The NFL season keeps getting stranger. Both the Steelers and Jets lose, and Oakland, Kansas City, Tampa Bay, and Detroit all win on the same Sunday. When was the last time those four teams won on the same day? And the Randy Moss experiment is over in Minnesota. The Vikings are in some serious trouble.
Baltimore (-4) vs. Miami – The Ravens opened as 4 point home favorites against the visiting Dolphins, but books are currently listing the game between 5 and 6 points with most checking in at 5 ½. After squeaking out a win against Buffalo, the Ravens had their bye last week. They’ve had an extra week to prepare for the League’s best road team. Miami won away from home again last week. They’re 4-0 on the road and 0-3 at home. The Dolphins are a balanced team. They can run the ball, Chad Henne is a decent quarterback, they have talent outside, and the defense is good. This is an intriguing match up.
New England (-4) at Cleveland – The Patriots started as 4 point road favorites against the Browns, but the line has moved up to 5 or 5 ½ points. New England looks as good as any other team in the NFL. They’ve lost only one game – to the Jets on the road. Other than that, the Pats have had a perfect season. Cleveland had their bye this past week. The Browns have been surprisingly good in recent weeks. Colt McCoy and company look to build off their shocking win over the Saints in New Orleans. The Dog Pound will be loud this Sunday.
Giants (-5) at Seattle – New York opened as 5 point road favorites for their game against the Seahawks in Seattle. The Giants are coming off their bye week. The G-Men have been on a roll lately, which is a big turnaround from the way they started the season. When Hakeem Nicks gets going, he’s tough to stop. The ground game looks better each week. The defense has been tough lately. They get a Seahawk team coming off a butt kicking in Oakland. Seattle couldn’t do anything right. But they’re always a tough draw at home although they will be out their starting QB in this game.
Oakland (-1) vs. Kansas City – The Raiders opened as a 1 point favorite, but now most books are favoring Oakland by 2.5 points. Who would’ve thought that in week 9, the Raiders and Chiefs would be playing a meaningful game? It’s been that kind of season. Oakland has flat out dominated their past two opponents – Denver and Seattle. In recent games, the offense has been unstoppable and the defense has been stingy. Kansas City has been solid all season long. They got a game effort from the Bills, but managed to win on the last play in overtime. The Chiefs’ rush offense is the best in the NFL.
Pittsburgh (-3 ½) at Cincinnati – The Steelers started as 3 ½ point road favorites at Cincy, but the line has moved up 4 ½ points at most sites. Pittsburgh is looking to rebound from their loss at New Orleans. The Steelers gave up 14 fourth quarter points to the Saints, which seems un-Steeler like. The Bengals have been underwhelming all year. They lost at home to the Dolphins last week. Carson Palmer still can’t get going with his talented corps of ball catchers. It’s hard to understand how Cincy won the AFC North last year.