Randall the Handle's Week 9 NFL picks
By RANDALL THE HANDLE, Special to QMI Agency
|Randall is taking the New York Giants to cover vs. the Steelers in Week 9 of the NFL season. (REUTERS)
Randall the Handle weighs in on Week 9 of the NFL, who he's taking and why ...
Steelers (4-3) at Giants (6-2)
LINE: NY GIANTS BY 3
The only thing scary about the Steelers is those uniforms they wore last week. For whatever reason, Pittsburgh continually gets treated like it is an elite team, while the Giants still get disrespected. In Pittsburgh's past 16 games, it has defeated one team with a winning record. That was a home game to the Bengals in December of last year, not exactly a signature win. Against other winners over that span, the Steelers are 0-4. The Giants, well, they won the Super Bowl. They were recently a seven-point underdog in San Francisco and won outright followed by a sweep of two divisional opponents. Now they are home to this poor travelling team that has three covers in their past 14 away, including straight up losses at Tennessee and Oakland this year. Yet, the Steelers are only a three-point underdog? It's a public number that misrepresents these two. The G-Men take no prisoners. They just figure out ways to win and then execute, as they will on this day.
TAKING: GIANTS -3
Cowboys (3-4) at Falcons (7-0)
LINE: ATLANTA BY 4
Backing the Cowboys is not for the faint of heart. They are an adventure in anxiety whether you take them or go against them. Still, the talent level remains high and if they can ever get through a game without multiple pumpkin head mistakes, they are a dangerous foe. Atlanta remains undefeated. They won't run the table but they are a well balanced team with good coaching and an MVP candidate in QB Matt Ryan. But the Falcons are not battle tested. They play in what is turning out to be a soft division (they have a four-game lead on Tampa already) and they have faced only one winning team when they hung on to beat Denver in a prime time game in Week 2. Dallas games provide drama until the final gun. No reason to believe this one will be any different.
TAKING: COWBOYS +4
Broncos (4-3) at Bengals (3-4)
LINE: DENVER BY 3 1/2
Like the stock market, we constantly preach to sell high and buy low. This is a classic case. The football world has fallen back in love with Peyton Manning and his new found Broncos. The team is in a groove and is currently difficult to fade. However, this is a letdown spot after two months of tough opponents while the Bengals are rested.
TAKING: BENGALS +3 1/2
Cardinals (4-4) at Packers (5-3)
LINE: GREEN BAY BY 11
This is a week-to-week league. People forget that. What they remember is what they saw last. That makes it difficult to support the Cardinals here after witnessing the dismantlement to the Niners on Monday night. But Green Bay receivers remain banged up and running game continues to struggle.
TAKING: CARDINALS +11
Dolphins (4-3) at Colts (4-3)
LINE: MIAMI BY 2 1/2
The Colts are headed in right direction but there is still much work to be done. Indy's 27th-ranked run defence needs to improve and this is not the best matchup for them. Three of the Colts' four wins have occurred when they've exceeded 100 yards rushing. Against Miami's third-ranked run stoppers, that's unlikely to occur. Don't diss the Fish.
TAKING: DOLPHINS -2 1/2
Ravens (5-2) at Browns (2-6)
LINE: BALTIMORE BY 3 1/2
These two met on a Thursday night a few weeks ago with Baltimore needing a full effort for a seven-point win. Cleveland has upgraded its game since and fine rookie RB Trent Richardson should be able to inflict some damage to the Ravens' weak run defence. The Browns are good against winning teams with five straight covers.
TAKING: BROWNS +3 1/2
Bills (3-4) at Texans (6-1)
LINE: HOUSTON BY 10 1/2
Buffalo's defensive liabilities are no secret but the two weeks that both squads had off, figures to aid the Bills taking double digits more than a Houston team that wanted rest as much as anything else. Buffalo has enough offensive talent to work the clock here, score some points and keep this one within range.
TAKING: BILLS +10 1/2
Lions (3-4) at Jaguars (1-6)
LINE: DETROIT BY 3 1/2
Neither cat is very ferocious right now. The Lions managed a late win over Seattle last week but issues still remain. Jacksonville is home after competing in two road games and the team may have found a couple of emerging young players in WR Cecil Shorts and RB Rashad Jennings. The Lions spotting road points lacks appeal.
TAKING: JAGUARS +3 1/2
Panthers (1-6) at Redskins (3-5)
LINE: WASHINGTON BY 3 1/2
It's never a good idea to be spotting points with a team as defensively weak and wounded as this current Redskins bunch. Carolina is not as bad as record indicates, having battled in all games but one. After facing defences of Chicago, Dallas, Seattle and Atlanta in previous four, this 29th-ranked defence offers much needed relief.
TAKING: PANTHERS +3 1/2
Bears (6-1) at Titans (3-5)
LINE: CHICAGO BY 3 1/2
Chicago's defence remains strong but its offence does not appear to be in sync. The Bears head to the road after two home games and they may be peeking past this one to Sunday night home date with Texans next week. The Titans remain home after tough overtime loss and should be ready to do battle again.
TAKING: TITANS +3 1/2
Vikings (5-3) at Seahawks (4-4)
LINE: SEATTLE BY 5
The Seahawks have won and covered all three games played this season in Seattle. If they can defeat Tom Brady, Tony Romo and Aaron Rodgers on their own field, Christian Ponder poses very little threat. The Vikings started well but things have nose-dived and this Seattle defence should add to Minnesota's woes.
TAKING: SEAHAWKS -5
Buccaneers (3-4) at Raiders (3-4)
LINE: OAKLAND BY 1 1/2
The Bucs garnering attention after recent scoring outbursts but facing the Saints, Chiefs and Redskins can do that for a club. We're not complaining as that helps to shorten this price with an Oakland team that has won consecutive games and will face a Tampa squad that lost important All-Pro left guard Carl Nicks.
TAKING: RAIDERS -1 1/2
Eagles (3-5) at Saints (2-6)
LINE: NEW ORLEANS BY 3
Some had these two pegged to meet for the NFC Championship. That ain't happenin'. The Eagles are a tough sell. The team is in turmoil. They've won three games by a combined four points. Both Michael Vick and coach Andy Reid have overstayed their welcome. The Saints have issues but prefer theirs over their guest's.
TAKING: SAINTS -3