Don’t tell anyone, but we’re on a roll again. Here are this week’s picks…
1. Ravens at Panthers – One of our cardinal rules is not to pick teams on the road, but one of our even more cardinal rules is to pick against the Panthers whenever possible. Not only are the Panthers bad; their top two quarterbacks are out this week, leaving late-round rookie Tony Pike to start. There’s no way Pike exploits the Ravens’ defense, and that means Baltimore is a safe pick even in Charlotte.
2. Saints over Seahawks – The Seahawks have bedeviled us in our picks a bit this year, but in general they have been much better at home than on the road. So a trip to New Orleans seems to set up for a Saints win. Yes, the Browns won in New Orleans recently, but that was a more banged-up version of the Saints, who seem to be coming out of their funk now. This seems like a solid play late in the season.
3. Chargers over Broncos – Few teams are more inconsistent than the Broncos, and that gives us a bit of pause, but they’re not as good as the Chargers are. San Diego has made a living on late-season charges, and the Chargers need such a charge now if they are to make the playoffs. That sense of urgency makes us confident that the Bolts will perform well in this divisional matchup.
Traps to avoid: Bengals over Bills, Cowboys over Lions – Somehow, two games between bad teams ended up on the most picked game. But banking on teams like the Bengals and Cowboys that have been huge disappointments this season, even though they’re playing lesser competition, is silly. Buffalo and Detroit both play hard and are capable of taking advantage of poor or lifeless play from their hosts this weekend. Just stay away.
Week 10 – W Tampa Bay (vs. Carolina)
Week 9 – W Green Bay (vs. Dallas)
Week 8 – W Kansas City (vs. Buffalo)
Week 7 – L New Orleans (vs. Cleveland)
Week 6 – L Chicago (vs. Seattle)
Week 5 – L Houston (vs. N.Y. Giants)
Week 4 – L Tennessee (vs. Denver)
Week 3 – W Baltimore (over Cleveland)
Week 2 – W Oakland (over St. Louis)
Week 1 – W N.Y Giants (over Carolina)