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Old 11-16-2016, 10:00 AM   #1
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 11 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 5-9. Season totals: 63-66-3, Pct. .489. Best Bets: 13-13-1, Pct. .500.

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



THURSDAY NIGHT

CAROLINA
31, New Orleans 24 (+4) - There have been five season series between division rivals already completed this year, and in four of them, whoever didn't cover in the first meeting did cover in the second, observing the consensus opening line, as we do here (and for most bettors it is actually five out of five in that the Baltimore-Cleveland line in Week 2 opened at Baltimore favored by four an half, but the line went up almost immediately and the Ravens won the game by five). And if the Panthers open up an early 17-point lead again this week, they won't squander it because no way will the Saints shut them out the rest of the way.


SUNDAY

N.Y. GIANTS
31, Chicago 10 (+7) - After losing Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett in free agency, it has only kept going straight downhill from there for the Bears, with the locker room calling for Jay Cutler's benching, Alshon Jeffrey's four-game performance-enhancing-drug suspension that begins this week, and offensive guard Kyle Long's season-ending injury, suffered last week. And after going 5-3 straight up and 5-2-1 against the spread on the road last year, Chicago is 0-5 both ways on the road this year and has been outscored 145-74 - and since there is no penalty for piling on when making picks, the Bears are also 3-11 straight up and 4-9-1 against the line since 2013 on the artificial carpet. With a visit to ever-obliging Cleveland looming, you can pretty much pencil in the Giants going into December with a surprising, to say the least, 8-3 record.

Pittsburgh 27, CLEVELAND 7 (+10) - This stat comes courtesy of our very own Brad Oremland: There have been 16 games this season decided by at least 20 points. Three of them involve the Browns losing by that much or more (the Jets and Tampa Bay have two such losses each; no other NFL team has more than one). Big Ben's injury is now far enough in the rear-view mirror to trust him laying this big a number.

CINCINNATI 14, Buffalo 13 (+3) - The Bengals probably want to repeal the bye even more than the Republicans want to repeal ObamaCare! Cincinnati has the worst record in the NFL both following a bye (now 8-19-1 straight up with Monday night's loss to the Giants) and when not following a bye but facing an opponent who was, as is the case here (3-12). Tyrod Taylor climbed out of the bottom ranking in passing yards per game during his bye week when the $72 Million Man, Brock Osweiler, managed all of 92 net passing yards against Jacksonville.

DETROIT 21, Jacksonville 17 (+7) - The Jags have lost six in a row indoors by a combined 192-97, but the short-term looking-ahead angle - the Lions host NFC North rival Minnesota just four days after this game - makes the points worth taking in this spot.

INDIANAPOLIS 26, Tennessee 21 (+3) - The Colts' lopsided domination of the Titans now stands at ten consecutive wins (7-3 against the spread) and 15 of the last 16 (10-6 against the spread). And when it comes to covering point spreads, the Colts seem to know where the wire is: So far this season they have a 4-point win as a 3-point favorite, a 6-point win as a 4-point favorite, and a 3-point loss as a 3 1/2-point underdog. Tennessee's carpet form very closely resembles Chicago's: 3-10 outright, 4-9 pointwise, also since 2013.

MINNESOTA 31, Arizona 14 (P) - It is significant to note that three of the four games in Minnesota's current four-game losing streak came both outdoors and on natural grass, and the one home loss was in an overtime during which their offense never got a possession. Other items of significance here include the home team's current five-game win streak in the series, and the Cardinals not having won in Minnesota since 1977, losing eight out of eight while being outscored 260-133. And if two out of three ain't bad, then it logically follows that one out of three ain't good - and one out of three is Arizona's straight-up win rate since 2002 as a visitor on the carpet (21-42 dating back to that year).

KANSAS CITY 14, Tampa Bay 10 (+7 1/2) - Game-manager quarterbacks like Alex Smith are seldom good bets to cover touchdown-plus spreads - and the Bucs have won the last four meetings, and the flexing of KC's game at Denver next week into prime time makes a look-ahead by the Chiefs that much more likely. No reason at all to lay this wood.

DALLAS 24, Baltimore 23 (+6 1/2) - No reason at all to lay it here either: Like the Detroit game, this is another short-term looking-ahead game, as the Cowboys host Washington on Thanksgiving. And Dallas has dropped five straight to The Modell Franchise, which last lost in God's Country in 1985. Surprised that this game wasn't moved into at least the late time slot (and again, the imbalance of games by network would have favored that - CBS has seven Sunday afternoon games, Fox only four) - or even Sunday night, as the Green Bay at Washington game now has the look of a dud.

Miami 27 (+1), LOS ANGELES 14 - Case Keenum was allergic to the end zone - no touchdowns or one touchdown scored in six of L.A.'s nine games - so now it's finally Jared Goff time, facing a team to which the Rams have lost 10 out of 12 lifetime. Then again, at Cal, Goff was a combined 0-12 against USC, UCLA, Stanford, and Oregon, and 14-23 as a starter overall - and if this sounds familiar, maybe it should: Kyle Boller, also a Cal grad, was 14-26 as a starter - yet he, too, commanded a blockbuster draft-day trade (in 2003) that entailed the team trading up to pick him (Baltimore) giving up a first-rounder the following year as well.

New England 23, SAN FRANCISCO 13 (+13 1/2) - The Patriots may have peaked too early - and now Rob Gronkowski is going to be out for a while, again. And not for nothing, but Chip Kelly beat the Patriots outright last year - in New England. Take the points.

SEATTLE 24, Philadelphia 10 (+6) - After Kelly was 9-3 straight up and 8-3-1 against the spread with the Eagles on artificial turf, Doug Pederson is 0-3 with them both ways - and Carson Wentz is averaging 10.5 yards per completion, even worse than Sam Bradford did last year. Seattle's secondary will have absolutely no trouble at all blanketing the lead-footed - and stone-handed - Philadelphia receivers.

Green Bay 20 (+2), WASHINGTON 17 - I'm surprised that no one has snapped up the domain www.firemikemccarthy.com by now. Maybe everyone knows that the Packers will turn it around this week versus a team they have beaten in six of the last seven?


MONDAY NIGHT

Oakland
24, Houston 13 (+5 1/2) - Neither team name is capitalized because this game is in Mexico City, but the Raiders have covered four in a row off the bye, while Houston is 4-10 straight up and 4-8-2 against the line in fatigue games and has non-covered five in a row on prime time, with 27-6, 30-0, 27-0, and 27-9 losses showing. And in the spirit of the game's site, who is the corporate sponsor of the Texans' passing offense? Answer: The Chevy Nova. And why? Because "no va" is Spanish for "It doesn't go."


BEST BETS: N.Y. GIANTS, MINNESOTA, MIAMI
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