New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans (+3.5)
: The Saints are riding a four-game winning streak, and have beaten the spread in five of their last six. Tennessee has been a tough out at home, and should once again get some good production out of Chris Johnson – this despite lackluster help in the run blocking department all season, which has surprised Vinnie considering the Titans are led up front by tackles David Stewart and Michael Roos, and underrated guards Jake Scott and Leroy Harris. Will that alone be enough, though?
Matt Hasselbeck will have his moments passing the football, probably getting Damian Williams involved. Now it’s time to talk Drew Brees. The sixth-year starter for New Orleans is right now on a record pace, as in no other NFL quarterback has amassed as many passing yards through the first 12 games of a season as Brees just did. Also important, Brees has lost only two of his last 15 games versus AFC teams, passing for a cumulative rating of 103.6 and more than 300 yards per game. Expect Daniel Graham to once again come in very handy for Brees … but you don’t read Vinnie’s analysis for gems of such as that, now do you?
Gimme the Saints minus the points.
Buffalo Bills at San Diego Chargers (-7)
: Let’s not complicate things unnecessarily. While Ryan Fitzpatrick has valiantly upped his game since Fred Jackson’s departure from the Bills lineup, with the help of receivers Stevie Johnson and Brad Smith, this team is riding a five-game losing streak. Buffalo’s defense has really fallen off, giving up touchdowns all sorts of ways. Enter Ryan Mathews, who is probably playing his best ball since going pro.
Speaking of Chargers with a good shot at posting eye-popping numbers Sunday afternoon, Philip Rivers will find success against the Bills’ hit-or-miss pass defense. Buffalo’s safeties are quality, but none of its cornerbacks have reason to book travel plans for Hawaii on Pro Bowl weekend. You want to tell Vinnie with a straight face that these guys will somehow be able to cover Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd, Vincent Brown and Antonio Gates? San Diego lost against the spread six weeks in a row, prior to blowing Jacksonville to pieces this past Monday. This game pits against one another teams going in seemingly opposite directions, though, so you can feel confident in the Chargers covering.
Gimme the Chargers minus the points.