Matt Ryan

Jim Poore is back with his Weekly picks column against the spread. See how he's doing and drop him a note to let him know if you agree/disagree with his picks.

  Now that we are nearing the half way point of this season, we are starting to see which teams are for real and which teams could be considered also-rans. I think the divisions have something to do with at as well. For instance, there is no question that Houston is in fact for real, especially after Sunday's convincing win against Baltimore. However, they play in the AFC South, one of the worst divisions in football, so they likely have at least five automatic wins. The same holds true for the Atlanta Falcons. They are in fact very good, but their division, the NFC South, is very poor this year. Other teams, like Denver, are 3-3 on the year and yet their division isn't that good. So they will very likely win the AFC West, but how good they really are is still yet to be determined. There is still half a season to go, so a lot of questions remain unanswered. Hopefully in a couple of weeks we will have some answers.
  There are some big games this week so let's get to the picks.
As always, home team in CAPS.
Minnesota    7  Tampa Bay
The Vikings continue to surprise, and it will probably last another week. I am not sure what is going on in Tampa. They had a lot of promise this year but have really fallen flat. I have no reason to believe the Vikings won't cover here, so I will take them.
Vikings  26-17
Pittsburgh  4 1/2  Washington
With all of the injuries to Baltimore, the Steelers could have the edge in the AFC North. They are still pretty good. The Redskins continue to be maddening, but they at least have someone to watch in Robert Griffin III. I don't think the Redskins can do much in Pittsburgh though. They are too inconsistent, and the Steelers are always tough at home. Take Pittsburgh.
Steelers  24-16
Kansas CITY 2  Oakland
The Chiefs have been a borderline disaster, and they are going to start Brady Quinn at quarterback on Sunday. He isn't the answer. The Raiders are still the Raiders, and one team has to win this game. The Chiefs are desperate. Desperation often wins.
Chiefs 19-14
New England  7  St. Louis (London )
The Patriots were lucky to win last week, and I don't think they have any right being favored by seven points over anybody on the road. Yes, they are not technically in St. Louis, but they are not in Foxboro either. The Rams actually aren't that bad, and I think their offense can put up some points on a porous Patriots secondary. Like their last couple of games, I think the Patriots will win but not cover the spread. I think the Rams can keep it close.
Patriots 27-21
New York Giants  1 1/2  DALLAS
The Giants now have command in the NFC East, and they are the best team. The Cowboys still struggle, and I don't think this week will be any different. I would like to take them at home but I can't. The Giants are playing too well right now.
Giants  26-23
DENVER  6   New Orleans
This should be a pretty good game, as the Broncos are coming off of their bye week. I think most expected the Saints to get it together eventually, but it likely will be too little too late. The Broncos are not in a good division but they are still pretty good. I think they will win here but the Saints will keep it close.
Broncos 31-27
Tennessee  3 1/2  Indianapolis
Both teams pulled out wins last week, but don't expect too many more. The Titans have been playing better though, and they should be able to handle the Colts, who will need a couple of more years.
Titans  26-21
GREEN BAY  9 1/2   Jacksonville
The Packers could be hitting their stride, and the Jaguars are one of the worst teams in the NFL. Maurice Jones Drew is hurting. So, this game will basically be over by half time.
Packers 38-10
DETROIT  2 1/2  Seattle
I keep waiting for the Lions to get it together but I am not sure they will. May be this week they can, though the Seahawks are no slouch. The Lions have to be better than they are playing. I think.
Lions  23-20
New York Jets  2 1/2  Miami
This is actually a pretty big game in the AFC East. The Jets should have won last week, and the Dolphins had some time off. I think both teams are going to be pests as the year goes on. My gut is telling me that Miami is going to win this game. Sure, why not.
Dolphins 20-17
CHICAGO  7  Carolina
Look out for the Bears, who are suddenly 5-1. The Panthers are the exact opposite, and now they have fired General Manager Marty Hurney and they have a complaining quarterback. Head Coach Ron Rivera might be next. I know what is definitely next… another Panther loss.
Bears  26-10
San Francisco  7  Arizona
The 49ers will definitely be a team to reckon with, while the Cardinals have really fallen back to earth. Seven points is a lot on the road, and I have a feeling the Cardinals are going to keep this one somewhat close. Close enough that they cover the spread.
49ers  21-16
Game of the Week

PHILADELPHIA    2 1/2  Atlanta
I know the Eagles have struggled a bit lately, but this is a pretty big game in the NFC. Neither team played last week, but it still comes down to whether or not I can trust Michael Vick in a big game, or any game for that matter. I can't.
Falcons  24-23
Stinker of the Week

San Diego  2 1/2  CLEVELAND

Neither team is going anywhere this year… or next year.
Chargers  26-14
Record For Week Seven: 7-5-1 ( 11-2 without the spread )
Record Through Week Seven: 43-57-4 ( 57-47 without the spread )
Game of Week Record: 4-3
Stinker of Week Record: 2-5

Jim Poore has been a long time contributor to Patriots Insider with his weekly picks column. Let him know what you think. Email him here:

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