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. Litz has taken a few weeks off from writing his column, but he’s ready to back your bankroll with some great picks for Week 9.
TB +8.5 at ATL. Matt Ryan is undefeated at home, and that is unlikely to change this week, but 8.5 points is too much to give in a divisional game between two 5-2 teams, especially when this year’s trend shows that dogs in divisional games have covered the spread more often than not. Tampa Bay has surprised everyone this year and Raheem Morris said it accurately when he said, “You are what your record says you are in this league.” The Bucs are a good football team and LeGarrette Blount burst on the scene last week to energize the Tampa running game. I like Atlanta to win the game in a low scoring contest, 17-14.
DET +4 vs. NYJ. After the bye week, the Jets were shut out at home against the Green Bay Packers. That’s a tough pill to swallow and it will be even tougher for them to go on the road against a tough Lions football team that puts up 30+ points almost every week. Matthew Stafford came back from injury last week in a big way, tossing four touchdown passes, three of them to Calvin Johnson. Toss in the fact that Detroit is 6-1 against the spread and I’m taking four points in Motown.
NYG -7 at SEA. Matt Hasselbeck is out this week and the Seahawks turn to Charlie Whitehurst, a backup quarterback who has been in the NFL since 2006 yet has NEVER thrown a pass in the pros (how does that happen?). Do I need to say more? With the Giants coming off the bye week, look for their defensive line (24 sacks on the year) to keep Whitehurst on the run all game long. Consider doubling up on this one.
PHL -3 vs. IND. Andy Reid has led his Eagles to an 11-0 record after the bye week. The Colts are coming off a short week after playing on Monday night and have just lost Anthony Gonzalez for the year. Moreover, Joseph Addai and Mike Hart are out this week, leaving the running game to a rehabbing Donald Brown (hamstring). The Eagles have their own problems on the offensive line and in the secondary, but Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson return this week to lead an explosive offense. I’m thinking the Birds actually put the Colts away 33-24.
GB -7 vs. DAL. Dallas is 1-6 on the year and 1-6 against the spread. Do I need to say more? Okay, consider that Green Bay had a huge win on the road in New York and gets to play at home this week. I love teams that come home after a big road win. Consider that Dallas is fighting rumors that their head coach is about to be fired. Consider that the Cowboys running game has been ineffective and Felix Jones will be playing injured this week. Consider that Jon Kitna is not Aaron Rogers and put your money on the Packers this week.
On the year: Litz is 16-15-1.
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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