After a couple of weeks in which there were not a whole lot of compelling matchups, NFL fans are in for a treat today as six games feature two teams with winning records, plus a couple more good ones between a winning team and a 3-4 team. Why the change? There are only four teams on a bye this week rather than six, and three of those four have losing records – which means more winning teams are playing today.

 

Early Games:

4-3 Falcons at 0-7 Colts
Indianapolis (+7½); under 45½
I know this sounds crazy, but I think the Colts keep it under a touchdown at home.

 

4-3 Buccaneers at 5-3 Saints
Tampa Bay (+8½); over 50
The Saints bounce back after last week’s embarrassment, but with Jonathan Vilma out the Bucs keep it within seven or eight points.

 

3-4 Browns at 5-3 Texans
Cleveland (+10½); over 41
The Browns celebrate vilified Peyton Hillis being sidelined by keeping this game within ten.

 

4-3 Jets at 5-2 Bills
New Jersey (+2½); over 45
My heart says go with the Bills but my head says the Jets should win. If nothing else, in a tossup go with the underdog plus the points.

 

0-7 Dolphins at 4-3 Chiefs
Kansas City (-4); over 40
The Dolphins played well last week, so they’re due to crash in their second straight road game today. Considering the home team gets three points, do you believe the Chiefs are only one point better than Miami on a neutral field?

 

6-1 49ers at 3-4 Redskins
Washington (+5); over 37½
San Francisco is the only team that seems to be able to travel coast to coast and play well, but I still think sooner or later that will have an effect on them. I’m guessing the Redskins find a way to keep this within three or four points despite their offensive line being in shambles.

 

2-5 Seahawks at 3-4 Cowboys
Seattle (+12½); over 44½
On one hand Dallas should play inspired ball after being beat down 34-7 in Philadelphia last week. On the other hand this is Tony Romo and the Cowboys. Dallas wins but Seattle covers.

 

 

Late Games:

2-5 Broncos at 4-3 Raiders
Denver (+7½); under 42½
The Raiders are without their starting running back and Carson Palmer cannot yet be fully acclimated to his new team. As bad as Denver is, I don’t think Oakland is going to win by more than a touchdown.

 

5-2 Bengals at 4-3 Titans
Cincinnati (+3); under 42
As much as I am not completely sold on the Bengals, I’m even less sold on the Titans. Look for Cincinnati to win in a mild upset.

 

1-6 Rams at 1-6 Cardinals
Arizona (-2½); under 41½
As bad as Arizona is the Rams are even more pathetic, averaging 12 points on offense while allowing 27. By default I’ll cautiously go with the home team.

 

5-2 Giants at 5-2 Patriots
New York (+9); over 50½
I expect the Pats to win but nine points seems to be way too much. I have a lot more faith in the over in this game.

 

7-0 Packers at 4-3 Chargers
San Diego (+6); over 51
I don’t like going with teams playing on a short week, but a winning team being a six point underdog just doesn’t look right; I’ll take the Chargers plus the points, playing inspired ball after last week’s loss.

 

Sunday Night
5-2 Ravens at 6-2 Steelers
Baltimore (+3½); under 42
As crazy as this may sound, I think the Steelers may have a bit of an emotional letdown. The Steelers no longer own the Ravens, and LaMarr Woodley is out while James Harrison and James Farrior are less than 100%. Despite Joe Flacco’s mediocrity I think Baltimore wins this game.

 

Monday Night
4-3 Bears at 3-4 Eagles
Chicago (+8); under 47½
It’s hard to make sense of the Dream Team. Sure, they beat a depleted Redskins team and the schizo Cowboys in their last two games, but so what? Meanwhile the Bears’ offensive line is protecting Jay Cutler much better, and the light bulb went on and they figured out they should hand the ball off to Matt Forte. I think the Eagles will win by about a touchdown, but nine points seems to be too much.

 

 

3 Units
Giants – Patriots over 50½
Packers – Chargers over 51

 

2 Units
Chargers +6 vs Packers
Chiefs -4 vs Dolphins
49ers – Redskins over 37½
Seahawks +12½ at Cowboys
Ravens +3½ vs Steelers

 

1 Unit
Jets +2½ vs Bills
Giants +9 vs Patriots
Bengals +3 at Titans
Cardinals -2½ vs Rams
Bears +8 at Eagles
Falcons – Colts under 45½
Browns +10½ at Texans
Broncos +7½ at Raiders
Bears – Eagles under 47½