Wednesday, November 26, 2008

NFL picks Week 13.

I am now the owner of a better record straight-up than I am against the spread. For the first time this season. Straight up, 104-72-1, ATS 103-74. A correction - last week, I said the Rams had handed the Giants their only loss of the season. It was pointed out to me that I was wrong - the Browns beat the Giants. The Rams have beaten two other NFC East teams, recording back-to-back stunning upsets over the Skins and Cowboys. Then they have returned to...what's less than mediocrity? Suckitude?

Dallas - Seattle: Dallas is favoured by 12 1/2. And with Tony Romo back, and playing very well, I don't see the Cowboys losing here either. But 12 1/2 is too much for a Seahawks team that is playing extremely tough late in games, and not giving up (although it is clearly time that they do). Seattle to cover, Dallas to win.

Cowboys, 34-9. Well, Seahawks didn't exactly cover, did they? However, I still managed to win the side bet I had with my buddy Boz, taking the "under" in a 48-point over-under. Although it looked dicey at halftime. It really is unfortunate the way injuries have decimated a reasonably talented Seattle team.

Philadelphia - Arizona: Here's a tough one to call. The Eagles - who are they? Are they that great, talented team who can beat anyone on any day, or are they the crappy team that can end up tied with the Bengals? Is Donovan McNabb the real starting QB, or is his job hanging by a thread at every moment of every game? Andy Reid has said that McNabb will start this game. But how's his confidence? Eagles are favoured by 3 in Philly. I'll cop out here and say Eagles to win, Cards to cover.

Eagles, 48-20. OK...Eagles covered. And then some. And then again. Turns out the good Eagles team showed up. If this was the team that played all season, the Eagles would be fighting it out with the Giants for the title of Best Team In the NFC. But they can't seem to string two games like this together. Ordinarily, I would say look for a big letdown next week for Philly, but I am going to guess that last week's McNabb benching was a catalyst for a great close to the season. But then, I'm guessing.

Tennessee - Detroit: Well, the Titans are no longer unbeaten. Which is probably a bad thing for the Lions. Tennessee will want to re-establish themselves as the best team in the AFC, and the first step is to hammer the Lions. And they will. The spread is 11. It should be 30. Titans to win, Titans to cover.

Titans, 47-10. Even a 30-point spread, it turns out, would not have been enough. The Titans are still deserving of serious consideration as the best team in football, and the Lions are really looking as though they want to put an emphatic stamp on their status as the worst team in football. Tennessee had run twelve plays from scrimmage when they were leading 28-3.

Baltimore - Cincinnatti: The Ravens defense showed what they could do last week. Now they are playing a team in even greater disarray, and the Bengals have, I believe, no shot. Ravens are favoured by 7 in Cincy, I think they will win by even more than that. The Bengals are terrible and Baltimore wants to make a run toward the top of the AFC.

Ravens, 34-3. Yep, Baltimore covered the spread, and won the game handily. Because the Bengals are awful, not because the Ravens are that good. Cincinnatti had no shot at all in this game.

Buffalo - San Francisco: Let's not read too much into the Bills hammering of the Chiefs last week. Kansas City is just awful. And the Bills have not been playing too well over the past six weeks. But I think this has righted their ship a little, and they should beat the weak Niners. But seven points is too much, even in Buffalo. Bills to win, Niners to cover.

Niners, 10-3. What a boring game! The Bills really are not very good at all any more. The Niners are certainly better than the Chiefs, and Buffalo just doesn't look like they can hang in against even these average teams any more. I'll give them one more shot at convincing me they are good. Then that's it. Well, the Niners certainly covered, didn't they?

Green Bay - Carolina: Both teams coming off surprisingly decisive losses. Both teams playing below the level to which they are accustomed. And both teams desperately need a win. But the Packers need the win more. So I am gritting my teeth and picking them to grab that win. But barely. They are favoured by 3, I will take the Panthers to cover. This one should be awfully close.

Panthers, 35-31. The Packers played so well in the second half. That last drive by Aaron Rodgers for the field goal. The crazy comeback to tie the game at 21 then take the lead 28-21. Then they let the Panthers go down and get the instant score to respond. Come ON! This really was the closest game of the week though. Panthers cover, but the Packers lose.

Indianapolis - Cleveland: The Browns have been surprising at times this year, but the Colts are not going to look past them. The Colts need every win they can get from here on in, as they are in a dogfight with the Ravens and Patriots for the wild card berths right now. Colts are favoured by 4 1/2, they will cover that spread.

Colts, 10-6. Well, the Colts almost covered the spread. At least they won. But I've been watching this game, and I don't think they looked good at all. Cleveland's defense isn't that good. And Cleveland played a pretty sloppy game themselves. Not good all around.

Minnesota - Chicago: In Minnesota, this game goes to the Vikings. In Chicago, it goes to the Bears. This game is in Minnesota. Neither of these teams is that good, but the Vikings are excellent at home. Vikes are favoured by 3 points, they will cover.

Vikings, 34-14. And cover they did. Boy howdy. I really don't understand why the Bears don't put Devin Hester back on kickoffs any more. I know he isn't tearing it up like he did last year, but he does get into the head of the kicking team. Just put him back there, it probably means an extra ten yards, on average, just because of his presence.

Pittsburgh - New England: The Patriots are favoured by one, I suppose because they are at home. But I think the Steelers ARE a better team, although Matt Cassell is playing some excellent football. But he hasn't played that excellent football against the Steeler defense. Pittsburgh to win in the "upset".

Steelers, 33-10. The Steelers are just this good. The Patriots are still on the bubble, and need the Colts and Ravens to lose some if they are going to make the playoffs. Or they need the Jets to collapse fully, which I don't think is likely. After all, they are playing the Broncos this week...

New York Jets - Denver: Those stupid Broncos. I still, firmly, believe that Denver IS a terrible team masquerading as a decent one. But here's the problem - they beat the teams they should lose to, and they lose to the teams they should destroy. A twenty-one point loss to the Raiders? Come ON! The Jets, right now, are the best team in the AFC, but the Broncos are ridiculous and could surprise. Jets to win, Broncos to cover the 7 1/2. Or, possibly, Jets to win by 50. Which should happen. And then, there is the possibility that the Broncos win by 50 as well. Which they won't. I hope.

Broncos, 34-17. The Broncos are ridiculous. This team makes me angry every week. Have I ever picked them right this season? I am guessing that I have not. Not once. They should have lost this game by 50. But with a sloppy field and bad conditions, anything can and will happen. And somehow the Broncos blew up the Jets. I hate the Broncos!

New York Giants - Washington: Division game, anything can happen...blah blah blah. The Giants are too good to be touched by anyone, barring a big collapse where they beat themselves. And they will not beat themselves against the one team who is pushing them most in their division. Giants to win, covering the 3 1/2.

Giants, 23-7. The Skins are just not in the same class as the Giants. But then, who is? New York is clearly the best team in football, and they are putting a stamp on their own conference and division, going unbeaten against everyone in the NFC, and hammering the NFC East, for the most part. Obvious Super Bowl favourite, again.

Oakland - Kansas City: Could the games? Yes they can. The Denver game was more a result of the Broncos being terrible. Because the Broncos are terrible! But the Chiefs are even worse. And they will lose their eighth in a row, as Oakland runs it up at home. Raiders to cover the three points.

Chiefs, 20-13. I guess the Raiders are incapable of winning back-to-back games, even against the lowly Chiefs. No one cares about either team any more, but it appears as though the Chiefs cared more about this game. Well, at least we know Kansas City will lose next week. Because they are not winning consecutive games.

San Diego - Atlanta: How are the Chargers still getting favoured in games? At all? Especially against good teams with winning records? Were this last year, the Chargers would be favoured by 20. But it's this year, the Falcons are 7-4, and the Chargers have four wins. They are favoured by 5 here, and Atlanta should cover that, and win the game, and maybe put to rest this idea that the Chargers can still turn this season around. Because they can't.

Falcons, 22-16. It's OVER. The Chargers season is DONE. Can we now stop giving them credit for last year? Can we stop holding our breath and waiting for that breakout game where they turn things around and win out the rest of the season and squeak into the playoffs and storm to the Super Bowl? The best this team can finish now is 8-8. Both teams in a wild-card position in the AFC have 8 wins already. The Broncos need to win just one more game in the division to get to 8. And the Broncos are stupid, so that win will likely not come against the Chiefs this week, but against Carolina IN Carolina next week. But they will get that 8th win, and the Chargers are finished. Stop favouring them.

St. Louis - Miami: For some reason, there is no line on this game. What gives! Miami should clearly be favoured, what with the Rams having lost five in a row. Before last week's Patriots loss, the Dolphins had won four in a row. And they are not going to lose two straight games, especially when the second game comes against the lowly Rams. Miami to win. And cover, since there's no spread.

Dolphins, 16-12. I am, frankly, surprised that Miami let this one stay this close. Big win, their 7th. Would anyone have believed that Miami would have seven wins this year? Let alone seven wins with four weeks to play? And the Rams...are still terrible.

Tampa Bay - New Orleans: The Saints looked unbelievable against the Packers on Monday night. And Green Bay has a pretty darn good pass defense. But that was in New Orleans. This is in Tampa. And the Saints have been a totally different team on the road, with just one win this year. Tampa, on the other hand, has been perfect at home, and are now tied with the Panthers for the division lead. Tampa to win, covering the 3 1/2.

Buccaneers, 23-20. Well...they almost covered the spread. Saints were very tough in this game, but Tampa is just plain too good at home. Bucs look like they will be the team to beat for that second first round bye.

Houston - Jacksonville: Can someone imagine a worse matchup for a Monday night game? Lions-Chiefs, perhaps? No one cares about this game, and that includes the 4-7 Jaguars and the 4-7 Texans. Tied at the bottom of their division, no shot whatsoever at the playoffs, and nothing left to play for. Nothing left to lose either, so this one could easily go either way. Houston is better at home, the Jaguars are better on the road...I'll take the Jaguars in the upset (Houston is favoured by 3 1/2). Because I have to pick someone.

Texans, 30-17. Because someone had to win. I think it is time to start the debate - who is the most disappointing team in football this year? The Jaguars or the Chargers? Both are 4-8, both have absolutely no shot at the playoffs any more, and both were supposed to be very, very good. I know a fair number of people that had a Chargers-Jaguars AFC final this year. No more.

Now I am...straight up - 115-77-1, against the spread - 113-80.

1 comment:

  1. I see your post that the Tennessee Titans deserve more respect... I totally agree with you about the Titans. Don't you think it's disgusting that all four NFC East clubs, the Patriots & Colts always get on television just about every week, while up and coming teams such as the Falcons, Dolphins and yes... the Titans end up being ignored? Is it about TV ratings or is the league, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN trying to deliberately or for a better term- selectively- anger the general public by making them pay x amount of dollars to purchase NFL Sunday Ticket in order to watch their favourite teams? Thoughts?