Don't call it a comeback!
Seriously. Don't. I don't want to jinx this.
At the midway mark of the season, I posted a 10-4 record to regain a little pride. But NFL picks against the spread are fickle, and I don't want to anger any possible gods, real or imagined.
The pressure is really on now. My girlfriend is insisting that it's normal, even expected, for couples to go out on "dates" where money is spent.
So I'll soldier on and try to build upon my newfound success. Click through for NFL Week 10's picks against the spread.
Last Week: 10-4
Season Record: 61-68-2
All points spreads provided by bovada.lv and sportsbook.ag.
I'm all in on ChuckStrong.
Or I'm all out on the Jacksonville Jaguars. Especially without Maurice Jones-Drew.
The Indianapolis Colts defense isn't great and has tons of problems against the run. Yet, after the foregoing paragraph, is there any reason to be scared of the Jags offense?
Plus, Andrew Luck is busy taking over the league as a rookie after his 433-yard, two-touchdown performance last week.
Take your 3.5 points. I'll take Luck.
No team circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills. And when I say circle the wagons, I mean Radio Flyers to tote home their equipment after another whooping.
The Bills have suffered their fair share of blowouts, and the New England Patriots have found their groove, as evidenced by the London Massacre.
Aaron Hernandez practiced this week, as did his running mate Rob Gronkowski. When those two are flying around the field, even the best defenses have trouble slowing the Pats.
It's a lot of points to lay, but there are many more points (like the 31 a game the Bills give up) that point towards taking the favorite.
I know. Eli Manning has looked terrible lately.
However, the best medicine is to face a terribly mediocre defense, like the one the Cincinnati Bengals trot out. They don't stop the pass (240 yards/game) and find tackling running backs to be so last year (117 yards/game).
So Ahmad Bradshaw, or whomever the New York Giants feel like handing off to, will produce plenty of yards on the ground. And then Eli can go to work on that soft secondary.
Tom Coughlin has surely been hammering home that they stunk up the joint when New Yorkers needed them the most. Some would call that motivation.
Plus, what about Andy Dalton's recent play makes you a believer of his against the Giants pass rush?
Four favorites in a row? Yup. Did you see how well they did last week? They were 10-4 by most calculations.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are onto something. Hand the ball to the muscle hamster, aka "Doug Martin," and then let Josh Freaky Freeman get dirty with it.
It's working. They've scored 35 or more points the last four weeks.
Sure, the San Diego Chargers blew out the Kansas City Chiefs, but that game was close until the Chiefs went all Chiefs on us.
A home favorite that isn't giving more points than the home-field advantage? Sounds perfect.
Finally found an underdog that I could stomach selecting.
The Carolina Panthers are not going to turn around their entire season. They probably won't even win the game.
But they don't have to; they just need to keep it close.
Cam Newton thrives off of confidence. Last week's win should provide just the boost he needs to cause a few problems for the Denver Broncos defense.
You have to take a flier somewhere. Thus, I'll take mine on the biggest wild card in the league.
The Miami Dolphins have a shaky secondary. We can all agree on this now, right?
But the Tennessee Titans have nobody who is going to exploit that deficiency. Additionally, Chris Johnson is going to find some resistance against the third-best rush defense, and the Titans do not have Andrew Luck.
The Dolphins offense is surprisingly steady, regardless of who ends up under center. And when Reggie Bush busts out an old USC Trojans highlight like he did last week? Forget about it.
Lay the six.
Maybe last week's winning has made me crazy. Or maybe this is just crazy enough to work.
The Oakland Raiders are not a good team. Carson Palmer likes to throw game-ending interceptions, and his defense has trouble tackling, which I hear is a big part of the game.
Regardless, I'm still not laying nine points. Not with the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens are one of the more stressful teams to watch in the league. Anytime they should blow someone out, they don't.
Sorry, Joe Flacco. You do not have my undying support.
Or my money.
This is one line I don't quite understand.
The New Orleans Saints blew out the pathetic Philadelphia Eagles, and we're supposed to believe they're only six points worse than the Atlanta Falcons?
And that's coming from the guy who picked against both teams last week.
The Falcons are not going to be scared of the worst defense to ever grace a professional football field. Starting Harry Douglas on your fantasy team is not a crazy idea against this defense.
Hopefully Sean Weatherspoon will go, and I'll feel a lot better about this pick. If not, I still feel pretty decent about it.
These two teams are headed in opposite directions.
The Minnesota Vikings are going the route of the dodo bird (aka the Arizona Cardinals). After a scorching start, reality might be settling in.
Adrian Peterson hasn't always had an easy time against the Detroit Lions. And if Percy Harvin can't go, then the Vikings offense becomes very one-dimensional.
Meanwhile, the Lions offense has started to catch fire, and they're not waiting until the fourth quarter to get started anymore. Considering the close loss in Detroit came due to two special teams touchdowns, this one might be a blowout.
Because New York needs the New York Jets to provide some relief from Sandy.
Because the Jets were embarrassed and have had two weeks to prepare for this game.
Because the Seattle Seahawks are an inconsistent team, although they've been great at home.
Because I feel the need to pick another underdog and don't like too many other matchups.
Good enough? It is for six points.
This game closely resembles the recent election. At least in many people's minds, picking a president this year was about picking the lesser of two evils.
Do I really need to explain where I'm going here?
I didn't think so.
The Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys are both huge disappointments. But when it comes down to it, I still like the Eagles' actual talent over the Cowboys' perceived talent.
Additionally, couldn't you see this game ending in a tie of futility? So take the point.
If you've followed along all season, you know how much I love the half-point.
During the tough times, it kept me afloat. I could barely pick a winner to save my life, and that half-point was a life raft in stormy waters.
Now, I return that love with the St. Louis Rams. Are they going to beat the San Francisco 49ers? Sure, why not?
Okay, probably not. But that's a lot of points for a team coming off a bye week after getting embarrassed. Plus, the Rams have capable corners and a stout front seven.
Come on, half-point. Let's keep a good thing going.
I have one question: Who is blocking J.J. Watt?
How many blockers will the Chicago Bears have to devote to stopping him? It's going to be more than one, which means J'Marcus Webb will be forced to handle somebody one-on-one.
And that one person is probably going to be Connor Barwin. I'm taking the over for whatever number you put down for sacks by Barwin on Sunday night.
The Bears have made a living off of turnovers. That's not a good recipe against the Houston Texans. They've only turned it over six times, which is the best in the league.
No Antonio Brown? No problem.
I thought long and hard about taking the points. But I took the Kansas City Chiefs last week with the points, and that didn't turn out too well.
The Pittsburgh Steelers haven't allowed opponents to do anything, except give them the ball. And the Chiefs love giving gifts, so both teams are a match made in heaven.
And without Brown, I'm looking at Emmanuel Sanders to have a huge game.