The picks are chipping away at the leader board after a horrendous start to the season much like Matthew Stafford is dinking and dunking his way to an MVP, I guess. The author of that article is right, negative connotations came up when I read the “dink-and-dunk” tweet that led me to that article and I grew even more upset by "The New Alex Smith" headline. I admit, I felt better after reading the article--and giggled a little, like a child, when I read, "Cooter's dink-and-dunk offense"--but Stafford's not a dink-and-dunk Alex Smith. No. Sure, you can’t argue with aDOT, but Alex Smith can't make the throws Stafford can make, like one to Anquan Boldin to win the game against the Redskins. It was neither a dink nor a dunk. It was a hand-seeking missile. Matthew Stafford’s our quarterback, not ‘new Alex Smith.’
Dink and dunk on these picks:
TITANS (-3.5) over Jags
I didn't watch this game, because it wasn't on Twitter, but reports were that the Jags looked a little better than a not-bad high school football team. The Jags lost 36-22 and that's with a couple late meaningless touchdowns. Shad Khan continues to be sad Khan (with an amazing mustache).
BENGALS (-3) over Redskins
After losing their four-game winning streak on the road to another member of the felidae family, the Redskins travel to London to take on the Bengals. These London games are brutal, so no telling how this one plays out, especially since these teams are pretty even on paper. It will come down to the Redskins not turning it over and converting their red zone opportunities. I'm going with the Bengals because I don't trust the Redskins to improve in those areas and the Bengals have not lost to the Redskins since 1991.
BILLS (+6.5) over Patriots
The Bills are big underdogs here because Tom Brady and the Bills haven't beaten the Pats at home since 2011 (1-4). But the Bills beat the Pats at Gillette this year 16-0! Sure, Tom Brady wasn't back yet, but that should stand for something. The Bills, believe it or not, have played the Pats relatively close in recent years (nevermind the 8-9 point average loss) and I think they might just get the rare sweep. Even if they do lose their second straight game against the better team, there's no shame in that if they can keep it within a touchdown.
BROWNS (+2.5) over Jets
The Jets got their seemingly miraculous win last week. If the Browns are going to win a game this season, this is the week as a home underdog while the Jets feel too good about their crappy selves. 56% of the money is on the Jets right now and that's another good sign for the 0-7 Browns.
COLTS (+2.5) over Chiefs
I was leaning Chiefs here and then I saw a stat: Andrew Luck is 9-0 against the spread as a home underdog. And since Luck is all the Colts have going for them, I'm going to go with that.
SAINTS (+3) over Seahawks
This spread is now a single point and it probably has to do with the Seahawks missing two big names on defense--Kam Chancellor and Michael Bennett. The Saints are 30-20 against the spread at home in the Drew Brees era. Brees is averaging over 400 yards per game this season and should be up to the home challenge against a generally great defense that has allowed the third most passing yards over the last three games.
Raiders (+1.5) over BUCCANEERS
The Raiders are now favorites in most books—and they should be favorites. They are a better team. The only thing that concerns me in this game is that the Raiders have been great on the road this year (4-0), but they made Florida their home this past week, training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida after their win against the Jaguars last week. Let's hope they're not feeling too much at home (1-2).
PANTHERS (-2.5) over Cardinals
A rematch of last year's NFC championship game doesn't look quite like people would have expected it to. The 1-5 Panthers are giving up more than 10 points per game than they were a year ago while also turning the ball over way too much (10 interceptions). The Cardinals are not scoring as much this year and are coming off a bizarre 6-6 tie last week. Carolina hasn't been great following a bye in recent years, but they'll be playing as desperate as possible at home in hopes to show they're not that far off from being that Super Bowl contending team.
Lions (+2.5) over TEXANS
For more on this week's Lions game, check out Pride of Detroit! I have no idea what to expect this week--new and improved Stafford-the-MVP Lions or S.O.L. I'm leaning new and improved, but, yeah, we've been disappointed before. The Texans are not good and should not be allowed to win this game...
BRONCOS (-4.5) over Chargers
It's rare for divisional foes to play each other twice in three weeks, which is what's happening with these two teams. The Chargers beat the Broncos on Oct. 13 in San Diego by eight, 21-13, so they're getting a lot of action off the heels of that and a come-from-behind OT win on the road against the Falcons, who beat the Broncos in Denver the week before the Chargers beat the Broncos. Follow that? Look, follow this: I think the Broncos are going to win by a touchdown or more.
FALCONS (-2.5) over Packers
Packers will be without Randall Cobb and just about everyone else that matters on their roster except Aaron Rodgers is questionable. The Falcons are looking to end a two-game skid this season and a four-game skid against the Packers, which includes that home embarrassment in the NFC championship six years ago. The Falcons get their revenge on Sunday.
Eagles (+4.5) over COWBOYS
The Cowboys have won five straight, but do the rookies who have carried them to such great new heights know how to handle a bye week? Eagles, led by a rookie quarterback themselves, are tough despite getting beat by the Lions and Redskins in back-to-back weeks—something that could destroy the football morale entirely. This is an even game on paper and the Eagles have taken three straight at Jerry World.
Vikings (-5.5) over BEARS
If this wasn't a divisional game on the road, I'd put my life savings on the Vikings covering this spread. Should also consider the fact the Vikings haven't covered a five-point spread in Illinois since 2000 and are 3-13 straight up in that time. Just trust me on this one...
Last week: 7-8
This season: 47-58