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Old 12-05-2013, 04:25 AM   #1
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 14 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 9-7. Season totals: 95-90-7, Pct. .513. Best Bets: 19-18-2, Pct. .513.

Home team in capital letters; point spreads (opening line) in parentheses after underdog team; selections with point spreads in bold.



THURSDAY NIGHT

Houston
17, JACKSONVILLE 10 (+3) - Like the Falcons two weeks ago, the Texans finally looked alive last week, even though they didn't win, and the Jags are the only NFL team that has yet to win or cover at home this year.


SUNDAY

N.Y. JETS 13, Oakland 7 (+3) - The Raiders might not have a healthy running back of any consequence available and have not beaten the Jets in Jersey since 1996 (0-3 straight up, 0-2-1 against the spread). And one of my all-time favorite angles applies here: The last three meetings have all been in Oakland (with the Jets winning and covering in two of them).

NEW ENGLAND 24, Cleveland 3 (+10 1/2) - And where the Raiders may be out of running backs, the Browns might not have a viable quarterback (making this line available on a very limited basis) - and that hardly makes this a likely spot for them to notch their first-ever win or cover at Foxboro (where they're 0-3 and missed the cover by half a point in both of the last two) in their present incarnation.

PHILADELPHIA 28, Detroit 13 (+2 1/2) - Since 2001, Detroit is 1-20 straight up as a visitor in cold weather, and also an NFL-worst 13-39 in December since that same year. And what were both Reggie Bush and Calvin Johnson doing on Wednesday's injury report? Right back with the Eagles as a best bet - and this time the line is two and a half instead of three and a half.

Kansas City 23, WASHINGTON 10 (+3) - Now desperate for a win to keep their entire season from falling apart, the Chiefs get precisely what they need: A game against a team they've manhandled five straight times by a combined 146-59, and have won seven of eight from all told. Fat Boy completes the sweep of the NFC East.

PITTSBURGH 16, Miami 7 (+3 1/2) - Hard to see the Dolphins winning back-to-back cold-weather games - especially here over the Steelers, to whom they have lost five straight, and even more so in Pittsburgh where they haven't won since 1990. The number is a pain - but what can you do?

TAMPA BAY 20, Buffalo 13 (+3) - Funny how Greg Schiano is suddenly off the firing line so to speak. A 3-1 November can do that - and the home team in this one is 7-2 outright and 8-0-1 pointwise lifetime, with Buffalo going 2-6 and 0-7-1 respectively in Tampa. So that means if you figured out that only one of the nine games has been in Buffalo, then you have been paying attention.

CINCINNATI 24, Indianapolis 21 (+5 1/2) - The continued lack of respect for the Colts on the part of the oddsmakers is puzzling: This is the only team to defeat Seattle this year, and has also beaten two-loss Denver and won by 20 at San Francisco. As such, they can be trusted to at least stay close despite the cold weather and their admittedly less-than-stellar record therein so far in the Andrew Luck era (1-2 both ways, outscored 96-53).

BALTIMORE 31, Minnesota 6 (+7) - No Josh Freeman sightings yet (Matt Cassel gets the start in fact), so there is no reason to go against the cold-weather angle (the Vikings are 7-25-1 in their last 33 in the cold, the tie coming two weeks ago at Aaron Rodgers-less Green Bay) and last week's road win by Atlanta (even if it was in Toronto and not Buffalo) left Minnesota as the NFL's lone winless team on the road in 2013 (0-5-1).

Atlanta 14 (+2 1/2), GREEN BAY 10 - Had to search long and hard for a line on this game, but the search was well worth it: The home team has won just two of the last eight Atlanta-Green Bay games, and covered in only one; and not only are the Falcons 10-6 against the line in cold weather since 1998 (they had lost an all-time NFL-record 22 consecutive cold-weather games prior), but even went so far as to hand Brett Favre his first-ever loss at Lambeau with a kickoff-time temperature of below 35 degrees (in a 2002 wild-card playoff game). And the line itself tells you all you need to know about the likelihood of Aaron Rodgers playing.

DENVER 24, Tennessee 7 (+12 1/2) - Yes, a letdown is possible for the Broncos after their second win in three weeks over the Chiefs that has put them in complete command of the AFC West, and snow is possible too; but The Bud Adams Franchise hasn't won or covered in these parts since 1987 (0-4 with one push) and Denver's lone "blemish" against the spread at home this year came in a 16-point win. Peyton Manning might as well get used to the conditions in which he will have to win three times in the postseason (remember that the Super Bowl is at a cold-weather venue this year for the first time in its history).

ARIZONA 17, St. Louis 14 (+7) - We'll never know what the Rams' record would be now had they chosen to think big and sign Tim Tebow or Vince Young when Sam Bradford went down, instead of thinking small with Kellen Clemens. But we do know that Jeff Fisher's defense is good enough to keep them in virtually any game and is worth taking at this price.

N.Y. Giants 27 (+3), SAN DIEGO 20 - Trust the paparazzi to regurgitate the ancient history of how Eli Manning didn't want to play for the Chargers almost a decade ago. But I'd rather trust the Giants and their superb form on natural grass (24-12 straight up and 23-12-1 against the line since 2007), and the home team's anything-but-superb recent form in this series (only one win in the last five).

SAN FRANCISCO 21, Seattle 16 (+2 1/2) - More than anything else, this is a "necessity over luxury" pick, in that the Seahawks clinched a playoff spot Monday night while the 49ers are still trying to secure one. The return of Michael Crabtree provides San Fran's offense with the needed balance, in the nick of time. So "Not In Our House" (Seattle wraps up the NFC West with a win) it is.

NEW ORLEANS 31, Carolina 24 (+3 1/2) - The Panthers have done nothing wrong for two months - but the Saints have done nothing wrong at home all season, and New Orleans is still the more complete team.


MONDAY NIGHT

CHICAGO
13 (+1 1/2), Dallas 10 - This one is tough, as even if Jay Cutler does make it back for this his 12-15 career record in December is just a half game better than that of notorious December struggler Tony Romo at 11-15. But brutally-cold temperatures are in the forecast, and Matt Forte gives the Bears a distinct edge in what in that circumstance would be the all-important running game.


BEST BETS: NEW ENGLAND, PHILADELPHIA, BALTIMORE
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Last edited by Anthony; 12-05-2013 at 05:51 AM.
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