Friday, October 16, 2009

NFL picks, Week 6

Picks for week 6 of the 2009 NFL season...

Houston at Cincinnati (-5) - With wins at Pittsburgh and Baltimore, the Bengals have won my (hypothetical) money this week. It would surprise me not even a little for them to melt ignominiously, but they're clearly a better team than Houston.

St. Louis at Jacksonville (-9.5) - The fact that Jacksonville is a 9 1/2 point favorite AND I'm picking them anyway tells you all that you need to know about St. Louis.

Cleveland (+14) at Pittsburgh - Not that I think the Browns are going into Pittsburgh and winning, but the Steelers haven't demonstrated enough to be two touchdown favorites over anyone.

N.Y. Giants at New Orleans (-3) - Clearly, these are two of the best three teams in the NFC. I don't have a good feel for the relative differences between the two, and so I'm going with the Saints at home because they're at home, and because I hate the Giants.

Baltimore at Minnesota (-3) - Is there still a gap between the conferences? Are the AFC elite still better than the NFC elite? This is the first real test of that this year.

Detroit (+13.5) at Green Bay - Too many points for the overrated Packers against the improving Lions.

Carolina (-3) at Tampa Bay - As bad as I think the Panthers are, I think the Buccaneers are enough worse to lose by a touchdown at home.

Kansas City at Washington (-6.5) - KC is going to win some games before it's all said and done. I would be totally un-shocked if this were the first. But I don't think it's a great bet.

Philadelphia (-14) at Oakland - Are the Raiders capable of scoring on a non-fluke play? Actually driving down the field and scoring?

Arizona (+3) at Seattle - Not a Seahawk believer. I don't have great confidence in this one, but I'm not a Seahawk believer.

Tennessee at New England (-9.5) - One of these weeks, the Titans are going to win a game. It won't be this week. The Patriots played a pretty good first half last week, and I suspect that, at home, this is going to start to look like the team they are capable of being.

Buffalo at N.Y. Jets (-10) - A couple of weeks in, the Bills looked like a real NFL team. Following the back-to-back losses to winless Miami and Cleveland, that's no longer the case.

Chicago at Atlanta (-3.5) - Am I letting last week's drubbing of San Francisco excessively impact my opinion of the Falcons? Probably. But I haven't been a big Bears guy, and don't see any particular reason to pick them.

Denver (+3.5) at San Diego - If picking this before the season started, the pick would obviously have been San Diego. But based on what the two teams have done so far, I don't know how you don't take the Broncos. I do know this - if the Chargers are going to win the West, they're going to have to win this game.

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