Hello everyone and happy football Sunday! Last week we came awfully close to losing our first week after we went 5-3 (with Monday night) but so this week we’re going to be taking a look at 7 games in the NFL but I will again warn that this is a tough week. There are a lot of games this week where teams are so close and/ or Vegas has set the line exactly where it should be. Let’s see what we can do here to navigate you through the week.
1) Dallas Cowboys (+2) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Hold your breath here but I’m taking the Cowboys on the road, no less, to their first game of the year without Tony Romo. I like some of things that Tampa Bay has done this season and I think that in a year or two they’re going to push for a playoff spot with Famous Jameis under center. That said, they can’t win at home and they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot a evidenced by last week’s game at Metlife where I really felt that they had the game except for a few dropped passes. On the other side of dime here, the Cowboys have kept it close every single week and against pretty good teams (at least in Seattle and Philly). If they can find a way to win this week, it won’t put Romo in the unenviable task of having to win every game in order for his team to have a chance to make the postseason and I think they know that too.
2) Chicago Bears (+9) at St. Louis Rams
I’m going back to the Bears this week after picking them to win the game outright in San Diego. I’m actually starting to have a little bit of faith in Jay Cutler who seems to find a way to keep his team in games every week. The Rams are probably the better team here but the’ve been under fire all week after the hit to Teddy Bridgewater and Vikings Head Coach, Mike Zimmer coming at the Rams personnel hard. I also think the Rams were exposed last week in Minnesota and you know I don’t pick underdogs unless I feel there is a chance they can win outright. I liked them at 7.5, love them 9, Da Bears with pick number two.
3) New York Giants (+7.5) over New England Patriots
Perhaps underdogs are a theme this week with me but I love the Giants here. Tom Coughlin is 5-1 lifetime against Bill Belichick which includes two Superbowl wins, one of which, the Patriots entered that game undefeated! I know you’re probably going to be quick to point out that those were different teams and while you’d be right, realize that those Giants teams weren’t that good back then, they were mediocre teams that went on historic runs. Eli Manning has been really good this season and I feel like he always plays to his competition. I also look for the injury to Dion Lewis to be a tough one for the Patriots who now become a bit more one dimensional. The Giants are also home and you know Metlife will be rockin!
4) Carolina Panthers (-3) over Tennessee Titans
I’ll tell ya when the line was 5.5, I really liked the Titans in this one. A really stout defense (especially against the run) coupled with a team feeling really good about their new coach and their rookie Quarterback who just got a win at New Orleans and their is reason to think the Titans may end the Panthers undefeated run. That said, getting the Panthers by a field goal? I’m willing to bite on this sucker bet. The Panthers haven’t only been on such a good run but they’ve done it against some really good teams. In the last four weeks, they beat the Colts, the Eagles, at Seattle and just last week they beat Aaron Rodgers. Sorry but I’m not willing to count this team out against the Tennessee Titans especially when they haven’t won a game at home.
5) Minnesota Vikings (+3) over Oakland Raiders
Real good one here at the 6-2 Vikings head to Oakland to take on the 4-4 Raiders who came about as close as you could last week to really taking control of their destiny in the AFC playoff race. A lot of people like the Raiders but I’m actually going the other way, especially after hearing that Teddy Bridgewater is a go. The Vikings have to be feeling good about themselves and know that if they can find a way to win in Oakland, they will be really pushing the Packers in that division race. I like the Raiders but they haven’t beaten a winning team yet besides the Jets and they were without their quarterback that week. That won’t change this week as the Vikings will win this one outright.
6) IF YOUR DESPERATE: Kansas City Chiefs (+6) at Denver Broncos
Do you see the big caps letter up above? Proceed with caution here as this pick is more a product of feeling a bit uneasy about picking the other games and wanting to give the Sunday Night game it’s own post. This one is more of a product f how unhealthy the Broncos are as opposed to how much i believe in the Chiefs. The Broncos will be without Aqib Talib and Demarcus Ware and may be without Emmanuel Sanders (who is a game time decision). Peyton Manning will break some records this week but will do so with a bad rib cage injury and if he gets hit, the Broncos may be in more trouble. The Chiefs will be without Jamaal Charles but at this point they know that and have had time to adjust. They’re also coming off of a bye and are bad team doing so, this means they’ve been preparing and practicing that whole time for this game. KC also knows that if they someone can find a way to steal one in Denver (which won’t be easy), they’re right back in a mediocre wildcard race in the AFC. The Chiefs had the Broncos beat the last time and can compete with them.
7) LOCK OF THE Week : New Orleans Saints (pk) over Washington Redskins
The Redskins get their play maker back this week in Desean Jackson and they’re back hoe where they are 3-1 so this one wont; be a slam dunk but if I’m getting the Saints in a pickem, I have to go with them, even on the road where they are 1-3. The Saints are coming off of a brutal loss at home to a rookie quarterback but this is a chance for Drew Brees and Sean Payton to right the ship and I don’t think they’ll fall in Washington. I always say that when I get a choice to go against Kirk Cousins in a close game, I’ll do it every time and this week is no exception. The Saints defense is awful but if it’s up to Cousins to take advantage of that defense, I say no thanks. The Saints are the Lock of the week and I haven’t lost one of those all season.
That’s going to do it for me but follow along with me on twitter @TommyOnTheSpot as I’ll be live tweeting throughout the day, despite attending an engagement party. I’ll also be back with my Sunday Night Football pick a little later on, until then have fun and go make some money!