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Old 12-21-2016, 09:39 AM   #1
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 16 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 8-7-1. Season totals: 101-99-7, Pct. .505. Best Bets: 21-20-1, Pct. .512.

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



THURSDAY NIGHT

N.Y. Giants
20, PHILADELPHIA 7 (+3) - How low can the glacial Eagle receivers go? With 7.7 yards per completion last week, they are now under 10 yards per completion for the season - 339 completions, 3,385 yards - and are on pace for their worst yards-per-completion average since 1998. The Giants, who are a reliable 28-18-2 against the spread on natural grass dating back to 2007, can clinch a playoff spot with a win.


CHRISTMAS EVE

NEW ENGLAND 17, N.Y. Jets 6 (+14) - The Jets may be forced to go back to Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback, again - but the home team in this division rivalry has covered in just three of the last 12 and the Jets have covered six in a row in Beantown, so take the points despite the fact that the Patriots, who have already clinched the division and a first-round bye, can secure home field throughout the playoffs if they win and the Raiders lose to the Colts in a late game.

BUFFALO 24, Miami 10 (+3) - The Bills need two wins and lots of help to get into the playoffs, but can't see Matt Moore winning back-to-back artificial-turf, cold-weather games. Also note that Miami has lost four straight in New York State - the Bills, after all, are New York State's only team - by a combined 100 to 41.

CAROLINA 38 (+1 1/2), Atlanta 35 - The Panthers sure looked like they meant business Monday night, and the home team in this series has really meant business of late, winning the last three by a combined 60 points, including two outright upsets as underdogs. Upset special.

Tennessee 23, JACKSONVILLE 16 (+3 1/2) - Only three times all season has the Titans running game been held to less than 124 yards (the league average is 108.1), and gashed the 21st-ranked Jacksonville run defense for 214 yards (their second highest total of the season) in Week 8. Tennessee can create an AFC South title game next week at home against Houston by winning.

San Diego 14, CLEVELAND 13 (+6 1/2) - With their season finale at Pittsburgh an absolute no-hoper, it's either win here or it's 0-16 for the Browns. The underdog in the series has covered in the last four. RG3 gets the start.

Washington 20, CHICAGO 14 (+3) - Monday night's loss to Carolina still leaves Oscar Wilde's Team - "The Team That Dares Not Speak Its Name" has become too long to type every week! - with a very plausible path to the playoffs, centering around Detroit losing to Dallas on Monday night; if that happens, Washington gets in by winning out and having Tampa Bay lose once, or Atlanta twice. And they have beaten the Bears six on a row, covering in five of them.

GREEN BAY 28, Minnesota 7 (+7) - With losses in his last two games, Sam Bradford will still have never led a team to even a .500 season - and since bulldozing fabled Metropolitan Stadium following the end of the 1981 season and not counting their 2014-15 sojourn at TCF Bank Stadium, the Vikings are 11-36-1 straight up and 17-28-3 against the spread in "Triple Witching Hour" games, which arise when a domed-stadium team has to play outdoors, on natural grass, and in cold weather, all in the same game. Look for the Packers to punch their ticket to an NFC North title game in Detroit next week with an easy win on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field.

OAKLAND 35, Indianapolis 24 (+4) - If you still believe that Five Thirty Eight is good for anything after the election, they quantify the Colts' chances of making the playoffs as 3 per cent - which will plummet to something like 0.1 per cent if the Titans win earlier in the day, which kind of renders their current four-game win streak over Oakland and Andrew Luck's 16-9 record as a starter on natural grass inoperative. And because of their absolute, total lack of playoff experience, the Raiders, who clinched their first playoff spot in 14 years last week, need to stay at home for as long as possible in the postseason more than any other team who makes it.

Tampa Bay 34 (+3), NEW ORLEANS 27 - When the Spanish-American War broke out in 1898, Leo Tolstoy wrote this nasty little essay condemning the "bullying" Americans for picking on a "sick old man," as Tolstoy characterized Spain. One hundred and eighteen years later, Tolstoy would be writing the same thing about how the Saints picked on the sick old man of the NFC last week - the Cardinals. They won't be able to push the savvy Bucs, who proved their mettle in a game, spread-covering loss in God's Country Sunday night, around the same way. Tampa Bay has won two of the last three over the Saints, who had won the last seven before that, by the way.

LOS ANGELES 27, San Francisco 13 (+3) - Let's see: In their last five games - coterminous with Jared Goff's five starts - the Rams are 0-5 and have been outscored 155-58 by five teams who are a combined 45-24-1 among them, while the 49ers, also 0-5 over the same period, were outscored 151-77 by teams that are 37-33 among them. But the home team in what is once again an intrastate rivalry has won the last three by a combined 74-22 while San Fran has lost nine straight on the road by 305 to 146, and this number ought to be significantly higher.

SEATTLE 31, Arizona 14 (+7) - Another seemingly out-of-whack number, and Seattle has won the last three at home by 90 to 25. The home team here is 1-5-1 straight up and 1-6 against the spread in the last seven meetings, but given the way they play on the road, the Seahawks would rather not need to have to win on the road next week, even at San Francisco, to clinch a first-round bye, which they can do with a win in this one and losses by both the Falcons at tough Carolina and the Lions at super-tough Dallas.

HOUSTON 17, Cincinnati 10 (+3) - If the Titans lose, the Texans clinch the AFC South with a win. If the Titans win and the Dolphins lose, a win here would make it possible for Houston to make the playoffs as a wild card in the event of a loss to Tennessee in the season finale. But I don't care about some abstract concept like dollars spent per yard gained or point scored: You don't trust your playoff fate to a quarterback with very little experience and no pedigree, as Bill O'Brien has decided to do - and, as in the Rams game, this pick comes down to simple value.


CHRISTMAS DAY

PITTSBURGH
23. Baltimore 17 (+4) - To hear everybody talk about this game, the Ravens shouldn't even bother to show up. Just declare the Steelers the winners. Should Pittsburgh win? Probably. Even cover the spread? Probably that too. But let's not carry things too far.

KANSAS CITY 24, Denver 13 (+4 1/2) - The Broncos couldn't beat the Chiefs at home - although if their coach had a double-digit mental age, they would have tied - so why should they beat them on the road? And a Pier 6 brawl in the locker room? Kansas City hasn't swept Denver since 2000. Here's a nice opportunity.


MONDAY NIGHT

DALLAS 20, Detroit 16 (+7) - Right now the Cowboys can't cover a bar tab - and like the Texans, the Lions can open a back door to the playoffs for themselves as a wild card with a win here in case they don't beat Green Bay next week, which the smart money says they won't. So take the points.


BEST BETS: BUFFALO, GREEN BAY, LOS ANGELES
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