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Old 12-12-2018, 07:02 PM   #1
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 15 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 9-7. Season totals: 94-107-7, Pct. .469. Best Bets: 23-17-2, Pct. .571.

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



THURSDAY NIGHT

KANSAS CITY
28, L.A. Chargers 16 (+3) - A field goal seems like a significant underlay here - especially with the Chiefs having beaten the Chargers nine times in a row (7-2 against the spread) by a combined 247-138, including the first meeting this year by 10 at the StubHub Center in the season opener. At first glance, no Kareem Hunt and no Melvin Gordon would appear to cancel each other out; but the Chargers, who are 2-5 straight up in cold weather since 2015, might find it hard to move the ball in a game that is forecast to have a kickoff-time temperature of 35 with a relative outdoor temperature of 25 - that's wind chill, for those of you in Rio Linda, West Palm Beach and Staten Island. A victory gives the Chiefs both the AFC West title and a first-round bye; if also New England loses on Sunday, Kansas City clinches home field throughout the playoffs in the AFC, while the Chargers, for their part, can clinch a playoff spot (at least the fifth seed in fact) with a win, and even if they lose, any of five different back-door scenarios would get them in.


SATURDAY

Houston 17, N.Y. JETS 13 (+7) - Saturday games in December, a staple in the NFL in the '70s and '80s, make their return here. Had this game been last week, the Texans would have had just about the most massive momentum advantage possible, as they had won nine in a row while the Jets had lost six straight. But both of these streaks ended Sunday, and Houston is 9-15 straight up since 2005 as a visitor in cold weather, and the forecast 42-degree kick-off time temperature and 35-degree wind chill, plus the 80% chance of rain, cannot possibly help a team that plays their home games in a domed stadium whose retractable roof is nearly always closed. Take the points despite the fact that the Texans have clinching threats for both the AFC South title and a playoff spot, both of which involve them winning and getting some help.

DENVER 30, Cleveland 16 (+3 1/2) - The loss - or should I say choke? - in Silicon Valley pretty much took the Broncos out of the playoff conversation, but Cleveland 2.0 has never beaten Denver (0-7 straight up, 2-5 against the spread, outscored 205-108) and is 4-16 straight up in franchise history in the Mountain and Pacific time zones, and the Browns hold little appeal on the road with their 26 losses in their last 27 road games, and 8-18-1 against the spread.


SUNDAY

N.Y. GIANTS
31, Tennessee 24 (+2) - In five games since their Week 9 bye, the Giants have scored 157 points (31.4 per game) after having scored 150 (18.8 per game) in their first eight, and the Titans have had their problems on rugs - 5-15 both ways since 2013 - and Tennessee is also 4-8 straight up and 3-9 against the line since 2012 as a visitor in cold weather, and 42 degrees with a wind chill of 37 is on the agenda for Club Med at kickoff time.

BUFFALO 20, Detroit 14 (P) - Detroit has not won in Buffalo since 1991 and is 10-42 straight up and 18-32-2 against the line since 1994 as a visitor in cold weather (the forecast for kickoff time calls for a temperature of 38 with a wind chill of 33). Josh Allen is improving from week to week, and the Bills defense leads the NFL in both total yards allowed and passing yards allowed.

ATLANTA 27, Arizona 13 (+9) - The value is terrible, I know - but the Cardinals haven't won in Atlanta since 1993, taking an 0-for-8 collar (2-6 against the spread) by a combined 216-96. The Falcons have a lot of frustrations that they will vent this week.

JACKSONVILLE 10, Washington 0 (+6 1/2) - Mark Sanchez is easy to make fun of right now, but his resume includes two Final Four appearances, one as a 5 seed, the other as a 6 seed. By contrast, Josh Johnson is a 32-year-old maiden (0-5 as a starter) but will start for Elizabeth Warren's Team here. Meanwhile, Cody Kessler has scored 15 points in two starts as a Jaguar, and he's 1-9 as a starter. It is really something to say that in this day and age of offense, offense, and more offense, that the under is a lock when the total is 36 - but it is a lock in this game.

CINCINNATI 17, Oakland 10 (+3 1/2) - If you missed Oakland's wedding last week, you may want to miss this week's funeral - and it is almost always a funeral for the Raiders on artificial turf - 2-29 straight up, 11-20 against the spread since 2003! - and in cold weather - 1-13 outright and 4-9-1 pointwise since 2012. Graduation day for Jeff Driskel.

Dallas 34 (+2 1/2), INDIANAPOLIS 17 - I know who it was against, but Amari Cooper still had 10 catches for 217 yards and three touchdowns last week - and Dallas has whipped the Colts three in a row by a combined 101-56, and the mismatch of a Cowboys secondary that ranks sixth in the league in yards allowed per completion vs. an Indianapolis receiving corps that is 29th in yards gained per completion is, in a word, grotesque - and Dallas clinches the NFC East with a win. Best bet.

BALTIMORE 31, Tampa Bay 10 (+8) - Not thrilled with laying this number on a quarterback who has 629 net yards passing and 475 yards rushing, but the Bucs have allowed an almost inconceivable 239 points in six road games this year (39.8 points per game), and Tampa Bay has lost three straight to the Ravens by a combined 92-27 and is 18-46 straight up and 26-38 in franchise history as a visitor in cold weather.

CHICAGO 20, Green Bay 16 (+6 1/2) - Aaron Rodgers is 17-4 straight up lifetime against the Bears and actually has a better spread record against them on the road (8-2) than at Lambeau (7-4). The Bears clinch the NFC North, but those who bet on them clinch a broken leg if they don't pay their bookmakers.

MINNESOTA 23, Miami 20 (+7) - For the Dolphins, this is pretty much a redux of three weeks ago, when they lost by three as a 10-point underdog at Indianapolis (Miami is 8-18 against the line since 2013 as a visitor on the carpet but 15-12 versus the points since 1998 inside NFL domes), and the home team in this series is 7-1 straight up and 5-2-1 against the spread in the last eight meetings. But the Vikings are in too much chaos right now (they just fired their offensive coordinator, John DeFillippo) to be trusted laying a touchdown to a team they trail by a half-game in the standings so take the points.

Seattle 24, SAN FRANCISCO 13 (+6 1/2) - With a win, which would be their 11th straight over the 49ers, the Seahawks clinch a wild card (also the fifth seed if the Vikings lose) - and what could possibly have changed since their 43-16 blowout of San Francisco at home just two weeks ago?

New England 34, PITTSBURGH 21 (+1) - Who thought that Mike Tomlin would be on the hot seat before this season started? Yet that's where squarely finds himself now - and that seat will be even hotter after the Steelers lose the AFC North lead with their sixth straight loss (and non-cover) to the Patriots (who have outscored Pittsburgh 173-109 during their five-game winning streak over Pittsburgh; last year's win even came the week after New England lost at Miami).

L.A. RAMS 52, Philadelphia 10 (+9 1/2) - It is temptingly romantic to predict that Nick Foles, returning to the scene of the crime, where Carson Wentz suffered his season-ending knee injury in Week 14 of last season, whereupon Foles took over and led the Eagles to their first-ever Super Bowl championship, will repeat that magic again this year - but Jared Goff's mother told him that if he behaved there would be days like this. Ditto for the moms of Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, and Robert Woods (all of whom already have more than a thousand yards rushing or receiving, as applicable) - which is why the anonymous resident fantasy genius at NFL Network, who presumably gets paid for his work, has Goff and Cooks on his "Start Em" list and Josh Adams and Alshon Jeffrey on his "Sit Em" list. This figures to be a carbon copy (I'm showing my age, I know!) of Philadelphia's 48-7 loss at New Orleans in Week 11, give or take a few points in either direction.


MONDAY NIGHT

New Orleans
31, CAROLINA 20 (+6 1/2) - The Saints, who can clinch a first-round bye with a win or a Chicago loss, beat the Panthers three times last year (the third time in an NFC wild card game) by a combined 96-60, and since 2015 New Orleans is 12-7 against the spread on grass and 15-6 against the spread outdoors.


BEST BETS: KANSAS CITY, DALLAS, L.A. RAMS
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