Monthly Archives: December 2017
Another (somewhat) abridged (but not so last-minute) holiday edition. Tough sledding here, as plenty of teams will be resting guys for the playoffs, shutting guys down period, playing some young kids to see if they are worth hanging on to for next year and any other scenario in-between. We will see what happens. If we go 1-15, we finish the year over .500 still. So that’s good enough for me anyway. Happy New Year!!
Cleveland at Pittsburgh (-13.5)
Cleveland is shooting for 0-16. I think they can do it, even though the Steelers are apparently not playing any of their key guys…well, Big Ben and Le’Veon Bell anyway…with Antonio Brown still out too. Landry Jones and Stevan Ridley anyone? Sure. They could (and should) probably still beat the Brownies.
Pittsburgh 17, Cleveland 13.
Green Bay at Detroit (-7.5)
The Lions actually should win this one going away…but of course they won’t.
Detroit 20, Green Bay 17.
Chicago at Minnesota (-12.5)
I believe Minnesota still has to play its way into the second seed and the bye over in the NFC. Therefore…
Minnesota 30, Chicago 10.
Dallas (-2.5) at Philadelphia
Philly is apparently going to play their starters for a bit. Which Nick Foles will show up? Who cares?
Dallas 27, Philadelphia 17.
Houston at Indianapolis (-3.5)
Speaking of “Who cares?”, 7-23 between these two squads. The only intrigue will be after the game to see if either of the two coaches keep their jobs. They both honestly probably should, based on their respective teams’ injury concerns this season. But I’d keep O’Brien and fire Pagano. Then again, Billy O’B and the Houston GM apparently despise each other. Kind of thinking both are going, right or wrong. Oh, I have to make a pick?
Houston 13, Indianapolis 10.
New York Jets at New England (-15.5)
It’s apparently going to be 50 below in Foxborough Sunday. The Jets are likely ready to hit the offseason, despite their competitiveness this season. Because the Pats still need to win (or have the Steelers lose) to sew up the #1 seed, I’d say that they will probably just try to do enough to get the W and get the hell outta there unscathed. But they may only have Dion Lewis and Brandon Bolden at running back…and I’d prefer not to give Lewis 30 carries on the eve of the playoffs. Maybe Pro Bowler (?!) James Develin gets some carries too. I’m starting to think the Patriots come out throwing and take a little bit of a lead and then ride Bolden to victory in the second half!
New England 27, New York Jets 16.
Washington (-3.5) at New York Giants
The brand new Giants GM said he is leaning towards keeping Eli as the starting QB next year. Yeah, until he finds someone better this offseason…likely with the #2 overall draft pick. The Giants owner also seemingly wants to bring cornerback Eli Apple back too, because you “don’t give up on talent…” or some nonsense like that. That should go over well in the locker room. Not to mention the Giants interim coach is playing Eli Sunday “start to finish”. Why? He says they already know what they have in third rounder Davis Webb…despite Webb getting zero game experience this year. All of the above is kind of irrelevant for Sunday…even Eli playing the whole game…but it does make me laugh.
Washington 14, New York Giants 13.
Cincinnati at Baltimore (-9.5)
The Bengals winning on Marvin Lewis’ way out? Nah. The Ravens need this one. Though the spread is probably too high. I’m still doing it.
Baltimore 27, Cincinnati 17.
Carolina at Atlanta (-3.5)
This may be the one game worth watching. The Falcons need this one more. That of course makes me nervous…but I’m still gonna do it here too.
Atlanta 27, Carolina 20.
New Orleans (-7.5) at Tampa Bay
The Bucs are bringing back Dirk Koetter next year? Yaaaay! Wait, what happened to all those Jon Gruden rumors? Anyway, the Saints should roll here either way.
New Orleans 37, Tampa Bay 23.
Kansas City at Denver (-3.5)
The Chiefs are resting everyone and the Broncos are starting Paxton Lynch (I think). I should be taking the Broncos defense here, but I’m not.
Kansas City 17, Denver 13.
Jacksonville at Tennessee (-3.5)
This may be the second best game of the week…if the Jags play their regulars…which their coach said they were going to. But we will see, since the game doesn’t mean anything to Jacksonville. Other than to get revenge on a Week Two beating the Titans handed to them. Since that point was mentioned specifically by Dougie Marrone, I’ll take my chances with the Jags this week. The Titans have continuously underwhelmed and I really don’t expect anything different here…even with a playoff berth staring them in the face.
Jacksonville 31, Tennessee 20.
Arizona at Seattle (-8.5)
The Cards are 7-8? Hard to believe. The Seahawks have been inconsistent, but still have a chance. Based on their inconsistency, laying 8.5 seems aggressive, but the feeling here is that they come out ready to go.
Seattle 34, Arizona 23.
Buffalo (-2.5) at Miami
Two times in three weeks for this marquee matchup, with the Bills winning by eight in the first one in Buffalo. The Bills are still remarkably in the playoff mix and therefore need it more. Despite the Bills not actually being very good. Throw in the fact that Miami isn’t good either, I am not expecting the ‘Phins to go all out to knock the Bills from the playoff chase. I don’t know…
Buffalo 27, Miami 17.
Oakland at Los Angeles Chargers (-7.5)
The Raiders actually gave the Eagles a game last Monday. Both teams were kind of inept though. Chargers have a chance. Raiders do not. That’s all I can say really.
Los Angeles Chargers 24, Oakland 13.
San Francisco at Los Angeles Rams (-2.5)
The oddsmakers apparently have not been watching the Jimmy G show. Of course the Rams are the better team, but when your coach has already said your best players aren’t playing and the rest of the starters aren’t playing much, one wonders how the Rams could still be favored in this game.
San Francisco 27, Los Angeles Rams 16.
Week (against the spread): 6-10
Week (straight up): 13-3
Season (against the spread): 128-112
Season (straight up): 163-77
Abridged (and last-minute) holiday edition. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Happy Festivus! Have a great “whatever you celebrate”!!
Indianapolis at Baltimore (-12.5)
Hate laying this many points with an average Ravens team. But their offense has picked up. And Indy’s D ain’t good. Baltimore still fighting for playoffs of course as well.
Baltimore 34, Indianapolis 17.
Minnesota (-2.5) at Green Bay
If Aaron Rodgers was playing, this game would be a whole lot more interesting.
Minnesota 31, Green Bay 20.
Detroit (-3.5) at Cincinnati
MARVIN LEWIS IS GONE!!! Or he will be. Will that spur the Bengals on? Well, it didn’t last week.
Detroit 27, Cincinnati 17.
Los Angeles Rams (-6.5) at Tennessee
Seems like the Titans should be better than they are. So when their collapse this year is complete, people should lose jobs. Only fear here is the Rams have a letdown from their blowout win against Seattle last week. And the cross-country travel. But I don’t see it.
Los Angeles Rams 37, Tennessee 23.
Denver at Washington (-3.5)
Brock Osweiler looked great in relief last week…wait…it was against the Colts. Paxton Lynch? Surprisingly, not a better option. The ‘Skins actually should have lost to the Cards last week, but the Cards couldn’t get in the end zone. Otherwise, Washington is also playing out the string. Tough call here.
Washington 24, Denver 17.
Atlanta at New Orleans (-5.5)
Second time these foes meet in three weeks, with the Falcons winning the first by three in Atlanta. Should be another close one that could go either way.
New Orleans 30, Atlanta 27.
Cleveland at Chicago (-6.5)
Hate laying this much with the Bears. But seems like they are letting Trubisky loose a little bit. Plus…the Browns.
Chicago 24, Cleveland 20.
Buffalo at New England (-12.5)
No revenge expected on Gronk with the Bills still being in the playoff chase. I think. Some think this game will be close. Buffalo, with Tyrod Taylor early on last game moving the ball fairly well. And maybe a letdown from the Pats after their “controversial” win in Pittsburgh last week. But don’t count me among that group.
New England 38, Buffalo 20.
Miami at Kansas City (-10.5)
Jay Cutler sure came crashing back to earth last week, eh? The Chiefs seem close to early season form as well.
Kansas City 34, Miami 20.
Los Angeles Chargers (-6.5) at New York Jets
I know, the Jets seemingly play everyone close. The Chargers are on the East Coast. There is some merit to all of this.
Los Angeles Chargers 20, New York Jets 14.
Tampa Bay at Carolina (-9.5)
Couple of three-point losses the last two weeks against the Lions and Falcons. Still a lost season for them. And the Panthers are in the thick of it, have won 6 of 7 and have been putting up some points. Don’t expect that to change against Tampa
Carolina 38, Tampa Bay 23.
Jacksonville (-4.5) at San Francisco
Could be a little bit of a trap here. The Jags appear to be for real, as I now begrudgingly admit. They are on the opposite coast. Jimmy G has the Niners playing some inspired football. The Jags could possibly be looking ahead to the matchup with the Titans next week. But since the Jags are inexplicably in the mix for a first round bye…and even the #1 overall seed in the East…I’m thinking they will show up this week. Led of course by their defense.
Jacksonville 31, San Francisco 13.
New York Giants at Arizona (-4.5)
Eli seemed rejuvenated last week against the Eagles. Arizona choked a game against Washington. In the end, I really don’t care about this game, but I have to pick someone.
New York Giants 27, Arizona 24.
Seattle at Dallas (-4.5)
I know, Zeke is back. The Seahawks are not the same team as in past years. Lots of holes. I just don’t see them throwing up a couple of stinkers in a row. Plus…every time you want to count Seattle out, they prove us all wrong.
Seattle 31, Dallas 27.
Pittsburgh (-9.5) at Houston
The Steelers need to keep winning games. They are probably still infuriated about last week. T.J. Yates. Pittsburgh hasn’t really blown many teams out this year. But expect it to happen this week, even with no Antonio Brown and a porous defense.
Pittsburgh 37, Houston 10.
Oakland at Philadelphia (-8.5)
The Raiders are just about done. Disappointing season, to say the least. The Eagles had a tougher fight than expected last week against the G-Men. Maybe a Carson Wentz injury letdown. But then Nick Foles comes in and tosses 4 TD’s anyway. The Eagles need to keep winning, so expect a score closer to what they have been normally doing this year.
Philadelphia 34, Oakland 20.
Week (against the spread): 10-6
Week (straight up): 14-2
Season (against the spread): 122-102
Season (straight up): 150-74
Diving right in:
Chicago at Detroit (-5.5)
I wanted to take the Bears in this one. I really did. I don’t believe in the Lions at all. But I’m also not going to get fooled by the Bears’ blowout against the Bengals last week. After 5 straight losses. That result shouldn’t fool anyone. Chicago lost at home to Detroit about a month ago and obviously would like to avenge that loss…while at the same time hurting Detroit’s playoff hopes. I can’t do it though, even if the Lions are banged up on the O-Line.
Detroit 24, Chicago 13.
Los Angeles Chargers (-1.5) at Kansas City
Two teams seemingly headed in different directions in recent weeks. But did the Chiefs get back on track with last weeks win against Oakland? This may go against my better judgement, but I am saying yes…for this week anyway. Sure I was speaking highly of the Chargers last week, who again could be something like 9-4 if they had a kicker. But this week I am pumping the brakes a little bit.
Kansas City 30, Los Angeles Chargers 24.
New York Jets at New Orleans (-15.5)
15.5 is a large number. But two words will make you feel better about taking the Saints: Bryce Petty. That, in and of itself, should be enough. But throw in the fact that the Jets Offensive Coordinator very publicly said he gave up in last week’s game, the Muhammad Wilkerson benching, the Saints’ 5-1 record at home, the Saints having ten days to prepare and New Orleans needing to keep winning because of the tight NFC South division they are in and for the playoff race…well, that’s many more reasons to expect a blowout here.
New Orleans 45, New York Jets 10.
Houston at Jacksonville (-11.5)
11.5 is another large number…especially for an unproven “contender” like the Jaguars. Sure, the Jags did beat Seattle last week. And their D is apparently top-notch. But what does that mean now? Not sure. That being said, looks like the Texans are going with T.J. Yates on Sunday. Once again, this alone should make one feel comfortable about laying the points.
Jacksonville 33, Houston 7.
Philadelphia (-7.5) at New York Giants
The G-Men actually were tied with Dallas about midway through the fourth quarter last Sunday…until the ‘Boys finally snapped out of it and blitzed in 3 touchdowns immediately after that. Will there be some sort of hangover for the Eagles, what with them losing Carson Wentz for the year this past week? Possibly. But it will take much less than three and a half quarters for them to shake it off. The Iggles should still win this one pretty handily, even with Nick Foles at the helm.
Philadelphia 34, New York Giants 14.
Miami at Buffalo (-3.5)
Tyrod Taylor is back. Yaaaaay! In all seriousness though, that is good news with Joe Webb being the only alternative. The ‘Phins looked pretty damn good in beating the Pats Monday night. Or did the Pats just look that bad? I am certainly a total homer, but I think it is more the latter. And Miami only won by 7 in the end, sad considering how it looked like they had total control of the game at all times. In any event, I don’t expect Jay Cutler to put together standout performances two weeks in a row. And although the game in Miami Monday had the temperatures in the 50s…of course cold for Miami…in Buffalo what will it be in Sunday, the 20s? That’s not going to help the Dolphins.
Buffalo 21, Miami 17.
Baltimore (-6.5) at Cleveland
Yup, the Ravens did kind of choke away their game against the Steelers last week. But here they are again in the mix to get into the playoffs, with a pretty easy schedule remaining. The Browns have had chances to win a game this season plenty of times. But I don’t think that’s a realistic option this week. Even if Josh Gordon goes off for 300 yards receiving or something.
Baltimore 27, Cleveland 17.
Cincinnati at Minnesota (-10.5)
The Bengals stink and I don’t even want to talk about them.
Minnesota 31, Cincinnati 9.
Arizona at Washington (-4.5)
A couple of teams playing out the string. The Cards still appear to be competing, and I suppose are still technically alive in the playoff chase…even with the immortal Blaine Gabbert under center. On the flip side, the ‘Skins may have already packed it in. Maybe it’s all the injuries, but it’s been an ugly last couple of games for Washington.
Arizona 20, Washington 17.
Green Bay at Carolina (-2.5)
Aaron Rodgers is back. That’s nice. But does it get them a win against the 9-4 Panthers? Well, they may not get behind consistently, as in the “Brett Hundley era”, where they had to come back late the last couple of weeks to beat bad teams to stay in the playoff chase. But I am not sure it gets them a win. Will Rodgers show some rust? Likely. Maybe he will shake it off quickly, but who knows? Taking the safe route here.
Carolina 27, Green Bay 24.
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle (-1.5)
Second tough one in a row for the Rams, after losing a tight one to the Eagles last week. Now they have to go to Seattle to face a team that already beat them in LA earlier this year. If the Seahawks do win, they take over first place and, based on whatever else happens by the end of the weekend, could actually knock the Rams out of the top 6 in the conference. Yes, there are two weeks left after that, but that is still a kind of surprising turn of events. Seattle tried to come back against the Jags last week…as Russell Wilson has been pretty amazing in the 4th quarter all by himself this season…but came up short. The ‘Hawks are hurting all around, but you can’t ever count them out.
Seattle 34, Los Angeles Rams 27.
New England (-2.5) at Pittsburgh
I love it how after a game in which the Patriots and, in particular, Tom Brady, play atrociously, then the sky is falling, the Pats “dynasty” is over and Brady is washed up. Happens at least once a year and then the Pats and Brady then repeatedly prove everyone wrong. Now look, this all will happen someday. The Pats are banged up, Brady included. Pittsburgh is a pretty good team, albeit one that gave up 38 to a poor Raven offense last week. But will it happen this year? No. And not this week. If it does, then it may be time to worry. Let’s also not forget that for whatever reason Brady sucks in Miami. And it was the second time in three weeks playing the Dolphins. And the Pats, though they will never admit it, were likely looking past Miami to this one. In the whole scheme of things, that game meant nothing. This game means everything. I’m expecting a few bodies to come back and for the ship to right itself. If I am wrong we will deal with that next week.
New England 42, Pittsburgh 34.
Tennessee at San Francisco (-1.5)
The Titans are probably the worst 8-5 team in the league. Wait…only Atlanta and Seattle are 8-5 across the league, so that claim was too easy. Anyway, when is this Marcus Mariota kid going to take the next step? I am not impressed. Look at their schedule and results this year. Unimpressive, to be kind. They’ve actually given up 21 more points than they have scored on the season. Though they can pretty much thank two blowout losses to the Texans and Steelers for that. But still. This team does nothing for me and with any luck they will make the playoffs and the AFC Championship and the Pats can blast them easily en route to the Super Bowl. Ok, I’m getting off track…and waaaaaaaaaaaay ahead of myself. In any event, they aren’t that good. The Niners appear to be better now that Jimmy Football is in charge. SF is at home. I’m going 49ers.
San Francisco 17, Tennessee 16.
Dallas (-2.5) at Oakland
Two teams with high expectations coming into the season. Both underachieving, to say the least. No Zeke for Dallas hasn’t helped. I’m not sure what Oakland’s problem has been…other than the fact that Jack del Rio is their coach. And their receivers drop like 20 balls a game. We will have to get through this one in prime time somehow. Not expecting much.
Dallas 31, Oakland 17.
Atlanta (-6.5) at Tampa Bay
Speaking of prime time, we have this on Monday. Tampa has lost 7 of 9, with the two wins against the Jets and Dolphins. The Falcons have been inconsistent this year, but have won 4 of 5, with the loss coming to Minnesota. This one shouldn’t be close. I’m sure Atlanta will make it closer that it has to be however.
Atlanta 30, Tampa Bay 17.
Week (against the spread): 1-0
Week (straight up): 1-0
Season (against the spread): 113-96
Season (straight up): 137-72