Week 6 of the NFL season and Boy Genius and I are back again for our 4th week of picks. It's been, um, marginal at best so far. After three weeks, I'm a stellar 22-20-2 and BG is right behind me at 20-22-2. We should be better than this. The worst thing is that even if you were betting against us, you'd still be right around .500.
This week, we decided to get a jump start on the picks so that you can fully absorb them in time to make your bets. If you were to engage in that kind of illegal activity. So, without further ado, the CJ-BG football pick chat:
Buf at Det +1.5
CJ: Okay, welcome back sports gamblers. According to the U.S. Government, we are encouraging you to break the law. But since no one is crazy enough to bet our picks, I think we're fine. Let's get started, Buffao at Detroit, and the Lions are getting a point and a half. Thoughts?
Boy Genius: Hey, we get to lead off with my Lions. Faaaaaan-tastic. I thank insert-deity-of-your-choice here every day that I no longer live in Michigan and don't get weekly NFC North abominations piped into my my home. So the line opened at Lions GIVING one, now they're GETTING one. This Lions team isn't as bad as the Raiders, so even though they're currently winless I'm going to chalk them up for five wins through the rest of their schedule. That starts today. Kitna manages to look efficient, the defense gets a couple of Losman gimmies, and every snowed-in viewer in the greater Buffalo, NY area switches to their Fox affiliate by 330PM. Lions 24 - Bills 17.
CJ: I don't know what to think about Buffalo. I cerrtainly didn't expect then to give up 40 points to the Bears last week. Now they go into Detroit against a winless Lions team. I'm surprised by the volatility of this line as well. I'm also clueless here, but knowing your history on picks, guess that means I should take Buffalo to cover, 20-17.
Car at Bal -3
Boy Genius: Oh, that hurts CJ... That hurts. I'm going to forget you said that and move on to the Wooden Cigar Store Indian line of the week, dedicated to the one the Vegas boys got right from the jump. Baltimore's giving 3 to Carolina in Baltimore, and that one hasn't budged all week. Carolina has yet to find their rhythm and Baltimore got theirs derailed last Monday in Denver. Something's got to give. I think both teams can get after their opponent's QBs, and I think this is going to come down to one of these two teams making one big play each on offense and defense. Frankly, the defensive play could come from either team, but who on the Ravens is going 70 yards for a TD? I'm hesitant to pick a road dog after the couple of bad weeks I've put up here, but Carolina's a more complete team. Panthers 17 - Ravens 13. Panthers cover.
CJ: I've got a similar read on this game. There's been a lot of talk of what Steve McNair has been able to do for the Ravens, but, in reality, he hasn't been very good. He plays the safe QB role very well, but that's not going to win games against good teams (i.e. Denver) unless the Baltimore D scores, too. They won't this week, and the Panthers win 16-10.
Cin at TB +4.5
Boy Genius: We both look into the crystal ball and come up with a slugfest, which means all of you (two or three people - BOB AND DRIZZ) should be playing the OVER. Let's assume we're wrong on that one and move on to Cincy and Tampa. Hasn't this line been all over the place this week? Tampa was giving anywhere from 4.5 to 6.5 to the visiting Bengals, and as of right now you can get either 4.5 or 5.5 depending on where you want to spend your fictional gaming dollar-like credits. Whether you want to play the line at 4.5 or 5.5 take the Bengals. They're rested, they've done a good job of dealing with distractions, and they're capable of getting three picks off the young MAC QB Tampa's trotting out this week. Cincy's just got too many weapons, even for a quality defense like Tampa's to shut down. WHO DEY? 33 - Ball State 17.
CJ: I thought when this line moved from 6.5 to 4.5 that someone was shaving points. There's no reason for the line to move in Tampa's favor. I loved it at 6.5 and love it even more at 4.5. The Bucs haven't been very good this year and their close game against the Saints doesn't mean they're coming around. We'll soon learn that the Saints aren't as good as we think. And that means the Bucs aren't within a TD of the Bengals on any field. Cincy 30-Tampa 12.
Boy Genius: Hmm... I'm giving the Great Gradkowski credit for at least five more points, but we all know how good at this I've been so far, right?
Hou at Dal -13
CJ: You and me both! And I don't know if things will turn around this week. For instance, an easy bet each week should be someone to cover against the Texans. This week it's the Cowboys giving 13. Something tells me the Texans beat that spread. Carr is completing more than 70% of his passes and the Eagles showed how vulnerable the Dallas DB's are. Plus, if the Texans watched the tape, they know up the middle pressure could slow the Cowboys offense. Cowboys win 24-14, but don't cover.
Boy Genius: Shouldn't this be a rivalry game? They're in the same state and all, who do we have to talk to in order to get people to get fired up here? How about TO's position coach? Bet he's fired up. Here's the deal on this one... Houston's offense can keep them closer than 13, and I don't have faith that Bledsoe can find that kick in the stretch to pull away Secretariat-style. Julius Jones might be the biggest no-brainer fantasy football play of the week - and I think he'll get his 150 and 2 - but Bledsoe's predilection for back-breaking fumbles, sacks and INTs aren't going to cost a win, but should cost a cover. Dallas 31 - Houston 20. Line's just too damn wide.
NYG at Atl -3
Boy Genius: Since we're nearing in on your boys, and I know how excited you are to go to N'awlins to see them, I'll intro the next tilt. You know, I actually have NYC Fox to go with Philly's affiliate here, which means I get this game along with the Eagles/Saints tilt we'll talk about in a minute. This is the first time all season I'm going to have a difficult time figuring out what game to watch. It's not that the NFC East is growing on me, just that between Vick and Reggie Bush, I've got potential for some significant excitement in the 1PM hour. Atlanta's a three point favorite at home to New York, and I think that's about right. The Falcons have been nigh unstoppable on the ground, which means that Mikey doesn't have to worry about his semi-worthless WR corps making a play in a key situation. They've got plenty of second-and-shorts to look forward to. I think the strength of the Giants' D - their line - would seemingly be a neutralizing factor, but Vick is out of the pocket so quick that the Giants' stellar DEs are going to be in chase-mode all afternoon. Atlanta's D is also just good enough to not be a liability, and Abraham is scheduled to start. I like the Falcons - barely - 24-20.
CJ: As usual, for the Giants, the game will come down to what Eli Manning can do. Sometimes he looks like Peyton, other times he looks like Health Shuler. When get gets off to slow starts, the Giants become too one-dimensional and they can't effectively use all of their weapons. I think that happens again this week as Atlanta jumps out to an early lead. Should be a lot of points, but the Falcons cover, 30-24.
Phi at NO +3
CJ: Now on to the big game of the week!
Boy Genius: Oy
CJ: I'll be there, rooting on my Eagles. Their giving three points to the Saints in the Superdome. Everyone is saying this is a letdown game for Philly, but that just means they don't know Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb well. The Eagles are the better team, and Jim Johnson will devise a defense to control Reggie Bush. I don't think they'll have trouble covering. Eagles win 30-17.
Boy Genius: I'm sensing an uh-oh type of game for the juggernaut Eagles this week. New Orleans is playing confident, nearly possessed football, and I can't imagine any team wanting to walk into a Superdome filled with emotion this season. I've seen a couple of pundits picking the Saints outright here, but I don't know if I can go that far. But I don't think there's a person outside of the greater Philadelphia metropolitan area who's not rooting for a great, great game here (present company excluded). I think we get one here. Philly has a little letdown off a big emotional win against Dallas, and runs into a confident New Orleans squad. I'm thinking the Eagles win, but it's tight. Philly 28 - N'awlins 27.
Sea at StL +3
Boy Genius: I'm actually looking forward to the other marquee matchup in the NFC this week, which has got to be the most under-the-radar big game so far this season.
Boy Genius: Is Seattle capable of getting back to the big dance? Is St. Louis for real? No and yes. The Rams aren't just going to cover... they're going to win. Seattle's going to be geared up for this one, coming off that Bears embarrassment, but St. Louis is better than they've been the last couple of years - and they've played the Hawks tight year in and out. Bulger is efficient, Steven Jackson is leading the league in rushing, and Leonard Little will get keyed up and notch three sacks tomorrow. St. Louis all the way, winning this one 27-19.
Boy Genius: Oh, and the line is Seattle giving three as a road favorite. Whaddaya think?
CJ: It is an interesting line. Six of the 13 games feature home dogs this week, and two of those home dogs are 4-1 (Saints and Rams). Seattle is not as good a team as they were last year. That much is clear. I suppose it could be losing Hutchinson, I don't know. I do know that Shaun Alexander is out again and that's bad news for the Seahawks. Steven Jackson is healthy, and the dome isn't an easy place to play. I agree, Rams win outright 27-21.
Boy Genius: Whoo hoo! There's a dawg for you, now
go lay some money down at Bodog ignore this "spread" they keep talking about and root for your favorite teams, or just a gosh darn well-played game! Praise Jesus!
Ten at Was -10.5
CJ: Ha! That brings us to one of the least interesting games of the week. It's the last place Titans at the last place Redskins. The home team is giving 10.5 points. Can the Redskins really be favored by 10.5? Against anyone other than the Raiders. Last time I checked, the Titans actually put a scare in the Colts... and the Redskins aren't half the team the Colts are. I'm not ready to predict an upset (although the Titans have to win eventually), but the Skins won't cover, winning 17-13.
Boy Genius: Interesting? Yawn, booor-ring. Can we skip the aging and overrated Gibbsians versus the gawdawful shotgun attack of the Toothless Titans? No? Well, I'll make it quick then. I think Tennessee did the right things last week by sneaking Vince into the starting lineup as well as sticking with the shotgun. Indy wasn't prepared - but Washington will be. I smell a blowout here with a significant Vince regression paving the way. Skins 17 - Titans 6. Next.
KC at Pit -6.5
CJ: Next woudl be KC at Pittsburgh. Two teams moving in opposite directions.
Boy Genius: I'm really not sure what to make of this line. Hasn't Huard been playing efficient football? Can you say the same about Roethlisberger? LJ doesn't sit this week after nearly getting his head torn off by a Cardinals DB, but Pittsburgh guard Kendall Simmons leaves the icepack on five extra minutes and is scratched with frostbite? I'm sorry, motorcycle accident + appendix burst + icepack frostbite + Friday the 13th leads me to wonder.
Boy Genius: But the one thing I think about this game is that we're due for a "Dammit, we're the Champs" statement game from the Steelers, and I think that happens Sunday. Pittsburgh puts their foot down in a big way, 27-13.
CJ: Roethlisberger has zero TD's and 7 INT's this year. Hard to believe considering the two year run he's been on. Huard, on the other hand, has 5 TD's and zero INT's in his three starts so far. He's also completing nearly 20% more of his passes. I frankly won't trust picking the Steelers again until Roethlisberger proves he's ready to win, and 6.5 is definitely too many points. Chiefs win outright 24-13.
Mia at NYJ -2
Boy Genius: Wow, that's quite a limb there. I don't see KC having the stones to hang in a big game, but that's just me. Speaking of big games... Wait, how are the Jets favored against anyone but Tennessee, Oakland and maybe Detroit? I don't care if Miami is starting Joey (Fucking) Harrington, how do they give two to anyone?
CJ: Well, it probably has to do with the fact that they're playing a team that failed to get by the Texans. That says an awful lot about the Miami Dolphins. Culpepper was terrible, and Harrington isn't much better. That makes the talented Ronnie Brown a non-factor, and the Miami D can't win if it's on the field all day long. The Jets don't have much trouble here winning 20-3.
Boy Genius: To channel Joe Theismann, when you play a game in THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, sometimes it comes down to NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE players who can make NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE plays. And the Dolphins have more players who are NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAYERS. Jesus, these are the JETS we're talking about here. Can we keep our eyes on the ball? How in the hell are they giving points to the Dolphins, even at home? No. Freaking. Way. Dolphins win 20-17. I will not argue this.
SD at SF +9.5
CJ: Fine, I won't argue. I'm just content in knowing there's a lot of money to be won with the Jets now. How about San Diego at San Fran. Can we argue that?
Boy Genius: This line went from 7 to 9.5 this week, and I can't say that I blame bettors for jumping all over the Chargers on this one. Even though they're going on the road, they're well-equipped to neutralize Frank Gore and put the game in Alex Smith's hands. And we all know what that means, right? Should be a long day for Niners fans. I'm all about San Diego here, and feel good betting them at single digits on the line here. Chargers 31 - Niners 20.
CJ: Yeah, this should be one of the easy bets of the week. The opening line was a joke. If Alex Smith has to win the game, it'll get ugly real fast. The only weapon in the air anymore is Antonio Bryant, and he's one loose screw away from being a less-talented T.O. I love the Chargers here 31-14.
Boy Genius: Totally, they're going to harrass Smith into a couple picks, and I'd set the line of Niners overall versus only the scoring of the Charger D/Special Teams at Niners -7, so you know we're not looking at anything but a blowout here.
Oak at Den -14
Boy Genius: So here's a tidbit...
Boy Genius: I wasn't the first person to notice this, so I'm not trying to take credit for being clever, but how does a team averaging 12 points per game over their first four end up giving two touchdowns on the spread? Oh, when Oakland's involved, that's how. The one truth I have yet to see blow up in my face this season is that Oakland cannot cover any spread, no matter how unreasonable it sounds. Denver gets their offensive explosion this week, wins and covers - 15-0.
CJ: There's a good chance this week that more people watch women's bowling on ESPN 2 than watch Sunday Night Football, especially if the South American hottie wears something low cut. Is anyone really going to watch this game beginning to end? I refuse to pick the Raiders to beat a spread against anyone. It's just not going to happen. Denver 20-Oakland 3.
Chi at Ari +11
Boy Genius: There's a hot bowler? Really? So long as they don't call her "The Next Kournikova," I'll let it slide. So we're in agreement on Denver kicking the crap out of Oakland, how about Monday night's game to wrap it up?
CJ: When was the last time both Sunday night and Monday night football featured double-digit favorites? Not a good weekend for prime-time football. It's clear after 5 weeks that the Bears are THE GREATEST FOOTBALL TEAM OF ALL-TIME! I like where the Cardinals are going, and all, with the Leinart campaign, but the Bears defense will feast on the kid. Bears keep rolling 27-7.
Boy Genius: Boy, this game probably looked a lot better in network meetings in August than it does now, eh? If you had told me then that the Bears would give the Cards 11 in Tempe eight weeks ago, I'd have called you nuts. But now you've got Grossman on fire, an all-world D, and Matt Leinart. Shake well before opening, lather, rinse, repeat. I can't see the Cards keeping Alex Brown and Tommie Harris out of the backfield, I can't see Edge going for more than 50 yards on the ground, and I can't see Arizona hanging 17 points. Chicago moves another step towards immortality, 31-10.
Lock of the Week
Boy Genius: So who's your LOCK OF THE WEEK?
CJ: There's plenty to choose from this week, but I gotta look west and pick the San Diego Chargers to cover 9.5 in San Francisco.
Boy Genius: I'll look West, but climbing them Rockies gets a bettor tired. I'll settle with Denver over Oakland by 14, and keep riding the anti-Raider train until they prove me wrong.
CJ: Can't go wrong there! Of course, with us picking, you can go very wrong. I'd advise our millions of readers to find the games we picked the same, and bet against them.
Boy Genius: Absolutely... as always, fade me immediately.
Boy Genius: Oh, and good luck.