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December 08, 2016

Week 14 NFL picks

Eagles NFL
101616KirkCousins Nick Wass/AP

"You don't own the Eagles yet, kid. I do."

For the gambling degenerates, here are my Week 14 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.

Raiders at Chiefs (-3): Out of sheer curiosity, would you be happy for Andy Reid (and root for him) if the Chiefs won a Super Bowl?

Personally speaking, go get it, Big Red.

Steelers (-2) at Bills: After dropping four straight games earlier this season, the Steelers have now won three straight by a combined score of 76-30. Pittsburgh could be dangerous heading into the playoffs. I'll ride them this week.

Broncos at Titans (-1): Wait. Why are the Titans favored over the Broncos? Is this a typo?

Redskins (-1) at Eagles: In Kirk Cousins' last four games against the Eagles, he's 110 of 174 (63 percent) for 1345 yards, 10 TDs, and 2 INTs, for a 101.3 QB rating. That's an average of 336.3 passing yards per game. Additionally, Cousins has only been sacked three times in those four games, and he has won the last three matchups.

The Redskins own the Eagles, and they need this game badly to stay in the wild-card hunt. Redskins 30-20.

Cardinals at Dolphins (-1): The Cardinals are 1-4 on the road this season, with their one win coming over the awful 49ers. Still, the Dolphins feel like a team that isn't anywhere near as good as their 7-5 record might indicate.

Chargers at Panthers (-1.5): These are two teams that are better than their records would indicate. I believe the Panthers are a prideful team that will play hard after their 40-7 shaming at the hands of the Seahawks a week ago.

Bengals (-5.5) at Browns: The real question in this game is, "Will Browns tight end Gary Barnidge attempt to block Vontaze Burfict?"

Bears at Lions (-7.5): Old friend Matt Barkley is actually playing OK. He should have beaten the Titans two weeks a ago but two receivers dropped well-thrown TD passes in the waning stages of that game, and then Barks put a beatdown on Chip last week. This week, however, he'll fail to keep pace with MVP candidate Matt Stafford.

Texans at Colts (-6): The Texans are currently leading their division (on tiebreakers) with a point differential of -50. In their road games this season, they are 1-4 (their lone win coming over the Jaguars) and are being outscored 127-59. I'll take the Colts here, and even lay the six points, which I don't normally like doing.

Vikings (-3) at Jaguars: The Jaguars suck. #Analysis.

Jets at 49ers (-2.5): Oh man. Last week, I picked the 49ers for the first time all season against the Bears. That was ill-advised. This week, they're tempting me again against a putrid Jets team that is starting Bryce Petty. If given the choice, I would have preferred to have put zero thought at all into this game, but I'll take the Jets, I guess. At least they play defense. (Sometimes).

Saints at Buccaneers (-2.5): The Bucs are rolling, and I'm going to ride them.

Falcons (-6) at Rams: Jeff Fisher is a joke.

Seahawks (-2.5) at Packers: This is actually a really good game. The Packers have woken up after a four-game losing streak, while the Seahawks are beginning to look like the late-season bully that they usually are. 

Cowboys (-3) at Giants: As we mentioned in our "Hierarchy/Obituary" this week, the Giants have cleaned up on a lot of slop recently against the Rams, Eagles, Bengals, Bears and Browns. Those teams have a combined record of 16-43-1. Last week, the Giants entered the difficult part of their schedule, beginning with the Steelers, who beat them easily. The rest of the way, the Giants have the 11-1 Cowboys, the 8-4 Lions, an Eagles team that has typically owned them, and the 6-5-1 Redskins, who could be fighting for their playoff lives. We'll see how legit that 8-3 record was.

Ravens at Patri*ts (-7): Deflatey McGee has faced an NFC East team in the Super Bowl three times. In one of them the Patri*ts (probably) cheated, as that game occurred before they were caught filming opposing teams' signals. In the other two games, Eagles fans could have used some help from Deflatey and the gang in defeating the Giants, but they choked. This year, Eagles fans face the very strong possibility of having to root for the team that likely cheated against them in the Super Bowl to beat the hated Cowboys. Woohoo! 

BYE: All byes complete.

• Picks against the spread: Steelers (-2), Broncos (+1), Redskins (-1), Colts (-6), Cowboys (-3).

• 2016 season, straight up: 119-71-2 (.625)

• 2016 season, ATS:  32-25 (.561)

• 2015 season, straight up: 163-93 (0.637)

• 2015 season, ATS: 46-30-2 (0.605)

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