Thursday, November 13, 2008

NFL picks, Week 11

N.Y. Jets at New England (-3.5) - You could make an argument that the Jets are, right now, a better team than the Patriots. The two teams have identical records, but the Jets have outscored their opposition by 37 more than the Patriots. New England has now lost two of their key offensive players (Brady and Moroney) and two of their key defensive players (Harrison and Thomas) for the season to injury. So you could make the argument that the Jets are better. But I won't. New England by a touchdown.

Denver at Atlanta (-6) - Honestly, can someone give me a compelling reason to think that Atlanta is not, right now, at least two touchdowns better than the Broncos?

Detroit (+14) at Carolina - Too many points. This actually would not be a shocking week to see the Lions come up with their first win, as the Panthers are exactly the type of team that could play down to their level. While I expect some of that, Carolina probably wins it anyway.

Chicago at Green Bay (0) - The Bears have been (slightly) better than the Packers so far. But. They are in Green Bay. And I don't believe in the Bears. This game - heck, this season - will end with me believing that Green Bay is the better team, regardless of any evidence to the contrary.

Houston at Indianapolis (-8.5) - The Texans had their opportunity to beat the Colts this year, significantly outplaying a struggling Indianapolis team before completely melting down in the last five minutes and giving it away. The good news for Houston fans is that they won't lose this one in hearbreaking last-minute meltdown fashion like the last one. Of course, the bad news is that it won't be close in the last five minutes this time.

New Orleans (-5.5) at Kansas City - I supposed, earlier in the week, that I'd be able to come up with some interest in some aspect of this game. I supposed wrong. Obviously, the Chiefs can't be favored over anyone. The Saints aren't such a force that a Kansas City win here would be a shocker, but I've got to go with New Orleans anyway.

Oakland (+10.5) at Miami - Too many points. Dolphins win a close one.

Baltimore at N.Y. Giants (-6.5) - I don't like the Giants. I am pretty much always rooting for the Giants to lose. But I don't like the Ravens, either. The consolation for the Giants winning this week is the Ravens losing.

Minnesota at Tampa Bay (-3.5) - Two of the teams that I can't ever get right. Every time I start to think that one of these two teams is better than I had thought, they go out and lose. Every time I write them off, they win. Since I'm picking the Buccaneers, the Vikings are probably your best opportunity for a profitable investment.

Philadelphia at Cincinnati (+9) - I'm taking the Bengals on the "too many points" platform. But is it? Frankly, there would be nothing remotely surprising about an Eagle blowout. But I picked the Bengals to lose relatively close, and I guess I'm sticking with it.

St. Louis at San Francisco (-6) - Chances are good to excellent that the Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, will not be asking for game tapes of this one for permanent exhibition.

Arizona (-3) at Seattle - It is hard to tell how good the Cardinals are. What is clear is that they're far and away the best team in the woeful NFC west.

Tennessee at Jacksonville (+3) - This is the week the undefeated dream dies for another year.

San Diego at Pittsburgh (-5) - This looked like a much better game when the NFL posted the season schedule than it does now. There's nothing in what they've done this season to suggest that the Chargers can go into Pittsburgh and be competitive.

Dallas at Washington (-1) - Will Romo be back? Apparently. Is that going to make everything all right with the Cowboys? Not even close.

Cleveland (+5) at Buffalo - While they started the season very differently, both of these teams are currently disappointing followers and underperforming preseason expectations. Monday night won't change that, but a Buffalo win keeps the Bills in contention, while a Browns win probably doesn't. Going with Cleveland, for no good reasons that I can see right now.

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