December 01, 2016
For the gambling degenerates, here are my Week 12 NFL picks. To note, the helmets indicate who I think will win the game, not cover the spread. At the end of the picks, I'll note a few teams that I like based on the spread.
Cowboys (-3) at Vikings: For the second straight week, it makes sense for Eagles fans to root for the hated Cowboys, and for the second straight week, they'll come through.
Chiefs at Falcons (-3.5): After their gutty Week 12 win in Denver, the Chiefs are a prime letdown possibility this week. I don't see it that way. This is tough football team with a great defense that is wildly underrated.
Lions at Saints (-5.5): The Saints might actually be pretty good, while the Lions have been eking out late game thrillers all season. It feels a lot to me like the Saints are better than the Lions, and Vegas agrees, although their records certainly don't. I try not to let the line affect my picks, but it will here.
Rams at Patri*ts (-13.5): This feels like one of those yearly games that the Rams inexplicably win when they're double-digit underdogs. No, wait. No it doesn't. Deflatey McGee should take care of business at home.
Broncos (-4) at Jaguars: The Jaguars suck. #Analysis.
Texans at Packers (-6.5): In the aftermath of the Eagles' beatdown at the hands of the Packers, all of the focus locally has been on how terrible the Eagles looked Monday night. However, the Packers looked nothing like a team that was coming off four straight losses. Aaron Rodgers toyed with the Eagles' defense, and the Packer D did a good job getting after Carson Wentz. Maybe the Packers aren't dead yet?
Eagles (-1) at Bengals: It says something about the Bengals when the Eagles roll into Cincinnati with the worst group of skill position players in the NFL and the Eagles are still favored to win the game. The Bengals are 27th in the NFL in points scored, at 19.2 points per game, and now they're without their best player, A.J. Green, as well as their elusive running back, Giovani Bernard.
I really don't want to pick the Eagles this week, especially on the road, where they've been bad all season long. However, this Bengals team may been in more of a tailspin than the Eagles. After starting 2-2, the Bengals have gone 1-5-1 in their last seven games, with their lone win coming over the Browns.
I'll begrudgingly take the Birds, 23-21.
Dolphins at Ravens (-3): Miami has won six straight games, and I still don't trust them.
49ers at Bears (-1): Chip vs. Barks! I can't believe I'm picking Chip to win a game (first time all season), but, well, here it is. All it took was Matt Barkley, who actually played well enough to beat the Titans last week. I'm told Chip is excited by my pick:
Bills at Raiders (-3): I'm just happy this guy is relevant again:
Giants at Steelers (-6): On the one hand, I have no earthly idea how this mediocre Giants team is 8-3. On the other hand, they've garnered enough respect not to be six-point dogs against an under-performing Steelers team.
Redskins at Cardinals (-2.5): So I guess people are still holding out hope that the Cardinals are some kind of really good football team? Not me. The Redskins are legitimately dangerous – and better than Arizona.
Buccaneers at Chargers (-3.5): This game is so hard to call. Both teams got off the terrible starts (Chargers started 1-4, Bucs started 1-3), but have played much better more recently. The Bucs are coming off impressive back-to-back wins over the Chiefs and Seahawks, while the Chargers previously had impressive back-to-back wins over the Broncos and Falcons. I'm taking the Bolts to slow down the Bucs for one week, although Tampa is a very tempting pick here.
Panthers at Seahawks (-6.5): At 4-7, the Panthers are done, but I don't see them rolling over the rest of the way. Seahawks win, but it'll be a game.
Colts (-2) at Jets: Ugh. Both of these teams are junk. I'll take the one with the good quarterback, I guess. For the second straight week, the Colts will play in a primetime game nobody will watch.
BYE: Browns, Titans.
• Picks against the spread: Giants (+6), Redskins (+2.5), Buccaneers (+3.5).
• 2016 season, straight up: 109-66-2 (.621)
• 2016 season, ATS: 31-23 (.574)
• 2015 season, straight up: 163-93 (0.637)
• 2015 season, ATS: 46-30-2 (0.605)
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