December 14, 2017
For the gambling degenerates, here are my Week 15 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.
Broncos (-2.5) at Colts: Ugh. Cheers to the NFL Network marketing person who has to try to sell this crap.
Bears at Lions (-5.5): The Lions' last three games are against the Bears (4-9), Bengals (5-8), and a Packers team that'll have Aaron Rodgers back. They may still have a chance at the playoffs on the last week of the season.
Chargers (-1) at Chiefs: The Chiefs started the season 5-0. The Chargers started the season 0-4. And now they're tied for the AFC West lead. Over their last four games, the Chargers have outscored their opponents 131-53, winning all four games. Sorry, Andy. I'm riding the hot hand.
Miami at Buffalo (no line): I would say the Dolphins won their Super Bowl last week against the Patriots, but 6-7 in the AFC is apparently good enough to still be in playoff contention in the AFC. I assume there's no line because of Tyrod Taylor's unknown status. He practiced in full on Wednesday, so I'll take the Bills, who are the the better team.
Packers at Panthers (-3): The Panthers picked up a huge win last week in an ugly game against the Vikings, and now they have to deal with the return of Aaron Rodgers. The Panthers are a really good, underrated football team, and they should be able to take care of a rusty Rodgers.
Ravens (-7) at Browns: The Browns were up 21-7 over the Packers last week, and then choked like it was draft day. They're not winning this game against a Ravens team that still has a good chance at making the playoffs, which leaves them just with two games (at Bears, and at Steelers) to avoid going winless.
Texans at Jaguars (-11): The Jags have won 7 of 9, including wins over the Steelers, Seahawks, and a hot Chargers team. The Texans, meanwhile, are the example of a team whose season ended when their star quarterback went down. The Eagles do not want to be the Texans.
Bengals at Vikings (-10.5): Case Keenum had a rough outing last week, but the Vikings should get well again facing a garbage Bengals team that got beat 33-7 by the Bears.
Jets at Saints (-15.5): I realize the Jets are aren't good, but a 15.5-point line seems a little excessive.
Eagles (-7.5) at Giants: It was an outrage (an outrage I say!) when the Giants benched Eli Manning a week ago, and now the New York papers are calling for him to be re-benched. Anyway, the Giants have nothing offensively, defensively, or on special teams. They can't wait for this season to just be over.
Cardinals at Redskins (-4): The Redskins have lost their last two games by a combined score of 68-27. The Cardinals aren't good either, but at least they're still playing for their head coach.
Rams at Seahawks (-2.5): This is a tough game to call between two teams that are coming off frustrating losses. As we noted the week the Eagles played them, the Seahawks have won at least one playoff game every year since 2012. They've been there and done that. I just trust them more in a game of huge importance.
Patriots (-3) at Steelers: Tom Brady is 7-2 against the Steelers over his career, with 24 TD passes and 3 INTs. In fact, over his career, Brady's passer rating against the Steelers is 114.2. Only the Falcons have allowed a higher passer rating (116.7) when facing Brady. The Pats just seem to own them.
Titans at 49ers (-1.5): Vegas is starting to catch on that the Titans are frauds, as they are underdogs to a 3-10 team. And I'm taking the 3-10 team.
Cowboys (-3) at Raiders: After an embarrassing trio of losses to the Falcons, Eagles, and Chargers, the Cowboys have played much better, and are sniffing a little hope to backdoor their way into the playoffs.
Falcons (-6.5) at Buccaneers: The Falcons face all three of their division rivals down the stretch. If they run the table, they will win the division. The Bucs are little more than a speed bump at this point.
• Picks against the spread: Eagles (-7.5), Cardinals (+4), Patriots (-3)
• Eagles picks: 10-3
• 2017 season, straight up: 139-69 (0.668)
• 2017 season, ATS: 28-23-1 (0.548)
• 2016 season, straight up: 171-94-2 (0.644)
• 2016 season, ATS: 41-34 (0.547)
• 2015 season, straight up: 163-93 (0.637)
• 2015 season, ATS: 46-30-2 (0.605)
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