So, this is it. Cowboys week. Eagles laying three at home.
Even though Tom Landry frowns upon it, I’m making some picks this week. I found this picture when I was scouring the internet for images for this post. I couldn’t believe it. I mean smug-ass Tom Landry is one of the reasons we hate the Cowboys. Seriously, Tom Landry is going to lecture me about gambling, wasn’t one of his guys doing coke off of his helmet at halftime of the Super Bowl or something?
As far as I’m concerned gambling is like the stock market, you can lose alot of money in the stock market if you don’t do your research and manage your money, it’s the same thing with gambling. We’re on a nice run here hitting 80% over the last four weeks, but that still doesn’t mean we are going to hype something up as a lock. And the opposite is also true, trying to chase money is the worst strategy ever. Doubling your bets to get out of the hole is dumb. Sometimes you just have to take your lumps and move on. Of course, we do it all for amusement purposes only here at SpikeEskin.com. Hopefully our winning trend will continue this weekend.
It’s another week with high pointspreads from Vegas. I don’t remember seeing so many high spread like we’ve had this week and in Week 6. This week we have six out of the 13 games with lines of nine points or higher, and six games with lines of 3.5 points or lower. Wow, not making it easy on us. Toss-ups or blowouts, take your pick. A few matchups looked interesting but I decided to pass on making a choice on these games:
Redskins @ Bills (in Toronto) (Bills -6) – this one jumped out at me as a Bills play. I don’t think the Redskins have the offense to make a game of it. The Bills are coming off the bye week and should be ready to play. The line jumped from Bills -4 to Bills -6 so the sharps felt the same way. I laid off this one because I had a gut feeling it could be a sucker line. I don’t want to lay points to find out if the Bills are for real.
Browns @ 49ers (49ers -10) – I think the 49ers are for real, especially on defense. They’re the best team in the NFC West (I know, that’s not saying much). Alex Smith is playing good enough not to lose. And on the other side you have a bad Cleveland team going to the west coast after a terrible performance against Seattle (ugly 6-3 win). The 49ers are 5-1 ATS this season, Cleveland is 1-3-2 ATS with some ugly losses. Cleveland wins are against Miami, Indianapolis and Seattle (combined record: 2-17), so their three wins are not impressive at all. I laid off this one because the Browns, while they suck on offense, are decent on defense. And getting 10 points they might be able to keep the score low enough to stay within the number.
Those 2 games might be good teaser material, but I’m going to pass on them this week. But I did isolate one other game that I liked, plus I’ll make my pick on the Eagles/Cowboys, so let’s get to it…
Bet #1: (a.k.a The “You’re picking the Under?” pick) Eagles / Cowboys UNDER 51
Yeah, I’m doing it again. I’m betting the Under. We hit the Under on Monday Night pretty easily, and hopefully the same thing happens here.
I know, Unders suck. Unders are boring. We’d rather watch a shootout, we want to see Shady run for a few TD’s, Vick throw for 3 TD’s. We want a 38-31 down to the wire. Well, I don’t think it’s going to happen. Not this week.
The defenses aren’t bad. Maybe we’ve seen the Eagles blow too many big leads and give up huge plays to think this is possible, but in the last game against the Redskins they seemed to get it together. I know it was against John Beck and Rex Grossman, but still, it was a big improvement from past weeks. And I’m thinking that Andy and Juan Castillo can make some adjustments in the bye week to have them ready to take on the Cowboys offense.
The Eagles held the Redskins to 42 yards rushing, that’s pretty good considering the Bills ran all over them. Thisweek the Cowboys come to town with rookie DeMarco Murray coming off a huge 253 yard rushing day. Yes, it was against the Rams, who give up the most rushing yard per game in the league, but it was still impressive. I don’t think he’ll do it again. The Cowboys have already said that they plan to cut down on Murray’s workload. Yes, the Eagles are #28 in rushing, but with Trent Cole back I think that number will improve each week. I think we can keep Murray under control on Sunday.
Romo and the passing game is where we would expect to see big plays. Dez Bryant, Mile Austin and Jason Witten should get plenty of chances. But I think the Eagles can match up well. The Eagles do ok with Romo, in seven career games vs. the Eagles he has 10 TD’s and 10 INT’s.
But let’s not forget that the Dallas defense is very strong. No question about it. At FootballOutsiders.com they are #3 overall (#3 in rushing, #4 in passing), they are only giving up 67 rushing yards per game. Wow. It could be a long night for McCoy. If the Eagles expect to beat the Cowboys they’ll need to play a ball control offense. I expect the Eagles to try to model the gameplan after what the Patriots did a few weeks ago. Quick, short passes to Jackson and Maclin, use McCoy out of the backfield.
I know we all want to see fireworks, but I think Andy plays it tight this week and tries to play a low scoring game.
It’s a night game, it’s going to be cold at the Linc, like 40 degrees at kickoff. I’m saying that both defenses step up and keep it a low scoring game. How about the Eagles get a home win and stay alive in the playoff hunt. Eagles 24 Cowboys 17.
The Line: Eagles -3, O/U 51
The Pick: Eagles / Cowboys UNDER 51
Bet #2 (a.k.a The “You won’t like the Ravens when they’re mad” pick) Baltimore Ravens -13 over Arizona Cardinals
Cardinals and Ravens, two teams that were on our list last week. We went against the Cardinals at home against Pittsburgh, and they didn’t dissappoint, losing 32-20. And on Monday Night we had the Ravens/Jaguars UNDER, and that game was an UNDER lock at halftime.
Well, this week I think it will be more of the same for the Cardinals. 13 points is alot to lay, almost two touchdowns. I hate laying that many points, but I think this week is an exception. Ravens will be fired up coming off that ugly Monday Night loss at Jacksonville. They need to make a statement. This isn’t so much a testament to the Ravens defense as it is me saying the Cardinal might get shutout. I really don’t know if they can put up 10 points. The Jaguars have a similar offense to the Cardinals, and the Jags had trouble moving the ball. And how is Kevin Kolb any better than Blaine Gabbert? And Cardinals RB Beanie Wells is out. So it will be up to Kevin Kolb to withstand the pass rush without much rushing help and he has to buy enough time to get the ball to Larry Fitzgerald against the #1 pass defense. Good luck with that, Kevin.
The Ravens have been able to put up points when they win. The margins of victory in their 4 wins has been 28,20,17 & 15. In two losses they only put up 13 and seven points, so it seems like it’s all or nothing for them. In their 3 homes games (all wins) they put up 35 vs. Pittsburgh, 34 vs. the Jets and 29 vs. Houston, all pretty good defenses. They lost at Tennessee in Week 2, then came into St Louis the next week and lit up the Rams 37-7. So the Ravens have proven that they can bounce back after losses. All signs point to a big day for the Ravens.
The Cardinals are ranked 30th in defensive efficiency, 31st vs. the pass and 25th vs the run. I think Flacco and ray Rice should have decent days and put enough points to cover against a bad defense. They had trouble withthe Jags, but the Jags D is leaps and bounds better than Arizona.
I won’t bore you with the Ravens defense stats, they are the best, the #1 rushing defense and the #1 passing defense. And they will shut down, possibly even shut out, the Cardinals.
It could get ugly as the Ravens look to regain possession of 1st place. I’m going to be generous to Arizona and say Ravens 27 Cardinals 6.
The Line: Ravens -13, O/U 44.5
The Pick: Ravens -13
Go get ’em, for amusement purposes only.
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