|Photo courtesy of Fox Sports
And this week got off to a rip-roaring start as I made my pick for Thursday night's game on Twitter (@WilliamBotchway) as always:
My pick for tonight's game: PACKERS (-9) over Ponder Power.
I was right. That puts me at 2-3 on Thursday night games.
— William Botchway (@WilliamBotchway) October 3, 2014
UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.
Bears (+2.5) over PANTHERS. I was premature in saying that I was wrong about the Panthers. They have problems in their secondary, and the pass rush is diminished without Greg Hardy. The Bears are much better than they showed last week.
J.J. Watt (+6.5) over COWBOYS. I'm not going to anoint the Cowboys as a great team just yet. As good as Rod Marinelli is as a Defensive Coordinator, the players on that defense still scares me. This line is a major overreaction to what happened on Sunday night, and I'm not falling for it.
Bills (+6.5) over LIONS. With Kyle Orton at the helm, the Bills are a better team. E.J. Manuel was holding them back with his horrible play. Orton is sufficiently average. Expect a pretty good performance overall from Buffalo, and a close game.
Ravens (+3.5) over COLTS. The Ravens are the better team. This shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. The Colts have spent the last couple of week feasting on Chad Henne and Clipboard Jesus. Now, going against a Ravens offense that is pretty good, Indy's defense will revert back to what it actually is: below average. UPSET ALERT.
JAGUARS (+6) over Steelers. I'm picking the Jags for the fifth straight week, and I don't feel bad about it. At home, 6 is a lot of point to be giving the Steelers, especially as Blake Bortles gets more comfortable in his second NFL start.
Buccaneers (+10) over SAINTS. What?
This is a matchup of two 1-3 teams, one of whom (Tampa Bay) won last week on the road, while the other (New Orleans) got blown out.
This line makes absolutely no sense. It's a case of the public remaining far too loyal to the Saints despite the fact that they've proven absolutely nothing this year.
GIANTS (-4) over Falcons. Finally! I'm picking a favorite. And it is this week's "I'm going with the home team because I don't know what else to do" winner: the New York Giants.
EAGLES (-4.5) over Rams. Taking the Eagles scares me after their scoreless offensive output last week, but I'm okay with it at home against Austin Davis and Co. This line is too low.
Browns (+1.5) over TITANS. Even with Jake Locker returning this week, I think that the Browns are clearly the better team. With a couple of breaks, they could be 2-1 or 3-0. The offense has looked very good, and the defense should improve. Watch out for the Browns. UPSET ALERT
Cardinals (+7.5) over BRONCOS. I'm not completely sold on the Cards, but this a lot of points to be giving a 3-0 team.
CHARGERS (-6.5) over Jets. Philip Rivers is going to do ghastly things to this Jets' defense, and I do not want to watch this game in the least.
49ERS (-5) over Chiefs. The Niners seemed to have righted the ship last week, and I'm not going to overrate the Chiefs. KC is better than I thought they would be, as they somehow have overcome devastating injuries on the defensive side of the ball, but certainly not good enough for me to pick them this afternoon.
Bengals (-1) over PATRIOTS. The Bengals have been the best team in football this year, and the Pats...have issues. The AFC East is now wide open because New England has major problems on offense, and a below average defense. Brandon Browner's return should help them this week,...except for the fact that the Patriots didn't activate him for this game.
I'm setting the over/under for Sanu to Dalton TD passes at 3.
WASHINGTON PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM (+7) over Seahawks. Time for me to get fooled by Washington at home for the second straight week.
Last Week: 7-6
This Week: 1-0