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Old 11-26-2014, 04:09 AM   #1
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 13 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 6-8-1. Season totals: 86-87-3, Pct. .497. Best Bets: 17-19, Pct. .472.

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



THANKSGIVING DAY

DETROIT
24, Chicago 14 (+6 1/2) - The injuries to Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush, though not serious, are destabilizing the Lions offense - and this has clearly showed in their last two games, Detroit not scoring a touchdown in either; but those two games were both on the road, and against the the conferences' top playoff seeds if the season ended today, and favorites are 11-4-1 against the spread in Thanksgiving morning/afternoon games since 2006.

DALLAS 35, Philadelphia 24 (+3) - At this number, there is little reason to go against Tony Romo and his 15-1 straight-up record lifetime in November, and the Eagles are 1-4-1 against the line indoors since 2012 (and 1-5 for all but opening-line bettors as Philadelphia opened as a 2-point favorite in last year's season finale which the Eagles won by 2, but the line began moving upward immediately once it became increasingly clear that Romo wasn't going to play). But the tie-breaker permutations make it doubtful that Dallas can win the NFC East without sweeping the Eagles, who, unlike last year, get the second meeting at home, on December 14th.

SAN FRANCISCO 13, Seattle 10 (+1) - Both offenses are struggling, and the road team in this series has really, really been struggling for a long time, as in losing ten of the last eleven. The loser of this game is likely to be one of two NFC teams who will miss the playoffs while finishing several games ahead of the NFC South "champion."


SUNDAY

N.Y. Giants
20, JACKSONVILLE 13 (+2) - The home team has won all five of the previous meetings and the Giants have lost six straight, but with the six losses coming to teams with a combined 45-21 record while their next four opponents, starting with this game, are 10-34 among them. So the planets could be aligned for a late-season rally to save Tom Coughlin's job for the second year in a row.

BUFFALO 17, Cleveland 14 (+2) - Brian Hoyer has just received the dreaded "vote of confidence" from head coach Mike Pettine and the Browns have dropped 14 consecutive outdoor, artificial-turf games, last winning such a game on October 11, 2009 - albeit at Buffalo, interestingly enough. Maybe it comes down to what would be more shocking: The Bills at 7-5 after 12 games, or the Browns at 8-4.

PITTSBURGH 31, New Orleans 20 (+4) - You can't pick any NFC South team in an out-of-division game unless there is a strong overriding reason for doing so - and not only isn't there such a reason in this spot, but there are multiple factors that point in the opposite direction: The Steelers have won six in a row coming off a bye, the home team in the series has won the last four games, and New Orleans is 8-13 straight up and 7-13-1 against the line since 1997 as a visitor in cold weather, and 5-10 straight up and 5-9-1 against the line since 1996 in "Triple Witching Hour" games, which arise when a domed-stadium team has to play outdoors, on natural grass, and in cold weather, all in the same game (this is the first such game for any indoor team this year).

Cincinnati 17, TAMPA BAY 10 (+3) - After snapping a five-game losing streak against the Texans, the Bengals have a chance to put pay to their six-game losing streak versus the Bucs and complete a sweep of their three-game road trip to stay atop a division where teams are going from first to last and back again just about every week.

INDIANAPOLIS 27, Washington 14 (+10) - The situation in Washington has deteriorated into a complete mess, from which Daniel Snyder would be well advised to cut bait by dumping the obviously over-his-head Jay Gruden. It's hard to go against Andrew Luck when he's taking on a team with a losing record - and as if it really matters, The Team That Dares Not Speak Its Name is 1-5 straight up and 2-4 against the spread in 2013-14 as a visitor on the carpet, and 3-12 outright and 6-9 pointwise inside NFL domes since 2009.

BALTIMORE 31, San Diego 17 (+5 1/2) - The last-place team in the AFC North might finish four games ahead of the first-place team in the NFC South, and like the idea that the Ravens are finally getting the Chargers at home (where they have won their last four by a combined 114-30) after the last four meetings have all been at San Diego.

ST. LOUIS 16, Oakland 13 (+7) - Break up the Raiders! Well, maybe not - but can't lay this kind of wood on a team with no quarterback, and Oakland has actually covered five in a row indoors and is 6-1 against the spread (and 0-7 straight up!) on all carpets over the past two seasons.

MINNESOTA 21, Carolina 14 (+2 1/2) - Thanks to that tie they have, and looking at the NFC South's remaining schedules, the Panthers probably offer the best hope of the division being won by a team without double-digit losses - but they are 6-20-1 straight up and 9-18 against the spread on artificial turf since 2008, and also 4-10 straight up and 6-8 versus the points in cold weather (remember that the Vikings are playing outdoors at home this season and next) since 2006.

HOUSTON 20, Tennessee 7 (+6 1/2) - It turned out to be two and done for Ryan Mallett, whose torn pectoral muscle has ended his season - but even with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback the Texans easily won in Nashville in Week 8. A nationally-televised game - Tennessee at Jacksonville on Thursday night in Week 16, which can be plausibly dubbed "The Tank Bowl" - could decide the top pick in the 2015 draft.

ATLANTA 23, Arizona 17 (+1) - When New York Yankees shortstop Bucky Dent (whose real first name is Russell, by the way) held out for more money back in 1979, one New York sportswriter penned an article with the emphatic title, "Bucky's Stats Don't Make A Dent." Well Drew Stanton's stats in relief of the injured Carson Palmer don't make much of a dent either - 53.6% completions and a 79.0 passer rating - and the Cardinals haven't won in Atlanta since 1993 (six straight losses), and the home team in the series has won eleven of the last twelve. So here there is a valid reason to go with an NFC South team in a game outside the division.

GREEN BAY 45, New England 24 (+3 1/2) - So far this year no one has so much as slowed down, let alone stopped, Aaron Rodgers at Lambeau - and the Patriots are 1-5 straight up on natural grass this year and last combined, compared with 21-2 on artificial turf, including 6-2 on the road, and have a current non-cover streak of eight games on grass. Don't let the cute three-and-a-half point number deter you. The Packers are the best bet of the week.

Denver 34 (+1), KANSAS CITY 17 - Where the Patriots can more than hold their own on the road so long as the game is on artificial turf, the Broncos can do that and then some on the road so long as the game is on natural grass: Denver has won 13 consecutive road games on grass, with a 12-1 spread record therein, has won five in a row over the Chiefs, and is 4-1 both ways in the last five at Arrowhead. And do you think for one minute that the Broncos want to go down as the team that lost to the team that lost to Oakland?


MONDAY NIGHT

Miami
23, N.Y. JETS 10 (+5 1/2) - It is pretty clear that Rex Ryan and John Idzik are both gonzo within days - if not, indeed, hours - after the Jets' season comes to its merciful close in just over a month, and the Dolphins, who must win here to maintain any realistic shot at the playoffs, have won and covered in five of their last six against them on the road.


BEST BETS: PITTSBURGH, GREEN BAY, DENVER
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