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Old 12-16-2010, 04:36 AM   #2
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 15 Picks



Last week: 5-10-1. Season totals: 96-104-8, Pct. .481. Best Bets: 19-22-1, Pct. .464.

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


THURSDAY NIGHT

SAN DIEGO
31, San Francisco 16 (+9) - Even if it was against a maiden quarterback, the Chargers righted themselves last Sunday - and believe it or not, this still doesn't eliminate the 49ers from "contention" in the NFC West.

SUNDAY

N.Y. GIANTS
38, Philadelphia 24 (+3) - The Giant defense didn't do a half-bad job of containing Michael Vick in the first meeting, and with Eagle middle linebacker Stewart Bradley out again, Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw figure to have a huge outing (Jacobs especially), keeping Vick off the field for most of the game and enabling the Giants to strike what figures to be the decisive blow in the NFC East.

PITTSBURGH 34, N.Y. Jets 7 (+6) - The Jet pity party will rage on for at least two more games (they're at Chicago next week before ending the year at home against Buffalo) and they've never won in Pittsburgh, going 0-7 there by an average of just over a dozen per game. Most of the marquee games this week won't even be close.

CAROLINA 17, Arizona 13 (+2 1/2) - Doubtless a lot of fans in Carolina want the Panthers to lose out so they can secure the number-one pick in the 2011 draft - but do you think for one minute that Jimmy Clausen wants to be battling Andrew Luck for the starting quarterback job in next summer's training camp, with Jim Harbaugh - Luck's coach at Stanford - sitting in judgment as to which one of them gets it?

MIAMI 13, Buffalo 10 (+6) - The Dolphins would actually have to show some offense to cover this number - plus they're 1-5 straight up and 2-4 against the spread at home. Take the points.

TAMPA BAY 16, Detroit 14 (+5 1/2) - The Bucs adamantly refuse to do things the easy way - and while they're 5-1 outright in their last six against the Lions, they're also 1-5 pointwise therein. Go figure.

CINCINNATI 20, Cleveland 13 (+1) - Carson Palmer is in essentially the same situation as Clausen, and the Browns have dropped five of their last six in the City of Satan.

INDIANAPOLIS 23, Jacksonville 20 (+5) - This is the one truly big game this week that will be close. Perhaps the unsung hero in Jacksonville this year has been power back "Sugar" Rashad Jennings, who is adding needed versatility to the running game - and between him and Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jags should be able to keep Peyton Manning on the sidelines long enough to at least allow them to make it 6-0-1 against the spread since 2004 at Indiana, if not necessarily win the game outright.

BALTIMORE 28, New Orleans 16 (+2 1/2) - Be honest: Did you like what you saw of the Saints in cold weather two weeks ago? Well I know I didn't - and the Ravens/ex-Browns have won and covered in four of the last five in the series. Best bet.

TENNESSEE 27, Houston 20 (+1) - I'm sick and tired of shilling for the Texans, who would complete only their fourth sweep of an AFC South rival in 26 opportunities with a win here, and needing to overcome a four-day preparation disadvantage (they played a Monday night game last week, the Titans a Thursday nighter) in order to do it. The loser has the inside track to play Buffalo and Denver on next year's schedule, with the winner most likely drawing Miami and Oakland instead.

ST. LOUIS 20, Kansas City 16 (+1) - One good thing about the Chiefs getting blanked 31-0 last week, despite my having picked them, is that it makes their game this week an easy call whether Matt Cassel returns or not: Since 2007, teams that have been shut out are 6-20 straight up in their next game.

DALLAS 28, Washington 7 (+6) - Not all of this week's blowouts will come in games involving playoff contenders: The Redskins have lost nine in a row on artificial turf (2-7 against the line), and the Cowboys will be anxious to avenge Washington's Sunday night luck-fest over them on opening day.

OAKLAND 31, Denver 17 (+6) - On October 24 it was Raiders 59, Broncos 14, at Denver - and since then the Raiders have gotten better and the Broncos have gotten worse.

Atlanta 24, SEATTLE 20 (+6) - Even if they were to lose here and the Saints win, a victory next Monday night at home over New Orleans, where they won the first meeting in Week 3, gives the Falcons the NFC South crown and very likely home field throughout the playoffs. The stuff that looking ahead is made of?

NEW ENGLAND 47, Green Bay 0 (+9 1/2) - As a "repeat offender" when it comes to concussions (this being his second this year), don't expect Aaron Rodgers to play. And while they're working on the 18-game season, the league needs to tweak its flexible-scheduling procedures so that prime-time train wrecks like this can be evaded in the future.

MONDAY NIGHT

Chicago
23, MINNESOTA 6 (+3) - One week after being forced to play one home game in a division rival's building, the Vikings are forced to play another home game in a division rival's weather - and worse yet in this case, it's the one they're actually playing against.

BEST BETS: PITTSBURGH, BALTIMORE, NEW ENGLAND

Last edited by Anthony; 12-16-2010 at 04:54 AM.
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