A big win for the New York Giants and another winning week for me picking games (barely). But barely winning every week will turn out to a good season overall. There are a lot of heavy favorites this week to go along with a lot of important divisional games, should be an interesting week.
Chicago Bears (+2.5) at Carolina Panthers
The Panthers are a difficult team to figure out. Right now the defense is struggling and Cam Newton doesn't look 100 percent. They also will be down their top running backs and besides rookie Kelvin Benjamin their receiving options aren't great, either. I don't think the Panthers have enough weapons. I like the Bears to win outright.
Cleveland Browns (+2) at Tennessee Titans
I keep picking the Titans to cover the spread and they keep disappointing me. The Browns are coming off a bye and have too good a defense for the woefully under-performing Titans offense. One of these times the Titans will cover the spread, but I'm not picking them again until they start to right the ship.
St. Louis Rams (+7) at Philadelphia Eagles
I'm hoping the Rams find their pass rush against the Eagles and maybe come out with an upset win, but I think that's too much to ask. It's crazy that the Rams only have one sack this year (by Aaron Donald). Robert Quinn is due for a breakout.
Atlanta Falcons (+4) at New York Giants
I've picked against the Giants three times this year and unfortunately was right two of those times. But never again! Well, this week at least. I actually like the match-up for the Giants. The Falcons have one of the worst defenses in the league and I think the Giants will control the line of scrimmage on offense with their run game. The Falcons have put up a ton of points and yardage, but they are going to be down three starting offensive linemen in the game vs. the Giants, and as Giants fans know offensive lines can take time to gel. The Giants should be able to make the Falcons one-dimensional, and the Giants spent a lot of resources into making their secondary ultra-talented. Things, on paper, look good for the Giants this weekend, and hopefully they can deliver.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+10) at New Orleans Saints
Who are the Buccaneers? They looked inspired with Mike Glennon under center. The Saints are hard to figure out, too. But when it comes down to it, I don't like giving up double-digit points to divisional opponents.
Pick: Saints win, Buccaneers cover
Houston Texans (+6) at Dallas Cowboys
The Dallas Cowboys defense is much-improved from last year and I expect that trend to continue with Ryan Fitzpatrick playing quarterback for the Texans. Still, should the Cowboys be 6-point favorites over a 3-1 team (despite how marginal they look at 3-1).
Pick: Texans win outright (sometimes you gotta bet with your heart, and not year head)
Buffalo Bills (+7) at Detroit Lions
I think the Bills have one of the better rosters in the league, except their quarterback play is awful. E.J. Manuel has missed so many guys running open through the field, it has cost the team. I don't think Kyle Orton is by any means special, but I do believe he'll keep the team competitive.
Baltimore Ravens (+3.5) at Indianapolis Colts
I think I'd rather watch this game in prime time than the Patriots-Bengals game, but what are you going to do? This should be a close one, so I'll take the points.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars are awful. Next!
Arizona Cardinals (+7) at Denver Broncos
The Cardinals defense is legit, and though I'm a little nervous about Peyton Manning having two weeks to prepare for the Cardinals, and that the fact that the Cardinals are better at home then they are on the road I think the Cardinals, with their good defense and intriguing offensive weapons, cover the seven points and it's not even outrageous to expect they might win.
Pick: Cardinals cover, Broncos win
Kansas City (+6) at San Francisco 49ers
The Chiefs stomped the Patriots on Monday, but get no respect. This is also a revenge game for Alex Smith after being cast aside by the 49ers. The 49ers defense is playing well, but not dominating. Colin Kaepernick also hasn't impressed me this year and I think the Chiefs cover the points, especially if they can get the ground game going with their dynamic duo..
Pick: 49ers win, Chiefs cover
New York Jets (+6.5) at San Diego Chargers
The Jets have some pieces that would be real nice to a contending team especially along the lines but their quarterback can't overcome their shortcomings and I don't think they will keep up with the Chargers offense.
Pick: Chargers cover
Cincinnati Bengals (-1) at New England Patriots
In betting the home team is given three points, so the line is saying the Bengals are only four points better than the Patriots, but I don't think it will be that close. The only thing the Patriots have going for them is Tom Terrific, but their Oline, defense, and receiving options are only subpar. The Bengals also had an extra week to prepare for this one--a game I don't think will be that close.
Seattle Seahawks (+7) at Washington Redskins
The Seahawks are clearly the better team and there's no reason to think they can't cover the 7 points, but I think after being embarrassed by the Giants at home on prime time last week the Washington
(Redskins) (redacted) team will play with a lot of pride.
Pick: Seahawks win, Redskins cover