I don't want to say that my Week 6 picks in the National Football League were a complete disaster, but. . .well, there really isn't another way to describe what happened.
Yours truly managed to go a miserable 3-10 straight-up last week, and an even more miserable 2-11 against the number. That. . .that's not good. No real way to spin that one, ladies and gentlemen.
So, now I'm relatively sure that I've bottomed out for the year. It took some doing, but I don't think it can get any worse than this. Fortunately, this week I'm off to a 1-0 start both straight-up and against the spread thanks to the Thursday night game.
Thursday Night #NFL prediction: #Seahawks at #Niners (-9)...Niners to win, Seahawks to cover. Hope this is better than last week's picks.— SBNation Minnesota (@sbnminnesota) October 18, 2012
Thank you, Jim Harbaugh, for turning down that last safety.
So, with that, let's start the road to redemption. Again. Betting numbers provided by our friends at OddsShark, as always, and are for entertainment purposes only. Seriously, I'm about 20 games under .500 against the number this year. You sure as heck don't want to use my point spread picks as gambling advice at this point.
Game of the Week: Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans (-8)
This game had a lot more intrigue before last week, when the Ravens lost about half of their starting defense and the Texans got clobbered by Green Bay. Fun fact. . .these are the only two teams in the entire AFC with a record above .500. Hooray for parity! I think Houston gets back on track this week, but it will be closer than the spread indicates.
Straight-up: Texans, ATS: Ravens
Lock of the Week: Green Bay Packers (-5) at St. Louis Rams
This hurts me. Seriously, it does. But as you'll see from some of the upcoming lines, there aren't a whole lot of picks that would really qualify as solid picks for a "lock." I mean, calling a 1-point favorite a "lock" is sort of cheap, yes? Plus, it's always nice to put the "reverse psychology" factor into play. Let's not talk about it any further.
Straight-up: Packers, ATS: Packers
Upset of the Week: Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-7)
Again, not a lot to choose from here. But, after watching my favorite team get "RGIII'd" last week, why not look for it to continue?
Straight-up: Redskins, ATS: Redskins
The Rest of the Week
Dallas Cowboys (-1) at Carolina Panthers
The Cowboys' clock management on Sunday against Baltimore was Andy Reid-esque in its incompetence. However, if Cam Newton is going to keep pouting and morphing into Vince Young v2.0 right before our eyes, it might not come down to that this week.
Straight-up: Cowboys, ATS: Cowboys
Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills (-3)
Matt Hasselbeck gets the call again for Tennessee, as Jake Locker remains sidelined with an injury. The Titans are a bad football team. . .granted, the Bills aren't much better at this point, but they are better.
Straight-up: Bills, ATS: Bills
New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (pick 'em)
Jimmy Graham won't play for New Orleans, but Jonathan Vilma apparently will. Both of these things are negatives for New Orleans. Certainly tips the scales, in my view.
Straight-up: Buccaneers, ATS: Buccaneers
Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts (-1)
The Colts will try to continue to be "ChuckStrong" against a team that got their first victory of 2012 last weekend. In the battle of rookie quarterbacks, Andrew Luck looks to be a shockingly easy pick over Brandon Weeden.
Straight-up: Colts, ATS: Colts
New York Jets at New England Patriots (-12)
Wow. . .I know the Jets are a dumpster fire at this point, but the Patriots haven't exactly been lighting things up thus far, either. Granted, I still think the Patriots are the better team, but that spread looks kind of ridiculous. Now, watch as the Patriots win by 30.
Straight-up: Patriots, ATS: Jets
Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders (-7)
This game, along with Jets/Patriots, are the only two late games this week. Someone at the league's scheduling office has a sense of humor. Or they hate football fans. And why are the Raiders a touchdown favorite here? All too weird for me. This will likely prove to be an epic battle between Josh Scobee and Sebastian Janikowski. I'll take Sea Bass for the win.
Straight-up: Raiders, ATS: Jaguars
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals (pick 'em)
The Bengals are at 3-3 so far, but are coming off of a loss to the Browns. The Steelers are 2-3, and are coming off of a loss to the Titans on a Thursday night. Ben Roethlisberger is hurt. . .again. . .and the Steelers are down to about their eighth-string running back already. A loss for the Bengals moves them to 1-3 in the AFC North, with games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore looming in the final two weeks of the season. Both of these teams are desperate, which should make this one a good one to watch. If it's this close, I'll take the home team.
Straight-up: Bengals, ATS: Bengals
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-7)
The Bears have been scary good this year, while the Lions have just been. . .well, scary. Their comeback win over the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 6 not withstanding, the Lions just don't look like they have everything in sync. The Bears, on the other hand, are hammering people, and I expect a lot of the same on Monday night.
Straight-up: Bears, ATS: Bears
Record Straight-up last week: 3-10
Record Straight-up for the season: 47-38
Record ATS last week: 2-11
Record ATS for the season: 32-52-1
Lock of the Week for the season: 4-2 straight-up, 1-5 against the spread
Upset of the Week for the season: 2-4 straight-up, 4-2 against the spread