Even though most of the playoff picture is finished, you can still tell which games matter to teams for other reasons, and which ones completely don’t matter at all.
If you have two disinterested opponents, it’s a no-bet situation without knowing who’s gonna show up and who isn’t.
Just one week left and the good news is that not only am I assured to finish well over .500 for the year, this has been my best year ever picking games. My Best Picks are right almost 60% of the time, which is awesome. To be honest, I doubt I can duplicate it next year, but I’ll sure try.Last Week’s Picks: 11-6 Best: 2-3 Season Total: 154-114-6 Best: 36-26
Detroit (+7) @Green Bay (Treasure Island)
This game is for the NFC North division, and honestly there’s no way in the world Green Bay is 7 points better than the Lions, but there are two things skewing this line. First, the Packers PWN everyone at home. Second, the Lions are a team of knuckleheads that will find a way to stupid their way right out of the division title. Even going in, Dominic Raiola is suspended for a dumb cheap shot against the Bears. Bottom line: I’m not going against the Packers at home, and certainly not so I can take a team like the Lions that literally can’t wait to let their fans down.
Green Bay Packers 28 Detroit Lions 19
Jacksonville @Houston o/u 40.5 (Westgate Superbook)
On one side, you’ve got third and a half string quarterback Case Keenum. On the other, you’ve got an offense that, while its improving, will have to go up against the Texans’ staunch defense. Where are the points coming from this game?
Houston Texans 20 Jacksonville Jaguars 17
Cincinnati (+3.5) @Pittsburgh (Westgate Superbook)
After you’ve watched a whole season of football, you get a sense of the teams. I know Cincinnati beat Denver last week, but you couldn’t pay me to take them this week anyway. They’re frauds. The Steelers, meanwhile, are probably one of only five teams that really have a chance to win it all this year. They’ll prove that this week.
Pittsburgh Steelers 27 Cincinnati Bengals 21
Indianapolis (-6.5) @Tennessee (Treasure Island)
This is a 100% meaningless game for the Colts, however, they might want to look like an NFL team again after getting ass spanked by Dallas last week. So maybe they show up. Meanwhile, there’s no way, and I mean NO WAY the Titans will blow their shot at a top 2 pick by winning this game. I swear they will fumble backwards into their own endzone if they have to.
Indianapolis Colts 24 Tennessee Titans 14
Cleveland (+13.5) @Baltimore (William Hill)
As of this writing, it looks like rookie Connor Shaw will start for the Browns at QB. That either means that Brian Hoyer really is banged up or Cleveland is in such a panic about how bad Johnny Manziel looked that they want a look at Shaw just in case for next year. Either way, two touchdowns seems like a ridiculous number to give with Baltimore, a team that has struggled offensively recently, in a division rivalry game.
Baltimore Ravens 23 Cleveland Browns 14
NY Jets (+5.5) @Miami (MGM Mirage)
Everyone knows this is Rex Ryan’s last game with the Jets, and normally when you have a “dead man coaching” situation you see a wholsale lack of effort. Ryan tends to inspire more than just average loyalty, however, so the Jets might have a little kick left in them here. Meanwhile, I think Joe Philbin’s squad will be out to show ownership they made the right call in bringing him back.
Miami Dolphins 23 New York Jets 16
Carolina (+3.5) @Atlanta (MGM Mirage)
This game is for the NFC South title and the last playoff spot. Atlanta is perceived to have a big homefield advantage, so it might surprise you to learn that the Falcons are 3-4 at home this year, and 3-5 on the road. That’s no big deal. The Falcons are 5-0 in the division, but I think that mainly proves they can’t beat anyone else. Carolina has won three in a row. They’re legitimately hot, and they’re the better team. I like them to win here outright.
Carolina Panthers 30 Atlanta Falcons 27
Chicago (+6) @Minnesota (Westgate Superbook)
You’ve got a double whammy in this game. Marc Trestman is a dead man coaching and Jay Cutler might be in the same boat playing QB. The Bears are an unholy mess that can’t be trusted to do anything. Minnesota, meanwhile, has steadily improved as Teddy Bridgewater gains experience. These are two teams headed in opposite directions.
Minnesota Vikings 28 Chicago Bears 20
San Diego (+1.5) @Kansas City (CG Technology)
This spread has started dropping as money gets bet on the Chargers. I’m inclined to agree with the money. San Diego controls its destiny in the AFC; all they need to do is win this game.
San Diego Chargers 23 Kansas City Chiefs 20
Dallas (-6) @Washington (MGM Mirage)
Dallas is the better team here, but I think Washington has actually gotten a little momentum and confidence from last week’s win. Besides, I’ve never seen a Cowboys/RacialSlurs game that went the way it was supposed to.
Dallas Cowboys 24 Washington RacialSlurs 20
St. Louis (+11.5) @Seattle (Westgate Superbook)
Hate to break it to you, but unless something drastically changes, Seattle is going to become the first back-to-back Super Bowl champion in a while. Oh, and the Super Bowl itself? It’s going to suck. The Seahawks will win by three touchdowns again. That’s how good they look right now.
Seattle Seahawks 31 St. Louis Rams 17
Arizona (+7) @San Francisco (5Dimes)
I know Arizona has no quarterback but the 49ers giving a touchdown is a joke. This team is falling apart, their coach is done and if their quarterback regresses anymore he’ll be playing peewee football.
Arizona Cardinals 16 San Francisco 49ers 14
Oakland (+14.5) @Denver (Westgate Superbook)
I’m done trying to figure out which Raiders will show up, but I’m thinking whichever Broncos show up will probably get some rest at halftime if the score gets too lopsided. Two TD’s? I’ll take that.
Denver Broncos 27 Oakland Raiders 17
Best Picks of the Week
Jacksonville (+10) @Houston (Wynn Las Vegas)
You might be thinking, “the Texans can still make the playoffs, and the Jaguars are out of it” and think that means you should lay the points. Yeah, Houston is still alive, but they are using Case Keenum at QB. Jacksonville, meanwhile, may be 3-12 overall, but they’re 2-2 in their last 4. That’s something you’ll see in a lot of the teams that have been playing rookie QBs for an extended period. The learning curve is finally catching up. Moreover, teams in the Jaguars’ situation continue to play hard because they haven’t played a “meaningful” game in terms of the playoffs all year anyway.
Houston Texans 20 Jacksonville Jaguars 17
Buffalo (+4.5) @New England (MGM Mirage)
Even though New England has homefield wrapped up, they don’t tend to coast at the end of the year. This is their last chance to play before a crucial division round playoff game, and they have two weeks to rest up and prepare for that. They’ll show up for this one. Will the Bills? Hard to imagine there’s a lot of fight left in them after last week’s disappointment. This one could be over before it starts.
New England Patriots 21 Buffalo Bills 10
Philadelphia (+2.5) @NY Giants (Westgate Superbook)
I know a team in freefall when I see it, and the Eagles are coming back to Earth. The Giants, meanwhile, are fighting to save Tom Coughlin’s job (I think they probably already have, but still). New York also wants revenge for their earlier loss and besides, who in that shitstain of a secondary is going to cover Odell Beckham?
New York Giants 34 Philadelphia Eagles 21
New Orleans (-3.5) @Tampa Bay (MGM Mirage)
The bizarro-Saints rule is in effect for this New Orleans road game, and even though the Saints got eliminated last week, there is no way the Bucs win this game and jeopardize their chance to take one of the “big 2” quarterbacks.
New Orleans 24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17Image source 1, 2. Featured image via 97.1 the fan