It’s nice to win more games than you lose during a week, let me tell you what. It’s also nice to go 4-1 in your top 5 games of the week, your only loss coming in your 5th ranked game of those 5. Of course, like always, I’m looking for the double perfecto in Week 14. I have a few more gimmies, and some tough calls that will require a little help from my friends. This is how I’ll butter the rolls with 3 more weeks left before the playoffs.
Gimmie-GamesFalcons over the Bucs
Seahawks over the Cardinals
Saints over the Cowboys
Ravens over the Chiefs
Patriots over the Dolphins
Cleveland (+9) at Pittsburgh: Name the last time the Steelers dominated in back to back games? Can you say not one time this year? Not one time this year. Yeah, I said it. The last time these two went at it, 2 weeks ago in Cleveland, the Browns dominated throughout only to fall at the end and lose by 4. At most, that’s what happens this time. I’m looking for a Brown upset.
Atlanta (-2) at Tampa Bay: The Falcons should continue to roll, though this one will be a little closer than the Redskin game. Tampa Bay (though not this year) usually stymies Mr. Vick, but don’t expect Mike to fade away. After a few down weeks in a row, Mike got back on track in Week 13, and since he’s a streaky cat, I’m looking for another nice game in Tampa Bay.
Baltimore (+3) at Kansas City: The Chiefs failed me big time last week, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a chance. I just think the safest bet in this one happens to be the Ravens and 3 points. Kansas City, unlike Cincinnati, doesn’t excel under the pressure of not getting into the playoffs. And I wouldn’t like to match up with Baltimore after a Ravens loss. They just don’t strike me as the losing streak type. Look for an upset on the road here.
Buffalo at N.Y. Jets (-3.5): The Jets are best at home (3-3; but only losing to New England, Indianapolis, and Chicago – all close games) so expect them to play well in New York against the Buffs. The Bills have played tough lately, are 3-2 in their last 5, with their two losses coming by a total of 4 points (Chargers and Colts) but I have a feeling they’re primed for a tough game, and that should come this week against the Jets.
Indianapolis at Jacksonville (+2): I have to take the Jaguars here. I don’t think the Colts losing to teams like Tennessee is a good thing. The Colts will be alright come playoffs, but they’re in a tough spot, and playing against a team they often struggle with. Plus, Jacksonville is playing for more here, ala the Bengals last week. I’ve got to go with the Jags who have much more to lose at home.
Minnesota (+3) at Detroit: I’m not one for history, but the Vikings have won 9 straight times against the Lions, and haven’t lost since 2001 in Detroit. With Minnesota’s run game plugging away, and a new starting quarterback in the cards (I hope it’s Tevaras Jackson) the Vikings should be able to slang the Lions on the road.
New England (-3) at Miami: The Patriots should handle the Dolphins. Tom Brady hasn’t looked like the All Pro that he is of late, but against a Miami secondary, that in my opinion is overrated, he should be able to return to his championship form. Plus, Corey Dillon is just the type of back Miami’s small defense doesn’t like to see. If Maroney is healthy, the Pats will win this one easily.
New Orleans (+7.5) at Dallas: I just think the Saints are flat out better than the Cowboys. Dallas is riding high off of their 4th straight win, a 23-30 nailbiter against a struggling Giants squad. But they are ready to take a step backwards, I can feel it. Plus, New Orleans loves to play ball as the underdog, losing only once as a dog all season. When will the cappers come to love the Saints? Dallas is hot right now, so I’d stay away from betting on them.
N.Y. Giants at Carolina (-3): If the Panthers were playing any other team in football this week, I’d stay away from them. But the Giants are playing just as poorly, and are in more turmoil that even they are. Unless the Giants trade Eli for Peyton, I don’t see them winning on the road, anywhere. Carolina has to get it together sooner or later… don’t they?
Oakland at Cincinnati (-11): The Raiders suck, and although they have managed to stay in games, and cover here and there, I expect a huge Bengal drumming in Cinci. Cinci doing the drumming of course. Oakland just doesn’t have an ends to justify a means. Ah, they are terrible. Will Brady Quinn help them get back to the promise land? Not unless a new coaching staff is implemented. The Raiders need to trade down and build an offensive line. See what it has done for the Jets?
Philadelphia (+1.5) at Washington: The Eagles are still better than the Redskins. I like Jason Campbell, I really do, and he’ll be a fixture in the Skins backfield for years to come, but I still think Philadelphia has a shot at the playoffs, even without Donovan, and Brian Westbrook will lead them to yet another win this week in Washington.
Tennessee at Houston (even): Vince Young has been for real, and he is playing in Texas this weekend. But I still have to go with the Texans. Tennessee has been unreal lately, but a down week is coming. I don’t know why, but I just feel it on the horizon.
Green Bay at San Francisco (-4): The Packers hit that rough patch that I thought they’d be in all year. 4 point dogs to the 49ers might look good, but then again, nothing looks good the way Brett and the Packers have been playing the last few games. San Fran needs to get back on track, so expect them to win a relatively meaningless game for the Packers.
Seattle (-3) at Arizona: The Cardinals aren’t good, don’t be confused by last weeks win over the Rams. The Hawks aren’t nearly as bad as they looked in that 3 point win over Denver on Sunday Night. The more Matt Hasselbeck plays, the more comfortable he’ll be, which is good news for the Hawks and bad new for Arizona.
Denver at San Diego (-7): With Jay Cutler running things, the Broncos have a chance in this one. But LT, running against a Bronco team that struggles defending marquee players (Peyton – 345yds 3 TD, LJ – 157yds TD, and LT 105yds 4TD) only makes me have to go with the Chargers, especially in San Diego. And the last time the Broncos hosted San Diego, Shawn Merriman wasn’t even on the field. Welcome to Shawn’s world Jay.
Chicago (-6) at St. Louis: I just don’t think the Rams can play with the Bears. Rex Grossman has to get back on track sooner or later, he’s too much of a gunslinger to miss too many more chances. Lately, there’s not a better team to play against when you’re struggling than the Rams. Chicago’s defense should win this game by 7 points all by themselves.