Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 8

In the black. A good place to be.

Seriously, I'm on. I'm feeling this Sunday's game with a particular fire in my bowels, an entirely different kind of fire than the one usually residing there after a night of Coke Zero and microwaved quesadillas. A good fire, one for the people.

Ride with me, won't you?

Baltimore @ New Orleans (-2). Apparently I'm not the only one holding back respect from New Orleans. The 5-1 Saints are only favored by two in their own city, which has EASILY been the most favorable home atmosphere this season. Well, here's the deal: I really don't believe New Orleans is any better than an 8-8 team (which, admittedly, is better than I'd pegged 'em a month ago). The Philadelphia win was impressive, but then Tampa Bay went and beat the Eagles seven days later - so maybe it says more about Donovan McNabb and Co. than the Krazy Katrina Kidz. PICK: Baltimore

Tampa Bay @ NY Giants (-9). Despite what I just wrote, the Bucs are in fact scary. They have won two in a row, and the two losses before that were by a combined five points. And these games were against solid teams - Carolina, New Orleans (solid like Jell-O), Cincinnati and Philadelphia. The Giants, on the other hand, will be playing after a short week, and still reeling from the loss of one of their biggest defensive playmakers (LaVar Arrington). No way should the spread be this big. PICK: Tampa Bay

Jacksonville @ Philadelphia (-6). The Eagles are surely happy to be away from the NFC South for awhile. And you'd think they'd be even happier to play a team that just lost by 20 to the Texans. However, Jacksonville is the Sybil of the NFL - split personalities all over the fuckin' place. The Jags, in just six games, have managed to do the following things: shut out two teams (including the Super Bowl champs), give up 36 to the offensively retarded Redskins, beat the Jets by 41, and put up only 7 against Houston. And since last week's Jags were of the rectal variety, you gotta expect an outpouring of green clovers and purple horseshoes here. PICK: Jacksonville

San Francisco @ Chicago (-16 1/2). That's a big ol' spread, especially for a team that just barely beat the Cardinals. At least that's what they want you to think. Look, San Fran is Ass Awful. The spread isn't that big when you consider they've lost to Kansas City by 41, San Diego by 29 and Philadelphia by 14. Chicago is better than all those teams (perhaps combined), and they're at home. Plus, Chicago is coming off of a bye week, rested and ready to continue their defensive fireworks. The 49ers manage a field goal, and that's it. PICK: Chicago

Atlanta @ Cincinnati (-4 1/2). Ah, the 4 1/2 point spread. Vegas's way of saying "We have no f'in idea." Well, I do - and the Falcons will fly into Cincy with renewed confidence. Vick won't have another 4-TD day, but he won't have to. Dunn runs for 100+. Vick and Norwood both contribute 50+ of their own. Atlanta returns home 5-2. PICK: Atlanta

Arizona @ Green Bay (-3 1/2). If Arizona couldn't put it together against Oakland, they ain't doin' it in Lambeau. PICK: Green Bay

Houston @ Tennessee (-3) Get it, it's the new Houston franchise against the old Houston franchise. Remember the Titans were actually the Tennessee Oilers for two season? Yeah, that made a lot of sense. PICK: Houston

Seattle (-6) @ Kansas City. Could this be right? A team led by Seneca Wallace and Maurice Morris is on the road, giving six points? I know the Chiefs are still led by Damon Huard, but the guy has put up some decent numbers. I have a feeling this line will do some serious shifting as Sunday nears. Unless David Greene is named the 'Hawks starter, of course, in which case it will be Seattle by 54. PICK: Kansas City

St. Louis @ San Diego (-9). The Chargers got tagged by the Chiefs last weekend. The Rams got nipped by the Seahawks in their last game two weeks ago. And that bye week looms large: San Diego is the better team, but the Rams are going to keep it close. And come on, Mr. Bestest Fantasy Wide Receiver Ever Torry Holt - daddy needs a new pair of shoes. PICK: St. Louis

NY Jets @ Cleveland (-2). The Browns have picked up one victory, and that was against Oakland. I just can't get it out of my head, though, that they are a better football team than that. It doesn't even make sense, though - none of their losses have even been particularly impressive. However, I have a feeling the oddsmakers are on board with me, because there is no other reason on God's green ball (is that the way it goes?) that the Browns should be favored here against the Jets. The Jets with a winning record. The Jets that are on a 2-game winning streak. The Jets that lost to the Patriots and Colts by single scores. The Jets that lost to the Jags by 41. Oh, wait, maybe that's it. Either way, I can't help myself, if only because you should always go against common sense when a spread looks like it came on a steam engine straight from Tard City. PICK: Cleveland

Indianapolis @ Denver (-2 1/2). Denver, on the other hand, is the mirror image of Cleveland in my bizarro world - 5-1, but I can't shake the notion they actually suck. Bad. They have yet to score more than 17 in a game, and even that has only happened twice. The Colts will score more than 17, even against the pretty damn good Denver D. Will the Broncos score more than 17 against the pretty damn halfway-decent Colts D? Possibly, but it won't be enough. PICK: Indianapolis

Pittsburgh (-9) @ Oakland. Atlanta was amazingly fortunate to come out of last week's Steeler game with a win. At least five plays had to fall into perfect alignment to make that happen, probably the most important being punter Michael Koenen's shoelace tackle of returner Santonio Holmes. Pittsburgh, with or without Big Ben, is still a damn good football team, and Oakland, with or without their one win, would probably lose to USC. PICK: Pittsburgh

Dallas @ Carolina (-5). A second straight prime time game for the Cowboys. And because there are so many mouth-breathing, Camaro-driving Cowboys fans out there, the ratings will still be high even if Tony Romo is at the wheel. Well, the first half will be anyway - Carolina runs away with it in the end. Personally, I plan on spending the entire game combining Jake Delhomme and Romo's last names, and giggling uncontrollably. PICK: Carolina

New England (-3) @ Minnesota. The Vikes are for real. The popular consensus has been that they destroyed Seattle last week only because Matt Hasselbeck was injured - but Minnesota was up two touchdowns when it happened. That said, the Patriots are more used to the Monday night spotlight, and I do believe it is an advantage, however slight. Plus, I'm forced to start RB Laurence Maroney on my fantasy team this week because of Ronnie Brown's bye, so this is wishful thinking. PICK: New England

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