Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens Point Spread Free Picks: This game is always close, and I don’t see why, with everything for the Ravens to gain (possibly a 1st round Bye if things go right) and nothing for the Bengals to lose (they’re playing better of late, but have had a terrible year) that this game won’t be tight from start to finish.
Carson Palmer looked like the old (or young, I guess) Carson before the knee injury that set him back the last few years. He looked to many different targets and relied on the run game more- it worked as the Bengals ousted the Chargers and kept San Diego out of the playoffs for the first time in a while. They can’t keep the Ravens out, but a talented secondary and a solid offense could keep the Ravens from getting a free pass to Round 2, and I think the Bengals have that kind of game in them.
The Bengals have won 3 straight games in this division rivalry. They beat the Ravens 15-10 for one of their 4 wins this season. It was a defensive game, and while that might be to the advantage of the Ravens, it’s not to the advantage of covering a double digit spread.
In fact, the Bengals have only lost by double digits 4 times this season. They’ve won two straight games, and they’re playing solid on both sides of the ball. Yes, I’m willing to say they have a chance, and I’m taking them on the road getting 10 and change.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans Point Spread Free Picks: I think the Jaguars struggle in Tennessee. Losing last week’s game against the Giants is a killer for them, and Tennessee is coming off a couple of embarrassing performances and an bad situation between the coach, quarterback, and owner of the team. Jeff Fischer is a good coach and I think he’ll get that squared away for a good performance from the Titans on Sunday.
It all depends on the quarterback situation for the Titans, however, and from where I hear Kerry Collins is going to play. With Randy Moss in Tennessee, I think Kerry ends up being the best guy for the job anyway (between him and Young) as I fully expect the Titans to air it out a little bit more this week, rely on Randy a little bit more, and at least take some chances down the field.
I know that Chris Johnson is a proud character, and I don’t see him putting up another stinker this week, especially against a mediocre defense like Jacksonville’s. Johnson’s 7 carry, 5 yard performance was horrendous, and despite being a little dinged, he’ll be back ready to prove himself this week.
This is the time of the season where the Jaguars take the good things they’ve done and flush them directly down the toilet. They’ve battled to 6-5 and it’s time for them to finish in the dumps.
Florida Gators @ Florida State Seminoles Point Spread Free Picks: The Seminoles haven’t played that well lately, and while the Gators have had a tough season, losing three in a row at one point, they still have the players to take it to the Seminoles. They also happen to match up well defensively for a Seminoles team that has struggled against top competition. The little that they’ve had.
Florida State hasn’t played many teams that I’d classify as consistently good – mainly because they reside in the ACC where nobody is good and anybody can play bad enough to lose any week. However, the Seminoles haven’t lost many games there, and it looks like they’ll play Virginia Tech for a chance at a BCS Bowl in the ACC Championship here in a couple weeks. But for now, let’s have a look at their schedule. The best teams they’ve played are Oklahoma (loss 17-47), North Carolina (lose 35-37), and North Carolina State (lost 24-28). Wins over Maryland, Clemson, Boston College, Virginia, Wake Forest, and BYU don’t impress me much. They did beat Miami, but if the Hurricanes have shown anything it’s the ability to play terrible football in any given situation.
I don’t think the Gators are a top 25 football team, but I don’t think that about the Seminoles either. Florida’s speed on defense will give FSU trouble, and I think that will be enough to win outright on the road, making sure to let everyone know that they might be going through a tough season, but they’re still the best team in Florida.
Florida Gators (+3) @ #22 Florida State Seminoles