Last week, I again went 2-1 against the spread, but that was only good enough to hold serve against the other guys in my office, who almost all had a good week as well. At 7-5 on the season, I'm still two games up, but now is not the time to break the pace.
That said, this week's games were not at all easy to pick.
New England Patriots (Even) at Cincinnati Bengals.
The Bengals are 2-2, and their play has been all over the map. Meanwhile, the Patriots are 4-0, and although they have a young team, especially at the skill positions, they've looked better every week. So why is the line even? I don't know.
Granted, it's concerning that Vince Wolfork is now out with an ACL, but I still don't think I can pick against Tom Brady and company. They've been getting it done.
San Diego Chargers (-4) at Oakland Raiders.
Shhh... Don't tell anyone, but Philip Rivers has been playing really well this season. Meanwhile, the Raiders have not. I grant you that San Diego isn't nearly the juggernaut that they used to be while Oakland is better than we thought when they have Terrelle Pryor in the lineup, but I'll still be surprised if the Chargers don't go in there and win by ten.
Carolina Panthers at Arizona Cardinals (+1.5).
This is by far and away my least favorite pick of the week. I'm making it mostly because I think Cam Newton is likely to have jetlag from the flight out west. Arizona is a much better team at home than they are on the road, and I'm not much of a believer in the Panthers, regardless of the whoopin' they laid on my Giants.
That said, I really wanted to take either the NY Giants (-1) vs. the Eagles or the Tennessee Titans (+2.5) vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, but the truth is that I'm scared of laying the monkeys on either of my favorite teams. So Cards it is, and here's hoping...