Al Davis passed away this morning, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that he was always a personal hero of mine. Not only did he own my favorite team in all of professional sports, he changed the way football is played, players are evaluated, and the league is structured. He is the most influential person in the history of the sport, and he was never afraid to eschew conventional wisdom and do things his own way. For that, he earns my undying respect, so rest in peace, Al Davis, you will be missed. Just win, baby!
Last week I went 8-8 against the spread, so I’m barely better than a coin flip at this point in the season. Keep that in mind before you take my advice to the sports book. Home team is in caps, and these lines are from ESPN’s Pigskin Pick ’em game, so your mileage may vary.
BUFFALO +2.5 over Philadelphia- Buffalo has a high powered offense, and Philly has been a giant disappointment. Why did Andy Reid have his offensive line coach become a defensive coordinator? Just another bad Andy Reid decision.
Cincinnati +2.5 over JACKSONVILLE- The battle of bad teams for the weekend- Cincinnati does have a decent defense, and the Red Rifle will beat Blaine Gabbert this weekend.
PITTSBURGH -7.5 over Tennessee- Pittsburgh’s season is just about on the line. This is a must win, at home, and despite the shaky offensive line, Big Ben should do enough to help them cover this line.
Kansas City +2.5 over INDIANAPOLIS- OK, maybe this is the battle of bad teams this weekend. KC stinks, and Indy this year is showing that we should probably retroactively give Peyton Manning the MVP for the past 7 years, since they’re showing no signs of life at all without him.
Oakland +6.5 over HOUSTON- The iconic owner of a tradition rich franchise dies? It’s a lock that the Raiders win outright. No way they lose this game.
Arizona +2.5 over MINNESOTA- Fine, THIS is the battle of bad teams. Minnesota isn’t even trying to win this year. They’re not giving AP the ball, and it seems they’ve got their sights set on landing Andrew Luck. While Arizona is a bad team, at least Larry Fitzgerald tries.
New Orleans -5.5 over CAROLINA- The Saints haven’t really dominated a game start to finish yet this year, and they’re due. I think they hand Cam Newton his first bad game as a pro, despite having a terrible defense.
NEW YORK GIANTS -9.5 over Seattle- The Giants are a better team than most seem to think. I’m sold on them winning the NFC East at this point, and Tarvaris Jackson is still the Seahawks quarterback. I’ll lay the points.
Tampa Bay +1.5 over SAN FRANCISCO- I think Harbaugh is a great coach, but they don’t have enough talent to beat Tampa.
San Diego -4.5 over DENVER- Sure the Chargers are a shaky team, never putting an opponent away and generally playing down to the level of competition. But the Broncos are terrible- if they can’t cover this line, they should forget about winning the AFC West this year.
New York Jets +9.5 over NEW ENGLAND- Rex Ryan will have his guys pumped. I don’t see the Pats covering a line that big. If they win, it’s not going to be by more than a touchdown.
Green Bay -5.5 over ATLANTA- The Packers in a dome should be a very potent offensive showing. If their crappy defense can do even a little bit to get in the way of the Falcons, they should cover.
DETROIT -5.5 over Chicago- The Lions are a good team, the Bears are not. I predict 5 sacks, since the Bears don’t even seem to try to stop defenses from getting to the quarterback.
Best Bets: Oakland, San Diego, New York Jets
Best Bets: 7-6-1