Friday, October 29

NFL Picks: Week 8

We've got a Nick sighting! After a few rough weeks, a 9-5 slate in Week 7 bumped Nick out of the cellar, or at least out of sole occupancy of it. After seven weeks, it's really anyone's game, with only six games separating first and last places. In other news, Figgs is a millionaire.

And so we're on to Week 8, which I really don't care about one bit because the Browns aren't playing. Bye weeks are great for your team to get healthy, not so great for fans of a team coming off of one of the most impressive wins of their past decade of football.

Last Week
Andy: 8-6
Figgs: 7-7
Nick: 9-5
Bucko: 6-8
Gopo: 8-6

Nick's Money Picks ($): 4-3
Figgs' Money Picks ($): 2-0

Andy: 52-47-5
Figgs: 51-48-5
Gopo: 50-49-5
Nick: 46-53-5
Bucko: 46-53-5
Nick is listed ahead of Bucko by virtue of picking the Browns.

Nick's Money Picks ($): 12-16-3
Figgs' Money Picks ($): 14-4-2 (!)

Bye week: BROWNS, Falcons, Giants, Bears, Ravens, Eagles

Sunday games
1 pm kickoff

BENGALS (-1) vs Dolphins
Andy: Bengals. They're home, they keep games close, they really need a W to stay in it, and the weather is getting colder this weekend. Plus, Miami's quarterback has shown he's not particularly adept at beating Ohio teams.
Figgs: Dolphins. I can slightly justify picking a michigan QB if he's going up against one from SC. ($)
Nick: Fish. The Dolphins have proven to be a solid road team (3-0 ATS), and the Bengals have proven to be lousy anywhere. If there's one thing we've learned about the Bengals this season, it's that nobody's better at blowing close games than Carson Palmer. ($)
Bucko: Dolphins. I'm surprised the spread isn't larger. The Bengals still look bad on offense.
Gopo: Dolphins. You might be sensing a theme from me regarding the Bengals: I think they suck. Carson Palmer might actually shit his pants this week while playing.

COWBOYS (-7) vs Jaguars
Andy: Cowboys. A season's worth of frustration unleashed on a hapless Jaguar team. You can win with Jon Kitna, Dallas will rediscover a rushing game, and the 'Boys are for once undervalued because of some tough losses and the absence of Romo.
Figgs: Jax. Garrard is back and Homo is out. I'll take that touchdown.
Nick: Pokes. Everything Andy said - plus, the Jaguars suck at playing football.
Bucko: Cowboys. I have to agree with Andy and Nick. Kitna is a solid backup QB.
Gopo: Jags. If this was 5 or less, I'd take the Cowboys, but I could see the Jags winning this one.

LIONS (-2.5) vs Redskins
Andy: Lions. I'm taking them until they don't cover - why not? After a big road win in Chicago, the yo-yo Redskins should stumble at Ford Field against a bye week-rested Detroit team welcoming back QB Matt Stafford. I needed to add those reasons to justify giving 2.5 points to take a 1-5 team.
Figgs: Skins. I like what the guys said about this game, but I just can't give points for a team like the Lions.
Nick: Lions. I'm not thrilled about having to lay points, but the Lions have been surprisingly frisky considering that they've been quarterbacked by a man who can't even spell his own name correctly (Shaun Hill) for most of the season. The Skins have won 3 of 4 ATS, but all the games have been close, and I think the levee finally breaks this week. Respect the power of the bye week. Bucko has a strange fixation with Ryan Torain.
Bucko: Redskins. I think Stafford will need some time to fully mesh with his receivers again. I also believe Torain will be able to run on the Lions.
Gopo: Redskins. My reasoning is that I was going to pick the Lions and then I decided that I can't see a 1-5 team that has always been getting points winning a game when they are giving points.

CHIEVES (-7.5) vs Buffaloes
Andy: Buffaloes. It's probably time to accept that KC is actually a legitimate club, and they burned me last week by smacking around Jacksonville. But I think Buffalo has renewed confidence with Ryan Fitzpatrick at the helm and can score enough to keep this close.
Figgs: KC. The Jills gave me a little scare in Baltimore last week as I continue to pick against them in the Eliminator. This week they go back to blowing.
Nick: Chiefs. I was really starting to talk myself into the Bills with the FitzDog at quarterback, but the fact remains that Buffalo has given up point totals in the 30s for 5 straight, they have some key injuries, and they're the inferior team. Plus, KC is 3-0 at home this year winning by totals of 7, 21, and 22.
Bucko: Buffaloes. I really think we might see an upset in this one. The Bills are playing better and desperate for a win. I also agree with Andy about Fitzpatrick.
Gopo: Chiefs. I had picked the Bills first before I learned that the Chiefs average 5 yards a carry and the Bills give up 4.8 yards a carry. Umm... yeah.

RAMS (-3) vs Panthers
Andy: Rams. St Louis is on a three-game winning streak and has played competitively in every game except their debacle in Detroit.
Figgs: Rams. At home, playing well, against a very bad team...what's not to like?
Nick: Rams. St. Louis is now an amazing 5-2 ATS and has become a team that I'm comfortable picking against weak opponents, but will struggle on the road and/or against quality teams. Bradford and Jackson are absolutely the best backfield tandem in the NFC West, and either the Rams or Seahawks will shockingly walk away with the division. ($)
Bucko: Rams. I still think they can get it done without Jackson this week.
Gopo: Rams. Panthers might be one of the three worst teams in the league and the Rams are starting to believe they can compete.

JETS (-6) vs Packers
Andy: Jets. Possibly the best team in the NFL at home against a Green Bay team that hasn't really impressed me that much.
Figgs: Packers. I'm going against my first instinct, which I rarely do, and I don't even have a reason why.
Nick: Jets. The Jetropolitans have won 5 straight (including ATS), plus they're at home, coming off a bye, and the Packers remain banged up. Oh and Bucko, I don't like Jimmy Clausen. I thought he was a good prospect, but he's a dick and I don't care for him personally. Brady Quinn, well, that's different. But he and I are done. ($)
Bucko: Packers. This is a big game for the Jets, and I can see Sanchez choking in this one. Rodgers will find a way to get it done. Yes, I have a man crush on Aaron Rodgers. It's kind of like Nick and his Notre Dame QB's.
Gopo: Jets. The Jets know the Packers can't run, so they'll drop an extra guy into coverage and come out of this game with 3 interceptions.

49ERS (-1) vs Broncos (in London)
Andy: 49ers. I'm generally loath to pick Crazy Mike Singletary's squad, but the combination of the Broncos' recent follies (59 points at home to Oakland, are you serious?) and San Francisco starting Troy Smith has me in their corner this week.
Figgs: Niners. It's not often I get to pick an Ohio St QB in an NFL game. This was a no brainer. ($)
Nick: Niners. Largely because I don't want to pick the Donks. I like how this is supposed to be the game that will make Europe embrace football.
Bucko: 49ers. Why do I keep picking these guys?
Gopo: Broncos. I have no confidence in either the Niners or the NFC. I would like to see them lose on another continent.

4 pm kickoff

CHARGERS (-3.5) vs Titans
Andy: Titans. Tricky, tricky pick. I can justify arguments either way; San Diego could well break out of their slump and the Titans might cool off, and the Chargers did play well last week in a loss to New England. But I'm taking Tennessee because they've been playing really strong football while San Diego hasn't. Plus I get 3.5 points.
Figgs: Titans. Vegas has been just begging people to bet against SD and banking on that Charger mid-season rally. I'm just not so sure it's coming this year. ($)
Nick: Chargers in a classic zig-zag pick. The Titans are rolling, and getting more than a field goal against a 2-5 opponent. I might be getting a little too cute, but the Chargers played well last week, and the Titans might be due for a clunker. Rivers proved he could move the ball without Malcom Floyd last week.
Bucko: TIT-ans. Not having Jackson and Floyd really hurts the Chargers in this one.
Gopo: Titans. I'm with Andy - Titans are on a roll, and I don't think the Chargers can just turn it on with the flip of a switch. They might right the ship, but I don't think it happens this week.

CARDINALS (-3) vs Bucs
Andy: Cards. As much as I dislike picking Arizona, they've yet to lose a home game this season and Derek Anderson is no longer slinging INTs all over the field for them. Plus, I refuse to take a team coached by Raheem Morris, who apparently studied film of Mike Singletary in preparation for calling his shaky Bucs the best team in the NFC.
Figgs: Cards. Picking them has hurt me this year, as has picking against the Bucs. Consider lesson: not learned.
Nick: Bucs. The Bucs are kinda good. The Cards are not. Plus in a game that may not feature a ton of great offense, 3 points is significant. ($)
Bucko: Bucs. I think Blunt emerges as the running back in TB this week.
Gopo: Bucs. I don't think the Cardinals are good, and there is no way I can see them being undefeated at home after week 8. So I'm saying this is loss 1.

PATRIOTS (-5.5) vs Vikings
Andy: Patriots. This is equal parts that the Vikings are disorganized and that the Patriots are solid. We will forget that latter part when Boston comes to Cleveland next week and suffers the same fate as their basketball counterparts did.
Figgs: Pats. The Vikings are an absolute mess, going on the road to one of the best teams in football. ($)
Nick: Pats. I really think the Vikings could win games by just never throwing at all. Green Bay moved the ball through the air, so the Pats probably can too, and all of this Favre stuff might be reaching critical mass.
Bucko: Pats. However, Favre will probably end up playing and throw for 350yds and 3 TD's.
Gopo: Patriots. I'm not sure if Favre plays, but I know I can count on a few picks from the Vikings QBs. I was hoping the line would be a little less, but I just have no confidence in the Vikes right now.

RAIDERS (-2.5) vs Seahawks
Andy: Oakland. One of my favorite games on the board - I enjoy this Raider squad as much as I like picking against Seattle in road games. Raiders, Raiders, Raiders.
Figgs: Raiders. Really thought about betting this one, especially after reading Andy's confidence. Then again, it's still the Raiders.
Nick: Raiders. Seattle's on the road. Plus Okung might be out at tackle.
Bucko: Raiders. McFadden looked good last week.
Gopo: Raiders. They could very well shit the bed and do the opposite of what they did last week, but I think this is actually a decent squad.

Sunday Night Football, 8:20 pm

SAINTS (-1) vs Steelers
Andy: Saints. For one, that Browns loss HAS to sting New Orleans. NFL players are big on pride and respect, and for the defending Super Bowl Champions to get their clocks cleaned at home to a 1-5 team has to be motivating. They won't lay two eggs like that in a row. Plus, I'm still furious at the steelers last week for their completely undeserving, ridiculously lucky win where they didn't even cover. Fuck that. As a wise droid once said, why I should stick my neck out for you is far beyond my capacity.
Figgs: Saints. ^^
Nick: Steelers. I guess I have to keep riding the best team in football. They still seem undervalued to me. The Saints have only played one game this year that makes them worthy of this much respect, and Pittsburgh's defense has only let a team get into the 20s once. Once. ($)
Bucko: Steelers. I hate to say this, but if they stay healthy they could once again make it to the Super Bowl.
Gopo: Steelers. Losing Aaron Smith is going to hurt a lot. Not to mention having the other end out for this game. Still, I see the Steelers pulling this game out - I'm not sure how New Orleans will stop the Steelers offense, and I think the Steelers D is good enough to keep the Saints out of the end zone a few times at least.

Monday Night Football, 8:20 pm

COLTS (-5.5) vs Texans
Andy: Colts. There are two reasons to take Houston here: 1) their opening-week smackdown of Indy in Houston, and 2) 5.5 points. However, I find the reasons to take Indy more compelling; they're in their oil-dome, they've won two straight games, they're coming off a bye, and their Hall of Fame QB is facing the NFL's worst pass defense. Oh yeah, and Peyton Manning in a night game. Betting Houston here takes some serious stones.
Figgs: Colts. My stones are casual at best.
Nick: Colts. This line seems a couple points high because Indy's become such a public team, but I wonder if we just gave the Texans way too much credit after beating Indy in the opener? Houston gets their LT back this week, so that's a plus, but they're just as banged up as the Colts. Houston's one big edge is in the running game, so if they're smart they just pound away with Foster and Ward, but I don't think they're that smart.
Bucko: Colts. Manning takes advantage of the bye week better than anyone. I don't care how banged up they are. He'll find a way.
Gopo: Colts. I think Indy is pissed that they lost the first game in Houston, and I think they take it out on Houston here. Until I see otherwise, I will also refrain from picking against Manning in a night game.

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