The Cardinals, whose recent troubles on offense have been widely documented made an interesting trade on Tuesday morning. They acquired former Vikings star and future Hall-of-Fame running back Adrian Peterson from the Saints for a conditional draft pick (basically the better he does the remainder of the season, the higher the pick might be…but no better than a 4th rounder I’d guess).
For Arizona, it’s a low risk, potentially high reward move. New Orleans wasn’t playing AP much and the Cardinals desperately needed a playmaker in the backfield with David Johnson out for most, if not all of the remainder of the season.
Unfortunately despite his massive talent, there are three reasons for concern regarding his future success this season.
1. He’s 32 years old. Most running backs see a major decline when they turn 30. AP has been hurt much of the last three seasons so health is a concern.
2. The Cardinals offensive line STINKS! Good luck finding holes when the blocking is ineffective at best.
3. Negative game script. How often will Arizona be running in the 2nd half? Wouldn’t you think they would be in catch up mode considering all of the team’s problems?
While I like the move, sorry to say Cardinals fans, your team isn’t close to a playoff contender this season. They’ll maybe win 6-7 games…AT MOST. The truth hurts sometimes.
On to the picks…
Week 6 NFL Picks
Last Week: 9-5 Straight Up (SU), 9-5 Against the Spread (ATS)
Overall: 48-29 SU, 45-31-1 ATS
(Picks against the spread in parentheses; home teams in caps)
I hate to be a buzzkill but it’s going to be another week where the favorites dominate…
CAROLINA 24, Philadelphia 16 (ATS: Panthers -3.5)
Great Thursday night matchup of 4-1 surprise teams in the NFC. Cam Newton is once again playing at a high level for the Panthers as is Carolina’s defense. I look for an entertaining game with the home team prevailing due to a late 4th quarter defensive stop.
BALTIMORE 26, Chicago 10 (ATS: Ravens -6.5)
Chicago QB Mitchell Trubisky wasn’t great in his first NFL start on Monday night against Minnesota. Now he has to go on the road, on a short week, against arguably a top-5 defense in the league. Good luck.
HOUSTON 27, Cleveland 14 (ATS: Texans -9.5)
Texans QB Deshaun Watson is playing at an incredibly high level, especially for a rookie. Unfortunately season-ending injuries to J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus on defense will hurt the Texans in the long term. This week though, a win over the pathetic Browns at home shouldn’t be too difficult.
Green Bay 24, MINNESOTA 20 (ATS: Packers -3.5)
I foolishly picked against my favorite team and the most talented QB in the NFL. Not happening again this week. Minnesota is coming off a short week, having played on Monday night, and likely will be without starting QB Sam Bradford once again (knee).
ATLANTA 30, Miami 17 (ATS: Falcons -10.5)
The Falcons are coming off a much needed bye week and the Dolphins offense has pretty much been silent the entire season. No way Miami keeps this close.
WASHINGTON 27, San Francisco 20 (ATS: 49ers + 9.5)
The Redskins have been a lot better than I expected thus far…and also coming off a bye, they’ll handle the pesky but winless 49ers in D.C. Look for yet another late cover by SF though.
NEW ORLEANS 28, Detroit 20 (ATS: Saints -4.5)
Detroit got exposed at home against Carolina and now gets to face a fresh Saints team, who we last saw shutting out the Dolphins in London two weeks ago. Give me Drew Brees and company in a relatively easy win at home.
JACKSONVILLE 19, Los Angeles Rams 13 (ATS: Jaguars -2.5)
Notice how the Jaguars have dominated in Weeks 1,3,&5 yet struggled in Weeks 2&4. Does the trend continue this week? I say no…thanks in part to another huge effort from the NFL’s best defense.
New England 31, NEW YORK JETS 17 (ATS: Patriots -9.5)
The Jets have won three in-a-row but they aren’t coming close to the vastly more talented Patriots. Tom Brady and company should have a field day against a vulnerable New York secondary.
Tampa Bay 27, ARIZONA 24 (ATS: Buccaneers -2.5)
The Bucs are more talented offensively by a long shot…but their defense is a mess with injuries galore. Tampa’s last two games have come down to the final play and I expect the trend to continue; new kicker Patrick Murray wins it as the clock expires.
OAKLAND 27, Los Angeles Chargers 23 (ATS: Raiders -3.5)
This pick assumes that Raiders QB Derek Carr returns from a one week absence. Oakland has lost three straight and needs to turn things around quickly…already sitting far behind AFC West leading Kansas City. I wonder if the Chargers will have more fans show up this week on the road than they have thus far at home.
Pittsburgh 24, KANSAS CITY 23 (ATS: Steelers +3.5)
I hate picking Pittsburgh on the road…but after a pathetic home showing against Jacksonville, this appears to be a crucial game for the Steelers. Last year, Pittsburgh beat KC in the 2nd round of the playoffs and they’ll hand the Chiefs their first loss of the 2017 regular season on Sunday.
DENVER 27, New York Giants 10 (ATS: Broncos -11.5)
The Giants lost 3 of their top 4 WRs for the season last week including superstar Odell Beckham, Jr. They have literally no one worth a darn to throw to…can you imagine how frustrated QB Eli Manning is at this point? Denver’s solid defense should steamroll the punchless Giants.
TENNESSEE 27, Indianapolis 16 (ATS: Titans -1.5)
Assuming Titans QB Marcus Mariota returns from injury this week, why is the spread so low? This is a gift folks…take advantage. Titans roll on Monday Night Football.
This week’s guest picker is former Kansas State and Buffalo Bills quarterback, Dan Manucci, also co-host of 1580 The Fanatic’s Roc and Manuch with Crespin, weekdays from 3-6pm. ‘Manuch’ is the first former college player to be a guest picker…so I expect nothing short of a 10-0 week from him!
The guest pickers still lead with a solid 33-26 record against the spread…but Steve has narrowed the gap to only two games. Some tough ones to choose this week…
Guest Picker Results
Week 1: Adam Green 9-1 SU, 5-4 ATS
Week 2: Mike Muraco 4-6 SU, 6-4 ATS
Week 3: Mike Bauer 8-2 SU, 5-5 ATS
Week 4: Jeff Dean 6-4 SU, 4-6 ATS
Week 5: Arnie Spanier 8-2 SU, 8-2 ATS
Week 6: Jason McIntyre 6-4 SU, 5-5 ATS
Week 7 College Football Predictions
|Eric Cohen||Jon Bell||Steve Malina||Guest Picks (Dan Manucci)|
|Overall (Straight Up):||42-18||41-19||43-17||41-19|
|Overall (Against the Spread):||25-34||21-38||31-28||33-26|
|Last Week (SU):||6-4||7-3||6-4||6-4|
|Last Week (ATS):||4-6||4-6||6-4||5-5|
|UCLA at Arizona (-1.5)||UCLA 38-30||AZ 41-33||UCLA 44-41||AZ 35-31|
|Washington (-16.5) at ASU||WASH 34-26||WASH 38-35||WASH 41-21||WASH 38-24|
|Washington State (-13.5) at Cal||WSU 41-24||WSU 38-10||WSU 31-17||WSU 41-31|
|TCU (-4.5) at Kansas State||KSU 27-24||KSU 31-24||TCU 28-21||TCU 31-24|
|Oklahoma (-7.5) vs. Texas||OK 44-35||TEX 24-21||OK 38-30||OK 31-28|
|Georgia Tech at Miami (-6.5)||MIA 26-23||MIA 22-14||MIA 31-21||MIA 31-27|
|Auburn (-5.5) at LSU||AUB 23-17||AUB 27-8||AUB 24-17||AUB 31-25|
|Colorado (-12.5) at Oregon State||COL 37-20||OSU 23-19||COL 38-17||COL 42-18|
|Utah at USC (-13.5)||USC 27-20||USC 37-17||USC 28-24||USC 31-21|
|Oregon at Stanford (-10.5)||STAN 34-17||STAN 52-20||STAN 37-27||STAN 33-21|
This Week’s Bold Prediction:
EC: Sometimes it’s best not to side against history. UCLA has beaten Arizona all five times they have faced the Wildcats during Rich Rodriguez’s tenure. Despite the phenomenon that is Khalil Tate, will Arizona’s defense be able to make stops against future NFL top draft pick, QB Josh Rosen? The answer is no. In 2015, College Gameday and ABC’s game of the week was in Tucson for UCLA-UofA and they got a stinker of a game (UCLA won 56-30). This Saturday’s version will be a classic with the Wildcats coming up just short at the end.
JB: Fun games on the slate this Saturday. Big Game Tom (Herman) wins his first Red River rivalry, as OU’s woes continue. Meanwhile, Bill Snyder throws a wrench in the Big 12’s playoff chances by beating TCU. Oregon State rises up to the challenge and does something their former coach couldn’t: win. In Arizona, RichRod has Tucson buzzing about the second coming of Pat White and finally gets over the curse of Jim Mora while the fighting Todd Grahams show heart but ultimately fall to Washington in Tempe.
SM: The Mighty Buckeyes of THE Ohio State University prove once again that they are ‘the best damn team in the land’ and destroy Nebraska by a score of 55-13, nearly covering the over line (total points) by themselves. J.T. Barrett has over 300 yards and 4 TDs in the air and another one the ground, getting him back into the Heisman discussion. The Oklahoma game is proven to be just a small hiccup on a great season for Urban’s crew.
DM: After my alma mater, Kansas State’s loss to TCU on Saturday, coach Bill Snyder will make the statement that he will step down at the end of the year.
For more thoughts and predictions on these games check out Friday’s Quick Hitters blog.