Shortened Spread ‘Em for Week 11
Posted by Andrew Zercie on November 22, 2009
It’s been a crazy week for me. The time needed to write 4,000 words a week on football didn’t exist, unfortunately. I hope to make it up in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, with the three games on Turkey Day.
After going 9-6 in week 10, I picked incorrectly on Thursday, as seen here:
On the season, including missing on Thursday, I’m 83-62 and looking ahead to the rest of the week 11 games. Without further ado…
Home teams in bold
Detroit (-3.5) over Cleveland
Before the Lions drafted Matthew Stafford, the idea of them being more competent on the field than another team was laughable. Now, here we are, half a year later, and the Cleveland Browns are clearly below the Lions. Anything can happen, of course, but the Lions should win.
Lions 27, Browns 13
Buffalo (+9) over Jacksonville
I know the Jaguars have been better lately, and they should be able to run all over the Bills in this game. I know the Bills fired their coach this week, and Trent Edwards is unlikely to play.
I also know the Jaguars aren’t 10 points better than Buffalo. David Garrard isn’t a great QB. Their defense is average at best. I’m not sold on the Jaguars as a legitimate AFC playoff contender. They’ll win this game, and they may dominate the statistics, but they won’t get the ball in the end zone enough to cover the spread.
Jaguars 24, Bills 17
Pittsburgh (-10) over Kansas City
It’s been said that payback is a bitch. So, after losing to Cincinnati, expect the Steelers to make the Chiefs their bitches this week.
Steelers 31, Chiefs 10
Indianapolis (+1) over Baltimore
The Ravens should be pumped up for this game, and they may have enough to win. In the NFL though, when close games are decided, they are usually decided by the quarterbacks. Peyton Manning is at the top of his game.
I’m starting to wonder if the Colts will lose at all this season.
Colts 31, Ravens 27
NY Giants (-6.5) over Atlanta
The Giants are coming off their bye week, amid a flurry of questions about their four-game losing streak, and they may be facing the perfect team to cure their ills.
Atlanta hasn’t played well on the road this season, Matt Ryan in particular. Michael Turner is doubtful for the game. The Giants want to silence the doubters. This game will quiet many of them.
Giants 27, Falcons 17
San Francisco (+6.5) over Green Bay
The Packers surprised me with their effort against the Cowboys last week, and they get another home game this week against a team they probably should beat.
While I believe the Packers will likely win, I’m taking the 49ers to cover. Their defense should keep this game close, and they have an improving offense.
Packers 21, 49ers 20
Minnesota (-11) over Seattle
The Seahawks have been dreadful on the road all season, and the Vikings have been perfect at home. Minnesota’s offense is more complete and they are facing a team that knows its season is over, for all intents and purposes.
Vikings 34, Seahawks 17
Dallas (-11) over Washington
Of all the double-digit spreads this week, this one was the toughest choice for me. However, the thought of Albert Haynesworth and Clinton Portis both sitting out for the Redskins makes Dallas the prohibitive favorite the spread makes them out to be.
Cowboys 31, Redskins 13
Tampa Bay (+11.5) over New Orleans
The Saints have been dangerously close to losing the last few weeks, and have survived thus far.
They’ll win this one too, mostly because they are much more talented than Tampa Bay is. Still, the Buccaneers have played with renewed purpose since Josh Freeman took over as the starting QB. I expect that to continue this week.
Saints 31, Buccaneers 21
St. Louis (+9) over Arizona
Yes, the Cardinals have played better in the last few weeks, but I smell a trap game here.
Stephen Jackson has been huge this season for the Rams, but his efforts have gone largely unnoticed because St. Louis is one of the worst teams in the league. Arizona’s run defense has been great all season long, but I’m betting the supremely talented Jackson has a big day, and the Cardinals leave us scratching our heads yet again.
Rams 24, Cardinals 21
New England (-10.5) over NY Jets
Whenever the Patriots have found themselves the subject of controversy during the Bill Belichick era, they’ve rallied around each other and gone out on the field and dominated the opposition in most cases.
Following the Pats’ loss to the Colts last week, expect the Jets to be on the wrong end of a blowout.
Patriots 31, Jets 14
Cincinnati (-9.5) over Oakland
Denver (+3) over San Diego
Chris Simms. Kyle Orton. Either way, Denver wins.
The one-dimensional San Diego offense can be shut down by the Broncos. Champ Bailey can handle Vincent Jackson. Denver’s linebacking corps can stick with Antonio Gates.
I have faith that whomever starts at QB for the Broncos will be prepared, and Denver will rely on the run regardless. I expect a close game won late by Denver.
Broncos 24, Chargers 20
Philadelphia (-3) over Chicago
The Bears need a big performance from Jay Cutler. Their running game hasn’t produced all season and their defense isn’t as good as it used to be.
If Cutler is a franchise QB, he needs to show it this week. He’s yet to prove it to this point. It would be surprising if he flipped a switch and showed it this week.
Eagles 27, Bears 17
Tennessee (+5) over Houston
Vince Young’s turnaround has been aided a great deal by Chris Johnson, and the Houston Texans do not have a strong run defense. Tennessee’s defense isn’t great either, so I anticipate a high-scoring game.
It should be entertaining football between two teams with similar personnel. With Tennessee having won three straight, and Young’s redemption story continuing in his home town, the Titans seem positioned to continue their winning streak.
Titans 34, Texans 31