Vinnie is staking his claim to several games that have a line set in the double digits.
In more cases than not, the theme of Week 6 has to do with picking teams which have experienced more downs than ups.
Philadelphia Eagles @ Oakland Raiders (+14.5): Philly looked extremely good with Donovan McNabb back at the helm, in Week 5. Vinnie has more confidence in the Eagles, here, than in the midst of picking other games quite simply because Oakland is … that bad right now. Whereas DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Brian Westbrook, and Brent Celek might all hit paydirt this week, the Raiders offense has become so stagnant that it’s difficult to imagine this becoming a competitive game.
Gimme the Eagles minus the points.
St. Louis Rams @ Jacksonville Jaguars (-10): Things were clicking in most phases for the Jaguars, then came the 41-to-0 hammering in Seattle. Some of that had to do with Mike Sims-Walker being a healthy scratch from the lineup, some of that had to do with Jacksonville’s vulnerabilities in pass defense. With Sims-Walker back and Maurice Jones-Drew doing his thing, David Garrard – playing quite well in home games, thank you very much – will do everything in his power to propel Jacksonville toward the .500 mark it needs to avoid falling too far behind in the AFC playoff race. Now Steven Jackson, Donnie Avery, even Marc Bulger could make a little something happen when St. Louis has the ball. But Vinnie plans on the Jaguars putting a ton of points on the board, keeping the visiting Rams off balance all afternoon.
Gimme the Jaguars minus the points.
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks (-3): With San Francisco falling to a 3-2 record against Atlanta a week ago, the NFC West is a wide open division. What we have here is a juicy matchup between rival teams, each of whom would love nothing more than to catapult past the 49ers down the stretch, on the way to clinching a coveted home game to open the postseason. It’s a battle of seasoned quarterbacks, Kurt Warner versus Matt Hasselbeck. Vinnie likes what he sees in Seattle’s case, though, given their homefield advantage and the Cardinals ineptitude defending against the pass.
Gimme the Seahawks minus the points.
Cleveland Browns @ Pittsburgh Steelers (-14): Vinnie is fully aware that the Steelers have won 11 straight games against Cleveland. And that the Browns defense has nary an answer for Ben Roethlisberger and the matchup problems that Santonio Holmes, Hines Ward, Mike Wallace and Heath Miller present. And that Rashard Mendenhall has been on a roll, here lately, and Willie Parker may be healthy enough to give it a go this week. Vinnie is also aware of how dramatically the absence of defensive end Aaron Smith affected Pittsburgh’s overall effectiveness on defense, the last time he was inflicted with a serious injury. With the recent news that Smith is shelved for the year and safety Troy Polamalu trying to get back to 100% himself, Vinnie sees enough potential in the Browns to predict a closer game than advertised.
Gimme the Browns plus the points.