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Old 12-24-2009, 08:15 AM   #2
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 16 Picks



Last week: 4-8-4. Season totals: 114-105-5, Oct. .520. Best Bets: 22-22-1, Pct. .500.

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


FRIDAY NIGHT

San Diego
28 (+3), TENNESSEE 24 - Let's not get carried away here: Only one of the teams the Titans have beaten has a winning record (Arizona, and that game went down to the absolute last play), and the Chargers have beaten them six in a row; and not for nothing, but let's see how Tennessee's 31st-ranked pass defense fares taking on a quarterback who is playing as well as any in the NFL right now (Philip Rivers).

SUNDAY

N.Y. GIANTS
23, Carolina 6 (+6 1/2) - Jake Delhomme, DeAngelo Williams, and Jonathan Stewart were all held out of practice Wednesday - and the Panthers don't have a whole lot of practice winning or covering either on artificial turf (1-8 straight up and 2-7 against the spread in 2008-09) or in cold weather (1-6 and 2-5 since 2006). The Giants need a win desperately, and it doesn't figure to require any desperate measures on their part to get it.

NEW ENGLAND 24, Jacksonville 10 (+9) - The Jags had their shot last Thursday night, and couldn't pull it off. They have never won in Foxboro (0-5 outright, 1-3-1 against the line) and, like the Panthers (together with whom they entered the league as 1995 expansion teams) they have also struggled of late in the elements (1-3 both ways in cold weather the last two seasons) - and they end the year with a road game at suddenly-focused Cleveland. Add Jack DelRio to the endangered head coaches list after he appeared to be perfectly safe as recently as a month ago.

PITTSBURGH 26, Baltimore 13 (+1) - The Ravens really haven't done much on offense all season except when facing truly porous defenses, and have dropped eight of their last nine in Pittsburgh. But can the Steelers get the beaucoup of outside help they are going to need to get into the playoffs?

ATLANTA 27, Buffalo 10 (+9) - The Bills, who have not won in Atlanta since 1973, will likely be missing both of their two top quarterbacks, while the Falcons got Matt Ryan back last week and may get Michael Turner back here; and although eliminated from the playoff picture, they can secure their first-ever back-to-back winning seasons with victories this week and in the season finale at Tampa Bay.

Houston 26 (+3), MIAMI 24 - Can't take the Dolphins as favorites over a team they have yet to beat in four lifetime attempts.

CLEVELAND 16, Oakland 10 (+3) - Don't the Raiders only beat the good teams?

CINCINNATI 23, Kansas City 14 (+13 1/2) - This one could be tricky, as the Bengals covered for the first time in five games last week in San Diego - and a bizarre trend informs this series, in that these two teams have taken turns beating each other nine consecutive times, and Cincy won the most recent meeting, exactly one year minus one day ago Sunday.

GREEN BAY 35, Seattle 10 (+13 1/2) - The Seahawks have fallen - and no way can they get up at Lambeau, where they have lost four straight and, but for a six-point overtime loss as 6 1/2-point underdogs in a 2003 wild-card playoff game, would have also taken an 0-4 collar against the spread as well.

NEW ORLEANS 24, Tampa Bay 23 (+14 1/2) - The Saints clearly peaked too early - and for want of a half point in last year's opener, the Bucs would have a six-game road covering streak against New Orleans. Definitely take the points - and an outright upset in this spot would come as no great surprise.

ARIZONA 27, St. Louis 3 (+14) - Minnesota is playing on Monday night this week, so this game cannot be retroactively rendered meaningless for the Cards, who have an active six-game winning streak (and 4-1-1 against the line) over a Rams team that has lost their last ten outdoors by an average of exactly three touchdowns per outing (and the roof will almost certainly be open here).

SAN FRANCISCO 35, Detroit 13 (+10 1/2) - Victories here and next week at St. Louis (twelve straight home losses) would give the 49ers their first non-losing season since 2002. A victory here by the Lions would snap their 19-game losing streak on the road and would be their first win in San Fran since 1975. Enough said.

PHILADELPHIA 38, Denver 17 (+7) - But believe it or not this actually represents a modest improvement for the road team in this one, which has lost the last four by an average of 25 and change! And can't see how the shorthanded Broncos secondary has a prayer of stacking up to DeSean Jackson - plus Brian Westbrook is due back.

INDIANAPOLIS 20, N.Y. Jets 16 (+7) - In the first of their three "Siesta Bowls," the Colts got a push against the spread. They won't even manage that in their second - although they should be able to prevent those churlish holdovers from the '72 Dolphins from popping any corks before New Year's Eve.

Dallas 24, WASHINGTON 6 (+6 1/2) - And Rush Limbaugh thought Donovan McNabb was overrated: The excuses that continue to be offered up for Jason Campbell have long since gone beyond the pale! If Jimmy Clausen or Sam Bradford are still on the board when the Redskins make their first-round pick in next spring's draft and Washington doesn't take one of them, I'm marking Daniel Snyder down as the most incompetent owner of a pro sports franchise since Ted Stepien, who once tried to trade away a first-round (NBA) draft pick for a deceased player.

MONDAY NIGHT

CHICAGO
16 (+7 1/2), Minnesota 13 - Since abandoning fabled Metropolitan Stadium in 1982, the burned-out Vikings are 8-29 in "Triple Witching Hour" games, with losses in 17 of their last 20. I don't even want to know what Brad Childress and Brett Favre say to one another after this game.

BEST BETS: PITTSBURGH, PHILADELPHIA, CHICAGO
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