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September 19, 2008
by Jeff Briggs
The surprising storyline in the NFL is just how many bad quarterbacks have assumed the starting role. Tyler Thigpen is in for the Chiefs. The Vikings have “upgraded” to Gus Frerotte. The Titans think their best option is Kerry Collins. Maybe some team should look into Shane Falco – I hear he now lives on a boat and earns a living scraping barnacles and other debris off the boats tied at the marina.
It seems as if Vegas has quickly realized that there are a lot of really bad teams this season, with eight spreads set at six points or higher this week. What that means for betting purposes is deciding just how awful some of these teams are (of, if you’re feeling lucky, teasers). Week 2 was an improvement, but still under .500 on the season.
Last Week: 8-6-1.
Lock of the Week: 2-0
Home team in CAPS.
Picks, after the jump.
FALCONS (-6.5) over Chiefs
How bad do you have to be to get 6.5 points against the Falcons? I never thought I’d actually pick Atlanta to cover this spread against anyone, but the Chiefs could be historically bad. This is one of the Week 3 match ups I am glad I don’t have to watch – Tyler Thigpen vs. Matt Ryan! There might be 10 turnovers.
BILLS (-10) over Raiders
Last week JaMarcus Russell and the Raiders mustered up 55 yards passing. I don’t think the Raiders have another 300 yard rushing game in store to save their anemic passing game, and in the process, head coach Lane Kiffin.
TITANS (-6) over Texans
The Texans are coming off a bye-week where instead of getting some time to relax, they had to worry about if their homes were destroyed by a hurricane. It wouldn’t surprise me if their heads were not completely in this game.
Bengals (+13.5) over GIANTS
The Bengals can’t be as bad as they seemed the first two weeks, can they? They have to find their passing offense at some point, right? My fantasy team isn’t doomed for the season, is it? I expect the Giants to win, but this spread is insanely high.
REDSKINS (-3) over Cardinals
If it results in wins, maybe Chris Cooley should put pictures of his male genitalia on his blog before every game.
Dolphins (+13) over PATRIOTS
I find it somewhat ridiculous to make the Patriots a 13-point favorite when they are only averaging 18 points a game this season. Yes, the Dolphins are awful, but these are no longer the Patriots that crush opponents, these are the Patriots that simply “find a way to win” the boring, close games.
On another note, Joey Porter: you need to stop talking trash. Your team is deplorably bad; you aren’t allowed to say anything to anyone until your team gets a win. Also, telling Bill Belichick anything about your game plan is stupid. In conclusion, Joey Porter, you are an idiot (or perhaps legitimately insane).
BEARS (-3.5) over Buccaneers
There are so many quarterbacks that I have absolutely no faith in this year. Two of them are prominently featured in this game.
Panthers (+3.5) over VIKINGS
Two players will be making their season debuts this week: Steve Smith and Gus Frerotte. One of them punches people in the face; the other rams his own head into walls. I’m taking the face-puncher as my LOCK OF THE WEEK.
Rams (+9.5) over SEAHAWKS
Yes, the Rams have played the worst of any team in the league so far. But the Seahawks are out their starting six receivers and are now relying on a reformed alcoholic to be their number-one guy. At this rate, they might try to bring back Steve Largent to play WR next week.
49ERS (-4) over Lions
Both teams have elected to leave their defense at home.
BRONCOS (-6.5) over Saints
This spread is too high, and the Broncos should have karma working against them this week. Yet, Wilford Brimley and the rest of the Jay Cutler Diabetes Fan Club are going to enjoy watching their boy continue his hot start against a weak Saints pass-D.
Steelers (+3.5) over EAGLES
I know the Eagles are at home and looked impressive in their loss to the Cowboys Monday night, but the Steelers are the class of the AFC at this point. This game could go either way, and it should be close, so I’ll take the underdog.
Jaguars (+5.5) over Colts
Both teams have big injury problems on the O-line, and now the Colts are missing safety Bob Sanders. This game will likely be slow and low scoring, something Colts fans may need to start getting used to. They can call Baltimore fans advice.
Browns (+2) over RAVENS
Joe Flacco can’t possibly start 2-0. It's not allowed. On the other side, if Derek Anderson wants to keep his job he needs to show some signs of life. Unexciting football is set to continue in the Charm City.
PACKERS (+4) over Cowboys
The Cowboys are facing a Monday night let down and are suffering from a lot of minor injuries, which will add up. Dallas is likely the best team in the NFC, and if they win this game, they might run away with home-field advantage.
CHARGERS (-9) over Jets
Tony Kornheiser has spent all week figuring out how many different ways he can talk about Brett Favre during the game.