Thursday, October 13, 2011

NFL 2011: Week 6 Picks

Week 5 was my best in terms of picking overall. Went 10-3 straight up and 9-3-1 against the spread. Hope to continue that trend:

Jacksonville Jaguars at Pittsburgh Steelers (-12)

The Jaguars, in spite of not being win-less, are definitely in the conversation of being the worst team in the league. They will have a hard time keeping this close. The Steelers keep surprising everyone by showing up big just when people start writing them off. Mark of a veteran, well coached team. Classic.

Outright Win: Steelers
v/s the Spread: Steelers (-12)

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins (+1.5)

The "Dream Team" is not so dreamy no more with a 1-4 record through five weeks. And they have way too many glaring flaws to fix overnight. Still, their best hope will be to reduce mental mistakes and take care of the football. That might win them a few games by outscoring marginal teams on their schedule. To be a contender though, they will have to do something to fix their defense; especially their run defense and tackling. This team, in general, seems to take on the reckless playing style of Mike Vick, trying to emulate his highlight reel type plays, making far too many mistakes and turning the ball too many times in the process. Then again, if Vick was given a 100 million dollar contract just to do that. What a mess!

The Redskins are one of the NFC East teams that should be laughing inside watching the Eagles implode. This gives them one less team to worry about in their quest for the divisional title. But, for them to be considered serious contenders, they have to take care of business at home, putting away a struggling Eagles team. Mike Shanahan's run game is a good recipe to match up against the Eagles run defense. Question is if the Redskins can hold off Mike Vick and the explosive Eagles offense that is desperate to have that break out game.

Outright Win: Eagles
v/s the Spread: Eagles (-1.5)

San Francisco 49ers at Detroit Lions (-4.5)

Who would have thought a 49ers - Lions game in Week 6 will be a match up between division leaders having just one loss vetween them? The 49ers have had a solid last six quarters. The Lions are going to try hard to put a dent on that. The 49ers secondary will be tested this week. Their run defense is stout, but I'd like to see how it fares against a shifty back like Best. On the flip side, the Lions D line will be licking their chops at facing this 49ers offensive line. Yes, the 49ers have a boatload of high draft picks on that O line. Still, I would like to give the edge to the Detroit D line here. This game will show us if the 2011 Alex Smith for real or just a mirage.

Outright Win: Lions 
v/s the Spread: Lions (-4.5)

Indianapolis Colts at Cincinnati Bengals (-7)

The Colts blew a big lead against Kansas City last week. this could mean two things: the Chiefs are suddenly playing hard and/or the Colts are intentionally botching this season leading the pack of bad teams in the "suck for luck" campaign. I'd like to give them the benefit of doubt and assume its the former for now. This will be a low scoring game. The Colts offense won't have as much success as it has had the last two weeks against this Mike Zimmer defense of the Bengals. The same way, Andy Dalton will realize that the Colts defense is way faster than the Jaguars defense he faced last week.

Outright Win: Bengals 
v/s the Spread: Bengals (-7)

Buffalo Bills at New York Giants (-3)

This is a tough game to call. The Bills have a great offense, but are not so hot on defense. The Giants have a solid offense, that gets lucky at times and that implodes at times. The Giants defense is strong on the front seven, but their secondary is a big question mark. I am tempted to pick the Giants to have a comeback game here after last week's debacle against Seattle. The Bills will have to lose a few games some time or the other. This will be one.

Outright Win: Giants 
v/s the Spread: Giants (-3)

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (-7.5)

It should be no surprise that the Texans offense is not the same without Andre Johnson. Now with Matt Schaub banged up and with Mario Williams out on Defense, the Texans are not looking all that hot anymore. Good for them the AFC South stinks. But if they are not careful, the Titans could steal this division from under their feet. The Ravens have had two weeks to prepare for this battered Texan team. I expect the Ravens defense to dominate this one.

Outright Win: Ravens 
v/s the Spread: Ravens (+3.5)

Cleveland Browns at Oakland Raiders (-7)

The Raiders had a nice win against the Texans on the road last week. It was the "Al Davis" game. They had to have it, didn't they? With the Browns in town, the Raiders have a chance at that rare chance at consecutive wins. The Browns though, will bea tougher out than the Raiders think. I expect this game to be close, but the Raiders will have just enough to pull off a W at the end.

Outright Win: Raiders
v/s the Spread: Browns (+7)

Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots (-7)

This game has the potential to be the "Game of the Week". The key to Brady spreading out and tearing apart opposing defenses is the time he gets from his O line protection. He might not be so safe facing the Dallas D linemen. The Patriots will have to mix it up with some running plays to keep the dallas defensive line off balance. The skinny though, is that if the Cowboys don't get any pressure up front, Brady could rip apart that Cowboys defense and this could be over before we know it. The Cowboys offense should be able to throw for a ton of yards against the Patriots Defense, unless Romo decides to do his "thing".

Outright Win: Patriots 
v/s the Spread: Patriots (-7)

New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+4.5)

The NFC South is the Saints to lose. the Falcons and the Bucs (to a certain extent) are reeling. The Saints could cement their position atop this division with a win here. What more? They are well poised to do so. The Bucs are going to have a hard time stopping the Saints offense when they could not hold off the Alex Smith led 49ers.

Outright Win: Saints
v/s the Spread: Saints (-4.5)

Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears (-3)

The Vikings finally managed to hold off an opponent after taking a lead into the second half. If McNaab can be decent, they stand a good chance here against the Bears. The Bears have a pathetic offensive line as witnessed on Monday Night Football. Jared Allen is already licking his chops thinking about going against htat unit this Sunday. The Bears are also missing their Defensive End, Julius Peppers with an MCL Sprain, which is going to hurt them a lot. I like how the Viking offense matches up well against hte Tampa 2 defense here.

Outright Win: Vikings 
v/s the Spread: Vikings (+3)

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (-7)

The Jets finally get a weak opponent they can feast on... that too at home. The Jets will like to also accomplish two things here. Keep their running game going with Shonn Green. And also try get Sanchez to throw a bit to build some of his confidence, which seems lost. The Jets D will be just fine against the anaemic Dolphins offense.

Outright Win: Jets 
v/s the Spread: Jets (-7)

Upset Special of the Week

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3.5) 
I just don't think these Falcons are any good. This is the game I think Cam Newton takes the next step from being a back door cover guy to the straight up winner. The Falcons pass defense is subpar. Other facets of their team are not that great either. They have also lost that invincibility aura at home. And they are going against a team that is hungry for a win.

Outright Win: Panthers 
v/s the Spread: Panthers (+3.5)

Homer Pick of the Week

St Louis Rams at Green Bay Packers (-15)

The Packers somehow eeked out a win against the Falcons last week. It had the feel of the Packers' 2010 season all over it. They were down 14-0. Then, their Left Tackle, Chad Clifton goes down. Their starting Right Tackle Bulaga didn't even start this game. They suddenly found themselves with two first year starters, both considered marginal at best coming out of training camp. Surprisingly, the two youngsters: Marshall Newhouse (make shift LT) and Derek Sherod (RT) held their own, while Rodgers took over the game and willed the Packers to an unlikely victory. and hey, they even covered the spread!

This week, they are going against one of the worst pass rushes in the league this year in the Rams. So, if last week was any indication, that should not pose a problem for hte Packers offense. But on the other side of the ball, the Packers defense, seemed to have gotten its mojo back second half of the Falcon's game. Was that for real? Or was it just that the inept Falcons offense made it seem that way. After all, the Packers are still ranked near the bottom in the league on defense. That is what I will be looking for in this game. Is the Packers defense back?

Outright Win: Packers 
v/s the Spread: Packers (-15)

My 5 STAR Picks   (* Home team in CAPS)

PACKERS (-15) over Rams
JETS (-7) over Dolphins
PATRIOTS (-7) over Cowboys
RAVENS (-7.5) over Texans
STEELERS (-12) over Jaguars

Last Week:
Outright Win Record: 10-3
v/s the Spread Record: 9-3-1

Year to Date:
Outright Win Record: 53-24 
v/s the Spread Record: 42-29-3 

5 STAR Picks:
Overall Record: 14-10-1

* Odds as per "" on 10/12/2011

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