NFL PICKS - WEEK WHATEVER
The best part of mid to late season is that the bye weeks are gone so if you are trying to gain success by betting straight odds on overall games, you have more games to choose from. This week could be a nice week to use a 4 or 5 teamer and succeed easily using NFL only. I've said that before and paid the price, but this week looks more promising. Julian Peterson (right) makes his return to the team that didn't want to pay him (49ers).Atlanta at Baltimore (-4)
Worse defenses have given Michael Vick absolute fits, as his prestige and marketability have been spiraling downward after losing to the Lions and Browns. The Ravens have a better defense than those chumps, and should be able to check him once again. The Ravens are 3-0 with Brian Billick working the sidelines as the offensive coordinator, and scoring is not as much of a concern as it once was. Safe to say the Ravens will get this one, and likely cover the 4 points. Buffalo at Houston (-2.5)
I open my eyes and to my surprise the Texans are favored. They certainly played the Jags tough last week after locking horns with the Giants the week before and keeping that one close. Look for this to be a letdown game as I think the Texans have peaked, and the Bills will sneak out with a win. Not exactly an "upset special", but I'll take this as one of my upsets. Can't see myself writing "Hey, the Texans have won three in a row at home" next week.Chicago at N.Y. Jets (+7)
The Bears got serious last week and played a great second half after looking tamed in the first half against the Giants. Same stadium, same result. Can the Bears keep the momentum against the weaker Jets? Shouldn't be too much of a problem if they can remember what worked against the G-Men (Grossman throws wild against a soft secondary, Jones goes outside left tackle for big gains, Hester returns punts inside the 15 for long TDs.) Bears won't go 7-1 in the second half of their schedule, but they will win most games where they are favored by a touchdown, starting with this one.Cincinnati at New Orleans (-3.5)
A close spread for a close game indeed. The game stuck in my memory was the Eagles/Saints game where the two teams decided to run track and score boatloads of points late in the game. The Bengals just played that same game last week with SD. Palmer and Brees have similar QB ratings because they play the same tempo and have similar tendencies of finding streaking receivers for long gains. Take the over and the Saints in a shootout.Minnesota at Miami (-3.5)
This one could be a coin flipper, and is sure to be low scoring (most over/unders are set around 33 points).New England at Green Bay (+6)
I am sure Favre won't have a game like he had last week against the NE defense, who allowed a season-high 17 against IND. If Brady can keep from throwing TDs to Packers DBs, New England is looking at a win. Watch for Maroney to have a big game against a run defense that hasn't seen speed through the middle like his.Oakland at Kansas City (-10)
Trent Green returns, screwing with the adage that you CAN lose your job to injury. I would have liked KC to cover with MVP candidate Damon Huard under center, but I can see Oakland's D welcoming him back with a flurry of a pash rush that will make it difficult to reestablish his timing. KC will win, but not cover the 10 points.Pittsburgh at Cleveland (+3.5)
I would have a hard time picking the Steelers to beat Rutgers. Until Pittsburgh fans start to boo him into holding a clipboard, this team will keep playing like it is a decade removed from last year's Super Bowl title. Watch closely as Cleveland plays a business-like game and manages a victory against the Steelers.St. Louis at Carolina (-6.5)
Carolina hasn't played well enough to justify being a 6.5 point favorite. The Rams look to break a 4-game losing streak, but with injuries all around it could be tough. Orlando Pace is out for the season and Travis Fisher (the likely Steve Smith-stopper) missing this game with something broken, the defense will have a hard time getting off the field.Tennessee at Philadelphia (-13)
This could end up being a closer game than most people think. Titans head coach Jeff Fisher is a master at coming up with a defensive game plan to stymie powerful offenses. The Titans are close to as healthy as they have been all season and are apt to come out with fire in their eyes after a tough loss to a strong Ravens team. The key will be to limit the number of explosive plays they allow the Eagles and how well Tennessee is able to control the clock. However, Philadelphia just has too many weapons.Washington at Tampa Bay (-3.5)
Joe Gibbs will turn to former Auburn stub Jason Campbell in hopes of turning around this disappointing season, while Gruden will continue to rely on the rookie Gradkowski. Both teams will look to establish the run to take pressure off their young QBs. This game will come down to whichever team makes the least amount of mistakes and doesn't turn the ball over in critical situations. Look for the Buccaneers to win a close game. Detroit at Arizona (-2)
The Lions have given strong efforts in road losses in St. Louis and Minnesota, but failed to finish with a victory. Detroit is an improving program, but is not quite ready to win close games, having lost seven of nine games decided in the last two minutes, especially on the road. With these two programs struggling, yet desperate for a win, the advantage goes to the home team.Seattle at San Francisco (PICK EM!!)
Easily the most important game in 2 years for the 49ers, with a chance to pull themselves within 1 game of the division lead. Did I really just say that? Hasselbeck and Alexander return in time to make this a very interesting game, and Julian Peterson returns to the team that drafted him but didn't pay him the 18M/season he was asking. The way I see it, he is one more slip-up to that Achilles tendon and his career would be over. I'm glad they didn't pay him, and am glad he is doing well in Seattle. Hope he really stinks during this game, though. Prediction: 49ers win it doing what they did to the Vikings. Lots of D and some timely FGs from team MVP Joe Nedney.Side note: Coach Nolan will be wearing the full suit on the sideline ala Tom Landry and his dad, former 49ers coach Dick Nolan. That's serious pimpin. No way the NFL lets this go on for too long, as Reebok will soon file a suit forcing all coaching personnel to sport their licensed gear.Indianapolis at Dallas (+2)
This game has all the makings of a high-scoring game with the potential of these two offenses. Peyton Manning and the Colts are looking to remain undefeated and stretch their winning streak to 10 games by beating the Cowboys at home.
Tony Romo has been playing great for Dallas since he became the starter and has provided a spark to this team. Romo and the Cowboys offense will score enough points in the end to upset the Colts and give them their first defeat in a close game that could go down to the wire. San Diego at Denver (-2.5)
San Diego QB Philip Rivers and RB LaDainian Tomlinson are playing as well as they have played at any point during the season. That said, the Broncos defense will pose a much stiffer challenge then the Bengals did last weekend. There are also some concerns about the San Diego defense ,which will be missing OLB Shawne Merriman and most likely DE Luis Castillo. The game is in Denver and the crowd will be a factor. I'd go with the Broncos here. Monday, Nov. 20N.Y. Giants at Jacksonville (-3.5)
The Giants will need to rebound after the Sunday night loss to the Bears, a game that they should have won if it wasn't for poor coaching and a struggling Eli Manning. Tom Coughlin will have his team fired up to play his former team and they will take the frustration of Sunday night's loss out on the struggling Jaguars.
Coughlin will stick with the running game this week and should get Jacobs the ball more. The Jaguars do not have enough weapons on offense and will not make enough plays to stay close with the Giants.