Blogs > Extra Points

Thoughts, news and notes from the sports staff of The Saratogian newspaper, located in historic Saratoga Springs, New York. The gang in the corner office on Lake Avenue give you the post-game wrap-ups, news and notes from the games we cover and opinions about the sports we read about every day.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Stathead Matt's Family Christmas Special Week 16 picks

Ah, Christmas. The season of family and togetherness. Traditions vary from family to family, so instead of gathering around the fireplace, my father, brother, and I have gathered around the HD to take in some Christmas basketball and lumberjack competition on commercials.

Lumberjack competitions are much like strongman competitions. They are played in marathons and if you are not careful, you can get completely sucked into them. I guarantee that before this column is over, I will be passionately rooting for one lumberjack or lumberjill, and watch an upset that will have me openly yelling at the tv.

(12-2) New England Patriots at
(4-10) Buffalo Bills +8.5
I'm outvoted on this one. The Bills have been a different team since the weather turned, and they are playing in the big snowdrift in Buffalo. Plus the Bills have played the Pats hard their last few meetings, and even at the beginning of the season when they were bad they still lost by less than 8.5. My dad and brother counter with an argument of "yeah, but it's the Patriots." Point taken.

(10-4) New York Jets at
(10-4) Chicago Bears -1.5
There's trouble afoot in NYC. They will have to toe the line with their turnovers. If Sanchez still has shoulder pains, his throws may not have the same arch, and if he throws too many interceptions he will be quite the heel. The Jets will have to put their heart and sole into this one. Okay, everyone got it out of their system? Since it is Chicago, they may get a foot of snow. Okay, now we're good. Dad picks the Jets, and my brother and I say the Bears are a shoe-in. Done.

(10-4) Baltimore Ravens at
(5-9) Cleveland Browns +3.5
My brother, Greg, as I now realize I have not introduced him, (My father is named Tom by the way) just announced that he is a Ravens fan. Each Christmas involves one family member making a startling declaration, but Greg's isn't too much of a shock as he has been an Orioles fan since middle school. Greg chooses the Ravens in his first act of homerism, and dad likes the Browns from a jilted lover hosting an ex angle. I have decided to bless Greg's choice, if only because he has finally picked a team.

(5-9) San Francisco 49ers at
(6-8) St. Louis Rams -2.5
I must say it's good to see the Rams on top again. Even if they are only king of the landfill that is the NFC West. Boy I hope they host the Giants in the first round. The Rams are our first unanimous pick of the day. Oh how far the 49ers have fallen this year.

(4-10) Detroit Lions at
(7-7) Miami Dolphins -3.5
This game has no meaning other than to let us watch Ndamukong Suh play. We're taking a break because my sister Amanda, brother-in-law The Mike, and 3-month-old niece Lilly have shown up for a few minutes of season's greetings. Let's call this one for the Lions.

(5-9) Washington Redskins at
(8-6) Jacksonville Jaguars -6.5
We all agree that there is too much turmoil in Washington. Haynesworth, McNabb, Shannahan. Jones-Drew or not, who could pick the Redskins to play cohesively right now?

(6-8) Tennessee Titans at
(9-5) Kansas City Chiefs -5.5
Remember the Titans? No, really. They were my AFC Super Bowl favorite at some point this year, and now they are a shell of a team. Chris Johnson has not lived up to last year, Vince Young fell apart, Randy Moss did nothing, and the team quit on Jeff Fisher. The only positive memory I have of them this season was the Kenny Britt game. Plus, it will be good to have the Chiefs in the playoffs again. They are too good a football city to have been this bad for this long.

(8-6) Indianapolis Colts at
(7-7) Oakland Raiders +3.5
Colts to the playoffs. Ride them until the dice come up snake eyes. Plus they have a full backfield again. Greg thinks Darren McFadden can carry the Raiders to a win in this game. I think it's a little too early for Greg to have had this much egg nog.

(5-9) Houston Texans at
(3-11) Denver Broncos +2.5
Greg says, that the Texans, down by 13 in the 4th, get two big plays, a run by Foster and a catch by Andre Johnson, and they seal it up as time expires. There is always one meaningless late-season game that is surprisingly compelling and entertaining, so I will not put it out of the realm of possibility. Plus, these two teams have the combined defensive capabilities of a nursery school roster, so a high-scoring back and forth contest seems probable. Even still dad and I are backing the Broncos.

(8-6) San Diego Chargers at
(3-11) Cincinnati Bengals +7.5
The lumberjacks are done, and we did too much channel surfing to get as involved as I had predicted. It was worth it for one girl running on floating logs. We could have watched her for the entire broadcast. Why do they focus on the burley woodchoppers instead of the lithe running ladies again? We ended up flipping between basketball and King Kong. The Chargers are firing on all cylinders, and dad is on record saying the cold of Cincinnati will not affect the team. Good enough for me.

(6-8) Seattle Seahawks at
(8-6) Tampa Bay Buccaneers -6.5
Tampa Bay felt good for a few weeks, and actually had me believing they could upset the balance of the NFC South. It was fun while it lasted, but the Seahawks have more of a chance in the wretched West. Dad thinks the Bucs are a better team, and feels that is the only factor that matters.

(9-5) New York Giants at
(8-6) Green Bay Packers -2.5
Dad points out that the Giants win the tough ones and lose the easy ones. To me that means that last week must have been an especially easy game if they lost to the Eagles like that. Whatever. They win and they're in. I can get behind that. Greg differs to the Green Bay crowd.

(5-9) Minnesota Vikings at
(10-4) Philadelphia Eagles -13.5
Dad believes the Eagles have to come down from their high, but all that momentum plus the magic of Michael Vick is hard to predict. Peterson might still not play. I'd give the Vikings a shot if they lined up Jared Allen at QB and let him and Gerhart run with the ball like it was a Burnt Hills game this season. With the game at home and the crowd ready to celebrate their returning heroes, it becomes a matter of how many points can the Eagles score? I say they get above 14.

(10-4) New Orleans Saints at
(12-2) Atlanta Falcons -2.5
Dad and Greg immediately go for Atlanta in what many feel is going to be the game of the week. Seriously, no love for the defending champs, still? The Saints are still the Who 'dat? team that stole our hearts last season, yet as soon as they lost a few games, they were immediately off everyone's radar. I think they may have been holding back for a postseason run, pacing themselves after an elongated 2009 season and ready to play the tough games when they count in 2010. Here they are. The Saints come marching back!

This week: 1-for-1
Last week: 8-for-16
overall: 115-for-210

Thanks to everyone who came by to read. Have a wonderful holiday season and a spectacular new year.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Stathead Matt's Week 15 Quick Picks

Overall: 106-for-193
This Week: 1-for-1
Last Week: 7-for-15

(5-8) Cleveland Browns at
(2-11) Cincinnati Bengals -1.5

(5-8) Washington Redskins at
(4-9) Dallas Cowboys -6.5

(5-8) Houston Texans at
(5-8) Tennessee Titans -1.5

(8-5) Jacksonville Jaguars at
(7-6) Indianapolis Colts -4.5

(8-5) Kansas City Chiefs at
(6-7) St. Louis Rams -1.5

(3-10) Buffalo Bills at
(7-6) Miami Dolphins -5.5

(3-10) Detroit Lions at
(8-5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers -6.5

(4-9) Arizona Cardinals at
(1-12) Carolina Panthers -2.5

(10-3) New Orleans Saints at
(9-4) Baltimore Ravens -2.5

(9-4) Philadelphia Eagles at
(9-4) New York Giants -2.5

(11-2) Atlanta Falcons at
(6-7) Seattle Seahawks +6.5

(9-4) New York Jets at
(10-3) Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5

(3-10) Denver Broncos at
(6-7) Oakland Raiders -6.5

(8-5) Green Bay Packers at
(11-2) New England Patriots -10.5

(9-4) Chicago Bears at
(5-8) Minnesota Vikings +3.5

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New king in Newcastle and Week 14 NFL picks

My favorite English club team, Newcastle United, recently fired their manager, Chris Hughton, and it couldn't be worse for my psyche.

I found out about the sacking while compiling the Around the Block, Around the World segment we do on The Starting Gate -- a page we do early in the night -- and it was all I could think about for the rest of the day.

Hughton had been a successful manager since coming in as a caretaker, leading the club into the middle of the Premiership after a dominant campaign in the League Championship. It's more than we could ask for after the last few seasons of transfer miscues, front office mistakes and and on-pitch failures. His departure was never called for by the fans this season, and his performance had been written about in good light. If Chris Hughton could be fired in his first real managerial gig despite success and the backing of fans, what decent coach would ever want to take up the position, especially given the club's history of this type of behavior?

Since I started following Newcastle in 2006, the club has gone through many managers. In fact, they were going through a managerial change, Graeme Souness to Bobby Roeder, at the time I picked up the club. Since then I have watched Sam Allardyce, Joe Kinnear, Kevin Keegan and Alan Shearer try their hand as Newcastle manager before Hughton got his chance. That is seven managers in under six seasons. Even the Yankees in their Steinbrenner/Billy Martin heyday and the wretched Detroit Lions cannot claim such a carousel of managers.

"By God, we will be unstoppable!"

Granted, some of these managers have been on an interim basis. Bobby Roeder was just a place-holder, as was Joe Kinnear until something better came along. But even managers that were chosen for the long-term have been unable to produce. Sam Allardyce was hand-picked by owner Mike Ashley, but succeeded to only talk a big game while his squads failed to back it up on the pitch.

Kevein Keegan was the manager back during Newcastle's last run of success in the early 90s, when the team climbed out of what was then called Division 1, and finished second, sixth, second and secondin the Premiership from 1993 to 1997. He abruptly resigned after that run, only to return in 2008 to take over for Sam Allardyce.

I was watching a live broadcast of Newcastle's game against Manchester United (I even kept a live blog of the game) when it was announced that Keegan would return as manager, and I remember the elation and expectations that came with the return of King Kevin.

I was the fella on the left, and I think I imagined the two on the right

He lasted less than a year after disagreements with owner Mike Ashley and Director Dennis Wise over transfers, the aftermath of which turned fans against the owner and Keegan from the club.

Nine months later. Not our proudest moment.

Alan Shearer's tenure was nothing more than a huge tease to the fans. Shearer was the face of the franchise as a goal scorer until his retirement in 2006. He then came in as manager to save a sinking ship that was doomed to relegation, and almost succeeded. Fans thought he was the savior we needed to steer us back to the Premiership. It would be just like the old days.

In our heads we thought, "Well, management ran Keegan out of town and sold our best young player for pennies on the dollar, but so long as Shearer is at the helm, I will stand by this team forever".

"You'll never turn on me again, right, Mauley McBear?"

Yet, in another staggeringly brilliant public relations move, Shearer was cut down, held in limbo over the job throughout the offseason, and finally not re-fired. When Newcastle failed to lure back Keegan, the job went to Chris Hughton as a caretaker until they could find their longterm manager. We looked dead in the water, and doomed to mire in the second tier of English football.

And then something wonderful happened. Hughton did an immaculate job as manager during the club's year in the League Championship. Newcastle dominated the league over the course of the season, and stormed their way back into the Premiership. We were contenders again, and I felt a sense of pride in the team that I had not felt since the initial honeymoon of choosing them in the first place.

The current year has had mixed success, but has still been better than many fans had predicted. The fact that there have been any ups has more than made up for the downs, and following the team has never been more fun. We were shut out in the opener by Manchester United, but came right back with a 6-0 win over Aston Villa in the next match. We kicked powerhouse Chelsea out of the Carling Cup only to lose to Arsenal in the next round. Andy Carrol has emerged from our youth team as a constant scoring threat, but talented Joey Barton cannot stay out of trouble with officials and the law. We upended rival Sunderland with a five-goal barrage and crept past Arsenal after losing in league matches, only to find ourselves playing our last four games without a win.

It's been that kind of season, except the manager was thrown off on the corkscrew.

Yet those last four games have been the deciding factor of the future for Chris Hughton at Newcastle. What? Mike Ashley, who took over ownership of the club soon after I began following them, and has been as popular with fans as an acid and salt rinse after a root canal, decided the team needs to be managed by someone with more experience.

On paper, it's a justifiable move, along the lines of 'if the team is doing this well with some nobody as manager, think of how well they'd do with an accomplished manager.' It would be like the New Orleans Hornets -- who are exceeding all expectations by starting the season 11-1 with rookie head coach Monty Williams -- firing Williams because of their current 2-5 skid and replacing him with perennial also-ran Don Nelson, because Nelson has been a coach longer. Except whoever the soccer version of is Don Nelson was not available, so they hired a journeyman manager
in Alan Pardew, or the P.J. Carlesimo of soccer coaches.

Will Joey Barton be the Latrell Sprewell of soccer?

Can Newcastle difinitively say they are in a better position than they were in before they fired Hughton? No. At best, they can say they broke even on this move

In reality they have burned the bridge of every personnel member the team ever wants to sign in the future. Who will sign with a club that will unceremoniously fire you even if you overperform? Why even risk it?

Pardew told the BBC that other managers had sent him text messages saying that "he must be mad to sign there", and I am inclined to agree with them. Even with his 5 1/2 year deal, how long does he expect to stay with a club who fired their last manager after he exceeded any and all expectations? With Newcastle's managerial history, how did the club even generate any interest in the position from career-oriented managers?

This move may not affect the team this season, but it will in the long run, and not for the better. And to think I let them get my hopes up.

Week 14 NHL Picks

This Week: 0-for-1
Last Week: 12-for-16
Overall: 99-for-178

(5-7) Cleveland Browns at
(2-10) Buffalo Bills -1.5

(8-4) Green Bay Packers at
(2-10) Detroit Lions +6.5

(8-4) New York Giants at
(5-7) Minnesota Vikings +2.5

(2-10) Cincinnati Bengals at
(9-3) Pittsburgh Steelers -9.5

(7-5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers at
(5-7) Washington Redskins +2.5

(10-2) Atlanta Falcons at
(1-11) Carolina Panthers +7.5

(6-6) Oakland Raiders at
(7-5) Jacksonville Jaguars -4.5

(6-6) Seattle Seahawks at
(4-8) San Francisco 49ers -4.5

(6-6) St. Louis Rams at
(9-3) New Orleans Saints -8.5

(10-2) New England Patriots at
(9-3) Chicago Bears +3.5

(6-6) Miami Dolphins at
(9-3) New York Jets -6.5

(3-9) Denver Broncos at
(3-9) Arizona Cardinals +3.5

(8-4) Kansas City Chiefs at
(6-6) San Diego Chargers -6.5

(8-4) Philadelphia Eagles at
(4-8) Dallas Cowboys +3.5

(8-4) Baltimore Ravens at
(5-7) Houston Texans +3.5


Friday, December 3, 2010

Jeter to third base and other changes the Yankees should make for 2011 plus Week 13 NFL picks

It's 6 a.m. on Friday morning. I've got a pot of coffee on and we're coming off a busy sports day. We saw LeBron returned to Cleveland. (Were the derogatory "Scottie Pippen" chants harsher on Scottie than on LeBron?) There was an NFL game I didn't get to watch (and a Dan Orlovsky sighting that I missed). The U.S. also lost their World Cup bid to Qatar. (I have a better chance of seeing the 2018 World Cup in Russia.) But all I want to talk about is the Yankees.

This is probably due to the fact that December decided to rear its head, but in the form of cold and a ridiculous rainstorm. If it were snow, we'd be fine, but cold and rain just make me pine for lazy summer days, and writing phrases like "lazy summer days" only makes it worse. Sorry.

The Yankees need to set the wheels of change in motion, slowly, even though their fans may not want to yet. Yankees fans can be loyal to a fault. We demand that the Yankees continue to win, and demand that they win with the players we have grown to love on the field. Those players have this terrible habit of aging, and that can have a negative effect on their on-field production. Even if they are past their prime and no longer provide the team with the best chance to win, fans want to see no one else in those pinstripes. This creates a chasm between economics and management, tradition and progress, the past and the future. We need to begin a transition into a new era that loyalist fans can accept, and it needs to start before Jeter, Mo, Posada and Pettitte are gone.

My girlfriend's mother told me that she would boo the Yankees if they did not re-sign Jeter, because he is a class act and she has always liked him.

This does not have any effect from a managerial stance, since his popularity does not win them games, but means everything from an economical stance, since he and the other "dynasty" Yankees, (Posada, Rivera and Pettitte) have a decade plus of promotion and success behind them and easily hold the interest of the casual fan. They have been playing long enough together for fathers to have brought up their now-adult kids on them. Nobody wants the group to disband or for the ride to end. That's what this season will be about. 2011. The season of denial.

The 2010 Yankees performed as well as they did in spite of the production of "dynasty" Yankees Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada. (Jeter did not sniff .300 and Posada batted below .250 for the first time since 1999.)

Their fielding left much to be desired s well, as Jeter's Gold Glove felt like the punchline to a season-long joke and Posada threw out a Piazza-esque 15% of would-be base-stealers.

So while those players own the hearts of New Yorkers, they are quickly becoming a liability on the field and at the plate.

Mariano Rivera has remained productive as the closer and Andy Pettitte had another consistent season, but as evidenced by the 2-year deal that Rivera inked yesterday and Pettitte's retirement indecision, neither has many seasons left at this level. The "dynasty" Yankee window is closing, and the team has to show fans that they are prepared to move on in a way that is acceptable to those fiercely loyal fans.

Reduce the roles of Jeter and Posada

Derek Jeter is still an everyday ball player. He is still the Captain, still plays his heart out, and should be on the field as often as possible as a leader. Gold Glove award aside, he should be at a less demanding position than shortstop. Luckily, the Yankees already have an established player who has been called a better defender at the shortstop position. He plays right next to Jeter. Alex Rodriguez.

When the Yankees acquired A-Rod, there was much debate as to who should play the 6-spot, since almost all experts agreed that Rodriguez was the better defensive fielder, but the position belonged to Jeter. The time has come for them to switch spots. Jeter does not need as much range to play third, and a less demanding position may rejuvenate him at the plate.

Worst case scenario: Jeter takes the position change personally and it affects his play, although his career of professionalism suggests that this will not happen.

Jorge actually has two replacements at his spot in Francisco Cervelli and Jesus Montero. Cervelli does not appear to have the offensive potential of Montero, while Montero definitely does not have the defensive potential of Cervelli. Combined though, they have the talent to give Posada the rest he needs to stay productive behind the plate. Posada catches, Montero DHs. Cervelli catches, Posada DHs. Find a timeshare of that that keeps Posada fresh for the postseason, and we keep Jorge involved while grooming a replacement.

Cervelli is the replacement in my book. He had a clutch year at the plate -- .316 BA with runners in scoring position -- and looked comfortable behind the plate. (Ironically he threw out a lower percentage of base stealers than did Posada -- 14% vs 15% -- and their other defensive comparisons last season are comparible, right down to their pitcher's ERA and RAvg (Posada: 4.13, 4.35 Cervelli: 4.04, 4.33). Perhaps I was too harsh on old Posada before, or too high on Cervelli.

Either way, Cervelli has my vote of confidence going forward, whatever that is worth.

Montero is a fantastic hitter, but everything I have read about him says that he will not stay at catcher. He's an older Bryce Harper-type with a slightly lower ceiling and is destined for the outfield or a DH spot in the AL. So be it.

Worst case scenario: Neither performs well this season and Cashman panics and goes crawling back into a trade for Bengie Molina.

Bengie Molina is such a sucker for Peter Gabriel

Name a replacement for Mo

This one was easy. We did it a few years back, but it was too easy and we had too much time to think about it blew it with Joba Chamberlain. Like an easy pub trivia question.

Q. Who painted the Mona Lisa?
Me: Da Vinci. But that is way too easy. The question guy is trying to throw us off. Didn't he design it and have one of his students paint it? Who was a famous student of his?
Friend: Raphael might have been. That's why he was in the Ninja Turtles I bet.
Me: Genius. We're gonna be the only ones here who get this right.

He had all the tools to be a dominant closer, and with him in the setup spot, the Yankees were gold with a lead in the 7th.

"Yeah, but what if he were a starter and we got that type of performance for seven innings every fifth game?" -- Brian Cashman's evil internal Jimminy Cricket.

A couple years of that not working leaves Joba with a shattered confidence and no role back in the bullpen. Super. We have three options: Fix him, and frankly none of us know what it will take to do that. Audition the role and hope for the best or find a free agent when Mo retires.

Audtion the role?:

Yankee closer, 2015

I want to give Joba another shot at the setup role this season. He has the capabilities, but needs to get his head back. He is an emotional guy, and the role calls for a collected individual who reacts to nothing.

Watch Rivera close out a game. He looks like he is playing chess while listening to a Bernie Williams album.

He is concentrated yet laid back. Joba looks like he just finished off an MMA fight after each inning of work. Since Kerry Wood was not resigned, (why, when he was so reliable?) we let Joba set up until the end of May and make the call then.

Pettitte is gonna do his thing

Pettitte has left for Texas before. He has said he was going to retire before. We will always take him back, but it has been made clear long ago that we need him more than he needs us. No hard feelings. If we lose him again, it will probably hurt fans the least of the four, yet it will still hurt.

Andy Pettitte has been the rock of the Yankee pitching staff. He hasn't been a Cy Young candidate in years, but every time he steps on the mound, he gives us a chance to win.

This one is the toughest to call, since starters only pitch every five games, nobody would really be replacing him if he left. Someone else is in his spot four out of five games anyhow, unlike Jeter who is always between second and third and Rivera who is always on with the lead on the line. Pettitte's spot is in the playoffs when we need a win, and he was not started in that spot in the ALCS. Game 6 went to Hughes, who took the loss.

Since the Yankees management already took the role away from Pettitte, and he has always felt like the most likely to leave, losing Andy Pettitte doesn't seem like the deathblow that fans find the idea of losing the other three.

If he stays we'll be happy. If he leaves it will not affect ticket sales.

Worst case scenario: Sergio Mitre is our fourth starter if Pettitte goes and we do not get Cliff Lee. I take it back. Losing Pettitte could be terrible.

Promote the heck out of the rest of the farm-raised team

As I said before, the Yankees did as well as they did in large part because of the up-and-comers on the team.

Yes, free agent mercinaries like Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez played a large role, but where would the Yankees have been without the production of Brett Gardner, Robinson Cano, Phil Hughes and Francisco Cervelli?

Each of them came through the Yankee farm system and shown that they can be mainstays in pinstripes for years to come. (Speaking of farm-raised stars, I cannot wait foe Ivan "Super" Nova to break out in another season and a half.) We can even include Nick Swisher in the group since he blossomed in New York after forgettable seasons in Oakland and Chicago.

With a small change in promotion tactics, the Yankees look like they are rebuilding with youth even though they are basically maintaining the status quo. These are the Yankees that will inherit the team when Jeter an company retire, even though that will not be for a few years. It will be a lengthy transition, but that is how the fans will best accept it after fifteen years of this core group.

Worst case scenario: None. The Yankees are just shifting focus. Nobody will forget about the veterans.

All this leads to Derek Jeter's contract. Critics say he is worth no more than the average shortstop and should accept a short contract in case he breaks down. Fans will not accept an abrupt departure and will blame the Yankees if he is not retained.

Frankly, I have no problem with a contract in the 15-20 mil a year range. (I'm not paying it and he plays on my television for free.) I would simply include a team option for a position change. Nobody else will offer him that much per year to play shortstop.

That way, he gets his money, the fans keep him, and the team gets better. We all win. Especially the team. Enough to get to the World Series with the "dynasty" Yankees for one last hurrah, while preparing fans for what is to come.

Week 13 picks:
Overall: 87 for 162
This week: 1 for 1
Last week: 8 for 16

(8-3) New Orleans Saints at
(2-9) Cincinnati Bengals +6.5

(8-3) Chicago Bears at
(2-9) Detroit Lions +3.5

(4-7) San Francisco 49ers at
(7-4) Green Bay Packers -9.5

(6-5) Jacksonville Jaguars at
(5-6) Tennessee Titans -3.5

(3-8) Denver Broncos at
(7-4) Kansas City Chiefs -8.5

(4-7) Cleveland Browns at
(6-5) Miami Dolphins -4.5

(2-9) Buffalo Bills at
(4-7) Minnesota Vikings -6.5

(5-6) Washington Redskins at
(7-4) New York Giants -7.5

(5-6) Oakland Raiders at
(6-5) San Diego Chargers -12.5

(9-2) Atlanta Falcons at
(7-4) Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3.5

(1-10) Carolina Panthers at
(5-6) Seattle Seahawks -5.5

(5-6) St. Louis Rams at
(3-8) Arizona Cardinals +3.5

(3-8) Dallas Cowboys at
(6-5) Indianapolis Colts -5.5

(8-3) Pittsburgh Steelers at
(8-3) Baltimore Ravens -3.5

(9-2) New York Jets at
(9-2) New England Patriots -3.5

Labels: , ,