Atlanta -7 At Indianapolis
The Colts rank 31st in the league against the run, and the Falcons have been dialing up heavy doses of Michael Turner in recent weeks. Add in a healthy Julio Jones, and the Falcons should be able to handle a winless team that hasn’t been in a close game in weeks.
Pick: Falcons -7
At New Orleans -8 Tampa Bay
The NFC South features three teams that could make some noise in the playoffs. The “youngry” Bucs are streaky as hell, and the Saints have lost two straight. Blount is back for Tampa Bay, but I think the edge has to go to the home team here. Remember, the Bucs beat the Saints by three points earlier this year, but the Saints tend to crush people in the dome.
Pick: Saints -8
At Houston -10.5 Cleveland
The Texans have only lost once at home this season. The Browns offense is anemic at best, and it sounds like Hillis reinjured his hammy in practice this week. While Cleveland is pretty solid in defending the pass, the Browns are so-so at best against the run. Arian Foster has averaged 161.8 yards from scrimmage the past five games. Expect heavy doses of Foster as Houston wins easy.
Pick: Texans -10.5
At Buffalo -1.5 NY Jets
The Jets haven’t won a game on the road this season, and the Bills are just a hard team to root against. They’ve lost two games this season by a combined total of six points. The Jets have lost on the road to Oakland, Baltimore and New England, and those games weren’t really close. Sanchez should have a decent game, but I love Buffalo here. It’s a big opportunity for the 5-2 Bills to show that they’re first place status in the AFC East is legit.
Pick: Bills -1.5
At Kansas City -4 Miami
The Chiefs have won four straight after starting the season 0-3. The Dolphins are still searching for their first win of the year. As hard as Miami is playing, you just get the feeling that the Chiefs are working with some extra good vibe ju-ju right now. Fear the Haley beard and go with the home team that has all the momentum.
Pick: Chiefs -4
San Francisco -3.5 At Washington
All the 49ers do is win games and cover spreads. The John Beck era in D.C. has looked terrible. With a conservative approach on offense and a nasty streak on D, the Niners just need to play their game and watch the Skins implode on their own.
Pick: Niners -3.5
At Dallas -11.5 Seattle
This Cowboys team is frustrating as hell. One week their going toe-to-toe with New England and the next week they’re getting blown out by the Eagles. Romo needs to get on the same page with his receivers. Dez Bryant and Miles Austin were both held without a catch in the first half last week. Seattle surrenders 237.1 yards per game through the air, but Eli Manning and Big Ben tore up this defense. If Romo can sync up with his receivers this week, he could be in line for a big game. The spread is huge, but so is the urgency for the Cowboys to bounce back.
Pick: Cowboys -11.5
At Oakland -7.5 Denver
Carson Palmer says he’s got the offense down. We’ll see about that. Guy looked rusty as hell in his first game back. Darren McFadden is likely out, but Michael Bush is no slouch. He’s no DMC, but he can carry the load. Denver sucks. Tebow can’t get it done and everyone knows this.
Pick: Raiders -7.5
At Tennessee -3 Cincinnati
The Bengals make big plays on D and they play well on the road. Their only road loss was to the Orton-led Broncos in Week 2, who barely hung on to win by two points. The Titans have had an up and down season, and their running game has left much to be desired. The Bengals have held opponents to 85.4 yards per game on the ground, second best in the league. As long Dalton has a relatively mistake-free game, the Bengals should be able to win this one.
Pick: Bengals +3
At Arizona -3.5 St. Louis
Kevin Kolb was supposed to be the answer in Arizona, but it just hasn’t worked out that way. Now he’s hurt and there’s a good chance that John Skelton will get the nod. Starting four games last season, Skelton completed only 47.6 percent of his passes. His QB rating was 62.3. The Rams are coming off a huge upset win against the Saints. Steven Jackson rushed for 159 yards and two scores and AJ Feeley managed the game. With Bradford likely to sit again, expect S-Jax to carry the load for St. Louis. The QB that makes the least mistakes wins. I say it’s the Rams.
Pick: Rams +3.5
At New England -9 NY Giants
New England doesn’t lose at home, but the Pats will face all kinds of pressure upfront from New York’s dominant pass rush. The Giants sure can pass the ball, too. While Nicks and Bradshaw will probably miss the game, the Giants still have plenty of weapons. The Pats love bouncing back after tough losses, but I think this spread’s just a tad too high. The Pats win, but the G-Men keep it close.
Pick: Giants +9
Green Bay -5.5 At San Diego
Rivers actually had a pretty good game before he fumbled the win away in KC. He started slow and ended poorly, but the middle was strong. Rivers should be able to find some creases against a Green Bay pass defense that ranks 31st in the league and gives up 288.9 yards passing yards per game. That said, the Packers offense is just too damn good. They seem a little less potent on the road, but it’s hard to bet against this team. Expect a shoot out.
Pick: Packers -5.5
At Pittsburgh -3 Baltimore
Game of the week right here. We got a primetime slugfest between the two biggest rivals in the NFL. The Steelers want vengeance after their Week 1 road thumping in Baltimore. The Ravens offense has looked out of sync the past couple weeks. The Steelers have looked great on both sides of the ball, but the team will be short on linebackers on Sunday. Woodley and Farrior are out and Harrison’s questionable. Big Ben had a nightmare game against the Ravens is Week 1, but he did beat this team in seven consecutive starts before that. Even with the missing pieces on D, the Steelers are going to win the rematch. And after playing each other three times in the last two seasons, you just know these two teams are going to meet again.
Pick: Steelers -3
At Philadelphia -7.5 Chicago
I’m pretty sure I haven’t called a Bears game right all season. When you think they can dominate, they find a way to lose. When you’re think they’re vulnerable, they deliver a victory. This game seems like a tough one to call. The Eagles looked great against Dallas – balanced, efficient and equal parts desperate and devastating. The Bears have won four straight. Coming off the bye, I don’t think the Bears are going to get manhandled like the Cowboys did. The Eagles will probably win this one, but I think the Bears and their underpaid workhorse will keep things close.
Pick: Bears +7.5
Week 8: 9-4
Season: 67-44-9 ATS
Playboy playmate Jessa Hinton does more in one week than you do in six months. She’s a model and fashion designer who covers boxing, interviews poker stars and trains with MMA fighters. Jessa still finds time to appear on billboards all over Vegas and stay ridiculously good-looking. Miss July has put together a strong Playmate of the Year case. Jessa’s built up a great brand and she’s smart, engaging and if you’re lucky, she’ll teach you a thing or two about gymnastics and bisexual monogamy.
I had a fun chat with Jessa a couple weeks ago. We talked about breaking the ice at nude photo shoots, Hef, MMA vs. boxing, dating a poker star, hassling the Hoff on the set of Baywatch and how awesome it is to hang out with Jessa’s mom.
CS: When you’re in the middle of a photo shoot how do you get comfortable in the nude? Do people around you crack jokes to break the ice? How does that whole atmosphere work?
JH: The first thing that I didn’t realize—I thought it was going to be more sexy, more of strip down type of atmosphere. You’re basically in your lingerie and they’re like “all right, come up, let’s go.” I’m like, “really?” So the first scene is a little nerve wracking because you’re just meeting everyone. But you’re with them for the week and so by the end of the week you kind of look at them like your doctor. They see so many things and they do crack jokes, and but I definitely do as well. So by the end of the first or second day, we already know each other – names, where they grew up. You have a lot of down time so you get to meet everybody and really know them personally.
CS: The doctor comparison is funny. So there’s a little bit of joke cracking, but it’s still all business at the same time?
JH: Yeah exactly. It’s not—nobody hits on you. It’s not a kind of pervy atmosphere. Most of the time, they’re not even looking at your body parts. They’re dealing with lights. They’re looking at the set. They’re looking at something that needs to be two more inches to the right or their checking the color of the sheets. There’s a lot more that goes into it than just the girl and how she’s posed.
CS: And how many people are on a shoot like this?
JH: Probably seven or eight.
CS: Oh wow. That’s a lot of heads.
CS: So what do you love most about Hugh Hefner?
JH: He’s probably the only guy in the past, I don’t know, let’s say 5 years, that has actually pulled out a chair for me.
JH: When they say “chivalry is dead,” not with this guy. I mean there’s no creepy side. Whenever you see him you just get kind of star struck. I mean he still has it. The man’s still got it. He’s what? 80—84 years old and he’s still going around like he’s, you know, 28. So just the kind of magnetism that he has is unbelievable. And people are like, “oh well did you ever sleep with him?” It’s not even like that. You just kind of respect what he’s done and you just want to be around him. The stories that he can tell you are just unbelievable.
CS: So you’ve been around boxing and MMA. You’ve done work with Top Rank Boxing and you’ve trained with top MMA fighters at Randy Couture’s gym. How do you think the two sports compare? Can boxing still maintain relevance when MMA just keeps growing and growing as a legit sport?
JH: I mean, I definitely think that MMA has more of a trend factor. I think boxing is more respectable for me. And the kind of fans that I interview or that I’m around at a MMA fight or at a boxing fight are like night and day.
JH: It’s not the same kind of crowd. When I’m around Randy or Rich Franklin, it’s very different than when you’re around, say, Sugar Shane Mosley or Manny Pacquiao. It’s just crazy the kind of respect that the guys get as a boxer as opposed to an MMA fighter. So it’ll take a while for MMA to really get to that point. Boxing’s not going anywhere. I grew up with the Mike Tysons and the Muhammad Alis. Those are the people that my dad used to idolize. So to be around those people and interact with them, it’s more of a shell shock for me than being around Randy Coutures or the Chuck Liddell or Tito Ortiz. It’s very different. And the demographic is, like I said, night and day.
CS: Who do you think is going to win between Pacquiao and Marquez?
JH: (Laughs) Manny’s gonna win. I mean, there’s no question. Warner says it’s going to be a great rematch, but I really think that Manny—I mean what is he, 14-0 right now?
JH: Everybody wants to see Manny and Mayweather. At every single fight that I go to, every single interview that I do, all the fans, that’s what they want to see.
JH: But Marquez, I mean I just don’t think that he has the speed that Manny does. Manny’s a quick little fucker.
JH: (Laughs) You know what I mean? I mean you watch that guy and it’s like you wonder what he’s doing during the day when he’s, you know, in Congress in the Philippines and then you’re like, how does he have time to be who he is? It’s crazy.
CS: So what are you going to ask Manny when you interview him?
JH: Well I’m in the talks right now of doing celebrity ring girl for the Pacquiao fight. So not only will I do the press conference and also do co-hosting but maybe – and it’ll add that extra “it” factor if I can do it – I can go up there and take off my hosting coat and strip down to celebrity ring girl, kind of like what Holly did for MMA. But I mean with him it’s just, what is he doing different in this camp? What is he doing that’s going to really make this rematch stand out from the last time?
CS: I read somewhere that you coached competitive gymnastics. What’s that like?
At Tennessee -8.5 Indianapolis
The Colts aren’t going to win. They’re a bad team. Their defense was allowing more than 27 points per game before the 62-7 shellacking that took place on Sunday night. Curtis Painter isn’t the problem. He had a bad game last week, but he’s actually been pretty serviceable this season. Both teams are coming off embarrassing blowouts, but the Titans are better equipped for a rebound. And they’re playing at home.
Pick: Titans -8.5
At Houston -9.5 Jacksonville
With the AFC Central up for grabs this year, both of these teams have a chance to be dangerous. The Texans snapped a two game losing streak last week when they routed the Titans. The Jags snapped a 5 game losing streak when they upset Baltimore on Monday. I think the Jags have to be fired up and motivated to play, but the Texans present to big of a challenge. The spread may be a bit too high here, but you have to think Houston can handle this team, especially if Andre Johnson is back in the fold this week.
Pick: Texans -9.5
At Carolina -3.5 Minnesota
I like Christian Ponder. I think he brings a much-needed spark. Carolina’s dangerous though. Not on defense, of course, but Cam can move the ball. His favorite weapon, Steve Smith, is averaging a ridiculous 21 yards per reception. Adrian Peterson is going to have a huge game against a run defense that ranks near the bottom of the league. It’s hard to think that Carolina won’t keep it close, but I think Ponder will shine in a game plan that calls for heavy doses of AP.
Pick: Vikings +3.5
New Orleans -13.5 At St. Louis
Let’s see, we have a team that scored 62 points last week and going up against a winless squad led by journeyman backup AJ Feely. The two touchdown spread almost seems too low.
Pick: Saints -13.5
At Baltimore -13 Arizona
The Ravens looked bizarre last week. Ray Rice couldn’t get going and didn’t do much with the measly eight carries he received. Baltimore’s offensive woes weren’t just limited to last week, though. Joe Flacco has one TD and three INTs in the last three games. Luckily he gets to go up against an Arizona secondary that ranks 28th in the league against the pass. The Cards lost Beanie Wells last week and Kevin Kolb is having a pretty mediocre season. After the ugly loss on Monday, John Harbaugh’s going to have his team ready to rock against an inferior opponent.
Pick: Ravens -13
At NY Giants -10 Miami
Nothing is going to stop the Dolphins downward spiral, especially not a trip to the Meadowlands to face a Giants team that’s leading the way in the NFC East. NFL teams have been sucking it up after bye weeks, but the G-men are getting guys like Justin Tuck and Brandon Jacobs back. Miami loses again.
Pick: Giants -10
At Buffalo (in Toronto) -6 Washington
The Skins lost Tim Hightower for the year and Santa Moss is going to miss extended time. The John Beck era didn’t really start off with a bang either. The Bills have cooled considerably since their hot start, but their ball hawking D, strong run game and steady QB play should earn them a victory.
Pick: Bills -6
Detroit -3 At Denver
Stafford’s banged up and Best is likely to miss the game for Detroit. Tim Tebow looked absolutely horrendous for three and a half quarters last week, then he pulled off a miracle comeback that included defensive blunders, diving catches and a whole lot of luck. No one can question that Tebow has something special about him. He just can’t throw the ball. And that seems like an important skill for an NFL QB. I’ll take a banged up Lions team on the road against an offense with two suspect running backs (Tebow and Knowshon) at the helm. Even if Shaun Hill starts, Detroit’s the better play.
Pick: Lions -3
New England -3 At Pittsburgh
There’s no questioning the fact that Tom Brady owns the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Playoffs, regular season – you name it – Brady just loves spreading the Steelers out and striking at will. But you know what? The Steelers have some good thing going on offense as well. Big Ben’s going to have a big day against New England’s suspect secondary. This high scoring game’s going to come down to one or two red zone stops. Despite Brady’s history against Pittsburgh, I’m taking the Steelers at home.
Pick: Steelers +3
At San Francisco -8.5 Cleveland
Cleveland’s defense isn’t that bad, but their offense is atrocious. The only time this team has topped 17 points this year was in Week 2 when they put up 27 on the winless Colts. I’m pretty much never picking against the 49ers until I see some super compelling reason to not expect this team to crush it.
Pick: Niners -8.5
Cincinnati -3 At Seattle
Sure, Seattle’s a tough place play, but Cincy’s young guns and strong D can handle the Charlie Whitehurst-led Seahawks. Even if T-Jack’s behind center, I like the Bengals on the road.
Pick: Bengals -3
At Philadelphia -3.5 Dallas
The Eagles haven’t lost after a bye week under Andy Reid, but they haven’t spent much time at the bottom of the NFC East either. The Eagles are 2-4 this season, and they’re also 2-4 against the spread. The Dream Team gets too much respect for a squad that has one win in the last five games. Dallas has blown games they should have won and they haven’t lost by more than four points all year. I like the Dallas D to force some mistakes against a team that leads the league in turnovers.
Pick: Cowboys +3.5
San Diego -3.5 At Kansas City
Philip Rivers isn’t having a good year. He says that health isn’t the issue, but something’s going on. He’s forcing the ball (three TDs to five INTs last four games), and the Chiefs held Rivers to zero TDs and forced two picks in Week 3. KC has won three straight and the players seem to be buying into what Todd Haley’s selling. Arrowhead is always a tough place to play. Add in San Diego’s recent mistakes and KC’s momentum, and you have a recipe for a home team victory.
Pick: Chiefs +3.5
Week 7: 8-4-1
Season: 58-40-9 ATS
Valvoline did the impossible a couple weekends ago. They got me really, really fired up about NASCAR. I didn’t think I’d be so into it. I’ve never followed the sport and I’ve never seen a live race before. But when Valvoline flew me out to Charlotte, I went with an open mind. I ended up hanging out with some really cool people, and I learned a ton about recycled oil, stock car manufacturing and what goes into equipping, supporting and maximizing the performance of a NASCAR driver. It was awesome.
Valvoline NextGen Oil
So first things first: the oil. That’s the main reason why this whole trip happened. Valvoline wants to get the word out about their new recycled oil, Valvoline NextGen. It’s something they’ve been working on for awhile and it’s actually a pretty smart product.
A little bit of back story first. Valvoline was founded by Dr. John Ellis, the guy who invented motor oil way back in 1866. He was futzing around with crude oil, looking for medicinal applications, and boom, he ends up formulating a petroleum-based lubricant that serves as the lifeblood for all car engines today. Valvoline was the first company to produce motor oil specifically for racing, and their racing oil is still the best selling in the industry.
Fast forward to 2005, and you have a convergence of factors that made Valvoline explore the viability of manufacturing recycled motor oil that would be cleaner to produce without sacrificing any performance. Valvoline wanted to explore more sustainable motor oil production techniques. Tech breakthroughs in oil recycling made that option a real possibility. Add in the fact that a critical mass of consumers in America wanted to make a conscious effort to go green, and you had a perfect storm for an advanced leap in recycled oil development.
Thom Smith, Valvoline’s VP of Lubricating Technology gave media members a full breakdown on the process of recycling oil. Regular motor oil that you put in your car contains 85 percent base oil and 15 percent additives. The additives are what breakdown over time, but the base oil remains usable. You can actually get more out of used oil that you can from crude oil. Used oil has less contaminants than crude and more usable oil molecules. When you extract crude oil, only 15 percent of it is usable as a lubricant. When you’re dealing with used oil, 75 percent of it can be re-used as a lubricant.
Recycled oil used to be inferior. In the past, the development of recycled oil required an acid clay filtration process that included dewatering and treatment with clay and sulfuric acid. With advanced refining techniques, recycled oil now goes through a flash distillation, thin film evaporation and hydro treating process. The old way of refining used oil created all kinds of nasty leftover materials. The new method creates much less waste.
But the proof is in the high performance pudding. Valvoline recycled oil has been tested under the most extreme conditions and it performs as well or better than conventional motor oil. It’s cleaner to produce, results in less wear on your engine (pistons, bearings, etc.) and it’s good enough to be used in professional racing. Valvoine partnered with Roush Yates Racing to introduce NextGen oil to professional drivers. If NASCAR and other motorsports drivers can win races with NextGen, it’s certainly good enough for consumers to use in their cars.
The NextGen formula contains only 50 percent recycled oil, but the technology is available to produce recycled oil that contains a higher percentage of used oil. Supply is the issue. As more used oil becomes available for refining, the amount of used motor oil that appears in new recycled oil formulas will continue to increase.
Valvoline is encouraging consumers to return their used motor oil to places like Advanced Auto Parts and Auto Zone. One gallon of used oil can contaminate up to 1 million gallons of water. So if you can, turn in your used oil and make sure it can be recycled.
Bank of America 500
After touring the Roush Yates Racing facilities (where I met Jack Roush and Doug Yates), I got to visit the Charlotte Motor Speedway for the Bank of America 500. I toured pit row, met drivers and pit crew members and I got to see 43 drivers compete in a three-and-a-half hour night race. There were 16 lead changes, eight caution flags and some pretty intense moments. Matt Kenseth finished first, and he’s currently trailing Carl Edwards in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
I watched most of the race from the Valvoline luxury suite, but I also spent some time right at the edge of the track. I wasn’t expecting the noise and reverberations to be so addicting. When all those cars scream past you at speeds of almost 200 mph, the sounds and impact of the momentum shakes you to your core. It was a trip. I can see what all the fuss is about now.
All in all, it was a pretty sweet mission to Charlotte. I want to thank Valvoline and Roush Yates Racing for a fun trip and for exposing me to something I never thought I’d experience.
Chicago -1 Tampa Bay (At London)
Last week I complained about how much I hate picking against the Bucs. They bounced back from an absolute beat down loss at the hands the 49ers to pull off an upset win against the Saints. Chicago blew out the Vikings in a hard-to-watch contest that was never really close. The Bucs traveled to London early while the Bears are treating this like any other week. Bears players are getting antsy with management over things like Matt Forte not getting paid. Lance Briggs is saying that the issues with management are starting to impact how players prepare. I don’t like the sound of that. The Bucs will be well rested and ready to take on Chicago.
Pick: Bucs +1
At Carolina -2.5 Washington
The John Beck era begins in DC, but how much of an upgrade is he over Grossman? He’s kind of an unknown entity at this point, but he gets a chance to prove it against the 1-5 Panthers. Expect the Skins to rely heavily on the run to ease their QB in and take advantage of a defense that gives up 140.3 yards per game on the ground. If you’ve watched Cam Newton and the Panthers this year, it’s hard to believe they only have one W. Carolina keeps ‘em close, and they’ll do enough to finally earn a second win.
Pick: Panthers -2.5
San Diego -2 At NY Jets
Rex and Norv are in full blown bulletin material mode. LT’s getting the start against his old team, but Shonn Green should still get plenty of touches. The Chargers are moving the ball well, but they haven’t faced a defense this good all year. The Chargers seem like the stronger, more efficient team here, but the Jets can’t take too kindly to being underdogs at home. Gates didn’t practice on Thursday, so who knows if he’ll be a factor. It’s strength vs. strength here, and I’ll take New York’s D over San Diego’s O.
Pick: Jets +2
At Cleveland -3 Seattle
Charlie Whitehurst gets the nod here with Tarvaris Jackson still hurt. Hillis probably won’t roll for the Browns. He’s in some sort of hamstring/contract limbo right now. The Browns like Montario Hardesty, they still have trouble moving the ball on the ground, ranking 30th in the league with 81.6 rushing yards per game. Seattle’s no rushing juggernaut either, ranking just ahead of the Browns with an average of 83 yards per game. It’s going to be up to Whitehurst or McCoy to make it happen. My money says McCoy is better suited to make the extra play.
Pick: Browns -3
At Tennessee -3 Houston
Schaub’s banged up and Arian Foster is coming off a sorry output game against the Ravens. Andre Johnson’s still out of the mix and the Texans have dropped two in a row. The Titans are coming off an additional week to prepare and they’re playing at home. Chris Johnson has been a disappointment, but Hasselbeck’s been a pleasant surprise. I think this game is going to be close. It’s an important divisional matchup, and I think the Texans are going to find a way to right the ship on the road.
Pick: Texans +3
At Miami -1.5 Denver
Who knew that a game between two teams with a combined record of 1-9 could be so interesting? Tony Sparano is likely coaching for his job, and Denver fans finally get to see the Mile High Messiah lead the way. Will Tebow show that he’s a force to be reckoned with or will the Dolphins step up and play hard for their player-friendly coach on the brink? Judging by the way Matt Moore kept chucking the ball to the wrong team last week, I think the edge goes to Tebow taking over. Especially during a cushy road game where they’re honoring his former college team at halftime.
Pick: Broncos +1.5
At Detroit -3.5 Atlanta
You know Jim Schwartz is going to have his team fired up to play this week. Nobody puts the Schwartz in a corner. Detroit has some issues at running back. Jahvid Best is likely out after suffering another concussion. The Jerome Harrison/Ronnie Brown trade was voided cause Harrison has a brain tumor. It’s up to Maurice Morris and Keiland Williams to carry the load. Luckily, the Lions love to pass, and the Falcons love to give up passing yardage (283.3 yards per game). Lions bounce back.
Pick: Detroit -3.5
At Oakland -4.5 Kansas City
The Raiders gave up a lot for Cason Palmer. Will he be worth it? Can he come in and take over a team with less than a week to prepare? The Raiders have a lot going for them right now, but it’s never easy to replace your QB with an outsider who isn’t familiar with the offense. Not saying this is a Kerry Collins situation, but I don’t expect Palmer to just slide in and carry this team. He might not have to though. The Raiders are a run first, run second team. But the Chiefs have a new rushing weapon as well. Was Jackie Battle a one week wonder or can the career special teamer continue to spark KC’s offense? The Raiders can be quite gracious when it comes to giving up rush yardage, so Battle should be able to find space to run. Expect a low scoring, clock-eating contest here. I’m giving the edge to the home team.
Pick: Raiders -4.5
Pittsburgh -3.5 At Arizona
The Steelers seem to eek out wins that really should be blowouts, and they just can’t seem to put teams completely away. Expect that to change this weekend. The Steelers, in theory, should win this game easy. Mendenhall’s coming off a big game, Mike Wallace is lighting it up, Ward gets a couple first down grabs here and there and Antonio Brown has been wide open and overthrown in the end zone for like three straight weeks. The Steelers defense is rejuvenated as well, even if they’re not causing enough turnovers. Kolb should be in line for like at least two picks in this game, though. The Steelers need to finish off these easy wins ‘cause the schedule’s about to get a lot tougher.
Pick: Steelers -3.5
At Dallas -13 St. Louis
High ankle sprains aren’t fun. Neither is losing all the time. Sam Bradford’s gutting it out though, and he has a new, much needed weapon with Brandon Lloyd now in the fold. The Cowboys went toe-to-toes with the Pats, but they couldn’t come away with the W. Dallas will be testing out some combination of Choice and Murray against the worst run defense in football.
Pick: Cowboys -13
Green Bay -9 At Minnesota
McNabb was mercifully handed a clipboard this week, so Christian Ponder gets a chance to show what he can do. First assignment for the rookie is the defending champs.Maybe the rookie will be able to spark a struggling offense, but it’s hard to think that the Vikings can slow down a team that’s averaging a league-best 32.8 points per game.
Pick: Packers -9
At New Orleans -14 Indianapolis
Brees had a sloppy game last week against the Bucs. He’ll bounce back and take advantage of a favorable matchup. Painter’s going to have a chance to make plays against the Saints, but even if this game hits shoot-out mode, New Orleans should out shot Indy pretty easily.
Pick: Saints -14
Baltimore -7.5 At Jacksonville
The Ravens are playing scary football in a division that has no room for error. The Ravens D will take away MJD and force Gabbert into making some mistakes. Expect a big game from Ray Rice.
Pick: Ravens -7.5
Week 6: 7-5-1
Season: 50-36-8 ATS
We’re partnering up with Gamestop for a sick giveaway to get the word out about the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 “Pick Your Perks” Sweepstakes. Call of Duty MW3 will be available at GameStop stores nationwide November 8, and to ramp up the launch, GameStop has this sweet sweepstakes thing going on at GameStop.com/CallofDuty.
The sweepstakes gives Call of Duty players the ability to craft their own, customizable prize pack full of unique perks. Call of Duty fans can pre-order Modern Warfare 3 and play every day for a chance to win cash, vehicles, VIP experiences and tons of other prizes of their choosing. The perks change weekly, so players need to check back every Monday to see the new perks for the week.
Gamers can combine three different perks to create their own prize pack. The pro pack option is a preselected perk, but you can choose two additional perks out of a list of available prize options. So for example, this week the preselected perk is an extreme flying experience where you get to experience the thrill of skydiving and fly through the air in a vertical wind tunnel. For Perk 2, you can select a Sea-Doo GTI Diver Propulsion Vehicle, an MSI Windpad tablet or a VIP trip to Comic-Con 2012. The options for Perk 3 include a Looxcie Video Bluetooth headset, 100,000 Microsoft Points or Vuzix Virtual Reality Eyewear.
If you love Call of Duty and you’re going to buy MW3 anyway, might as well pre-order and enter a bunch of times to win these awesome prizes, right?
So we’re giving away a MW3 Prize Pack that includes a copy of the game (once it becomes available), and a 250GB Xbox console. That’s a pretty sweet haul right there. What do you need to do to win the game and the Xbox? Follow us on Twitter @MANjrcom and send us an email below telling us why you love playing Call of Duty. We’ll pick a winner at random next Thursday.