2010 Weekly Predictions: Week 11

November 20th, 2010 - 11:50 am

After a great Week 9 of predictions it was back to above average last week. Dallas’ victory over the Giants, Miami’s victory over Tennessee, and Denver’s victory over Kansas City were the biggest surprises to me. New England over Pittsburgh, San Francisco over St. Louis, and Atlanta over Baltimore also hurt. Of course, I’ll take the Bears’ victory over Minnesota any day.

Full predictions will come out later this week. Point spread for Thursday night’s game comes from Vegas.com as of Thursday afternoon.

Last Week: 7-7
Last Week against the spread: 8-6

This Week: 14-2
This Week against the spread: 9-7

Overall: 103-57
Overall against the spread: 86-68-5

Chicago Bears (6-3) at Miami Dolphins (5-4)
They say that short weeks tend to favor the home team, but I’m not so sure that’s the case this week. The Bears are one of the most healthy teams in the league while the Dolphins will be starting a third-string quarterback and a beat-up Jake Long at left tackle. Miami will have to rely on their run game to get offensive production, but the Bears are one of the best run defenses in the league. It could be closer than it should be, but I think the Bears pull it off on the road.
Prediction: Chicago 20, Miami 17
Actual Score: Chicago 16, Miami 0
Spread Pick: Chicago +1 1/2
Actual Score: Chicago 16, Miami 0

Buffalo Bills (1-8) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-7)
Buffalo got the monkey off their back last week and picked up their first victory, but I don’t think they’ll go into Cincinnati and make it an encore. I think the Bengals run the ball well to beat the Bills.
Prediction: Cincinnati 23, Buffalo 20
Actual Score: Buffalo 49, Cincinnati 31
Spread Pick: Buffalo +5 1/2
Actual Score: Buffalo 49, Cincinnati 31

Oakland Raiders (5-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3)
It’s hard to believe the Raiders are in first place this late in the season, but they’re doing it with their run game, which ranks second in the league. Both teams are banged up, but I give the edge to the home Steelers.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 21, Oakland 17
Actual Score: Pittsburgh 35, Oakland 3
Spread Pick: Oakland +7 1/2
Actual Score: Pittsburgh 35, Oakland 3

Arizona Cardinals (3-6) at Kansas City Chiefs (5-4)
Arizona continues their free fall post-Kurt Warner and are struggling to put points on the board. The Chiefs were hammered last week by the Broncos, but I think they’ll rebound nicely at home this week.
Prediction: Kansas City 24, Arizona 14
Actual Score: Kansas City 31, Arizona 13
Spread Pick: Kansas City -7 1/2
Actual Score: Kansas City 31, Arizona 13

Cleveland Browns (3-6) at Jacksonville Jaguars (5-4)
You can make a case that both of these teams have put forth some surprising performances this year. The Browns don’t defend the run well and I think that’s where the Jaguars will put them away.
Prediction: Jacksonville 23, Cleveland 21
Actual Score: Jacksonville 24, Cleveland 20
Spread Pick: Jacksonville -2 (would be a push by my prediction)
Actual Score: Jacksonville 24, Cleveland 20

Houston Texans (4-5) at New York Jets (7-2)
I’ve lost faith in the Texans after a solid start to their season. If this were a home game for them, I might put more thought into it, but I think the Jets win comfortably here.
Prediction: NY Jets 24, Houston 16
Actual Score: NY Jets 30, Houston 27
Spread Pick: NY Jets -6 1/2
Actual Score: NY Jets 30, Houston 27

Washington Redskins (4-5) at Tennessee Titans (5-4)
These two teams have both showed flashes of being good and yet also flashes of being bad. The Titans have the better defense and run game and also have home field advantage, which is why I like them in this matchup.
Prediction: Tennessee 27, Washington 20
Actual Score: Washington 19, Tennessee 16
Spread Pick: Tennessee -7 (would be a push by my prediction)
Actual Score: Washington 19, Tennessee 16

Green Bay Packers (6-3) at Minnesota Vikings (3-6)
Brett Favre has one last chance to show up his former team and the Vikings generally play well at home. The Vikings likely will also have Sidney Rice back in the lineup. There’s something about the way the Packers have overcome injuries and have still played at a high level that leads me to believe they’ll pull off a close one.
Prediction: Green Bay 24, Minnesota 23
Actual Score: Green Bay 31, Minnesota 3
Spread Pick: Minnesota +3
Actual Score: Green Bay 31, Minnesota 3

Baltimore Ravens (6-3) at Carolina Panthers (1-8)
Baltimore lost a close one on the road last week against Atlanta that they’re still reeling over. The one thing the Panthers almost always have done well is run the football, but I don’t think they have enough juice to upset the Ravens.
Prediction: Baltimore 23, Carolina 13
Actual Score: Baltimore 37, Carolina 13
Spread Pick: Carolina +11
Actual Score: Baltimore 37, Carolina 13

Detroit Lions (2-7) at Dallas Cowboys (2-7)
A week ago, I could have circled this game and said the Lions would win. Then I saw what the Cowboys did to the Giants — the supposed “best team in the NFC” last week. I think Dallas has a renewed sense of pride and hunger and will prevail in this one.
Prediction: Dallas 24, Detroit 20
Actual Score: Dallas 35, Detroit 19
Spread Pick: Detroit +6
Actual Score: Dallas 35, Detroit 19

Atlanta Falcons (7-2) at St. Louis Rams (4-5)
The Falcons are one of the best teams in the NFC and have a solid run defense. I like what Sam Bradford has done with the Rams this year, but I think St. Louis is overmatched.
Prediction: Atlanta 27, St. Louis 17
Actual Score: Atlanta 34, St. Louis 17
Spread Pick: Atlanta -3
Actual Score: Atlanta 34, St. Louis 17

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-3) at San Francisco 49ers (3-6)
The 49ers have won three of their last four games and have been playing a bit better defense as of late, but Tampa Bay has been a pleasant surprise this year with their run game and the play of young quarterback Josh Freeman. I like them on the road.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 20, San Francisco 17
Actual Score: Tampa Bay 21, San Francisco 0
Spread Pick: Tampa Bay +3
Actual Score: Tampa Bay 21, San Francisco 0

Seattle Seahawks (5-4) at New Orleans Saints (6-3)
I sort of feel New Orleans has mostly been flying under the radar this year, even as defending champions. I think it could be because their offense isn’t lighting up the scoreboard and is only ranked No. 15 in points scored. Part of that is because Reggie Bush has been out for a while. He may play this week, but even if he doesn’t, I like the Saints at home over the Seahawks.
Prediction: New Orleans 27, Seattle 14
Actual Score: New Orleans 34, Seattle 19
Spread Pick: New Orleans -11 1/2
Actual Score: New Orleans 34, Seattle 19

Indianapolis Colts (6-3) at New England Patriots (7-2)
It’s always a showdown when Peyton Manning’s Colts and Tom Brady’s Patriots face off against one another. I think Manning is the better quarterback but the Patriots probably have a bit better team and have the home field advantage. I think Brady will win this faceoff.
Prediction: New England 27, Indianapolis 24
Actual Score: New England 31, Indianapolis 28
Spread Pick: Indianapolis +4
Actual Score: New England 31, Indianapolis 28

New York Giants (6-3) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-3)
Kudos to the NFL schedule makers for managing to land some pretty successful and meaningful Sunday night games this year and this may be the best one yet. The Giants, before being upset by the Cowboys last week, were considered to be the class of the NFC. Now the Eagles seem to have taken that role. It’ll be interesting to see what Michael Vick does for an encore, or if the Giants defense can contain him. I like the Eagles at home.
Prediction: Philadelphia 24, NY Giants 21
Actual Score: Philadelphia 27, NY Giants 17
Spread Pick: Philadelphia -3 (would be a push by my prediction)
Actual Score: Philadelphia 27, NY Giants 17

Denver Broncos (3-6) at San Diego Chargers (4-5)
Who could have predicted what a lousy matchup this would have been at the beginning of the season? At least, record-wise. These are still two AFC West rivals who always seem to have great games and both of these offenses can air out the ball. I think the Chargers, who have the better defense, will win the game.
Prediction: San Diego 27, Denver 23
Actual Score: San Diego 35, Denver 14
Spread Pick: Denver +9 1/2
Actual Score: San Diego 35, Denver 14