Wednesday, December 26, 2007

NFL Picks, Week 17: The Worst Weekend In NFL History

Seriously, if you're betting this weekend's games, you are out of your mind. Come back in a week and clean up on Wild Card Weekend. I seriously considered tabling this column, or having someone else write it... but then I realized that I'm still in the running, somehow, for the championship in my picks league. (Unlike some people, I make picks every week. Go Persistence!)

Fantasy is over, at least for any league with any kind of sense. The playoff picture is almost entirely wrapped up. Golf dates await. The off-season beckons. You're betting on the relative pride of players on teams that have shown none, or the competence of backups. It makes more sense to throw money at pre-season or the Pro Bowl, for heaven's sakes. I'm also ill, so the writing in this column isn't going to wow you, and the P key on my laptop is behaving badly, so there's bound to be typos. I also have little shot at even finishing at .500 against the spread. Waah, waah, wahh!

Now, with all of that said, and with the readership of this column at an all time low... on to the picks!

* * * * *

New England covering 14.5 against the GIANTS. You have to admire the Patriots for making 16-0 as boring as possible. I'm counting on the Giants back-ups being as gutless at home as their starters, and the stadium being 50-50 for Boston fans, with a huge number of Giants fans cashing out for the Patriots payoff. (Though there is something to be said for the Giants spoiling the perfection, since they are no real playoff threat.)

MIAMI as a 3-point underdog against Cincinnati at home. Are we really supposed to take the Bengals as a road favorite against anyone? The Dolphins will be playing for a job, the Bengals will be playing for pride. Or, um, nothing. (Can you tell that I'm a little bitter about Chad Johnson's big championship week performance? I bet you can.)

PHILADELPHIA covering 7.5 against Buffalo. The end of the year has turned into a pleasant little feel-good story for the Eagles, who are looking at a fully operational Donovan McNabb and dreaming of what might have been. As for the Bills, I'm hoping that they bring Kevin Everett to the game, and that he leaves in disgust at halftime.

Seattle as a 3-point road dog in ATLANTA. This is a pure confidence pick in Seneca Wallace, who is six inches of height from getting the David Garrard Best Back-Up QB Award. Besides, it's hard to imagine the Falcons have any kind of pulse right now, let alone a heart.

CHICAGO as a 2-point underdog against New Orleans. Watching the games last week, it was striking to see the late-season pride of NFC teams that were going nowhere (Chicago, Philly, and even Carolina, to a small degree). Against a Saints team that crapped the bed at home in a must-win situation, I'm expecting some feel-good moments for the Chicago home fans.

Carolina covering as a 3-point favorite in TAMPA BAY. A sheer case of a home team playing their scrubs against a road team trying to save the job of their coach. Matt Moore not looking terrible also has something to do with this, as does the Bucs' absolute fold job in San Francisco last week.

San Francisco as a 10-point underdog in CLEVELAND. The Browns actually have nothing to play for, and Shawn Hill has shown what the Niners would have looked like with mild competence... well, that sound you heard was Frank Gore's fantasy owners gnashing their teeth. (Though the guy that owned him in my league beat me senseless with him.) In a game with nothing to play for, I like a low point spread.

GREEN BAY covering 3.5 against Detroit. Many people are getting sucked into taking the Lions here, as Kitna will play against backups and the Packers looked bad on the road in Chicago. Me, I remember many months of absolutely gutless road performances by this Lions team, and expect a repeat.

Jacksonville as a 6.5 point dog in HOUSTON. Let me get this straight... one of the hottest teams in the AFC that's going to the wild-card weekend against a blah team is just going to roll over? I'm not seeing it. The Jaguars' basic game plan is so vanilla, so run it up your face, and even if they give the ball to Greg Jones instead of Fred Taylor or Maurice Jones-Drew, that's a good back. They're going to spend this week doing what they've done for most of the year -- punching people in the mouth.

San Diego as an 8-point favorite in OAKLAND. The Chargers actually have something to play for here (the #3 seed, and the ability to avoid the Jags and Patriots part of the bracket). They also have the mild revenge of Norv Turner sticking it to his old team. Finally, the Raiders are playing JeMarcus Russell in this one, and he has shown absolutely no evidence that he's an NFL QB yet. I love the Chargers here, as part of their whole Late Season Surge To Over-Confidence In The Playoffs.

Kansas City as a 6-point dog in NEW YORK. If you can write more than 50 words about this one, you need professional help. Give me the Chiefs to cover the big number, and Tony Gonzalez to continue his last great season as a fantasy TE.

ARIZONA covering 6 against St. Louis. One of the ways you get to be the Cardinals, and miss the playoffs every year, is to be surprisingly competent at the end of the year, so that you overestimate your talent, sabotage your draft pick, and make sure that your schedule for next year is a little tougher than it has to be. That makes them a lock this week.

WASHINGTON covering 9 against Dallas. Who saw this coming -- the Skins, without Campbell, without Taylor, with Joe Gibbs having incontinence issues and not knowing the rule book... and they are one of the hottest teams in the league? Dallas has nothing to play for here, and more importantly, no Terrell Owens. The Skins get the 6th seed and official Dangerous Team Status with a big win at home.

Minnesota covering 3 at DENVER. Two teams that could not have looked worse last week, so I'm just going with Adrian Peterson dragging his mates to a win. It also helps that the Vikings need this one, though of course they needed last week, too. If there were a Lack of Confidence game of the week, this would be it.

Pittsburgh covering 3.5 at BALTIMORE. Over at the Carnival ten days ago, I wrote that Ravens Fan has had the worst year of any NFL fan. They've done nothing since then to change that opinion, other than give Brian Billick a vote of confidence to make sure that next year will stink as badly as this one. If any of the Raven QBs are on the roster next year, that's an indictment of the general manager; the same goes for Billick.

INDIANAPOLIS as a 6.5 point home dog against Tennessee. I like this Titans team; they are kind of a poor man's Jaguars, albeit with more standout defensive players, given that they have Bulluck and Haynesworth. I just don't like them covering this many points against the Colts, even when the Colts are playing their second-string. The crowd and PA will still be loud for the home team, and Jim Sorgi is better than you think.

Last week: 6-10
Year to date: 111-118-11

2 comments: said...

entertaining blog posts.. i was 48 or 49% for the season, also below .500.. know the feeling.

agree that week 17 is always a different animal. in the league i run we dont bet it, unless tiebreakers are necessary.

i mainly commented to ask you about any services that manage NFL gambling leagues. do you use one or know of any worth a damn?

i just use Excel and post to a wordpress blog.. it's at if you are curious -- the sheet has some nice auto formatting, etc.

but pls lemme know if you know of any service

DMtShooter said...

We did ours through Yahoo. It's free, keeps a trophy case for record-keeping of your stupidity, and auto e-mails you for the deadline of getting your picks in. Easier then Excel by a mile.

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