Posted 10/27 by Michael Brown, Exclusive to Footballguys.com
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
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.
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!"
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,
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:
LOCK OF THE WEEK: Jacksonville Jaguars
- OVERALL: 9-4-1 (69.2%)
- BEST BETS: 3-1 (75%)
- PICK OF WEEK: 1-0 (100%)
- OVERALL: 49-51-2 (49%)
- BEST BETS: 13-14-1 (48.1%)
- PICK OF WEEK: 3-4 (42.9%)