GLS Picks: Week 6

GLS has the Redskins stepping on Philly's throat while they move to 4-1.

How ’bout that, going with my gut actually helped, both straight up and against the spread. Either that or I finally pinned the tail to the proper section of the donkey. Let’s see if my luck continues.

For a complementary perspective, here are the Week 6 picks provided by the clever experts of the Red Heat Podcast.

And for the sake of transparency, here’s my record…

Last week: 9-4 (7-5-1 against the spread)
2011 season: 47-30 (35-38-4 against the spread)
2010 season: 155-101 (117-119-20 against the spread)
2009 season: 175-81 (122-101-33 against the spread)
2008 season: 161-94-1 (114-112-30 against the spread)
2007 season: 174-82 (118-105-33 against the spread)


The Rams are looking for defensive backs on Craigslist, and the Packers have the most potent passing attack in the league. The only reason why I think St. Louis could stick around is that there’s a chance they’ve rediscovered their 2010 habits in the bye week, but that might not matter until Week 7. Against Green Bay, that depleted secondary stands zero chance. This is just one of those games where the spread simply can’t be big enough. Packers 49, Rams 24

Does it really matter who the Redskins start at running back? Either way, they’ll find holes in Philly’s terrible run defense. Washington is simply better than the Eagles right now, and they’re at home, with two weeks to prepare for a team they already know well. They’re healthier and riding significantly more momentum. Too many injuries in Philadelphia. Redskins 24, Eagles 17

The Ravens are particularly dangerous after byes. They should take advantage of a Texans team without Andre Johnson on offense and Mario Williams on defense. We always hear about how good Atlanta’s been at home in the Matt Ryan era, but consider that the Ravens are 21-5 at home in the Joe Flacco era. After the bye last year, they killed the Dolphins at home. After the bye in 2009, they crushed the Broncos. And after the bye in 2008, they hammered the Browns. The trend will continue Sunday. Ravens 31, Texans 20


How will Tampa rebound from that blowout in San Francisco? And how will the young Bucs deal with injuries to LeGarrette Blount and Gerald McCoy? The Buccaneers could be in serious trouble against a Saints team quietly playing very good football. To beat the Saints, you need to run the ball effectively, and I don’t think the Bucs can do that without Blount. New Orleans won 31-6 in Tampa last year. It won’t be that one-sided this time, but the Saints should easily win and cover. Saints 35, Buccaneers 24

The Giants aren’t a very good team. And the Bills are. New York has yet to beat anyone with a decent record, and they were badly outplayed by the friggin’ Seahawks at home last week. While I’m concerned about the Kyle Williams injury for the Bills, the Giants haven’t been able to run the well lately anyway. And don’t you get the feeling Eli Manning is due to come crashing back to earth with a train-wreck game? Bills 23, Giants 17

Are the Lions set up for a letdown? Detroit now has to face the 4-1 49ers on short rest, following a highly-charged prime-time victory over the Bears. And San Francisco is good enough to take advantage of a team that seems primed for an off week. That said, the Niners are travelling across the country for the third time in four weeks. While I think they keep it close and cover the spread by limiting Jahvid Best and keeping Detroit’s offense one-dimensional, I think San Fran falls short in a close game and the Lions stay perfect. Lions 20, 49ers 17

Another moral victory for Carolina. The Falcons outscored the Panthers 31-10 in both of their meetings last year. But Atlanta is off its game this season, and Carolina has exceeded expectations under Cam Newton. Throw in that the Falcons will be without Julio Jones and it’s hard to see the Falcons winning big again. This has field goal game written all over it, but I just can’t see the very talented Falcons losing at home again and falling to 2-4. Falcons 27, Panthers 24

The Colts will eventually win a game. And it wouldn’t be crazy to consider that it’ll happen in Cincinnati. But the Bengals are healthier and playing with a lot more momentum right now. Andy Dalton and the Cincinnati offense is rolling, and Curtis Painter and the Indy offense will have trouble against the league’s top-ranked D. Cincy’s offensive line is good enough to hold Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis in check, and the Bengals will maintain balance with Cedric Benson still in the lineup (Joseph Addai is probably out for Indy). Bengals 24, Colts 17


Just because the Steelers exceeded expectations last week doesn’t mean it’s going to happen again. In this league, it’s not easy to kill it in back-to-back weeks, and Pittsburgh is still riddled with injuries on both sides of the ball. Ben Roethlisberger will still cruise against a bad pass rush and a banged-up secondary, but expect Maurice Jones-Drew to find some holes against a struggling run defense as the Jags put up a bigger-than-expected fight at Heinz Field. I’m not crazy enough to take Blaine Gabbert against the Pittsburgh defense, but I think this might be a surprisingly close game. Steelers 23, Jaguars 16

The Cowboys are healthy again! Tony Romo, Miles Austin, Dez Bryant and Felix Jones are back and Dallas has had two weeks to prepare for the banged-up Patriots. Yes, New England is getting healthier, but they’re suddenly in worse shape than the Cowboys are. Dallas should have a big day through the air against a bad secondary, but the Pats just don’t lose at home. They’ll find a way to win a very close game. Patriots 30, Cowboys 27

The worst offensive line in the league is about to run into the hottest pass rusher in the league. And there’s not much Jay Cutler can do about Jared Allen, who has 8.5 sacks already. Cutler’s defense could give him a hand by keeping it close, but they’ll be without their best defender in Julius Peppers and the run D is destined to get the Jahvid Best treatment from Adrian Peterson. On short rest, Chicago is in trouble against Minnesota. Vikings 27, Bears 20


Emotion isn’t tangible. That’s what makes Cleveland-Oakland so tough. How will the Raiders react to the emotion of playing their first home game after the death of legendary owner Al Davis? It could help, or it could play no role whatsoever. The Browns are 2-2, but they haven’t beaten anyone with a win. That said, they’ve had two weeks to prepare. I think Oakland is a significantly better team and matches up well with a Cleveland squad travelling cross country, so I’m reluctantly going with the Raiders at home. Raiders 24, Browns 14

Take the under on Monday night. I have no idea who to pick beyond that, though. All I know is Miami’s defense is better than it’s showed this season and the Dolphins should be strong on the road with two weeks to prepare. Miami is already a better road team than home team and has won three straight games over the Jets in Jersey. Plus, New York is ice-cold as well. I don’t have faith in either quarterback or either running game. It’ll be a very low-scoring game, and since I have no strong feeling about either side, I’ll take the more talented home team by a field goal. Jets 13, Dolphins 10