Getting down to crunch time...
Brien (23-25-2, .480 )
I really didn't see a lot to like in the lines this week, but here goes:
San Diego (+3) over JACKSONVILLE - Alright, I'm a believer in the Chargers now, even with Norville at the helm.
MINNESOTA (-6) over Oakland - Purple Jesus is out, but the Vikings are still a touchdown better than the Raiders.
Arizona (+3) over Cincinnati - The Bengals' only wins are over the Jets and the Ravens (twice).
Tampa Bay (-3) over ATLANTA - I'm amazed at how little we've heard about Mike Vick since the season started (not that I'm complaining). The Bucs seem to beat the teams they should beat, and lose to any team that's mildly competitive. The Falcons obviously fall into the former category.
Tennessee (+2.5) over DENVER - I don't think the Broncos have it in them to repeat their performance against the Steelers in their last night game.
Jeremy and Magic 8 (24-21-5, .530 & 28-17-5, .610)
So another week and I'm hanging on for dear life to first place amongst the human pickers. Despite J-Red's best efforts to sabotage me by trying to convince me to hop on the Detroit bandwagon, he still hasn't caught me. This is the time of year when that can very easily change. On to the picks:
San Diego (+3) over JACKSONVILLE - This is a very odd line... I guess Jags are getting a lot of credit for their D and for home field, but it's easier to go eastbound than westbound, Jacksonville is a pretty mellow place to play, and the Chargers can win despite PhiLLLLip.
Arizona (+3) over CINCINNATI - Another strange line... the Cards stuck it to the Lions pretty hard last week and I wouldn't be too enthusiastic about the Bengals offense or defense after a win over the Ravens. Edgerrin has this game circled on his calendar.
Kansas City (+14.5) over INDIANAPOLIS - Chiefs' defense isn't that bad, and the Colts don't run up the score the way the Pats do.
Cleveland (-3) over BALTIMORE - I'm doing this on the assumption that Derek Anderson will be throwing into a secondary still depleted by injuries.
I should pick a home team... or maybe not...
St. Louis (-3) over SAN FRANCISCO - I think we're seeing the Rams turn the corner now, and San Francisco looked downright pitiful on Monday night... Rams are better than 1-8, I swear.
Magic 8 Ball's Picks:
You know I'm having a good year when 3-2 drops my overall winning percentage.
JACKSONVILLE (-3) over San Diego - "My sources say yes." [Jags beat spread]
Arizona (+3) over CINCINNATI - "Don't count on it." [Bengals beating spread]
Kansas City (+14.5) over INDIANAPOLIS - "Don't count on it." [Colts beating spread]
BALTIMORE (+3) over Cleveland - "Signs point to yes." [Ravens beating spread]
St. Louis (-3) over SAN FRANCISCO - "My answer is no." [49ers won't beat spread]
J-Red (24-23-3, .510)
Pittsburgh (-9) over NY JETS - Pittsburgh is now seriously in the first-round bye race following the Indy loss. They have to know ducking trips to Indy and NE is the only way they can sneak into the Super Bowl.
DETROIT (+2.5) over NY Giants - Jeremy is right. Detroit is much better at home.
Tampa Bay (-3) over ATLANTA - I don't get TB either, but decent coaching, decent running, decent quarterbacking and a decent defense is more than 3 points better than anything Atlanta has.
JACKSONVILLE (-3) over San Diego - San Diego's run D is very much missing Luis Castillo. It comes down to which coach is more comfortable running straight ahead for three quarters before finally breaking one. Del Rio makes me feel better.
New Orleans (pk) over HOUSTON - It's a four-hour road trip to a non-hostile environment with the playoffs still somewhat on the line. I like NO to bounce back.
Russell (22-27-1, .450)
Bad teams at home doesn't mean they're not bad teams...
Oakland (+6) over MINNESOTA - The Vikings are 0-6 in their last 8 games when AD doesn't rush for 200+. Add in that their best receiver is questionable and Tarvaris is back, and that equals no offense. Chester Taylor is not Adrian Peterson.
Cleveland (-3) over BALTIMORE - Baltimore is 1-8 ATS, while Cleveland still isn't getting the respect they deserve. And my comments about the injured Ravens secondary hold this week as well against the Browns' air attack. Kyle Boller might not even have Demetrius Williams or Todd Heap to throw to.
St. Louis (-3) over SAN FRANCISCO - Two teams headed in opposite directions. The Rams are finally getting healthy and confident, and the 49ers are just abysmal.
Tampa Bay (-3) over ATLANTA - The Falcons' victories over the 49ers and the Panthers (winless since last Nov at home) should not impress.
DETROIT (+2.5) over NY Giants - I'd like an extra half point, but Detroit is 4-0 at home (3-1 ATS in those games). The last 4 games ofthe Giants' vaunted winning streak were the Jets, Falcons, 49ers, and Dolphins, 4 of the absolute worst teams I can remember. And the Giants always suck in the second half.
RECAP AND STANDINGS
Magic 8 (28-17-5 for .610)
Jeremy (24-21-5 for .530)
J-Red (24-23-3 for .510)
Brien (23-25-2 for .480)
Russell (22-27-1 for .450)
Brien - ARI, MIN, SD, TB, TEN
Jeremy - ARI, CLE, KC, SD, STL
J-Red - DET, JAX, NO, PIT, TB
Russell - CLE, DET, OAK, STL, TB
Magic 8 - ARI, BAL, JAX, KC, STL
November 15, 2007
Getting down to crunch time...