Welcome back for another week of Fooch's Super Contest picks. I continue to bounce back and forth between 3-2 and 2-3 weeks, but hopefully I can find some momentum for a bigger week one of these days. After a 2-3 week performance two weeks ago, I went 3-2 last week. I'm sitting at 27-23 on the season, and sort of hanging around inside the top half of the standings. I lost a little ground last week, but I'm still hanging around with some measure of respectability.
We're mixing it up this week, and going with four favorites and an underdog. I've tried to mix in more underdogs in the past, but I have a specific reason for two of the picks. The Seahawks are a 1.5-point underdog to the Chiefs, marking the first time they have been an underdog since the Super Bowl. The Cardinals are a 2.5-point favorite over the Lions, in their first game since Carson Palmer tore his ACL. I decided to pick the Seahawks and Cardinals this week, and hopefully drop some of my middle of the road stink on them.
I actually do think both teams can cover their games, so these are not just outlandish picks for outlandish sake. The Seahawks are 12-5 ATS over their last 17 road games, while the Cardinals have covered the spread five straight games this season. However, I'm making these picks on the hopes that both teams lose, giving the 49ers a chance to make up some ground in the wild card and NFC West race.
The Cardinals are an intriguing team without Carson Palmer at the helm. They won a pair of games with Drew Stanton, and I think are built to win even without Palmer at quarterback. He was having a strong season, but this defense and run game should be able to carry them. I do think they could take a step back, but I don't think the NFC West is suddenly a lock to end up with the 49ers or Seahawks winning the division. I think both can win it, but the Cardinals are not a team to take lightly moving forward.
The Seahawks have scuffled this year, and needed a big fourth quarter to put away the New York Giants. The Chiefs are playing some solid football, and I see this ending up a one score difference by the end. Let's hope the Chiefs are the ones who can pull it out.
My other picks (home team in caps) are BROWNS (-3) over Texans, PACKERS (-6) over Bears, and SAINTS (-7) over Bengals. The Saints lost at home last week, but they get a better matchup this week against a Bengals defense that is not nearly as good as the 49ers. I went with the Packers because of the simple formula that the Bears are coming to town on a short week. Getting the Packers at -6 instead of -7 makes it all the better. And the Browns are my gambling team of the year, so I'll stick with them. They are much more fun as an underdog, so we'll see if they can handle their business.
Just a reminder, the folks at our partner site, OddsShark have staked me in a pick 'em contest in Las Vegas. I pick five games each week against the spread, taking on over 1,400 people. The top 30 win money. Going into this I simply wanted to finish closer to the top than the bottom. I'm hanging around in the upper half of the middle of the pack, so we'll see if I can continue to build some positive momentum. Don't hold your breath!
Here are the rest of my picks this week:
DOLPHINS vs. Bills (+5) - Dolphins
BROWNS vs. Texans (+3) - Browns
BEARS vs. Vikings (+3) - Vikings
PACKERS vs. Eagles (+6) - Packers
CHIEFS vs. Seahawks (+1.5) - Seahawks
PANTHERS vs. Falcons (+2) - Panthers
SAINTS vs. Bengals (+7) - Saints
WASHINGTON vs. Buccaneers (+7.5) - Bucs
RAMS vs. Broncos (-9.5) - Broncos
GIANTS vs. 49ers (-3.5) - 49ers
CHARGERS vs. Raiders (+10) - Chargers
CARDINALS vs. Lions (+2.5) - Cardinals
COLTS vs. Patriots (+3) - Colts
TITANS vs. Steelers (-6) - Steelers