Week Six Picks

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

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Faithful SkoodSports reader Tom Bramwell urged me to do my picks today rather than tomorrow. I aim to please. So, without further ado; here are my week six picks. Let’s hope I do better than last week.

Last Week: 3-11
2012 Season: 38-37-1

Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2) AT Tennessee Titans (1-4)

The Spread: Pittsburgh by 6
The Pick: Pittsburgh
The Score: Pittsburgh, 30-14
The Rationale: The Titans set an NFL record on Sunday; and it’s not one that they’re too pleased about. Mike Munchak’s bunch became the first team to allow 30+ points in each of their first five games of the season. Pittsburgh’s offense did not look too spectacular against Philadelphia. But, a trip to Tennessee should have Big Ben and the hillbillies from western PA back on track.

Detroit Lions (1-3) AT Philadelphia Eagles (3-2)

The Spread: Philadelphia by 3.5
The Pick: Detroit
The Score: Philadelphia, 28-25
The Rationale: Detroit’s defense has been surprisingly stout this season (3rd against the pass, 9th against the run). Meanwhile, the turnover machine that is Michael Vick will almost assuredly give the ball to the Lions’ offense at least twice. Still, the Eagles are 2-0 at home and Detroit has given up 35.5 points per game on the road so far. Eagles win a close one to improve to 4-2 heading into the bye week.

Oakland Raiders (1-3) AT Atlanta Falcons (5-0)

The Spread: Atlanta by 9
The Pick: Atlanta
The Score: Atlanta, 35-21
The Rationale: Oakland has surrendered 35 points per game on the road this year, including surrendering that amount of points to Miami and rookie QB Ryan Tannehill in week 2. They’re 32nd against the run, and Michael Turner has averaged over 5.5 yards per carry the last three weeks. Easy victory for Atlanta heading into their bye week.

Cincinnati Bengals (3-2) AT Cleveland Browns (0-5)

The Spread: Cincinnati by 1
The Pick: Cincinnati
The Score: Cincinnati, 23-20
The Rationale: This rivalry dates back to 1970, with the Bengals winning 42 of their 78 meetings. They’ve won three in a row against Cleveland. Save for a week one blowout in Baltimore, the Bengals have played well on the road this year. I’ll take Cincinnati with such a small spread.

St. Louis Rams (3-2) AT Miami Dolphins (2-3)

The Spread: Miami by 3.5
The Pick: St. Louis
The Score: St. Louis, 24-17
The Rationale: What a difference a year makes. These two teams were among the worst in football in 2011. A couple of coaching changes later, and they’re right in the thick of things through five weeks. I like Jeff Fisher to outsmart Joe Philbin and come out of South Beach with a 4-2 record.

Indianapolis Colts (2-2) AT New York Jets (2-3)

The Spread: New York by 3
The Pick: Indianapolis
The Score: Indianapolis, 17-13
The Rationale: I don’t expect Andrew Luck to have the same amount of success this week against a better defense in New York. But, I also don’t expect Mark Sanchez to improve on his NFL worst 48.4 completion percentage. Unless Tim Tebow makes a larger cameo in this one, the Colts will shockingly improve to 3-2 even without head coach Chuck Pagano.

Kansas City Chiefs (1-4) AT Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-3)

The Spread: Tampa Bay by 4
The Pick: Kansas City
The Score: Kansas City, 23-21
The Rationale: The Chiefs have been embarrassing this season. There was no greater embarrassment than watching their fans cheer when QB Matt Cassel went down with an injury last week against Baltimore. Anyone who thinks that Brady “Bust” Quinn can do better needs to take a concussion test. Jamaal Charles is a monster, and I don’t see Tampa Bay stopping him.

Dallas Cowboys (2-2) AT Baltimore Ravens (4-1)

The Spread: Baltimore by 3.5
The Pick: Dallas
The Score: Dallas, 20-17
The Rationale: You would think I would have learned my lesson about picking the Cowboys in 2012. But, I have enough confidence in them coming off a bye week against a Baltimore offense that has looked punchless in recent weeks. Tony Romo had better rebound from his five interception performance on Monday night two weeks ago, or the chants for Kyle Orton might start to erupt in Big D.

Buffalo Bills (2-3) AT Arizona Cardinals (4-1)

The Spread: Arizona by 4.5
The Pick: Arizona
The Score: Arizona, 28-14
The Rationale: The Cardinals looked like the old Dave Brown-Steve Beuerlien Phoenix Cardinals in last weeks defeat in St. Louis. They’ll have eleven days to prepare for a Buffalo team that has been gashed for 97 points in their past two games. A second consecutive week on the west coast won’t be a remedy for Chan Gailey’s team.

New England Patriots (3-2) AT Seattle Seahawks (3-2)

The Spread: New England by 3.5
The Pick: Seattle
The Score: New England, 23-20
The Rationale: I’m torn on this game. I think the smart move would be to pick the Patriots seeing as how they have one of the best passing games in the NFL and Seattle has the second worst. This is a passing league, after all. But, the Seahawks are a different breed at home; and the 12th man in the stands will surely be riotous as they attempt to render Tom Brady’s no-huddle offensive attack obsolete. The one saving grace Seattle has is their pass-rush. The Giants have proven that if you can hassle Brady, you can beat him. Rookie Bruce Irvin (4.5 sacks) and veteran Chris Clemons (5.5 sacks) will make Brady’s night miserable.

New York Giants (3-2) AT San Francisco 49ers (4-1)

The Spread: San Francisco by 6
The Pick: San Francisco
The Score: San Francisco, 27-17
The Rationale: A rematch of last year’s NFC Championship Game should prove to be yet another tight affair between the 49ers and the Giants. This is a rivalry that gained traction in the 1980s, when Bill Parcells and Bill Walsh went t0e-to-toe in numerous low-scoring, high-throttle match ups. I like the 49ers here mostly because they own the top ranked running game in football and the top ranked defense in the league. A combination of those two usually means offenses stay off the field. If you can keep Manning on the sideline, you can beat the New York Giants.

Minnesota Vikings (4-1) AT Washington Redskins (2-3)

The Spread: Washington by 2
The Pick: Washington
The Score: Washington, 20-17
The Rationale: I still can’t declare Minnesota as a championship contender. But, Christian Ponder is quickly proving that the Vikings were correct to select him with the twelfth overall pick in the 2011 draft. This is a game that is highly affected by injuries. Most of which affect skill position players who may not play (or are at least questionable at the time of this posting). Ponder (knee) and Adrian Peterson (ankle) are critical to the Vikings’ success. Meanwhile, rookie standout Robert Griffin III suffered a concussion last week, and his availability is in question. If he doesn’t play, fellow rookie Kirk Cousins will start in his place. I’ll take Washington by the skin of their teeth at home.

Green Bay Packers (2-3) AT Houston Texans (5-0)

The Spread: Houston by 3.5
The Pick: Green Bay
The Score: Green Bay, 27-24
The Rationale: The Packers are desperate for a win. After triumphing in their first 14 games in 2011, Green Bay has stumbled out of the gate. Meanwhile, the Texans have pounded to a pulp every opponent that has been put in front of them. But, they haven’t faced a QB like Aaron Rodgers yet. I’ll take a talented team in desperation, even if they are on the road.

Denver Broncos (2-3) AT San Diego Chargers (3-2)

The Spread: San Diego by 1
The Pick: Denver
The Score: Denver, 31-23
The Rationale: This was ranked the 8th best rivalry by NFL Network. It’s also a matchup of Quarterbacks who have not lived up to expectations in Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. After watching New Orleans slice-and-dice the San Diego secondary last week, I have enough confidence in Manning to outsmart Norv Turner and move into a tie atop the expectantly mediocre AFC West.

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