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Old 12-23-2010, 02:33 AM   #3
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 16 Picks



Last week: 9-7. Season totals: 105-111-8, Pct. .487. Best Bets: 20-24-1, Pct. .456.

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


THURSDAY NIGHT

PITTSBURGH
23, Carolina 0 (+13) - Pittsburgh's 220 points allowed is tied (with Green Bay) for the fewest in the league, while Carolina's 183 points scored is the fewest in the league by a whopping eight touchdowns (Miami has 239). If you can find a service that offers odds on a shutout, take them up on it.

SATURDAY NIGHT

Dallas 24, ARIZONA 21 (+6) - You never know who's going to "show up" for a game like this - and as admirably as he has played since Tony Romo broke his collarbone (and on Tuesday was placed on injured reserve, formally ending his season), Jon Kitna is still a backup quarterback, and laying this kind of wood on the road with a backup quarterback holds little appeal. Take the points.

SUNDAY

N.Y. Jets
20 (+1), CHICAGO 14 - Last week's first-ever win in Pittsburgh made the Jets 11-2 in their last 13 on the road dating back to last December, and a team still trying to win their way into the playoffs almost always has a competitive edge over one that's already in.

N.Y. Giants 24 (+3), GREEN BAY 20 - A lot of people are figuring "pity party" for the Giants, but I'm not; plus their running game - so important at this stage of the season - is vastly superior to Green Bay's, and the home team in this one has dropped the last five, both ways.

New England 31, BUFFALO 17 (+8) - Sunday night's steep regression on defense by the Patriots is troubling, and could be a portent of things to come, in the playoffs - but teams winning but not covering in the first game against a division rival have covered in three of the four rematches so far this year, and in the lone loss, the team's starting quarterback was forced out of the game due to an early concussion (Aaron Rodgers two weeks ago). Many New England starters can earn a "double bye" with a win here, and they should get it.

JACKSONVILLE 27, Washington 24 (+6 1/2) - Rex Grossman: The long-term answer at quarterback for the Redskins? Nah ... but take the points anyway.

Detroit 20 (+3 1/2), MIAMI 16 - The last time the Lions snapped an NFL-record road losing streak (on opening day of 2004), they won their next two on the road after that. There has actually been some vague speculation about Tony Sparano's job security - but it is someone else in Miami who really needs to go, and that's Chad Henne: They went out and got him Brandon Marshall to throw to, and he still flopped - miserably.

Baltimore 27, CLEVELAND 10 (+3) - Like New England, the Ravens beat the Browns in the first meeting, but didn't cover - and Baltimore at this price is a bigger bargain than you're liable to find at any last-minute Christmas sale.

ST. LOUIS 24, San Francisco 17 (+1) - And the 49ers also won the first meeting against the Rams - 23-20 in overtime in Week 10 - but didn't cover; but they had no business being six-point favorites that day, and have no business being only one-point underdogs in this spot.

KANSAS CITY 28, Tennessee 14 (+5) - The Chiefs, who are unbeaten at home this year, can go from last to first in the AFC West - and you thought that only teams in the NFC South ever did that! - if they can remain unbeaten at home this week and next. From Halloween onward, the Titans and Texans have beaten only one another.

San Diego 33, CINCINNATI 16 (+7) - Can't see the Bengals really caring about this game after ending their ten-game losing streak last week, and losing T.O., likely for good, while doing it. The Chargers have won their last three in the City of Satan by an average of exactly three TDs per outing (117-54), and are 8-3 straight up and 7-4 against the line in their last eleven games in cold weather.

DENVER 31 (+3), Houston 13 - These two teams have met twice previously, and the home team won both games 31-13! And if the Texans were playing at Seton Hall this week the score would still be 31-13.

Indianapolis 27, OAKLAND 20 (+3) - If the Chiefs do win their early game, the Raiders are eliminated from playoff contention; and I'm guessing that the solid veteran core the Colts have in their locker room will enable them to stave off the threat of a letdown coming off last week's do-or-die win over Jacksonville.

TAMPA BAY 20, Seattle 10 (+6) - Another late game whose meaning, for one team but not the other, can be affected by the result of an early game: If the Rams win, it renders this one meaningless for the Seahawks, the NFC West then coming down to next week's matchup between the two at Seattle; but the Bucs will need to win to keep their admittedly-quixotic playoff hopes alive no matter what happens early on.

PHILADELPHIA 27, Minnesota 7 (+14) - Michael Vick, with a major assist from DeSean Jackson, continues to light it up. But the Eagle defense could use a hug right now - 373 yards and 28 points per game given up in their last four. Well wouldn't you know, as if on cue, along comes a dome team in a cold-weather night game, which wasn't even originally scheduled to be such, down to their third-string, rookie quarterback, who was actually drafted, in the sixth round, as a wide receiver.

MONDAY NIGHT

ATLANTA
31, New Orleans 23 (+2) - Offering Matt Ryan at home at a number like this is tantamount to giving free money away - and the Saints haven't beaten a team with a winning record in nearly two months.

BEST BETS: BALTIMORE, ST. LOUIS, ATLANTA

Last edited by Anthony; 12-24-2010 at 03:50 AM.
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