The Week 9 NFL picks went well, and resulted in the second big pay day of the season. The Texans didn’t quite get the two touchdown spread I set, but their 12 point win was good enough to cover most spreads. With that being said, Week 10 isn’t jumping off the schedule and screaming “Lock” like last week. I went with the Colts Thursday, and although, I like the Broncos, Giants, Cowboys and Falcons to all win, my road favorites all won last week and that well could go dry. However, there is always room for one road team to cover the spread.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings
The Lions have won 3 of 4 coming off their bye week, and their loss was to the powerhouse Bears on Monday Night Football in Week 7. They had every opportunity to win that game too. They have the offensive weapons to score a lot of points, and if you look at their schedule going forward, this becomes a must win game with Green Bay twice, Houston and Indy in their next 4. Matt Stafford is getting back to owning the air, and the Vikings have let Russell Wilson, Josh Freeman, and Robert Griffin III own them in the past month.
The Vikings come into the game with major injury concerns surrounding Percy Harvin, and losing 3 of their last 4. The Vikings beat the Niners and Lions in Weeks 3 and 4, and were riding high at 3-1, but their only victories since have been over Arizona and Tennessee. Christian Ponder has also struggled as the season has progressed and has thrown 8 interceptions in his last 5 games. Adrian Peterson looks as good as ever, but Harvin’s iffy health, in addition to the Vikings regressing defense, and Ponder’s slump all add up to the Vikings not being able to keep up with the Lions.
Going with the Lions in the 2nd meeting by 4.
New York Jets at Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks have beat the Cowboys, Packers, Patriots and Vikings at home, and despite the fact that the Jets are fresh off their bye week, they are not good enough to beat Seattle at home. The Jets have the 28th ranked defense against the run, and nobody runs harder than Marshawn Lynch, who has rushed for over 100 yards in 3 straight. Russell Wilson isn’t putting up the goody numbers like some of the other first year men behind center, but he is proving he can win football games, and make the plays when they count. The Seahawks are giving up the 3rd least points per game in the league and the 12th man at CenturyLink Field cannot be under estimated.
The Jets are an absolute mess, their offense lacks weapons and leaders, and their defense is far removed from the dominant group it has been in the past. Even when Darrelle Revis was healthy they weren’t any good. The last time the Jets went across the country they were pounded by the Niners to the tune of 34-0. Now it is tough to forecast that type of blowout, but certainly the losing trend should continue. The Seahawks have made themselves into winners and the Jets don’t have any playmakers on either side of the ball.
It’ll be a rainy day in Seattle tomorrow and not just for the Jets – Seahawks by a touchdown.
Oakland Raiders at Baltimore Ravens
The Raiders head into Baltimore to face the Ravens without their top options in the backfield, and a defense that is getting lit up on the scoreboard. Meanwhile, the Ravens are unbeaten at home, and sit at 6-2 overall on the season. The Raiders were huge in Week 3 when they upset the Steelers at home, but since then they have only beaten the lowly Jaguars and Chiefs. Baltimore has had their own struggles defensively, especially with Ray Lewis and Lardarius Webb down and out, but there are still enough playmakers and pride on the unit to count them out. Carson Palmer is going to have to air it out, and there will be a meatball, or two up there for Ed Reed before the game is over.
The Ravens need to force feed Ray Rice to ensure they can implement a little play action into their offensive arsenal, and ultimately expose the defense’s inadequacy deep to Torrey Smith and over the middle to Anquan Bolden. Joe Flacco doesn’t need to be the ‘Elite’ quarterback tomorrow, protecting the football and utilizing his weapons will suffice. He does need to get back to using his tight ends though, as Dickson and Pitta have been largely ignored in the offense of late. The problem I have with this matchup is not whether the Ravens are going to win, but if they can beat the Raiders by more than a touchdown.
Banking on a big Ray Rice afternoon and going to play it safe with the Ravens by 4.