Carolina Panthers at St. Louis Rams (over/under 37 points): Panthers fans have cautious optimism after the offense looked much improved with Matt Moore under center last week. Meanwhile, Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson are poised to get some things done versus a Carolina defense which has been awful at times. Key stat: in nine of its last 10 games just prior to the bye week, St. Louis has combined with its opponent to score enough points to qualify as an over.
over 37 total points.
As for Vinnie’s premiere picks,
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers (-3.5): Tennessee features a balanced offense this year that gets the ball into not only Chris Johnson‘s capable hands, but those of Kenny Britt as well. While the Chargers play better football at home, Tennessee will be able to put points on the board with ease. But as well as Philip Rivers is playing, seemingly regardless of what receivers are in the lineup for San Diego in a given week, the Titans defense has been difficult for opponents to contend with. Key stat: Tennessee has gone 6-2 against the spread in games just prior to the bye week over the last eight years.
Gimme the Titans plus the points.
Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals (-2.5): Quirky trend: the Dolphins have won all three games on the road, lost all three home games. Chad Henne, Brandon Marshall and Davone Bess may or may not be able to abuse the Bengals secondary to the extent that Atlanta was able to a week ago, but this trio (with a little more help than has been the case) will make a solid accounting of itself regardless. Key stat: Cincinnati is just 1-5 against the spread in the last six games in which the team hosted Miami.
Gimme the Dolphins plus the points.
Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints (Even): The injuries piling up among Pittsburgh’s stalwart defensive linemen will take its toll, and Vinnie knows better than to underestimate the Saints’ explosive offense. Given the struggles Drew Brees and company have had in recent weeks, however, the Steelers defense can gameplan with its deficiencies in mind and finds ways to consistently collapse the pocket. Meanwhile Vinnie expects big, big things this week from Ben Roethlisberger and his offensive teammates.
Gimme the Steelers outright.
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs (-7.5): As all around well as the Chiefs defense is performing, Vinnie doesn’t see Ryan Fitzpatrick pulling his weight to the same degree. Maybe in garbage time – but that’s more relevant for fantasy than pick’em. In Matt Cassel, Jamaal Charles, Thomas Jones, Dwayne Bowe, Dexter McCluster and Tony Moeaski, though, Kansas City has more than enough options in terms of taking Buffalo’s porous defense to task. Key stat: Kansas City is 5-1 against the spread thus far in 2010.
Gimme the Chiefs minus the points.
Washington Redskins @ Detroit Lions (-2): When first noticing the line on this game, Vinnie was perplexed. The one-win Lions are favored, against Mike Shanahan’s Redskins? After breaking things down, though, Vinnie likes Matthew Stafford and his many receiving weapons to do much to generate excitement among the home crowd. It must be noted that Washington’s pass defense has taken its lumps, and doesn’t match up well in this one. Expect the Lions offensive line to again play pretty well as a unit, enough any way to contribute toward Washington (for the fifth consecutive occasion) losing just prior to its bye week.
Gimme the Lions minus the points.