1/9/08: NFL Picks for the Weekend

Gambler’s Corner

Making Some $$ Back From Last Week

By: TC

As I am still enjoying the Florida and the Under pick from last night, here is some help for this weekend’s NFL games.

Baltimore @ Tennessee- Normally when there is a #1 vs. #6 match-up, the outcome is straightforward. But then again, how many 6 seeds have a defense like the Baltimore Ravens. Not to mention Mr. Ed Reed. The Dolphins were a team that prided itself on taking care of the football and not turning it over. All the Ravens did is force them to turn it over 5 times and Chad to throw a career high 4 int’s. This does not bode well for Kerry Collins and the Tennessee offense. Back in October, Tennessee went into Baltimore and escaped with a 13-10 victory. Now here is the difference between now and then… Joe Flacco has emerged and is now comfortable as a starting NFL quarterback (Ed. 91.1 QB rating in the regular season on the road). After starting the year 2-3, Flacco had the Ravens finish 9-2 on the year, the only loses on the road to the defending Super Bowl champs, and a tough home loss to the Steelers. I know that Tennessee is well rested and at home, but I do not see that offense being able to do anything against that Ravens D. And Flacco will do just enough to get the Ravens the W.

Pick: Tell Vegas to keep the points and take Baltimore moneyline

Ravens- 17  Titans- 13Arizona @ Carolina- This is a case where as good as Arizona looked last week, the fact is that the Carolina Panthers are not the Falcons. They have a veteran Jake Delhomme, not rookie Matt Ryan. Carolina will be at home, where they have not lost all season, including a Week 8 win 27-23 over these Cardinals. The only question becomes not whether Carolina can win, but whether they will be able to cover this spread. Right now at -9.5 I still like Carolina for a few reasons. They are at home, and DeAngelo Williams carried my fantasy team this year (Ed. Brees carried mine), and that Arizona defense isn’t exactly the steel curtain. Jake Delhomme to Steve Smith is still there when the big play is needed. Boldin looks to be out for the game, and this game is outdoors, with a 60% chance of rain. I wouldn’t exactly classify Arizona as a bad weather team, to say the least. Just ask the Patriots who are sitting home watching these playoffs on tv. The weather, combined with homefield, the well rested Panthers win handily.

Pick: Carolina -9.5

Carolina- 31  Arizona- 17

Philadelphia @ New York- This one is tough. Everything in me dislikes the Giants and I love being able to make “Eagles Fly Higher”(Ed. Sorry Gordo :-)…) references. But looking at this one, I might not be able to go against the Giants, at least until they lose to Carolina next week. The Giants are 7-1 at home, albeit the only loss came to these very Eagles. These teams know each other very well, with each team winning this year on the road. The Giants are the defending Super Bowl champs. The Eagles were in a nail biter for a much too long portion of the game last week with Minnesota and Tavaris Jackson (Ed. AD and Chester Taylor pretty much owned them). Early this week I was leaning Philly because I think the loss of Burress will hurt the Giants come playoff time. However, with 6 inches of snow in the forecast in a windy (Ed. And snowy) and hostile Giants Stadium, I think the team with the best running game able to control the ball and not turn it over will win. Now Brandon Jacobs is the definition of a power running game. He is rested and healthy, and after watching the purple people eaters shut down the Eagles running game in a dome, I believe the Giants D, and potential Jets future head coach , will find a way to shut down Westbrook. The Eagles rely too heavily on the pass for the elements in January in East Rutherford, and the Giants D will be out for revenge for the Eagles performance their last month. So I’m going to go against my anti-Giant urges here.

Pick: Giants -4

Giants- 23  Eagles- 16

San Diego @ Pittsburgh- This is one of those games that feels like it should be an easy pick, but on closer inspection its not the case. I thought that Peyton Manning and the red hot Colts were going to go to San Diego and blow the Chargers out. San Diego won the game, with their defense and the emergence of Sproles. With LT out, in 20° weather in Pittsburgh, the Pitt D should dominate and give the Steelers a win, right?. Well let’s take a closer look. Never underestimate a team that is on a roll, and the Chargers are arguably the hottest team in football right now. In addition, the Chargers have done nothing but play teams tough on the road, even before their hot streak. And for an 8-8 team, not one of those 8 loses came by more than 9 points. All their loses were by single digits. Which looking at the Chargers getting 6 points in Sunday’s game, a bettor has to love that. Their road loses: @Denver by 1, @Miami by 7, @Buffalo by 9, @New Orleans by 5, and @Pittsburgh by 1. Pittsburgh and Miami were playoff teams and the other 3 were early on in the year, when San Diego hadn’t yet hit stride and teams like Buffalo were 5-1. Even their home loses were close: Carolina by 2, Indy by 3, and Atlanta by 6.(Ed. Using stats… holy shit!!!) Again all playoff teams. You gotta like +6 here based on those numbers, besides the fact that San Diego is on a tear. Looking at Pittsburgh, their offense has not been consistent. As a fantasy owner of Willie Parker, Mewelde Moore, and Rashard Mendenhall at different points this season, the Steeler running game has been off all year. And a banged up Big Ben coming off that concussion. Just can’t see Pitt pulling away in this one, and San Diego has some experience hanging in close games.

Pick: Chargers +6

Pittsburgh- 17  San Diego- 16

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