What’s up freaks? Being that I live in Hoboken, New Jersey and we are still without power, halfway underwater and working to recover from the massive damage from Hurricane Sandy, these picks are going to be done a little differently this week. Slowly. New Yorkers and New Jerseyians are resilient and tough and I will not let this storm stop my compulsive gambling habit. The East Coast will be back, Sportsmasher.com is back! Pick time:
Kansas City Chiefs @ San Diego Chargers (-8): The Chargers are once again disappointing their fans as they are struggling to move the ball. The Kansas City Chiefs are flat out awful, but if they are able to run the ball, I think they should hang in this game. I think the Chargers win at home, but they are not good enough to beat anyone by more than eight points, take the points here.
The Pick: Chiefs (+8) FINAL SCORE: Chargers 20 Chiefs 13
Denver Broncos @ Cincinnati Bengals (+4): The Broncos have been on a roll offensively and the only quarterback playing better than Peyton Manning right now might be his little brother Eli, but Denver’s defense has still allowed a lot of big plays. I expect Andy Dalton, A.J. Green and the Bengals offense to be able to move the ball on the Broncos and score some points, but I think Manning and the Broncos have too much firepower and pull away late.
The Pick: Broncos (-4) Final Score: Broncos 31 Bengals 24
Arizona Cardinals @ Green Bay Packers (-11): The Packers started slowly but finally have their offense on the right track and Aaron Rodgers is once again playing like an MVP candidate. The Arizona Cardinals were once the hottest team in the NFL, but have crashed back to earth, because their offense flat out sucks. The Packers defense is not great, but I expect them to score a lot of points, and the Cardinals cannot keep pace in a track meet.
The Pick: Packers (-11) FINAL SCORE: Packers 34 Cardinals 17
Miami Dolphins @ Indianapolis Colts (+1): This should be a close game between two teams playing beyond expectations with rookie quarterbacks. Andrew Luck has looked great and there is no doubt that he will be a future superstar in the league, but I’m giving a slight edge to Ryan Tannehill’s Dolphins because of their pass rush. Cameron Wake pressures Andrew Luck all day and the Dolphins win a tight one.
The Pick: Dolphins (-1) FINAL SCORE: Dolphins 20 Colts 17
**REXRATED BEST BET – Colts (+1)***
Baltimore Ravens @ Cleveland Browns (+4): I get why this spread is so small, the Browns nearly beat the Ravens in Baltimore in their previous match up and since then, the Ravens have suffered a series of devastating injuries on defense. Brandon Weeden has been playing better over the past few weeks, and the Browns seem to improve each game. I’m not buying it. I’m not ready to totally sell the Ravens or totally buy the Browns. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco connects on a few big plays down field, Ray Rice has a big game, and the Ravens win in Cleveland.
The Pick: Ravens (-4) FINAL SCORE: Ravens 27 Browns 20
**REXRATED BEST BET – RAVENS (-4)**
Buffalo Bills @ Houston Texans (10.5): This is a really bad match up for the Buffalo Bills, and I am immediately sensing a blowout win for Houston ay home. Ryan Fitzpatrick struggles with turnovers against good defenses and the Texans have one of the best in the league. I expect defensive player of the year front runner J.J. Watt to pressure Fitzpatrick and bat a few of his passes in the air, which will lead to easy turnovers, while the Texans will control the tempo of the game with running back Arian Foster. Texans win easy at home.
The Pick: Texans (-10.5) FINAL SCORE: Texans 35 Bills 20
Carolina Panthers @ Washington Redskins (-3.5): This should be an exciting game, as last year’s rookie of the year Cam Newton, takes in potential 2012 rookie of the year Robert Griffin III. Cam Newton has been in a sophomore slump this season, while RGIII has been wowing spectators with his big play ability. In Washington, I like the Redskins to hold home field advantage.
The Pick: Redskins (-3.5) FINAL SCORE: Redskins 24 Panthers 16
Detroit Lions @ Jacksonville Jaguars (+4): Lions quarterback Matt Stafford is coming off his best game this season, and Detroit seems to have finally found their offensive groove. The Jaguars, meanwhile, have continued to struggle to find any way to move the ball without injured tailback Maurice Jones-Drew. I think Calvin Johnson and the Lions playmakers make enough plays that the Lions win this one easy.
The Pick: Lions (-4) FINAL SCORE: Lions 31 Jaguars 16
Chicago Bears @ Tennessee Titans (+4): This one is pretty cut and dry for me, I think that the Bears defense will absolutely stop the Titans running game and force them to throw, and the Titans will struggle to score points this way. I see big games for Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall and Matt Forte in Tennessee. I think this is a bad match up for the Titans, who don’t have the pass rush to bother Jay Cutler, and the Bears should win easy.
The Pick: Bears (-4) FINAL SCORE: Bears 30 Titans 17
**REXRATED BEST BET – BEARS (-4)**
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Oakland Raiders (-1) The Tampa Bay Bucs are going in the right direction, they are not there yet, but they showed they can be good if they establish the run. I think they will be able to run the ball against a rebuilding Raiders team and should win this game by running rookie running back Doug Martin.
The Pick: Bucs (+1) FINAL SCORE: Bucs 23 Raiders 17
Minnesota Vikings @ Seattle Seahawks (-4.5) – I learned the hard way to not bet against the Seahawks at home. The Vikings are a better home team than a road team and they will struggle against a stingy Seattle defense who will have the best home field advantage in football on their side.
The Pick: Seahawks (-4.5) FINAL SCORE: Seahawks 24 Vikings 17
Pittsburgh Steelers @ New York Giants (-3.5) The Giants have been on a roll lately and their defensive line should dominate the Steelers offensive line in the trenches. The Steelers had to cancel their hotel in Jersey City, which is out of power due to the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, and will instead fly in from Pittsburgh on Sunday morning. I think the Giants pound a travel weary Steelers team to cheer up all of their New York and New Jersey fans who have been affected by thus hurricane.
The Pick: Giants (-3.5) FINAL SCORE: Giants 31 Steelers 23
Dallas Cowboys @ Atlanta Falcons (-4): I have a different opinion on this game than those who know me might think, because the Dallas Cowboys really have their backs against the wall, while the unbeaten Falcons probably just need two more wins to lock up their awful division. The Falcons do not have a great pass rush, which I think will catch up to them in the playoffs, and will hurt them here. Romo has time to throw, and this will be a great game, do take the points.
The Pick: Cowboys (+4): FINAL SCORE: Cowboys 27 Falcons 24
Philadelphia Eagles @ New Orleans Saints (-3.5) – As everyone knows, the Eagles have really been struggling lately, especially offensively. The good news is, if you are a struggling offense, the best way to get right is by playing the Saints who cannot stop anybody. I think this is going to be a fun Monday Night game shootout to watch, and the best bet is probably the over, but give me the points.
The Pick: Eagles (-3.5) FINAL SCORE: Eagles 35 Saints 31