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Anthony 12-21-2013 04:37 AM

Anthony's Week 16 NFL Pointspread Picks
Last week: 5-10-1. Season totals: 108-108-8, Pct. .500. Best Bets: 22-21-2, Pct. .511.

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


20, Cleveland 14 (+1) - Since the Jets are 6-8 and the Browns are 4-10 and the Jets are at home, shouldn't the Jets be favored by four or five? And with Cleveland 1-9 straight up but 4-5-1 against the line on artificial turf in 2012-13, this difference in value could prove decisive.

DETROIT 28, N.Y. Giants 7 (+9 1/2) - There have been two shutouts in the NFL this year - and the same team has been on the business end of both of them, and such teams are 9-27 straight up and 14-22 against the spread in their next game since 2007. And that team followed up their 38-0 loss at Carolina in Week 3 with a 31-7 loss at Kansas City in Week 4 - and will be missing their top receiver (had knee surgery on Thursday and is out for the season).

Miami 23, BUFFALO 10 (+2 1/2) - Cold weather? What cold weather? The Dolphins are two for two in it this year and the Bills won't have E.J. Manuel (knee). So why not?

Dallas 27, WASHINGTON 17 (+2 1/2) - The Cowboys catch a huge break in the form of the weather forecast, which calls for a record-high 70 degrees in the Beltway on Sunday. And right now they can use every break they can get.

CAROLINA 24, New Orleans 14 (+3) - The Saints wouldn't beat Coastal Carolina on the road! Best bet.

Tennessee 21, JACKSONVILLE 10 (+5 1/2) - Publicly, the Jaguars are saying that Maurice Jones-Drew is questionable (hamstring) - but privately, or at least semi-privately (that is to say, in the blogosphere), they are saying something a lot more pessimistic - and it's easy to be pessimistic about their chances without Jones-Drew when they couldn't even beat Buffalo on natural grass without him last week. Did you have the Colts-Titans exacta back in August? Well I'll see you at the window if you did (Tennessee clinches second place in the AFC South with a win here).

CINCINNATI 24, Minnesota 20 (+7) - The Vikings will also be catching a major break in the weather - a high of 60 is expected in the City of Satan for Sunday - and right now Minnesota can hang with any team in the NFL. Throw in the "sandwich factor" - Bengals had a division game last week, and a likely division "championship game" next week - and there's no reason to lay the wood.

ST. LOUIS 17, Tampa Bay 13 (+5 1/2) - Since 2009, the Buccaneers are 14-7 against the spread on rugs and 10-4 pointwise in domes - and that includes an outright upset at Detroit and an overtime loss at Seattle in their last two; and I simply don't feel comfortable spotting this kind of number with Kellen Clemens at quarterback. In fact, there is a self-contained parlay in this game: Bucs plus 5 1/2, and under 43.

KANSAS CITY 28, Indianapolis 14 (+6 1/2) - Both teams are already in the playoffs, but Andrew Luck is not to be trusted in cold weather: He's 1-3 both ways therein and has been outscored 138-81, including a 42-28 loss at Cincinnati two weeks ago that was nowhere near as close as the final score would suggest.

Denver 30, HOUSTON 27 (+9 1/2) - Not only no Wes Welker for the Broncos (concussion), but also no Case Keenum for the Texans (thumb), forcing Houston to do the right thing and go back to Matt Schaub. Take the points despite Denver's current 10-game winning streak in road games on grass that includes nine covers.

SEATTLE 37, Arizona 14 (+9 1/2) - To keep the Seahawks at home throughout the NFC playoffs.

BALTIMORE 24, New England 17 (+2 1/2) - Joe Flacco is listed as questionable - but do you honestly envision him sitting this game out? Pats are lucky they end the year with a total gimme against Buffalo at home; otherwise, they might not even make the playoffs.

GREEN BAY 28, Pittsburgh 27 (+3) - In six games without Aaron Rodgers, the Packers have two one-point wins, a tie, two 27-13 losses, and a 40-10 loss. So I'll take the weasel's way out and pick Green Bay to win but not cover.

SAN DIEGO 34, Oakland 10 (+8 1/2) - The Chargers need a boatload of help to get in the playoffs, but it's hard to get excited about a team that just allowed 56 points to Alex Smith. A lot of people are headed out of Oakland in the weeks and months ahead - most notably overmatched head coach Dennis Allen, and eternally-injured running back Darren McFadden, the latter due to the emergence of "Sugar" Rashad Jennings at that position.

Chicago 27 (+4), PHILADELPHIA 14 - Picking up where he left off from his days at Oregon, Chip Kelly pulled a colossal choke last week, and a Dallas win during the day makes this game essentially meaningless for the Eagles; then again, it won't mean a whole lot to the Bears either unless Detroit and/or Green Bay lose, but Chicago has covered in four of the last five vs. Philly, including three out of three at Philly, and Lance Briggs is expected back from the gruesome shoulder injury he sustained two months ago.


31, Atlanta 6 (+12 1/2) - The Falcons have lost six in a row on grass, covering in only one of them, and can't see Atlanta getting up for this one - which figures to be much less of a problem for the 49ers, who will be playing their last game at Candlestick, unless Seattle stages an epic collapse and they get a postseason game at home.


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