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Pudge’s Picks – Week 10

ICON SMI

Not sure Roddy White will make a difference this week for Falcons

I’m picking a number of under dogs this week to cover. Seven in total. Part of it is due to the fact that I like the match ups. The other part is that I have been so bad at picking games this year, what do I really have to lose?

Seattle Seahawks (8-1) at Atlanta Falcons (2-6)
Sunday, November 10 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Falcons (+6.5)

This is going to be an interesting game as the Falcons will be getting Roddy White back and thus we should see a shot in the arm for the passing attack. But the problem for the Falcons is that White will be facing his old nemesis in Richard Sherman for a majority of the game. And while White did score a touchdown against Sherman in last year’s playoffs, it really was thanks to a bad play by the safety, not Sherman. And that was when White was closer to 100-percent, which won’t be the case this weekend. So while White should provide a boost, I don’t think it’s going to be enough to get the Falcons to win this game, not unless their defensive line can step up and take advantage of all the injuries the Seahawks have on their offensive line. And considering the Falcons didn’t do much against Arizona and their terrible offensive line, I don’t have a lot of hope.

Spread Pick: Seahawks
Straight Pick: Seahawks

Buffalo Bills (3-6) at Pittsburgh Steelers (2-6)
Sunday, November 10 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Steelers (-3.5)

E.J. Manuel is returning to the lineup this week, but I’m not sure the Steelers defense is who you want to face in a game where you’re trying to shake off some rust after missing a month. The key for Buffalo, like it was last week, is establishing the run and letting C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson carry the offense. They will have that chance going up against the one of the league’s worst run defenses. And with both Steelers starting tackles being fairly beat up, I don’t like what Mario Williams and that Bills defensive line could do to Roethlisberger.

Spread Pick: Bills
Straight Pick: Steelers

Detroit Lions (5-3) at Chicago Bears (5-3)
Sunday, November 10 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Bears (-2.5)

Field position was really the deciding factor in the Lions Week 4 win over the Bears. Either due to special teams errors or turnovers, the Lions had four first half drives start at midfield or in Bears territory, which helped them get 24 points and a 30-13 halftime lead. Jay Cutler is returning after missing a couple of games where the Bears offense didn’t really miss a beat with Josh McCown. Because Cutler is always an X-factor, whether he has a good return or throws 3 picks like last time, remains to be seen. The positive thing for the Bears is since Week 4, turnovers have been rather sporadic for the Lions defense. So I think Cutler’s return is a boost and the Bears will play much better at home.

Spread Pick: Bears
Straight Pick: Bears

Cincinnati Bengals (6-3) at Baltimore Ravens (3-5)
Sunday, November 10 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Ravens (+1.5)

The Ravens have mostly been effective at keeping A.J. Green and the Bengals in check over the years. Andy Dalton would be 0-4 against the Ravens if not for the fact that they rested their starters in Cincinnati’s win at the end of last season. Baltimore is such a one-dimensional team with Ray Rice not doing anything this year, and it doesn’t help that every now and then Joe Flacco also stinks up the joint. But they are a much better team at home than on the road, and with Dalton being Dalton, and injuries to both Gio Bernard and Geno Atkins, I think the Ravens have what it takes to win.

Spread Pick: Ravens
Straight Pick: Ravens

Philadelphia Eagles (4-5) at Green Bay Packers (5-3)
Sunday, November 10 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Packers (-0.5)

The Eagles are very good on the road, but terrible at home, as I discovered last week. The Packers are without Aaron Rodgers, which means that this should be a game the Eagles win. But Seneca Wallace has a full week of practice, and the Packers will lean heavily on their ground game to go against a lackluster Eagles run defense. Clay Matthews is also back, and that might be the boost Green Bay needs defensively to slow down Philly’s offense. It was way back in Week 1 of 2010, but I still remember that game where Matthews terrorized Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb for 3 sacks. This time he’ll likely be facing a rookie in Lane Johnson, who has struggled this year. Despite my previous misgivings about the Eagles, I’m going to back the Packers at home.

Spread Pick: Packers
Straight Pick: Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8) at Tennessee Titans (4-4)
Sunday, November 10 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Titans (-13.5)

This might be the week where I have to go against my previous promise and take the Jaguars for once. Only three times with Jake Locker as their starter, have the Titans beaten any team by 14 or more points. Once was against the Jaguars last year at home and they did so earlier this year against the Jets. But in all three games the Titans got a lot of help from multiple turnovers (a combined 11 times) to generate the extra possessions needed for this conservative offense to score that many points. So the question becomes whether I believe the Jaguars, coming off a bye, will turn the ball over enough times to help the Titans score that much? It’s really a coin flip at this point, but just because I’ve been burned recently by most of the big spreads, I’ll take Jacksonville.

Spread Pick: Jaguars
Straight Pick: Titans

St. Louis Rams (3-6) at Indianapolis Colts (6-2)
Sunday, November 10 at 1 pm ET on FOX

Line: Colts (-10.5)

The Colts offense really laid an egg last week without Reggie Wayne, and if not for the choke job done by the Texans after Gary Kubiak suffered a mini-stroke at halftime, they don’t come back to win. Based off that, I’ll put my money on Zac Stacy and the Rams defensive line to keep this one close.

Spread Pick: Rams
Straight Pick: Colts

Oakland Raiders (3-5) at New York Giants (2-6)
Sunday, November 10 at 1 pm ET on CBS

Line: Giants (-7.5)

The Raiders haven’t won a game in the Eastern time zone since December 2009, with 11-straight losses. The last time they beat a New York-based team in New York was November 2001. Since that win over the Giants in 2001, overall they are 7-27 in the Eastern time zone. So the question centers on whether Terrelle Pryor is good enough and this year’s Giants team bad enough to prevent history from repeating itself. The Giants have minimzed their turnovers in their two consecutive wins and are coming off a bye. Under Coughlin, the Giants have won 5 straight games coming off a bye week. I like the Giants to win, but not to cover. And the fact that Darren McFadden is out of this game doesn’t concern me one bit. Since 2009, the Raiders winning percentage is basically the same with McFadden (41-percent) versus without him (41.2-percent).

Spread Pick: Raiders
Straight Pick: Giants

Carolina Panthers (5-3) at San Francisco 49ers (6-2)
Sunday, November 10 at 4:05 pm ET on FOX

Line: 49ers (-6.5)

This is an interesting game because we’ll discover if the Panthers are for real. Aldon Smith is returning, and I think this will be a defensive battle between arguably the two best front sevens in the league. The 49ers are playing their first home game since Week 6 and also are coming off a bye. The Panthers have won their two most recent road games, but they came against Minnesota and Tampa Bay (combined 2-15 record). Against Arizona and Buffalo (combined 7-10 record), they lost both games and didn’t look particularly good. Again, that’s why we’ll discover if the Panthers are for real by whether they can play with the 49ers on the road.

Spread Pick: 49ers
Straight Pick: 49ers

Denver Broncos (7-1) at San Diego Chargers (4-4)
Sunday, November 10 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS

Line: Chargers (+7.5)

Von Miller has had some big games against the Chargers, but those came against backups like Brandyn Dombrowski and Mike Harris. King Dunlap and D.J. Fluker aren’t great, but are better and if they can keep Miller in check, I think the Chargers could keep pace with the Broncos for much of this game. Denver’s offense has turned it over a bunch the past month, and thus has given their opponents opportunities to keep pace. Will that happen again this week? I know this is a different Chargers team, but I don’t feel right counting on that San Diego defense and Rivers playing a relatively clean game to keep it within one touchdown. If the spread was 10.5, I’d probably take San Diego. I also forgot that Jack Del Rio is the interim coach, so that should be somewhat a boost to the Broncos defense, right?

Spread Pick: Broncos
Straight Pick: Broncos

Houston Texans (2-6) at Arizona Cardinals (4-4)
Sunday, November 10 at 4:25 pm ET on CBS

Line: Cardinals (-2.5)

Unlike the Broncos, the interim situation in Houston scares me a bit with Kubiak out. It’s not that Wade Phillips has been named the interim head coach, it’s that Rick Dennison will be calling the plays this week. Case Keenum has played well, but also having Arian Foster not play doesn’t bode well for the Texans offense against a very good Cardinals defense. The positive for the Texans is that they will be facing an inept Cardinals offense. And unlike the Falcons defensive line, I have complete faith that the Texans defensive line can take advantage and put heat on Carson Palmer to create a bunch of turnovers.

Spread Pick: Texans
Straight Pick: Texans

Dallas Cowboys (5-4) at New Orleans Saints (6-2)
Sunday, November 10 at 8:30 pm ET on NBC

Line: Saints (-6.5)

The Saints are pretty beat up, but so are the Cowboys with injuries that should limit Dez Bryant and DeMarcus Ware, as well as eliminate Mo Claiborne and Jason Hatcher. The Saints have also yet to really disappoint at home, with a perfect 4-0 record against the spread there. Dallas really needs DeMarco Murray to step up like Chris Ivory did last week and have a big game on the ground. But you can usually count on the Saints to start fast at home, and thus that could take Murray out of the game and put it on Romo. In a shootout, I’ll definitely take the Saints at home.

Spread Pick: Saints
Straight Pick: Saints

Miami Dolphins (4-4) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-8)
Monday, November 11 at 8:30 pm ET on ESPN

Line: Bucs (+2.5)

The Bucs did a fantastic job choking away a 24-7 third quarter lead last week against the Seahawks on the road. They got conservative and basically couldn’t move the ball when it mattered. And after a game like that, you could easily see the Bucs give up rather than continue to make strides to get better. The Dolphins are dealing with their own issues, and one wonders wheteher the media scrutiny of the past week solidifies them or creates a huge distraction (I vote the latter). Their offense looked inept against the Bengals last week, with only their last-minute drive being the lone sign of life for Miami. So if it comes down to the wire, Ryan Tannehill has proven he can get the job done, while Mike Glennon has not.

Spread Pick: Bucs
Straight Pick: Bucs

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Author: Aaron Freeman

Aaron is the founder of FalcFans.com.

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