For the most part, I had a strong week 9 in the NFL. My week started off strong with College as LSU both won and covered. In the 1pm games, I broke even. The 49ers won and covered against the Redskins, but the Chiefs played awfully against who I thought was in first place for the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes. In the 4pm games, I took the Giants+8 over the Patriots and Packers over the Chargers, both won. The Sunday night game I took the Steelers-3.5, who seemed like they were going to cover by a .5 point until Joe Flacco did something that nobody thought he could do against any defense, nevermind the Steelers – he drove 91 yards in a 2:00 minute drill to win the game. But on Monday night football, there was no fluke, and the Bears not only covered the 9 points but won by 6.
NFL Week 10 Spreads:
Chargers-7 vs. the Raiders:
Chargers are hungry for a win, and the falling Raiders will get eaten.
Steelers vs. Bengals+3:
Steelers had a great shot of beating the Ravens but failed to do so. Expect the Steelers to bounce back and beat the cupcake schedule Bengals.
Broncos+3 vs. Chiefs:
I don’t know what to make of any team. Chiefs looked hot but then laid a huge egg against the Dolphins, while the Broncos looked dead in the water against Lions but recovered. I’ll go with Tim Tebow in this one, as they have more of a spark right now than the Chiefs.
Jaguars-3 vs. Colts:
If the Colts are really trying to play and win, here’s a game they can win. But, I really don’t think they want to, so Jaguars by default.
Bills+5.5 vs. Cowboys:
Point spread is too high. It should be a close game. Taking the points.
Texans-3 vs. Bucs:
The Bucs look dead right now, so it’s hard not to go with the hot Texans in this one.
Titans+3 vs. Panthers
The Panthers put up a challenge to every team, now here is a game they can easily win at home.
Redskins+4 vs. Dolphins
Redskins are in worst shape than the Dolphins. You still have to consider whether the Dolphins want to win, though. But they won last week, so I like the Dolphins.
Saints vs. Falcons-1
Tough game to pick, but Matt Ryan and the Falcons are tough to beat at home, and the Saints have struggled on the road. Falcons win a very close game.
Rams+2.5 vs. Browns
Browns are pathetic without Hillis; Rams are playing a wee better than they were. Rams win an ugly, boring game.
Ravens-7 vs. Seahawks
This is a trap game. Seahawks will play the Ravens close. It’s called a situational bet.
Lions+3 vs. Bears
Bears have hit their stride, but I don’t know if they’re better than the Lions yet. If they protect Cutler, they should win this game. They did it last week, so I think they can do it again.
Giants+3.5 vs. 49ers
I know, you want to take the Niners here. You want to believe in them, but you can’t. Eli Manning is playing godly, and Alex Smith hasn’t faced a defense this good yet. Giants will expose 49ers in this game.
Patriots over Jets-1
Do you know what will happen if the Patriots lose this game? The entire NFL will do a 180, that’s what will happen. Bill Bellichick just won’t let it happen, so expect Patriots to make key adjustments and pull out with a W in this one.
Vikings+13.5 over Packers
I don’t trust that defense and I think the Vikings are better than what their record indicates. Plus, ain’t it time for Rodgers to have a bad game? Jesus, he hasn’t had one since last year.
Now it’s time to count’em down –
The Top 5 AFC Teams:
1. Pittsburgh Steelers –
They played the Ravens at the worst time: coming off an emotional win against the Patriots. That lost to the Ravens doesn’t change much, though. The Steelers can still easily win the division or if anything the wildcard, and get another game against the Ravens. When I look at the Steelers, I see a complete football team – a team that was better than last year. Their weak spots: offensive line and secondary have stepped up big this year, while Big Ben and that offense aren’t showing any signs of slowing down. The main reason I believe they lost that Ravens game was because they couldn’t get enough pressure on Flacco because of injuries in the linebacker position. What is also scary about this is team is Mike Tomlin is getting a lot better as a coach. Even though he made a bone-head decision in the Ravens game that strongly affected the game – he’s on the field decisions, discipline and adjustments week to week have improve dramatically. Not to mention that he has some of the best ast. coaches working with him as well.
2.New England Patriots-
I know, I know, how can the Patriots be number 2 when they lost twice in a row!? Well, for one – my name isn’t Skip Bayless so I don’t change my power-rankings based on what happens week to week and the Patriots still have a great coach and a great QB and we all know in this league that’s all you need. The media and fans are panicking too much about the Patriots right now. If they were blown out by the Giants and Steelers, yeah, there might be an issue; but that didn’t happen. The Giants and Steelers only beat the Patriots by one possession – even though the Giants and Steelers played a lot better. That goes along way in my eyes – that a team can get out played the entire game and have a chance of winning. Without question, the secondary needs help, but sometime they’re going to make an adjustment. And Tom Brady and that offense without question will change their entire gameplan and schemes. This isn’t a team that builds off confidence, this is a team that is built upon brains and experience. I’ll take that over a Bengals team any day.
3. Baltimore Ravens –
This team has one of the best defensives in this modern era. A defense that can smash you in the mouth, strip the ball, pick it off, play coverage, bring pressure, stop the run….aka a complete defense. But the reason they are number 3 is, yes, because of Joe Flacco. He is the heart and soul of this team. If he does well, they do well. If he does poorly, they do poorly. This team has constantly separated itself from one another. But finally, against the Steelers, the Ravens looked like a team. But who knows what next week will bring, or the next, or the next after that, or the playoffs….the point is: you just never know with Joe Flacco, and that’s why I cannot call this team the best in the AFC right now.
4. New York Jets
A couple week ago, the Jets to many people looked done. They couldn’t stop the run, they couldn’t score points, and in the clubhouse they were pointed fingers at each other. That was until Rex Ryan restored order and changed his football team’s identity. Now the Jets are playing more so like the Jets – ground and pound. Coaching is one of the key elements of a football team – and the Jets have just that.
5. Houston Texans –
The Texans are a sleeper team this year. Everyone knows they’re going to win their division by default, but that doesn’t mean they’re not good. They have a great running game and a solid passing game, which will be helped a lot once Andre Johnson starts to play again. And their defense is a lot better than last year.
That’s going to do it. Be sure to check out my keys to winning the game articles coming up this week.