Last week was rough. I went 7-9 to drop me to 27-21 on the season. But honestly, how did the Chargers manage to only beat the Chiefs by a field goal last week? Oh, that’s right, Norv Turner. Let’s get back on track this week. As always, the lines I use are from ESPN and my picks are in caps.
BUFFALO BILLS (-3.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
Good teams win the games they’re supposed to win. The Bills should crush the Bengals. They picked off Tom Brady four times last week and that’s how many interceptions Brady threw in all of 2010. Now the Bills have Andy Dalton and the Cedric Benson-less Bengals. Ladies and gentlemen, here are your 4-0 Buffalo Bills!
CAROLINA PANTHERS (+6.5) at Chicago Bears
Cam Newton had the worst game of his short career last week and the Panthers got their first win. Hmm. Newton will at least keep them in this game.
Tennessee Titans at CLEVELAND BROWNS (-1.5)
The Browns allowed 121 rushing yards in week one to Cedric Benson, 110 yards to the Joseph Addai/Delone Carter backfield in week two, and 95 yards to Daniel Thomas last week. Is this the week Chris Johnson finally breaks out? After picking up only 21 yards last week against the lowly Denver Broncos, I say no.
DETROIT LIONS (+3.5) at Dallas Cowboys
If the Cowboys want to win, they need DeMarcus Ware to have a big game. Detroit’s left tackle, Jeff Backus, was embarrassing last Sunday. He clearly had no answer for Jared Allen as he allowed three sacks, was called for holding, and committed back-to-back false start penalties in a crucial fourth quarter drive for the Lions. The Cowboys will surely use Ware to attack Backus, but even so, the Lions will be prepared and will improve to 4-0.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-1.5) at Kansas City Chiefs
Home or away, the Chiefs should not be giving points. If Ryan Mathews ran for 98 yards and two touchdowns, I can’t imagine what Adrian Peterson is going to do. Also, this will be Jared Allen’s first time back in Kansas City since he was traded to the Vikings.
Washington Redskins at ST. LOUIS RAMS (-0.5)
The Rams have to win this game. Steven Jackson is slowly recovering from his quad injury and looks to have a larger role this week. The Rams will find some way to win to avoid going into their bye week 0-4.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-7.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are averaging 126 yards passing per game. Blaine Gabbert is not going to be able to keep up with the Saints. Even if Maurice Jones-Drew has the best game of his career, the Saints will still win by at least a touchdown.
San Francisco 49ers at PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-6.5)
The 49ers beat the Bengals 13-8 last week. The Cincinnati Bengals. Even the struggling Eagles would have beat the Bengals by 20.
Pittsburgh Steelers at HOUSTON TEXANS (-3.5)
That Steelers offensive line worries me. Too bad the Steelers don’t have a Troy Polamalu for every position.
Atlanta Falcons at SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (+4.5)
Last season, the Falcons played the Seahawks in Seattle and were favored by 6.5 points. Knowing that the Seahawks are a better team at home and that the Falcons had to travel across the country for the game, I went big on the Seahawks. They lost 38-14. I didn’t learn my lesson and I’m taking the Seahawks again.
NEW YORK GIANTS (-1.5) at Arizona Cardinals
Classic trap game. The Giants are coming off a big win against the Eagles last week. We all get suckered in, thinking they are better than they really are and then they lose to an inferior team. I may be hesitant, but I’m sticking with the Giants anyway.
Denver Broncos at GREEN BAY PACKERS (-13.5)
13.5 points is a large margin to cover, but I don’t think Kyle Orton and company can even put up more than a touchdown against the Packers defense.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-4.5) at Oakland Raiders
Fun fact: In their last five games coming off a loss, the Patriots are 5-0 against the spread. They don’t like it when they lose and I expect them to take it out on the Raiders.
Miami Dolphins at SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (-8.5)
On one hand, you have the Miami Dolphins. Miami couldn’t even beat the Browns. Miami also gave up 517 passing yards to Tom Brady. Yet, on the other hand, you have the San Diego Chargers. San Diego is coached by Norv Turner. I can’t trust either team in this game, but logic says to take Phillip Rivers.
New York Jets at BALTIMORE RAVENS (-3.5)
So we’re just going to pretend that the week two loss to Tennessee didn’t actually happen and that the Baltimore Ravens are the best team in football, right?
Indianapolis Colts at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-9.5)
There is a chance Curtis Painter starts for the Colts. Yeah, I think I’m taking the Bucs.