Who's Fooling Who
The real problem with getting fooled by a team is that it can have a ripple effect. As a for instance, I give you the LSU game from yesterday. In my analysis of that game, I mentioned that it looked like the Tigers might have found their defense, but the point of reference there was their performance against Florida last week. The Gators seemed to be moving the ball well against LSU early on in that game, but the Tigers made what adjustments were necessary and totally shut things down. As we saw yesterday, maybe those adjustments weren't that great. Maybe all the LSU defense needed to do was play harder.
And so it goes. A bad day yesterday left me at only 3-4 (0-2 with college football, 2-2 in the NFL and 1-0 in the CFL). I hate giving any back, but I'm still in good shape for the month at 13-7 (6-4 with college football, 4-3 in the NFL, 2-0 with baseball and 1-0 in the CFL. Things can always be better though, so let's get to work now and see about getting things turned back around again.
THE NFL (7-8 last week and 22-22 so far for the month)
BUTTA (2-2 last week and 4-3 so far for the month)
1. Ravens (+2) at STEELERS - Okay, so what you're trying to tell me with this number is that the Steelers win last week, and the fact that they got a couple of turnovers, has completely turned this team around? Don't be fooled. I know this is a brutal rivalry, but the Steelers just aren't that good. They can't run the ball, and they're not real good at stopping the run either. I might, and that's a real slim "might", give you a wash between the QBs in this game, but Big Ben doesn't have the weapons that Flacco does. Ravens roll.
2. FALCONS (-270) over Bucs - Tampa is just a bad football team, and their minds aren't right either. The Falcons haven't been much better though. These divisional rivals always seem to play it tight though, so I can't lay (-6) with Atlanta, but I think coming off the bye week and playing at home will help the Falcons for at least one game.
ALL THE REST
1. LIONS (-2) over Bengals - All my models are showing the Lions winning this game, so I'll go with that. But I'm definitely not all in with it.
2. CHIEFS (-7) over Texans - Watching the Chiefs offense can be a lot like watching soccer. It's as exciting as watching paint dry. So, I can't lay a full TD with them, but the one thing that's really tempting me about this game is how Coach Kubiak completely passes on starting Yates at QB in favor of a rookie who should be spending the season holding the clipboard. Yates has started in this league, and he even won a playoff game for the Texans a couple of years back. Is Kubiak signalling that he's tired of his job in Houston and doesn't want it anymore?
3. DOLPHINS (-7) over Bills - This one was real hard to pass on. The Fins are coming off their bye with a home game, and the Bills are off a tough OT loss last week in a game they were in control of till they broke down late.
4. Patriots (-4) over JETS - When the Pats win a game like they did last week in the final seconds, it's kind of a ho-hum thing. In other words, there won't be any hangover from it. The Jets are the yo-yo team this year. They win one. They lose one. Rinse and repeat. As such, it's the Jets turn to win one. I can't go against a Brady vs. rookie QB matchup though.
5. Cowboys (+3) at EAGLES - There's plenty wrong with both of these teams, but my numbers and a gut feeling tells me the Cowboys get over in this one.
6. Bears (-1) over REDSKINS - The Redskins did a lot of things right on offense last week against the Cowboys. They just forgot to finish and score points. The Bears aren't necessarily money when they hit the road, but I think they've got enough on offense to win this game.
7. PANTHERS (-7) over Rams - The Rams had it way too easy last week with the Texans. That usually comes back to bite teams that aren't very good, especially in a 2nd straight road game. But I can't throw down with the Panthers at this price either. They had it way too easy last week also, and Cam Newton has found it difficult in his young career to string together really good performances.
8. Chargers (-7 1/2) over JAGUARS - The Jags haven't given up. They just aren't very good. I'm not real sure how good the Bolts are though. They looked terrific on Monday against the Colts, but the danger with this team over the last few years has been relying too much on what their most recent performance was as an indicator of what to expect.
9. 49ers (-3) over TITANS - Tennessee is most successful when they muck a game up and make it ugly. That plays right into the Niners hands though. San Fran is a team that loves to get in the dirt and slug it out.
10. PACKERS (-9 1/2) over Browns - There's something about the Pack at Lambeau. As a rule, they destroy teams on the frozen tundra whether it's actually frozen or not.
11. Broncos (-7) over COLTS - Is there any doubt that Peyton will prove that you can go home again by torching the Colts tonight? There really isn't in my mind, and I haven't decided yet, but I just might be at the window on this one before all is said and done.
TOTALS (4-6 last week and 14-10 so far for the month)
OVERS - 49ers/TITANS (41 1/2) and Ravens/STEELERS (41)
UNDERS - Patriots/JETS (44), Cowboys/EAGLES (56) and Browns/PACKERS (45 1/2)
Another full day, boys and girls! Have a grand and glorious Sunday. Be careful out there, and I'll see you tomorrow.