Season Record: 108-51
Season Against the Spread: 60-51
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (Spread: Green Bay -6.5)
I didn’t like the Lions last week at all – their offense wasn’t clicking until they introduced Kevin Smith, they couldn’t score in the first half, and they did all this against the softest defense in the NFL – the Carolina Panthers. If the Lions can’t score early, they won’t be able to play catch up against a solid Packers team. The only way the Lions can win this is if Stafford plays better than Rodgers…which I doubt will happen.
Fantasy Tip: Start Packers QB Rodgers, RB Grant (since Starks is injured) WRs Jennings and Nelson, TE Finley, Lions QB Stafford, RB Smith, WRs Johnson and Burleson, TE Pettigrew.
Pick: Packers to win and cover.
Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys (Spread: Dallas -7.5)
The Dolphins defense has really stepped up in the past few weeks, while the Cowboys defense has been slightly worse against the run because LB Sean Lee has been injured. Miami has won their past three, but those wins have come against really weak teams, including the Chiefs, Redskins, and Bills (yes the Bills are a weak team). The Cowboys have beaten the Seahawks, Bills, and Redskins in their past three games – again, three really weak teams.
The only reason I think the Cowboys will prevail here is because of the Dolphins offense – it is significantly worse compared to the Cowboys offense, and they have inconsistent RBs who can’t carry a full load throughout the game. They also have a QB who hasn’t been good most of the year until he had a few good matchups. Basically, the Dolphins haven’t proven that they can win against teams like the Cowboys.
Fantasy Tip: Start Cowboys QB Romo, RB Murray, WRs Bryant and Robinson, TE Witten, Cowboys defense, Dolphins RB Bush, and WR Marshall. Dolphins QB Matt Moore is a decent sleeper.
Pick: Cowboys to win and cover.
San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens (Spread: Baltimore -3.5)
This is an exceptionally close matchup. The thing is, these teams are exceptionally similar. Both have very strong defenses, with the 49ers probably being the better one, and similar ground and pound offenses. They have similar, game managing type quarterbacks, except the Ravens are more talented when it comes to skill positions (RB and WR). I really think this entire game will come down to coaching, which sounds great, because the two coaches of these teams are the Harbaugh brothers. I’m going to give 49ers the edge, partially because the Ravens will probably be without the heart and soul of their team, LB Ray Lewis.
Fantasy Tip: Start Ravens RB Rice, WRs Boldin and Smith, Ravens defense, 49ers RB Gore, WR Crabtree, TE Davis, 49ers defense. This will be a very defensive game, so try to avoid both QBs.
Pick: 49ers to win and cover.