UPDATE – 10/31/06 – Standings for Week 8 Picks
Eller: 7-7 (12-14-1 overall)
Zack: 6-8 (14-14-1 overall)
It’s time once again for what’s quickly becoming my most anticipated post of the week: the NFL picks. Last week was my first attempt ever at picking against the spread. And after my surprising 8-4-1 showing, I have to say – gambling can be intoxicating, even when you’re only betting your online dignity. The picks have added an extra dimension to my Sunday afternoon/evening NFL viewing too, as I now have more than just two fantasy leagues to think about. Trying to remember all of my players and my picks against the spread was difficult – and amazing!
On a side note, the Panthers-Bengals game was excruciating for me to watch last week. First, the Panthers jump out to a good lead, only to allow the Bengals back in the game. Then, as always, the Panthers make a final march down the field. Down only 3 points and inside the ten yard line, I said aloud to Tracy, “We’re looking good, just as long as Jake doesn’t throw a stupid interception.”
Of course, as soon as Delhomme released his 3rd and goal pass, I knew I was doomed. That end zone INT was absolutely crippling, and in one instant seemed to take away all the momentum the Panthers had built up after 4 consecutive wins. The Cincy loss, combined with the ridiculously absurd loss to Minnesota earlier this year (Gamble’s “gamble” that didn’t turn out too well), has the Panthers at 4-3. They’re clearly one of the top 4 teams in the NFC when playing well, but if they’re not careful, they could in a tight race for a playoff spot.
And now, the Week 8 picks. Current standings see Eller at 5-7-1, and me at 8-4-1. As always, HOME TEAM is in caps, winners listed first in bold.
Texans (+3) over TITANS
In a week 8 that is littered with bad matchups, this has to rank as the worst. This game’s a tossup at best. I’ll take David Carr and the points – only because I have to.
Jags (+7) over EAGLES
Philly has been up and down all year. They’re a fantasy owner’s dream, as McNabb, Westbrook, and Stallworth (when healthy) have all put up big numbers this year. Yet, last week they mailed it in during the 1st half before coming all the way back simply to lose on an AMAZ
ING 62 yard field goal. I think they bounce back against the Jags, but giving 7 points is too much.
BENGALS (-3) over Falcons
Carson Palmer & Co. were impressive in the 2nd half last week against Carolina. Not flashy, but impressive. Palmer’s 4th and 1 pass to Chad Johnson for 30+ yards was top class stuff. I think the Falcons struggle outdoors, with a bit of a hangover from last week’s thriller over the Steelers.
Bucs (+9) over GIANTS
How will Gradkowski handle the Giants pass rush, which looked menacing (albeit against Grandpa Bledsoe) on Monday night? Perhaps a better question: where does Matt Bryant’s 62 yard game winner rank on the list of all-time “unbelievable and utterly amazing ways to end an NFL game list”? The guy’s previous long was 50! Absolutely insane way to end a game. I think the Giants win, but the Bucs will keep it closer than 9 points.
49ers (+16) over BEARS
The Bears are coming off an improbable win against Arizona that caused Denny Green to completely meltdown, the Cardinals team to lose all hope of salvaging its season, and left Chicago as one of the NFL’s 2 remaining undefeated teams. Chicago is this year’s “it” team, and will easily win over an outmatched 49er team that is improving. However, they won’t win big, so I’ll take the points.
PACKERS (-4) over Cardinals
Packers win. For reasoning, see above entry. Cards have completely derailed. Hard to believe the Packers are favored against anyone, but in this case, hop on the Lambeau wagon and enjoy the ride.
CHIEFS (-6) over Seahawks
I thought this line was a typo at first until I realized two things:
- Shaun Alexander still isn’t playing.
- Seneca Wallace is starting at QB for Seattle.
I’m hoping the Chiefs show up, and they should since they’re at home. Quick fantasy football plea: Larry Johnson, please score some TD’s.
SAINTS (-2) over Ravens
There’s something special about this year’s Saints team. I don’t know if it’s a carryover from the Katrina goodwill, the steadiness of Drew Brees, or the “only on video games” moves of Reggie Bush – whatever it is, the Saints have a good thing going right now. The Ravens, on the other hand, are banged up and wistfully thinking of the first few weeks when their defense was dominating. This is a matchup of teams going in different directions, and I’m sticking with the Saints and their momentum.
CHARGERS (-9.5) over Rams
Classic sucker line. Why in the world would the Chargers be favored by 9.5 points against the Rams? Sure, St. Louis is mercurial, but the Chargers stunk last week in the 1st half and have been dealing with the Shawne Merriman scandal all week. When you see a sucker line, one that screams for a bet with the points, go in the other direction. LT runs and catches all over the Ram, and San Diego wins by two touchdowns.
Steelers (-9) over RAIDERS
I’ll take the Steelers, even without knowing if Big Ben will play. In fact, I think Pittsburgh could bring in Tommy Maddox and Kordell Stewart, tie them together like Siamese twins, and still beat the Raiders by 10 or more.
Jets (-1.5) over BROWNS
Close 2nd to the Titans-Texans clash as worst matchup of the week. The J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets have been using smoke and mirrors thus far to patch together a winning record. This one will be close, but the Jets figure out a way to win again.
Colts (+3) over BRONCOS
Finally some good games. The Colts are 6-0 again, and while all anyone wants to talk about is how bad their defense is, and how they don’t have a running game, one fact still remains – they have Peyton Manning. And it’s still the regular season. Anytime you can take Peyton, in the regular season, AND give him some points, you take it and run.
PANTHERS (-5.5) over Cowboys
How ‘bout ‘em? Well, they’re pretty messed up right now. Unless you’ve been under a rock this week you know that “America’s Team” has had more drama than Grey’s Anatomy (which I’ve never watched, but after reading Eller’s extensive analysis, I can make a few assumptions).
Both teams need this one. Dallas came into Carolina last year and laid the smackdown on the Panthers, when Julius Jones ran rampant. I have no idea how Tony Romo will react to starting, but I can only hope that he throws a couple errant 1st half passes so we can witness T.O. tearing into his newest whipping boy. Dallas is completely dysfunctional right now, and while I see this being a good game, I have to pick with my heart and take the Cats.
Patriots (-2) over VIKINGS
I learned my lesson last week. Don’t pick against Tom Brady. Dude’s a winner, and he loves big stages, so Monday Night Football is a perfect fit.
Eller’s PicksTitans (-3) over Texans
Eagles (-7) over Jaguars
Falcons (+3.5) over Bengals
Giants (-9) over Buccaneers
Bears (-16) over 49ers
Packers (-4) over Cardinals
Seahawks (+6) over Chiefs
Saints (-2) over Ravens
Rams (+9.5) over Chargers
Steelers (-9) over Raiders
Jets (+1.5) over Browns
Broncos (-3) over Colts
Panthers (-5.5) over Cowboys
Patriots (-2) over Vikings