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Week Ten Picks

November 7th, 2013

For the first time in weeks, I’ve found a way to be wrong about everything in advance of the Thursday night game. How very exciting for everyone. Here’s what not to expect.

Washington (-2.5) at Minnesota
I can’t see anything that distinguishes one of these awful teams from the other in any meaningful way. So I’m taking the one that’s playing at home. I’m sure I’ll regret it (but not nearly so much as I’d regret actually tuning in to see for myself, which I promise you is not going to happen). Vikings by a field goal.

Jacksonville (+12) at Tennessee
Here’s my deep, thoughtful, well researched take on this game: The Jaguars stink like crazy. Titans by 20, minimum.

Philadelphia (+1) at Green Bay
I don’t care who their starting quarterback is, there’s no way the Packers are dropping a second straight home game. Certainly not to the uneven (I’m being really generous here) Eagles, who are playing their second straight on the road. Philly will keep it close, but Green Bay will find a way to come out on top, though I’m looking for a push with the point.

Buffalo (+3) at Pittsburgh
The Steelers this season may not be the Steelers we’ve come to expect, but they’re better than folks judging them on last weekend’s beatdown in Foxborough seem to think. If they can hold onto the ball for a change, they should be able to regain a bit of their lost pride with a narrow win over the Bills. This one, too, is push with the points.

Oakland (+7) at NY Giants
Note to Giants fans: When your team “rebounds” from an 0-6 start to land at 3-6 and your response is to thump your chests and start talking about the Super Bowl, do you know what you look like? Hint: They wear green and seriously believe this jackass was one of the all-time greats. Just, um, so you know. New Jersey edges out a four-point victory.

St. Louis (+9.5) at Indianapolis
It’s entirely possible that Chris Johnson will have another big day. And equally possible that it will actually matter less this week than it did last. Colts by two touchdowns.

Seattle (-6.5) at Atlanta
The Seahawks have spent the last two weeks chasing opportunities to lose to bad teams. It’s purely a hunch, but I think this week they find a way to make it happen. Falcons by a field goal.

Cincinnati (-1.5) at Baltimore
You know, there’s a part of me (I suspect it’s not a very smart part, which makes it kind of tough to pick out from the rest) that thinks the Ravens can win this game. They’re at home. They’re not that bad. And the Bengals are hurting. Of course, there’s another part of me that says it’s time for the Bengals to take control, and for the defending champs officially to join their usual rivals for the top spot in the NFC North, the Pittsburgh Steelers, in the battle for the divisional basement. I don’t know which part to listen to. I guess I’ll go with the part that likes the favorite (that’s supposed to be the “smart” part, as it were, anyhow). But I don’t feel good about it. Bengals by three.

Detroit (-1.5) at Chicago
The Bears are getting Jay Cutler back. That just about ought to do it. Chicago evens up the season series with Detroit and holds on to a piece of first place in the the NFC North with a six-point victory.

Carolina (+6) at San Francisco
The Panthers have had quite the little run over the past four weeks, beating up on the Vikings, Rams, Buccaneers and Falcons. Now, they return to NFL action. San Francisco by 10.

Houston (+3) at Arizona
I like Case Keenum enough that if this game were being played in Houston, I’d be sorely tempted to pick the Texans. But it isn’t. So the Cardinals win it by a touchdown.

Denver (-7) at San Diego
I’ve spent a good bit of time trying to convince myself that the Chargers could pull of an upset straight up. Didn’t take. If I were a betting man, I’d happily bet the over (58), because I don’t see either of these offenses having much trouble finding the end zone. But scoring a lot doesn’t always mean winning (just ask the Cowboys). This one’s another barn burner, and another Broncos win. And let’s figure they win it by three again, too.

Dallas (+6.5) at New Orleans
I’m gonna suggest betting the over in this one as well (line’s 54). Just a weird little hunch. Saints by 10.

Miami (-2.5) at Tampa Bay
The Buccaneers were going to have to win a game eventually. Because the Jaguars may not, and there can’t be two winless teams in one season. Might as well come here, against the imploding Dolphins. Tampa by a field goal.

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