A 3-0-1 showing in Best Picks has me at 60% for the year in that category (24-16-2), although my week overall was a wash (7-7-2), leaving me at 88-80-6 for the season.
With three Thanksgiving games, that leaves a short slate of Sunday contests (the “leftovers?”), but includes some games ANY football fan will want to see. I’m just hoping my recent woes in Thursday games don’t leave me 0-3 heading into the weekend.
Hit the title/continue reading to check out the picks for the twelfth week of the NFL…
(All lines as of 11/22/12 @10:00 a.m. – line credit posted per game)
Oakland (+7) @Cincinnati (Sheridan’s)
This game is a real conundrum. The Raiders’ defense is sad. They’re also traveling east for an early game, a typically bad spot. But to take the Bengals, you have to trust them to cover a pretty big number. I would love the Bengals giving a few points less. I wouldn’t like the Raiders no matter what. I’ll take Cincinnati through clenched teeth here, but it’s too many points to like the game very much.
Cincinnati Bengals 28 Oakland Raiders 20
Pittsburgh (-1) @Cleveland (Las Vegas Hilton)
Here’s another brutal game. The Steelers have the Browns sandwiched in between two games with arch-rival Baltimore, although the Steelers desperately need this game, and figure to be able to get up for a rivalry game in Cleveland even though the Browns are struggling. Cleveland has been playing very tough the last few weeks, and bad teams that continue to show up tend to play hard until they finally get a win. Pittsburgh has Charlie Batch under center, and if he gets hurt they may just eschew the quarterback position altogether. I’m taking the Steelers on the theory that their defense will play out of their minds this week, figuring that they have to.
Pittsburgh Steelers 13 Cleveland Browns 10
Buffalo (+3) @Indianapolis (Sheridan’s)
The Colts are clearly thinking playoffs at this point, and they can bet there if they just go out and win the games they’re supposed to win. Playing a shaky Buffalo team at home qualifies as one of those. Neither of these defenses is any good at all, and I expect plenty of yardage gained in this game. I’d look at the over, but I don’t trust these two offenses to convert yardage into 7 points every time down. No matter, the Colts should be able to win and cover here against a BIlls team that has no answers for their stop unit.
Indianapolis Colts 28 Buffalo Bills 24
Denver (-10) @Kansas City (Sheridan’s)
This one’s really brutal. You either to have give double digit points on the road at a notoriously tough stadium in a division rivalry game, or you have to take the Kansas City Chiefs. I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid. The Broncos are one of the NFL’s hottest teams right now, and while I wouldn’t dip my toe into the AFC West rivalry waters, I’d take the Broncos every time if I had to choose.
Denver Broncos 34 Kansas City Chiefs 20
Minnesota (+5.5) @Chicago (International Business Times)
I couldn’t find a line for this game in any of the Vegas houses or offshore SportsBooks. I don’t know what the International Business TImes even is, but apparently they’re football fans because they had lines on all the games. Minnesota hasn’t won in Chicago since 2007, but I’m really worried about the Bears. Their defense looked pathetic against the 49ers, and their offense looked pathetic for the last couple of weeks. Chicago gets Jay Cutler back, and the Vikings defense isn’t near as tough as Houston or San Francisco, so I’ll tentatively go with Chicago here.
Chicago Bears 23 Minnesota Vikings 17
Atlanta (-1) @Tampa Bay (Sheridan’s)
I really like the Bucs in this spot. Atlanta is playing for nothing. They’ve got the division sewed up whether they win this game or not. Tampa Bay, meanwhile, is in the midst of a wildcard fight, and, perhaps more importantly, a fight for playoff credibility. Beat the Falcons, and everyone has to take you seriously. The Falcons don’t travel that well, and they haven’t looked good against quality opponents this season. The Bucs get to show whether they’re one of those.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23 Atlanta Falcons 20
Seattle (-2.5) @Miami (5Dimes)
I’m going against my better judgment here. The Seahawks just can’t seem to play well on the road, but they’ve had two weeks to prepare for this game, and they’re playing a Miami team with a low-octane offense and a defense that struggles to contain opposing running backs. This game is for Seattle’s season in many ways. If they can’t win THIS one on the road, they have no shot at the playoffs.
Seattle Seahawks 20 Miami Dolphins 17
Baltimore (pick ‘em) @San Diego (Legends)
I’d put this game in Best Picks, but there’s a couple of red flags attached to the Ravens here. In their history, they’ve not been a good West Coast play, covering only twice. This is also a big sandwich game for them, as they played the Steelers last week and have them again next week. That said, the Chargers have quit. Baltimore’s offense should steamroll these guys.
Baltimore Ravens 30 San Diego Chargers 24
San Francisco (-2) @New Orleans (Stations)
The 49ers have sometimes shown that they can get a little full of themselves. After that ass-kicking they handed the Bears, they may think they’ll beat the Saints just by showing up. New Orleans, meanwhile, has resurrected their season. They can taste playoffs, and they’re not about to let it go just yet. San Francisco is a very tough opponent, but I think the Saints find a way to beat them.
New Orleans Saints 31 San Francisco 49ers 28
St. Louis (+2.5) @Arizona (Sheridan’s)
The Cardinals will start Ryan Lindley at quarterback (drops the mike and walks off stage).
St. Louis Rams 20 Arizona Cardinals 16
Green Bay (+3) @NY Giants (Sheridan’s)
Are you falling over yourself getting ready to take the Packers here? Not so fast. I know Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers are red hot, and that the Giants haven’t played particularly well since sometime in October, but the Giants have their backs against the wall, and that is exactly when they show up. I’m taking Green Bay – they’re the better team and have something to prove, but I would rather watch this game than bet on it.
New York Giants 26 Green Bay Packers 24
Carolina (-2.5) @Philadelphia (Las Vegas Hilton)
A lot of books don’t have this game listed because they’re waiting to see if Michael Vick plays. Who the F**K cares if he plays? The Eagles S U C K suck. They’re the most poorly coached team in the NFL right now, and the players have quit. If there was one decent assistant coach on the entire bench, the head coach would be fired. But there’s not. Philadelphia is terrible on both sides of the ball. At some point, you may see the Eagles do that late season comeback where they win a game or two just to show they have a pulse, but until they do that, you can bet against them every week like I do.
Carolina Panthers 27 Philadelphia Eagles 16
BEST PICKS OF THE WEEK
“Good luck against the Browns this week.”
“Oh, I probably won’t play unless Charlie Batch gets hurt.”
Pittsburgh @Cleveland o/u 36 (William Hill)
The Steelers will play a third string 40 year old at quarterback against a Browns’ defense that has been playing very tough recently. The Browns will be playing their offense against the Steelers defense. This game could finish 3-0. Obviously, I like the under here.
Pittsburgh Steelers 13 Cleveland Browns 10
Tennessee (-3) @Jacksonville (Las Vegas Hilton)
The Jaguars left absolutely everything on the field against the Texans, which is exactly the problem here. I don’t know how they get up for Tennessee. Chad Henne was brilliant last week, but he’s still Chad Henne, and expect him to be just average. MJD is still out, so the Jaguars running game won’t be more than adequate. The Titans are coming off a bye, so they’re rested and ready, and Jacksonville has actually been a LOT worse at home than they have been on the road. They’ve played five home games and have been beaten by 17 points or more in every single one of them. How is that even possible?
Tennessee Titans 24 Jacksonville Jaguars 17
San Francisco @New Orleans o/u 48.5 (Sheridan’s)
Remember last year’s epic playoff battle between these teams? The great Niners defense got completely shredded by Drew Brees. I think that happens again. I also think that the Saints defense is so bad they might give up the 48 points all by themselves. I like the over here.
New Orleans Saints 31 San Francisco 49ers 28Powered by Sidelines