Stefan Tornquist and Brooke Costello give the lowdown on this week’s NFL matchups.
This week GG comes to you from San Francisco, where on Sunday I was forced to watch the Niners host Seattle. Inhuman, but reasonable punishment for going 7 and 7 in last weeks pick’s. Brooke fared better with a strong 10 and 7. That works out to just about 55% on the year, so if you had bet a c-note on every prediction, you’d still be up by $1,280. I wish I was.
Ravens at Browns (-1.5, 37)
ST: The Ravens won silly last week, and the Browns won sillier. It’s Halloween and there seems to be a ghost of some mo’ building for Cleveland. Not my first choice, but Browns by a field goal.
B: After losing 4 preseason games and 3 regular season games to start the season the Cleavers are starting to chop some meat. The Browns lost to the Ravens by 18 @ Baltimore 5 weeks ago and I see a reversal in that result here. Take the Browns and hope some in the Dog Pound are too hung-over to vote on Tuesday.
Bucs at Chiefs (+8.5, 36.5)
ST: No LJ, no running game. Bucs secondary, no passing game. KC, not much game to begin with. Excellent tease meat either way.
B: The Bucs are 4-0 at home and 1-3 on the road. They will improve that this weekend, and they may win by 14 but they won’t win by 15 and that’s all that matters if you take this tease. See above.
Jets at Bills (-5.5, 42)
ST: Just the game for the Bills to right the ship. Make it easy for them and mix it up the Titans.
B: The question here is do the Bills win by a late 3 or by a dominating 14? The Bills have two fairly large problems 1) They give up sacks at the wrong time. Mr Dockery what are you thinking? 2) They can’t get any pressure on the other guy’s QBs, and this was true before Aaron Schobel went out. The Jets are a team on the precipice. A couple more Pennington wins and a few more Favre picks and the Jets could suffer some serious buyer’s remorse. I’ll take the leap of faith and take the Bills.
Cards at Rams (+2.5, 48)
ST:Kurt Warner at home in St. Louis. Cards teased with the Over and Cards straight up.
B: Zona is a lap and a half ahead of the field in the measly NFC west, and if this was the Cards vs Hawks I might be more cautious. But Kurt Warner is a very competitive guy and he wants to prove to all of Missouri that he would have been just as good without Mike Martz calling the shots. StL has reinvented itself as a good team these last 3 weeks, and this game is a big opportunity to reclaim some lost pride. I’ll take the overall talent of the Cards and flop a little on the over.
Lions at Bears (-7,44)
ST: Too many points? Nah, but it’s going to be when the line goes to 7.5 on Sunday. Give the Bears six with anything on the board.
B: Chicago has lost its three games by a total of 8 points Detroit has lost its seven games by a number approximating the national debt. But unlike the national debt the Lions margin of deficit has been shrinking. If the 7 point spread doesn’t creep to 7.5 it’s hard not to like this as at least a push. Chicago is coming off the bye and has Tenn,
GB, Rams, @Minny coming up so this stands out as a medium must win. Take the Bears and stuff.
Texans at Vikes (-4.5, 47)
ST: I’m picking upsets this week, and I think Matt and Shaub-o-lettes keep it close and maybe pull off the outright win. Remember, Detroit played the Vikings to a near standstill two weeks ago.
B: I decided 3 weeks ago to take any middle bad to middle good team that was getting a field goal or more against the Vikes. This game qualifies. Texas with an eye on the under.
Pack at Titans (-5.5,41.5)
ST: Picking the Titans every week is hardly sporting. Green Bay isn’t going to run against the Titans, so that means lots of passing, lots of stopped clocks and quicker drives. I betting Tennessee wins by 4, but you can make it even sweeter with a tease of the Pack out to 11.5 and the Over to 35.5.
B: Many are predicting that Tenn will let down after their dragon slaying win against Indy last week. As recently as last night I was agreeing with them. Teams do not go 16-0 ATS but they do go 13-3 and that still has Tenn bringing in the bucks 6 more times.
A lot has to go wrong for the Titans and a lot has to go right for GB for the 5.5 spread to be unattainable. Tenn is the pick.
Jags at Bengals (+7.5, 40)
ST: I don’t know who the Jags are, but they’re not good. Of course, neither are the Bengals, but I’m going to pick this year’s version of Baltimore at Miami right here – Begals 27, Jags 23. Of course, I’m not going to back that with any money.
B: The next two games on the schedule are prime time tease territory, and I feel you could take the tease either way. Cincy is the team that just can’t win, but they always make the other team sweat it out for a while. The Jags have to be the most disappointing team in the league. (Sorry Seattle I just never thought you were much good. Indy and SD have shown flashes of their former dominant selves.) They have been mediocre since the first snap and don’t seem that upset about it. Give the Jags 6 and make the Bucs beat KC by 14.
Fins at Denver (-3, 49)
ST: I know, Denver can’t stop anybody, but they’re at home after the bye and Miami is ranked just about last in pass defense. I like Denver, albeit probably by 3 on the nose, and I like any tease with this Under. If the line creeps over 3 by Sunday, steer clear.
B: Denver, like Atlanta is TNTT. (Teams Not To Trust) The Broncs will probably win this, but they just as easily might not. Chad has a hot hand and Miami is playing up to their fairly limited potential. One or two miscues in the red zone for either team results in the under this game should be.
Boys at Giants (-9, 41)
ST: Nine point dogs. Not quite the showdown we were imagining five weeks ago. Tease the Giants with the Eagles or the Under to bring that line in line.
B: This line is one of the purest examples of how quickly things change in the NFL. Nine months ago these teams met in the Playoffs and Dallas was heavily favored. The Giants won that one. Had they met in September this might have been a pick’em and I would have been all over the disrespected NYGs. But right now the Giants are the best team in football and Dallas is wounded and angry. I don’t see Dallas winning but I do see a slow first half for the Gints. Dallas ATS and the over as a hedge.
Eagles at Seahawks (+6.5, 43)
ST: This is a good matchup for the Eagles and, as usual, a bad matchup for Seattle. The defense of the Eagles will score a touchdown in this game – bet it if you can. Eagles straight and/or any tease that includes the Birds.
B: Seattle has lost to every reasonably talented team on their schedule. Guys in the Eagle locker room are saying “The Phillies did it so why can’t us?” and the answer is “Youse can.” Take Philly and the Over.
Falcons at Raiders (+2.5, 41)
ST: Ugh…this is why we used to cherry pick the games someone might want to watch. The only thing worth watching is Al Davis’ visibly degenerate into the Crypt Keeper. He’s got some sort of Winchester Mansion thing going out there where he believes he’ll never die as long the Raiders keep losing. So, yeah, Falcons.
B: I want to trust Atlanta. I really do. They are one of the better stories of the year but something tells me they will end the year 6-10 or 7-9 and how do you get from 4-3 to there? You lose to a very schizophrenic Raiders squad. Oak is the pick.
Pats at Colts (-5.5, 44.5)
ST: Emotional pick time. Pats with their newly gifted quarterback to scratch out a win. Legitimately love the tease of the Pats with the Over.
B: Indy’ season is all but over if they lose this game. They know this, and they will play like it. NE will be up for this one as well. As the Bills come back to earth NE can smell a sixth straight AFC East title and some proud Patriots know if Miami can do them by 25 anybody can. But this is a good game for NE to lose by a bunch and be really angry when Buffalo shows up next week. Indy and as a hedge Pats and the Over.
Steelers at Wash (-1, 37)
ST: Wash ought to win this game, but won’t. They can’t get in on QBs, and that really the only way to beat Pitt. That Browns game was a bad win for the Skins, because it showed how a mediocre team could make mistakes on both sides of the ball and still be in the game until the last minutes. Steelers
B: It’s hard to love the way Washington has been winning this year. The lowly Lions nearly took them down. The real issue this week is the Skins have not been able to get to the QB at all this year, and if you can’t get to Big Ben he and Hines Ward beat you. Pitt and Tease Pitt with the Under.
Super Duper Three way Tease. Gints, Titans, Philly