Hot! NFL Picks: Week 10

Every week, Nick and Mike will examine the NFL lineup of games, check the betting line, and make their predictions against the spread. We will also throw in the result of ESPN.com’s Madden NFL ’13 simulations for some added flavor.

Thanks in no small part to the wrath of Hurricane Sandy, Week 9 went unrecorded in our league pick’em. In Week 8, Nick tied Madden. Both squeaked by Mike, who now looks to storm back after a week without electricity. Highlighted by marquee matchup’s (Houston @ Chicago, Atlanta @ New Orleans), Week 10 brings us seven days closer to seeing who shall be knighted Sir Pick’em. 

Week 8 Record
Nick 9-5
Madden Sim 9-5
Mike 8-6

Overall Standings
Nick 10-5
Madden Sim 10-5
Mike 9-6

IND (-3.5) at JAX
Nick (IND): Andrew Luck is playing too well to lose to Blaine Gabbert. Colts will continue their playoff push, winning this one easily.
Mike (IND): Indy is looking like a playoff contender in a weak AFC. The MJD-less Jags on the other hand, look like one of the worst teams in the NFL.
Madden Sim (IND): Andrew Luck continues to roll, throwing two TDs in a Colts 24-10 victory in Jacksonville.

NYG (-4.5) at CIN
Nick (NYG): Although the Giants can’t play the underdog card against a disappointing Bengals team, they can play the road warrior card, and their backs are most certainly against the wall after a tough loss to Pittsburgh.
Mike (CIN): The Giants may win, but both teams have recently been playing tight 4th quarters, and I believe the Bengals will cover.
Madden Sim (NYG): Eli Manning breaks out of his current slump, throwing for four TDs in a 31-17 Giants victory. Hakeem Nicks has a big day, snatching a TD and 119 yards, as New York takes over in the second half. 

NYJ (+6.5) at SEA
Nick (SEA): I think the Jets will keep the game relatively close, but a Seahawks team that plays defense with such ferocity and confidence will not allow a weak Jets offense to succeed. Marshawn Lynch should have a big game against an underwhelming rush defense, and the Seahawks are a different team at home.
Mike (NYJ): Nate Silver, the statistician-savant who perfectly predicted Obama’s electoral victory, thinks the Jets will pull off an upset in one of the toughest places to play on the road in the NFL. I’ll assume he was citing this stat: Since 2009, Rex Ryan defenses have forced rookie QBs into a 1-to-8 touchdown to interception ratio. Jets will win or lose closely.
Madden Sim (SEA): Beast-mode goes on display in this one, with Marshawn Lynch running for 86 yards and two TDs in a 24-16 Seattle win.

DEN (-4.5) at CAR
Nick (DEN): Peyton Manning is putting up MVP performances week after week. We knew of Demaryius Thomas’s potential with Peyton, but how about Eric Decker? He has 7 TDs in the past five weeks.
Mike (DEN): The Broncos are getting stronger by the week and ever more capable of beating up on their opponents.
Madden Sim (DEN): Like his brother, Peyton plays well in the second half, lobbing a 32-yard touchdown to Eric Decker to put the game out of reach in a 27-14 Broncos win.

SD (+3.5) at TB
Nick (TB): After the Chargers let me down against the Browns two weeks ago they have to earn back my trust. A convincing win last week against the Chiefs isn’t enough to excite me. Doug Martin is the real deal.
Mike (TB): I’ve never been a fan of Philip Rivers or Norv Turner, who look more lost than ever. Tampa will carry this one.
Madden Sim (TB): Doug Martin stays hot (128 yards and a TD), and the Bucs defeat the Chargers 23-17 as Josh Freeman barely outduels Philip Rivers.

ATL (-2.5) at NO
Nick (NO): The Falcons need to lose eventually and I can’t keep picking the same teams as Madden. Brees is 10-2 with 26 TDs and 11 INTs against the Falcons since joining the Saints and the Saints have the home field edge. Upset special.
Mike (ATL): Despite winning three of their last four, New Orleans still isn’t very good, proving completely unable to make stops on defense. Atlanta will win this shootout and stay undefeated.
Madden Sim (ATL): Matt Ryan (three TDs, two to Roddy White) and Michael Turner (98 yards rushing) spark the Falcons defeat of their archrival Saints in the Superdome by a score of 31-20.

BUF (+11.5) at NE
Nick (NE): The Patriots have scored the most points in the NFL, and the Bills have allowed the 2nd most points in the NFL.
Mike (NE): The Patriots mission? Kill Bills. Indeed they will at home.
Madden Sim (NE): The Patriots shrug off an early 54-yard touchdown by C.J. Spiller, scoring 31 straight points to win by a final score of 34-17.

OAK (+7.5) at BAL
Nick (BAL): I don’t like the Ravens with the injured players on D, I DESPISE the Raiders with both Darren Mcfadden and his backup Mike Goodson out. Ravens need a big win to get their confidence back and will look to blow out a weak Raiders team.
Mike (OAK): I don’t like betting against the Raiders when they travel to the Northeast or when Carson Palmer is replacing Aaron Rodgers on a bye in two of my fantasy leagues.
Madden Sim (OAK): Baltimore survives a late Raiders rally but not the spread in this 24-19 Ravens win. Ray Rice has a big day with 133 yards rushing and two TDs.

DET (-2.5) at MIN
Nick (DET): I laughed in everyone’s face who thought Christian Ponder and the Vikings were actually a playoff team. The Lions may be chokers, but Stafford will teach Ponder a thing or two about the QB position.
Mike (DET): For a while I was determined to stand by the Vikings this week considering my early praise for them and my criticism of the Lions. But now that Percy Harvin has been ruled out, I’m jumping ship.
Madden Sim (DET): Minnesota, continuing its slowdown since a fast start, falls to the Lions and Mikel Leshoure (74 yards and a TD).

TEN (+6.5) at MIA
Nick (TEN): Miami is the better team, but Jake Locker is back and people forget that for as good as Miami’s rush defense is, they’ve allowed almost 300 yards passing per game. Locker is the QB of the future and his presence gives the Titans more to play for. They will cover the spread.
Mike (MIA): The only chance Tennessee has to win is if Chris Johnson has a big day. I don’t see that happening against the Dolphins’ third-ranked rush defense.
Madden Sim (MIA): Reggie Bushs goes off, scoring on 34 and 16-yard touchdown runs, as the Dolphins dispatch the Titans, 23-10.

 

DAL (+1.5) at PHI
Nick (PHI): The Cowboys and Eagles are two of the best at giving games away, so give me the Eagles, who are home and who have the deeper roster. I wouldn’t be shocked to see rookie Nick Foles come in for Vick, and to see the Eagles offense actually perform better.
Mike (DAL): Both teams are struggling, but Romo has been better on the road this season than at home, and the Eagles have a disgusting red zone offense everywhere. Dallas will win outright.
Madden Sim (PHI): The Eagles somehow persevere through a strong showing from Romo (311 yards passing, 3 TDs, 0 INTs), mostly thanks to three TDs from LeSean McCoy in a 31-28 Philly win.

STL (+11.5) at SF
Nick (STL): I got burned by the Cards in Week 8 picking them to cover a big spread against the 49ers, but my instincts say the Rams won’t lose by more than 10. Amendola’s expected return will help the Rams control the ball more, and they will cover the spread.
Mike (SF): My fantasy defense will have a big game eating Sam Bradford and the Rams offense alive.
Madden Sim (SF): Michael Crabtree grabs a 10-yard TD from Alex Smith on the first drive and the 49ers never look back in a 24-10 victory.

HOU (-1.5) at CHI
Nick (CHI): This could very well be a Super Bowl preview, and in any Super Bowl I am picking the NFC team. The NFC is the stronger conference and the Bears defense at home will score off a turnover at some point. Can anyone cover Brandon Marshall?
Mike (HOU): This Sunday night game is the NFL equivalent of an unstoppable force running into an immovable object. I’m going with the unstoppable force (Arian Foster and the Texans rushing offense).
Madden Sim (CHI): Matt Forte (115 yards and a TD) and Devin Hester (punt return TD) give the Bears a 24-17 win over the Texans.

KC (+12.5) at PIT
Nick (PIT): If there was an infinity button on my keyboard, I’d pick that to be the Steelers score. I don’t think the Chiefs can score enough to cover the spread against a score like that.
Mike (PIT): The Chiefs are in a dead-heat with the Jaguars for the worst-team-in-football award, and Jamal Charles, who has all but disappeared of late, will not be reappearing in this one.
Madden Sim (PIT): Big Ben Roethlisberger throws four TDs in a 34-10 drubbing of the Chiefs.

 

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