Crystal Ball

By DonCanabis/D'BOYZ

Well… I did better against the line this past week… I almost got right 6 out of 8 in the morning games but Minnesota decided to let Baltimore get back in the game. The late games, well… that was a whole different story. We had another week of huge upsets… This season it’s getting too weird!

We had 6 upsets where the underdog won the game and 9 lines upsets where the underdog either won the game or lost by a smaller margin. That’s 65% of games won by the underdogs… huge in the NFL.

Time too change strategies once again!

Quick Hits

•This year we are seeing good teams with lots of wholes, like Baltimore’s and New York’s defense specially their secondary. It used to be that teams took almost 10 games to find out their adversaries weaknesses and that’s why we were used to see hot teams in September fade away in November and December, but we’re only in October and some teams that started hot can’t seem to find their way back up!

•I have never seen a season with so many bad teams. Some bad teams won last week but who really believes any of the following teams have a real shot to make it to the playoffs even if we’re only 6 games into the season: Kansas City, Oakland, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Detroit, Washington, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Cleveland and Tennessee. That’s 10 teams with only 5 to 6 games in the season that are already playing for next year.

•Now it makes sense why Coach McDaniel’s listened to the Cutler trade talks when teams brought it up. Yes, the kid has a great arm and can give you great games but most of the time he’s a time bomb; too many dumb interceptions that cost his team the victory. It was painful to watch that Sunday’s night game I felt that every time they got near the red zone he would do something stupid.

•Can somebody explain me how and why a team like the Eagles can lose to Oakland? And, why Andy Reid facing the one of the worst defenses against the run decides not to use it?

•Could M. Vick be a bigger non factor in the game? Talk about an offseason buzz that was not even worth the paper it was printed! And what about Favre: How good has he been and who expected that after coming back during the preseason?

On to the games

Green Bay at Cleveland 7.5 Ovr/Und 42

Green Bay hasn’t been as good as I expected this season, their running game and Oline are their biggest problems but one thing is clear, they have been able to soundly beat teams they’re supposed to beat so take the Packers in this one. Plus, half of the Cleveland team is ill.

Straight: GB
Spread:J GB
Ovr/Und: Und

San Diego at Kansas City 4.5 Ovr/Und 44

In any other season, I would pick San Diego blindfolded but this year, with so many upsets each week and San Diego’s talent playing so bad I have to go with the upset in this one.

Straight: KC
Spread: KC
Ovr/Und: Und

Indianapolis at St. Louis 13 Ovr/Und 46

Peyton has had two weeks to prepare for this team and they get Bob Sanders back for the first time sorry but I smell blood!

Straight: Ind
Spread: Ind
Ovr/Und: Ovr

New England at Tampa Bay 14.5 Ovr/Und 45

New England just beat a 0-5 team 59-0 in the snow sure 2 of their RB’s are out but do they really need to run against that secondary? Lord, have mercy… but not too much!

Straight: NE
Spread: NE
Ovr/Und: Ovr

Minnesota at Pittsburgh -4 Ovr/Und 45.5

Pittsburg has the kind of team that can bring trouble to Minnesota but if the Steelers keep their trend and keep them in the game in the 4th qtr this game can turn on them faster than a Mexican Burrito! Min has done a good job of keeping Favre clean and keeping him away of difficult situations; it will be interesting to see if he can respond to this new challenge.

Straight: Pit
Spread: Min
Ovr/Und: Und

San Francisco at Houston -3 Ovr/Und 44

Teams coming from a bye are 6-2 this season; it’s a clear advantage being able to prepare for 2 weeks. I really liked how Houston dismantled Cin defense last week and if they can do the same to SF they can take this game. San Francisco went to the bye with a lot of questions specially the speed of the secondary. Who knows… the return of Gore could bring a spark to this offense.

Straight: Hou
Spread: Hou
Ovr/Und: Und

Buffalo at Carolina -6.5 Ovr/Und 40

Carolina found their running game these past weeks and should put it at work this week too. Buffalo defense gave their team a chance last week and if they could make Mark Sanchez throw 5 int, imagine Jake Delhome? On the other hand, Edwards won’t play but it’s not like he has brought anything to the offense. This game will come down too if buffalo can stop Carolina run game and provoke Jake to make some mistakes!


New York Jets at Oakland 6 Ovr/Und 35

Redemption week for Mark Sanchez?… Who believes the Raiders can win two hard games in a row? Any one?... Scratch that! – In fact, who here believes that the Raiders can win two games in a row point blank? Guess, I don’t have any takers.

Straight: NYJ
Spread: NYJ
Ovr/Und: Ovr

Chicago at Cincinnati -1.5 Ovr/Und 42

I don’t feel comfortable with either team, but I believe three things will factor in to this game. 1) Cedric Benson’s motivation: we can pretend this is a business and there’s no loyalty to a team but we all know that when a player faces he’s old team they want to show the mistake they made, especially if there’s some bad blood; 2) Chicago LB’s condition: do they have any healthy ones left? That middle of the field is going to be attacked all day; and 3) Cincinnati’s secondary against Chicago’s WR: I just feel there’s a huge advantage in this area with the home team. Too bad the Bengals lost their best passrusher for the year.

Spread: Cin
Ovr/Und: Ovr

Atlanta at Dallas -4 Ovr/Und 47

Can’t believe Dallas is the favorite in this game… I’m torn by this game! My head tells me that teams coming from the bye especially at home are more likely to win their games, but I keep in mind all the upsets of these past weeks and Atlanta surely has the team to beat Dallas! The Cowboys can win this game but as of right now they haven’t beat any real contender so… I have to go with the upset.

Straight: Atl
Spread: Atl
Ovr/Und: Ovr

New Orleans at Miami 6.5 Ovr/Und 47

Many experts predict this game as an upset. They believe the wildcat can bring some trouble to the Saints defense because they see it like the NYJ game. I see it more like the Indianapolis’ game.

Straight: NO
Spread: NO
Ovr/Und: Ovr

Arizona at New York Giants -7 Ovr/Und 46.5

Arizona comes from a long trip win to Seattle… Can they take another long trip to the East and beat the Giants? Arizona has the means to hurt that secondary like New Orleans did last week although they might be without one of their best wideouts. After New York’s defeat, New Orleans might be scratching their heads; I’m sure some changes were made...

Straight: NYG
Spread: NYG
Ovr/Und: Ovr

Philadelphia at Washington : -7 Ovr/Und 37.5

Philadelphia will come out guns blazing after not giving Oakland enough respect last week; they should control and dominate a completely unfocussed Redskin’s team. What this front office is doing to this team it’s almost like Al Davis: they think they can patch things up and win championships! Zorn’s misery ends this week, sadly the fans’ misery will continue until the end of the season.

Straight: Phi
Spread: Phi
Ovr/Und: Ovr

The Not so Hot Picks (15-23) 40%

Philadelphia (league)
Green Bay (league)
Indianapolis (league)
Kansas City