1. There's no line for the Gopher game vs. NDSU tomorrow, but according to PA and Dubay on the radio, Jeff Sagarin's ratings have NDSU favored by 7 at a neutral site, so it would 4 since the game is at the Dome. I know the Gophers have struggled and all, and NDSU is a good I-AA team, but I fully expect the Gophers to win. At this point, this is pretty much their superbowl - a game they have to win to retain any level of respect at all. Plus, with last year's game going to the wire, the Gophers won't take NDSU lightly. Minnesota 31, NDSU 21.
2. PA also said the Vikings have a 35% chance of beating the Cowboys on Sunday. Wrong. It's about a 5% chance. That guy couldn't be more of a homer if he tried. He makes Maddog look like he has balanced opinions.
3. Big win for the Red Sox last night. I expect Schilling to dominate on Saturday at Fenway, holding off Carmona something like 3-1 and pushing it to a game seven. Where I expect Dice K to completely fall apart and the Indians win 8-3.
4. NLF picks:
Washington -8.5 vs. Arizona: Leinart is hurt, Warner is hurt, Neil Lomax is hurt. Who is the QB for the Cardinals this week? Tim Rattay? The guy who has been a backup on three different teams in the last three years? Apparently Warner might try to play, but you know he'll be out of there by the end of the first quarter if he does.
New Orleans -8 vs. Atlanta: New Orleans is not back, they're not fixed, and they're not ready to make a run. Yes, they beat a suddenly horrible Seattle team, but if you watched that game they were holding on for dear life at the end. And not because Seattle got hot. The Saints had one nice half, and then reverted immediately to that crappy team that had everybody confused. But since they're playing the Falcons, they should be able to cover. And if Marques Colston wanted to start catching some passes, that would really help me out.
Buffalo +3 vs. Baltimore: Still don't believe in the Ravens. The have exactly zero impressive wins this season. And Kyle Boller might have to play QB again this week, except he'll be on the road this time. Did you know the Bills are ranked 31st in overall offense and 32nd in overall defense. Yet I'm still picking them. Yikes.
Miami +16.5 vs. New England: A division game where the home team is getting 16.5 points? Based on general gambling principles, you have to take the Dolphins here, even though the Pats have been killing teams, home or road.
NY Giants -9 vs. San Francisco: In case you're not paying attention, the Giants have won four in a row after dropping their first two, and are becoming a contender in the NFC. The 49ers are starting Trent Dilfer and are in a full on free-fall towards the bottom of the league.
Detroit -2 vs. Tampa Bay: Am I stupid to keep believing in the Lions? Maybe, but their offense is so pretty, with Roy Williams, Calvin Johnson, Mike Furrey, and Shaun McDonald. Kitna has the best array of weapons this side of the AFC, and now Kevin Jones is back to give them yet another weapon to show off. Then again, the Bucs have Michael Bennett now. Hopefully their trainer is prepared.
Houston +1 vs. Tennessee: This is the good team everybody thinks is bad (Texans) against a bad team everybody thinks is good (Titans). Houston is bad on the road, clearly, but have been solid at home. Tennessee has done nothing good this year, with the exception of playing the Colts close at home. You know who else did that? The Texans. Plus, the Titans either start a banged up Vince Young or Kerry Collins. Win/Win for the Texans.
Kansas City +3 @ Oakland: The Raiders are favored? Really? That's weird.
Cincinnati -6 vs. NY Jets: Well, the Bengals might as well pack it in for the season. Although the schedule is fairly soft, so it is conceivable that they could go on a late run, end up something like 9-7 and sneak in as a wild card. If that's going to happen, it's going to have to start soon, like this week. And the Jets would be a good team to do it against. Also, there's a lot of anti-Chad Johnson sentiment out there right now, and I fully support Ocho Cinco.
Dallas -9.5 vs. Minnesota: I can't think of a single reason why the Cowboys should run the ball in the first half. Pull a Patriots, pass every play in the first half, and they should be up a good 21 points at halftime. Although holy crap is Adrian Peterson awesome. It's like having Randy Moss again, knowing there's a chance on every single play, no matter where you are on the field, that a touchdown could be coming.
Chicago +5 @ Philly: Do you realize the Eagles only have two wins, and they're both at home against teams with horrible defenses? That is the mark of a crappy team. The Bears are also struggling, as evidenced by the loss to the Vikings, but I expect this game to come down to a field goal.
St. Louis +9 @ Seattle: I know the Rams are bad, but Seattle is not a good time. They just aren't. They'll probably win this game by five or six, and everybody will think everything is fine in Seahawkland, but seriously, they're bad. You'll see.
Pittsburgh -3.5 @ Denver: Denver has proven they can't handle a good team, even at home, as evidenced by the spanking the Chargers put on them two weeks ago. The Steelers have been absolutely dominant, other than a little hiccup against the Cardinals when they were still decent.
Indianapolis -3 @ Jacksonville: I know the Jags usually play the Colts tough, and I know they are having a nice season at 4-1 and are always tough at home, but three points? I figured this line would be about 6 and then it would be a tough call. Indy is going to win, and likely by at least three so a push is really the worst case scenario by taking the Colts. The Colts are elite. The Jags are a nice team. Mismatch.
And Dubay just called Manny Ramirez a pile of crap, reminding me why I consider him the world's biggest idiot.
Last Week: 5-6-2