Thursday, October 11, 2007

NFL 2007 - Week 6

RAMS @ Ravens -9.5

The Rams are awful, but, they're still an actual NFL team. The Ravens haven't beaten anybody by ten since their quarterback was Otto Graham.

Vikings @ BEARS -5.5

Vegas must hate the Bears. Sure, the Vikings have a good defense, but, in order to lose by less than six points and thereby cover the spread, the Vikings would have to be capable of scoring at least six points. Not sure that's in the cards for the 2007 Vikes.

Dolphins @ BROWNS -4.5

The Browns have lost three times, but, not to a bad team. The Dolphins are what you would present to an alien visitor from beyond the stars if he asked to be shown the very definition of a bad NFL team.

The Browns could be good, the Indians are four wins away from the World Series, the Cavs just made the Finals... things are pretty good for the people of Cleveland. Other than the fact that, you know, they happen to be the people of Cleveland.

REDSKINS @ Packers -3

Generally, a home-field advantage is thought to be worth three points to an NFL team. So, when a home team is favored by three, the oddsmakers are saying, in effect, that the teams are evenly matched. I happen to think that the Redskins are better, because unlike the oddsmakers and everyone else in the United States, I am not in gay love with Brett Favre (or, in the case of lady sports fans, in regular love with Brett Favre).

I like the Redskins this year. In fact, I wouldn't be terribly surprised if three NFC East teams made the playoffs this year.

That said, nothing the Packers do could possibly surprise me anymore, one way or the other.

Texans @ JAGUARS -6.5

The Jags have beaten three lousy teams... hm. No idea. I have to pick one, though, don't I? I can't just abstain. Well... the Jaguars have been winning pretty consistently. I'll give away the 6.5 points.

Plus, a Jaguar could beat up a Texan (sorry, Texas. But one could).

Bengals @ CHIEFS +3

I don't know why I keep picking the Chiefs. Please stop me.

EAGLES @ Jets +3

What an awful game; both teams are disasters. The Jets are bigger disasters. Quarterback controversy karma is never good for a home team, and New York is to bad quarterback controversy karma like Paris is to cuisine.

TITANS @ Buccaneers -3

Really good game, good teams, tough one. Buccaneers have won by 17 and 21 at home, but against two winless teams. The Titans' only loss was to the Colts, by two. When in doubt, take the points. When still in doubt, take the AFC over the NFC.

Panthers @ CARDINALS -4

If I tell you this, you have to promise not to freak out: this Sunday's Panthers-Cardinals game is a matchup between two first place teams. I know!

The Panthers can't keep winning on the road (3-0 this year; 0-2 at home), and the Cardinals can't keep playing three-point games (four of their five games have been decided by exactly three points). Plus, with the whole quarterback thing settled, the Cardinals can relax and enjoy this roll that they find themselves on. I'll believe they're a playoff team when I see it, but, I think they can handle Carolina.

Meanwhile, the Panthers' starting quarterback is out for the year. Still, if David Carr can't go (like, if the Cardinals decide to lace their footballs with kryptonite, for instance), they should be in good hands. Decrepit, wrinkly, veiny, bony grandma hands, but, good hands nonetheless.

PATRIOTS @ Cowboys +5.5

Don't want to pick the Patriots; feel like I have to until some other team shows that they're actually capable of beating the spread against the Patriots.

Raiders @ CHARGERS -9.5

Okay, now you really have to promise not to freak out: the Raiders are in sole possession of first place in the AFC West. Still, a 41-3 win by San Diego at Denver last week suggests that the Chargers may, in fact, be back.

Saints @ SEAHAWKS -6.5

If you're willing to assume that the Cardinals are good (which, for the purposes of this particular pick and the purposes of this particular pick only, I am), then the Seahawks have lost to two good teams and beaten three bad ones.

The 'Hawks have a lot of problems, but, Seattle's a brutal place to play for a road team. And if the Saints couldn't beat the banged-up Panthers in New Orleans last week, they aren't staying with the Seahawks in Seattle.

GIANTS @ Falcons +3.5

The Giants are good, everybody. The Giants are good. And the Falcons are bad. The Falcons are bad...

The five I feel good (or, if not good, better than the others) about:

Vikings @ BEARS -5.5
Dolphins @ BROWNS -4.5
PATRIOTS @ Cowboys +5.5
Saints @ SEAHAWKS -6.5
GIANTS @ Falcons +3.5

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