Friday, September 19, 2008

NFL picks, week 3

Kansas City at Atlanta (-5.5) - The idea that Atlanta is nearly a touchdown favorite would be shocking if they were playing USC. Since they're only playing the Chiefs, it's probably reasonable.

Arizona at Washington (-3.5) - It would seem to be inevitable that one year the Cardinals will be good again, even if only accidentally. And they're off to a 2-0 start this year, so could this be the year? I'm thinking, "probably not."

Houston at Tennessee (-5) - New Houston vs. Old Houston. Old Houston playing with older QB. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Given Old Houston's defense, there's an excellent change they cover if they get to 10.

Oakland (+9.5) at Buffalo - Buffalo wins, but not by 10+.

Tampa Bay (+3) at Chicago - I know that they won in Indianapolis. I know that they played tough and lost close at Carolina. I know that they're home this week. I know that I'm not yet buying the Bears as a good team.

Carolina (+3.5) at Minnesota - Apparently Gus Frerotte is still not only alive, but playing in the NFL. Who knew? But everybody knows that it's getting late early in Minnesota.

Cincinnati (+14) at N.Y. Giants - Obviously, the Giants win the game. But this is the kind of situation where the Bengals rise up and tease, lose close, and talk about how good they are.

Miami at New England (-13) - That's a lot of points to give for a team playing the way that I expect New England to play. But it's not a lot to give to a team playing the way I expect Miami to play.

New Orleans (+5.5) at Denver - One of the rules that I tend to follow in making picks is to just pick the winner, and assume that the winner will also cover. I've got a bunch of games this week where I'm breaking that rule, and this is one of them. Broncos win by a field goal.

Detroit at San Francisco (-4.5) - I don't know what to make of the 49ers. They lost badly at home to the Cardinals, and won in Seattle. Since I don't know what to make of San Francisco, I look to the opposition. Ah, the Lions on the road - I know what to do with them.

St. Louis at Seattle (-10) - I don't know who the second worst team in the NFL is, but I know who the worst is.

Cleveland (+2.5) at Baltimore - The Browns are due for a big effort. They'll get it here.

Pittsburgh at Philadelphia (-3.5) - This is a balance of power game. The Steelers are a good AFC team, the Eagles are a good NFC team. Has the NFC come back to parity? Pretty close, I think, and the home team wins.

Jacksonville at Indianapolis (-5.5) - Jacksonville joins Minnesota as preseason powerhouses starting 0-3.

Dallas at Green Bay (+3) - Warning: I strongly suspect that this based more on wishful thinking than analysis. (In other words, I'm picking Green Bay to win outright, and predicting that I'm picking it wrong. So whatever happens, I'll be right! And wrong! I'll be able to say, both, "I told you so," and "I should have known better." I'm telling you, you don't get analysis like this just anywhere...)

N.Y. Jets (+10) at San Diego - Another split pick. The Jets are not good enough to go out to San Diego and win. But they'll keep it relatively close, losing by a touchdown.

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