We dial up five picks every week (that's no joke, TLR), using the line from Yahoo Pro Football Pick'Em. Make your own picks, keep score, win favor with the handicapping groupies. Your success is our reward.
You're welcome to disagree with my aim on any of these throws, but you have to give a reason. Make us proud. Advance the conversation. Rise up to the level of the other commenters.
Giants +9 at Patriots: I liked this game a lot more in the middle of the week. Now, Hakeem Nicks and Ahmad Bradshaw are singing Don't Let's Start. But this line looks bloated — probably a blind-faith reaction to the Brady/Belichick bounce-back history — and I still expect Eli Manning and his receivers to be successful throwing the ball against that horrendous Patriots secondary. New York's pass rush also showed me something last week, and Brady's normally-perfect pocket awareness hasn't been sharp of late. This game will likely be decided by one score.
Bills -2 vs. Jets: Buffalo's home field edge might be the best in the AFC. New York's defense isn't quite as good as its rep — you can run on these guys. The Bills have made significant improvements to their offensive line and defensive backfield. Here's hoping Ryan Fitzpatrick is smart enough to avoid Darrelle Revis, for two reasons: Revis is (obviously) exceptional in coverage, and he's allowed to get away with whatever contact he wants. But I'm at the point where I fully trust Chan Gailey (and Fitzpatrick, and Fred Jackson, and the incredible fans of Buffalo).
Ravens +3 at Steelers: Generally this is a series where scoring is low and you want the points, though the Ravens cruised in the season opener. Pittsburgh is a much different and better team today, but with all those linebackers missing, I can see Ray Rice controlling this game. First team to 20 wins.
Broncos +8 at Raiders: There are 100 critiques you can throw at Tim Tebow and they'd all be correct. But is Carson Palmer any good? Does he knows this offense yet? Do the Raiders scare you without Darren McFadden? I'll grab the big number, knowing we can cover it front door or in garbage time.
Chargers +5.5 vs. Packers: It's funny how narratives are dramatically shifted depending on results. If Philip Rivers doesn't fumble in the fourth period at Arrowhead, the story goes like this: "Rivers brilliant for final three quarters, wills Chargers to victory." But because of the fluke turnover, the "What's wrong with Philip Rivers?" story persists. Yes, he's making a few loose throws every week and sure, that's a major problem. But look at the YPAs here: 9.0 at KC, 5.6 at New York (give the Jets pass defense credit), 8.6 at Denver, 9.9 against Miami. San Diego can still push the ball downfield. And the offense looks so much better with Antonio Gates back, even if he's merely at 70-80 percent. As wonderful as Green Bay is — I'm as smitten with this offense as anyone — the Packers are a public team that carries a heavy line burden everywhere. The hosts can keep it close.
Image courtesy of Associated Press