Not horrible, not great last week. After my first ever pick-em post, I am 8-5. I'll take it honestly. You won't see me making any excuses if I go 4-9 this week though. So let's get into it. The Browns are back in action with a 4PM game, making their way out to Oakland after the bye. The Buffalo-NYG game looks enticing, as does Houston-Baltimore and Dallas-New England. Picks are in bold, and lines are from Bodog (via OddsShark)
Carolina Panthers (+4) @ Atlanta Falcons: Something clearly isn't right in Atlanta. Whether it is Matt Ryan simply being unable to get it done, the running game being inconsistent, at best, or the defense disappointing, the Falcons are sitting at 2-3 with a critical game against a division foe. Yes, it's early, but Atlanta cannot afford to drop to 2-4. This team had Super Bowl hopes coming into the year. Unfortunately, I don't think this is the week. The Falcons could be out Julio Jones, and Cam Newton has come close a bunch this year. I think this is the week the Panthers break through.
Cincinnati Bengals (-7) vs. Indianapolis Colts: Another blacked-out home game for the Bengals. Ho-hum. It shouldn't make a difference though. Cincy is 4-1 ATS this year, and the Colts are looking more and more like they're tanking this season a bit (#SuckForLuck). I'm not saying they won't keep it close, but I have a feeling a late score gets the Bengals the spread, and another win to keep pace in the AFC North.
San Francisco 49ers (+4.5) @ Detroit Lions: Harbaugh's club looks good. Really good. And the Lions aren't going to go undefeated this year. This is my upset special of the week.
St. Louis Rams (+15.5) @ Green Bay Packers: I've been burned taking big lines like this before, but coming off the bye, I think Sam Bradford rights the ship enough to keep it close. But I'm not sold on this pick.
New York Giants (-3) vs. Buffalo Bills: The Giants need this win after losing a heartbreaker to Seattle in Week 5. It isn't that I don't believe in the Bills; I just think the Giants come out inspired in this one and win it, something like 27-21.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-13) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: This line has moved an awful lot since it opened at PIT -9.5. There must have been a lot of movement on the Steelers early. And honestly, I think this line might move more. The Steelers looked possessed on Sunday against the Titans, and the Jaguars aren't about to come into Pittsburgh and keep this thing within two scores.
Philadelphia Eagles (-2) @ Washington Redskins: The Redskins had a bye; the Eagles lost again. That's all well and good, but with Andy Reid taking the blame and a big division matchup for Michael Vick to fix things, I think Philly pulls this game out. And they only need to do it by a FG or more. I'll take those odds.
Houston Texans (+8) @ Baltimore Ravens: The Texans are better than what they showed against Oakland. Schaub was on the ground most of the game, but I see them establishing a running game more heavily than they did in Week 5, as Arian Foster continues to get stronger. The Ravens should win at home coming off a bye, but this game will be close.
Oakland Raiders (-7) vs. Cleveland Browns: No Benard, probably no Haden or Mack. This spells trouble for the Browns traveling across the country to play a revitalized Raiders team that will pound the ball all day and pressure Colt McCoy with regularity. Don't get me wrong, I want to pick the Brownies, but it's a tall order.
New England Patriots (-7) vs. Dallas Cowboys: This line is too low. That's too much respect for a not great Dallas team. The Patriots are at home, and although I think Romo will be able to throw the ball a little bit, their defense sure isn't going to stop Brady. Dallas is 1-2 (with a push) ATS, and I wholeheartedly see this going to 1-3 unless the line gets up to 9 or 10.
New Orleans Saints (-3.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This line isn't posted on Bodog yet, and probably for good reason. That 3.5 as an opening line seems like easy money to me. Tampa just got waxed and they will probably lose LaGarette Blount.
Chicago Bears (-3) vs. Minnesota Vikings: I know the Vikings just came off a nice looking win against Arizona, but they can't really pressure the QB as well as the Lions do, the Bears are at home, and their defense was just embarrassed on Monday night. Chicago will win, and cover.
Monday Night Football
New York Jets (-7) vs. Miami Dolphins: Is there a more yawn-inducing Monday Night Football game this year? Matt Moore has had some time to get comfortable with the offense off a bye week, but let's be honest, the Dolphins are plain bad, and the Jets have some aggression to take out after losing to the Pats in Week 5. Mark Sanchez isn't an elite quarterback in this league, but he's enough to take down the Fins.