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The Profit

That's more like it. For at least one week, I can now avoid being insulted on our site's message board. There are no threatening e-mails telling me how stupid I must be. Joe and David have taken back their statement that I'm not fit to pick my nose, let alone pick games. All in all, it was a decent success. Could it have been better? Of course. I could have picked the team that won by almost fifty rather than the team that lost. So there is still work to be done. Still, at this point I'm ready to accept any and all laurels I receive after simply being above 50% for the week. Next stop, 50% for the year! To quote Dr. Leo Marvin…

"Baby steps, baby steps."

On to the picks…

Source: Yahoo.com

DALLAS (-9) vs. ARIZONA
Dallas is a very good team, whereas Arizona has not really been one. Still, nine points is a bit much for me to lay with the Cowboys. No Julius Jones for another week is eventually going to catch up to them. I know, I know, they're playing the Cardinals. But much like last week with Washington, I can't lay this many points with an offense that I don't fully trust week-in and week-out, no matter how many points and yards they're putting up. PICK: Cardinals

DENVER (-3.5) vs. PHILADELPHIA
That East Coast bias is starting to creep in again. Hey, I know Denver has played as well as any team in the league this season. And Philly has holes that they didn't in recent years. But after seeing how well of a game plan they executed against a superior Chargers offense, it's tough to see how Denver will fare. Sure, the game is in Colorado so the Broncos have a built-in advantage right there, but I can't shake the thought that Philly will come up big in a spot where they really could use it. The limb is shaky, but I'm going with the Iggles. PICK: Eagles

DETROIT (-3) vs. CHICAGO
This battle of NFC North powerhouses will determine who gets out to the early lead for the division title. Incredibly, this game has playoff significance! I liked Detroit's offense coming into the season, but they have given no reason to have faith in them any longer. I'm still behind the wheel of the Kevin Jones second half bandwagon, but my hands are beginning to slip and I'm starting to doze off. In fact, I just hit those little highway strips in the shoulder that make loud noises and wake you up if you hit them. Now I just woke up and narrowly avoided killing a family of ducks. OK, so I've just about milked the whole 'driving the bandwagon' thing I guess, but I'm just saying…it's not safe driving right now. As for the Bears, they've handsomely rewarded those who expressed confidence in them and they should have very little trouble with the Lions. Sure, they need to score points…but that's what Jeff Garcia's inevitable turnovers are for. PICK: Bears

HOUSTON (-2) vs. CLEVELAND
It's very tempting to take Cleveland here. After all, they've played well this season and Houston has been, as I've mentioned before, historically bad. Obviously, Cleveland is the better team. And yes, I know it's dangerous (and actually downright stupid) to base a pick on a team being "due". But the Texans aren't going to lose every game, are they? I mean, they have to win eventually right? Listen, I'm not going to suggest you put any real coin on this game, for obvious reasons. But I'm taking the Texans at least in my pool. I figure one of two things happen: A) They win and cover, and I'm thrilled. B) They lose and we then know to bet against them every single game for the rest of the year, no matter what. PICK: Texans

NEW ENGLAND (-8.5) vs. BUFFALO
You know why teams become favored by more than a touchdown? Because they're wayyyyyyyyyyy better than the team they're playing. PICK: Patriots

NEW ORLEANS (-2) vs. MIAMI
Now that New Orleans has played a couple of solid games in a row, this is the time to get back on board and bet them. At least that's what common sense tells you. But common sense also tells you that whenever you start trusting the Saints, that's when you start losing a lot of money. PICK: Dolphins

NEW YORK GIANTS (-2.5) vs. WASHINGTON
I'm not saying the Giants aren't good, but I do have a hard time seeing how they are going to move the ball consistently on Washington when they've had so much trouble moving it on Dallas and Denver the past two weeks. This Redskins defense is, and has been, for real. They can give any team fits, and the offense is doing much more than could have been expected. They're at the point where they are borderline favorites on the road, even against decent teams. After this week, they'll be over the border and thought of as one of the league's very top teams. PICK: Redskins

SAN DIEGO (-6) vs. KANSAS CITY
I love the Chargers to make second-half noise in this season, and after a quick look at the schedule, I'm thinking 10-6 is a real possibility. No wait, a PROBABILITY! The games they've lost, they've been right there in each one. And the games they've won have been examples of complete domination. That said, the Chiefs are not a team that San Diego will blow out. Kansas City's offense resembles San Diego's greatly, with a solid QB who just does his job, a fantastic running game, marginal wide receivers, and a stud tight end. Difference being, KC's protection is far superior to that of the Chargers. With such a weak pass rush to this point, I don't see San Diego disrupting the Chiefs enough to throw off the timing of this offense. Now, I do think the Chargers will be able to put up a bundle of points on KC but I don't anticipate them stopping Priest and company all that often. I like San Diego to win, but not by more than three points or so. PICK: Chiefs

TAMPA BAY (-11.5) at SAN FRANCISCO
I was burned last week by the Niners, taking the points against Washington. Annnnd San Fran went out and lost by 84 points. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, I'll definitely want to throw and break something against the wall. PICK: 49ers

PITTSBURGH (-10) vs. BALTIMORE
Ray Lewis/Ed Reed/Chris McAlister (all together): "Trick or treat!"

Woman at door: "Oh, and what are you supposed to be? Hmmm, I can't figure it out."

Lewis/Reed/McAlister (all together): "We're pretending to be a defense!"

PICK: Steelers

BEST BETS

CAROLINA (-7.5) vs. MINNESOTA
Carolina hasn't looked anywhere near as impressive as I had expected them to be. Obviously, I wasn't alone in this projection, as many touted them as NFC title contenders. Of course, I was pretty much alone on my Vikings assessment. Sure, they only lost Randy Moss. Obviously, the next logical step is the Super Bowl! While they showed last week that they aren't going to simply roll over and die, they may as well go that route this week. The Panthers are well-rested, and well…they're a lot better. Keep in mind, the Vikes' impressive comeback last week came against the hapless and injury-depleted Packers. And it took a last-second moon shot of a kick to even beat them - at home! This line is too small, and the only reason it's not above ten is because of the Vikings' recent history of being able to score almost at will. This just in: they can't do that anymore, and Carolina should have a field day in a route. PICK: Panthers

CINCINNATI (-9) vs. GREEN BAY
Everyone's jumping on board for the Bengals here, as the line on this game opened at 7.5 and has gone up since then. No one thinks the Packers will be able to hang with Cincinnati in this game. That's because they can't. PICK: Bengals

SAINT LOUIS (Off) vs. JACKSONVILLE
This is the week people will finally realize just how good the Jaguars are. They've now beaten the likes of Seattle, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, and barely lost to the Colts. When they wipe the floor with a broken-down Rams team, everyone else will want to jump on board for this late-season charge toward a LOT of wins. PICK: Jaguars, no matter the spread

TENNESSEE (Off) vs. OAKLAND
Gentlemen, start your Raiders. I don't care what the eventual line is on this game. Take the Raiders, lay whatever you need to, if you need to. It matters little who is starting for Tennessee, as the spread on the game will fail to live up to how much Oakland will win by. They will obliterate the Titans. PICK: Raiders

LOCK OF THE WEEK: Jacksonville Jaguars


LAST WEEK

  • OVERALL: 9-4-1 (69.2%)
  • BEST BETS: 3-1 (75%)
  • PICK OF WEEK: 1-0 (100%)

SEASON TOTALS

  • OVERALL: 49-51-2 (49%)
  • BEST BETS: 13-14-1 (48.1%)
  • PICK OF WEEK: 3-4 (42.9%)
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