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Old 11-22-2016, 12:41 PM   #1
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Cool Anthony's Week 12 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 9-4-1. Season totals: 72-70-4, Pct. .507. Best Bets: 15-14-1, Pct. .517.

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


27, Minnesota 20 (+2 1/2) - If the reliable 20-year-old angle that teams who win first meeting on the road over a division rival also win the second meeting at home holds up, chances are the Lions will cover this number. And will Sam Bradford ever lead a team to a .500 or better season?

DALLAS 30, Washington 21 (+7) - True, The Team That Dares Not Speak Its Name is 8-1 against the line in God's Country since 2007. But besides winning nine in a row, the Cowboys have also covered nine in a row, including scoring a touchdown in overtime to cover a 4 1/2-point spread and not only winning, but also covering, last week at home against a team they hadn't beaten at home in 31 years. They're simply too good to go against.

Pittsburgh 28, INDIANAPOLIS 23 (+2 1/2) - The Colts are coming off their best defensive effort of the season, but the Steelers have survived the Big Ben injury scare in reasonably good shape, at least so far as winning the wretched AFC North is concerned, and this is the same conceptually favorite-friendly price as the Detroit game.


N.Y. Giants 17, CLEVELAND 13 (+7) - The Giants haven't blown anybody out yet this year, but the home team in this series has, in each of the last three meetings, outscoring the visitors 103-51 and winning all three by 13 points or more. Take the points.

New England 27, N.Y. JETS 21 (+9) - It's back to Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback for the Jets, who have covered six in a row versus the Patriots, who look like they are now running on fumes, opening up the very real possibility of an Oakland-Dallas Super Bowl that would be the first time since 1981 that two sub-.500 teams from the previous season have appeared in the game. Another take.

BUFFALO 21, Jacksonville 16 (+7) - It makes no sense whatsoever, but the Jaguars are 6-0 against the spread in cold weather since 2013 - and you want to lay this kind of wood on an offense that is last in the entire league in passing and may be without their leading rusher (LeSean McCoy, thumb, questionable)?

ATLANTA 35, Arizona 13 (+4 1/2) - The week's best bet. For the second week in a row the Cardinals travel to a venue at which they haven't won in a long time, since 1993 in this case, and their 5-11 spread record in fatigue games is the NFL's worst on a percentage basis; they are also 4-12 straight up in these games, a mark worsted only by Houston's 3-13. The home team in this one has won 12 of the last 13 all told.

MIAMI 24, San Francisco 20 (+7) - The Dolphins have only win by more than this number all season - and that was in their Week 6 home game against Pittsburgh, during which Ben Roethlisberger suffered a serious knee injury that he played through. An uncharacteristically underdog-friendly week (or day, in any event) this late in the year.

Cincinnati 23 (+3), BALTIMORE 17 - The 3-6-1 Bengals aren't out of it in the AFC North, in that their remaining schedule includes a home game against the Steelers, and two games vs. the Ravens, who they have beaten five times in a row, with a 4-0-1 spread record therein. The down beat goes on for favorites.

CHICAGO 17 (+2), Tennessee 7 - And here too: Actually give points - even two points - on the The Team That Should Be Known As The Nashville Oilers in cold weather when they're 0-6 both ways in cold weather since 2012 and have been outscored 233-90? No thanks.

NEW ORLEANS 20, Los Angeles 16 (+7) - Both teams are 4-6 - so why are the Saints favored by a touchdown? And New Orleans is another one of these teams that never blows anybody away, with only one 2016 win by more than five points. After feasting on Turkey Day, favorite bettors shall have scarcity, as Dante put it, on Sunday - at least Sunday afternoon anyway.

HOUSTON 27, San Diego 10 (+1) - One team is 6-4 and in first place in their division. The other team is 4-6 and in last place in their division. Yet the former, playing at home, is favored by only one point? Yes, it is the Texans in a fatigue game (and for the second week in a row) - but it is at home, where they are 5-0 straight up and a half-point shy of also being 5-0 against the spread. And the Chargers, who have non-covered five in a row coming off a bye, may have had the wind taken out of their sails by a defeat they have recently suffered off the field - the Election Day defeat of a ballot initiative that would have funded the construction of a new stadium for them in San Diego, rekindling the same destabilizing relocation rumors that contributed mightily to their late-season skid of a year ago.

Seattle 20, TAMPA BAY 13 (+4 1/2) - The Seahawks are peaking at the right time, especially on defense, setting themselves up as the only team that might derail Jerry Jones' bid to stay in his home state for the Super Bowl. And that defense, which intercepted Carson Wentz twice last week, should get some quality pick opportunities facing Jameis Winston, who is always good for an errant throw or two.

OAKLAND 30, Carolina 28 (+4) - Oakland is the NFL's feel-good story for this year, but the Panthers hold a huge class edge in this matchup and are getting four points - which means that if the Raiders win by a field goal or less, as they have already done three times this year (plus they have a fourth win with a TD in overtime), Carolina covers.

DENVER 26, Kansas City 14 (+3 1/2) - You simply don't mess with the Broncos coming off the bye - ever! Not only is their 21-6 record both ways the entire NFL's best, both ways, but they also have the league's longest-active post-bye winning streak, both ways - a pair of sixes. Fat Boy really screwed the pooch last week, losing to Tampa Bay at home. Just goes to show why his trophy case is empty - and is liable to remain so, in perpetuity.


28, Green Bay 21 (+3) - After cigarette commercials were banned from TV and radio 45 years ago, the tobacco companies tried to get cute, packaging cigarettes in brown paper and selling them as "little cigars." One brand of these was Backwoods Smokes, whose tag line was "How can anything that looks so wild taste so mild?" In a similar vein, how can any receiving corps that is so slow drop so many passes - as Philadelphia's receivers are, and do? But at least the most egregious offender, Nelson Agholor, has at last been benched (the only reason he wasn't cut is that to do so would cause the front office to incur a $7 million salary cap penalty - and we all know how important winning another salary cap ring is to Jeffrey Lurie!); and, slow receivers who drop passes or not, the Eagles are 4-0 both ways at home under Dig Doug, all of them by multiple-score margins, and right now Green Bay's defense can't stop anybody, allowing 421 yards and 38 points per game in the last four.


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