How to turn this thing around? Maybe look at the games this week and go with the hunch, the team I fancy because...well, just because. No science, no looking deeper than needs to be done. Oh yes, it’s a slap dash, scattergun approach this week, but I’m still not over the Seahawks’ loss to the 49ers. Week 7 can go jump in the lake. Damn Thursday Night Football, despite the fact I’d get up in the middle of the night here in London to watch the Seahawks were they playing every Thursday night.
I need us to be playing Detroit right here, right now and just listen to the petulance in that. On the subject of hunches, I see Seattle bouncing back next week. However, more of that...next week. For those with the interest, the Seahawks are available +3.5 before Detroit visits Chicago on MNF.
The acronym ‘BAL’ below each team denotes Best Available Line, for those new to this.
ARIZONA CARDINALS at MINNESOTA VIKINGS
BAL Cardinals +7...BAL Vikings -6
Arizona drop two straight and Minnesota don’t suddenly become bad after losing in Washington. The Vikings have smashed the 49ers and Titans in their last two dome games and should be too hot for the Cards.
A win here gives them an early Wild Card tiebreaker over Arizona. As for covering by a touchdown, you gotta like the chances. A small wager here on the Vikes.
DALLAS COWBOYS at CAROLINA PANTHERS
BAL Cowboys -1...BAL Panthers +2
Two teams desperate for a win, but particularly amazing to think that of Dallas after getting the W against the Giants on the road on opening night.
Two teams uninspiring ATS this season (2-3).
Two teams to avoid laying a dime on this week.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS at TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
BAL Saints -1...BAL Buccaneers +2.5
Tampa covered the spread as the favourite for the first time this season last week and have excelled at covering as the underdog (3-0). N’Awlins may benefit from having their bye week. Well, that said, tight end Jimmy Graham hasn’t even travelled so maybe I don’t know what I’m talking about.
I’m looking forward to this one (not quite as much as I am the Redskins/Giants matchup). The Saints are improving and I could make a case for both teams. However, despite the Bucs dishing it all out on the Chiefs last week, New Orleans need this divisional win or their season is probably over.
Drew Brees will be motivated beyond belief for this one and I take the Saints cover.
GREEN BAY PACKERS at ST. LOUIS RAMS
BAL Packers -4.5...BAL Rams +5.5
This is tricky. Spread form says to take the Rams and the points all day long. They’re 3-0 ATS at home and 5-1 ATS on the season, but to bet against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers after the hell they unleashed in Houston last week? This is tricky.
Green Bay are a game and a half behind the Bears, who should beat Detroit at home this week so, not unlike New Orleans, the Packers really need this. They won’t lose and they will cover the spread. Call it a hunch.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS at NEW YORK GIANTS
BAL Redskins +6.5...BAL Giants -5.5
The game of the week (behind Seahawks/49ers). Yes, more than Ravens/Texans. The Giants are showing Super Bowl winning form as only they know how. It must be infuriating being a fan, but they know how to get it done when it really matters and two Lombardi trophies in five seasons makes them the envy of the league. It’s a (Big) blueprint for success that not many teams look to follow, which is unusual in a copycat league. I’m rambling somewhat and need to get back to hunching.
The Redskins and the points, if you don’t mind.
BALTIMORE RAVENS at HOUSTON TEXANS
BAL Ravens +7...BAL Texans -6
I wonder if Houston would have swapped a Brian Cushing injury for a Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb Ravens double blow before this week. Yeah, probably.
The victor here claims the early home field advantage playoff tiebreaker. All roads to New Orleans in the AFC will go through...
Baltimore Houston, but look for the
Patriots to spoil both of their parties.
As for this one, I think I love the Ravens plus a touchdown. I think.
TENNESSEE TITANS at BUFFALO BILLS
BAL Titans +3.5...BAL Bills -3
This line looks skinny. Tennessee is 0-3 on the road this season, both SU and ATS. What’s not to like about the Bills -3? Not very much at all.
CLEVELAND BROWNS at INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
BAL Browns +3...BAL Colts -1
Despite getting their first win of the season last week, Cleveland is a respectable 3-2-1 ATS on the season. I predicted Indy’s demise against the Jets last week, my sole win ATS in my last seven picks, but this is much more difficult to look at.
I want to encourage backing the Colts to win by just two, but simply don’t trust them, ever since they lost at home to the Jaguars in Week 3, having led 14-3 at the half.
I don’t actually mind the Browns as a franchise and hope they do a number on Indianapolis on Sunday, no matter how small. However, my hands won’t be reaching for the wallet.
NEW YORK JETS at NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
BAL Jets +10.5...BAL Patriots -10.5
The New England Hatriots whenever these two meet. The Patriots will be hurting massively after losing in Seattle and you can bet that Tom Brady will be mad, bro.
How these two are both 3-3 when one of them is clearly a lot better than the other is a nice little anomaly and one I’m happy not to have to dwell on. I wrote in my Patriots/Seahawks preview last week that to bet against Tom Brady can be foolhardy, but I like my chances of that again this week.
I’m loath to say that form goes out the window whenever these two meet, but I like the Jets and the points a lot more than I do the Patriots to win by more than a touchdown and a field goal.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS at OAKLAND RAIDERS
BAL Jaguars +6.5...BAL Raiders -4
A game that only the respective teams mothers could love. One of the only two times Jacksonville has covered the spread this season is when I categorically said they wouldn’t, in Indianapolis in Week 3. Oakland boasts an identical 2-3 record against the spread that includes covering in Atlanta last week, a game they could easily have won SU.
Over their last three games the Raiders have been good, terrible and good so does another disappointing performance await this week? It’s likely against a team they’ll hardly be motivated against.
I have to like the Jags +6.5, but anybody liking the home team minus four shouldn’t be dissuaded either. Pick your poison, fellas.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS at CINCINNATI BENGALS
BAL Steelers -1...BAL Bengals +1.5
Cincinnati is way too inconsistent to have any real faith in, particularly against a line this skinny while Pittsburgh are 1-4 ATS this season (0-3 ATS on the road).
The Bengals could make something of a statement in this game, but they always falter against the Steelers and Ravens in the AFC North, a division I love, by the way.
Avoid betting on this at all costs.
DETROIT LIONS at CHICAGO BEARS
BAL Lions +6.5...BAL Bears -5
On to Chicago, my Super Bowl XLVII pick (at 33-1). I’m happy enough with where they’re at and am relatively confident of them going 5-1 on the season after this one. However, I’m wary of the line.
I don’t care how the Bears win this, just as long as they do and as I already have money riding on them outright, I won’t be laying any more on them this week. My hunch is that Detroit will cover, if I’m honest.
Right, to wrap up, my ‘Aaron Curry’ is Green Bay -4.5 while my bet of the week is Buffalo -3. In addition, I can’t look past New Orleans -1. Please gamble responsibly.