Pigskin Pick’Em: Raiders to beat the Broncos?

  • By Nolan Rose
  • Wednesday, October 7, 2015 11:49pm
  • Sports

The Sultan has reached the quarter pole of the NFL season with a satisfactory 36-24-2 mark against the spread. Despite a couple of head scratching selections (siding with Houston and Tampa Bay) in week 4, the column emerged with a positive 8-5-1 tally. Our season total sits at a sterling 60%.

The “Fabulous Five” was a bit of a dud in its debut. Green Bay and Cincinnati covered as expected, but fourth quarter meltdowns by Oakland and Seattle ruined what could have been a fantastic start. San Diego’s poor performance at home sealed a 2-3 result.

For Clarion faithful keeping score at home, please note last week’s Dallas-New Orleans game was “no action” because ESPN.com had not published a line on the game when the column was submitted.

Indianapolis Colts @
HOUSTON TEXANS +1

I was burned by the Texans a week ago when the team failed to board the plane to Atlanta. Houston’s effort in the ATL was embarrassing, and we’re counting on that to get us through this Thursday night affair. Professional football teams rarely post back to back duds. Look at the Jacksonville Jaguars near upset of the Colts last Sunday, the Jags were walloped 51-17 by Tom Brady the week prior. The Texans are desperate, at home, and Andrew Luck’s effectiveness with an injured shoulder is in question. Texans win 23-20

CHICAGO BEARS @
Kansas City Chiefs -10.5

Kansas City has the feel of a potentially good football team, but it hasn’t shown up on Sunday’s. The Bears posted their first victory of the season last week with Jay Cutler back under center, and his tight end favorably compared the passer to Jesus after the victory. What planet am I on? The thought here is that the home side wins an ugly, closely contested game, but fails to cover. Chiefs win 27-20

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @
Cincinnati Bengals -2.5

The Seahawks survived a depressing Detroit Lions team Monday night when Kam Chancellor knocked the ball loose from Calvin Johnson as the receiver attempted to score the go-ahead touchdown in the game’s final minutes. There’s been enough talk of batted footballs, so we won’t go there, but its obvious Seattle can’t quite find its rhythm. The offensive line’s inability to block has masked the defense allowing a measly three points in its last eight quarters. That’s good. By seasons end this will be the best defense Seattle has had under Pete Carroll. This is a very good football team, and Las Vegas knows that. How can you explain the undefeated Bengals being less than a field goal favorite at home vs. a 2-2 team, off a short week, that barely beat the Lions! The suits are happily taking heavy public action on the home side. We’ll go the opposite way. Seahawks win 24-17

Washington Redskins @
ATLANTA FALCONS -8

The 2-2 Washington Redskins have been a nice story with Kirk Cousins replacing the incompetent Robert Griffin at quarterback. The 4-0 Atlanta Falcons are the talk of the league. We already knew Falcons receiver Julio Jones was unstoppable. Now Atlanta has an effective running game behind the emergence of Devonta Freeman. Washington will be competitive, but expecting the Native Americans to keep pace on the scoreboard for four quarters is Custer’s Folly. Falcons win 35-20

JACKSONVILLE JAGS @
Tampa Bay Bucs -2.5

Week five Toilet Bowl nominee. Florida is a hotbed for football talent at the high school and collegiate levels. The NFL? Not so much. The Jaguars, Dolphins, and Bucs are a combined 3-9 on the year. Jacksonville already owns a victory over Miami this year, and will look to go 2-0 vs. the state of Florida this Sunday. Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston looks completely lost as a pro. The sad thing is you could see this shipwreck coming. Winston, on the heels of an 18-interception campaign his final year at Free Shoes University, is on pace to throw 28 picks as a first year pro. Winston is a natural at throwing the ball to the other team. Jags win 28-23

New Orleans Saints @
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES -4.5

I’m still a Chip Kelly believer, granted my faith is dwindling. This is the week the Eagles finally turn the corner and start playing good football. Sam Bradford and the passing game found its rhythm in the second half of last week’s matchup with Washington. If Philadelphia can put that together for four quarters they’ll be in good shape against a Saints team that looks like a shell of itself. Ignore New Orleans win over the injury depleted Dallas Cowboys. The Saints aren’t marching in. Eagles win 28-17

Cleveland Browns @
BALTIMORE RAVENS -7

Baltimore saved its season last Thursday night with a stirring victory over rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Can the Ravens keep momentum going and get a second win this Sunday when the hapless Cleveland Browns come to town? The Browns are awful. I don’t even like writing about the Browns. What’s there to write? You can only comment on their pumpkin patch uniforms for so long. Ravens win 20-12

ST. LOUIS RAMS @
Green Bay Packers -10

If you haven’t noticed the trend, St. Louis always plays to the level of its competition. The Rams own victories over the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals. They’ve also lost to the Washington Redskins and injury riddled Pittsburgh Steelers team. This Sunday the Rams travel to Cheeseland to take on the best quarterback in the known Universe, Aaron Rodgers. The Rams are going to play well, but right now Rodgers is on another level. Green Bay scores a late TD to seal the victory, but fails to cover. Packers win 28-19

BUFFALO BILLS @
Tennessee Titans +1

Rex Ryan defenses are notoriously difficult for rookie passers to figure out. This week Ryan’s Bills will test the Titans’ Marcus Mariota. Mariota has been effective early in the year, and has had two weeks to prepare for this matchup, but the Sultan anticipates a long afternoon this Sunday. Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills! After a week of getting crushed in the media for being undisciplined, Buffalo will play its best ball. Bills win 27-17

ARIZONA CARDINALS @
Detroit Lions +2.5

The Desert Bats come in as a 2.5-point favorite against the winless Feral Cats of Detroit? Vegas will get hammered on the road side with a line like that, and I’ve said it over and over in this column. If you know the suits are sitting on a side its best to follow the house. So the play is Detroit gets its first win of the season, right? Wrong! The house isn’t correct 100% of the time, and this is a Lions team that will find a way to lose, no matter how bizarre. Monday night was evidence of that. Cardinals win 33-17

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @
Dallas Cowboys +10

I’m not a Cowboys fan obviously, but goodness gracious how many injuries can a team take? It’s been a brutal start to the season for the Fighting Jerry’s and a visit from the New England Patriots isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered. Tom Brady is the only challenger in the league to Aaron Rodgers’ supremacy. Brady’s counterpart is Brandon Weedon. This won’t end well for the home team. You have to feel bad for Southcentral America’s Team. Patriots win 38-13

Denver Broncos @
OAKLAND RAIDERS +4.5

This much we know. Peyton Manning is going to throw three to four of the grossest wobbling ducks you’ve ever seen every week. For the Raiders to cover they’re going to have to take advantage of those opportunities. The play here is a couple of costly turnovers will knock the Broncos from the ranks of the unbeaten. I know this will come as a huge to surprise to the Elway army, but Denver isn’t going 16-0. Raiders win 20-17

San Francisco 49ers @
NEW YORK GIANTS -7

A recent headline from the Mercury News (a Bay Area newspaper), “Colin Kaepernick’s massive implosion: The clearest sign yet that the 49ers have no idea what they’re doing, not at all”. Welcome to the 2015 San Francisco 49ers! Giants win 23-6

Pittsburgh Steelers @
SAN DIEGO CHARGERS -3

Do you trust Michael Vick to win a football game on the road? I don’t either. Take the home side, not because the Chargers have done anything to earn our favor, but again, this is Michael Vick we’re talking about.

*Fabulous Five of the Week. Giants, Bills, Jaguars, Cardinals, Patriots

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