Archive for December, 2021

NFL 2021 Week Sixteen Picks, Post Thursday Night

December 25th, 2021 Comments off

Cleveland (+7.5) at Green Bay
Sooner or later, something was bound to disrupt the weekly alternating win-loss pattern the Browns have been in since week seven. A Christmas trip to Wisconsin ought to do the trick. Packers by 10.

Indianapolis (+2.5) at Arizona
The Colts have the look of one of those teams that comes on at just the right time. And the Cardinals have the look of one of those teams that fades at just the wrong time. Indy by three.

Detroit (-6.5) at Atlanta
The Lions already have two more wins this season (and three fewer losses) than anyone had any right to expect. The Falcons stink, but they’ll take this one by a field goal.

Baltimore (+4.5) at Cincinnati
The only reason I can come up with for predicting a Ravens win here is that the other result would give the Bengals the inside track in the race for the AFC North title. Thing is, that feels like enough. Baltimore by a point.

LA Chargers (-10.5) at Houston
The Chargers probably need to win out to stay in the postseason picture. The Texans certainly need to just get through their last three games and start figuring out what comes next. Los Angeles by 10.

LA Rams (-3.5) at Minnesota
I think the Vikings are gonna have a hard time establishing the run against the Rams. That’s not good news for Minnesota. Los Angeles by three.

Buffalo (+2) at New England
If the Patriots can actually field an offense, and their defense shows up for the full game, they should be able to beat the Bills again and all but sew up the AFC East title in the process. I’m gonna guess it breaks that way. New England by four.

Jacksonville (+1.5) at NY Jets
Neither of these teams has an offense. And neither of these teams has a defense. I’m really not sure either of these teams actually exists. In theory, though, let’s figure New Jersey beats Jacksonville by three.

NY Giants (+10) at Philadelphia
It really isn’t a very good time to be a football fan in northern New Jersey, is it? Eagles by nine.

Tampa Bay (-10) at Carolina
The Buccaneers can win the NFC South with a victory. But they’re winning the division one way or another. It’s really all about postseason seeding at this point. That’s important. And the Bucs will demonstrate that they know it with a decisive win. Tampa by 14 (or more).

Chicago (+6.5) at Seattle
Say what you want about the 2021 Seahawks, but they sure do know how to beat the stuffing out of weak opponents. Seattle by 17.

Pittsburgh (+8.5) at Kansas City
This should just about do it for the Steelers. Kansas City by 13.

Denver (pick ’em) at Las Vegas
The prize is the right to pretend you have a shot of making the playoffs for one more week. Vegas by a point.

Washington (+10) at Dallas
Brand X is done. But they’ll keep this one to within a single score purely out of spite. Dallas by seven.

Miami (-2.5) at New Orleans
I’d pick the home team in either stadium. Saints by three.

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NFL 2021 Week Sixteen, Thursday Night Pick

December 23rd, 2021 Comments off

San Francisco (-3) at Tennessee
The only thing making this game tough to pick is the fact that the Niners had to travel across the country on short rest to play it. Otherwise, it’s simple. San Francisco’s playing better football lately than the banged-up Titans. I still like the Niners to win, but I’ll take the Titans with the points. San Fran by one.

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NFL 2021 Week Fifteen, Thursday Night

December 16th, 2021 Comments off

Kansas City (-3) at LA Chargers
This game goes to the team that’s most effective moving the ball on the ground. But I don’t know which team that will be. So that’s helpful, right? I’m just gonna go with the home team to win it by three and expect to be proven wrong.

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NFL 2021 Week Fourteen Picks, Post Thursday Night

December 12th, 2021 Comments off

Baltimore (+2.5) at Cleveland
The Ravens are beaten up, coming off a tough loss to the Steelers, and playing on the road for a second straight week. And all that bad news is good news for Cleveland. So, you know, as long as the Browns used their bye week to overhaul their run D, they should be fine. Ravens by a field goal.

Jacksonville (+8.5) at Tennessee
Eight and a half? Like, for real? Titans by 17.

Las Vegas (+9.5) at Kansas City
This should be the end of the road for the Raiders in the AFC West race, and effectively in the wild card chase as well. Kansas City by 13.

New Orleans (-5.5) at NY Jets
The Saints’ losing streak (currently at five games) has to end sometime, right? And against the Jets is usually a pretty good guess of when. But, uh, I think maybe not. New Jersey by a point.

Dallas (-4.5) at Washington
I keep thinking Brand X can’t win. And then they do. So, you know, Washington by a field goal. I guess.

Atlanta (+2.5) at Carolina
The possibly mediocre Falcons couldn’t beat the probably mediocre Panthers in Atlanta. I’m not sure why anyone would think they can do better in Charlotte. Panthers by six.

Seattle (-9) at Houston
At first glance, I thought maybe nine was the over/under. And I wouldn’t have been confident picking against that. Seahawks by four.

Detroit (+11.5) at Denver
One suspects the Lions have achieved their goal for the season. Broncos by a touchdown.

NY Giants (+9.5) at LA Chargers
Do the Giants even have a team left? Chargers by 13.

San Francisco (-2) at Cincinnati
The Niners are on the road for a second straight week and playing a team that’s going to make it difficult for them to move the ball on the ground. That’s not a good situation for them. Bengals by three.

Buffalo (-3.5) at Tampa Bay
Tom Brady leaving the Patriots for the Buccaneers was supposed to be a good thing for the Bills. It definitely wasn’t supposed to point to Buffalo losing consecutive games to New England and Tampa. Be careful what you wish for, right? Tampa by a touchdown.

Chicago (+11.5) at Green Bay
The Bears have nothing left to play for. And they couldn’t keep it closer than 10 in Chicago when they were still in the mix. Packers by 14.

LA Rams (+2.5) at Arizona
The Rams are playing to stay in the NFC West race. The Cardinals are playing for the one seed. There’s a reason for this. Arizona by a point.

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NFL 2021 Week Fourteen, Thursday Night

December 9th, 2021 Comments off

Pittsburgh (+3.5) at Minnesota
I don’t like the thought of picking either of these foundering teams to win any game. But someone has to come out on top. I’m going with the one that didn’t just lose to Detroit. Steeler by three.

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NFL 2021 Week Thirteen Picks, Post Thursday Night

December 5th, 2021 Comments off

Tampa Bay (-10.5) at Atlanta
I hate, hate, hate big speads in divisional games. Because, yes, the Falcons are terrible. And OK, the Buccaneers stomped on the Falcons when they met in Tampa in week two. But weird things happen in meetings between teams that know each other as well as these two. I’m gonna say Tampa by nine, but I won’t be surprised at all if it turns into a 45-0 blowout.

Arizona (-7.5) at Chicago
The Cardinals might be the best team in the league. They certainly, and by no small margin, the best team in the league that has ever called Chicago home. Here they come to take their city back. Arizona by 13.

LA Chargers (+3) at Cincinnati
The Chargers can be dangerous on any given week, but they’re ultimately just another middle-of-the-pack team. The Bengals are a better than average squad with a knack for shooting themselves in the foot. Given that the inconsistent visitors are playing their second straight road game and traveling most of the way across the country to do it, I’m thinking inconsistent home team by six.

Minnesota (-7) at Detroit
Who cares? Vikings by three.

NY Giants (+6.5) at Miami
No, the Dolphins are not for real. Stop. You’re making yourself look silly. But, uh, the Giants are no real threat to anyone. Miami by seven.

Philadelphia (-5) at NY Jets
The Eagles have a major identity crisis happening. They’re a different team every week. This week, they’re the team that manages to let the Jets hang around all afternoon before pulling out a three-point victory late.

Indianapolis (-10) at Houston
Oh, good, another divisional game with a double-digit spread in favor of the visitors. Then again, Indy did win the last meeting with Houston by four TDs. Colts by 14.

Washington (+1.5) at Las Vegas
I’m not sure there’s any way to know which version of either of these teams is going to show up. So I’ll just take the home team to win it by the default three.

Jacksonville (+13) at LA Rams
Thirteen? Seriously? That’s all I have to give? Count me in. Rams by three TDs.

Baltimore (-4.5) at Pittsburgh
The Steelers are actually worse than you think. Ravens by six.

San Francisco (-3) at Seattle
A lot has changed since these teams met in San Francisco back in week four. And none of it bodes well for Seatlle. Niners by six.

Denver (+9) at Kansas City
The Broncos struggle against strong opposition. That’s not a great starting place for this match. Kansas City by seven.

New England (+3) at Buffalo
There’s a lot riding on whether Kyle Dugger’s positive Covid test was the result of a bad break or an indication that he’s a self-centered asshole. For a number of reasons, I’m rooting for bad break. The Patriots need to be able to limit the Bills’ passing offense. If Dugger’s on the field, allowing the New England D to operate as it has through the Patriots’ six-game win streak, New England should win by seven. If he isn’t, it’s going to put a lot of pressure on the New England pass rush. Still, I suspect they’re up to the task. So as long as the Patriots O can move the ball consistently on the ground, I still think New England can come out ahead. But maybe by more like a single point. In either case, I’m looking for the underdog visitors to come away with a win.

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NFL 2021 Week Thirteen, Thursday Night

December 2nd, 2021 Comments off

Dallas (-4) at New Orleans
There’s very little chance of the Saints turning things around anytime sooner than September. Cowboys by seven.

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