When the Colts led 24-0 last night, I bet you didn’t think we were going to have a close game. Then the Texans slowly chopped away and while they came up short, the margin of victory was only five points. It may not have been as good as Super Bowl XXV, but it was better than what we’d gotten on Thursdays so far this year. I’ll accept progress. I’ll also accept that I really need to start betting large sums of money on these Thursdays night games because I’m currently 6-0 at picking spreads on Thursday night. Games don’t pay double if they’re on national TV, but they pay if you get them right and that’s what I’m doing.
Locks of the Week:
Green Bay -3 over MIAMI
Miami’s last two weeks have included a bye and a win over Oakland, so people forget how bad they’ve been this season. Other than their Oakland win, their only other win was Week 1 against a Patriots team that we now realize is either not that good or needed some time to work out the kinks. The Dolphins suck, plain and simple, and their head coach will continue to defy logic with some of his in-game decisions. The Packers’ resume is far more credible at this point.
Kyle’s pick: Green Bay
Chicago +3 against ATLANTA
I’ve probably been driving the Chicago bandwagon too much this season. I’ve picked them to cover in all but one game this year. I’m rolling with Jay Cutler again in what looks to be the week’s highest-scoring game. Atlanta’s offensive line continues to be in shambles, so even the Bears will look like they have a pass rush against them. The Bears should have no problems scoring because the fewest points Atlanta has allowed is at least 24 points to any non-Josh McCown led offense.
Kyle’s pick: Atlanta
N.Y. Giants +3 over PHILADELPHIA
I feel very strongly about this Giants game. Despite being a fan of the team, I never get too far up or down on them. The Eagles’ secondary is terrible (they’ve given up the most yards since the start of last year), their offensive line is still in rough shape, the Giants have a good pass D (8th best by Football Outsiders DVOA), and their offense has been clicking on all cylinders for three weeks now. Facts are facts, people. Even the black uniforms won’t help the Eagles.
Kyle’s pick: Philadelphia
San Francisco -3 over ST. LOUIS
The Rams were incredibly lucky to come back on the Eagles and cover last week’s spread. The Eagles took the foot off the glass and blew a huge early lead. The Rams are a sham despite gunslinger Austin Davis and will likely get mangled on Monday night. They clearly aren’t focusing on playing football…
Kyle’s pick: San Francisco
Trap Games of the Week:
Dallas +9 over SEATTLE
I almost switched my pick on this after considering Seattle as the survivor play of the week, but I’m going with my initial reaction that Dallas will do enough to cover the margin.
Kyle’s pick: Dallas
Rest of the Picks:
BUFFALO +3.5 over New England
Everyone is back on the Patriots after they dismantled Cincinnati last week, but let’s acknowledge that the Bills just won an equally tough game in Detroit. The Bills defense is playing great this year third overall by Football Outsiders’ DVOA. Kyle Orton, despite being Kyle Orton, has given the team a little more confidence on offense, especially rookie stud Sammy Watkins, who now believes the football might actually be thrown accurately enough to be in his vicinity. New England’s due for a slight hangover because they just don’t have the weapons to execute that consistently. Or the Patriots might literally be hungover.
Kyle’s pick: Buffalo
CINCINNATI -6.5 over Carolina
Cincinnati started the week as a 7.5-point favorite and then A.J. Green got hurt and the line only dropped a point. You heard that right. There’s plenty of steam on Carolina with A.J. Green out, but Vegas obviously doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal. Vontez Burfict returns to solidify the Bengals’ D and they’ll pound the run on offense against Carolina’s 27th -anked run D according to Football Outsider’s DVOA.
Kyle’s pick: Carolina
CLEVELAND PK over Pittsburgh
The Browns are pretty damn pesky. They came back from a 25-point deficit to beat Tennessee and came back from down 24 to tie Pittsburgh in Week 1 while relying on their running game to do so. On name brand alone, you’ll scoff at this line and want to take the Steelers, but times have changed with the Steelers 21st-ranked defense by Football Outsiders’ DVOA.
Kyle’s pick: Pittsburgh
TAMPA BAY +3.5 over Baltimore
Since Tampa Bay inserted Mike Glennon at quarterback, they won at Pittsburgh and got to overtime at New Orleans. Now they’re back home and face a vulnerable Ravens team that just doesn’t score enough points to be a quality home favorite of more than a field goal.
Kyle’s pick: Baltimore
TENNESSEE -4 over Jacksonville
Jacksonville and the Raiders should play so we can truly see who is the worst team in the league. The Jags at least give you hope with their offensive weapons who might be good in the future. (And that pool scene is bumping!) Unfortunately my DeLorean isn’t fired up to see the Jaguars of the future and that of the present has one of the worst offensive lines in football. Tennessee’s been looking for a get well game and now they have it. Charlie Whitehurst may be involved, which is unfortunate, but at least Shonn Green isn’t. It’s time to #FreeSankey.
Kyle’s pick: Tennessee
Detroit +2 over MINNESOTA
Teddy Bridgewater completely changes the dynamic of Minnesota’s offense as we saw with Christian Ponder’s pathetic performance last week. They will surely be more proficient and also will take advantage of Calvin Johnson and possibly Reggie Bush missing the game. The Lions, however, have one of the three best defenses in football and will rely on that and their other weapons to squeak this one out.
Kyle’s pick: Detroit
Denver -9.5 over N.Y. Jets
The Jets have allowed the third-highest passer rating to opposing quarterbacks this year and now Peyton Manning comes to town. Need I say more?
Kyle’s pick: J-E-T-S
OAKLAND +7.5 over San Diego
Oakland is terrible, but there’s something about the Raiders that gets under San Diego’s skin. The Raiders beat them last year in early October and covered the spread as an underdog against San Diego in late December of 2012. This is a perfect scenario for San Diego to be flat or get back-doored.
Kyle’s pick: Oakland
Washington +2.5 over ARIZONA
There’s no way I can take Logan Thomas to cover a game even if he’s playing at home. That guy was such a spaz in college and never lived up to his potential. Now he gets to play in the NFL? Good luck to him.
Kyle’s pick: Arizona
This Week: 1-0
Last Week: 8-7