GLS Picks: Week 9

GLS has the Ravens topping the Steelers...again.

I’m not sure people realize how painful it is to start this column each week by tallying up my record from the week prior. These are literally the worst five minutes of my work week.

Tired of my terrible selections? Give Cam Stewart and the boys a try over at the Red Heat Podcast.

Here’s my embarrassing track record…

Last week: 7-6 (2-8-3 against the spread)
2011 season: 68-48 (48-59-9 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)

And here’s my attempt to miraculously save a disastrous season of picking games…


Why is Atlanta only a seven-point favorite in Indy? This is a Colts team that hasn’t lost by a single-digit deficit since Week 5, and now they have the rested Falcons. Atlanta has a lot of momentum after a big win over Detroit, and Matt Ryan has had time to heal his ankle injury. I’m a bit wary over the fact Indy hasn’t lost by more than eight points at home this season, but the Falcons are much better than their record. Falcons 31, Colts 13

Houston has no reason to rush Andre Johnson back into the lineup, because the Browns are completely awful on offense and the Texans have the hottest defense in football. I can’t see Colt McCoy and his group of crappy receivers doing anything on the road against that D. Plus, Cleveland might not have Peyton Hillis again. The tired Browns are travelling the country for the third time in four weeks, while Houston plays its second straight home game. Watch for Arian Foster to go nuts as the Texans roll. Texans 34, Browns 14

The Giants are a disaster. Ahmad Bradshaw, Hakeem Nicks, Mario Manningham and Jason Pierre-Paul are all hurt for a team that was already dealing with a slew of injuries. The Patriots are healthier and at home, where Tom Brady hasn’t lost since 2006. To boot, New England is 26-2 following losses dating back to 2003. Eli Manning is hot, and he’ll find holes in a poor New England secondary, but that won’t be close to enough for New York. Patriots 30, Giants 20

How will a veteran Saints team respond to a shocking loss in St. Louis? Well, New Orleans returns home, where it has scored 133 points in three games this season. I realize that the Buccaneers are rested and getting LeGarrette Blount back, and I also realize that Tampa Bay beat the Saints only three weeks ago in Florida. Oh, and I realize that the Bucs have won two straight games in New Orleans. But the Bucs aren’t reliable and the Saints aren’t the kind of team that lays back-to-back eggs. I can’t pick against the Saints, but the spread (New Orleans by eight) is way too high. Saints 27, Buccaneers 24

Kevin Kolb might not play for Arizona, but how much of a difference does Kolb really make? The Cards will be just as bad with John Skelton at quarterback, while it doesn’t matter who’s under center for the Rams so long as Steven Jackson is pounding away. Despite their identical records, the Rams are a significantly better team than Arizona, and they won handily in Glendale last season. That St. Louis is getting points is a bonus. Rams 20, Cardinals 16


The Steelers are a disaster. Three of their top four linebackers are in jeopardy of missing Sunday night’s game against Baltimore. But, they’ve all been practicing so it’s a little sketchy. Plus, Haloti Ngata is dealing with an injury for Baltimore. So there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding this game. That said, the Ravens always hang with Pittsburgh on the road, and they killed the Steelers earlier this season. Baltimore hasn’t been playing well of late but they’ve always risen to the occasion against quality teams. No way we get another blowout, but I’m leaning Baltimore. Ravens 20, Steelers 17

The Chargers have lost back-to-back games and are dealing with a slew of injuries. And now, they have the 7-0 Packers coming off a bye. You’d think Green Bay would be at least a touchdown favorite, but it’s only a 5.5-point spread because people figure San Diego can’t lose three straight and should hang in at home, where they’ve won five in a row dating back to last season. I don’t think the Chargers can stop Aaron Rodgers and Co., but I do think an angry Philip Rivers has a good day against the Packers’ 31st-ranked pass defense. They’ll keep it very close. Packers 30, Chargers 27

San Francisco is 3-0 in the Eastern time zone. And Washington doesn’t look like it’s trying. The Bills’ so-so front seven crushed John Beck and Co. last week, so I expect the Niners’ solid front seven to do some serious damage against a ‘Skins team that hasn’t won in over a month. Do I totally trust Alex Smith? No, especially on the road. But as long as San Fran can get out to an early lead, Frank Gore will do work against a bad run defense. 49ers 23, Redskins 13

It would be easy to jump on the red-hot Chiefs at home, but Miami has been hanging in there week in and week out, and the Dolphins are better on the road. Plus, Kansas City is on short rest coming off an emotional victory. The Dolphins have actually surrendered fewer points than the Chiefs, while scoring only 21 fewer on offense. Miami has been leading teams all year, only to consistently blow it. But I still think a young and still fairly depleted Chiefs team might accidentally look past Miami. Dolphins 21, Chiefs 20


The Jets haven’t been consistent this season; the Bills have. And Buffalo has yet to lose at home. But I still have a feeling about the Jets. An experienced team like New York probably benefited from the bye, and I think New York will find room on the ground with Shonn Greene hot, Nick Mangold finally close to 100 percent and Kyle Williams still out for Buffalo. I also expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to have more trouble than Mark Sanchez. There’s no way this won’t be a close game, but I think the rested Jets pull it out. Jets 17, Bills 16

If Seattle can win in New York, then it can win in Dallas. The Seahawks upset the Giants at Metlife, so I think they can at least hang in there against a Dallas team that is playing bad football. The Seahawks have been stellar against the run and Dallas might again be without Felix Jones. Dallas should still be successful through the air while shutting down a terrible Seattle offense, but my extremely unreliable gut tells me the ‘Hawks will sneakily cover a big spread. Cowboys 27, Seahawks 17

Apparently, Carson Palmer has the playbook down, but I’d still be concerned after that horrible debut. Two extra weeks (and four required off days during the bye) couldn’t have solved everything. Making matters worse for the Oakland offense, Darren McFadden will likely be out. And I don’t like that Oakland is holding McFadden out because they’re prepping him to be ready for the San Diego game in Week 10. Isn’t that the definition of looking past an opponent? And isn’t that a little presumptuous against a division rival? If this game were in Denver, where the Broncos have been pretty solid, I’d be leaning upset. Instead, I’ll go with the rested Raiders at home in a closer-than-expected game. Raiders 24, Broncos 21


The Bears proved last year that they can control Michael Vick. But that win took place in Chicago, where the Bears are a significantly better team. Matt Forte is red hot and going up against a bad run defense, so there’s no way Philly wins in blowout fashion. That said, Philadelphia is the hotter and more talented team, they’re great in prime time and they’re at home this time. Philly will prevail, but the spread (7.5) might be a tad too high. Eagles 26, Bears 21

Which team is more overrated, the Titans or the Bengals? Both aren’t playoff teams, but Cincy has still outplayed Tennessee this season. In Nashville, we should have a close game. Logic says I should side with the home team in such a tight matchup, but the Titans are so one-dimensional right now, and that’ll definitely be the case against a strong Bengals run defense. Plus, Cincinnati is coming off an impressive win in Seattle, and the Bengals have been fantastic away from home this season. I have a bad feeling Cincy will lay an egg with a few big wins under its belt and Pittsburgh and Baltimore coming up, but I’m still reluctantly taking them. Bengals 23, Titans 20