WEEK 10 REPORT:
WINNERS: 8-6 (.571); SEASON: 92-52 (.639)
ATS: 10-4 (.714); SEASON: 75-69 (.521)
ATS BEST BETS: NA; SEASON: 14-15 (.521)
Things balance out in life and in football.Two weeks ago my ATS picks went 4-10. Last week? They went 10-4. That was enough to put me back in the profitable range, though not by much.
Confident (Week 10: 1-2 winners, .333; 0-3 ATS, .000. Season: 37-12 winners, .755; 25-24 ATS, .510)
Carolina at (-9.5) Green Bay (early): Carolina plays better on the road, but better is relative. I'm not sold on the Packers as a great team, but they're a far-sight better than the woeful Panthers. ATS: Packers to win by 10 or more. OUTCOME: Right on both.
Kansas City at (-14.5) Indianapolis (early): The Chiefs are down a quarterback and their star runner, and that should be enough to help the banged-up and demoralized Colts bounce back from that ridiculous performance against the Chargers. ATS: Two touchdowns is an awful lot. Chiefs cover. OUTCOME: Right on both.
Pittsburgh at (+9.5) N.Y. Jets (late): The Jets are starting over. The Steelers are bucking for another championship. And yes, they've surpassed the banged-up Colts as the second best team in the league. ATS: I'll give 10 and take the Steelers. OUTCOME: Wrong on both.
New England at (+16) Buffalo (SNF): I'm still calling for the Patriots to go undefeated, and there isn't nearly enough talent for the Bills to make this interesting for long. ATS: Patriots have failed to beat the spread just once all year and they're winning by an average of about 25 ppg. OUTCOME: Right on both.
Not Betting the Farm (Week 10: 2-1 winners, .667; 3-0 ATS, 1.000. Season: 21-14 winners, .600; 18-17 ATS, .514)
Miami at (-9.5) Philadelphia (early): I called on the Eagles to fail last week after they essentially folded their tents the week before at Dallas. Instead they survived a tough game against the Redskins and now get to host the winless Dolphins and the first start for the Fins' rookie QB. I think the Eagles take this one, but they're still the Eagles, and the Dolphins played like they meant to win last week. ATS: It's going to depend on Beck, the rookie QB, and I don't want to bet on a rookie QB against a pressure defense. Eagles. OUTCOME: Right on both.
Tampa Bay at (+3) Atlanta (early): I've been a Bucs backer since September, and despite being the best team in the NFC South, they've struggled to clinch winnable games. This one is winnable, although the Falcons are at home with a two-game winning streak. That's enough to give me pause, but not enough pause to pick them over the Bucs. ATS: The Bucs will win by a touchdown. OUTCOME: Right on both.
Washington at (-11) Dallas (late): If you're just looking at the teams, the talent and the records, you pick the Cowboys and you don't worry about it. But this is still a rivalry game, and the Cowboys and Redskins have tended to make this series interesting. A loss would drop the Skins to .500 and keep them at least a game behind the Eagles. Desperate? Not yet. But getting close. ATS: Redskins make this interesting. OUTCOME: Right on both.
Just Guessing (Week 10: 5-3 winners, .625; 7-1 ATS, .875. Season: 34-27 winners, .557; 30-31 ATS, .434)
Cleveland at (+2.5) Baltimore (early): The Ravens, as predicted this summer, are showing their age, while the Brownies are shooting for a playoff berth. Thing is, this game hinges on too many variables, starting with the effect of Kyle Boller spending a week preparing to be the starter, and including (but not limited to) Romeo Crennell's sudden tendency to hop on the short bus in the 4th quarter. Plus it's the Ravens at home. This is close, but I'm taking the Ravens. ATS: I'll take the Browns to make this very, very close. OUTCOME: I totally, UTTERLY screwed the pooch on this one, misreading the line in making my ATS pick. Bottom line, though? Wrong on winner, right on spread.
New Orleans at (-1) Houston (early): The headline here is the expected return of the Schaub-Johnson hookup, but pay attention to Reggie Bush's status. He's groggy from a mild concussion (trust me: that's a contradiction in terms). I think the Texans can take this one, and they're at home. ATS: That means I'm taking the Texans against the spread, too. OUTCOME: Right on both.
N.Y. Giants at (+3) Detroit (early): I lack faith in both of these teams, and the Lions are really playing strange football at the moment. As for the Giants, it seems everyone is now expecting them to repeat last year's swoon after their loss to the Cowboys last week. So who shows up? Damned if I know. Something tells me Lions, so I'll go with that. ATS: So I've the Lions as upset winners. OUTCOME: Wrong on both.
Oakland at (-4.5) Minnesota (early): More competing failures. How bad is the Raider secondary? It let Rex Grossman lead a 4th quarter comeback. How bad is the Vikings passing game? Starter Tarvaris Jackson returns to the lineup with his 50.6 passer rating, and that hurts their chances of winning. Go down the list: The Raiders lack receivers and players who cover receivers. The Vikings have lost their one offensive weapon (Adrian Peterson) and couldn't throw the ball right now if their lives depended on it. The wild card? Daunte Culpepper. The former Viking has been tabbed as the starter again, and now he returns to the stadium where he played his first seven seasons. Iif he gets any of the charge he got out of returning to Miami, he'll be very "up" for this game, but it's worth noting that he didn't play particularly well against the Dolphins, even though he ran for and threw for a bunch of touchdowns. My guess is that Chester Taylor will have his best game of the season and the Vikings will win. ATS. But it's close. Raiders. OUTCOME: Right on winner, wrong on spread.
San Diego at (-3) Jacksonville (early): Philip Rivers is having a Rex Grossman kind of year. He looks confused and frazzled. I'm taking the Jaguars. ATS: Apparently Vegas is taking them too. Let's go Chargers as the spread pick. OUTCOME: Right on winner, wrong on spread.
Arizona at (-3) Cincinnati (early): If the Bengals could just play the Ravens every week, they'd be fine. But what about these Cardinals, who are playing better ball of late? Well, I don't think they'll get it done in The Jungle -- Bengals to win. ATS: Cardinals to play it close. OUTCOME: Wrong on winner, right on spread.
Chicago at (-5.5) Seattle (late): This one hurts, because I'm a Bears fan, but if you watched Rex Grossman's histrionics after getting back on the field last week you'll know what I'm talking about. He fumbled his first snap, struggled to complete more than half his passes, and needed a big bomb to sneak the Bears past a depleted Raiders unit. This week he gets the suddenly hot Seahawks and their discombobulating 12th man. Granted, Grossman is a talent with the ability to heat up in a hurry, but his mental damage is such that he can go from heat-up to meltdown in less than a quarter. I see the Seahawks here, winning at home, but the QB wild card makes this a guess. ATS: God, I hope I'm wrong: Seahawks. OUTCOME: Right on both.
St. Louis at (+3) San Francisco (late): Man, is this a shitty division or what? I'm taking the Rams, despite their lack of an offensive line, because they've got adult leadership at the skill positions. Alex Smith, Frank Gore and Vernon Davis all look lost in a fog. ATS: Turns out Trent Dilfer is starting. Uh-oh. Rams. OUTCOME: Right on both.
Tennessee at (-2.5) Denver (MNF): I was shocked to see the Titans lose like that to the Jaguars last week, and this week they draw Mile High. Tough play? Well, maybe not. Denver gives up rushing yardage in chunks, and a guy like Lendale White could benefit from that in the right winter. Titans. ATS: Denver is the favorite? Not in my book. Titans. OUTCOME: Wrong on both.
BEST BETS: Seahawks, Bucs, Steelers. Packers. OUTCOME: 3-1.