Somehow I escaped with another winning week! 3-2 after an 0-2 start. I greatly appreciate the meaningless field goal by the Houston Texans to secure my win in that game. Great moments in betting history….I guess so!!! So now I’m up to 16 games over .500, 45-29-1 on the year which is just about 61%. That’s good, but I want to be better. Including the playoffs I have 6 weeks left, but of course in the playoffs I will have to include over/unders to get up to 5 picks, championship game will only be 4 picks, Super Bowl will probably only be 2 bets….but we will see. Anyway, the task at hand is week 16. Week 13 was when I went 5-0 (wasn’t that awesome?! I will never get sick of talking about that week!) and I loved the picks going into that week. The last 2 weeks I have not felt great about them but been fortunate enough to have 2 more winning weeks. I am putting these up a day or 2 earlier than normal because the lines I took might be long gone by the time I post this. Also this week I can honestly say these are picks that I really love and love so much that I got 7 this week as opposed to 5, so….
Atlanta at Detroit
What a statement made by the Falcons last week! That was 1 of the 2 I had wrong and man alive did I have it wrong!!! I think that game was a preview of things to come from this team in January. They have a chip on their shoulder, especially after the way they were bounced last season. Meanwhile, the Lions are just such a mess. They’re that really hot girl that just has an endless amount of issues. The talent is everywhere on this roster, but they can’t get out of their on way. The Falcons will need this game to wrap up home field throughout the playoffs and that is vital for this team, so I would think they come out hard in this game and essentially take week 17 off.
Cincinnati at Pittsburgh
For 2 seasons now I have said you cannot trust the Bengals in a big spot. And I still don’t trust the Bengals in a big spot, the Steelers will win this game. It’s at home and they flat out own the Bengals. But the Bengals have improved this season, and in such a big game I believe that 4.5 points is just too many to give them. The talent level of the 2 teams is very equal. Eventually the Bengals are going to be a team that makes a statement much like the Falcons did against the Giants. I don’t know if that will happen in this game, but I do know the Steelers are beat up and the Bengals will have had 10 days off and a big chip on their shoulders coming into this game.
Minnesota at Houston
This isn’t a great matchup for the Texans. The Vikings are playing very well right now. They’re on a mission to get to the playoffs, and maybe just as important to them they’re on a mission to get Adrian Peterson the all time yards record. The Texans defense just hasn’t been the same since Brian Cushing went down. They’re good, don’t get me wrong. J.J. Watt is scary, Whitney Mercilus has come on in the last month, they have a lot of talent. But they have holes and can be exposed. And the Vikings defense isn’t great, but they can get the job done. Add to all of this, the Texans don’t have a killer instinct. I’ve noticed this all season, they seem like a team that is just happy being good not great. The Colts game was the perfect example of that, every time the Texans would start to get up big, the Colts would jump back in it. So when you combine all that with the Vikings probably being the more desperate of the 2 teams, the smart bet is to take the Vikings getting that many points.
Washington at Philadelphia
I’m not really sure why this line is only 4.5. Maybe the thinking is that now the Eagles have film on Kirk Cousins if he were to start. Maybe it’s because the Eagles will have had 10 days off. But the Eagles have essentially quit on the season, and while I don’t think they’ll roll over for a divisional opponent at home, the Redskins need this game bad and I can’t see a young, hungry team laying an egg at this point. With Cousins under center, I like the Redskins -4.5. With RGIII under center, I like the Redskins -9.5. I believe he will play this game, but he doesn’t have to. Cousins is good. Anyone that knows me (Stretch) knows that I was bigger on Cousins going into the draft last year than most. I know he doesn’t have a huge arm, but he is accurate, has a very high IQ, and is a leader. People scratched their heads at the Redskins taking him in the 4th round, but how can you ever have too many good QB’s?! Anyway, bottom line here is that the Redskins are playing amazing, the Eagles are playing awful, so the Redskins are the smart bet here.
Cleveland at Denver
The rematch of the 86, 87, and 89 AFC championship games comes for the Browns on Sunday and I’m certain that is what will be on every players mind. Sure, this isn’t even the actual franchise that lost those games….but the proud legacy of the Browns will be fought for by this addition of the Browns! Brandon Weeden is pretty much exactly like Bernie Kosar. Jordan Cameron always gets mistaken for Ozzie Newsome. Trent Richardson is actually a poor man’s Ernest Byner…..ok, so T-Rich is actually the one player that is better. The real reason for this pick is that I don’t see how it’s not a let down game for the Broncos, and the Browns are playing everyone tough. Sure the wheels fell off against Washington, but you have to remember that it would have been tough for them to game plan against Kirk Cousins. They didn’t know he was starting until Friday, and they had almost no film on him in the pro’s. This is the Browns Super Bowl, they’ll play hard and they’ll keep it respectable.
Chicago at Arizona
To me this number is lower than it should be due to the Bears losing streak and the fact that the Cardinals are coming off their first win in a VERY long time against the Lions last week. But the Bears losses aren’t bad. The Packers, the Vikings on the road, and the Seahawks. Prior to the win against Minny at home the 2 losses were against the Texans and Niners on the road. These aren’t bad teams, these are some of the best teams in the NFL. The Cardinals have been the worst team in the NFC since the start of October, if not the entire league. The Bears are desperate now to keep up to the Vikings and I believe they will come out hard against the lowly Cardinals. I expect a blowout.
San Francisco at Seattle
San Francisco -1
Everyone is going to be the Seahawks in this spot. The last 2 weeks they’ve run it up to the tune of 50 points. The problem is that Seattle running it up against teams like Arizona and Buffalo is similar to Oklahoma running it up against Big 12 teams. Yeah OU is good, but they’re playing garbage opponents. The Niners are more like an SEC team. They beat the Pats on the road in bad weather in a nationally televised game. That’s a GREAT win. The Niners are the better team, they need this win to lock up the division, and don’t think for 1 second that Jim Harbaugh didn’t notice his old PAC 10 buddy Pete Carroll running it up. He will want his team to send a message in this game. Seattle is a tough place to play, but its the kind of game the Niners seem to thrive on.
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