All right, so I didn’t do so hot last week. At a record of 5-11, I can at least take comfort in the fact that I’ll have a better record than what three or four NFL teams will finish at.
But even with the bad start, I still have a career record of 49.84% (789-794) over the past five seasons, so I feel pretty confident I can come back.
Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans, Titans favoured by 6 1/2
Houston looked bad last week. On offence and defence. They couldn’t run, they couldn’t pass, they couldn’t play strong defence. And now they’re playing a much tougher team on the road. Look for much of the same from Texans. Titans to win.
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions, Vikings favoured by 9 1/2
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Or in this case, the mediocre. Detroit, which could be counted on for 7-9 seasons, have fallen to the “can’t win no matter what type of team we face.” This week, the Lions face the Vikings, which should be a top five team this year. They have defence, and can win on offence by throwing or running. In conclusion, I’m shocked to see this spread so low. Minnesota wins easily.
Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons, Falcons favoured by 6 1/2
Yes, we have all heard the stat over the past weel. Panthers QB Jake Delhomme has thrown nine picks in his last two games, if you include their playoff loss from last year. But last year, Delhomme threw only 12 interceptions. The most he’s ever had for a season has been 16 (if you think of how many times he’s thrown deep to Steve Smith, and how easy it is to intercept those, you get to appreciate that number more). In comparison, Peyton Manning threw 12 interceptions last year. Aaron Rodgers threw 13. Donovan McNabb threw 11. So Delhomme isn’t generally out of the norm for his throwing when looking around the league. At some point this year, he’ll rebound. My guess will be this week against Atlanta. The Falcons will still win, but it will be a close game. Panthers to cover.
New Orleans Saints at Philadelphia Eagles, Eagles favoured by 1/2
Last week, I said whenever there’s pretty much a pick ’em game, I go with the home side. I’m changing that this week for two reasons. 1) I still have no idea if Donovan McNabb is playing, and I am going to assume he is not. 2) The visiting team is the Saints, which is the best offence in the league. If McNabb plays, this will be closer. But if not, I don’t think the Philly offence will be able to match whatever the Saints put up. Since I need to make the pick now, I’m going with the Saints.
Arizona Cardinals at Jackson Jaguars, Jaguars favoured by 2 1/2
The Jaguars are just too tough a team, especially on defence. They were able to pretty much keep Peyton Manning in check last week, and I think they’ll have the same success with Kurt Warner this week. Jaguars to win.
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs, Chiefs favoured by 2 1/2
The Raiders and Chiefs both played surprisingly strong games last week, but came up on the wrong end of a loss. The Chiefs scored a ton of points on a defence that is supposed to be one of the best in the league. But I think Oakland played a much stronger game overall, and they’ll continue that strong play this week. Oakland to cover.
Cincinnati Bengals at Green Bay Packers, Packers favoured by 8 1/2
With the heartbreaking loss last week, you would have thought the Bengals had changed their name to the Bills. Cincinnati’s defence has improved tremendously. However, the Packers offence will be too much this week. Green Bay in a rout.
New England Patriots at New York Jets, Patriots favoured by 3 1/2
Stupid Patriots screwed up my gambling trick. Brady did not look good last week until the fourth quarter. I think he got his rhythm and timing back now, but still needed a stupid mistake by the Bills to be able to win. I think the Patriots will dominate more this week, and their defence will make Jets rookie QB Mark Sanchez look bad in the process.
St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins, Redskins favoured by 9 1/2
Last week, the Redskins looked horrible. They needed a fake field goal to score one touchdown, and scored the other with about a minute left when it didn’t matter anymore. The offence couldn’t move the ball, and despite the fact the Giants have no #1 receiver, had trouble stopping the Giants on defence. So how bad must the Rams be if the Redskins are favoured by 9 1/2 after their debacle last week, the highest spread for this week? And how bad must the Rams be if I’m actually taking the Redskins? Pretty bad.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Buffalo Bills, Bills favoured by 4 1/2
The Bills lose more heartbreaking games than any other team in the league. Most of it is not luck, just simply bad plays at the wrong time, so it must be frustrating for a Bills fans. There won’t be any such heartbreak this week. Bills to win.
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers, 49ers favoured by 1 1/2
Seattle looked good last week, but they played a bad St. Louis team. The 49ers looked good, but played a much tougher team in Arizona. Look for the 49ers to win this one.
Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers, Chargers favoured by 2 1/2
Both teams had trouble last week against teams they were expected to blow out. I think the home field advantage and the Chargers defence will be the same edge here. Chargers to win.
Cleveland Browns at Denver Broncos, Broncos favoured by 2 1/2
The Broncos have no business being 1-0. But they have a tough schedule coming up (after the Raiders next week, they play five in a row against Cowboys, Patriots, Chargers, Ravens and Steelers). So they need to win this week to have a shot at the playoffs. And I think they realize this. Broncos to win.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears, Steelers favoured by 2 1/2
The Bears would have won last week if Jay Cutler never pulled his Rex Grossman impression. But he’ll get better as the season goes along. The Bears will win, mostly because they’ll sack Ben Roethlisberger about seven times, and will be able to stop the Pittsburgh run.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys, Cowboys favoured by 2 1/2
The Giants have the better defence, the Cowboys have the better offence. So those two will cancel each other out. It’s how the Cowboys defence does against the Giants offence that will make all the difference in this game. I believe the Cowboys defence is better. Cowboys to win.
Indianapolis Colts at Miami Dolphins, Colts favoured by 2 1/2
The Colts start off the season with a favourable schedule. After disposing of the Jaguars last week, their next seven matches look like this: at Miami, at Arizona, Seattle, at Tennessee, at St. Louis, San Fran, and Houston. They could very easily be 8-0, with the Titans as their only tough matchup. Look for the Colts to dominate the Dolphins this week.