For the first time all season, my Sunday will not be spent watching a Washington Redskins game. Of course, that's because the Redskins are on a bye, but it still means I need to do something to get my football fix. What's the natural way to do that, besides root for my fantasy football team (regretting the Brandon Lloyd/Miles Austin trade I made a couple weeks back)? Make NFL picks, of course.
So, without further ado, my picks for this weekend. The odds are from SB Nation's newest partner Odds Shark, and are for entertainment purposes only. Well, at least officially.
Lock of the Week
With the way the Cowboys are looking right now, they should be two touchdown underdogs minimum against anyone. They just got beat up by a David Garrard-Mercedes Lewis combination - at home, no less. Now, Vegas expects them to lose by less than nine points to a Packers team that just beat up the Jets on the road? BWAHAHAHA.
The Bears are 4-3, but they're in complete disarray. If not for a bad call in the season opener and a complete Packers meltdown on Monday Night Football, they would be 2-5, with their two wins over two 1-6 teams. They aren't a good football team. Now, they're hitting the road against a Buffalo Bills team that has come close against good teams the last couple weeks. I think they get their first W this week.
Miami has four wins this year. All of them are on the road. The Ravens have struggled at home recently, for reasons that don't really make much sense. This one seems pretty easy.
I think last Sunday's win over Pittsburgh represented a break through for New Orleans. They needed their defense to step up, and it did. Therefore, I think they cover this pretty big line, even though they're traditionally not a great road team.
I was really tempted to go with the upset here, but I don't think the Jets are a good matchup for Detroit. Their offensive line can keep Ndamukong Suh in check better than the Redskins', and their pass rush will bother Matthew Stafford all day. Jahvid Best has got to pick it up, and as good as he's been, he hasn't been as dynamic as usual in recent weeks. Not sure that changes against an elite Jets defense.
Both those lines seem absurdly high for two games against teams with similar records. Given Brett Favre's struggles, can we really assume Minnesota can beat anyone by 10, even if it's the Cardinals? Tampa Bay isn't as good as their record indicates, but why can't they stay within a touchdown of the Falcons? I got both teams covering, but not winning.
Once again, I was really tempted to go with the upset. The Patriots aren't really blowing anyone out, and the Browns have been competitive against elite teams this year. But that line is pretty low, so I'll go with the Patriots by a touchdown.
Toughest line on the list. I realize the Chargers will not have Antonio Gates, and we don't know about Malcolm Floyd either. But the Texans' secondary is awful, which should mean a field day for Phillip Rivers. I expect the Chargers' defense to step it up after a big win over Tennessee, so I'll take them, despite their injuries.
I guess this classifies as an upset, but the Seahawks do have a winning record, so I say it doesn't. They're really good at home, and they've come back strong from poor performances thus far this year. I also don't trust the Giants to maintain their momentum coming off the bye week.
Simple question: which of these two teams is playing better now. The answer, clearly, is Oakland. I don't see Kansas City running wild on them like they've done all year, and without that, the Chiefs become one-dimensional. Oakland in a blowout.
This should be a fun one, but it's hard for me to go against Peyton Manning against a mediocre Eagles defense. Look for LeSean McCoy to have a big game though, if he's healthy.
We're just two weeks from the inevitable Chad Ochocinco/Terrell Owens/Carson Palmer blowup. Can't wait!