Another Friday means it is time for my picks against the spread. If you are still unfamiliar with picking against the spread, an explanation can be found in my previous post. Last week could have gone better as I went 7-6, but I’m still 44-33 overall. I also learned a valuable lesson in week five: Stop betting against Cam Newton. And as always, these lines come from ESPN and my picks are in caps.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (+4.5) at Atlanta Falcons
The Panthers are 4-1 against the spread. They are playing much better than their 1-4 record would indicate and Cam Newton is a beast. One the other side, the Falcons are 1-4 against the spread and possibly one of the five worst teams in the NFL. The Panthers are my upset pick of the week and everyone will see just how bad the Falcons are.
BUFFALO BILLS (+3.5) at New York Giants
Speaking of terrible teams, how about those New York Giants?
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (+6.5) at Cincinnati Bengals
Week after week, the Bengals are getting it done. They are 4-1 against the spread and clearly are the better team in this game. But 6.5 points is a lot to cover and the Colts have improved with Curtis Painter taking the snaps. I can see the Bengals winning, but failing to cover.
San Francisco 49ers at DETROIT LIONS (-4.5)
Detroit is 5-0 and playing at home. You saw what this offense is capable of last week, right? Calvin Johnson’s 73-yard touchdown and Jahvid Best’s 88-yard touchdown prove that this offense doesn’t have a problem scoring quickly. But this will be the Lion’s first real test of the season as the 49ers are, dare I say it, a playoff team.
St. Louis Rams at GREEN BAY PACKERS (-14.5)
Take the Packers at home and don’t question it.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (+0.5) at Washington Redskins
I still don’t understand how the Eagles are 1-4 and I still continue to believe that they get better. This is a must win game for them as next week is their bye week. Don’t forget that after week six of last season, the Green Bay Packers were 3-3 following loses to the Dolphins and Redskins. There is still a lot of season left.
Jacksonville Jaguars at PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-12.5)
I was out on the Steelers last week. I thought they wouldn’t be able to overcome their terrible offensive line and the injuries to Mendenhall and Roethlisberger. I was wrong. Maurice Jones-Drew won’t be able to find much running room this week and Blaine Gabbert is not capable of beating the Steelers.
Cleveland Browns at OAKLAND RAIDERS (-5.5)
Oakland has yet to win back-to-back games this season. That changes this week as the Raiders second ranked run offense takes on the Browns 25th ranked run defense.
Houston Texans at BALTIMORE RAVENS (-7.5)
Since 2008, the Baltimore Ravens have not lost in their game following their bye week. Even better, they’ve won each game by at least 16 points. The Texans are missing both Andre Johnson and Mario Williams and will struggle against the rested Ravens.
DALLAS COWBOYS (+7.5) at New England Patriots
What does Santa Claus have in common with the Patriots pass rush? Neither one exists.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-4.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Remember when I said that I trusted Josh Freeman more than Alex Smith last week? Well, I was wrong. I won’t be wrong this week when I say that I trust Drew Brees more than Freeman.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS (+3.5) at Chicago Bears
The Vikings are 2-0 against the spread this year when they are the underdog. Jay Cutler just wet himself when he found out they are playing Jared Allen this week.
Miami Dolphins at NEW YORK JETS (-7.5)
Matt Moore was announced as the starting quarterback for the Miami Dolphins. Someone should tell the Dolphins that this is the same Matt Moore that played for the Panthers and not the spectacular rookie pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.