Early Game Picks
Buccaneers +9.5 @ Falcons: Take the Bucs in this one, they might be a weak 5-2 team, but they are playing good football. Atlanta might be too much to handle, but it is worth noting Tampa is 3-0 on the road this year. They might lose the game, but I feel it will be close. Atlanta 28-24
Bears -3.0 @ Bills: At the beginning of this year it was a no brainer to take any spread against the Bills, but Buffalo has looked like a much improved team these past couple of weeks. This is a major scare game, because the Bears haven’t been playing up to their record of late. They are coming off a bye, but unfortunately they weren’t able to replace their entire offensive line. I think Buffalo squeaks out a win here 23-21.
Patriots -3.5 @ Browns: You have got to give Colt McCoy some credit here, his first three starts of his career are against the Steelers, Saints (both away) and home against the Patriots. If he survives this game, then I think it might be time to acknowledge the Browns have their quarterback of the future. I don’t suspect the Browns can pull off the upset here (though coming off a bye at home is always helpful), but I think they keep this game close, New England will likely still cover but it will be closer than they want it to be. Patriots 35-31
Jets -4.5 @ Lions: This is a game that I’m sure is getting a lot of attention in betting circles as a solid pick for the Lions, but I don’t see it. Yes I realize the Lions beat the Redskins (though mind you the Lions were favored to win that game), and the Jets were shutout at home by the Packers. But I don’t see the Lions covering, much less winning this game. New York is going to come out with a chip on their shoulder, and they are going to try to really put on a show to prove their doubters wrong. I think the Jets defense will really shut down that Lions offense. I think the Jets win this easily 31-17.
Cardinals + 7.5 @ Vikings: Boy this is not an easy game to pick. There is little doubt the Vikings are the more talented team, and being at home they should win handily. Unfortunately two things are going against the theory to pick the Vikings. One the Randy Moss drama seems to not only set that team back on the field, but in the locker room as well. And two Arizona has been playing over their heads this season, and have put up some points recently. I think the Vikings will win but it should be closer than what we imagine, Minnesota 35-30.
Dolphins +5.0 @ Ravens: I’m going to go against the grain here and pick the Dolphins, not only to cover but to beat the Ravens. Miami has played great on the road this year (4-0), and while they might lose sometime, I like them in this matchup. The Ravens defense has not played up to their usual standard, and I believe Miami will be able to move the ball on them. While I think the Ravens will keep it close, I think Miami will find a way to win in the end. Miami 20-17.
Chargers -3.0 @ Texans: Despite the Texans being at home with the better record it is easy to see why the Chargers are the favorite. San Diego has the league’s best passing offense, and the Texans have been torched all season through the air. On the other side of the ball, the Texans offense will go up against the league’s best defense that has been allowing under 100 yards a game on the ground. Despite all of that, I think Houston can win this game. For one thing Phillip Rivers will be without all of his top targets again, and while it didn’t really stop him last week I think those injuries will catch up to them. Secondly, I think Arian Foster will find some room today and have a big game. Texans win by playing keep away from Rivers, 23-21.