By Dan Leach
@dtmleach

With the NFL season heating up, so do my NFL picks, which will be here for you each and every week to help you win your pick-em-pool, embarrass your friends, and just become a more whole football fan and human being. I will take a look at five games each week with the best value and rate them on a sliding lock of the week 1-10 scale. I have been on fire for you all season long and do not expect to slow down anytime soon. And….Here….We….Go!

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DTM Song Of The Week: “Kansas City” From The New Basement Tapes

Try to listen to this song, written by Bob Dylan decades ago, sounding like it could have been written yesterday and not feel the raw emotion. This is how you feel when you go 5-0 ATS in any given NFL week and it gives us another reason to do it again this week. Marcus Mumford’s lead vocals are mesmerizing and there is a special cameo by Jack Sparrow, if you can spot him.

New England Patriots at Indianapolis Colts 8:30 p.m. Sunday TV ESPN (Colts -3)

Yes the Pats are rolling and Terrific Tom is playing some of his best football in recent memory over the last several weeks, but not so fast my friends. The Colts are still my pick to get to the Super Bowl out of the AFC and will show you why on Sunday night. Andrew Luck continues to show why he is one of the best young QB’s in a generation and will match Brady throw for throw at Lucas Oil. Look for huge games out of T.Y. Hilton and TE Dwayne Allen against an improved, but at times inflated, Pats secondary and LB core. These are the kind of games NFL fans love and it will not disappoint as Indy wins it likely on their final drive.

5.5 on DTM Lock of the Week Meter – Colts -3 (Buy down to 2.5)

Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers 4:25 p.m. EST Sunday TV FOX (Packers-6)

Two words: The Sanchize. Of course, no one expected Nick Foles to go down and Igles to not miss a beat, but that is exactly what happened against the hapless Panthers last Monday night. G.B. is playing with a ton of momentum, but they haven’t really played anybody. The one decent team they gave played recently, New Orleans, absolutely lambasted them. Yes, Philly is not the same team without, but they have enough weapons even with Sanchez at the helm to hang with the Pack. I won’t call the outright upset, but it would not shock me if the Eagles fly high in Cheeseland.

6.5 on DTM Lock of the Week Meter – Eagles +6

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers 1 PM EST Sunday TV FOX (PICK-EM)

What the heck is going on with the Panthers? (Best Vince Lombardi Voice) A team that won its division and had a bye last year now looks like it would struggle in the CFL. Cam Newton looked like he had just seen a ghost throughout the entire butt-whooping by the Eagle on Monday night and his O-line did about as good a job blocking for him as I could have.

That being said, this is not an Atlanta team that really puts a scare into you and this is likely a must-win if Carolina wants to have any shot at a playoff berth this year. Look for Cam Cam to have a resurgence and for TE Greg “Olson Twins” to have a monster game against a soft Falcons pass D.

7.1 on DTM Lock of the Week Meter – Panthers PICK

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Detroit Lions at Arizona Cardinals 4:25 p.m. EST Sunday TV Fox Radio 97.1 The Ticket (Cards -1.5)

Well, this is the type of game that can wake up the echoes of Lions teams of yesteryear. Yes, it’s Drew Stanton and not Carson Palmer manning the Cards offense, but it is still the desert, a place the Lions have not won since 1993 which with sweet irony is the last time they won a division title. If the Lions win this game to move to 8-2, there is a great chance that they will get that elusive division title, with two of the biggest threats in the NFC without their top QB’s.

The Detroit offense has yet to truly explode and the Cards have one of the best D’s in the league, so if there ever was a game for the Lions offense to break out, this is it and that is exactly what will happen. Even without many of his weapons over the past several weeks Matt Stafford has found a way to get it done and has now led three straight comebacks, he won’t need to lead one this time.

The Lions will show that this is a team that is not only for realm but has a legitimate shot after 11 weeks to be the top seed in the NFC. These are the type of games that fans of any generation will remember for a long time, as the Lions knock down doors they haven’t since before the majority of the fan base was alive.

Is it serendipitous that the site of one of the most important Lions wins in decades is the same site that Super Bowl XLIX will be played? Ok, I know we are getting ahead of ourselves, but a boy, a girl, a fanbase can dream.

DETROIT 28 CARDINALS 14

7.4 on DTM Lock of the Week Meter – Lions +1.5

Cincinnati Bengals at New Orleans Saints 1 p.m. EST Sunday TV CBS 62 (Saints -7)

The Bengals have easily been one of the most disappointing teams so far this NFL year, but somehow are still right in the thick of things in the AFC at 5-3-1. This is one of those games that can make or break the season for both of these teams. The Saints seem to be gaining some steam, but some of that was lost in the OT loss at home last week to the Niners.

Cinci was starting to put things together until they decided to light Lake Erie on fire and get embarrassed at home by Cleveland. This will have the feel of desperation from both teams and in those type of matchups, often the team with more overall talent will win. That is what Cinci brings to the table as they have the better D and an offense that is almost as powerful as the Saints when at its best. Look for the Cinci D to play one of its best games of the season as they hang in until the bitter end in the Bayou.

8 on DTM Lock of the Week Meter – Bengals +7

ODDS TIDBIT — Lions at 9-1 to win NFC and 16-1 to win Super Bowl XLIX. Lowest odds at this point in the season since the 1990’s. Lions now +$140 to win NFC North with Packers the fave at -$170.

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Last week 3-2
DTM’S 2014 Record ATS: 35-15
DTM’s 2013 Record ATS: 43-26