We apologize once again for not bringing you another installment of NFL: Beyond The Numbers this week, but “Vegas” Dave and I decided that we both needed a bye week, just like the NFL players. Having said that, we still wanted to get some picks in this week to go towards our weekly bets, so we each did a write up on our favorite picks of the week. Check them out below.

KT’s Picks: 11-8-2 Upsets: 3-4

Pick #1: Chargers -3.0 at Cleveland

This spread has trap written all over it, but I’m jumping right in. San Diego is coming off a bye week, meaning they’ve had two weeks to stew over that absurd loss to Denver on Monday Night Football. Phillip Rivers had one of the worst halves of football we’ve ever seen from a QB, but he tends to bounce back well from bad games. Combine that with the fact that Trent Richardson is beat up, and this has blowout written all over it, even in Cleveland. I expect the Chargers to rack up points here, and I don’t think Cleveland has the firepower to keep up, even against a San Diego defense that hasn’t done much to impress anyone.

Pick #2: Philly -2.0 vs. Atlanta

One of the most astonishing figures in all of football in recent years is Andy Reid’s record after a bye week:  13-0. Having said that, Atlanta is one of the toughest draws you can get after a bye, as the Falcons are the lone undefeated team in football, not to mention they too are coming off a bye. But the Falcons have been winning close games, and in my opinion, they are due to lose one. In order for Philly to win, they will have to get Lesean McCoy, a player who is so easily forgotten in the play calling, the ball a ton. Desean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin will also need to make some big plays.  Since this game is in Philly, I give them the slight edge, in a game that I think will be decided by one possession.

Pick #3 Chicago -9.0 vs. Carolina

Originally, I had St. Louis +7 here thinking it was in St. Louis, then I saw that it was in London.  Quick side note: the fact that there is a regular season game in London is absolutely ridiculous, and a blatant money grab by the NFL. I’m all for exposure of the game abroad, but in a regular season, teams only have eight home games. EIGHT!! To have one less is such a huge disadvantage and  is incredibly unfair. And of course, the Rams lose the home game, because god forbid the Patriots have one less home game right? But I digress.

I didn’t love any of the remaining picks on the board, so I went with the one that would seem most logical. The Carolina Panthers are bad. Like, really bad. And the Chicago Bears are good. Like, really good. This game has blowout written all over it. The Bears defense has more play makers then the Panthers offense, and on the opposite side of the ball, the Bears offense shouldn’t have any issues moving the ball against a bad Carolina defense. If you crunch the numbers, it seems like more often then not, the Bears win this one by double digits.

Upset Pick: Colts +3.5 at Tennessee

I don’t love this pick, but despite the Titans’ recent success, I think the Colts are the better team. Matt Hasselback will be starting again, and I think that will benefit the Colts, who like to get outside pressure on the QB.  Road games are always tough, but I think the defensive line for the Colts can get pressure on the QB, and even with the potential that Donald Brown could be out, I like this matchup for Andrew Luck and the Colts.

Vegas Dave Picks: 9-12 Upsets: 3-4

Pick #1: Oakland +1.0 at Kansas City
With Kansas City’s declaration that they are switching to Brady Quinn at quarterback, the Chiefs have all but stuck a fork in this season. That’s a wise choice considering how awful they’ve played anyway. Oakland on the other hand is feeling confident after coming out of the bye with a strong performance against Atlanta and a win last week over Jacksonville. I’m still not convinced that the Raiders are a great team by any stretch, but the defense has played well over the last few weeks and should be able to handle Brady Quinn. Oakland is 5-0 straight up and against the spread in its last five trips to Arrowhead Stadium, and should be 6-0 in both categories after this week’s game.
Pick #2: Denver -6.0 vs. New Orleans
This is a bit of a trap spread, considering how New Orleans seems to have turned things around with back-to-back wins. This looks like it could be a close shootout on paper, and people are lining up to take the Saints with all of these points. I think this will end up being a high scoring game, but not only do the Broncos have the stronger defense and home field advantage, they’ve also had a week off to prepare for this terrible Saints defense and to focus on getting off to better starts moving forward. The Saints will score their share of points, but Denver will make a few more big plays on defense to come away with a 7-10 point win.
Pick #3: NY Giants -1 vs. Dallas
This one is basically just a percentage play. I wouldn’t be surprised at all of the Cowboys find a way to win, at home, against the Giants. But New York has carried the momentum of last year into this year with strong (albeit somewhat inconsistent) play on both sides of the ball, and it is hard to see the Giants letting the Cowboys beat them twice in one season especially after Dallas ruined their Super Bowl celebration on opening day. At only -1, I just feel that the Giants win this game more often than they don’t in this spot, so I’ll take my chances.
Upset Pick: Miami over NY Jets
The Jets have actually looked decent over the last two weeks. But upon further inspection, it probably has more to do with their opponents, as the Colts have one of the league’s worst rushing defenses and New England has one of the league’s worst passing defenses. Miami has no noticeable holes on defense, and has had the bye week to prepare for this very beatable Jets team. It’ll be a close game, but I’ll take what I believe to be the superior team coming off of the bye week as an underdog anytime.
That wraps up our favorite picks on the week. What spreads do you like? What do you think of our picks? Let us know what you think in the comments box!