Due to time constraints, I’ll be posting my picks for the early games separately from the rest of the week. If this is truly an issue, well, find a more professional site.
Any way, I’m going to have to start pretending every game is played on Thursday nights. If I can convince myself of this, it will drastically improve my win percentage. So, without further ado:
CINCINNATI (-4.5) over Miami
This is a tough game, but the Bengals’ offense has been nothing short of explosive. With the help of AJ Green, Andy Dalton seems to be more than the game manager he was for the better part of last year. The Dolphins run D has been the best in the league so far, but that shouldn’t matter too much; their pass D has been atrocious. Against a sharp Bengals passing attack, I have to imagine the Bengals put up 30+, which will be too much to allow the Phins to hang around. 10 point W for the Bengals.
Green Bay (-7.5) over INDIANAPOLIS
Aaron Rodgers and co. are still due for a major offensive outburst. The Colts D shouldn’t give them too many problems, and conversely, the Packers D should be able to create enough pressure to stay in Andrew Luck’s face for much of the day. Have to imagine the Pack come up hot and put up points today. The Colts are a team on the rise, but they haven’t risen enough to take down the Packers just yet.
Baltimore (-4.5) over KANSAS CITY
There’s no way around it; the Chiefs are just a bad football team. There are a lot of games the Chiefs can stay in because of the brilliance of their O-Line and Jamaal Charles, but this will not be one of them. The Ravens will stack the box, and trust their secondary to handle 1 on 1 matchups when they’re presented. Simply put, the Ravens are going to make Matt Cassel beat them, which is something I don’t believe he can do.
NEW YORK GIANTS (-9.5) over Cleveland
Yes, this is a typical stumble for the Giants. An emotional loss on the road against a division rival, coming home to play a game they SHOULD control throughout. I’m not the only one who’s said that this week. In fact, it’s been said so much, that even the Giants have commented on the measures they’re taking not to overlook their week opponents. I think Eli Manning, even without Hakeem Nicks and Ramses Barden, will still have a big afternoon against a putrid Browns secondary that is missing their best piece in Joe Haden.
Philadelphia (+3.5) over PITTSBURGH
This should be a defensive struggle throughout. Whoever wins the turnover battle will probably win the game. I like this to come down to a field goal. Not terribly confident in this pick, but I think the battle of Pennsylvania will be a hard fought, nail-biter.
Atlanta (-3.5) over WASHINGTON
One of, if not the toughest game of the week for me. I like RG3, Alfred Morris, and the rest of the Redskins young, fast offense. Their defense just does not strike me as tough enough to contain an Atlanta team that looks as strong as any team in the league. Bottom line, it’s hard to pick against Atlanta the way they’ve looked so far.