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Old 12-18-2019, 10:36 AM   #1
Anthony
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Cool Anthony's Week 16 NFL Pointspread Picks

Last week: 9-7. Season totals: 105-115-4, Pct. .478. Best Bets: 22-22-1, Pct. .500.

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



SATURDAY

Houston
33, TAMPA BAY 27 (P) - Could Jameis Winston become the Phil Niekro of the NFL? In 1979, Niekro was a 20-game winner, but also a 20-game loser, at 21-20 leading the National League in the former and the majors in the latter - the most recent such "20/20" pitcher in baseball. Winston, who took over the passing-yards lead from Dak Prescott by 239 yards last week, has 24 interceptions; Philip Rivers is second with 18. A win here gives the Texans the AFC South title.

NEW ENGLAND 10, Buffalo 7 (+6) - Because of the common-opponents tie-breaker, the Bills must win both here and next week against the Jets at home, while the Patriots must lose both here and next week against the Dolphins at home, for Buffalo to win the AFC East. But Tom Brady, who will not be in the Pro Bowl this year for the first time since 2006 (not counting the 2008 season, which he missed all but in its entirety), once invincible in December, is just 4-4 straight up and 3-5 against the spread in the last two Decembers, and with two top 5 defenses and two bottom-half offenses knocking heads, points figure to be at a premium - and when this is the case, the points tend to be worth taking.

SAN FRANCISCO 31, L.A. Rams 14 (+6 1/2) - Precious little guts shown by either team last week, but what the Rams pulled was really unforgivable. The 49ers already hold a 20-7 victory downstate in Week 6 - and this ain't Hollywood Squares: The Vikings don't have to earn it themselves - and will clinch a playoff berth if the Rams lose.


SUNDAY

Pittsburgh
20, N.Y. JETS 13 (+3) - The Steelers control their own destiny - win here and next week against a Baltimore team that very likely won't have anything to play for, and the last AFC wild card spot is theirs. If the Jets can bring Mike McCarthy, a proven winner, on board, they should - and fire Adam Gase, a proven loser.

WASHINGTON 24, N.Y. Giants 20 (+2) - The Giants should be pursuing McCarthy too - and fire Pat Shurmur, who is even worse than Gase. If the Giants win they clinch third place in the NFC East, while a win by Elizabeth Warren's Team requires them to either win their finale or have the Giants lose.

ATLANTA 27, Jacksonville 24 (+7) - Besides the Jags' record, Doug Marrone deserves a pink slip for destroying Nick Foles' confidence. But the inconsistent Falcons are not worth the risk despite Jacksonville's 5-22 straight-up record since 2013 as a visitor on the carpet and six-game losing streak inside NFL domes.

MIAMI 31, Cincinnati 17 (+1) - Cincinnati's 12th consecutive loss on natural grass sends Joe Burrow to the City of Satan in four months.

Baltimore 35, CLEVELAND 20 (+9) - The only thing that might slow down the Baltimore juggernaut is a meaningless game - which the Ravens will have next week if they win this week.

INDIANAPOLIS 17, Carolina 14 (+6) - At least the Colts, eliminated from playoff contention by Monday night's loss, now know that they have to go quarterback in the first round of the 2020 draft. Carolina's record on rugs and in domes has been pretty awful for the longest time, but this line is too high considering that both teams are out of it so take the points.

New Orleans 28, TENNESSEE 17 (+1) - Even a 13-3 record might not be good enough to procure the Saints a first-round bye, and a 12-4 record almost certainly won't. But they have had few problems of late either on grass (15-9 against the spread since 2015) or outdoors (8-2 against the spread in 2018-19). Titans could be headed for their fourth consecutive 9-7 season.

DENVER 35, Detroit 13 (+7) - If you subscribe to the "Cold Weather Theory" - bet against warm-weather and domed-stadium teams on the road at northern, outdoor sites in November and December - are you ever cleaning up: Those teams are 2-16 straight up and 5-13 against the spread in 2019, and this is another "Triple Witching Hour" game (a dome team playing on grass, outdoors, and in cold weather, all in the same game) for the Lions this season (they lost 19-16 as two-point favorites at Washington in Week 12). And Detroit at home is not Kansas City on the road - a fact that Drew Lock will find out real early.

L.A. CHARGERS 23, Oakland 20 (+6) - Another game between two non-contenders in which laying this kind of wood simply doesn't make any sense. This is the last game for the Chargers at their temporary, undersized soccer field near Long Beach; next year they and the Rams will be playing in a new stadium at the site of the old Hollywood Park racetrack, which will be both indoors and have artificial turf.

Dallas 42, PHILADELPHIA 14 (+2) - Who else noticed that the roof at Jerry World was left open for the last three consecutive home games - the first time in the stadium's 11-year history that this has happened? It was obviously done to get the Cowboys accustomed to playing outdoors - and this situation is reminiscent of a 1982 game between the then-Baltimore Colts, who had finished 2-14 in 1981, and the Bengals, who had lost Super Bowl XVI. When asked to assess his team's chances in the upcoming game, Colts head coach Frank Kush told a determinedly naive Baltimore sports writer: "They outman us. Who are you trying to kid?" America's Team easily wins their fifth straight in the series, and the NFC East title.

SEATTLE 17, Arizona 13 (+10) - The Seahawks are playoff bound and solid in most areas, but lack the firepower to cover big spreads. Take the points.

Kansas City 30, CHICAGO 17 (+5 1/2) - Fat Boy has all the luck - at least in the regular season anyway: With the Bears eliminated after losing to Aaron Rodgers (again!) last week, the Chiefs should have an easy time of it. Stat of the week: Kansas City is averaging 12.58 yards per completion, which is fourth in the league, while Chicago is averaging 9.81 yards per completion - last in the league.


MONDAY NIGHT

Green Bay
27 (+4), MINNESOTA 21 - Who knows? Maybe Kirk Cousins won't choke if he's already in the playoffs, which he will be if the Rams lose Saturday. But it's still a prime-time game against an over-.500 team.


BEST BETS: MIAMI, DENVER, DALLAS

Last edited by Anthony; 12-18-2019 at 10:48 AM.
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