Last week I was subpar, going 6-7.
There’s a bunch of good spreads this week to bounce back with a much better score.
There are some important matchups this week.
Oakland is looking to make a run for the AFC West division title. Beating Kansas City would put them just half a game back in the standings.
Atlanta and Tampa Bay face off in arguably the most important game of the week. Both sit at 5-2 and the winner will have sole possession of first place in the NFC South.
These are just two of the standout games lined up for what looks to be an exciting Week 9.
Note: All spreads are based off Yahoo! Spreads as of November 3, 2010.
Both of these teams are rolling at the moment.
The Matt Ryan to Roddy White connection appears to be unstoppable after they shredded a good Bengals secondary in Week 7.
Following the bye, Atlanta will be well rested. John Abraham will be a difference-maker in this game.
Tampa Bay is one of the hottest teams in the league. They keep finding ways to win. The young team seems to improve weekly and different players contribute from game to game.
In this tough division game, I like Atlanta to win. However, 8.5 points is a lot to give against a resilient Bucs team.
Pick: Tampa Bay (+8.5)
Chicago’s bye came at an opportune time, as the team has been widely inconsistent since Week 4.
Buffalo, meanwhile, has been competitive in most of their games this season. For the second consecutive week, Buffalo almost won in overtime.
After being on the road for the past two weeks, Buffalo will be better prepared with some home cooking in their bellies and their fanbase cheering them on to victory.
The Mike Martz offense is always susceptible to a big turnover, which could be the deciding factor in this game.
Pick: Buffalo (+3)
A lower spread than I expected.
The Patriots have won two big home games in the past two weeks. They currently sit atop the NFL at 6-1.
They have the seemingly unstoppable duo of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.
Cleveland has played admirably this entire season. They are riding high after dominating the New Orleans Saints prior to their bye.
Eric Mangini will have his team ready to fight for him against his former mentor.
New England wins a close game.
Pick: Cleveland (+4.5)
Matthew Stafford is back and his chemistry with Calvin Johnson didn’t miss a beat. They paired up for three touchdowns against the Washington Redskins in Week 8.
Detroit has played extremely well this season and are one of the most underrated teams in the league.
Still, Rex Ryan’s Jets hit a major roadblock in their quest for a Super Bowl ring. They got shut out at home by the Green Bay Packers.
They threw the ball too much and made a lot of costly turnovers and mental mistakes. The team appeared to lack the desire to win that game.
Look for the Jets to return to their bread and butter: Running the rock down the Lions throats with LaDainian Tomlinson and Shonn Greene.
The Jets take their aggression out on the Lions this week.
Pick: New York (-4)
Minnesota is giving a lot of points for a team with so many injuries on offense.
Still, Derek Anderson is starting at quarterback for the Cardinals and may just be more turnover-prone than Brett Favre.
Favre was solid against the Patriots. The catalyst will be Adrian Peterson, who will gut the Cardinals.
The Vikings pass rush will disrupt Derek Anderson all day, and he will surely turn the ball over for a potential score.
I wouldn’t trust Arizona, traveling from the west coast to play a 1 p.m. game, to keep it close.
Pick: Minnesota (-9)
Sean Payton will not let his team forget that the Panthers, with rookie Jimmy Clausen at QB, almost beat the defending champions in their own house.
The Saints have a lot of momentum after Drew Brees’ fantastic performance against the Steelers’ arguably dominant defense in what felt like a must-win game.
The Saints can’t afford to look ahead to their bye. They have to take care of business if they want to keep ground with the Falcons and Buccaneers for the division race.
The Panthers upset the 49ers at home two weeks ago, but lost to the Rams last week.
The running game is terrible. With Darren Sharper back, I expect more Matt Moore turnovers.
Pick: New Orleans (-6.5)
Baltimore beat the Buffalo Bills in overtime two weeks ago, failing to impress as they were clearly looking forward to the bye.
Ed Reed is back and will help the secondary immensely.
The offense really needs to get rolling. Ray Rice has not been as dominant as he was last year.
Miami has been impressive this season on the road. They beat the Packers and Bengals, recently.
Two of the tougher teams in the league. I think it stays close throughout.
Pick: Miami (-5.5)
The Texans disappointed me against the Colts on Monday Night Football, failing to cover the spread.
The Chargers actually turned in their most impressive performance, beating the Titans in Week 8.
Still, I don’t trust the Chargers as much. On the road, I don’t think they should be giving points. Nor do I think they even win this game.
Philip Rivers will definitely carve up the atrocious Texans secondary. However, I think Arian Foster and Andre Johnson will be enough for the Texans to possibly win the game.
Pick: Houston (+2.5)
The Seahawks are a much different team at home than on the road. The defense always plays much better in front of the raucous crowd.
The team laid an egg against the Oakland Raiders, though. They were dominated in all facets of the game.
The Giants come in fresh off the bye. While center Shaun O’Hara will not play, Ahmad Bradshaw and Eli Manning will lead this team to victory.
The Giants defensive line is scary and should hurry the aging Matt Hasselbeck frequently.
It is difficult to trust the Seahawks to cover the spread even though they’re at home, as the Giants come in with a lot of momentum looking to be the class of the NFC.
Pick: New York (-6.5)
The Chiefs just won in overtime over the winless Buffalo Bills at home. Even though it was a bit of a letdown, they still won and have been highly impressive this season.
The Raiders demolished the Seahawks and the team is starting to turn around in recent weeks.
Darren McFadden looks like the superstar many expected him to be when he came into the league three years ago. Expect a heavy dose of the running game with Michael Bush mixed in.
This should be one of the most competitive games of the week. It’s a big division game, as the Chiefs look to maintain their lead and the Raiders look to inch closer to the top.
In such a close game, I’ll take the Raiders home-field advantage and give the points.
Pick: Oakland (-2.5)
The Colts are beginning to hit their stride.
However, Michael Vick is finally back for the Eagles. It is difficult to tell how rusty he will be, especially if DeSean Jackson is forced to miss the game.
If I knew for certain Jackson would play, I would probably have to go with the Eagles on this one because Vick is such a dual threat.
Still, it’s tough to pass on the advantage of Peyton Manning receiving points.
Pick: Indianapolis (+3)
Even though the Cowboys have been abysmal and are starting Jon Kitna at quarterback, eight points is a lot of points.
The Cowboys once again come into a game with their backs against the wall. Now it’s all about trying to save face.
The Packers are soaring after shutting out the Jets last week. The offense will have a much easier test. The key for the Cowboys is the pass rush of DeMarcus Ware, who will be needed to disrupt Aaron Rodgers.
Once again, I’ll put my trust in the Cowboys on the road because of the large point spread.
Pick: Dallas (+8)
The Bengals have been one of the most disappointing teams in the league this season.
The Steelers have been one of the best.
Pittsburgh lost a tough game against the Saints in Week 8. It is tough to believe this team will recover when they are on the road for the third straight week.
Regardless how disappointing the team has been, Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco will both bring their best game on Monday Night Football.
I think the Bengals defense steps up enough to cover the spread and potentially win the game.
Pick: Cincinnati (+4.5)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+8.5) @ Atlanta Falcons
Chicago Bears @ Buffalo Bills
New England Patriots @ Cleveland Browns
New York Jets (-4) @ Detroit Lions
Arizona Cardinals @ Minnesota Vikings (-9)
New Orleans Saints (-6.5) @ Carolina Panthers
Miami Dolphins (+5.5) @ Baltimore Ravens
San Diego Chargers @ Houston Texans (+2.5)
New York Giants (-6.5) @ Seattle Seahawks
Kansas City Chiefs @ Oakland Raiders (-2.5)
Indianapolis Colts (+3) @ Philadelphia Eagles
Dallas Cowboys (+8) @ Green Bay Packers
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cincinnati Bengals (+4.5)