I won with the Giants, Seahawks and Cardinals but came up short with the Chiefs. I still have a few weeks to try to at least get back to .500 for the season.
Here are this week’s picks. I’ll be using the point spreads from Yahoo! Sports. Feel free to include your picks for these or any other of the week’s games in the comments section. Good luck!
Week 11 Record: 3-1
Overall Record: 18-26
Carolina Panthers (-4.5) at Miami Dolphins
Cam Newton is playing excellent football, but more importantly, the Panthers’ defense has been great. The win over the Patriots – regardless of whether there might have been some help from the referees late – was a statement win for this team. I expect Carolina to keep rolling, even though they’ll be on the road against Miami.
Pittsburgh Steelers (+1) at Cleveland Browns
The Steelers are a new team from their pitiful start. Ben Roethlisberger has responded to critics claiming he wants out of Pittsburgh, and the team may even have an outside chance at the final wild card spot in the AFC. But that starts with a win against division-rival Cleveland. The Browns have been so inconsistent this season, but I expect they’ll show up for this rivalry game. But with the spread being a toss-up, I’m sticking with the Steelers.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+9.5) at Detroit Lions
The Buccaneers have surprisingly won two straight games, but that luck will likely run out in Detroit against the Lions. The Lions suffered a disappointing loss to the Steelers last week, and with the NFC North up for grabs, every game is huge for Detroit. I expect Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson to have big days against the Bucs’ defense en route to both winning the game and covering the spread.
Dallas Cowboys (+2.5) at New York Giants
Wow, after an 0-6 start, the Giants wind up being 2.5-point favorites at home over the Cowboys after winning four straight games. Go figure. That’s a product of the Giants being able to somewhat right the ship – even it the recent hot streak has come against bad teams. But that spread is also a product of the Cowboys having gaping holes in their defense, especially linked to a few key injuries. Basically, the Giants’ offense matches up well against the Cowboys’ defense, and the Cowboys’ offense will be a tough matchup for the Giants’ defense, regardless of how well Big Blue’s defensive unit has played recently. Therefore, I’m expecting plenty of scoring in this one, and I certainly can see this game coming down to a Dan Bailey or Josh Brown field goal. Give me Josh Brown to come through in this one.
Follow Jim Mancari on Twitter @JMMancari.