Free Football Picks 06-07 Week 17

Last week of the year, and this is a make or break section for El Lucky Lester. As I rest 1 game up on the season, 116-115 and some ties, I need some solid picks to assure that I finish at or above .500 for the 3rd time in as many chances. Put on your reading glasses and pay full attention, as these picks will rock your world!
Gimmie-GamesJaguars over the Chiefs
Bears over the Packers
Saints over the Panthers
Rams over the Vikings
Seahawks over the Buccaneers


New York Giants @ Washington Redskins (+3):

It’s going to be fun to talk about when the Giants, who only needed a win to reach the playoffs, lost to a Redskins team, that just happens to be out of the playoffs, and playing for nothing but the right to say, “ha-freaking-ha!” Ladell Betts is too tough a runner to allow a beaten Giants team to slow him. Jason Cambell will elude the Giant rush, without Strahan, allowing him to connect with Moss, Randel El, and Brandon Lloyd for some big plays in the passing game.


Atlanta Falcons (+9.5) at Philadelphia Eagles:

I love the Eagles, and think they’ll win this game at home against Mike Vicks and the Falcons, but, but the Falcons play a close style of football, and to think the outcome will end with more than a touchdown difference seems like a stretch to me. The Eagles would love this game to finish off the division, but Atlanta also has hopes of improvement, and maybe a playoff birth.

Buffalo Bills (+10.5) at Baltimore Ravens:

The Ravens are one of my favorites to make it to the AFC Championship round, but the Bills have been playing tough lately, and this will surely be the last game in this season, so they’ll be playing with nothing to lose. With JP Losman, Willis McGahee and Lee Evans allowed to fully use their athletic gifts, expect the Bills to possibly pull out a season finale shocker on the road.

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (+3):

The Saints will be playing a dumbed down style, with back ups playing later in the game, but they have enough skill position depth to ruin yet another Panther game to end the season. The Saints don’t “need” this game, but the Panthers’ players have all but written off their chances, after struggling two weeks in a row. Carolina will continue to be one of the leagues’ most disappointing teams.

Cleveland Browns at Houston Texans (-4.5):

While Houston is relatively healthy, (sans out for the entire year RB, Dom Davis) the Browns could very well be starting their 3rd quarterback on Sunday. Cleveland wasn’t deep at the position to start the season, let alone know. The Brown rushing attack has been suspect throughout the year, so it’s not like they’re ready to run to the rescue. Thus, the Texans, David Carr, Andrew Johnson, and Ronald Freaking Dayne, will all get their chances to win yet another game. Winning that last game is important for “next season”. Houston gets the job done.

Detroit Lions at Dallas Cowboys (-12.5):

The Cowboys are ready to come back this week, despite their donkey-airhead WR running his yap. All in all, the Cowboys are feeling their way into the playoffs, and possible make a run at a title. Dallas has to play better defensively, and Tony Romo needs to limit his mistakes, and the Boys can easily win a few games in the very near future. This spread is huge, but you’ve got to admit, the Boys are 2 touchdowns better than the Lions.

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (-3):

I guess I’m tired of the Packers in the Playoffs talk that seems to be following me around everywhere I go. The Bears are just as good with Brian Grease running the show, so even if Rex doesn’t play much, it’s not as if the backup is a no show. The Bears have wonderful special teams play, a great 1-2 Punch at running back, and plenty of speedy young WRs that need more reps, so they should get in plenty of practice against the Packers’ secondary.

Jacksonville (+3) at Kansas City:

Unless Damon Huard comes with it and stars for the Chiefs, this is going to be a boring battle, headlined by Maurice Drew outperforming Larry Johnson. Not because LJ isn’t absolutely legit, but because the Jaguar defensive front, teamed with a line backing corps that knows Green isn’t much to be scared of,

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts(-9):

It’s very tough for me to trust the Colts against anyone, but I have a gut feeling that Indy is on the way back this year. They certainly struggled last week, but they’ll get back in the swing of things just before the playoffs begin. I also don’t think the Dolphins can offensively match what the Colts are about to do.

New England Patriots (+3) at Tennessee Titans:

I know Vince Young had his best game as a pro last week, but do you think Bill Billichick will allow Young to do the things he likes to do? Hell no! Vince will get a little lesson on intelligent defenses in the NFL. The Patriots have struggled off and on, but they’ll definitely have a quick and tricky scheme set up for Yong.

Oakland Raiders (+13) at N.Y. Jets:

Everyone and their mother knows how I feel about the Raiders, and there is no reason to take them, unless they’re getting mucho points in the spread. Well as it turns out, neither of these teams plays in too many blowouts, and especially with a playoff birth on the line, expect the Jets to me safe. I hate safe, because it rarely is safe, it’s ugly, it renders points for your opponent, and keeps your defense on the field to lose the game. Another boring one, with a nice Raider defense performance, this game will be too close for that huge spread, so, gulp, take the Raiders.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (-6):

The Steelers (huge losers last week) are now officially eliminated from a chance at the post-season. The Bengals need some help, but they still have a chance, and are actually a good football team. Take Chad, Carson, Rudi, TJ, Chris Henry, and the rest of the Bengals in an annihilation of the Steeler defense that loves to give up big plays in the most inopportune time.

Seattle Seahawks (+3.5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

The Bucs are much better with Tim Rattay, I must say, but hey, they don’t live by the bay, they live where the water’s gray, and killer whales ride the waves. Say, the Hawks have to know the way, as it seems they’ve done this all before, just yesterday, not May. The Hawks dump the Bucs, with or without resting their starters on the road.

St. Louis Rams (-2.5) at Minnesota Vikings:

Believe it or not, the Rams still have a chance at ending up smack dab in the middle of the first round playoff race. The way Steven Jackson has been playing, I have to take the Rams. And then there’s Marc Bulger, Tory Holt, and Isaac Bruce, amongst many other big stars. Minnesota have been underperforming all season long. Look for the Rams to continue to ride stud back Steven Jackson, and go for the jugular early.

Arizona Cardinals (+15) at San Diego Chargers:

I just think this is too much. San Diego will rest some key guys, as they go into the playoffs wrapping up home seed throughout. I think the Charges can easily pull this one out, but with Dennis Green fighting for his job, and the Cardinals rolling with Kurt Warner, Arizona has a swinging shot to down the league’s best on Sunday. And that’s why football is so brilliant.

San Francisco 49ers (+11) at Denver Broncos: I like the way the 49ers have stuck there hearts on the line lately, but they are tougher than they seem. Denver has more talent, and at the skill positions, the Broncos are dominant, but here’s this guy named Frank Gore, and he’s ready to cover al by his lonesome. This could very well be the finale for bother these teams. With all those points on their side, I’m rolling the dice on the 49ers in Denver. Plus, all the cold weather means for a tighter game all around.

Free Football Picks 06-07 Week 16

Week 15 went well, making 3 straight weeks of winners for the come back kid of the season. Follow me, good ol’ Lucky Lester, on the way to my 4th straight week of big winners.Gimmie-Games

Bengals over the Broncos
Bears over the Lions
Chiefs over the Raiders
Colts over the Texans
Ravens over the Steelers


Minnesota Vikings (+3.5) @ Green Bay Packers: What can I say? I’ve been waiting for the Vikings to pull their heads out of their respective asses and bench Brad Johnson for the young and extremely talented Tevares Jackson. They did, and so I’m going to go ahead and shoot for tooting my own horn in my review. The hapless Vikings upset the hapless Packers.


Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) @ Oakland Raiders: Larry Johnson is running for the Chiefs who have to win or face a sure exit from playoff hopes. Justin Fargas is running for the Raiders, who, ah, are never going to win again this year.


Baltimore Ravens (+3.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers: I know the Steelers are coming on strong of late, but really, do wins over Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and Carolina really count? No. If they beat Baltimore this week, sure, I’ll admit, they’re a force once again, but until they beat a team that isn’t completely useless, there’s no way they beat one of the best squads in the AFC.
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-6): The Panthers aren’t nearly the team I’d thought they’d be, and that’s with Jake Delhomme at quarterback. This Chris Weinke guy was made to lose NFL football games, and thus far he’s followed the pattern brilliantly. Despite losing last week, the Falcons are healthy, and playing well, so expect them to tame the Panthers in Atlanta.

Chicago Bears (-4) at Detroit Lions: Is this some kind of sick joke? I know the Bears are the beasts of the NFC, and can’t possibly be caught, but lets be honest, these are the Lions here. The Kevin Jones-less Lions, and no, they won’t be able to hang with half of the Bears, a team that historically tries to win every game down the stretch anyway, and has something yet to work on with consistency on both sides of the ball.

Indianapolis Colts (-9) @ Houston Texans: I have a feeling the Colts are going to get on a hot streak here that will lead them into the 2nd spot in the AFC, and a nice little run to the Super Bowl. They aren’t trying to do things they aren’t good at anymore, that died before the Bengal game, and now they’re ready to just take what defenses give them. Luckily for the Colts, Houston is ready to give them anything they want. Peyton’s only question will be, who to get the ball to, they’ll all be open.

New England Patriots at Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5): With the Jags in need of a win to stay in the playoff hunt, they’ll play all out against the Patriots. I know Tom Brady and his Pats were back to their old selves last week against Houston, but Jacksonville plays well against tough opponents, and the Jags aren’t the Texans. Look for Jacksonville to outrun New England on way to a very important home win.

New Orleans Saints (+3) at New York Giants: I just don’t see how the Saints are underdogs here. I don’t thin the Giants have a chance to make the playoffs, so it’s not as if they’ll be playing with extra umph. And Drew Brees has been shredding suspect secondaries all season long, and the Giants certainly have one of those. Look for Drew and the Saints to perform well in a bounce back game.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) at Cleveland Browns: With Tim Rattay getting the starting nod, I actually believe the Buccaneers are a tough team. Cleveland, on the other hand, has also played well since their back up, Derek Anderson, has come in for an injured Charlie Frye, but I like Cadillac Williams to have his best game of the season, Joey Galloway to light up the airways, and a Buccaneer defense to shut down the Browns.

Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills (-4.5): Buffalo has been a very good team of late, giving Bill fans something to get excited about next season, and if the cards fall right, this season too. Tennessee’s luck will run out this week in Buffalo, as there’s no way they’ll win with another piss poor offensive performance. Against a finally healthy Bills defense, trouble for the Titans will continue. But how about the YOUNG kid, he’s gonna be something!

Washington Redskins (+2) at St. Louis Rams: Personally, between me and you, I like the Rams as a team much better than I like the Skins. But, Ladell Betts is a terrible match up for the Rams. St. Louis struggles against downhill runners with a knack to break tackles, and Ladell has proven to be that. Steven Jackson will get his, but the young Redskins skill players will be the deciding factor in a Washington win on the road.

Arizona Cardinals @ San Francisco 49ers (-4): The public likes the Niners here, and so do I. With Frank Gore, San Fran will control the ball all day long. Alex Smith is finally playing to his #1 pick potential, something that will be proven again on Sunday against the Cardinals. The 49ers defense has a little pop as well, but if they can’t find a way to stop Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, this game will be a late shootout.

Cincinnati Bengals (+3) at Denver Broncos: I like Jay Culter, but he won’t be able to shred the Bengals defense like Peyton Manning did last Monday Night. And there is no way the Bengals come out as flat as a tire for the second straight week in a row, especially with their playoff lives on the line. This spread is like giving the game away. Thanks for free money, fellas.

San Diego Chargers (-4) at Seattle Seahawks: I’d love to take the Seahawks here, with the belief that they are ready to turn the corner, ready to step up in crunch time, ready to throw that killing punch. But then again, I’d love a perfect record, more money than Bill Gates, and more booty than Jennifer Lopez, but all I got is this computer, a couple hooves to type with, and an editor who claims to be an ex-ultimate fighter extraordinaire. Basically, me and the Hawks are rolling in the same boat. Seattle has proven that they aren’t ready to defend their NFC Title, while the Chargers are destined to get LT a few more touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Hawks, this game still has meaning for SD. What has Seattle done to make me think they could win this game? Win the NFC last year. Key word, last.

Philadelphia Eagles (+7) at Dallas Cowboys: You’ve got to root for Jeff Garcia and the Eagles in this one, right? With TO running his mouth in Dallas, and Jeff Garcia playing like the pro-bowler he was when last tossing to TO, it would be sweet for Philly to win this game. And I’m not a believer in destiny, but an interview with TO after the game that has this question, “So, remember that QB you called Gay? He just smoked your boys in Dallas. Did you thoroughly enjoy them apples?” Yeah, I have to pick the Eagles in this one. Brian Westbrook to the rescue, but Jeff Garcia with the final dagger.


New York Jets (+2.5) at Miami Dolphins: This is a tough one, so I’ll go with the Jets, since they still have a shot at post season play. New York has been off and on more times than my power over the last few weeks, but I think their offensive line is coming into their own, and Chad Pennington is back to trusting his receivers down the field. Laveraneus Coles is one of the best the league has to offer, and Chad will get him the ball to win this game in Miami.

This week should be interesting, either the books are about to lose a lot of money, or I’m about to have a huge week.

Free Football Picks 06-07 Week 15

After two straight weeks of winning records, I seem to be making a push back towards the green, and we’ll see, as will the Steelers, if there’s still a chance for a salvaged season. Pay special attention, as I feel a big week fluttering in the wings.Gimmie-Games

Rams over the Raiders
Jaguars over the Titans
Broncos over the Cardinals
Cowboys over the Falcons
Bengals over the Colts


San Francisco 49ers (+11) @ Seattle Seahawks: I just don’t trust the Seahawks anymore. After playing very poorly for at least 40 minutes of the Bronco game, and then losing to the Cardinals, I think Frank Gore will give the Hawk defense fits, if not enough to win in Seattle, at least enough to cover the 11 point spread.


Dallas Cowboys (-3) @ Atlanta Falcons: This is where the Cowboys reassert themselves as an NFC powerhouse. Last weeks loss to the Saints was demoralizing enough to light a fire under Parcells’ ass and get the rest of the Cowboys back out of the Never Never Land dream world of NFC Champs that everyone has been predicting. They’ll actually play this week, and physical freaks (Like TO on offense and Demarcus Ware on defense) will slang the Falcons from the playoff picture


Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-10.5): It’s all up to the Ravens here. Cleveland won’t be able to do donkey turd against the Ravens defense, that’s a given, 10 points at the very most. So, it’s up to Steve McNair, and more likely, Jamal Lewis, to get the spread covered. I loved the way Lewis was running last week, so I’ll take the Ravens to cover at home.
Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers (-4.5): The roar in Detroit has been pathetic lately, making me think the Raiders will have some competition for that top pick. Jon Kitna hasn’t shown anything to sway the Lions from taking Brady Quinn if they win the spot, and Green Bay has proven they can hog tie lesser teams. I’m not sure many squads are lesser than the Packers, but without Kevin Jones, you can bet the Lions are.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-3) at Tennessee Titans: The Titans sure have impressed me, none more than Vincent Young. Kid is legit. But, the Jaguars are in the hunt for the playoffs, and sooner or later, even this stellar ROY candidate will have a tough game running the show for these young Titans. But the last few weeks from Vince have shown me that the Titans aren’t very far away from the playoffs.

Houston Texans at New England Patriots (-11): I don’t know if the Texans are talented enough to take advantage of the Patriot short-comings, so I have to take New England, Tom Brady, and the rest of the Patriots in a rebound performance against Houston.

New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings (-3): Honestly, if I didn’t pick every stinking game, I’d stay away from this one. The Vikings have disappointed all year while the Jets have just struggled lately. Minnesota still has a good running attack, something the Jets can’t manage to stop. That fact alone has me taking the Vikes at home. But I still think Brad Johnson is holding this team back. Hell, I can throw farther than Brad.

Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills (even): My first instinct was to take the Dolphins, because their defense has been filthy, and JP doesn’t play well against solid defensive squads. Then I realized that the Dolphins only have Sammy Morris at RB, while the Bills have McGahee and Anthony Thomas, plus a score from anywhere guy in WR Lee Evans. So, after further review, I’d like to reverse the call, and go with the home team.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-2) at Carolina Panthers: I’ve lost all hope in the Panthers and still think the Steelers have a pulse. Fast Willie Parker came correct last week, and the Panthers’ defense hasn’t shown me anything lately that would make me think Willie won’t hound the cats in Carolina. Big Ben is back to his old self, and the Steelers defense will only make plays if Chris Weinke is QBing for Carolina. Take Pittsburgh in a big road win.

Washington Redskins (+10.5) at New Orleans Saints: It’s tough to jump off the Saints’ big win over Dallas last week, but a let down against a sub par Redskin team is on the Horizon. I just feel it. Everyone has been playing perfect football for New Orleans, but they’re bound to have an off game. Ladell Betts is a down hill, rough and tumble runner. He’ll keep the Redskins close, and Jason Campbell will make a big play late to help the Redskins cover.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Chicago Bears (-13): I really don’t like the Bears (-13) against anyone but the offensively challenged Buccaneers or the Oakland “Terrible” Raiders. As the schedule staggers into week 15, the Bucs come to Chicago. That can only mean one thing. A low scoring, painful to watch, Chicago 17-3 (or shutout) win. Either way, I’ll take home the victory.

Denver Broncos (-1) at Arizona Cardinals: I know things haven’t been great for the Broncos, and Arizona beat the Seahawks last week, but this game shouldn’t be close to even. With Cutler struggling, the Broncos are still a touchdown better than Arizona, just wait and see.

Philadelphia Eagles (+6) at New York Giants: Like I said last week, I have a funny feeling, that even without Donovan McNabb, the Eagles might just sneak their way into the playoffs. What’s the first order of business to make that dream a reality? An enormous win over the Giants in New York. And, oh yes, it’s possible. Jeff Garcia can pick apart a porous Giant defense, (yeah – I said it), and Eli Manning will find trouble in an Eagles secondary that’s starting to step up and make plays. Only Tiki stands in the way of an Eagle victory. Stay tuned.

St. Louis Rams (+2) at Oakland Raiders: How in God’s good name did some bunch of know-nothings come up with this spread? I often hate betting with the public, or at least it makes me worry, but I’d like to slap the mental munchkins that make up the 20% of the betting population that took Oakland. Steven Jackson and the Rams’ receiving corps will obliterate any Raider hope for victory. Sure, lightening strikes, but it sure as hell never makes an appearance in Oakland.

Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers (-8): The common consensus seems to be that San Diego doesn’t really need this game, and if you look at it in a comparison fashion, yes, the Chiefs need this win more than San Diego. But the Chargers have Shawn Merriman back, and that’s that. That guy won’t make life easy on Trent Green. The Chiefs back to back losses to Cleveland and then Baltimore may have doomed their playoff hopes. I don’t think they have the firepower in the passing game to keep San Diego honest.


Cincinnati Bengals (+3.5) at Indianapolis Colts: This will be the last game in the streak of losses for the Colts. But this week, on Monday Night Football, Chad Johnson will pull out the disappearing football trick as his end zone dance, not once, but twice, as his need-to-win Bengals hobble the Colts in Indy. This should be a great game, but the improving Bengal defense should be the difference, as Indy doesn’t look like they cans stop Rudi Johnson or Carson Palmer, and definitely not Chad Johnson.

Free Football Picks 06-07 Week 14

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.

Free Football Picks 06-07 Week 13

13 shows some promise, as I see a couple gimmie-games on the horizon. Those are a few games (5) I’m pretty dang sure about. Check them out in my attempt to bust out 16 wins in Week 13. Lucky number 13, that’s what ol’ Lucky has to say about that!
Gimmie-GamesFalcons over the Redskins
Jaguars over the Dolphins
Jets over the Packers
Texans over the Raiders
Panthers over the Eagles


Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5): This is the toughest game of the week for me. Both teams come in playing very well, the Ravens defense dominating things for Baltimore and both the Bengals offense and defense playing together to handle things. I have to go with the Bengals, thinking their offense is good enough to score on the Ravens. Steve McNair will have his chance to shine though, as Cinci will be slamming the box and pressuring the Raven signal caller. Should be one hell of a Thursday Night game…. If you get NFL Network that is. Dough!


Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears (-10): I don’t think the Vikings will be able to do jack against the Bears, especially run, and God knows Brad Johnson and company have a tough time completing passes against the air. The Bears will find running room sparse, but against a Viking secondary that’s been picked apart 5 too many times this season, even Sexxy Rexxy should be able to do a fine job for the win.

Atlanta Falcons (+2) at Washington Redskins: I guess I just don’t believe in Jason Campbell at quarterback and how he’s the second coming. He’s been great, and I liked him a lot more than most people when he was coming out of Auburn, but in a game he’s supposed to win (or so say the bookies) Jason will struggle, and Mike Vick will come out with something to prove. Take the Falcons here.

Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams (-6.5): The Cardinals are just getting ready for Dennis Green to be fired, as you can see by their “toss it up” offense they ran last week in a loss to the 5 point loss to the Vikings. Well, they’ll be tossing it up this week too, because Steven Jackson is a beast, and he’ll be getting plenty of action against the sieved that is the Cardinal defensive front. Take the Rams in this one, as Tory Holt will also return to Pro Bowl form.

Kansas City Chiefs (-5) at Cleveland Browns: This is usually where the Chiefs do me dirty, but I’m betting for a change this week. They’ve looked good, rely on Larry for most of their offense (brilliant plan), and are ready to stop disappointing me. The Browns (like everyone else in the NFL) can’t stop LJ. Cleveland’s team, and offense especially, is sapped with turmoil, so expect a Chief drilling here.

Jacksonville Jaguars (+1.5) at Miami Dolphins: So, obviously the Dolphins are better under Nick Saban at the end of the year, and Jacksonville is as reliable as your neighborhood drug dealer, but he bottom line is Jacksonville is the better team here, even with all their injuries this season. On the road, the Jaguars will feel at home, taking down Miami late.

San Diego Chargers (-6) at Buffalo Bills: Anthony Thomas nor Willis McGahee can rush against the Chargers, as I don’t think there’s a guy, not on their own team, that can do it. With Shawn Merriman back in Charger gear, look for San Diego to look charged a week after stumbling to an ugly win against the Raiders.

San Francisco 49ers @ New Orleans Saints (-7): Sure, Frank Gore will be able to pile up the yards in New Orleans, but for how long? The Niners have trouble scoring, something Drew Brees and the Saints are very, very good at. When the Saints bump a few long touchdowns early, the Niners will result to passing the ball, something they aren’t so good at. The Saints should win this home game easily.

Tennessee Titans @ Indianapolis Colts (-7.5): The Titans won’t sucker the Colts this time. Indy will come out picking apart the Titan secondary, and they won’t fold like the New York Football Giants. No, no, not this Manning. Peyton will be ready to get the Manning name back on solid ground. And although I’d be a lot happier with -6.5, I’ll take the Colts in this one easy.

New York Jets (-1) at Green Bay Packers: I know Brett has played well this season, and the Packers have been better than everyone (even me) originally thought, but the Jets have been even better than Green Bay. New York has been better against the run of late, and Chad Pennington looks like he’s returned to his early season form. Laveranues Coles is back to dominating the air lines, so take him and the Jets in Wisconsin.

Houston Texans (+3) at Oakland Raiders: Are the oddsmakers seeing something I’m not? I don’t think the Raiders have a chance in this one. They can’t score. Sure, the Texans didn’t run the ball well last week, but they’ll have a better day against the Raiders. And David Carr has had a pretty nice season, though no one really knows that because when’s the last time a Texan game has been on TV? Exactly. Mario Williams has had a nice rookie year, he’ll be a great player. The Texans win this game. That’s my bet!

Dallas Cowboys (-3) at New York Giants: I don’t think the Cowboys are going to kill many teams as they did last week, but I do think they’ll find ways to win, because that’s what Tony Romo will do for the rest of his career. So Dallas haters out there, watch out. Owens should have a big day against a defense that won’t be able to stop him, or any of the other Cowboys for that matter.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7): My guess is the Bucs don’t do dick against the Steelers defense. Pitt hasn’t played well, but they still have explosive players. Even without Hines Ward, the Steel Show will get another win on Sunday.

Seattle Seahawks (+3.5) @ Denver Broncos: I think the Hawks are starting to get it. They struggled early against the Pack, and Denver’s defense is much better than Green Bay’s, but Matt and Shaun look to be back up to speed. With Jay Cutler getting his first NFL start, the Hawks will try to capitalize on a couple rookie mistakes. If their defense can convert one mistake into points, the Hawks get the win on the road.


Carolina Panthers (-3) at Philadelphia Eagles: The Panthers have disappointed me all season long, even when they cover, their offense is homely. But the Eagles don’t have their D-Nabb, and Brian Westbrook can only do so much. Look for the Panthers to take it to the Eagles on the road.

Free Football Picks 06-07 Week 12

Championship hopes and week 12 winner aspirations…. That’s what’s on Ol’ Lucky Lester’s mind coming into week 12. No new plan or Crazy plot to take over the world, just 16 solid picks from the man with a plan.Thursday:

Miami Dolphins (-2.5) at Detroit Lions: The Lions without Kevin Jones will be a gong show against the recently revitalized Dolphins defense, so don’t even take a chance on the Lions. Miami has proven over the past few games, and ever since Nick Saban took over, that they are a second half of the year team. Look for them to treat the Lions like a Turdunkin on Bird Day.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys (-10.5): The Cowboys have too many options to play around with the Bucs, whose only real option is Cadillac Williams, something the Cowboys will make sure not to allow. Joey Galloway is still a game breaker, and rookie QB, Bruce Gradkowski has been solid, but with Tony Romo and the Cowboys pushing for the NFC West title, this should be a tough day for the Bucs in Dallas.

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (even): The Chiefs rushing attack should dominate the Broncos suddenly sieved-like defensive front, on way to a huge inter-conference win at home. When it comes right down to it, the Chiefs need this game more, and with both the Broncos’ running backs struggling to stay on the field, KC is the more physical team, and they are at home, where they are always good.


Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings (-6): What has Minnesota done for me lately? Absolutely freaking nothing. That’s right, since an early season burst the Vikings have been just a notch above the horrible Raiders for league’s worst team honors. But, they play Matt Leinart and the bumbling Cardinals this weekend in Minnesota, a perfect game to get back on track with. Edge won’t be able to run against the Vikings, so all the weight will be on Matt’s shoulders. He’s just a little guy, not strong enough to carry that team.
Carolina Panthers (-4) at Washington Redskins: This has to be my safest pick of the week. The Panthers are leaps and bounds and years ahead of the Redskins, who start Jason Campbell at quarterback for the second time in his young career. But the Panthers aren’t the Bucs, and young Jason will soon find that out when he’s running for his life with Julius Peppers chasing him down. Look for Jason’s second outing to be a little less successful than beginners luck was.

Chicago Bears (+3) at New England Patriots: I guess I’m waiting to see if Tom Brady and the Patriots are the team that started 5-2 or the team that started 6-1 and recently ousted the Packers 35-0… Or are they the team that lost back to back games at the hands of the Colts and Jets? Either way, the Bears seem to step up big in big situations, this being one of those, I expect them to play very well. When Chicago is at the top of their game, and Rexxy is tossing the rock with confidence and accuracy, the Bears are very close to unbeatable. The overriding factor in this game, you ask? Dillon and Maroney will have a tougher time with the Bears D than Jones and Benson will have with the Patriots.

Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5) at Cleveland Browns: Last week the Browns put up a good fight against the Steelers, but faded in the 4th allowing Pittsburgh to pull out with a lucky win. Well, all that does is crush an already struggling team. While Cinci on the other hand, is riding the Chad Johnson hot streak all the way to playoff contention. With the Browns’ season already in the tank, expect the team with more to lose, Cincinnati, to dominate the 2nd half and the scoreboard.

Houston Texans (+6) at N.Y. Jets: I don’t see why the Texans are getting the write off here. The Jets can’t stop anyone on the ground, giving the Texans, who actually have a pretty productive rushing attack, an easy way to control the clock, and win this football game. I’ll take the underdog with the points here, but an upset wouldn’t surprise me one bit.

Jacksonville Jaguars (-2.5) at Buffalo Bills: Anthony Thomas nor Willis McGahee if he was healthy, will be going anywhere positive against the Jaguar rushing defense. With Donovan Darius out, the Jaguars lose yet another big time playmaker on the defensive side of the football, but their big guys up front are healthy, making it easier for backers and defensive backs to make plays. Expect the Jags to make those plays and down Buffalo on the road.

New Orleans Saints (+3) at Atlanta Falcons: Mike Vick used to play very well against the Saints, but Aaron Brooks (his Cousin) has moved on to bigger and crappier things, so sibling rivalry shouldn’t get Mike pumped any more. Drew Brees is the better signal caller here, and Reggie Bush and Deuce are better running backs. The Saints defense has played better all year, and without an accurate arm to pick their secondary apart, (ala what Pitt did and Cinci did to them in back to back weeks) the Saints should be able to walk out of Atlanta big winners.

N.Y. Giants (-3) at Tennessee Titans: The Titans will have a nice opportunity to do what they do best, and run, against the Giants, but I have a feeling that Eli Manning is ready to trot out of his slump and carry the struggling Giants to a win against the up and coming Titans. Sooner or later NFL teams are going to make Vince Young beat them, and I don’t think Vince can beat the Giants quite yet.

Philadelphia Eagles at Indianapolis Colts (-8.5): I like Brian Westbrook as a fantasy star this weekend, but I still think the Colts will pull out of Week 12 with a double digit win over the Eagles. Peyton Manning will play better than he did last week, especially against an Eagle defense that struggles against high end quarterbacks. Without McNabb, everyone will be able to see who the MVP of the Eagles is, as if there were any question going in.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens (-2.5): I like the Ravens at home against just about anybody, especially a Steeler team that till walks around like they own the joint. Ray Lewis should be back in pads this week, making Willie Parker’s, Big Ben’s, and any other Pittsburgh offensive player’s lifer more difficult. If the Ravens do one thing well, it’s capitalize on opposing team’s mistakes. Ben will make his, as will the rest of the Steelers, and when they do, McNair, and more likely, the Ravens defense, will turn those mistakes into points.

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams (-5): I know, the 49ers beat the Hawks last week, and have fought their way to .500 on the season while the lowly Rams have seen 5 straight defeats on way to a 4-6 record and a 1st to 3rd fall in the NFC West. But, St. Louis will win this game, because they are the better, more talented team. I hate underestimating Orlando Pace’s effect on the Rams, because he’s out this week, and I know he’s a vital part to the whole offense, but…. Ah yes, but…. The Niners leading receiver was caught drinking and driving, Vernon Davis still hasn’t proven healthy, Arnaz Battle has a flat tire, and Alex Smith has baby hands. That combination should kill the Niners in this battle.

Oakland Raiders (+14.5) at San Diego Chargers: Everyone has a down week. The Chargers, yes, even the Chargers, after two huge comeback wins, might just be too tired to dominate the lowly Raiders. I hope LT has a brilliant game, but I imagine Marty-Ball will lift its ugly head, and LT will be thrown into a run stop package put together by the only decent think in Silver and Black, a tough nosed Oakland Defense. Bad teams only have a few chances to get up and rowdy for a game, seeing a chance to stop the “All Mighty” Chargers and the leagues’ best player (LT) should get them ready to go. No crazy outcome here, just a closer game than expected.


Green Bay Packers (+9.5) at Seattle Seahawks: I don’t like the Packers, that’s for sure, but if the Seahawks expect Matt Hasselbeck to come back and make everything better, like a snoopy band-aid, then they will be stunned by Monday’s game. The Hawks problem isn’t Matt’s injury, though that hasn’t helped, it’s a bunch of guys who just expect to win on Sunday. Yeah, they have one of, if not the most talent in the NFC, especially on defense, yet they are often pathetic on both sides of the ball. They Hawks will claw back and win this game, but the Packers will teach Seattle a lesson on overlooking an opponent.

Free Football Picks 06-07 Week 11

After the worst week of my season, I’m dedicated to making it happen in Week 11, pulling myself right our of the gutter and into high society. I just keep telling myself, “Don’t fret, Week 11 sits ahead, and that is where Champions make their claim for greatness!”TOP 5 Bets

1. Indianapolis Colts (-1) at Dallas Cowboys
2. New England Patriots (-5.5) at Green Bay Packers
3. Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) at San Francisco 49ers
4. St. Louis Rams (+7.5) at Carolina Panthers
5. Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles (-13)
Atlanta Falcons at Baltimore Ravens (-4): The Ravens have found ways to win when times are tough, while the Falcons have found tough times and a variety of ways to lose. I don’t know what happened to Mike Vick, but the fact that Atlanta did this last season, and Vick often struggles when criticized, has me taking Baltimore at home.

Buffalo Bills (+2.5) at Houston Texans: David Carr is questionable, but I don’t know if that helps or hurts the Texans? What I do know is Buffalo can play tough, and even with McGahee out, the Bill rushing attack is worth something. Houston at home has never impressed me. Expect a big play from Lee Evans that dumps the non-Cowboy club in Texas.

Chicago Bears (-7) at N.Y. Jets: Chicago won’t have problems with the Jets. Thomas Jones will give them the old Wham Bam Thank You Mam, surprise, and New York won’t have a swinging chance in this showdown. Rexxy Grossman is inconsistent, but this looks like a good match up for the young gun slinger.

Cincinnati Bengals at New Orleans Saints (-3): It’s not like me to pick the Saints, but at home, and with a winner like Drew Brees, it’s time for even me to turn the corner. Against the Bengals, we might be watching Reggie Bush’s first dominate performance of his career. We also are going to see a point scoring fiesta in New Orleans, so get ready to Tivo this one, it’s going to be the Ultimate Highlight!

Indianapolis Colts (-1) at Dallas Cowboys: The Colts are better than the Cowboys, even with Drew Bledsoe stuck on clipboard duty. Dallas’ defense struggles to defend the pass, Peyton Manning is the ultimate passer. 1 and 1 makes 2 right? Peyton kills Dallas all game long and the Colts win number 10. 10 straight wins is tough to come by, but a loss against the Cowboys just won’t happen.

Minnesota Vikings at Miami Dolphins (-3): Miami has turn the corner? I wouldn’t go that far, but the Vikings sure have. Soon to be passed up by the freaking Packers, Minnesota needs to hurry up and make a Quarterback change before Brad Johnson dies on the field of old age. Okay, seriously, I don’t know how either of these teams is as bad as they are, but Miami has shown they are a second half team, while Minnesota hasn’t shown me jack lately. Dolphins at home in this one.

New England Patriots (-5.5) at Green Bay Packers: How about them Packers? About 4 games ago, this would have been a 10 point spread, but the Pats have really struggled, and the Packers have found a couple victories. I love how that works out. Look for Tom Brady to get his “Top Quarterback” game show down, and terrorize the Packers pass defense that struggles against veteran QBs. Patriots on the road in a laugher.

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-9): The Chiefs are a decent squad, and if they get back to giving Larry Johnson the ball every other offensive play, they’ll down the Raiders, even if Aaron Brooks plays quarterback. Hell, if Payton Manning played QB in Oakland, the Chiefs would still win, and the Raiders would still suck.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cleveland Browns (+3.5): Pittsburgh found their quarterback last week, but can they put two together? Every time I start thinking “now they’ve got it” they come back and blow an easy one. This week the Browns host Pittsburgh, and Cleveland isn’t going to roll over and take it from Big Ben and his boys. The Browns will be ready, a young team, with some pesky Vets, getting better as the season goes forward.

St. Louis Rams (+7.5) at Carolina Panthers: The Panthers never cover, yet they did last week. Are they on to something? I think not. The Rams have enough fire power to stick close, and when they lose for the second week by way of a field goal, I will still win! HAHAHA!

Tennessee Titans at Philadelphia Eagles (-13): The Titans walk into Philly getting 13 points, but I don’t think tat will be enough. The Eagles usually dominate the “lesser” teams in the NFL, and Tennessee falls into that “young, maybe next year” category. Expect little out of the Titans passing game, because Philly loves to force mistakes against young hurlers. Eagles are good, they will win easily.

Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3): The Redskins are starting Jason Campbell at QB, never seen NFL action before, and lost their best offensive player for the season. Tampa Bay hasn’t played well, but it’s nice when they get to play against a Skins team that has seemingly thrown in the towel. Expect Cadillac Williams’ best game of the season.

Detroit Lions (+2.5) at Arizona Cardinals: The Lions are the better team here, even on the road, and even after getting canned but the 49ers. Detroit has an explosive offense, and Jon Kitna, while the Cardinals are surprisingly pathetic offensively considering their talent, and have a rookie running the show. (Which might explain why they’ve struggled so. Expect Kitna to have a nice bounce back performance against the Cards, and a Lion win.

Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) at San Francisco 49ers: The Hawks can run their schemes with Wallace at quarterback, as they’ve shown the last few games. He brings a nice rushing component to the game, something he’ll use more against the 49ers, because they tend to leave wide open lanes while pass rushing. Don’t be fooled by the line being so close, this game shouldn’t be.

San Diego Chargers at Denver Broncos (-1): The world thinks pretty highly of the Chargers, let me tell you what. And after their trying comeback win over the Bengals, they should, but Denver only favored by a point at home. I don’t think the Broncs have played well of late, but they deserve more than that. Right now, as always, they find ways to win. Expect that trend to continue this Sunday.

N.Y. Giants at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3): I saw the Jaguars get smacked around last week by the Texans, and their real starting quarterback is probably going out for the year, but David Garrard is a gamer, and his receivers will step up for Monday Night Football. That being said, the Giants are physically hurting on both sides of the ball, especially defensive line, and Jacksonville has plans to run all over the Giants at home.

Free Football Picks 06-07 Week 10

It was nice to get in the green last week, in a must win week for Good ol’ Lucky Lester. In-between sweating out a couple big wins, eating fresh salsa, and drinking an assortment of frosty cold beverages, I was picking Week 10’s games. With bye weeks out the window, this is the time to get back on track with a huge week right off the bat. How will I manage? Like this…TOP 5 Bets

Jacksonville over Houston
Chicago over New York Giants
Philadelphia over Washington
Jets over Patriots
Tampa Bay over Carolina

Baltimore (-7) at Tennessee: The Ravens have been pretty good on the road all season long, 3-1 with two 13+ point wins, and they’ve been playing well lately with back to back wins over New Orleans and Cincinnati. Tennessee has played decent at home, a close loss to the Jets and a win over Houston, and they had two wins in a row going in to Week 9. But they promptly came back to reality last week in Jacksonville. Baltimore has that kind of defense (like Jax) so I don’t see a rookie, Vince Young, doing to well against the Ravens. Tennessee won’t be able to run, so expect some tough mistakes from Vince.

Buffalo at Indianapolis (-11.5): I know Buffalo just won a game 24-10, but Green Bay doesn’t count, and this week they’ll have to stop Peyton Manning, who is by far the best regular season quarterback in the game. Buffalo’s defense hasn’t been consistent enough to warrant taking them under a 14 point spread against a Colts team that looked very good on defense last week against the Patriots. Without Willis McGahee (broken rib) running the ball, Buffalo doesn’t stand a chance.

Chicago (+3) at N.Y. Giants: Chicago has played very well the week after a bad game all season long…. After close Minnesota win, killed Seattle… After barely beating Arizona, killed San Francisco, and this week, after getting rocked by… Miami, the Bears will come back and play a very good game against a Giants squad without their two best pass rushers, and maybe even Plaxico Burress. Eli Manning will struggle in this game, in the limelight, as he often does. Even at home, New York will make too many mistakes to win this contest.

Cleveland at Atlanta (-7): The Falcons sure struggled last week against the Lions. Detroit threw all over Atlanta, which was nice, because DeAngelo Hall turned quiet in a hurry, always nice. However this week, Atlanta will take out their frustrations on a rather slow Cleveland defense. Vick, Dunn, Norwood, and Ashlie Lelie are all a couple steps ahead of the Brownies, so expect an early lead to get bigger throughout. I like Braylon Edwards, but he doesn’t have Roy Williams’ speed, so Hall shouldn’t have as much trouble. Darn.

Green Bay at Minnesota (-5): I guess I just don’t see Minnesota playing as terribly as they’ve played over the last few weeks. They aren’t a bad football team, and especially defensively, they’re strong. The play well in a gross Metro Dome, while Brett and the Packers are often terrible in Domes. The Packers haven’t played well, aren’t very good, and are even worse when matched up against a stout run defense. That, the Vikings have.

Houston at Jacksonville (-10.5): Jacksonville is more consistent eith David Garrard at quarterback, making wins against lesser teams easy for the Jaguars. Without a pure passer in there, they do what they should have been doing all along, and rely on the ground game. Fred Taylor still has plenty of yards left in him, and Maurice Drew has been one of the most promising young backs in football. With a couple big plays through the air, Jacksonville will roll at home against Houston.

Kansas City (E) at Miami: Kansas City has been flawless in the air, and naturally, as dominant as ever on the ground. Larry Johnson has his step back after a slow start, and he’ll be able to use that step to smash a fragile Dolphins’ defense. That defense won’t be as hard on Huard as they were on Grossman, because Damon isn’t the mistake prone gun slinger that Rexxy is. Kansas City has really improved defensively under Herman Edwards, something they’ll use to take their second road game in a row.

New Orleans +4 at Pittsburgh: The Saints shouldn’t be getting 4 points against a Steeler team that can’t buy a win. I’ve lost my fair share of games betting against Drew Brees. I’ve lost plenty this year, and in his first big year with the Chargers, I poured plenty of green into the bucket watching him prove himself week in and week out. Even though Pitt is tough at home, I have to go with Brees and his boys. With New Orleans getting all the right bounces, and the Steelers imploding to a point where they are nearly eliminated from playoff contention half way through the season, my money is on those resilient New Orleans boys.

N.Y. Jets (+12) at New England: 12 points is just too many for me. I know New England is tough at home, and I’m sure they’ll come back strong after getting dumped last week in Foxboro by the Colts, but 12 is still too many. The Jets don’t have a strong defense, and their offense hasn’t been great lately, but they’re coming off a bye, which in my book, helps their cause. The Jets will find ways to get their playmakers, Laveraneus Coles and Leon Washington, the ball, and they’ll put up a tough fight in New England.

San Diego at Cincinnati (+1.5): The Bengals have had a tough go of it lately, in the clubhouse and on the football field. With the team looking happy go lucky this week, I’m going with the stunner, a San Diego loss here. It almost seems unfair, betting against LT when he’s playing against any defense besides the Bears, but I have a feeling this week won’t be as grand for Mr. Tomlinson. The Bengals’ defense is talented, and finally, this week, they’ll show their true colors. With Shawn Merriman out, the Charger pass rush will be less of a factor, giving Palmer just that much longer to complete the pass. Take the home team in this powerful showdown.

San Francisco at Detroit (-5.5): The Lions will have too much offense for the 49ers. Both defenses are less than stellar, or just downright giving on Sundays, but San Francisco can’t put up points like the Lions. Wow. Think about that statement. A couple years, maybe 5, ago, you’d get laughed at for a statement so ridiculous. Now, with the fiery Lions and their high scoring offense, Detroit can play in a shootout. At home, the Lions take this one.

Washington at Philadelphia (-6.5): Those Eagles have to be sick of playing down to the level of their opponents and losing close games at the end. And Washington has to hit a trench the week after pulling out a quickie against the Cowboys. I expect a huge performance from Brian Westbrook, as he’s faster and more explosive than any defender in Washington. (Maybe not more explosive that Sean Taylor, but a much better citizen anyway) Donovan looks like he gets Donte Stallworth and Reggie Brown this week, that should help him crush Washington’s hopes early. The Eagles at home will be way too tough for the Skins.

Denver -9 at Oakland: I hate picking Denver with any more than 3 points to cover, but against an Oakland team that couldn’t even get close to scoring against a Hawks defense that had given up an average of 27 points a game for the 3 games prior to Monday Nights’ match-up, that’s just disgusting. And because of that sickness that Oakland seems to have offensively, I must choose Denver to score at least 10 points while shutting out the Raiders in Oakland. Will that get Tom Walsh fired? For my eye’s sake, I sure hope so.

Dallas at Arizona (+7): The Cardinals play well at home, and with Dennis Green’s job on the line, expect another performance from the Cards like the one they had against the Bears. The Cardinals have powerful offensive players, and while Edgerrin James will most likely struggle again, short precise passes out of Matt Leinart could do just enough to upset the Cowboys.

St. Louis (+3.5) at Seattle: 12th man taken to heart, I still believe the Rams have a passing attack that is too efficient and a running attack that’s too powerful to lose to the Hawks without Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander. Even if the Hawks do pull this one out, it’ll be by a field goal or less, and that would make me a winner anyway. Seattle doesn’t have enough firepower to stick with the Rams, and don’t expect the kind of defensive performance that the Hawks had on Monday Night, this week they don’t play the Raiders. I know Hawks fans, Seattle has been lobbying for that since Oakland won the Super Bowl, it’s just that no other team believes that would be fair.

Tampa Bay (+11) at Carolina: I love Carolina, love them as a team, love their players, and their coach seems like a great guy. Hell, taking them to win here is nearly a guarantee, but a spread that larger is kryptonite to the Panthers. Carolina always struggles against the spread, because they’re always a big favorite, and they love to play down to the level of their opponent. It’s a sickness, one I hope they don’t cure before Monday Night.

Free Football Picks 06-07 Week 9

It’s back to what I know best. These teams are winning on Sunday. They’re coming out and smashing faces, crushing heads, and taking numbers for the second half. Speaking of second halves, this is the start of mine. After a very mediocre first 8 weeks of NFL Football, this is my beginning to a run to the playoffs.TOP 5 Bets – Ordered Numerically by LL himself;

1. Dallas over Washington
2. Atlanta over Detroit
3. Minnesota over San Francisco
4. Denver over the Steelers
5. Kansas City over St. Louis

Atlanta (-5) at Detroit: Riding Michael Vick’s rainbow ride might get me in trouble here, but even without Vick throwing for 4 touchdowns against the Lions, I still can’t see Atlanta winning by less than a touchdown. Ride Atlanta’s newfound offensive explosion as they play the Lions in Detroit, where offenses shine.

Cincinnati at Baltimore (-3): This is a tough game for me. I like what the Bengals can be and have been in the past, but I also like the Ravens toughness on defense. Because of Carson Palmers’ inability to throw the ball accurately when he’s under pressure, something I’m sure the Ravens will put on him, I have to take Baltimore. Watching the game last week against Atlanta, I saw Palmer let up a little on his stride when the pocket was hectic. Against Baltimore that means interceptions. Turnovers translate to wins.

Dallas (-3) at Washington: I just can’t see the Cowboys losing this game. Tony Romo already had a mistake filled half against New York, so don’t expect him to be thunderstruck again in the Nation’s Capitol. Washington is better than their record, but at some point you just have to admit, they can’t find ways to win ball games. The Cowboys have more talent all over the field, and unless a Santana Moss Miracle explodes in the 4th quarter, I don’t see the Redskins competing in this game, nor do I see Mark Brunell finishing the 2nd Half. Ride the Cowboys high, and throw eggs at Drew Bledsoe from above!

Green Bay at Buffalo (-3): Green Bay is playing way better than they are. That’s right, you heard me, this Packer winning streak is something that should never happen. Buffalo has played like a pile of feces lately, but they still have a tough defense and a running game that can take down Green Bay. JP Losman has to play well or he’ll get pulled for Kelly Holcomb, either way, the Bills will be in a good spot. Kelly has a knack for coming in and playing well in a crunch, and JP has the talent to produce. That being said, all the Bills need is decent quarterback play to upend the Packer winning streak. They’ll get it this weekend at home.

Houston at N.Y. Giants (-13): This game will be a huge test for David Carr, the Giants team, and Tiki Barber. Carr will get another chance, so his confidence will be tested. Will he drop back and throw the ball like a man? Or will he drop back and try not to get benched by making a mistake. I like Carr, so I hope he does well, but I have a feeling he might be trying not to make mistakes, something that doesn’t bode well for the Texans. As for the Giants, everyone and their mother knows New York has to win this game, because when you have a freebee, you have to take it. The Giants psyche will be tested here. Can they win the games they absolutely are supposed to? And Tiki. Yes, Tiki will get the rock, and maybe even the chance to saunder into the end zone at home. With all the Tiki talk frolicking about, it’ll be nice to see Tiki have his best game of the season on Sunday.

Kansas City (+3) at St. Louis: The Chiefs are starting to catch their stride as the Rams are losers of 2 straight. Neither team has much room for error here, and while I’d like to make it clear that the Chiefs are 1-3 away from home, I’m rolling with Damon Huard, and mostly, the Running Man, one Larry Johnson. Larry is back to the guy he was last season, and soon the Chiefs get last years’ starting tackle, John Winborn, back from injury. The Chiefs are starting to get comfortable with Herman Edwards, and since I believe the Chiefs are playoff bound, I have to take them to upset the Rams on the road.

Miami at Chicago (-13.5): To start with, let me tell you that the Dolphins have yet to lose a game by more than 11 points all season long. However, they haven’t played the Bears yet. As Chicago has streaked to an undefeated opening, once again they come up to the Dolphins treading water in their way. While Miami is historically a team that crushes undefeated hopes, this will not be one of those times. I’ve got to believe that the Bears won’t come out salty like they did in Arizona. No more, “take games for granted” out of these Bears. They are so much tougher than Miami, they should win by 4 touchdowns. But History and a mighty spread keep me wary of this one, keeping it out of my Top 5.

New Orleans at Tampa Bay (+1): Defensive football teams are a big time struggle for the Saints. Tampa Bay struggled last week against New York, but, defensively they were still very sound. Tampa Bay’s offense will play better, and this low scoring, close game will go to the home team.

Tennessee at Jacksonville (-9):

Minnesota (-6.5) at San Francisco: I know the Vikings just got manhandled by New England and one Tom Brady, but the 49ers aren’t New England, and Alex Smith is no Tom Brady. Minnesota will walk in this game. The Vikes haven’t lost in this match-up since 1998, and the last time San Francisco was within 6.5 points at the end of the game, besides their win over Oakland, was St. Louis in Week 2. This shouldn’t be a contest, as even Brad Johnson can throw against the Niner defensive backfield.

Cleveland Browns (+14) at San Diego: The Browns looked much better under Romeo Crenell’s new offensive mindset, and Charlie Frye won’t have to deal with Shawn Merriman, so I’m rolling with the Browns and two touchdowns. Cleveland has a talented team, and with a new approach on offense, Frye should be able to pass efficiently enough for Cleveland to give San Diego a scare on Sunday.

Denver (+3) at Pittsburgh: I don’t see the Steelers’ season turning around here. A week after getting Manning’ed by the Colts, Shanahan’s crew will bounce back in Pittsburgh. Mike Bell has the power to rush effectively against the Steelers, while Denver’s defense should get back on track against a struggling Ben Roethlisberger and a rushing attack that hasn’t impressed all season long. I hate to do it, but I’m taking Denver to roll the Steelers.

Indianapolis (+1) at New England: I’m going with the Colts here, but not because the Patriots are overrated, or bad, or anything of that sort. I’m going with Peyton Manning here because I know he can take advantage of the Patriots shortcomings on defense. This should be one hell of a game, but Peyton gets the nod, as he’s been amazing the last few weeks.

Oakland at Seattle (-8): Without Matt Hasselbeck, without Shaun Alexander, without God’s good graces, the Seahawks will still dominate the Raiders. Oakland comes in winners of their last two games, sure, but there is no way they get that lucky 3 times in a row. Their team is terrible, and the Hawks defense isn’t as bad as it has been lately. Expect a drumming in the 35-13 range on Monday Night.

Free Football Picks 06-07 Week 8

It’s been made clear to me by some of my readers that it’d be helpful if I gave up some of my Top Bets of the week. I like giving my thoughts on each game, and I’ll keep doing that, but if I like my chances a little more on certain games, I’m going to put a (*) in my write up. Hope that helps. A week after finishing in the green with an 8-5 record, I’m coming right back at my goal to get another perfect week. Follow along as we’re back to 14 games this week. Just one more for me to win.Arizona (+4) at Green Bay – (*) I know Green Bay has won a couple lately, and Arizona is down in the dumps, fired their offensive coordinator, has a rookie at QB, and might not have Larry Fitz for the 3rd straight week, but I’ll take the Cardinals to win in Green Bay. Like Isaiah Thomas once said, “It’s crazy enough, it just might work.” Okay, so I have better reasoning than that, but if I’m ever getting paid millions of dollars to sign overpriced babies, I might think along the same lines as Ike. The Packers haven’t given up less than 23 points all season long, while even with all the turnovers from their offense, Arizona has been pretty stingy on defense. Chicago didn’t have an offensive touchdown. This will be Edge’s best game of the season. 100+ yards? You heard it here. With a new offensive look from Dennis Green, I expect a better plan on O. It looks weird now, but the Cards are a safe bet here.

Atlanta at Cincinnati (-4) – The Falcons have looked pretty good offensively, but as Mike Vick has shown, he’s anything but consistent. Hell, 4 touchdowns last week makes him a numerical lock for none this week. No, but honestly, Marvin Lewis will have a nice plan to detain the Mighty Falcon, and Chad Johnson and company will have a nice outing against a lack luster pass defense from Atlanta. By the way, it’s nice to see Chad back running his mouth in Cinci!

Baltimore (+2.5) at New Orleans – (*) As much as it’d be great to see New Orleans finish the season undefeated at home, I think that dream will end this week against the Ravens. New O has a nice shot at hitting the playoffs, but their defensive difficiencies will catch up with them sooner or later. The Ravens don’t have much punch on offense, and I don’t trust Brian Billick to do much better than Jim Fassell, but I have a feeling Baltimore will get their running game together against the Saints. If and when that happens, Baltimore could trot or with a win rather easily.

Houston (+3) at Tennessee – (*) The Texans are getting better, and they are better than their record. Coach Kubiak is a very smart man, and a great running teacher. With David Carr starting to find his timing and accuracy, I think we’re going to start seeing a lot more of the Texans who beat the Jaguars last week, and a lot less of the Texans that got the number one pick last season. I like the Titans young club, but I don’t know how much a bye week is going to help them. If anything, it cut their streak short of 2 straight solid football games.

Jacksonville (+8) at Philadelphia – The Jaguars are a very good football team, still on their way to the playoffs. 7 points is too many. Philly hasn’t held down a score all season, sans the 49ers, and even in that game I was frightened for my spread. Jacksonville had a head gasket blow last week against the Texans, and their the type of team that comes back stronger after a loss like that. I think the Eagles will pull this out by a point or 3, but that’s why I have to roll with the Jags and that touchdown on their side.

Seattle (+7) at Kansas City – (*) It’s nice to see everyone giving up on Seattle now that Matt is out with a bum knee. Look for Seneca Wallace to impress the football world with a solid performance against the Chiefs. I don’t think the Hawks will pack it in like everyone else is trying to say. Maurice Morris needs to play better, and he will. Wallace will use his feet a little more this week, and with a week of taking all the reps under his belt, he’ll run the team more efficiently. Wallace is talented, but even more importantly, so are the Seahawks. Don’t forget that.

San Francisco (+17) at Chicago -The 49ers will give the Bears a run in this one. I think Chicago is much better than they showed two weeks ago in Arizona, but not nearly as good as they were against Seattle. You know, the game before everyone and their mother wanted to call them the best team in football. The 49ers get two starters on their offensive line back this week. They’ll pound Frank Gore all day, or until he fumbles. Don’t expect him to lose the rock. I’m not supporting a 49er upset, but 17 points is a lot, too much to handicap the Bears.

Tampa Bay (+10.5) at N.Y. Giants – I like the Buc’s defense. I’ve liked them for a few years, and I like them this season. The Giants beat the Cowboys, so what, Dallas hasn’t looked good. Tampa struggled early, but they’re starting to pull it together. Their rushing attack is solid with Caddy, and their rookie QB makes just enough plays to give them a chance to win. That means they’ll be closer than 10. That half point makes me feel that much better. Expect a let down from New York after a big win last Monday Night.

St. Louis (+10) at San Diego – The Chargers showed last week that they can be passed on. Last year was the same thing. Against the run, San Diego is as good as it gets, but through the air, they are susceptible to a solid passing attack. Marc Bulger, Torry Holt, Isaac Bruce, Steven Jackson… Anything starting to click? Yes, the Rams have All Pro talent in the passing game. The Chargers are the better team, but St. Louis is a tough match-up for the Chargers. 10 points is too many. The Rams 5-1 ATS record makes me feel all cushy inside as well.

Indianapolis (+3) at Denver – The Colts as an underdog. Yep, in almost every regular season situation I’ll take them Indy boys. But this should be one hell of a test for the run-struggling Colts. They’re missing Edge nearly as much as James misses them. Rhodes averaged 2 yards a carry last week, allowing me to ponder Addai’s growing roll in the Colts offense. I think this will be his week. Against a defense that is sure to donate more time to stopping Peyton, Wayne, and Harrison, Joseph will get his shot to take advantage. Nothing has been said about the Broncos’ ailing defensive line. After this game, that topic will be more talked about.

N.Y. Jets (+2) at Cleveland – Offensive coordinator issues, like the Browns OC quit after last weeks terrible performance against the Broncos, have me steering clear from taking the Browns. The Jets aren’t nearly as bad as I thought they were going to be, and the Browns just haven’t been able to put it together. I like what the Browns are going to be, but New York should take this game in Cleveland.

Pittsburgh (-9) at Oakland – I just can’t take the Raiders. They got their win, they still wreak of a solo win season, and unlike the other three teams that needed to fire their Offensive mind, the Raiders are sticking with their guy. The story on the street is, Ben might not play. Charlie Batch has played well enough to oust the Raiders by a touchdown and a field goal. Walter and the Black and Silver will get sacked and smashed all game long. Oh, and mark my words, Ben will play if he’s even close to full speed.

Dallas at Carolina (-4.5) – If Dallas doesn’t know what to do with Plaxico Burress, I can’t even imagine how dumbfounding practice is going to be all week as they prepare for Steve Smith to come in and single handily beat them in Carolina. The Panthers haven’t really impressed me all year, but I’m sticking to my guns with them. Defensively, they are very, very good. Offensively, they haven’t clicked yet. Expect that to happen at home this week in Dallas. Another loss in Big D would make things a lot more fun anyway.

New England at Minnesota (+3) – (*) Minnesota just flat out covers spreads. 5-1 ATS this season, and I know they had a nice record last year as well. The Vikings are tough, way tougher than a 3 point underdog at home to an overrated Patriot team, I’ll tell you that. It wouldn’t surprise me if Minnesota came out and shut down Tom Brady and the Patriots, while rushing to run the clock. This one will be close, but Minnesota should win this game.