 23 - 19
Texans +3 at Cardinals
Case Keenum is a good story, but on the road against a tough Cardinals defense, I think he crashes to earth. Back the Cardinals who win fairly easily.
Cardinals 23 - 13
Broncos -7 at Chargers
I like the Chargers as a big home dog going against the league's best team and a division rival. That they lost a game they should have won last week makes them a good buy-low too. Back San Diego.
Chargers 31 - 30
Cowboys +7 at Saints
The Cowboys are probably the value play here, but I like New Orleans at home, and I think they pull away late. Back the Saints.
Saints 34 - 23
Dolphins -2.5 at Buccaneers
I don't know how much the Richie Incognito fallout will affect things, but either way, I like what Tampa showed in Seattle, and this is roughly a 50/50 game. Back the Bucs.
Buccaneers 20 - 16
Last week we went 9-4 to go 62-67-4 on the year. Last year we went 121-129-6 on the regular season. From 1999-2012 we've gone 1,810-1,641 (52.4%), not including ties.