If you like close calls, you probably didn’t like the presidential election. But must be delighted with the way the NFL divisional races are shaping up.
They’re all either tied or within one game with the exception of the NFC East and AFC South. The Titans, 9-0, have a four-game lead on Indy and the Giants maintain a two-game edge over the Skins. Everything else looks like it will go down to the wire.
There’s plenty of time for some great dogs to bounce back with seven games left on the schedule. And there’s no time like Week 11 to find those great plays.
Thursday, Nov. 13
Jets +3½ at Patriots: Pats allowed Cassel to be sacked once in the last two games. Jets have to be prepared for many names in the Pats’ backfield. Mangenius not sure whether to prepare for Ben, Jarvis, Green or Ellis. New York off its biggest margin of victory in franchise history. Favre had no picks for the first time since Week 1 and Jets 5-1 in last 6. Biggest reason to take points here is Thomas Jones. He won’t match his 145 yards and 3 TD’s last week but will be a big factor. JETS.
Sunday, Nov. 16
Broncos +5½ at Falcons: As good as Jay Cutler looked in the comeback versus Cleveland, I’m not sure the defense will hold up. Is anyone throwing the football better and with more confidence than Matt Ryan? Ryan outplayed Drew Brees last Sunday and the Atlanta defense forced three interceptions. FALCONS.
Raiders +13 at Dolphins: I think the Fish proved to Seattle that they’re a much better team (5-4) than last year and only one game out of first. But they are also no cinch to cover a big number, especially a double digits. RAIDERS.
Ravens +6 at Giants: G-Men very balanced and dangerous all season long. They’re only slip up was against the Browns. But Baltimore has four straight wins and very worthy of a play in the role of the dog. Ravens still on a big 28-game roll of not allowing a 100-yard rusher. Flacco looking like Cool Hand Luke in the pocket. RAVENS.
Texans +8½ at Colts: I have the right opponent for Houston this week. My bad using old schedule. The Colts played themselves out of a chance for the division title. But Peyton Manning is slowly making his way back into the groove. After big wins over the Steelers and Patriots, I’m not ready to wager against him. The Texans aren’t scaring anyone this year with either Schaub or Rosenfels. No threat of the run is killing both of them. COLTS.
Titans -3 at Jaguars: Titans are 9-0 SU and 8-1 ATS. The Jags aren’t going anywhere in this division. No way they’re going to catch the Colts and Titans. They’ll try to earn some respect as the underdog. Fred Taylor finally showed some life, as did Jones-Drew, even if it was against the clawless and clueless Lions. The Titans should again struggle to run the ball. Collins won’t be able to put the team on his back a second straight week. JAGUARS.
Bears + 5½ at Packers: The Packers aren’t winning by wide margins. In fact, they’re feeling lucky just to win. The Bears shut down the Titans’ great rushing attack to 20 yards on 29 carries! I believe Chicago will do the same here. If Green Bay wins, I think it will be a squeaker. BEARS.
Eagles -9 at Bengals: Cincy coming off a bye and its first win. I think they’ll have forgotten what that winning deal is all about. Philly is in a nasty mood after allowing G-Men to come back and steal a win on its own home turf last Sunday night. EAGLES.
Saints -4½ at Chiefs: What happened to Drew Brees at Atlanta? He completed more passes to the Falcons than his own team. Tyler Thigpen has been nothing but money for the Chiefs the last three weeks. KC is on a cover streak that ends here. SAINTS.
Lions +14 at Panthers: I like to find reasons to bet the dog. I looked past the 60-minute rule on this game and couldn’t find a single one. The only reason possible is that double-digit dogs have are 14-1 ATS. The way I look at that stat, things should start to reverse soon! PANTHERS.
Vikings +4 at Bucs: I will take Adrian Peterson and the points. Peterson put the Vikes on his back against the Pack, rushing for nearly 200 yards. Bucs are coming off bye, but prior to that loss to the Cowboys and eked out a 3-point win over Chiefs. VIKINGS.
Rams + 3½ at 49ers: Neither team has a shot of catching Arizona. Both are equally inept. Take the points in a battle of ineptitude. RAMS.
Cards +3½ at Seahawks: I have to take the better team, especially when they’re on the receiving end of the points. Over a field goal to boot! The hook is your friend here. CARDINALS.
Chargers + 4 at Steelers: I can’t get behind the Bolts after losses to the Bills, Saints and nearly the Chiefs. Pittsburgh may be in its worst mood in years after back-to-back home losses. Maybe we’ll even get lucky and see RB Willie Parker? STEELERS.
Cowboys +2½ at Skins: Washington beat Dallas by two points in Dallas with Romo in full form during Week 4. With Romo being rusty off the shelf and the Skins now at home, I like the Skins to win by at least 3. SKINS.
Monday, Nov. 17
Browns +5½ at Bills: Buffalo just hasn’t been the same since Trent Edwards’ concussion and Marshall Lynch disappearing. BROWNS.
BEST BONES: Bears, Vikings, Cards