Here are the picks for Week 6 in the National Football League. As always, the home team is in caps.
STEELERS (-13.5) over Browns
Because the Steelers’ D can cover this spread by itself. Although I do think Roethlisberger’s return will be more uncomfortable than anyone realizes … at least until he changes his number and renames himself “White Mamba.”
BUCS (+4.5) over Saints
Because Josh Freeman wins football games. You hear me? JOSH FREEMAN WINS FOOTBALL GAMES!!!! Your upset special: Bucs 23, Saints 20.
Chargers (-8.5) over RAMS
Because teams are now double-covering Danny Amendola — not because he’s good but because he’s the only Rams wide receiver left who can run the 40 in less than 5 seconds. And because the Norv Era Chargers always turn it on right about now.
Dolphins (+3) over PACKERS
Because Green Bay is banged up. Because Greg Jennings is in a heated battle with Marques Colston and Joe Flacco to become 2010’s official fantasy football murderer. Because Miami desperately needs a win. And because Mike McCarthy is Wade Phillips 2.0.
Falcons (+3) over EAGLES
Because the Falcons are headed for a 1-seed and 1-seeds win games like this. And because the Eagles are the Good Bad Team: They whup other bad teams and lose to good ones.
PATRIOTS (-3) over Ravens
Because that little creep Justin Bieber lit a fire under Patriots Nation. Because Deion Branch never should have left. Because I’m a giant homer.
Chiefs (+4.5) over TEXANS
Because the Chiefs are undervalued and the Texans are overvalued. By the way, what does Gary Kubiak have to do to get fired at this point? Is Houston happy with going 8-8 for the rest of eternity?
GIANTS (-10) over Lions
Because Calvin Johnson might not play, which means Shaun Hill can’t run the “take five steps back, then chuck it up for grabs and hope Calvin Johnson catches it” offense.
Seahawks (+6.5) over BEARS
Because it’s Marshawn Lynch’s fantasy breakout week! Don’t bring this up around Packers fans. Sore subject.
Raiders (+7) over NINERS
Because your season is officially over once your fans chant, “We want Carr! We want Carr!”
BRONCOS (+3) over Jets
Because it’s the textbook “West Coast road letdown after the big Monday night win at home on the East Coast when you covered because the aging QB legend embroiled in a cell phone photo sex scandal threw you a game-ending interception for a touchdown” game. I can spot these a mile away.
VIKINGS (-1.5) over Cowboys
Because of home field. Because of Adrian Peterson. Because you know Moss is good for one long TD. Because Jared Allen is overdue for a big game. Because Dallas is a rudderless team that’s ready to fold. And because, as more than one reader pointed out this week, the WWE would make this a “Loser Leaves the WWE” match between the coaches, then rig it so Wade Phillips lost.
Colts (-3) over REDSKINS
Because only an idiot bets against Peyton Manning at night.
Titans (-3) over JAGS
Because it seems improbable that the Jags would lose two straight by a combined score of 66-16, then win three in a row. Because we’re overdue for a Chris Johnson fantasy explosion. And because this one’s for Jesse.
Last week: 9-5
Bill Simmons is a columnist for ESPN.com and the author of the recent New York Times best-seller “The Book of Basketball.” For every Simmons column and podcast, check out Sports Guy’s World. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sportsguy33.