Archive for October, 2012

Week # 7 Picks

Record after Week # 6: 20-10-0 = 66% (4-1 in Week # 6)

Pick #1:  Cardinals (+6.5) @ Vikings – Cardinals win it, 17-16

This game is about defense and special teams, I don’t care if it’s Kevin Kolb or John Skelton starting. Arizona has already beaten New England on the road, they beat Philadelphia last year on the road and had the Ravens, in Baltimore, down 24-6 – they are not a bad road team. The Cardinals are holding people to 16 ppg and let’s be honest about Minnesota – Leslie Fraser is a good coach but he is super conservative, 6 ½ points is a ton to give anyone in this football game. Christian Ponder, in his last 2 games (people are getting more film on him) has 4 TD’s but 4 INT’s as well. Arizona’s defensive coordinator Ray Horton does a phenomenal job on dialing up pressure packages that can create turnovers and get you to the quarterback. Percy Harvin is the offense right now – everybody is getting film, everybody is seeing that they are being super conservative with Christian Ponder. I get an outstanding defense and almost a touchdown, I’m not sure if they win but I’m taking the 6 ½ points, Arizona narrowly wins it 17-16.


Pick #2:  Titans (+3.5) @ Bills – Titans win it, 28-27

This one’s a weird one, I don’t like either one of these teams, but I get a field goal with Tennessee. Firstly, the Bills are god awful against the run – worst in the NFL at 170 yards per game, an absolute mess! They have been poor all year. Linebackers for Buffalo? No other way to put it other than to say that a scout reported earlier in the week that they’re just slow and Chris Johnson isn’t! He had a respectable game last week with over 90 yards against the Steelers. Now on offense, the Titans have Matt Hasselbeck and they’ve got excellent offensive tackles in Michael Roos and David Stewart as they both are playing very well in protection. Right now, Tennessee has got a very deep and healthy group of receivers at their disposal now that Kenny Britt has returned from injury and had a long week to heal. In the end, the Titans have extra time, their offense is getting healthy, Hasselbeck – against this defense, should have time to throw and pick a part a weak backend. I’m taking Tennessee and the points to win this game, 28-27.


Pick #3:  Cowboys (-2.5) @ Panthers – Cowboys win it, 27-17

Listen, Cam Newton right now – he’s not getting better, has 6 turnovers in 5 games, fumbled 3x in which his team luckily recovered the ball. Tony Romo makes his mistakes of course, but the difference is that he’ll have a much better defense at his disposal. Defensive linebacker and defensive back – the Cowboys have huge advantages in this game. Carolina is 13th in defense IN THE NFC! By the way, the offensive line for Tony Romo? Sacked only once in Baltimore, has not been under constant duress which is very good progress! The return of Phil Costa at center helped a great deal. The Panthers by the way are not a great pass rush defense. Here’s another issue: Romo is getting better protection and the Panthers’ cornerbacks are just okay, but their safeties have been a major liability when in coverage. Dallas is a better all around team, significantly better on defense, I think they control both lines of scrimmage and Dallas wins this game comfortably 27-17.


Pick #4:  Redskins (+6) @ Giants – Giants win it, 27-26

Now again, this is more about “betting against the masses” because the masses tend to get high/low, high/low. Rule of thumb…bet against the masses! All the masses right now love the Giants. The Giants are returning from a huge West Coast win and who do they play after this game? The Dallas Cowboys! New York is going to be flat, they do this every year. By the way, as a home favourite, they are only 7-16-1 at home against the spread. Right now RG3 is athletic, showing great poise; tremendous running game helps behind him. Now of course, Justin Tuck, Osi Umenyiora and Jason Pierre-Paul (who by the way, is not having a great year so far) are all ferocious pass rushers. But Washington has 2 formidable tacklers with good size and athleticism in Trent Williams and Tyler Polumbus. The Redskins have an excellent ground game, they have versatility with RG3, and they can control the line of scrimmage and limit the Giants’ oppoutunities. This is betting against the public – it’s a perfect oppourtunity to seize on the masses. The Redskins getting 6 – I don’t know if they win, but don’t forget they beat the Giants twice last season and controlled both games, I’ll say Giants 27-26 but you have to take the 6 points.


Pick #5:  Steelers (-1.5) @ Bengals – Steelers win it, 30-24

I am predicting that Pittsburgh will have a very solid next 2 months as they are 15-6 under Mike Tomlin, extra rest should help their veteran players like LaMarr Woodley. Now, the Steelers are best when they can utilize a good mixture of run and pass, Rashard Mendenhall is back in the lineup. Don’t forget that the Bengals are inconsistent defending the run. They have also been inconsistent in protecting Andy Dalton whose been sacked 17 times in 6 games. The advantage here is that Pittsburgh, a tremendous 3rd down team, with Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace and Heath Miller – real weapons and the Bengals are all banged up in the secondary. The Steelers have their backs against the wall, they need to stay within striking distance of the Ravens – I don’t dislike the Bengals but I’m taking the better team here and swallowing the points, swallow the 1 ½ , 30-24 on Sunday Night Football.


Pick #1:  Raiders (-9) @ Falcons – Falcons win it, 31-20.

It’s at Atlanta and it’s a big number at (-9) but the Falcons are averaging 30 a game and the Raiders’ offense is depending too much on Carson Palmer – an aging, past his prime Carson Palmer. Aside from the offensive line, I don’t see the Raiders – maybe special teams (slight edge) having an edge with any unit. Quarterback, running back, wide receiver, offensive line, linebackers and secondary are all edges for Atlanta. Oakland’s defense could be overmatched as their not only struggling to cover out wide, but their defensive front is not mounting much of a pass rush. That is a problem because Matt Ryan, especially at home, is money. He is completing his passes – 13 TD’s and only 3 INT’s thus far. Carson Palmer is aging okay? You can’t depend on aging quarterbacks past their prime and to carry you along with the Raiders not being able to run the ball with any consistency. The Raiders’ linebackers are talented but their much stronger defending the run than they are in coverage and right now, Atlanta is using their passing game as well and as efficiently as anybody in the league. Swallow the points and take Atlanta to win it, 31-20 over Oakland.

Pick #2:  Lions (+3.5) @ Eagles –Lions win it, 24-20

I get Detroit, a team that’s enigmatic, has some issues and get (+3.5) points. First of all, Philadelphia is just not a great home team. In their last 13 home games, they are 3-9-1 against the spread. The Lions are a motivated group called “over-rated” by a rival GM this week. Quarterback? Huge edge Detroit – I’m not a Vick guy. “O” and “D” lines? Big edge Lions. Vick has been a turnover machine 11 INT through 5 games but it’s also the harassment he has been dealt – 14 sacks, he’s being treated like a hotel room is by a rockband, he is in constant trouble. Suh has had a rough week – another off-field incident, he’ll play inspired football against the makeshift “O” line. Philadelphia makes too many mistakes, they are winning games they could’ve easily lost and I find a Detroit team, inspired, in a must-win situation. Take the +3.5 points, Detroit wins 24-20.

Pick #3:  Bills (+4.5) @ Cardinals – Cardinals win it, 21-20

 One of the things I remember hearing on the Scott Van Pelt show a couple of years ago is: when there is a game on that everybody is sure is going one way in the NFL. It’s really going the other way. Buffalo is getting +4.5 at Arizona. Buffalo has been clobbered the last couple of weeks. But don’t kid yourself, +4.5 points is a ton against an Arizona team that hasn’t produced 300 yards in any game so far. Their offensive line is the worst in the league allowing 17 sacks in the last couple of games. Buffalo? Though not good as expected up front defensively, has a pretty solid defensive line. What Buffalo does is run the football when Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller are healthy and they’re getting healthier. There is no other way around this, Arizona has been super lucky! Now, they’re 11-3 in their last 14 games but 5 of those have been in overtime. The Bills’ running backs that have been fighting injuries all season are now healthy. Their “O” line is a vastly underrated group. Kevin Kolb has been sacked an amazing 17 times over the past 2 weeks

Pick #4:  Colts @ Jets (-3) – Jets win it, 27-20

I think this goes down – I feel this game for New York as it feels like a very huge game for Rex Ryan, huge for Mark Sanchez and huge for Tony Sperrano. I don’t feel like it’s huge for the Colts because the Colts are going on the road for the 1st time since opening week and are coming off a highly emotional upset win. They’ve got a cluster of injury issues on the “O” line; Robert Mathis is out on their “D” and Dwight Freeney isn’t as productive as his name. Huge edge for the Jets is at linebacker, special teams, and secondary. The Colts have been rushing the football, which should only help Rex Ryan. Now, Reggie Wayne has been terrific for the Colts. The Jets do a very good job when you’re a team with one star receiver. Revis is out but Cromartie is more than capable on the perimeter. I think the New York Jets – who showed some real fight on Monday night, come back and continue to be the most criticized team with a decent record. Jets win; swallow the points 27-20.

Pick #5:  Cowboys (+3.5) @ Ravens – Cowboys win it, 24-23

After Week # 4, Season record:  13-7-0


Pick #1:  (-7) Packers @ Colts – Packers win it, 30-17.

That’s a lot of points to swallow, but after dealing with the 9ers, Bears and Seahawks in Seattle, it’s kind of nice to face a bad AFC team. They play indoors, it’s what Brady, Manning and Rodgers want as there is no wind indoors for the better offenses. At quarterback, the OL and Special teams? Huge edge Green Bay! As far as coaching, Chuck Pagano was diagnosed earlier this week with treatable leukemia, so he’s out! I think that severely damages a young football team. Rodgers got beat up in Seattle and Green Bay hasn’t been sacked, Rodgers that is, in his past 67 drop backs – a massive improvement. The Colts’ Reggie Wayne can be trouble but Tramon Williams of the Packers, one of the best cover men in the NFL, will negate his afternoon. Green Bay’s secondary (Sam Shields, Casey Hayward) have overachieved this year, they’re really good players. Rodgers has been absolutely superb in the red-zone, has no discernible weakness. The Colts’ offensive line with Clay Matthews on fire is a huge weak spot. Green Bay wins it; I’ll easily swallow the points, 30-17.

Pick #2: (+3) Seahawks @ Panthers –Seahawks win it, 21-20

I get 3 points and I get the better team! Seattle has the 2nd stingiest run defense, 63 yards a game is all that they give up, what does that mean? Cam Newton is going to have to throw – no thank you! I don’t trust him. Seattle’s pass rush is really good and they’re secondary is absolutely outstanding! Now, there are parts about the Seahawks that I don’t like – they lead the NFL in pre-snap penalties (what’s new, it’s a Pete Carroll team, they lack detail like USC did when he was there) But I get Seattle +3 and I get the better team. Russell Wilson up until this point has been managing games, thrown fewer passes than any other starter in the league and their asking him to manage the games – I’m okay with that right now. I feel like I get an absolutely superior defense, an absolutely superior special teams and at least Wilson won’t lose the game for me. I’m taking the points, Seattle goes cross country – they have been bizarrely affected when flying cross-country like when they beat the Giants (remember that?) take Seattle to win it, 21-20.

Pick #3:  Chargers @ Saints (-3.5) – Saints win it, 31-21

I’ve been taking a lot of dogs this year and it’s paid off so far – but this weekend feels like a favourites weekend to me, so take the Saints at (-3.5). San Diego’s lone dome stadium game – first time they are playing on artificial turf since last year when they got smoked by Detroit. Remember what this game means: Sunday night at the Superdome, Drew Brees is going for a record, it will be an absolute nuthouse. Don’t kid yourself about San Diego – did you know Kansas City out gained them with 6 more first downs? The problem with the Chiefs though is that they keep turning it over. Drew Brees at home – for all the criticism this year, he’s still on pace for 40 TD’s, over 5,000 yards and 67% completion. Special teams? Edge Saints! Jimmy Graham creates major match up issues for San Diego down the middle. New Orleans’ running game with Mark Ingram, Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas darting, pounding and slashing guys gives you a lot of different looks and New Orleans showed signs of regaining their swagger, even though they lost to Green Bay. I think San Diego is in trouble and I’m taking New Orleans to win comfortably, 31-21.

Pick #4:  Eagles @ Steelers (-3.5) – Steelers win it, 31-21

I love this game and nobody agrees with me, Pittsburgh is at home (getting starters back – key guys and veterans, smart players too) against Michael Vick, Steelers at (-3.5) I’ll take them all day. Listen, Steelers now have been sitting around resting and ticked off after that miserable performance against Oakland. Philadelphia, by the way, has 3 wins this season by a combined 4 points and is coming off a big rivalry game against New York and now Pittsburgh is sitting there. Don’t kid yourself; Big Ben at home is a different quarterback. At home? 45-15 TD’s to INT ratio in his last 30 home games so I’d give the edge at quarterback to the Steelers. Steelers also have a Special team’s edge and they are at home. The Eagles’ pass protection has been totally inconsistent with 11 sacks as Vick has been knocked down 18 more times than the next guy in the league. James Harrison is back, Troy is also back and Michael Vick in the end has a 57% completion rate, 4TD’s with 6 picks and in the redzone is atrocious. Philadelphia is 30th in scoring, are you kidding me? With all those weapons? Same score I had in the last game, Pittsburgh hammers Philadelphia, 31-21.

Pick #5:  Broncos @ Patriots (-6.5) – Patriots win it, 31-24

Why not keep going on favourites, you know that Vegas is going to hate me, but Belicheck has Stevan Ridley whose on pace to have 1400 yards and they also have a rookie running back in Brandon Bolden who has become a beast, it is a one/two punch. The Patriots love to spread the field and with Aaron Hernandez out – they are using 3-wide receiver sets, what does that mean? Von Miller is going to have to be in coverage, he’s okay as he is what he is as a pass rusher. Peyton Manning is effective on getting rid of the ball and avoiding sacks, but right now, Denver’s protection schemes appear to be a work in progress – ton’s of blown assignments. Brady is on fire!! He looks better than last year, Gronk and Welker have both eclipsed 100 receiving yards, now Buffalo is bad, but passing attacks – especially tight ends, have given the Broncos trouble this year. Despite popular opinion, the Patriots’ offensive tackles the offensive line has been pretty good this year: Brandon Bolden, Stevan Ridley have been pounding away in between the tackles. Devin McCourty, New England’s best cover guy, shutting down Demaryius Thomas. New England will challenge Manning to throw deep and right now, that is not his strength. New England wins it 35-24. I’ve been on the dogs all this year in my picks, decided to change it up and make it a favourites week.