Last week I couldn’t quite get all the bad luck out of me before I head to Vegas this weekend. Going 2-3 did get some of that bad luck out, and I was very happy that the Raiders were one of the two wins. The Raiders have their biggest game of the season taking on the division leading Chiefs, but I’ll get to that pick later. Just like the Raiders my bets are a little more meaningful this weekend, because I’ll probably raise the ante on them a little being in Vegas. Unless of course if one of the homies slips a Jeffery into the mix, then I might be rubbing fuzzy wall instead. Although, having Puffy chase us out of Vegas by mind f**ing us would be an ultimate story.
In honor of the World Series champions, San Francisco Giants (Still can’t believe I’m saying that), I went 4-1 last week, tying my season high for wins! Furthermore, I lucked out during one of the toughest weeks in terms of football lines this season! I have to say, I’m pretty impressed by myself! Well enough gloating, as it is time to get down to business. Week 9 is upon us, and I have an opportunity to break .500 this week. I’m feeling more confident than usual, and I expect to hit on at least an 80% clip this week! I guarantee it, Joe Namath style! Or Rasheed Wallace style, what ever floats your boat. Of course, that is, unless a Jeffrey is involved, then all bets are off.
Week 8 (Chap 2-3, By 4-1) Overall (Chap 18-25-3, By 18-19-3)
Chicago (-3) @ Buffalo
By picks Chicago (-3): I’ve been dogging Buffalo all season long and it’s backfired despite the bagel that represents the total amount of wins the Bills have. But like a stubborn mule, I continue to pick against them. My reasoning for this sounds like a broken record, but this team isn’t that good. I know solid showings against the Ravens and the surprise Chiefs should have me thinking they’re better than what their record shows, but nope. I just think the Bills suck this year. Ryan Fitzpatrick to Steve Johnson does make for an intriguing combo, except for Fitzpatrick won’t start next year when the Bills take Andrew Luck #1. Damn Niners, stop winning. I’m not all that impressed with Chicago lately either, but three point dogs only? I have to take my chances with the Bears and hope for a Matt Forte explosion.
New Orleans (-7) @ Carolina
Chappy picks New Orleans (-7). Did the Saints just dominate the Steelers? I didn’t see that one coming. I think their Super Bowl hangover might finally be wearing off. I haven’t seen Brees that sharp since last season, and it was against one of the best defenses in the league. He did what he did with a fourth string running back, and showed that maybe the Steelers secondary isn’t as good as advertised. The Saints defense looked great as well last weekend putting all kinds of pressure on Ben, and stifling Mendenhall and the Pittsburgh offensive line. Darren Sharper should be 100% for this one, so that’s just one more play maker to take the ball away from Matt Moore and the Carolina offense. The Saints only won by two in week 4 against Carolina, but since Carolina is the lowest scoring team in the league (12.1) it’s really easy to pick against them. The Saints look a lot better than they did the first time they met, I see fireworks this time. Take the Saints even if the line goes up to 8 or 9!
Tampa Bay @ Atlanta (-8.5)
By picks Tampa Bay (+8.5): Now, if you’ve read any of my NFL ramblings, you’d know I’m high on Atlanta. In fact, I think they’re not only the best team in their division, but in their conference. The Dirty Birds might very well be Super Bowl bound. But, the one thing about the Falcons is, they play close games. Even games that have no business in being close, i.e. their game against Cincy to name one. Across the way, Tampa Bay is highly underrated. They’re a group of fighters who also know how to close out a tight game, as their 5-2 record would suggest. Four of their five wins this season has come by three points or less, and Josh Freeman has led them on a couple of game winning drives this year. LaGarrette Blount is my dark horse this game, because if he can duplicate his performance of last week against the Cardinals, hurdles and all, Tampa might have a shot at an upset. Ultimately I feel Atlanta prevails, but and eight and a half point spread just seems to much to cover for the way these two teams play tight ones, oh and with first place in the South on the line.
Arizona @ Minnesota (-9)
Chappy picks Arizona (+9). Dysfunctional is a good word for both of these teams right now. I wonder if Favre wishes he joined Kurt Warner on the retirement train this last off season? It sure seems like he should’ve. Since Favre is supposed to make his next start this Sunday, it makes it easier for me to pick against the Vikes. He’s been a turnover machine this year, and has a lower QB rating (29th overall) than guys like Matt Hasselbeck, Alex Smith, and Sam Bradford. If Tavaris was in there, I might’ve considered the purple people eaters with this pick. I was looking over the game log for the Cards and I noticed one glaring theme. They can stay close at home games, and pull off close wins, but when they go on the road they lost by 30+ to SD, Atlanta, and lost by 12 to Seattle. I think this Minnesota team is better than Seattle, but for some reason I think Derek Anderson will have a good game against a less than impressive defense keeping them close enough to cover.
New York Jets (-4) @ Detroit
By picks New York (-4): Detroit, as it always seems, are a year away from competing for a playoff spot. But this time, it’s for real. With Matthew Stafford, Calvin Johnson and Jahvid Best, the Lions have a lot of fire power and talent sewed up for the immediate future. Unfortunately the injury to Stafford this season, hindered their progress. They’ll be tough next season, mark my words. The Lions are coming off a big win in which Calvin Johnson went absolutely nuts! He has the potential of being the best wide out in the league, if the Lions can develop some sort of consistency. But their youth an inexperience will hurt them this week against one of the, if not the best defenses in the NFL. For the Jets, as I said, their defense is legit. They held Aaron Rodgers and the explosive Packers’ offense to just three field goals. Unfortunately the Jets put up a goose egg on their end of the score board. Stafford will be the better overall QB over Mark Sanchez when all is said and done, but for this particular week, I think Rex Ryan will get his boy fired up. I expect the biggest offensive output of the season for the Jets. Jets win big.
New England (-4.5) @ Cleveland
By picks New England (-4.5): ESPN had New England #1 in their Power Rankings, and although hard to argue against, I still have them behind the Jets, Ravens and Steelers. One thing you have to respect about this team is, they just go on about their business. Release Moss, one of the best at his position, no big deal, just keep winning. I probably have the Pats underrated, which is probably where they’d prefer to be, but only five point dogs against a horrible Cleveland team? That’s too much underration! I expect Tom Brady to perform surgery out there with his mop top.
Chappy picks New England (-4.5). The Pats seem to be hitting their stride, which sucks because I hate them, and probably always will. Tom terrific is looking like he’s back to elite form once again. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is looking like he could be the solid back that they’ve been searching for. Their defense is starting to come around, more specifically their very young secondary. It’s scary to think how young this team is, and how good they might be over the next couple of years when the have 50 draft picks in the first three rounds next year. The Browns are coming off a bye week, yet they still aren’t sure if they want to start Colt McCoy or Jake Delhomme. To be honest it doesn’t really matter. They are going to get Lebroned either way. And by Lebroned I mean in a bad way, like when the Heat goes into Quiken Loans arena, and blows them out this year.
Kansas City @ Oakland (-2.5)
Chappy picks Oakland (-2.5). I’m scared, because I’m actually pretty confident the Raiders can win this game. That usually means they are going to lose when I have any confidence in them. They haven’t had a winning record this late in the season or a three game win streak for years, so it’s probably smart to stay away from this pick, but I just can’t! Our defense has been amazing these past few weeks, and that good play has moved us up to 9th in the league. I think what has been more surprising is how well the offense has looked. I’ll credit Hue Jackson with putting in a scheme that actually puts points on the board. Matt Cassell has been playing a lot better the last few weeks putting up big numbers, but the Bills and Jags can’t get close to the same type of pass rush that Oakland can. Hopefully this game will end my hangover Sunday or at least make it feel a little better with a win. 3-0 in the division would be amazing! Hopefully Raider Nation will show up and sell out the stadium.
Indianapolis @ Philadelphia (-3)
By picks Philadelphia (-3): I’m a pro-Manning type of guy, I think he’s one of the greatest QB’s in the history of this game, but my gut tells me that Philly will be too strong this week, with the return of Michael Vick. Prior to Vick getting injured, he was picking apart defenses with his mind, arm and legs. I don’t think any of the teams in the NFL had Vick figured out yet, and Indy’s defense isn’t exactly the Steel Curtain. My guess is this will turn into an old fashion shootout, but Vick, as well as a tough Philly crowd puts the Eagles over the top. Philadelphia wins by 7.
NY Giants (-6.5) @ Seattle
Chappy picks NY Giants (-6.5). I didn’t think this would be a match up between two first place teams. Seattle should play better than they did against the Raiders since they are at home, but the Giants have an even better pass rush that the Raiders. It might be a long day for Hasselbeck if he gets sacked 10 times or if he’s even out there. If you caught any of their game against Oakland you would see that Seattle can’t run, and they can’t keep their QB upright long enough to find a receiver. If the Giants don’t turn it over a bunch like they have been this year, they should blow them out. Even if they do turn it over, I just don’t see how the Seahawks even score… Giants will be well rested after their bye, and had two full weeks to prepare for an over achieving Seahawks club.
Dallas @ Green Bay (-8)
Chappy picks Green Bay (-8). Nothing is more fun than watching the Cowboys suck. How guys like Wade Phillips keep their job with so much talent around them is beyond me. He’s obviously lost the team. They are fresh off getting blown out by Jacksonville at home. Now they have one of the best NFC teams to deal with on the road. Kitna isn’t looking like a vet back there, he’s just looking old. Clay Matthews is going to be all over him in this one, and with no running game to speak of, we could see Kitna get knocked out of the game adding to the record number of concussions this season. The Dallas defense isn’t terrible, but since they are on the field for 90% of the game they just get tired. This game might be close for the first three quarters, but the Packers will break it open once the Dallas D realizes their offense isn’t going to keep them in the game.