A ho-hum 2-3 week has handed me the feeling that I’ll never figure this year out. Should I quit? Probably, but I’m addicted to losing money! My recent pattern has shown that I will have one good week then one bad week, so the good news is, I should have a good one this weekend. Now that we are past all the bye weeks, there’s a lot more games to pick from, so hopefully picking out the winners won’t be as tough.
I’m so close I can smell it. I’m going with my usual five picks this week, but along with choosing by gut instinct, I’m using deductive reasoning. Well, at least I think I am. I swear I’m better than what my record indicates, but enough talking. Time to show and prove. These next five weeks are going to be killer. Forget above .500, I’m going to the .600 club. Who’s coming with me!?
Week 11 (Chap 2-3, By 3-2) Overall (Chap 24-29-3, By 22-24-4)
Oakland @ Pittsburgh (-7)
Chappy picks Oakland (+7). I’m not overly confident in this pick, especially since I think the Steelers are one of the best teams in the league. I do however like the Raiders coming off their bye week. They are healthy for the first time since week 4, and get back a slew of starters. Most importantly Nnamdi, Zach Miller, Louis Murphy, John Henderson, and Chaz Schillens are all going to be playing. Their best receiver and top targeted tight end should improve the passing game, and the way Brady picked them apart with the two tight end sets, we will need Campbell to have all the weapons possible. Remembering back to last year the game that got us to believe in Gradkowski? Well, if you don’t, it was in Pittsburgh, and they won behind Louis Murphy going off for 128 yards and two TD’s. On the Steelers side of the ball they could be without Hines Ward, which would give Mike Wallace a date with Nnamdi this weekend. I like our chances with that match up. The Raiders are third in the league in sacks, so if the Steelers do win, it will be because of Mendenhall carrying the load. Take the points, seven is a more than generous amount from the oddsmakers.
Green Bay (-3) @ Minnesota
By picks Green Bay (-3). I’m not a big fan of kicking someone when they’re down. Unless that someone is Brett Favre. Listen, I’m not one to pretend I’m unaware of his greatness, but if you’re a egotistical princess, well, I just won’t like you. But, that’s not why I’m picking Aaron Rodgers and the Packers this week. Minnesota is about as dysfunctional as a team can be right now. When players publicly, but anonymously rip their coach apart, you can’t help but think they’re through playing for him. The Vikings might drop this game big, on purpose. I’m just saying.
Baltimore (-10) @ Carolina
Chappy picks Baltimore (-10). This is the pick that jumped off the page for me. It doesn’t really matter if there’s a lot of garbage time in this one, because Carolina has been outscored 215 to 104 on the season. Carolina has a ton of injuries and they might have to start Tony Pike after Claussen received his first NFL concussion last week in Tampa. Baltimore will get back to its winning ways after they watched Roddy White scamper into the endzone as time nearly expired on them.
By picks Baltimore (-10). I stopped paying attention to the picks Chappy and I agreed on, the results usually were the same. But, despite the spread being ten points, if Baltimore truly wishes to consider themselves a contender, they have to dispose of the garbage teams on their schedule. Carolina is the dumps. The Panthers are so bad, I don’t even know who they’re throwing out there under center, but I do know their third string back is their top offensive threat. That’s either saying a lot, or nothing at all. The Ravens should spank that ass.
Buffalo @ Cincinnati (-5.5)
Chappy picks Buffalo (+5.5). I’ve gotta give some props to Chan Gailey and Buffalo for finally puling out win in a close game. They might have just sent that number one pick to Carolina if they continue to play hard like they have, but they should still be able to grab the best QB in the draft at #2. They aren’t good, but you can’t really say Cincy is good either!?! Can the Bills actually go on a win streak, and beat a team that’s lost six in a row? Maybe, maybe not. I think this might come down to who has more big plays TO or Lee Evans. Since both of these teams play a lot of close games you should take the points even though I’m not a fan of taking a 1-8 road team.
Seattle @ New Orleans (-11.5)
Chappy picks New Orleans (-11.5). I have a couple rules with betting on games Seattle plays. When they are on the road you pick against them, and when they are at home, don’t pick that game at all. The Seattle offensive and defensive lines are in shambles, which gives them a big minus in the trenches. Reggie Bush is making his return. Drew Brees is finally looking like Drew Brees from last year. Marshawn can’t get out of the backfield, and neither can Hasselbeck. Sean Peyton is a better coach than Pete Carroll. Seattle is rainy, New Orleans is a cool place to visit. Seattle is unattractive, and New Orleans is very attractive.
By picks New Orleans (-11.5). What do we have here? Is that another pick we agree on? I think so. Anyway, lost within the season is the fact that the Saints are still good. Not sure how the defending champs have flown so low below the radar, but they’ve been in stealth mode for quite some time now. Big news of the week, was the announcement Reggie Bush will suit up against the Seahawks. Not only does that provide an emotional lift to a suspect back field, but a break away threat on any given play. Drew Breezy is going to pick Seattle apart at home. No spread is safe here.
Tampa Bay (-3) @ San Francisco
By picks San Francisco (+3). Glad to see the 49ers aren’t favored for once. Wasn’t quite sure what the odd makers were thinking letting SF spot all those teams they played, despite loss after loss. But the Bucs are for real. In my QB rankings, Josh Freeman cracks my top ten, and rightfully so, he wins games. But I think a rejuvenated 49ers team will prove to be to much down the stretch. SF hasn’t had the most dominating defense, but the potential is still there. I think the way the 49ers are rallying around Troy Smith, shows this team isn’t quite done yet.
Atlanta (-3) @ St. Louis
By picks Atlanta (-3). At first thought, I was wondering why Atlanta was only three point favorites. But then it hit me, the Falcons like to play games that hinge on one play, and the Rams are undefeated at home. I guess it makes sense. But I’m banking on this team (Atlanta) turning the corner, and beginning to flex their muscle on weaker opponents. St. Louis should not even be within arm’s reach in this game. I’ve been high on the birds all year, I’m not stopping now. Falcons by thirteen.
Chappy picks Philly (-3). First off, I’m not sure I agree that Vick is the clear cut MVP. Sure, he had an amazing game last week, but it was on national TV for everyone to see, so I think the hype machine got a little too excited over one game. If he has two or three more games like that would I change my mind? Of course, but it will take some more to convince me. He has arguable the most weapons in the league, so it was already hard for me to envision how he couldn’t be somewhat successful. The main reason to pick the Eagles is the Giants are an up and down team. They win four in a row and make you think they are Super Bowl bound, then they lose two or three in a row making you think they are out of it. After getting beat down by Dallas, I see it taking one more week until they get back in the win column. Eagles roll into first place convincingly.
Denver @ San Diego (-10)
Chappy picks Denver (+10). I’m not very confident in this pick. SD is coming off their bye week, and just beat Tennessee and Houston the two weeks prior, so SD should be ready to blow someone out of the water. That being said, Denver destroyed the first place Cheifs last weekend, and Orton has been great all season, but what was missing from their attack was the running game and Knowshon Moreno. He’s back and they looked like a different team when they had the option of throwing or passing against KC last weekend. Champ Bailey is also healthy once again which should improve their secondary. The last reason I’m taking the Broncos is revenge. The last two seasons the Chargers have killed the Broncos playoff hopes, and if the Broncos pull out a victory Monday night, it will be pretty close to returning the favor!