|Whatever You Say, Madge|
Watching anything but the actual game... makes you stupid. Sorry. I meant to say gets you stupid, because that's stupider.
In the midst of all of this stupid are my picks, which continue to be smart, with an increasing amount of profit that just keeps rolling on. We've redeemed the career record and have been on the plus side of money in 10 of 13 weeks, which means that if we aren't careful, this might turn into a legitimate prognostication aid. I'm scared, folks. You should be as well.
And with that... on to the picks!
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Minnesota at ARIZONA (-7.5)
Long flight, short week, good opponent. While the Vikings might get back to the running game and keep things tight for a while, Red's WRs are a lot better than Seattle's, and it's hard to see Minny doing a better job against them.
Cardinals 27, Vikings 17
Buffalo at PHILADELPHIA (pick em)
The LeSean McCoy Vengeance Game is writ large in this one, but the Eagle run defense has been good more often than not, and maybe they'll actually fall into some momentum after last week's blue snow win in New England. Besides, Rex Ryan is nearly as dumb as Chip Kelly, and now Chip's assured his employment in 2016 by heroically getting the hell away from DeMarco Murray, maybe he'll actually unleash a fresh play on offense. I kid, I kid.
Eagles 24, Bills 23
SAN FRANCISCO (+1.5) at Cleveland
Are we actually watching the resurrection of Blaine Gabbert, Competent NFL QB? It sure seems like it, as the Blainederful One will go for his second straight road win at the Factory of Sadness. It's not as if he's doing it with a ton of weapons around him on offense. If nothing else, he's killing the Niners' chance at a top QB pick, which has to help his chances. He'll also get his defense against the freshly reinstated Johnny Manziel, who might stay sober all week for his. Probably not the best idea, actually.
Niners 19, Browns 16
DETROIT (+1) at St. Louis
The Rams have fired their OC, and I'd tell you his name, but it's not as if it will ever resurface in the NBA again. They'll get a deflated Lions team that saw their playoff chances fail thanks to Aaron Rodgers and inexcusable Hail Mary defense, but the Lions are also coming in with extra rest and actual offensive weapons. Also, Jeff Fisher not so secretly sucks.
Lions 27, Rams 13
New Orleans at TAMPA (-3.5)
Secret playoff possibilities abound from the Bucs, who have been racking up Ws and giving their fan base that fun Something's Building year that always ends in a moral victory loss against a team that goes deep in the playoffs. The Saints are just playing out the string, especially after losing their Super Bowl / chance to defeat unbeaten Carolina at home last week. Besides, everyone torches this secondary.
Bucs 34, Saints 24
Tennessee at NY JETS (-7)
The story coming out of the Jets' big comeback win over the Giants last week will be how Big Blue can't deal with late game situations, but the reality is that Green was a better team for most of the game... but got victimized by a couple of big plays and missed assignments in pass blocking. Once they got the ball back, they ran Blue out. Similar things will happen this week, but with less drama, against a Titans team that hasn't traveled well.
Jets 30, Titans 20
PITTSBURGH (+3) at Cincinnati
Honestly, NFL, can't you send this game to 4pm and give us all something to watch later in the day? The 11/2 split next week is terrible, especially because the two games at that time are both going to be blowouts. My favorite game of the week will be held in mass mush time, with QB Ben Roethlisberger doing mad bomber work against a depleted Bengal secondary to pull off a road upset. Besides, the Steelers D is doing just enough with sacks and turnovers to get off the field a few times a game, which is all this offense needs.
Steelers 37, Bengals 34
Indianapolis at JACKSONVILLE (even)
Uncertainty at the QB position, a SNF beat down, and a Jags team that gets back all of its weapons for a home game against the closest thing this division has to a name brand. The AFC South is also secretly terrible, but something tells me the Jags might not be in another year or two.
Jags 26, Colts 23
San Diego at KANSAS CITY (-10)
Dead Team Walking! The Chargers are just stealing checks right now, and won't try any harder on the road in KC. The AFC has been giving the Chiefs a red carpet ride to the wild card for weeks now, and it's not stopping now.
Chiefs 34, Chargers 20
Washington at CHICAGO (-2.5)
Just a heart breaking loss for the Racial Slurs on MNF, and now they have to go on the road, into a hostile stadium, against a Bear team that might not be terrible anymore. QB Kirk Cousins hasn't been good on the road all year, and that won't change now.
Bears 26, Racial Slurs 20
Atlanta at CAROLINA (-7)
Get used to it, folks; this Panther team is finishing the regular season 16-0. While the Falcons are occasionally capable of tolerable play, they can't do it for four quarters, and they really can't do it on the road. This one might get ugly, what with the Panthers getting a division scare last week in New Orleans.
Panthers 38, Falcons 20
SEATTLE (-6) at Baltimore
Man alive, did the Seahawks look good last week or what? Competent offensive line play, good work by the WRs, a burst from RB Thomas Rawls, and all of a sudden the Hawks are genuinely terrifying again. Against Matt Schaub and a Baltimore team that's a MASH outfit on offense? As easy as a road game gets for this outfit.
Seahawks 31, Ravens 17
Oakland at DENVER (-7.5)
The whispers about how good Denver looks, now that they aren't playing a hollow shell at QB? Getting louder, especially when QB Brock Osweiler is throwing real heat in his game manager with benefits role for a good Denver defense. Against a Raider team that is on the edge of the playoff race and about to be escorted out, he'll be more than enough, and this game won't be close for long.
Broncos 27, Raiders 16
Dallas as GREEN BAY (-7.5)
I would take this line at twice the points, because Dallas on a short week, on the road, in Lambeau against a Packer team that has extra rest is Beatdown City. Expect lots of shots of Rodgers laughing on the sidelines in the fourth in this one, and the final nail in the Cowboy coffin, even in the NFC lEast.
Packers 41, Cowboys 17
NEW ENGLAND (-3.5) at Houston
Three losses in a row for the Patriots, even on the road against a physical defense? No. Expect a suspicious amount of health from the road team, some better run/pass balance, less breakdowns in STs and at least two hours of NBC slurping Brady with impressive suction.
Patriots 34, Texans 20
NY Giants at MIAMI (even)
Have Blue given up on Tom Coughlin yet? It's got to happen sometime, and the running back whack a mole, always wrong late game decisions, and genuinely terrible secondary is just too much for one of the five best WR corps in the NFL to overcome. Miami's no great shakes either, but the end has to come sometime.
Dolphins 23, Giants 21
Last week: 11-5