Welcome comrades to my weekly NFL football picks column. My aim is to help you with some tough choices, whether it be in your office pool or betting against the spread. I will provide analysis and commentary for both.
~NFL football picks for the office pool~
Week 12: 12-4 Season prediction tally: 119-57
With great pleasure I would like to announce that I was spot on with both my Lock and Upset Special last week. The Bengals’ scoreboard didn’t necessarily look like a lock, winning 16-7, but hey whatever gets the W. For the upset, I was forced to pick against my Cardinals—and unfortunately I was right about that too.
N.Y. Jets at Buffalo
I never get the Jets right. So disregard this prediction when I say that the Bills will snare a rare second win in a row. The Bills D is better than they get credit for, and they are ballin’ for interim head coach Perry Fewell.
Tampa Bay at Carolina
Speaking of ballin’, how about my man Josh Freeman? I said at the beginning of the year, unless Byron Leftwich and Luke McCown are going to be legitimate starters for the team for a few years, I didn’t see the point in sitting him. All he has done is come in and outperform any Buc QB going back to preseason games, and looks like a bona fide threat for years to come. I’m going Freeman here with the Panthers missing their No. 1 QB, and maybe their No. 1 RB.
St. Louis at Chicago
I thought Chicago was supposed to challenge for the NFC North title? You’d think they can manage a home win versus the Rams at least, right?
~Upset Special: Titans over Colts ~
Tennessee at Indianapolis
Okay this is it, this is finally the one. This is the game the Colts finally lose. People tried to pigeonhole VY and say he wasn’t much of a passer. Ha! Whatever. VY I did my part, I never doubted you man. And I never doubted Jeff Fisher, either. Can I just point out that I thought the Titans might turn this thing around and start playing with a vengeance?
Philadelphia at Atlanta
The Eagles are 7-4, but barely beat the Redskins. The Falcons are 6-5, but barely beat the Buccaneers. Falcons at home with backup QB Chris Redman, who played a great game by the way. Toss up. Hold on, let me get a coin.
Oakland at Pittsburgh
I am assuming Big Ben is back.
Detroit at Cincinnati
Cincinnati will win because they are better, and because Stafford likes to throw 50/50 balls, which Bengals’ DBs Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall may just take to the house.
New Orleans at Washington
It is very tempting to call for the Redskins to upset the Saints. They have a better D than the Patriots, but the problem is that scoring is a huge chore for them. The Saints looked downright nasty by beating the Patriots so badly they sat Brady before the game was through. And really, the Saints were so jacked up, there very well could be a let down of focus for this one. Then again, this is a team that is playing like they are on a mission.
New England at Miami
The Dolphins could really use a win, but the Patriots don’t make a habit of losing two in a row.
Houston at Jacksonville
Two teams holding on to the fringes of playoff contention, in a divisional matchup no less, the former sitting at 5-6 and the latter 6-5. This one should be heated. I say both move to 6-6 at the end of the day.
Denver at Kansas City
Denver rebounded nicely from four straight defeats and looked good on Thanksgiving eve. Kansas City still has some work to do.
~Lock of the Week: Chargers over Browns~
San Diego at Cleveland
San Diego has quietly made its way back to the top of the league, now with the third best record in the AFC.
San Francisco at Seattle
San Francisco is battling to stay in the hunt, but I like Seattle to play spoiler in this one and avenge an early season loss.
Dallas at N.Y. Giants
Normally I would pick the Giants to rebound, but they were so bad last time out, losing 26-6 and looking out of sync in every category, I am not sure they can shake out of it this time.
Minnesota at Arizona
The Vikings, like the Colts and the Saints, are playing dominant football right now. People tend to get mesmerized by that and forget that they are still a football team, with 53 men just like all the others. They too can lose even when on paper it looks impossible.
This is one of those games. I am picking the Cardinals, but not just because I want them to win. I am picking the Cardinals to win because they have three reasons to get amped up to play one of their best games of the year:
1) Favre torched the Cards for six TDs last year as a Jet. Now granted, Arizona played one of the worst halves of football by any team at any level that day, but c’mon. This year Favre is unbelievably playing the best ball of his life, so this may be wishful thinking. But if they can’t get up to wipe the smirk off of his face, they are not human.
2) The Vikings shredded the Cardinals 35-14 last year around this same time, in this same stadium. They can’t let that happen again.
3) They are coming off an emotional loss they feel they should have won. This season they have not lost two games in a row.
Baltimore at Green Bay
I’ll take Green Bay by a whisker, just because the Ravens barely escaped in a game where they were facing an untested backup QB.
~Against the spread picks~
This is where things get a little tricky. Veterans know that when you bet against the spread you aren’t simply picking the winner, you are also betting how close the loser will be on the scoreboard. When betting against the spread, if you choose the team that’s favored, they must win by more than the spread number in order for you to get credit for a correct pick. If you choose the underdog, they have to lose by less than the spread number in order for you to get credit.
Week Twelve 3-2 Season prediction tally: 98-77 and my BetUS.com followers are loving me.
At INDY (-6.5) vs. Tennessee (+6.5) = Bet Titans
Even if they don’t win, VY and CJ will keep them close. Mark it down.
At PITTSBURGH (off) vs. Oakland (off) = Bet Steelers
Assuming Big Ben is back.
At CAROLINA (-6.5) vs. Tampa Bay (+6.5) = Bet Buccaneers
Josh Freeman is playing really well, and Carolina will have their backup QB, and may be without DeAngelo Williams.
San Diego (-12.5) at CLEVELAND (+12.5) = Bet Chargers
No one can stop the Chargers as of late and now Browns’ big boy Shaun Rogers is out for the year too.
At CHICAGO (-9) vs. St Louis (+9) = Bet Rams
Chicago may win but their offense cannot be relied upon.
Check out all our Rankings, in our usual start sit fashion.
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