GLS Picks: Week 10

GLS has the Saints winning in Atlanta...again.

I’m coming off my best week yet, but I took the Chargers to cover and win last night. So I guess I suck again.

For more picks and analysis — and it can never hurt — head over to the Red Heat Podcast and listen to their Week 10 preview free of charge.

Here’s where I’m at…

Last week: 10-4 (10-4-0 against the spread)
2011 season: 78-52 (58-63-9 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 10th kick at the can, featuring an abnormal number of one-score games…

HIGH CONFIDENCE

Despite their records, the Panthers are simply a better team than Tennessee, especially in Carolina. Unfortunately, Vegas is wise to that. In fact, Vegas is wise to everything at this point in the season, which is why I’m having serious problems with some of these games. But my gut tells me the Panthers blow Tennessee out in this one. That offense is just getting better and better, while the Titans’ season is on its way down the drain. Carolina’s defense is terrible, especially against the run, but I have no faith in Chris Johnson and the Titans at this point. The rested Panthers win easily. Panthers 31, Titans 13

Did you see what Steven Jackson just did to Arizona? Now watch LeSean McCoy. Arizona has already lost to Washington, Seattle and Minnesota on the road (and Baltimore, but that was to be expected). Now after a somewhat lucky victory against the Rams, one of the worst offensive lines in the league has to face a stellar pass rush and one of the worst pass defenses in the league has to face a pissed-off Eagles offense. I don’t think Philadelphia has a lot of mental fortitude, but I also don’t think the Eagles have given up just yet. Plus, you can’t beat Philly without a strong running game, and Beanie Wells fell off a cliff last week. Eagles 31, Cardinals 15

Can the Bills slow DeMarco Murray down? They’re giving up 4.6 yards per carry and are without Kyle Williams for good now, so I don’t like their chances. Dallas will miss Miles Austin, but with Murray rolling and Laurent Robinson ready to step in, I don’t think that’ll be a back-breaker against a pass defense that has surrendered 260 yards per game. Fred Jackson should follow Marshawn Lynch and LeSean McCoy with a big day in Dallas, but I’m not going against the Cowboys at home, where they’ve been stellar aside from that mistake-filled second half against the Lions. Cowboys 30, Bills 23

The Packers had more trouble than expected in their first meeting with Christian Ponder and the Vikings. But Green Bay’s at home now, where they’ve won by an average of 18 points per game this year. I think that closer-than-expected Week 7 result was a little bit of a fluke, and I think Green Bay’s aggressive defense is a little pissed off after a tough outing in San Diego. They’ll make life difficult for Ponder, while the league’s eighth-ranked run defense at least contains Adrian Peterson. Green Bay wins big this time. Packers 38, Vikings 17

MEDIUM CONFIDENCE

The Giants and 49ers are both leading their divisions by wide margins, but I actually think San Francisco is closer to ‘for real’ than New York is. I still don’t totally trust Eli Manning, and the fact that he and the Giants were able to win in Foxboro last week makes me even less confident in them this week. Can anyone really see this team beating elite teams away from home in back-to-back weeks? While I’d ordinarily feel that a team like San Fran was primed for a letdown game, I think the Giants are just as due to lay an egg. I don’t trust Alex Smith either, but Frank Gore should make life easier by getting after a bad run defense. That won’t be as easy for the Giants with Ahmad Bradshaw out and the Niners ranking first in the NFL against the run. 49ers 27, Giants 17

Golden rule of in-season rematches: the loser of the first game usually improves more than the winner of the first game. Chicago hasn’t lost since falling in Detroit five weeks ago, while the Lions have only won once since that meeting. The key for Detroit — aside from the fact they were riding a high at home on Monday Night Football — was that they were able to abuse a bewildered Chicago offensive line. That line has gotten its act together since. Plus, the Lions will no longer have the noise advantage that caused the Bears to take so many penalties in Week 5. Detroit has no running game and Chicago should at least be able to control Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson.Bears 24, Lions 21

Back-to-back wins for the Dolphins!? Better believe it. Miami’s about to win at home for just the second time this decade, mainly because luck is finally on their side (and ironically, it’ll cost them Luck). The Dolphins have outplayed their opponents in three straight games, while the Redskins haven’t even shown up since their Week 5 bye. Matt Moore seems to be getting better, while former Dolphin John Beck has forcibly become Captain Checkdown with a rookie running back. The Phins are a significantly more talented and healthier team, and they’re at home. Dolphins 21, Redskins 13

The Bengals hung with the Steelers at home last year, and they beat Pittsburgh outright in Cincinnati (and in both of their meetings) in 2009. They’ve also beaten the Bills and put up one hell of a fight against the 7-1 49ers at home earlier this year. I’m not sure I believe in Cincy, but with the Steelers still not 100 percent injury-wise, the feisty Bengals should once again keep it close against a divisional opponent. Steelers 20, Bengals 17

LOW CONFIDENCE

Now the Patriots have to travel. They’ve lost their mojo and are only 2-2 on the road this season. Against the red-hot Jets, they could be in serious trouble. Never count out Tom Brady and that offense, but the Jets know this team well, and they’ve beaten them handily both times they’ve faced them at home in the Rex Ryan era. Mark Sanchez should keep rolling against a bad pass defense as the Jets squeak it out at Metlife. Jets 27, Patriots 24

Atlanta is talked about as this great home team, but the Falcons lost to the Packers at home earlier this year, and barely survived against the Eagles in the heart of Philly’s early-season rough patch. They also got crushed by the Packers in last year’s playoffs and fell to the Saints last December. In fact, New Orleans has won in Atlanta two years in a row. It may also look like Atlanta has more momentum, but I think that shocking loss in St. Louis was both an anomaly and a wake-up call for the Saints. New Orleans in another close one. Saints 30, Falcons 27

Everyone figures the Jags will simply let Maurice Jones-Drew trample Indy’s defense, but the Colts haven’t been that bad against the run. They’re only ranked 31st in the league because they’re trailing so often that they’re run on more than any team in football by a wide margin. The Colts have surrendered just 4.1 yards per carry this year, and considering that Blaine Gabbert might be the worst starting quarterback in the league, they’ll be able to key on MoJo at home. Last year in Indy, with a much better quarterback, Jones-Drew was smothered by the Colts. Neither team can score at all, but the Colts are at home, and they’re due. Colts 13, Jaguars 12

Houston has won three in a row against three of the worst offenses in the league. Now, a slightly bigger challenge in Tampa, where the Buccaneers are fighting for their lives at home. The Bucs have a lot of talent, but they’re sort of being left for dead. That has me thinking they’ll surprise us Sunday. Tampa Bay has already beaten the Falcons and Saints at home this year. That’s why they’ll keep it close, but I just can’t pick a team that is giving up 8.1 yards per pass attempt against a lethal Houston team that might have Andre Johnson back, especially after the Bucs lost Gerald McCoy for the season this week. Texans 27, Buccaneers 24

I’m very nervous about the Ravens. Baltimore has a reputation as a team that plays down to poor competition, and it has already lost in Tennessee and in Jacksonville this season. The Seahawks suck, but they are much more dangerous at home. The Ravens are travelling cross country following an emotional divisional victory over their biggest rival — it spells letdown. That’s probably why Seattle is only a 6.5-point underdog. I don’t have the guts to take Seattle straight up, but this should be a close game. Ravens 23, Seahawks 21

CLUELESS

Which Broncos team will show up against the Chiefs? And which Chiefs team will show up against the Broncos? I hate divisional matchups already, but this one is particularly hard to predict because neither team is particularly good, and neither has been anything close to consistent. But Denver nearly beat the Chiefs in Kansas City in 2010 (when KC was actually good), and they match-up well with them. Willis McGahee could have another good day against a weak run defense and Tim Tebow should survive against a pass rush that has a league-low nine sacks. Denver wins a close one on the road. Broncos 24, Chiefs 21

The Rams are a bad team, period. And so are the Browns. But St. Louis is especially bad on the road, while the jury’s still out on the Browns at home. You can probably already tell that I have no clue what to do here. Keeping it simple, I think St. Louis has the better quarterback, better running back and better receiving corps. Neither team can stop the run, but the Browns (and potential All-Pro cornerback Joe Haden) can shut down Sam Bradford and Brandon Lloyd. If Arizona can beat St. Louis at home, so can Cleveland. I don’t feel good about it, but I’ve talked myself into it. Browns 13, Rams 10

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