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Old 12-29-2009, 02:21 AM   #1
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Cool NFL Pointspread Contest: Week 17

Sunday, January 3:

BUFFALO 7 1/2 over Indianapolis (1:00 PM ET)
CAROLINA 7 over New Orleans
TAMPA BAY 1 over Atlanta
Pittsburgh 3 over MIAMI
CLEVELAND 3 over Jacksonville
Chicago 3 over DETROIT
MINNESOTA 9 over N.Y. Giants
San Francisco 7 over ST. LOUIS
HOUSTON 7 over New England
DALLAS 3 over Philadelphia
(4:15 PM ET)
DENVER 11 over Kansas City
ARIZONA 3 over Green Bay
SAN DIEGO 6 1/2 over Washington
Baltimore 10 over OAKLAND
Tennessee 5 over SEATTLE
N.Y. JETS 9 over Cincinnati (8:20 PM ET)

Home team in CAPS; tie-breaker games in red.

Don't forget to designate three picks as Best Bets.

For complete contest rules, click here.

Last edited by Anthony; 12-31-2009 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:38 AM   #2
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Cool Anthony's Week 17 Picks

Last week: 14-2. Season totals: 128-107-5, Pct. .544. Best Bets: 24-23-1, Pct. .510.

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


MINNESOTA 23, N.Y. Giants 21 (+9) - A redux of sorts from Week 17 last year, when the Vikings, also at home, needed a win to secure the NFC North while the Giants had already salted away home field throughout the playoffs. Not quite the same thing this time around, but the home team in this series has dropped six straight against the spread, and right now Minnesota can't be trusted laying this kind of wood against anybody. So don't.

BUFFALO 16, Indianapolis 13 (+7 1/2) - Jim Caldwell claims that his first-stringers will play for "about a half." That should be long enough to keep the - to use a politically-correct term - offensively-challenged Bills from covering the spread.

CAROLINA 21, New Orleans 17 (+7) - All of a sudden the heretofore-unstoppable Saints offense is stuck on 17 - but can you count on Matt Moore to score over 24? And perhaps Sean Payton is aware of the fact that no team that has lost their last three regular-season games has ever so much as made it to the Super Bowl, much less won it.

TAMPA BAY 27, Atlanta 20 (+1) - Searching for a suitable theme for my last full-length column of the season, I settled on picking against every team that's confronting any kind of "mental block" - and what better team to start with than the Falcons, who would register back-to-back winning seasons for the first time in their 44-year history by winning.

Pittsburgh 23, MIAMI 14 (+3) - Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley has gone on record as accusing the Patriots and the Bengals of intending to submarine their Week 17 games to keep Pittsburgh out of the playoffs. How lame does Woodley end up looking if his own team doesn't do their part?

Jacksonville 20 (+3), CLEVELAND 13 - How can you expect a team that can't complete two passes in a row to win four games in a row? Plus the Jags have never lost to the present Cleveland franchise on the road (4-0, including 2001's infamous "Beer Bottle Bowl").

DETROIT 23 (+3), Chicago 17 - If you missed Chicago's wedding Monday night, you may want to miss this Sunday's funeral.

San Francisco 16, ST. LOUIS 14 (+7) - This one presents problems, because both teams face mental blocks: The Rams own the NFL's longest-active home losing streak at twelve games, but a 49er win gets them to .500 for the first time since 2002. The deciding factor? You have to go all the way back to December 14, 2006 to find the last time San Fran won on the road by more than a touchdown. That was 24 (road) games ago.

New England 27 (+7), HOUSTON 23 - A first-ever winning season is theirs for the taking if the Texans win (and conceivably their first-ever playoff appearance, if you really believe in cosmic events). So in keeping with this week's motif, I'm forced to predict that they won't - and even if they do, they still won't cover.

Philadelphia 31 (+3), DALLAS 28 - Oh, yes: A win gives the Cowboys their first over-.500 "December" (in the NFL's virtual world, regular-season games played in January are reckoned as "December" games) since 1996 (the year the Baltimore Ravens entered the NFL as an "expansion team," in that same virtual world). And remember that when Dallas won the first meeting 20-16 in Week 9, the Eagles did not - repeat, not - have Brian Westbrook (concussion).

DENVER 20, Kansas City 12 (+11) - At this point in time I wouldn't trust the Broncos giving a number like this any more than I'd trust the Vikings - playoff implications or not.

Green Bay 31 (+3), ARIZONA 21 - So long as the Vikings don't lose their early game outright, this game becomes essentially meaningless for the Cardinals - and we all found out last year how Arizona handles meaningless games. And Green Bay has beaten them in five of the last six.

SAN DIEGO 16, Washington 3 (+6 1/2) - Since teams that have gotten shut out since 2007 are 3-16 straight up (and 7-12 against the spread) in their next game, I'll treat that as a "mental block" and pick against the Redskins.

Baltimore 20, OAKLAND 6 (+10) - And here the mental block is easier to spot, as a Raiders win ends their active league-record streak of six consecutive seasons with eleven or more losses. The coterminous ex-Browns/"expansion" Ravens have also both won and covered in eight of their last nine versus Oakland, and Baltimore needs a win - and nothing else - to snag a playoff spot.

SEATTLE 20 (+5), Tennessee 19 - The Titans have already surmounted their psychological hurdle, in that their seven wins constitute an NFL record for any team that started 0-6 (the '78 Cardinals and '98 Redskins both won six). You never know who will "show up" for a game like this, but Tennessee-nee-Houston is winless is Seattle since 1977, and the Seahawks have prevailed in the last five meetings regardless of where played.

N.Y. JETS 23, Cincinnati 10 (+9) - After Chad Ochocinco keeps his promise to burn Darrelle Revis, he and his fellow starters will head for the safety of the bench, whereupon the Bengals can keep their mental block intact: They haven't beaten the Jets (who like the Ravens control their playoff destiny) on the road since 1981.


Last edited by Anthony; 01-03-2010 at 07:46 AM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 10:27 AM   #3
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Default Pointspread Contest

Indianapolis (BB)
Carolina (BB)
NY Giants
St. Louis
San Diego
Tennessee (BB)
NY Jets

Last edited by Anthony; 01-04-2010 at 09:09 PM.
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Old 01-03-2010, 12:32 PM   #4
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Indianapolis ---BB
New Orleans
San Francisco
New England----BB
Green Bay

Last edited by Anthony; 01-04-2010 at 09:11 PM.
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:14 PM   #5
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Default Week 17 Results

1st 3 xxMURPHxx: 7-8-1 - 600 points
2nd 2 Jeff Boswell: 6-9-1 - 250 points
3rd 1 Anthony: 5-10-1 - 150 points

Final 2009 Standings

Jeff Boswell..............17...........3.........3.........4........3320
Brad O. .....................6............2.........1.........0........1500
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