By Brian Spencer
How We Did Last Week: Rough week at 3-4. Not a total disaster, but the problem is that we got our bottom three picks correct and top four incorrect, which hurts us in our weekly pool (first pick counts for 7 points, second pick for 6 points, and so on).
We’re running a bit behind schedule this week–and I’m flying out to Bangkok tomorrow–so we’re giving you the quick-and-dirty version of this week’s picks. Choose, but choose wisely, my degenerate friends: we’re in the final month of regular-season betting, so make it count.
San Francisco 49ers (-3.5) at Arizona Cardinals: The last three previews I’ve read for this game either predict the Cards to win outright or to cover. I can see where that line of thinking comes from: the 49ers field a somewhat stale offense, the Cards are actually somehow on a mini-roll and at home, and most of the Arizona’s losses have been close ones. Honestly, we’re a bit nervous about this one, but in the end, we feel more comfortable betting on the more talented team. 49ers will find a way to cover this one, but it’ll be close.
PICK: 49ers Cover
New Orleans Saints (-3.5) at Tennessee Titans: This one screams “trap game” and “trap spread”, and I’m loathe betting for or against either one of these teams since they always seem to fuck us one way or the other. The Saints are one of the hottest (and best) teams in the NFL right now, while the Titans are solidly in middle-of-the-pack territory. Again, hesitant to take what looks like a slam dunk double-digit win for the Saints on paper, but, well, we’re taking ’em anyway. PICK: Saints Cover
New England Patriots (-7.5) at Washington Redskins: Last week the Pats were 21.5 point favorites at home against the winless Indianapolis Colts. Final score: Patriots 31, Colts 24. That’s one truly horrendous pass defense in New England, but we see at least a 10-point win here. PICK: Patriots Cover
Just Trust Us
Seattle Seahawks (-6.5) vs. St. Louis Rams: With A.J. Feeley and Sam Bradford both highly questionable at best to be under center on Sunday, the Rams will likely trot Tom Brandstater out as their starting quarterback on the road in one of the toughest environments in the NFL. Those will be the first snaps of his career; if he falters, recently signed Kellen Clemens would be the next in line. Uh, yeah. PICK: Seahawks Cover
Atlanta Falcons (-2.5) at Carolina Panthers: Another potential trap game, and we think the Panthers offense are going to hang some points on the board here, but it’s that Panthers defense that’s the problem: they can’t stop anybody right now. Atlanta needs this one.
PICK: Falcons Cover
Denver Broncos (-3.5) vs. Chicago Bears:Overheard in the Lord’s Favorite Watering Hole in South Heaven: “What time is it? Tebow time!” PICK: Broncos Cover
Houston Texans (+3.5) at Cincinnati Bengals: The Texans seem to have team-wide faith in rookie QB T.J. Yates, and why not? He’s obviously a work in progress, but hasn’t been the season-killer some may have thought he’d be after Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart both suffered season-ending injuries. The Texans ride Arian Foster, Ben Tate, and one of the league’s best and most underrated defenses to a road win over the reeling Bengals.
PICK: Texans Cover
San Francisco 49ers Photo Credit: Icon SMI