“I’m so terrified of no one else but me.”—Matchbox 20

There are quite a few nice quotes in that song, but that one really sticks the landing as an opener.

Last week this columnist went 5-0 in this column—a first I must admit—yet I also went 8-6 overall, so my records stand at 19-21 here and 52-64-2 total.

I’ve had a couple good weeks in a row, but my average stands at something like 44%. Meaning: It’s time to keep on trucking. And keep the quotes coming…

 “It’s me; yeah, well I can’t get myself to go away.”

Tampa (E) @ Oakland. Another Raider game; another pick’em. This time, however, I have to go the other way, sadly. The Bucs have had a couple extra days rest, and they’re 3-1 since their bye week and getting their act together. It isn’t a matter of points at first glance, but once you remember the home team usually gets a field goal to begin with, Tampa’s favored, and I like the favorite on the road here.

Arizona @ Green Bay (-10). The Packers are on a three-game winning streak; the Cards are on a four-game skid. The former doesn’t want to stop playing after dominating performances over the last three weeks of play; the latter can’t wait for their up-coming bye week break. Green Bay is so hot, in fact, that they warranted the highest point spread of the year thus far last week at four-teen-and-a-half points. They didn’t cover (having beaten the Jags by only nine points; bummer), but the betting bar has been set. Lay the points and watch the fireworks from Wisconsin.

“I’m surprised if you believe in anything that comes from me.”

Pittsburgh (+3) @ New York Giants. This is the one time over the next three picks that I can actually use this quote because it may surprise a few of you, but as stated in my last piece (“Week Eight in the NFL Against the Spread”) the New York Football Giants are 1-3 in their building against the number and the exact opposite everywhere else. The Steelers are impossible to figure out ATS, SU, period—which makes them equally fascinating and frustrating to pick as a team. Call it a coin flip if you must, just don’t call it bad logic, for its chaos and the art of unpredictability picking here. Not moi.

Dallas @ Atlanta (-4). This number is just too tiny. Big D can’t hang with ATL; they’re going into the Georgia Dome during Prime Time; and has anyone else told you that the Atlanta Falcons are undefeated? I thought so. Furthermore, if you require more explanation, Atlanta’s had their close calls to scare them straight (see: Carolina and Oakland). I hate to cut it short, but…

Philadelphia @ New Orleans (-3). Don’t act like you won’t be glued to the tube for Monday Night Football. The never-ending-party city shall host a game so rowdy it’ll be hard for ESPN to find a steady camera; a game so void of defense that it will shock and awe; a contest between teams that should be better but obviously aren’t—one due to not having a head coach, the other due to having the wrong head coach. And if I have to spell that one out for you, get your head examined. Take the over to be safe, too.


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