Welcome to Litz’s Weekly Winners. Each week, the Cafe’s resident gaming expert will post his prognostications for NFL games while taking into account the point spread. After a 4-1 outing last week, Litz is starting to warm up! Those of you that hang out in the Cafe’s Lines and Spreads forum saw me take Hot-Lanta this past Thursday to a big victory over the Baltimore Ravens. It’s time to build on that with some great picks for your upcoming football Sunday (and Monday too)!
DET (+2) at BUF. When I initially looked at this matchup, I thought Buffalo would record its first victory of the year. Make no mistake – the Lions are a good football team. They are perhaps, the best 2-6 football team in recent memory. However, after nine weeks of football, how could they not be physically and emotionally drained from their roller coaster of a season (see last week’s three-point loss to the Jets for a recent example)? Moreover, they go on the road to Buffalo to face a Bills team that is rejuvenated under the leadership of Ryan Fitzpatrick. At face value, it looks like a reason to believe in the B-U-F-F-A-L-O. On closer inspection however, we see that the Bills have lost each of their last three games by three points – certainly a will-breaking experience for them, as well. Thus, we’re left to choose the best football team and that is the Detroit Lions. Factor in that the Lions are a wonderful 8-1 against the spread (ATS) while the Bills are a woeful 3-4-1, and this seems like a great week to be a Lions fan.
IND (-7) vs. CIN. Cincinnati, sitting at the bottom of the AFC North at 2-5, has underwhelmed and disappointed this year. Last week, they lost at home on Monday night to the Pittsburgh Steelers, failing to cover the five point spread. With a short week, they travel to Indianapolis without starting right tackle Andre Smith, who broke a bone in his left foot. On the other hand, the Colts are 3-0 at home this year, and though they are playing a bit shorthanded as well, they are the much better football team. Factor in Cincinnati’s miserable 2-6 record ATS and Indianapolis’ 6-2-1 record ATS and the Colts are the play here.
DEN (+1) vs. KC. Kansas City is the better team, but Denver is at home coming off their bye week and has won four of the last six meetings between these teams. They are also getting a point at home, which I like. KC is coming off an emotional overtime loss in Oakland and has to stay on the road. Take the point and watch Orton orchestrate a last minute drive for a game-winning field goal.
NYG (-13.5) vs. DAL. How pathetic are the Cowboys? Besides being 1-7 on the year, they are 1-7 ATS. Though giving 13.5 points seems like a lot, I’m riding the ATS trend here until Dallas covers at least two more games. Historical trends: The Giants have won and covered in three of the last four against the Cowboys.
ARI (-3) vs. SEA. In the last two years, these teams have played five times, with the Cardinals winning and covering in four of them. I like that trend to continue in Arizona this week, especially given that the Seahawks have not played well recently and have been outscored by a combined score of 74-10 in their last two weeks. Not coincidentally, Seahawks starting LT Russell Okung and defensive linemen Red Bryant and Colin Cole missed each of those games; all are are either ruled out or unlikely to play again in Week 10. The Seahawks did beat the Cards in Week 7 this year, where Arizona fumbled the ball away four times. That’s not likely to happen again. Take the home team and look for a 23-13 win.
PHL (-3) at WAS. The Eagles go to Washington on Monday night and Michael Vick gets a shot at redemption. Knocked out of their first matchup with an injury, Vick looks to lead the Eagles against the NFL’s worst defense and he should feast. DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin must be licking their chop in anticipation. The Redskins organization has turned into a Ringling Brothers event with Mike Shanahan, Donovan McNabb, and Albert Haynesworth taking center ring. McNabb is playing not just for a win, but for his NFL career. However, he won’t have enough support around him on offense or defense to beat the Eagles. I see a 35-20 Iggles victory.
On the year: Litz is 21-16-1.
Litz has been playing fantasy sports since the late 80s - back when it was all referred to as rotisserie and as commissioner, kept track of the leagues with a USA Today and a pencil. It's a passion of his during the NFL season. Thanks to the Fantasy Cafe for providing a forum for enthusiasts like us to get together. You can find Litz posting in the Cafe forums as joejlitz.
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