Randall the Handle's Week 6 selections
By RANDALL THE HANDLE, Special to QMI Agency
|According to Randall the Handle, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos should find the San Diego Chargers less of a challenge than Atlanta, Houston or New England. (JESSICA RINALDI/Reuters)
Bills (2-3) at Cardinals (3-1)
LINE: ARIZONA BY 4.5
The Bills have been bad. Brutally bad. 97-31 bad over their past two games. But those two contests took place against the Patriots and 49ers, two of the best teams in football. As we venture through October, things typically start to stabilize. Arizona has had some favourable bounces. Three of their four wins have been by three or less points, including one in overtime. As a favourite, they are high risk with an abysmal running game that ranks 31st in the league (63 yds. per game) and an inept passing game. Buffalo's defence has been feeling the heat. Against a weak Cardinals offensive line, the Bills have an opportunity to silence their critics. Buffalo wisely chose to stay out west after playing at San Francisco. A confining week away to fix things should pay dividends.
TAKING: BILLS +4.5
Packers (2-3) at Texans (5-0)
LINE: HOUSTON BY 3.5
If you're waiting for the Packers to get back to their 15-1 form from a year ago, don't hold your breath. Was blowing a 21-3 lead to the inexperienced Colts just a fluke or a sign of things to come? We're thinking the latter. Green Bay appears confused. They've lost their identity. The coach seems unsure. The offensive line is troubled. There is no running game to speak of and the secondary can't seem to cover people. All of that does not bode well when playing the current odds on favourite to win the Super Bowl. The Texans are for real. They are strong throughout and they now get a national stage to flaunt their stuff for a home audience. The Packers are still a public team. Oddsmakers know that and the line reflects it. This is a cheap price for a superior team facing a team that has more reputation than skill.
TAKING: TEXANS --3.5
Colts (2-2) at Jets (2-3)
LINE: NY JETS BY 3.5
Did you hear the one about the Jets being favoured? Monday's semi-respectful loss to the Texans has allowed New York to be lined up this way but the multitude of issues remains and requiring them to win, let alone by a margin, has to be ill advised. Coach Rex Ryan is beginning to cave on the quarterback situation. Having Mark Sanchez is bad enough. Having Sanchez without viable playmakers is insurmountable. No matter what you see or hear, Tim Tebow would be worse. The Colts are feeling good about themselves after climbing a mountain to defeat the Packers. They will take to the road for first time in a month but give us the superior quarterback, the inspired team and a few points to go with it and we'll gladly take a position.
TAKING: COLTS +3.5
Bengals (3-2) at Browns (0-5)
LINE: CINCINNATI BY 1
Browns have to win sometime, don't they? Maybe not, but with the defensive issues plaguing this Cincinnati team we're not comfortable spotting anything with them on the road. These two met just four weeks ago with the Bengals winning by a TD in a closely contested divisional contest. Browns make amends here.
TAKING: BROWNS +1
Chiefs (1-4) at Buccaneers (1-3)
LINE: TAMPA BAY BY 4
The Chiefs are currently boasting a -15 turnover ratio. Who knew it went that high? While not all of it is QB Matt Cassel's fault, he is shelved this week and Brady Quinn will get the start. A fresh face may help. Besides, never a good idea to giving away points with a team that has one win in its past 14 games.
TAKING: CHIEFS +4
Raiders (1-3) at Falcons (5-0)
LINE: ATLANTA BY 9
The Falcons are feeling much love with their unblemished record and quality play. Same can't be said of these Raiders. However, Oakland has had an extra week to right some wrongs while Atlanta's huge division lead and upcoming week off, could create some complacency. A strong effort by the visitor can keep this one within range.
TAKING: RAIDERS +9
Cowboys (2-2) at Ravens (4-1)
LINE: BALTIMORE BY 3.5
The Cowboys started strongly, manhandling the Giants in season opener. It's been topsy-turvy since but maybe Dallas best after rest. Cowboys are 7-1 against spread after a break and the underdog in Dallas games has been inordinately good. Baltimore sputtering a bit with strenuous efforts over lowly Chiefs and Browns.
TAKING: COWBOYS +3.5
Lions (1-3) at Eagles (3-2)
LINE: PHILADELPHIA BY 4
Tough one as the Eagles can't score and the Lions can't stop anyone. In addition, both squads have been wallet guzzlers, a combined 7-24 versus the number. Perhaps Philly can break out of its offensive doldrums against one of the weakest defences a team can face. Remember Detroit's 44-41 loss to Titans?
TAKING: EAGLES --4
Rams (3-2) at Dolphins (2-3)
LINE: MIAMI BY 3.5
Rams over .500 for first time in six years but we're not sure how long that will last. St. Louis off a pair of home wins against offensively challenged Seahawks and Cardinals. Rams are 0-2 on road and will travel to hot and stuffy Florida to face an improving Miami squad that is anxious to be home after two away.
TAKING: DOLPHINS --3.5
Patriots (3-2) at Seahawks (3-2)
LINE: NEW ENGLAND BY 3.5
The Bermuda Triangle has nothing on CenturyLink Field in Seattle. Stronger teams cross into the northwest and die here as the Seahawks' 12-2-1 home underdog record will attest to. New England's offensive line will be tested in this matchup and if Seattle's pass rushers are as good as advertised, this will be a game.
TAKING: SEAHAWKS +3.5
Giants (3-2) at 49ers (4-1)
LINE: SAN FRANCISCO BY 6.5
The Niners have won consecutive games by a combined 79-3. But this is not the Jets or Bills visiting. San Fran's revenge factor is on everyone's minds. That won't bother the G-Men as they are 16-4 against the number versus teams looking to avenge a previous encounter. Taking a near touchdown with SB champs? What?
TAKING: GIANTS +6.5
Broncos (2-3) at Chargers (3-2)
LINE: SAN DIEGO BY 1.5
Most identified Denver's schedule as one of the tougher slates heading into this season, especially with Peyton Manning having to acclimate to new surroundings. Seems the assessment was accurate as the Broncos' three losses have been to Atlanta, Houston and New England. Chargers don't rank with that trio.
TAKING: BRONCOS +1.5
Vikings (4-1) at Redskins (2-3)
LINE: NO LINE
Currently off the board as the status of Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III is unknown.
Last week: 2-1
Last week; 9-5