Archive for December, 2022

NFL 2022 Week Seventeen Picks

December 29th, 2022 Comments off

Dallas (-12.5) at Tennessee
The Titans are still in a race for a division title. The Cowboys almost certainly won’t be able to improve their seeding in the NFC to better than five (the top wild card spot). And yet … Dallas by 14.

Arizona (+3.5) at Atlanta
The only possible prize for winning this game is a lower slot in the 2023 draft order. That always adds up to an exciting afternoon of football. Falcons by six.

Chicago (+6) at Detroit
The Lions are still in the hunt. Technically speaking. They also appear to be interested in building toward a strong 2023. So they at least have something to play for. Detroit by three.

Denver (+12.5) at Kansas City
The Chiefs are battling for home field and a bye. The Broncos are just trying to get to the offseason. Kansas City by 17.

Miami (+3) at New England
Both of these teams are limping toward the finish line. Just as it’s always safe to assume the Dolphins will find a way to beat the Patriots in Miami, it’s always safe to assume the Patriots will find a way to beat the Dolphins in Foxborough. New England by a point.

Indianapolis (+6) at NY Giants
This will not be the greatest game ever played. But I’m sure the Giants will be happy to get a win just the same. New Jersey by seven.

New Orleans (+5.5) at Philadelphia
With a win here, the Eagles will position themselves to start preparing for their divisional round opponent. Philadelphia by nine.

Carolina (+3) at Tampa Bay
Tom Brady has never led a team as bad as the 2022 Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And he’s leading this one right into the playoffs. Exciting, isn’t it? Tampa by six.

Cleveland (+2) at Washington
YepSure does look like the entire NFC East is headed for the postseason. All the way down to the Handmaid’s Tale Villains. Washington by four.

Jacksonville (-4.5) at Houston
The Jaguars will be trying to stay healthy for their division-deciding matchup with Tennessee in week 18. The Texans should be trying to hold onto the first overall pick in the 2023 draft. And those things should combine to make for some truly exceptional football. Jaguars by three.

San Francisco (-10) at Las Vegas
I guess the Raiders at least don’t need to worry about blowing a big lead in this game. That’s … well, it’s a thing. Right? San Francisco by 14.

NY Jets (-1.5) at Seattle
The Jets ought to be able to handle the Seahawks. And the Seahawks ought to be able to make it at least somewhat interesting. New Jersey by a point.

Minnesota (+3.5) at Green Bay
The Packers’ late season surge ends here. Vikings by a field goal

LA Rams (+6.5) at LA Chargers
The Chargers are trying to earn a trip to Jacksonville (or Nashville) in the wild card round. The Rams are trying to get out of this crushing hangover season. Chargers by seven.

Pittsburgh (+2.5) at Baltimore
The Ravens also would like to qualify for that easy wildcard round trip to Jacksonville or Nashville. Baltimore by three.

Buffalo (-1) at Cincinnati
There’s an excellent chance these teams meet again in three weeks. Bengals by two. This time.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

NFL 2022 Week Sixteen Picks

December 24th, 2022 Comments off

Jacksonville (+1.5) at NY Jets
The Jets are done, though I’m not sure they know it. The Jaguars are very much alive, though I’m not sure that means very much in the terrible AFC South. I’ll take the delusional home team over the illusionary road team. Jets by a field goal.

Buffalo (-8) at Chicago
If the Bills weren’t in a tight race for the AFC one seed, I’d say eight feels like a lot to give in a road game. But the Bills are in a tight race for the seed. And I just don’t see them giving the Bears even the most remote opportunity to get between them and a first-round bye. Buffalo by 14.

New Orleans (+3) at Cleveland
Yeah, I don’t know. Neither of these teams is very good. I guess the Browns at least appear to be trying. Cleveland by four.

Houston (+3) at Tennessee
The best possible outcome of this season for the Titans appears to be a home loss to the Ravens, Chargers, or Dolphins in the wild card round. And even that requires that they hold off the Jaguars these final three weeks of the regular season. That’s not a given. But a home win over the Texans should be. Tennessee by a point.

Seattle (+10) at Kansas City
The Seahawks are probably going to slip into the tournament with a 9-8 record. But they’re not going much of anywhere in the postseason. And they’re getting that eighth loss this weekend. Kansas City by 13.

NY Giants (+4) at Minnesota
The Vikings should have just enough offense to log a win and hold the onto their slim lead for the NFC two seed. Minnesota by three.

Cincinnati (-3) at New England
The Patriots appear to have forgotten how to win football games. Perhaps they’ll work it out over the the fast-approaching offseason. Bengals by four.

Detroit (-2.5) at Carolina
Are the Lions really for real? It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? And yet … . Detroit by six.

Atlanta (+6.5) at Baltimore
The Ravens have been struggling a bit of late. But let’s not be silly. Baltimore by 10.

Washington (+6.5) at San Francisco
Not a lot to wonder about here. The home team has the visitor outclassed by a considerable margin on both sides of the ball. San Francisco by 14.

Philadelphia (+4.5) at Dallas
There’s no such thing as a good moment for losing your starting QB. But, uh, this is more of a not good moment than most. The good news for the Eagles is that they probably still end up as the NFC one seed, which will serve them well if there’s an eventual rematch in the postseason. But that’s a story for another day. For now, it’s Cowboys by three.

Las Vegas (+2) at Pittsburgh
This week’s opponents are rather unlikely to hand the Raiders a free win. So that’ll be different. Steelers by a field goal.

Green Bay (+3.5) at Miami
The Packers should be able to achieve some offensive production. But not enough. Dolphins by three.

Denver (-3) at LA Rams
This should be a great game to nap through. Broncos by some number of points. Let’s call it three just so we don’t have to think about it anymore.

Tampa Bay (-7.5) at Arizona
Another perfect game for not watching on Christmas. Buccaneers by 12.

LA Chargers (-4) at Indianapolis
The Chargers continue their push to the postseason. Los Angeles by a touchdown.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

NFL 2022 Week Fifteen, Post Thursday Night Picks

December 18th, 2022 Comments off

Indianapolis (+4) at Minnesota
I’m not sure what one might expect from the Colts coming out of their bye other than than that they’ll resume losing games and looking ahead to 2023. The Vikings, on the other hand, can sew up their division by logging their eleventh win. That’s usually a pretty good motivator. Minnesota by a touchdown.

Baltimore (+3) at Cleveland
YepIt would be foolish, I know, to expect much of anything out of the Ravens offense. But it’s also hard to imagine the Browns getting much done against the Ravens defense. I’m thinking Baltimore 13-9.

Miami (+7) at Buffalo
The Dolphins rarely fare well when they have to travel north in December. Visiting a Bills team that would have them outmatched in any stadium, that bodes particularly ill for Miami. Still, division matchups have a way of being closer than they should be. Buffalo by six.

Philadelphia (-7.5) at Chicago
It seems like the only thing that can possibly keep this thing from getting real ugly real fast is location. And I’m not even sure that will get the job done. Eagles by 17.

Atlanta (+4) at New Orleans
Both of these teams are oriented toward 2023. The Falcons have the strange advantage of starting a quarterback of whom there is no NFL tape to study. Atlanta by a point.

Detroit (+1) at NY Jets
The Lions late surge will be over the minute I start believing it’s for real. So not quite yet. Jets by a field goal.

Pittsburgh (+3) at Carolina
The Steelers’ 5-8 is a more respectable 5-8 than the Panthers’ 5-8. If that makes any sense. And, you know, even if it doesn’t. Pittsburgh by three.

Dallas (-4) at Jacksonville
The Jags at best are on again, off again. And it’s an off week. Cowboys by seven.

Kansas City (-14.5) at Houston
The Texans played what one has to imagine will remain their best game of the reason a week ago. And they still managed to lose. Kansas City by 14.

Arizona (+1.5) at Denver
Bet the under. Broncos by three.

New England (+1) at Las Vegas
The Patriots defense ought to be able to carry this one. New England by four.

Tennessee (+3) at LA Chargers
YepI don’t think the Chargers are better than the Titans by a lot. But they’re better than the Titans by enough to be able to beat them at home. Los Angeles by six.

Cincinnati (-3.5) at Tampa Bay
The only thing keeping the Buccaneers in the hunt right now is the weakness of the NFC South. Bengals by seven.

NY Giants (+4.5) at Washington
The Giants could only manage a tie when these two teams met in New Jersey two weeks ago. It’s hard to imagine they get a win here. Handmaid’s Tale villains by four.

LA Rams (+7) at Green Bay
Shrug. I’d rather be at a random office holiday party. Packers by three.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

NFL 2022 Week Fifteen Thursday Night Pick

December 15th, 2022 Comments off

San Francisco (-3) at Seattle
I don’t know if Brock Purdy will be able to continue to perform at the unexpectedly high level we’ve seen thus far as the weeks go on and opponents get tape to review. But I’m not sure that question matters here, since the Niners may never actually need to call a pass play. San Francisco by seven.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

NFL 2022 Week Fourteen Post Thursday Night Picks

December 11th, 2022 Comments off

NY Jets (+10) at Buffalo
It’s tough to imagine the Bills getting swept in the season series by the Jets. Not impossible, mind you. Just tough. Buffalo by four.

Cleveland (+5.5) at Cincinnati
The Bengals are doing what championship teams do, playing their best football as the regular season pushes into its final weeks. If the Browns haven’t already shifted their focus to the draft and the 2023 season, they’ll get there soon. Still, division games rarely prove to be as easy as the matchups suggest they should be. Cincinnati by four.

Houston (+17.5) at Dallas
This is like one of those college football games where the home team pays the visiting team millions of dollars to come in and get the stuffing beat out of them. Only a true sucker actually bets a game like this, of course. The outcome is predetermined, but the margin of victory depends on whether and when the Cowboys take their foot off the gas. I’m thinking the difference is likely around 20, but who the hell knows?

Minnesota (+2.5) at Detroit
I know I’m supposed to be impressed by how “well” the Lions have been playing of late. But I’m not sure I’ve seen real evidence yet that Detroit can run with good teams. Vikings by four.

Jacksonville (+3) at Tennessee
Three? Not sure what I’m missing here. Three might make sense four weeks from now in Jacksonville. But it doesn’t fit here. Titans by a touchdown.

Philadelphia (-7) at NY Giants
The Giants may yet right the ship in time to sneak into the tournament. But not this week. Eagles by six.

Baltimore (+1.5) at Pittsburgh
The 2022 Steelers are a hard team to figure. But there’s no question about whether they’ll be up for the opportunity to hand a costly loss to the hobbled Ravens. Pittsburgh by three.

Kansas City (-8.5) at Denver
This is not going to be pretty. Kansas City by 21.

Tampa Bay (+3.5) at San Francisco
Yeah, that Niners’ defense is killer. But not having a quarterback is going to be a problem for the home team. Buccaneers by three — at the buzzer.

Carolina (+3.5) at Seattle
Assuming the Seahawks are for real, they should put this one away early. Seahawks by 13.

Miami (-3) at LA Chargers
The Dolphins really aren’t that much better than the Chargers. But the Dolphins have a knack for finding ways to win, while the Chargers have a knack for exactly the opposite. Miami by a point.

New England (-1.5) at Arizona
The 6-6 Patriots will have to win out if they’re to have any hope of making the postseason. That’s probably not happening. And if they can’t get their offense untracked against the defense-deficient Cardinals, you can change that “probably” to definitely. New England by nine.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

NFL 2022 Week Fourteen Thursday Night Pick

December 8th, 2022 Comments off

Las Vegas (-6.5) at LA Rams
I promise you the Rams are winning this game. How am I so sure? Simple. The 2022 Raiders absolutely always do the exact opposite of what I expect them to do. And I expect them to win this game without much trouble. Las Vegas by nine.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

NFL 2022 Week Thirteen, Post Thursday Night Picks

December 4th, 2022 Comments off

Pittsburgh (-1) at Atlanta
Sure, it’s possible that the Steelers offense has started to round into something approaching form. But it would be unwise to count on it. Falcons by a point.

Green Bay (-4) at Chicago
If the Bears had a defense, they’d have a solid shot at taking this one. Packers by three.

Jacksonville (+1) at DetroitBay (-4) at Chicago
The Lions also lack defense. But that might not be much of a problem this week. Detroit by a field goal.

NY Jets (+3) at Minnesota
The Jets do have a defense. I’m not sure it’s gonna be enough here. Vikings by a point.

Washington (-2) at NY Giants
The season series between these two teams, to be played out in its entirety over a span of 15 days, might determine which of these teams qualifies for the tournament. Or it might determine nothing more than which loses to the Vikings and which loses to the 49ers on wild card weekend. Or it might determine nothing at all. I’m taking the home team to win each meeting. Giants by three.

Tennessee (+4.5) at Philadelphia
This game probably isn’t a Super Bowl preview. But it might be. And it should certainly be a banger. Eagles by a field goal (in the closing seconds).

Denver (+9.5) at Baltimore
In which the Ravens take a vacation from their problems. Baltimore by 10.

Cleveland (-8) at Houston
The Texans no doubt feel like they have a score to settle with DeShaun Watson. And I kind of hope they settle it here. But I’m not counting on it. Browns by seven.

Seattle (-6.5) at LA Rams
I don’t know f the defending champs were ever really invested in this season. But it’s pretty clear by now that they’re just playing out the string. The Seahawks, on the other hand, are in the hunt. Seattle by nine.

Miami (-4.5) at San Francisco
This should prove a frustrating game for the Miami offense. It’ll be interesting to see how they respond. If the Dolphins keep their heads on straight, they should be able to keep it close. If they lose focus, it’s a Niners blowout. I’d love to see Miami fall apart, but I don’t think I will. San Francisco by three.

Kansas City (-2) at Cincinnati
The Bengals are the more balanced team in this matchup. I’ll run with that almost every time. Cincinnati by four.

LA Chargers (+2.5) at Las Vegas
The Raiders figured out how to win games a bit too late in the season. But they figured it out just the same. Vegas by two.

Indianapolis (+10.5) at Dallas
Double digits seems excessive in what looks to me like a defensive struggle. That’s probably more to do with these teams’ records than with their capabilities. Cowboys by four.

New Orleans (+3.5) at Tampa Bay
There has to be a best team in the NFC South, even if it doesn’t mean much of anything outside of the division. I don’t know if that team is the Buccaneers. But I’ve got a good feeling it’s not the Saints. Tampa by six.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

NFL 2022 Week Thirteen, Thursday Night Pick

December 1st, 2022 Comments off

Buffalo (-4) at New England
Yeah, it’s true. It’s hard to beat a division opponent twice in a season. But not impossible. Like, if one team typically scores a lot of points and the other has difficulty finishing drives, the team that does all the scoring would at least appear to have a solid shot at a season sweep. That’s a roundabout way of saying the Patriots better know they’re not going to beat the Bills by kicking a bunch of field goals. I’m taking New England because they’re at home. But also maybe I’m taking New England out of wishful thinking. Whatevs. Patriots by three.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: