Saturday, October 18, 2008

Week 7 Picks

BUFFALO (pick) over San Diego
Philip Rivers and the Chargers looked solid last week beating the Patriots on Sunday night. And Trent Edwards looked solid sitting on his couch and resting his head. San Diego struggled in their trip to Miami two weeks ago, but could have better luck in Buffalo against a beat-up Bills team that will be missing starting cornerback Terrence McGee. Nevertheless, a long cross-country trip preceding next week’s game in London will be too much for the Chargers to overcome against a quality team in Buffalo.

Indianapolis -1.5 over GREEN BAY
Peyton Manning should have fun with the Packers short-staffed secondary. For a guy who’s been very consistent over an 11-year career, it’s hard not to believe Manning when he says that last week was “really is like the first week of the season for me. All I’ve ever known is taking every rep at every practice and playing in all the preseason games, so I did miss some time there and I’ve been working through that.” If he can perform with a 134.7 QB rating against the Packers, like he did against Baltimore, the NFL’s number one ranked passing defense, this one should be another run-away.

CAROLINA -3 over New Orleans
If the Carolina, as opposed to the Dillon, Panthers show up, this could be a good game. Jake Delhomme, who threw three picks, was surprisingly accountable, saying, “Let's be honest, I was pretty much pathetic." And Coach John Fox claimed that his team didn’t even break a sweat until it was 14-0. The Saints, meanwhile, coasted to an easy 34-3 win over Oakland. They looked good, but the Raiders have a habit of making a lot of teams look good. I expect the Panthers to be more ready this week.
CHICAGO -3 over Minnesota
Sorry Vikings, Kyle Orton, unlike Dan Orlovsky, has actually figured out the dimensions of the end zone. In spite of what should be a strong run-game, the Minnesota offense has not scored a lot of points. Two weeks ago, the Saints turned over the ball four times, helping the Vikings to a close win. And last week, the Minnesota offense struggled to score 10 points against a weak Lions team. Only the Orlovsky gaffe allowed them to leave with a victory. The Bears secondary may be a little beat-up, but it won’t matter. Their superior offense will be enough.
Pittsburgh -9.5 over CINCINNATI
Do the Bengals rise up and play tough against another good team? They played tough against the Giants and Cowboys. But Pittsburgh is not in the NFC East. That may not make a big difference, but it is a divisional game and the Bengals are once again without Carson Palmer (who I think is on his way to a little place called injured reserve).
Tennessee -9 over KANSAS CITY
Without Larry Johnson and with Brodie Croyle starting at quarterback, the Chiefs will have a hard time scoring any points. Tennessee could cover this spread by scoring only 10 points.

MIAMI -3 over Baltimore
It’s hard to say how good or bad Baltimore may be. Their two wins were against Cleveland and Cincinnati. Their three losses were to Indianapolis, Tennessee and Pittsburgh. Miami’s two wins, on the other hand, were over last year’s participants in the AFC championship game (New England and San Diego).
NEW YORK GIANTS -10.5 over San Francisco
In the last two weeks, San Francisco was the one team who couldn’t get a home win against a team coming all the way from the East Coast. This week they buck the double-digit trend and become only the second double-digit dog all season not to cover.
Dallas -7 over ST. LOUIS
“Am I optimistic that we can win without Tony? Yes, truly I am,” linebacker Greg Ellis said. “I’m just disappointed in this organization right now, from the whole deal of it. Things just aren’t going really good.” As long as the Cowboys get Marion Barber the ball, all their drama won’t be enough to derail them against the St. Louis Rams (who haven’t beaten the Cowboys since 1986, when they were in Los Angeles).

HOUSTON -9.5 over Detroit
Jon Kitna’s been keeping tabs on his old team. "Was there reasonable cause to put me on IR?" Kitna asked. "Yeah, because they said there's a bulging disk. But the reality is, most guys have bulging disks. ...” Based on this quote, he’s apparently been listening to Mike Holmgren, who made the same comment about Matt Hasselbeck’s back…back in September. Holmgren claimed that “I have a bulging disc. You have a bulging disc. Everybody does. I think if you play football for a while, and they look at your back, you're going to have a disc that looks funky.”

Anyway, I can’t pick a team with a quarterback who hasn’t learned the dimensions of the field.
New York Jets -3 over OAKLAND
The Bay Area: Where East Coast teams go to cover! This is a common sense pick more than anything. The Raiders organization is a joke; Brett Favre has never lost to the Raiders; and the Jets are a much better team—i.e., more than three points better…even on the road.
Cleveland +7.5 over WASHINGTON
The Redskins will play much better than last week, but the Browns will come in with a lot of confidence after playing nearly perfectly (zero punts, zero turnovers) on Monday night against the champs.

Seattle +10.5 over TAMPA BAY
In spite of the Seahawks well-documented trouble on the East Coast, they have never lost in Tampa Bay. Also, only one double-digit favorite has covered all year. The Bucs have played very well all year and have been in each game. Their two losses are by a combined seven points. It’s week seven and time for them to take a week off.

Denver +3 over NEW ENGLAND
The Patriot offense should look a little more competent against the Denver D, which is giving up the third-most yards per game. But I’m guessing Mike Shanahan was paying attention last week when Philip Rivers lit up the Pats defense for 306 yards and 3 touchdowns. Plus, Shanahan is 5-1 against New England since 2001. He may be dismissing that record, but Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall are licking their chops.
Eddie in the Money Superpicks (home team in CAPS)
BUFFALO (pick) over San Diego, CHICAGO -3 over Minnesota, Indianapolis -1.5 over GREEN BAY, Tennessee -7 over Kansas City, and New York Jets -3 over OAKLAND (13-4-1 on the season)

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