While my college picks continue to do well, a .500 record for my NFL predictions seems to be out of the question. After hitting the 49ers and Packers in the early games, the Saints were dropkicked by the Bucs and the Vikings…oh, the Vikings.
Following my 2-2 effort in Week 6, that puts my season record at 10-14 on the year.
Broncos @ Dolphins, 1:00PM ET
I was one of the many who chastised the Broncos for trading back into the first round to take Tim Tebow in 2010. But now that it has become almost cliché to bag on Tebow’s abilities as a passer, I’m flat out rooting for him now. RELEASE THE TEBOW! From a performance standpoint, you can’t get much worse than the Miami defense. Their pass rush isn’t that bad but what’s the difference? They can’t stop the pass or run so teams can still pretty much do whatever they want against the Dolphins. Tebow will probably throw for 87 yards but give me two I say TWO touchdowns in a Denver victory today.
THE PICK: DENVER BRONCOS +1
Steelers @ Cardinals, 4:05PM ET
Here’s the way I’m viewing this game. Pittsburgh is a 3.5-point favorite but let’s toss out the spread for a second. I ask myself, ‘Do I think the Steelers will win?’ The answer is yes. And if I believe they’re going to win, then they’re probably going to beat a bad Arizona team (which has proven it can’t finish games) by more than a field goal, right? Again, the answer is yes. (At least in my eyes.) The Steelers have been models of inconsistency thus far, but if you follow that same model then they should roll today. After the Ravens hammered them 35-7 in Week 1, the Steelers covered as 14-point favorites the following week against the Seahawks. After they lost to the Texans in Week 4, they covered easily as a 3-point favorite against the Titans in Week 5. And after they barely squeaked by the Jaguars last Sunday, I expect them to cover against Arizona. It’s science.
THE PICK: PITTSBURGH STEELERS –3.5
Chiefs @ Raiders, 4:05PM ET
Every time I’m utterly confused by a point spread it usually winds up burning me in the end. The Raiders opened as 3-point point home favorites against the Chiefs when it was presumed that Kyle Boller was going to be Oakland’s starter. That makes sense. The Raiders are at home, they’re the better team and the old rule is that home field advantage is worth three points. Thus, Oakland –3. But after they acquired Carson Palmer on Tuesday and it was announced that he was playing, the line climbed a full point to 4.5. Then the damn thing jumped up to 5.5 as the public presumably hammered the Palmer-led Raiders. So what you’re telling me is that Palmer is worth a full 1.5 points? Are you kidding me? I know this isn’t the same the Chiefs team that won the AFC West last year but they are 2-0 in their last two games and 3-2 against the spread this year. They’re also coming off a bye and playing an opponent they’re incredibly familiar with (sans Palmer, that is). Plus, and this is the biggest reason why I can’t understand the line, Palmer hasn’t played in a live game since January 2. Now, after reporting on Friday that Palmer might not start, the line is back down to 3.5. Either way, give me the points. I don’t trust either Palmer nor Boller.
THE PICK: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS +3.5
Packers @ Vikings, 4:15PM ET
The Packers haven’t played a full game in a couple of weeks, as they struggled in the first-half against the Falcons in Week 5 and completely took their foot off the gas in the second-half last Sunday against the Rams. That scares me, although not as much as what Aaron Rodgers is going to do in a dome against Minnesota’s brutal secondary. Even if rookie Christian Ponder plays well in his first career start, he isn’t going to keep pace with Rodgers and the Packers. I’ll probably get burned by this same Viking team that I predicted would upset Chicago last Sunday but just like the Chiefs-Raiders game, I’m not going to over-think this one. (I also love that the spread has stayed below the key number of 10.)
THE PICK: GREEN BAY PACKERS –9