Who doesn’t like a good match up? Every week I am going to give my top four wins against the spread and tell you why. They won’t always be filled with stats but I don’t make my picks based solely on stats so I won’t start now. I love to talk match-ups and for anyone that knows me, I can pick games with the best of them.
Raiders @ Dolphins +2.5: It was painful to watch the second Monday Night Football game last week. Everyone saw the Travis Goethel debacle as he managed to send grounders to left field, I mean to Shane Lechler, twice. Even more inexcusable was the blocked punt that had nothing to do with inexperience, just plain poor preparation. All in all, it was a terrible display by the special teams unit. On the up side, however, Carson Palmer threw for 297 yards, with one touchdown and no picks. Throwing three interceptions in his rookie debut, as did Ryan Tannehill, is one thing, but when fans wince every time the long snapper steps up to the line, well, that has to hurt. I am still surprised with such a small spread. The Raiders can’t have back to back special teams flops can they? I am going to say that the Raiders are not that bad and the Dolphins are that bad. Raiders win by at least three.
Ravens @ Eagles -2.5: Say what? Did everyone watch the same two games last week? From what I could see, the Baltimore Ravens look to make a Super Bowl run in 2012, while the Eagles seem to have the same problems they do every year. Michael Vick threw four interceptions against the Cleveland Browns and the offensive line showed poor discipline as they were called on five penalties for 110 yards, taking back big gains made by the offense. On the other side, Joe Flacco played a nearly flawless game throwing for 299 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. As long as Flacco continues on with his quest to be elite and as long as Vick is throwing to injured Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin against a Ravens defense, I am going Ravens on this one.
NY Jets@ Steelers -6.5: I’m not usually a fan of large spreads but this one stuck out to me. This is a must win game for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Falling 0-2 to start the season, with the Ravens looking as solid as they did last week, the Steelers can’t afford to get behind early. Since 1990, there have been four teams that went on to the Super Bowl after starting 0-2. If the Steelers lose this game, I would be surprised to see them make it to the playoffs, much less the Super Bowl. Mark Sanchez also won’t be able to duplicate his performance last week against the Buffalo Bills and Tim Tebow is already crying in New York about not getting the ball enough, according to a Tebow source. I am going with the team that needs it more, Steelers win by at least 7.
Cowboys @ Seattle +3.5: Call me crazy, but I need one more solid week to be sold on the Dallas Cowboys. While they did impress in their season opener, beating the New York Giants 24-17, I still have questions. The Giants are extremely inconsistent until they get their act together in the second half of the season. Last year, they lost to the Washington Redskins in their season opener 28-14 and eventually went on to win the Super Bowl. The Seattle Seahawks are a tough team to beat in their house, so I think this game isn’t going to be as easy as they think. Russell Wilson didn’t look nearly as bad as other rookie quarterbacks that played last weekend and they still have Marshawn Lynch running the ball. I love me a potential trap game. I’m going out of the box and picking Seattle to cover.
Check out my top four picks every week for Sunday and Monday games and let me know what you think. Follow me on Twitter too @christynepolle.