New York Giants @ Denver Broncos (+7) Pick & Preview: The Giants have lost my trust, and while the Broncos have played like piss, and lost four straight headed into this game with New York – I actually think they are back to being the “prove we’re better than you think we are” team they started out the season as. After starting the season with some big wins and 6-0, face it, the Broncos started getting a lot of love. Orton was celebrated, Marshall was happy, and Josh McDaniels was the next best football mind stemming from the Bill Belichick tree. Funny what four weeks can do to an NFL franchise.
But like I said, this is where the Broncos are most comfortable. They are underdogs by a touchdown at home this week – and the public loves the visitor. I know the Broncos will use that as motivation this week, and I think that makes them a nice cover value here.
Plus, the Giants, it’s not like they’ve played solid ball of late either. After getting blasted by New Orleans and Philadelphia (also losing to Arizona and San Diego), the Giants just barely squeaked out a cover the Atlanta Falcons in overtime. It looked like they were scared to death, and playing too reserved down the stretch. That allowed the Falcons to get right back in it, in turn I lost some trust in a very talented Giants team.
Seven is too many.
Oakland Raiders (+14) @ Dallas Cowboys Point Spread Pick: The Oakland Raiders aren’t a good football team, but they have a solid defense and they are a more efficient offense when JaMarcus Russell and his terrible tunnel vision is sitting on the bench or just lazily watching the game form the sideline. Is Bruce Gradkowski a good quarterback? I’m not going that far – but he’s always been accurate, and while he might not open up the field with a great deep arm or a strong 20-yard out, the guy can find open players and he makes quick decisions.
Those quick decisions will be very important against a Cowboys team that can bring pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The Raiders offensive line is healthier than it’s been in a while, and I think that will open up some running room for the trio of backs in Oakland silver and black.
I also don’t think and offense struggling as much as the Cowboys can give any opponent 14 points. Giving 14 points to the Raiders on National Television doesn’t seem like a good idea either, as they always seem to play close games in those circumstances.
I think Dallas getting just 48% of the bet in this one is proof how ridiculous this line is. These are the Cowboys, they often are on the other side of that public betting line, but not even the normal favorite fans are excited about the Cowboys giving up two touchdowns. And they shouldn’t be. Dallas may be 7-3, but they barely beat KC, and have played in a lot more close games than the final scores suggest. They also are coming off arguably their two worst offensive performances of the season in back-to-back weeks.
All things considered, I’ll take the two touchdowns. Even if they are dressed in silver and black.
Green Bay Packers (-10) @ Detroit Lions NFL Free Pick: The Packers might not play very consistently against good teams (well they do play consistent, as they consistently don’t live up to their projected talent expectations – but you know what I mean) but they do beat up on the tomato cans. Okay, they lost to Tampa Bay – but somebody was bound to lose to the Buccos, and Tampa has played decent football the last few weeks. Prior to that, the Packers were 3-0 against the league’s cellar dwellers, outscoring the Browns, Lions, and Rams 73-20 in those three games.
It might have to do with defensive pressure and the fact that all the tomato cans struggle to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks. If you can’t disrupt what Aaron Rodgers does through the air, you don’t have a chance against the Pack. The Lions have been out-passed in 8 of their 10 games, and have given up an inordinate amount of passing touchdowns through 10 weeks of football. They even gave up 304 yards and 4 touchdowns to Brady Quinn and the Cleveland Browns – yeah, those Browns, the same Browns that probably didn’t have 4 passing touchdowns all season.
I actually like the Lions a little better with Culpepper in there, but that was before Matthew Stafford went all tough-guy on the Browns and came in to throw a game winning touchdown with no time on the clock despite the seperated shoulder that will likely keep him out of this week’s tilt with the Packers. It’s a Nation TV game, and the Packers are going to show up. Getting a short week should help the better team, the team with less injuries. That’s the Pack.