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Friday, October 16, 2009
Walker's AFC North picks

By James Walker
ESPN.com


Posted by ESPN.com’s James Walker


Never has a team been so happy that I keep picking against them than the first-place Cincinnati Bengals.

The two times I picked them to win, they lost to the Denver Broncos on a fluke play in Week 1 and struggled mightily before edging the lowly Cleveland Browns in overtime in Week 4. Every other time I thought Cincinnati would lose and the team keeps winning big games.

Now some Bengals players are getting superstitious. So much is the case that, after beating the Baltimore Ravens, several practically begged me to keep picking against them to keep Cincinnati’s train moving. So I promised I would play along for one week only.

With that said, here are the AFC North blog's picks for Week 6:

Houston Texans (2-3) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-1), Sunday at 1 p.m.

Analysis: I gave the Bengals my word.

Pick: Texans, 2-0.

Cleveland Browns (1-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2), Sunday at 1 p.m.

Analysis: I’ve covered the Browns since 2005 and have yet to see them beat Pittsburgh. I don't see this week being different.

Pick: Steelers, 27-10

Baltimore Ravens (3-2) at Minnesota Vikings (5-0), Sunday at 1 p.m.

Analysis: I think Minnesota is a bit overrated and Baltimore is a bit underrated. Still, I have to give the slight edge to the home team.

Pick: Vikings, 20-17

Last week’s record: 1-2

Overall record: 9-7

Comment: Barely in wild-card contention. Yikes!