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Old 12-09-2010, 03:56 AM   #2
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 14 Picks



Last week: 11-5. Season totals: 91-94-7, Pct. .492. Best Bets: 17-21-1, Pct. .449.

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


THURSDAY NIGHT

TENNESSEE
30 (+2 1/2), Indianapolis 23 - If Rex Ryan's father was coaching the Colts, Curtis Painter would probably be starting for them at quarterback by now - and with Houston always good for three or four wins in December, the Super Bowl Runner-Up Jinx could very well have painted Indy into the AFC South cellar when the 2010 season is all said and done.

SUNDAY

MINNESOTA
24 (+1), N.Y. Giants 21 - And it actually doesn't matter whether Brett Favre plays or not, as Tarvaris Jackson has not only won both of his starts against the Giants, but also sports a gaudy 103.4 passer rating against them. And while a sandwich is usually something one eats, it is a sandwich that is going to devour the Giants, who had a division game last week - and another, huge one, next week.

Miami 27 (+6), N.Y. JETS 14 - No way the Jets recover in five and a half days from that can of whoop-ass that was unloaded on them Monday night - and maybe not even in five and a half weeks.

Cleveland 20 (+1), BUFFALO 13 - Can't see why the Bills are favored over a team they trail by three full games, and has beaten them three in a row. Furthermore, Cleveland is 10-4 against the spread on artificial turf since 2007.

PITTSBURGH 38, Cincinnati 10 (+9) - Big Ben's broken foot? No problem. Big Ben's broken nose? No problem. Covering a number that by all right should be upwards of twice this large? No problem.

Tampa Bay 24, WASHINGTON 14 (+2) - No doubt if Mike Shanahan were a track-and-field coach instead of a football coach he would have tried to turn Usain Bolt into a marathoner. Josh Freeman is money in the bank on the road: 10-1 pointwise lifetime - as is his team when facing sub-.500 opposition: 6-0 both ways on the year.

Atlanta 42, CAROLINA 10 (+7) - Since they have played a tougher schedule than New England, the Falcons would be last in the league in waiver priority if, say, Washington had cut Albert Haynesworth, while the Panthers would top the waiver list. And this line is a mere seven points?

JACKSONVILLE 20, Oakland 17 (+5) - It's just that I like what the Raiders have at both quarterback and running back better than I like what the Jags have at both quarterback and running back. So I'm all over the five points - and only the potential danger of a letdown coming off their first win at San Diego in eight years keeps me from tagging Oakland for the outright win.

Green Bay 33, DETROIT 17 (+7) - One very good NFC team, most likely out of the Eagles, Giants and Packers, is going to miss the playoffs, while one very bad NFC team - whoever winds up winning the woeful NFC West - will definitely make it. But Green Bay hasn't missed beating the Lions in any of their last ten meetings, and has only even managed to miss out on covering the spread twice.

NEW ORLEANS 34, St. Louis 20 (+9) - Hardly anyone is even talking about the defending Super Bowl champs these days. This game figures to go very similar to Seattle's visit to the Superdome three weeks ago: The Rams will hang around for a while, but the Saints will pull away late and cover.

Seattle 17 (+4 1/2), SAN FRANCISCO 10 - When are the oddsmakers going to stop giving the 49ers respect they don't deserve? The 6-6 Seahawks are a better football team than the 4-8 Niners and will prove it Sunday.

CHICAGO 24 (+3), New England 20 - Already holding wins over the Packers and Eagles, the Bears further burnish their credentials in the NFC playoff debate, and hand the home team their fifth straight spread cover in the series.

Denver 23, ARIZONA 0 (+5 1/2) - It could be The John Skelton Hour - times three - here with Derek "The Joker" Anderson questionable and Max Hall on injured reserve. The Broncos have won their last four over the Cardinals by a combined 100 points, the second most one-sided aggregate outcome of the four most recent meetings in any of the NFL's 496 head-to-head matchups - and number one on that list also has the Cards on its business end, their having lost their last four to New England by 106.

Kansas City 27 (+7), SAN DIEGO 21 - Even without Matt Cassel the Chiefs have no business being touchdown underdogs to a team thay lead by two games (and the line came out before Cassel went in for his appendectomy), and San Diego's bubble burst last week when they flat-out choked against Oakland. Which one of the "Big Four" - Bill Cowher, Jon Gruden, Tony Dungy or Brian Billick - will replace the now-doomed Norv Turner on the Chargers' sideline in 2011? (And embattled San Diego general manager A.J. Smith's job may now be lost just the same).

DALLAS 34 (+3), Philadelphia 31 - It wouldn't shock me one bit if the Cowboys were to run the table and finish 8-8 - and it may interest you to know that from 1958 to the present there have been 16 cases where one team has beaten another three times in the same season (as Dallas did to the Eagles last year), and the three-time losers came back to sweep their tormentors the following year in only three of them (and one of those involved replacement players, who manned the 1987 Redskins in one of their two victories over the Giants after Washington lost three times to them in 1986).

MONDAY NIGHT

HOUSTON
24 (+3), Baltimore 17 - It hasn't been for lack of trying, but the Ravens simply haven't been able to supply Joe Flacco with the necessary supporting cast on offense; and the Texans are off-the-charts awesome in the last four weeks of the season - 10-2 straight up and 8-3-1 against the line the last three years - and have won ten consecutive December home games, with a 9-0-1 spread record therein.

BEST BETS: PITTSBURGH, TAMPA BAY, ATLANTA
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