Mike Ivcic’s Week 6 NFL Preview and Free Picks

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Mike Ivcic’s Week 6 NFL Preview and Free Picks ]]> include($base_url . “/includes/header.htm”); ?>


By Mike Ivcic, UltimateCapper Contributing Writer

Week 6 predictions from Mike Ivcic:


Pittsburgh Steelers @ Tennessee Titans
Thu, 8:20pm, NFLN
Line: Steelers by 6
As I said last week, Thursday nights are tough for road teams with short prep time and the travel, but this Steelers team is just better than the Titans. Pittsburgh played like a desperate team last week, and will need to do so again this week to ensure they don’t blow a winnable game.
Pick: Pittsburgh 24, Tennessee 10

Cincinnati Bengals @ Cleveland Browns
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Bengals by 3
It’s beginning to look like a bigger and bigger lock that Cleveland will be drafting first overall come April of 2013. If Cincinnati wants to return to the playoffs, responding to the Miami loss by blowing out the NFL’s worst team would be a nice statement to make.
Pick: Cincinnati 34, Cleveland 17

Dallas Cowboys @ Baltimore Ravens
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Ravens by 4
My first instinct here? Push. Baltimore should probably win this game something like 24-20, but since picking a push is probably worse karma that carrying a black cat under a ladder in a field of three-leaf clovers, we’ll go with a home cover.
Pick: Baltimore 23, Dallas 17

Detroit Lions @ Philadelphia Eagles
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Eagles by 5
The Lions are coming off a bye, the Eagles are coming off a tough loss in Pittsburgh. Neither team can really afford a loss, and even though Detroit is probably the more desperate team, I’m going with a Philly win here heading into a big clash with Atlanta.
Pick: Philadelphia 28, Detroit 20


Indianapolis Colts @ New York Jets
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Jets by 3
Did Vegas watch the game on Monday night? The Jets offense was one giant gimmick, except they never really pulled out the biggest gimmick of all – letting Tebow just run the offense. I’m actually a fan of Mark Sanchez and think the Jets have completely destroyed his confidence and mishandled his development, but right now Tebow is the better option given the Jets total lack of talent at offensive skill positions. And there’s my rant of the week – take the Colts here.
Pick: Indianapolis 20, New York 17

Kansas City Chiefs @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Buccaneers by 3.5
Shame on the KC fan or fans that cheered when Matt Cassel got hurt – that’s the point of no return when sports are taken so seriously that joy comes at the expense of another human being’s health. Still, the Chiefs are not as good of a football team as I initially expected, and Brady Quinn isn’t as good as Cassel (despite what those fans may think) so I’m taking Tampa.
Pick: Tampa Bay 20, Kansas City 13

Oakland Raiders @ Atlanta Falcons
Sun, 1pm, CBS
Line: Falcons by 9
I hate big lines, especially when the team on the short end of that line is a team that has done a fairly decent job of spoiling some seasons, both in the standings and in Vegas, in the past couple years. Still, I don’t think Atlanta will be caught looking ahead to Philadelphia next week, and the Falcons are just so loaded right now offensively that I think they can cover this.
Pick: Atlanta 31, Oakland 17

St. Louis Rams @ Miami Dolphins
Sun, 1pm, FOX
Line: Dolphins by 3.5
I don’t really know what to think about either team. Miami’s had some tough, close losses and managed to upset Cincinnati on the road last week, while the Rams are suddenly right in the thick of the NFC West race thanks to their smothering defensive performance against Arizona. Given the extra few days off, I’m actually going with the road team here in the straight out upset.
Pick: St. Louis 24, Miami 21


Buffalo Bills @ Arizona Cardinals
Sun, 4:05pm, CBS
Line: Cardinals by 5
The Bills 2-3 record is a bit misleading, as their defense has been torched by the likes of the Patriots two weeks ago (45 second half points) and the Mark Sanchez-led Jets. Think about that for a second. Arizona held New England to under 20 points, and the Jets – the Jets! – put up a 48 spot on this Bills defense. Oy.
Pick: Arizona 34, Buffalo 24

New England Patriots @ Seattle Seahawks
Sun, 4:05pm, CBS
Line: Patriots by 4
Pete Carroll plays host to his former team in a big game for both teams. No one seems especially concerned with winning the AFC East, so the Pats have a chance here to distance themselves from the rest of the division, while Seattle’s in the opposite position of having to avoid falling too far behind to catch Arizona, San Fran, or St. Louis. I’m giving the Pats another look here before I really buy into them as legitimate Super Bowl contenders again, because this really should be a blowout win.
Pick: New England 38, Seattle 21

Minnesota Vikings @ Washington Redskins
Sun, 4:25pm, FOX
Line: Redskins by 1.5
Regardless of whether or not Robert Griffin III plays, the Vikings are suddenly the new “surprise” team in the NFL. Last year’s Bengals and 49’ers played those roles, but in 2012 Minnesota actually appears to have a real shot at the playoffs. If that’s going to be the case, beating average teams on the road is imperative. I say the Vikings get this one done.
Pick: Minnesota 24, Washington 20

New York Giants @ San Francisco 49’ers
Sun, 4:25pm, FOX
Line: 49’ers by 2.5
Last January, the Giants walked into a windy and rainy Candlestick Park and practically stole the NFC championship away from the 49’ers, thanks to a couple big plays from Eli Manning and a muffed punt. This year the 49’ers have already had their letdown game (at Minnesota) while the Giants are still trying to figure out whether their offense is more like the one that’s shown up in division (17 points against both the Cowboys and Eagles) or outside of division (41 vs. Tampa, 36 vs. Carolina, 41 vs. Cleveland). The Niners “D” more closely resembles the former, so I’m taking the home team in a revenge game.
Pick: San Francisco 21, New York 17

Green Bay Packers @ Houston Texans
Sun, 8:20pm, NBC
Line: Texans by 4
Great matchup for NBC, and it should be a pretty high-scoring affair. The problem I see here is the Packers defense – they’ve given up 111 points compared to the Texans 73, while the Texans outscore Green Bay 149-112. If Minnesota beats Washington earlier in the day, a loss by the Pack here would drop them an almost inconceivable 3 games behind in the NFC North, but that’s what happens when a defense can’t keep the opponent out of the end zone.
Pick: Houston 35, Green Bay 27

Denver Broncos @ San Diego Chargers
Mon, 8:30pm, ESPN
Line: Chargers by 2
The Chargers have begun their slide – you don’t blow 10-point fourth quarter leads against winless teams in primetime and live to tell about it. If the Broncos want to make their move, this is the time to do it.
Pick: Denver 30, San Diego 27

Straight-Up: 45-32
Against Spread: 28-47-2


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