This is just a bad year for the NFL.
There is no great team.
The closest we have to a great team is the Seattle Seahawks, and something still feels off about the Seahawks.
Perhaps it’s because the rest of the league is so boring/weak this year.
Just look at the good teams: The Saints look good, but not great. The Pats? Brady is off, and they just lost important defensive players. The 49ers were crushed by the Seahawks, it looks to be an off year. The Packers are starting to get it together, but do you trust them? The Broncos were white hot to start, but the defence is suspect, and people are sceptical about Manning for the duration of the season. The Chiefs are undefeated, but I’m not a believer in the long run.
And then, there’s the bad teams: The Jaguars and Bucs both look like they’re going to go 0-16. The Giants and Vikings are sloppy, and look like they’re getting 3 wins. The Steelers are starting get it going but, please. The Eagles, the Washington Hogs, Cardinals, Bears, Browns, etc. all look shaky, destined to win a handful of games.
We’re almost half way through the season, I really have no sense of who the Seahawks will play in the Super Bowl.
Which might be why I’m not doing as well as I would hope picking games.
I got last night’s game right, calling for a Panthers win. The Bucs are a mess and should fire Schiano as soon as possible, unless they just want to tank the season.
That makes my record 21-23-1 for the season, which isn’t horrendous, but it’s not good. I’m like the Eagles, a threat to win from week to week, but ultimately not getting it done.
Let’s see if I can change that this week. All lines are from the Las Vegas Hilton, via Vegas Insider.
The New York Jets are on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals, who are 6.5 point favourites.
I like the Jets here. The defence will be good enough to rattle Andy Dalton, who is just so-so. Geno Smith is inconsistent, and will have his problems with the Bengals, but I think he’ll play well enough that with 6.5 points he should cover.
The pick: Jets +6.5
For the non-gamblers, that means Jets either win, or only lose by 6 or less.
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The Dallas Cowboys are on the road against the Detroit Lions, who are 3 point favourites.
The Cowboys should get torched by the Lions, who have a decent offence, and a decent defence. These teams are actually kind of similar. Good, but underachieving quarterbacks. Lots of talent on the roster, but coaches who don’t seem able to get the most out of the players. In this situation, I say take the home team.
The pickle: Lions -3
For the non-gamblers, I like the Lions to win by 3 or more.
Pittsburgh Steelers are on the road against the Oakland Raiders who are getting 2.5 points.
This feels like a game where Vegas wants everyone to pick the Steelers who have suddenly won two games in a row. The Raiders are stinky, and everyone knows it, right? Well, I’m going the other way. I say take the points, take the Raiders.
The lock: Raiders +2.5
For non-gamblers, I think the Raiders win, or lose by 2 points or less.
New York Giants are on the road against the Philadelphia Eagles, who are getting 5.5 points.
The Eagles should have Vick back, which should be enough to beat the hapless Giants.
The lead pipe lock: Eagles -5.5
For non-gamblers, that means I think the Eagles win by 6.
The Broncos had an off week last week. Nothing will cure that faster than Washington’s terrible defence and terrible special teams. Look for the Peyton Manning and the Broncos to light up Washington.
The lock ness monster: Broncos -12
For non-gamblers, this means I think the Broncos win by a whopping 12 points or more.
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