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Old 12-06-2018, 03:48 PM   #1
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Cool Anthony's Week 14 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 6-10. Season totals: 85-100-7, Pct. .461. Best Bets: 21-16-2, Pct. .564.

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


13, Jacksonville 6 (+4) - After there having been no games that featured a team that lost the first meeting to a division rival at home and now has to face that same rival on the road last week (such teams are 1-7 straight up in said rematches this year), this week's schedule has six such games, this being the first (the Titans won 9-6 at Jacksonville in Week 3) - and can't see Cody Kessler winning two in a row after losing his first eight.


N.Y. Giants
17, WASHINGTON 3 (+4) - This is the second such game (Elizabeth Warren's Team won 20-13 at Club Med in Week 8), but we're going against that trend here: After Colt McCoy suffered a season-ending broken leg Monday night, Mark Sanchez came on to complete 13 of 21 for 100 yards and an interception for a 53.7 passer rating (McCoy had gone 4 of 4 for 50 yards and a 118.7 rating), and despite being five years older, Eli Manning clearly has a lot more left in the tank than Sanchez at this point.

BUFFALO 27, N.Y. Jets 7 (+4) - The Bills plastered the Jets 41-10 in Jersey in Week 10, and the Jets are 1-5 both ways against the Bills on the road since 2012 (the 2014 game had to be moved to Detroit because of a blizzard) - and Sam Darnold is a valuable investment which should not be endangered when all he could possible secure for the Jets is a lower draft choice next spring and a tougher schedule next fall. Does the saga of Ted Marchibroda and Bert Jones mean anything to the Johnsons? If it does, they will shut Darnold down for the rest of the season.

New Orleans 31, TAMPA BAY 28 (+8) - The Saints may have peaked too early (they also lost the first meeting to Tampa Bay at home in Week 1, but let's not dwell on the ridiculous) and Famous Jameis has clearly reasserted his dominance atop the Bucs' QB depth chart, so take the points even though doing so goes against the incentive theory too (PlayoffStatus.com, the go-to site in these matters, gives Tampa Bay a 3% chance of getting a wild card), while either a win or a Carolina loss gives the Saints the NFC South title; if they lose and the Panthers win, they clinch at least a wild card if Minnesota, Philadelphia and Washington all lose.

New England 24, MIAMI 20 (+9) - The Pigeon-Toed Orange Bowl has been a tough place for the Patriots to win a football game recently (they have won just two of their last six there) and an even tougher place for them to cover a point spread (one of six). A record 10th consecutive division title (the next longest streak is seven, by the Rams from 1973 through 1979) awaits them with a win (or for that matter even a tie) here, but take the Dolphins, who are still very much alive for a wild card, with the points.

CLEVELAND 31 (+1), Carolina 10 - The wheels have totally come off in Carolina, and the Panthers are a bad bet as favorites in cold weather in which they're 7-12 straight up since 2006 - and a 29-degree wind chill is forecast for Cleveland at kickoff time. Snapping their NFL-record seven-year streak of last-place finishes would be huge for the Browns.

GREEN BAY 23, Atlanta 21 (+4 1/2) - The money-burning Packers are 4-11 against the spread dating back to Week 15 of last year - and while the home team in this series has won the last five meetings, it is only 2-3 against the spread, and while the Falcons are 8-13-1 straight up in cold weather since 1998, they are 13-9 against the spread in those 22 games, including one win and four covers in four games at Lambeau. Take the points.

KANSAS CITY 21, Baltimore 16 (+7 1/2) - Chiefs are in the playoffs either with a win or losses by the Dolphins, Colts and Titans - but if the lowly Raiders could run them to seven points in their first game in the post-Kareem Hunt era, then surely the league-leading Ravens defense can cover this number. Also note that the home team is 1-7 straight up and 2-6 against the spread in this series since the Ravens moved from Cleveland in 1996.

HOUSTON 31, Indianapolis 17 (+5 1/2) - Since 2007, teams getting shut out are 19-34 straight up in their next game, and the Colts lost to the Texans at home in Week 4. And letting Cody Kessler break his maiden at their expense? A Houston win and a Tennessee loss gives the Texans their third AFC South crown in four years.

L.A. CHARGERS 23, Cincinnati 10 (+14 1/2) - As a team that has not made the playoffs since 2013 and only once in this decade (with a 9-7 record), the Chargers, who upset the Steelers Sunday night with the help of the officials and travel to Kansas City next Thursday night, are more vulnerable to trap games than most teams - and the Bengals have covered their last four on the road against the Chargers, who clinch a playoff spot with a win plus losses by the Dolphins, Colts, Titans and Broncos (don't you just love this time of year?). Take the points - although Cincinnati's quarterback situation pushes this game into rock-paper-scissors territory.

Denver 24, SAN FRANCISCO 13 (+5 1/2) - The Broncos must win here and next week at home against Cleveland to have any shot at a wild card, as their last two games are at the Chiefs, and against the Chargers at home. 2019 is a bad year to have the top draft pick, since there is no obvious franchise quarterback who might attract enticing offers to the team who holds that pick to trade down - and that team figures to be the 49ers unless either they win this one or beat the Seahawks, Bears, or Rams.

DALLAS 30, Philadelphia 0 (+4) - The week's last game in which a team has to go on the road and play a team they already lost to at home (that happened four weeks ago when Dallas came out of Lincoln Financial Field with a win). Dig Doug is 4-7 outright and 3-8 pointwise on rugs, and since 2012 the Eagles are 5-9 straight up and 4-9-1 against the line inside NFL domes. The Eagles have only one pure road win this year (their Week 8 win over the Jaguars was in London - not Jacksonville), and what was it that back-up tight end of theirs said, to the effect that the Cowboys "always choke"? Hey schmuck, who has five rings and who has only one? This one will get ugly mighty fast.

ARIZONA 27 (+1 1/2), Detroit 17 - The Cardinals broke a 69-year drought at Green Bay/Milwaukee last week, and this week the drought shoe is on the other foot, in that the Lions have not won or covered in the desert since 1993 - 0-8 by a combined 216-145. Detroit's December woes (23-51 straight up since 2001) and grass woes (22-63 straight up since that same year) continue.

OAKLAND 24 (+11 1/2), Pittsburgh 23 - Shocker of the year. The Steelers have not won in Oakland since 1995, losing three out of three outright as favorites. Big balloons!

L.A. Rams 34, CHICAGO 24 (+4) - The last time the Bears played any meaningful games in December was in 2013, and they choked, and choked badly, losing 54-11 to Chip Kelly's Eagles in Week 16 before ending the year with a loss at home to the Packers with the NFC North title on the line - so maybe we shouldn't have been so surprised by last week's loss to the Giants. Rams clinch a first-round bye with a win.


27, Minnesota 20 (+3 1/2) - That stinkin' three and a half, I know - but the Seahawks have beaten the Vikings four in a row and Minnesota's offense has been struggling since hanging up 37 on the Jets seven weeks ago - and a trip to the great outdoors, where the Vikings are 30-77-2 straight up and 44-61-4 against the spread since 2001, is not likely to wake it up.

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