The Cheat Sheet
JETS AT BRONCOS
Time: 3:05 p.m., Ch. 2. Line: Jets by 3. Total: 41.
Records (overall/ATS): Jets 4-1/4-1; Broncos 2-3/2-3.
JETS THINK THEY’RE TOUGH — AND THEY ARE
After a big buildup that was only magnified by being featured in
HBO’s ”Hard Knocks,” the New York Jets looked like they were
going to crumble under the weight of coach Rex Ryan’s bravado.
The Jets not only lost their opener to the Baltimore Ravens,
they also lost nose tackle Kris Jenkins to a season-ending knee
injury on the sixth play of the game. With Mark Sanchez looking
totally lost (10-for-21 for 74 yards, 56.4 passer rating) and the
New England Patriots up next, many of those waiting for the Jets to
fail were celebrating early.
Too early, it looks like.
In the four weeks since the opening loss, Ryan, Sanchez and the
Jets have shown they’re as tough as they think. And maybe as
The Jets have beaten the Patriots (28-14), Dolphins (31-23) and
Bills (38-14) on the road and the Vikings (29-20) on Monday night
at the New Meadowlands. They’ve won. They’ve covered. They’ve
beaten Randy Moss as a Patriot and a Viking.
Following the lead of their brash coach, the Jets have a mental
toughness that has to be respected. They win on the road. They win
marquee games. They win after marquee games. They’re 7-1 ATS in
their last eight road games, including two playoff wins last
So a road game on a short week after a marquee game is a
challenge they can handle.
Pick: Jets 30, Broncos 17.
Mark Potash Silvy Doug Buffone
Sun-Times ESPN 1000 WSCR-AM
BEARS -6? vs. Seahawks
Chargers -8 at Rams Rams Rams Chargers
Texans -4? vs. Chiefs Texans Chiefs Texans
Patriots -2? vs. Ravens Patriots Ravens Ravens
Saints -4 at Buccaneers Saints Bucs Saints
Eagles -3 vs. Falcons Falcons Falcons Falcons
Giants -10 vs. Lions Lions Giants Lions
Packers OFF vs. Dolphins Packers Packers Dolphins
Steelers -13? vs. Browns Browns Steelers Browns
Jets -3 at Broncos JETS Jets Broncos
49ers -6? vs. Raiders 49ers Raiders Raiders
Vikings -1? vs. Cowboys Vikings Vikings Cowboys
Colts -3 at Redskins Colts COLTS Redskins
Titans -3 at Jaguars Titans Titans Titans
Last week (season) 7-7 (36-36-4) 3-11 (31-41-4) 8-6
Best bet (season) 0-1 (1-4) 0-1 (2-3) 0-1 (2-3)
Best bet + top plays (season) 2-2 (10-10) 2-2 (11-9) 3-1
CHIEFS AT TEXANS
Line: Texans by 4?. Total: 45.
Records (overall/ATS): Chiefs 3-1/3-1; Texans 3-2/2-2-1.
Fast fact: Chiefs are No. 3 in the NFL in rushing (148.8 y/g);
Texans are No. 5 (142.4).
Outlook: Both teams are trying to rebound from a loss — Chiefs
have more experience at it, but Texans have more to work with. Matt
Schaub, without a TD pass for only the second time in 21 games,
usually responds after a bad game.
Pick: Texans 27, Chiefs 10.
FALCONS AT EAGLES
Line: Eagles by 3. Total: 42?.
Records (overall/ATS): Eagles 3-2/2-3; Falcons 4-1/2-3.
Fast fact: Falcons are No. 2 in rushing (149 y/g); Eagles are
No. 24 in rush defense.
Outlook: Michael Turner-Matt Ryan combo makes Falcons
well-suited to face a big pass-rushing team on the road. Kevin Kolb
expected to start in place of Michael Vick (ribs). Eagles are 0-2
ATS at home.
Pick: Falcons 23, Eagles 13.
Time: Noon, Fox-32.
Bears by 6?. Total: 37?.
Bears 4-1/3-2; Seahawks 2-2/2-2.
Fast fact: Seahawks are 0-2 on the road — losing to the Broncos
31-14 and Rams 20-3.
Outlook: Good spot for Jay Cutler to return after missing last
week with a concussion — Seahawks are 28th in total defense (375
y/g) and 31st against the pass (302). But pass protection bears
Bears 31, Seahawks 14.
DOLPHINS AT PACKERS
Line: OFF. Total: OFF.
Records (overall/ATS): Dolphins 2-2/2-2; Packers 3-2/2-3.
Outlook: Packers have been decimated by injuries (technically
that would leave them with five players), while Dolphins are
rested. But if Aaron Rodgers plays, he’ll find a way to win at
Pick: Packers 13, Dolphins 10.
RAVENS AT PATRIOTS
Line: Patriots by 2?. Total: 44?.
Records (overall/ATS): Ravens
4-1/3-2; Patriots 3-1/2-2.
Outlook: The Patriots aren’t at their peak, but Bill Belichick
getting two weeks to prepare and the revenge factor (Ravens ousted
the Pats from the playoffs last season) is too good to pass up.
Pick: Patriots 17, Ravens 14.
LIONS AT GIANTS
Line: Giants by 10. Total: 44?.
Records (overall/ATS): Lions
1-4/4-1; Giants 3-2/3-2.
Outlook: Lions are 2-8-1 ATS after their last 11 victories. On
the other hand, all that keeps this year’s Lions from being 5-0 ATS
is a late first-and-goal pick by QB Shaun Hill in a 24-10 loss to
Pick: Giants 27, Lions 20.
BROWNS AT STEELERS
Line: Steelers by 13?. Total: 37.
Records (overall/ATS): Browns
1-4/2-2; Steelers 3-1/3-1.
Outlook: Return of Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger figures to give
the Steelers a lift. But they’re 1-4 ATS in their last five against
the rival Browns even with Roethlisberger.
Pick: Steelers 21, Browns 16.
CHARGERS AT RAMS
Line: Chargers by 8. Total: 45.
Records (overall/ATS): Chargers 2-3/2-3; Rams 2-3/3-2.
Outlook: Chargers are 0-3 ATS on the road. Rams were throttled
at Detroit last week and lost WR Mark Clayton, but inconsistent
Chargers can’t be trusted.
Pick: Chargers 28, Rams 24.
SAINTS AT BUCCANEERS
Line: Saints by 4. Total: 43?.
Records (overall/ATS): Saints
3-2/0-5; Buccaneers 3-1/2-1-1.
Outlook: With RBs Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas injured, Saints
signed ex-Cowboy Julius Jones this week. Drew Brees can’t do it
all, especially vs. Bucs’ impressive secondary (eight picks).
Pick: Saints 27, Buccaneers 17.
RAIDERS AT 49ERS
Time: 3:05 p.m.
Line: 49ers by 6?. Total: 41.
Records (overall/ATS): Raiders
2-3/2-3; 49ers 0-5/2-3.
Outlook: It was only a matter of time before former
Bears great Mike Singletary finally
started drawing comparisons to Bill Walsh — 49ers are 0-5 for the
first time since Walsh’s 1979 team.
Pick: 49ers 17, Raiders 10.
COWBOYS AT VIKINGS
Time: 3:15 p.m., Fox-32.
Line: Vikings by 1?. Total: 44?.
Records (overall/ATS): Cowboys 1-3/1-3; Vikings 1-3/2-2.
Outlook: Brett Favre’s focus usually is better when he’s facing
adversity. It’s his inaccurate arm that doesn’t seem to be
cooperating. Home field is huge in a must-win game for both
Pick: Vikings 27, Cowboys 23.
COLTS AT REDSKINS
Time: 7:20 p.m., Ch.5.
Line: Colts by 3. Total: 43?.
Records (overall/ATS): Colts
3-2/3-2; Redskins 3-2/3-1-1.
Outlook: Colts rallied with 10 fourth-quarter points for
all-important cover vs. Chiefs. Peyton Manning won’t go two
straight weeks without a TD pass.
Pick: Colts 24, Redskins 14.
TITANS AT JAGUARS
Time: 7:30 p.m. Monday, ESPN.
Line: Titans by 3. Total: 45.
Records (overall/ATS): Titans
3-2/3-2; Jaguars 3-2/3-2.
Outlook: Jaguars have lost by 25 points twice (Chargers, Eagles)
and have been outscored 137-107 despite 3-2 record. Titans’ tough
schedule should pay off here.
Pick: Titans 19, Jaguars 13.