After a stellar week two record of 13-3 I stumbled a bit last week going 8-8. Granted, who really thought the Bills would upset the Patriots and the Raiders would take down the Jets? This week I feel a little more confident, so I am excited to share my picks.
All lines are courtesy of FootballLocks.com.
Season Record: 21-11
Sunday, Oct. 2 games: (Home team in ALL CAPS and winner in bold)
DALLAS -2.5 Detroit
- Despite Ron Jaworski’s emphatic cheers for Tony Romo last week, I was not impressed. This week things will only be harder with Ndamukong Suh and Co. chasing down Romo and his ailing rib. Matt Stafford has done a great job getting this team to 3-0 and should extend the winning streak this week.
New Orleans -7 JACKSONVILLE
- Blaine Gabbert didn’t exactly have a great debut last week, but most of that can be attributed to the rain. This week he should be able to air it our more but even a Cam Newton-like performance won’t be enough to keep up with Drew Brees, even if Marques Colston is still out.
PHILADELPHIA -9.5 San Francisco
- To date, the Eagles still have not played up to expectations. This could finally be the week they break out and put up some great numbers. Mike Vick says he’s 100% sure that he will play and the vaunted defense will have an easy time of it against Alex Smith.
Washington -3 ST. LOUIS
- The Redskins have had a devil of a time against the Rams the past few years, and this won’t be any exception. It won’t be a defensive match-up, or even an offensive showcase, for either team. But it should be competitive with the ‘Skins finally getting their running game going full speed and containment of Steven Jackson.
CLEVELAND EVEN Tennessee
- The Titans will be without leading receiver Kenny Britt for the rest of the year, but Matt Hasselbeck should be able to keep things clicking without Chris Johnson contributing. And, if CJ2K finally decides to show up then the Titans should be able to dominate the Browns slow-moving offense and move to a surprising 3-1.
Buffalo -3 CINCINNATI
- How the Bills, who are 3-0, are only three-point favorites on the road in Cincinnati perplexes me. In beating the Chiefs, Raiders and Patriots, the Bills have showcased an unstoppable offense with a surprising efficient defense. While on the other side, the Bengals have stumbled to a 1-2 record with their most recent loss being a slow, boring 13-8 loss against the 49ers.
Minnesota -2.5 KANSAS CITY
- This game is little more than a toss-up. Before the season people thought the Vikings would be Wild Card contenders with Donovan McNabb at the helm, while the Chiefs were coming off of an AFC West division title last season. Now both are winless and at a loss on both sides of the ball. I think Adrian Peterson is the difference maker here letting the Vikings finally get a win.
CHICAGO -6.5 Carolina
- All it took for Cam Newton to win his first NFL game was to not throw for over 400 yards. Maybe it was a little more than that, but finally Newton cooled off and the Panthers got their first win of the season. This week they travel to Chicago to play the schizophrenic Bears. Depending on which Jay Cutler shows up will ultimately decide the outcome, but I think it we’ll see the good one lead the Bears to a win.
HOUSTON -3.5 Pittsburgh
- Last week was a great chance for the Steelers to show that they aren’t too old or turnover prone. But instead they got into a drawn out affair against the winless Colts barely winning 23-20. Now they travel to Houston to face a much stronger offense and defense. All logic would dictate the Texans will win, but I’m thinking Ben Roethlisberger has a big upset in him.
Atlanta -4.5 SEATTLE
- The Falcons have been the most disappointing team to me this year. After giving up a ton for Julio Jones, their offense was supposed to be unstoppable. Instead they have started the season 1-2, with their only win coming against Mike Kafka. This game could be exactly what the doctor ordered for Matt Ryan, as I see a 100-yard effort from Roddy White and touchdowns to Jones and Tony Gonzalez.
New York Giants -1 ARIZONA
- Eli Manning is so streaky. Last week against Nnamdi Asomougha and with injuries on offense, Eli turned out a 254-yard effort with 4 touchdowns and only 7 incompletions. But knowing that he is just as likely to put up a 180-yard 3 interception effort makes it hard to trust him. Luckily for the Giants, this week won’t come down to Eli as Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs should be able to run all over the Cardinals.
SAN DIEGO -7 Miami
- I want to believe the Chargers are for real, I really do. But, they are 2-1 this year with weak victories against the winless Chiefs and Vikings and a 14-point loss against the Patriots. I want to think this could be the week where Phillip Rivers plays like we all know he can, but the Dolphins are desperate for a win and could easily pull this upset off. Ultimately Miami’s passing defense, ranked 30th in the league, won’t do enough to stop Rivers, finally losing Tony Sparano his job.
GREEN BAY -12 Denver
- At 1-2, with one of the worst offenses in the league, Bronco fans are not happy. Kyle Orton has done nothing yet to show why he should be the starter over Tim Tebow and he won’t do it this week. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers should breeze through this game moving to 4-0.
New England -6 OAKLAND
- Tom Brady threw four interceptions last week. Last season he only threw four all season. He is going to come out firing this week and unfortunately for the Raiders they will not repeat their success from last week. This one won’t be close after halftime, as Oakland will trail early on and won’t be able to feed Darren McFadden the ball.
BALTIMORE -4 New York Jets
- The Jets, like the Patriots, were upset last week and are going to fight like hell to not lose again this week. Difference for the Jets is they have to travel to Baltimore and are the underdogs. Last year the Jets lost 10-9, but this year they are going to be able to have a more potent offense and pull off the win.
Monday Oct. 3:
TAMPA BAY -10 Indianapolis
- The Colts showed a lot of heart last week staying in the game late against the Steelers. Now they turn to their second quarterback this season with Curtis Painter starting in place of the injured Kerry Collins. Good news for the Colts is Painter knows the offense better and could get their first win of the season. I want to take the Colts here, but I think the Buccaneers will hold on late.
- New England will win by more than 10 allowing them to cover the spread.
- Cam Newton continues to prove he will succeed in the NFL and covers the spread in a loss against Chicago.
- Buffalo only a 3-point spread? Seriously? They will win by at least 17 to cover the spread.
- The Jets-Ravens game won’t be close to the 45.5 over/under line. Take the under.
- The Colts will make it a competitive game on the road losing by less than 10 allowing them to beat the spread.
- The Chiefs have only mustered 27-points all year and won’t even come close against the Vikings. Vikings cover the spread.