- “No, dude. Listen. You don’t need your appendix to live…”
Each week, I take on the sportsbooks in Vegas and make my picks in the NFL. It was a 2-1 week for me (42-37 overall) in Week 14 after Rex Ryan and the free-falling New York Jets made me look stupid. Here’s how it looks on paper, folks. And below are my picks for Week 15.
||Atlanta Falcons @ Carolina Panthers
||Cleveland Browns @ Buffalo Bills
||Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets
Washington @ Dallas -9 – Ryan’s Pick: Dallas
Rex Grossman is not the answer. Suspending Albert Haynesworth was not the solution. Mike Shanahan must feel like Joe Gibbs the second time around, as coaching the Redskins seems to be much more of a curse than it is a gift.
The free fall in Washington will continue today as they roll into the Lone Star State to play the Dallas Cowboys. The ‘Boys are not the 1-7 team we saw earlier in the season. They’re playing much better football. The Redskins are 2-4 against the spread in their last six games, and the quarterback change from Donovan McNabb to Rex Grossman isn’t going to help here.
Ryan’s main concern – Under their “skin”: Dallas is 1-4 against the spread in their last five games when playing Washington at home. Numbers like that will always make you think twice, but Grossman will make you think a whole lot more than that. Washington is experiencing a free fall on and off the field. As Washington “experiements” while dividing the locker room, Jason Garrett’s team is playing for pride. Take the ‘Boys.
Atlanta -7 @ Seattle – Ryan’s Pick: Atlanta
I’m a believer, and I’m taking the Falcons for the second straight week on the road. The Falcons are hot, winning their last seven games. Matt Ryan’s team dismantled the dismal Panthers last week and to be truthful, the Seahawks really aren’t that much better. They are 21st in points in the NFL and 26th in total yards. The Falcons will have no problem shutting down the league’s second-worst rushing offense.
The Falcons are 9-4 against the spread last week in the 2010 season. They’re also playing with the New Orleans Saints on their coattails. Mike Smith will not let his team falter against a dismal Seattle team. Look for Atlanta to take this game by more than a touchdown.
Ryan’s main concern – Still in it: The Seahawks play in the painfully terrible NFC West. While it tests my gag reflex, that’s the reality. Seattle is… um… challenging the St. Louis Rams to take the division, meaning they still have something to play for. Teams are always more interesting to watch when there is a potential light at the end of the tunnel. But this is also the 11-2 Falcons were talking about here. Not the matchup Pete Carroll was hoping for with the playoffs on the line.
Kansas City +3 @ Saint Louis – Ryan’s Pick: Kansas City
Matt Cassel will start for the Kansas City Cheifs today, and that is vastly important. He has 19 touchdowns and only one intereceptions in the last eight games that he’s played. The Chiefs went without him last week and only amassed 19 yards in the passing game.
St. Louis has covered the spread in three of their last five games. In the three games they covered, they played the 49ers, the Broncos, and the Cardinals. In the two games they didn’t, they played the Falcons and the Saints. Make no mistake about it, the Chiefs are closer to the latter teams mentioned than they are the former. With Matt Cassel under center, this team will be able to handle a very talented Sam Bradford and a not-too-talented Rams team. Cassel is 8-3 against NFC opponents.
Ryan’s main concern – Rams at home: Steve Spagnuolo’s team is 4-2 at home this year (They’re 2-5 otherwise). They beat the Chargers earlier in the season in the dome. The other three teams? Washington, Seattle, Carolina. Quality, not quantity folks. Take the Cheifs, or take Matt Cassel. However you want to look at it.
Enjoy Week 14!