Initially, we were thinking this might be kind of a down week for the Birds, coming off a solid win over San Francisco (27-13) and heading to Dallas next week. Then we watched some highlights of the Denver/Oakland game, where the Raiders pulled out a 20-19 win, and changed our mind. The Broncos looked horrible. And it's a long shot, but the No. 2 spot in the playoffs for the Green, along with a coveted bye, is still on the table. (How coveted? Under Reid the Birds are 14-0 in the game after a bye, including the postseason.) Speaking of bye weeks, Denver has been a totally different team after its bye this year. They hit the bye week at 6-0, straight up and against the spread, and then went into the proverbial toilet. The Broncs have dropped six of the last eight (SU and ATS), while the Eagles have covered four of the last five.
One loss and people are starting to write off New Orleans. Well, Double V ain't doing anything of the sort. I actually believe that the Saints will come out much stronger after losing to Dallas, 24-17, last Saturday. Tampa Bay can watch the tapes of that game all week long and still will not come within two dozen. Why? There's no DeMarcus Ware in a Buc uniform. We will admit that New Orleans has been coasting after beating New England, 38-17, and it's time to open back up and go full throttle. And very few teams can open it up like the Saints and Drew Brees, who sit at the top of the NFL offensive charts with 483 points. No one else even has 400 (the Birds are second at 399). Now let's take a look at some of the spread numbers. New Orleans has covered eight of the last 12 at home, while Tampa has covered only five of its last 16 overall. In their last home game, the Saints pitch & catch to an easy best-bet victory.
What a glorious mess for the wild card spots in the AFC. Eight teams are still in the hunt, and Miami is in the conversation. The Dolphins have really been a solid investment the last 2 months, covering six of the last eight. Houston has covered only one of its last five, and is gonna have trouble shutting down the wildcat now that Chad Henne is putting up some very sweet numbers from the QB slot.
This has nothing to do with the playoff picture, and everything to do with Mike Singletary. San Francisco plays every minute of every possession, and that's a reflection of the coach. So we're not worried about the Niners. Not with a perfect 5-0 record against Detroit the last five times out and a 5-1-1 spread mark against the Lions at home. And since Detroit is riding an 0-19 road losing streak, we're panning for gold with the 49ers.
Can Dallas keep the flow going? No problem. The Cowboys are in a struggle for one of the wild card spots, and will play ferocious, just like they did against the Saints. The Redskins appeared to have shut it down last week against the Giants, and there ain't gonna be any "win one for the Gipper" - or "Zorner" - because the players frankly do not care for the head coach. Plus the 'Skins have covered just three of the last 11 at home against the 'Boys.
Nothing wrong with the New York offense that has posted 114 points the last three times out. Now the Giants have to "D" up like they did last week at Washington, and this should be a breeze.
We understand that New England is looking to clinch the AFC East, and probably will, but covering an eight-point spot after covering just one of the last seven (14%) is just not in the cards.
Tennessee is on a 7-1 roll, and has covered five of the last eight with one push. We're buying.
Green Bay is looking to lock down a wild card-spot, and should meet very little resistance.
Oakland has covered three of the last four on the road, while Clevland has only one win in the last 11 at home.
Cincy was in shock last week, but this week, they'll shock KC and clinch the AFC North.
Atlanta has won 13 of the last 16 at home, and Buffalo is just 60 minutes away from becoming another victim.
Winning eight of the last nine at home against the Ravens is just the shot of confidence Pittsburgh needs.
With only one win in the last 11 on the road, St. Louis ain't gonna be celebrating.
I keep looking for a reason to play against Indy but can't find one.