With a game scheduled for Thursday night, here’s an early web-only version of our weekly NFL picks.
Baltimore at Atlanta
Spread: Atlanta -1
Wazny says: Ravens both ways. Not sure if the Falcons have that extra gear needed to beat a solid unit like the Ravens. Prediction: There will be no spitting in the Georgia Dome.
Lawless says: Falcons both ways. Short week hurts an older Ravens team.
Detroit at Buffalo
Spread: Buffalo -3
Wazny says: Bills both ways. Matt Stafford won’t play, which means if the Bills are going to win a game this season — NOW IS THE TIME.
Lawless says: Buffalo to win and Detroit with the points. Buffalo deserves a win but it’s hard to see them winning by more than a field goal. Baby steps.
Cincinatti at Indianapolis
Spread: Indy -7
Wazny says: Colts both ways. Forget the rope pull -- the T.O. mime TD dance should include the Bengals enjoying a win. Unfortunately, no one in stripes knows what that looks like.
Lawless says: Colts to win and Bengals against the spread. Cincy can defend and they showed an offensive spark late in a rally against the Steelers last week.
NYJ at Cleveland
Spread: Jets -3
Wazny says: Jets both ways. The Browns are 5-2 straight up in their last seven at home. I bring this up to show what little confidence I have in Cleveland beating an AFC East contender two weeks in a row.
Lawless says: Jets both ways. The Browns just can’t win three weeks in a row.
Houston at Jacksonville
Spread: Jacksonville - 1.5
Wazny says: Jags both ways. Jacksonville — who knows what’s going on there? With Houston at least we know they’re bad and underachievers. Go with what you know, yo.
Lawless says: Houston both ways. Total hunch.
Minnesota at Chicago
Spread: Minnesota -1
Wazny says: Bears both ways. Sorry Vikings fans, the Arizona comeback is just delaying the inevitable disappointment of a .500 season. The over/under for interceptions in this game is nine.
Lawless says: Minnesota both ways. I would LOVE to pick the Bears. I would LOVE the Bears to win. Sadly, the Bears can’t be counted on for anything right now.
Tennessee at Miami
Spread: Tennessee -1
Wazny says: Dolphins both ways. The Titans will be showcasing a new wideout for this game. Randy something or other. It won’t matter. Miami has more to lose than the locker room at this juncture.
Lawless says: Fins both ways. For pure hate of what Randy Moss represents more than anything else.
Carolina at Tampa Bay
Spread: Tampa -6.5
Wazny says: Bucs both ways. Where should we start? Matt Moore is done for the year and John Fox is already updating his resume for Dallas. The Panthers might not win another game.
Lawless says: Tampa both ways. Surprised this spread isn’t a little fatter.
Kansas City at Denver
Spread: KC -1
Wazny says: Chiefs both ways. After this one, the two young head coaches meet at mid-field and exchange hoodies, like they do in soccer.
Lawless says: Chiefs both ways. Wish I could be cute like my skateboarding colleague with all his hoodie and soccer talk but I don’t have it in me where these coaches are concerned. They’re both punks. But the Chiefs are playing some football right now.
St. Louis at San Francisco
Spread: Niners -6
Wazny says: 49ers straight up, Rams and the points. San Francisco is in must-win mode. The Rams are still a work in progress. With the Seahawks and Cards in the mix, 8-8 record might win this division.
Lawless says: Niners straight up and the Rams against the spread. There was so much to like about SanFan not too long ago. Maybe they can pull this season out of the dumper yet.
Dallas at NYG
Spread: NYG -14
Wazny says: Giants both ways. It gives me great pleasure to make this selection without any disclaimer regarding my allegiance to the Big Blue Wrecking Crew. Not even J.R. Ewing likes Dallas here.
Lawless says: NYG to win, Dallas against the spread. The Cowboys have watched a coach get fired and they know they have to play for their jobs so this won’t be another beatdown.
Seattle at Arizona
Spread: Arizona -3
Wazny says: Cardinals straight up, Seahawks against the spread. For those wondering, rookie John Skelton is Arizona’s third-string QB. He went to Fordham. You can’t tell by their play this year, but Derek Anderson and Max Hall are ahead of Skelton on the depth chart.
Lawless says: Arizona straight up and Hawks against the spread. Battle of the No-Stars. Take the home team to win but barely.
New England at Pittsburgh
Spread: Pittsburgh -4.5
Wazny says: Steelers both ways. This game will tell us how good these teams are. Also worth watching: Chris Collinsworth’s sugary analysis regarding the play of Ben and Brady during the broadcast. I’m getting a cavity just thinking about it.
Lawless says: Pittsburgh to win and New England against the spread. The Steelers don’t hold leads very well and have yet to develop a knockout punch on the offence. New England will keep this close.
Philadelphia at Washington
Spread: Philly -3
Wazny says: Redskins to win. McNabb — playing or not playing -— isn’t a very good quarterback anymore. Mike Vick, meanwhile, seems prone to in-game lapses. Either way, the MNF crew has both guys headed to Canton.
Lawless says: Philly to win and cover. Mike Vick is getting better and better each week.
Bye: Packers, Saints, Raiders, Chargers
With most fantasy leagues using a 13 game regular season, the next few weeks are crucial to shoring your team up for a big playoff push. Major QB issues for quite a few teams this week with Rodgers, Brees and Rivers all on byes, although some serviceable QB’s are available for a one week pick up in most leagues.
Start Em: Dez Bryant WR DAL - the rookie phenom for the Cowboys is pretty much the lone bright spot in this lost season for the Cowboys. New head coach Jason Garrett will do his best to shake up the offense and get the ball into Bryant’s hands from here on in making him a nice WR or flex play with big play upside in most formats.
Sit Em: Chad Ochocinqo WR CIN - The Bengals are another highly disappointing team this week and motormouthed WR Ochocinqo has been a complete bust for most of the season while T.O. has been the one producing. It was only a matter of time before Ocho started complaining and diverting blame from his poor performances this year and that time has come. Stay far far away from 85 unless you have no other options.
Pick up of the week: Sean Hill QB DET - with Matt Stafford seemingly as durable as Glass Joe from Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, the Lions turn back to Hill this week against 0-8 Buffalo. Hill’s numbers were quite good during his previous starts this year and considering the offensive weapons in the Lions locker room he should be a great week 10 fill in and QB insurance the rest of the fantasy season.
Wazny: Straight up (8-5 last week; 77-53 overall). Against the spread (9-4 last week; 68-62 overall)
Lawless: (9-4 last week; 79-51 overall). Against the spread (8-5; 72-58)