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.

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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.

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NFL 2022 Week Twelve Picks, Post Thanksgiving

November 27th, 2022 Comments off

Tampa Bay (-3) at Cleveland
The Bucs appear to be turning their season around. The Browns do not. Tampa by a touchdown.

Cincinnati (-1) at Tennessee
I like the Titans’ defense in this matchup. Tennessee wins a low scoring game by three.

Houston (+14) at Miami
You can put up some points on the Dolphins. The thing is, though, you, uh, well, you’ve got to have an offense. Miami by 20.

Chicago (+7) at NY Jets
The Jets may end up looking like they have an offense today even though they don’t. The Jets always end up looking like they have a defense, because they really, really do. New Jersey by 10.

Atlanta (+4) at Washington
I don’t have it in me to believe in either of these teams. So I’m taking the home team to win it by three.

Denver (-1) at Carolina
The likelihood that an NFL team will win this game is greatly diminished by the fact that no NFL team will be on the field. Bet the under. Forget about who wins. It’ll probably be Denver by three, but why worry about such trivial details?

Baltimore (-3.5) at Jacksonville
In which the Ravens get back on track. Baltimore by seven.

LA Chargers (-2.5) at Arizona
Neither of these teams is very good. Maybe the Chargers are a bit better than the Cardinals. Maybe. But the Chargers also are on the road. So let’s say Los Angeles by a point.

Las Vegas (+4) at Seattle
Look for the Seahawks to finish on top in what one anticipates will be a very high-scoring game. Seattle by three.

LA Rams (+15.5) at Kansas City
Do you get the feeling the Rams may not be able to repeat as Super Bowl champs? Kansas City by 17.

New Orleans (+9) at San Francisco
Hard to imagine there’s any way the Saints keep this competitive. Niners by 13.

Green Bay (+6.5) at Philadelphia
This should be just about the end of the season for the Packers, and probably for Aaron Rodgers as well. Eagles by nine.

Pittsburgh (+2.5) at Indianapolis
(Shrug) Colts by three?

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NFL 2022 Week 12, Thanksgiving Picks

November 24th, 2022 Comments off

Buffalo (-9.5) at Detroit
Maybe the Lions aren’t all that bad this season. Time will tell, but not so much this week. This week it’s probably only the weird travel schedule of the Bills that keeps this game from being over by halftime. Bills by 10.

NY Giants (+10) at Dallas
I’m not sure what the Giants need to do in order to get some respect. But I’m gonna guess keeping it competitive against the Cowboys in Dallas isn’t gonna prove to be quite enough. Dallas by a field goal.

New England (+2.5) at Minnesota
The Patriots may be all defense. The Vikings almost certainly are all offense. I think this is your Thanksgiving upset. New England by four.

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NFL 2022 Week Eleven Picks

November 20th, 2022 Comments off

Well, I let Thursday night’s game slip by without making a pick again. Only this time it hurts, as I’m confident I would have had the underdog Titans winning straight up. But what can you do. I snost and I lost.

Here’s what not to expect from the remaining games.

Chicago (+2.5) at Atlanta
I think if I believed the Bears could field a balanced offense, I’d take them to beat the inconsistent Falcons. Actually, even knowing the Bears have a one-dimensional O, I’m not sure they won’t pull off an upset here. But, ugh, I just don’t know what to make of either of these teams. Atlanta by a point.

Cleveland (+8) vs. Buffalo at Ford Field, Detroit
The Bills need to get back on track following tough losses in back-to-back games. The Browns are toast. The only things likely to change with the blizzard-driven venue shift are where and in front of whom the Browns get their heads handed to them. Buffalo by 17.

Philadelphia (-6.5) at Indianapolis
YepThe Eagles might be a little bit better than the Raiders. Philadelphia by 14.

NY Jets (+3) at New England
All defense. New England by three.

LA Rams (+2.5) at New Orleans
Seems like the Rams are gonna need another offseason to cure their Super Bowl hangover. Saints by four.

Detroit (+3) at NY Giants
The Giants don’t really put opponents away, which I think is why no one seems to think they’re for real. But the object is to win. And New Jersey mostly wins. Giants by six.

Carolina (+13) at Baltimore
This shouldn’t prove much of a challenge for the vastly superior home team. Ravens by 20.

Washington (-3) at Houston
What needs to be said other than the Texans are terrible? Handmaids Tale Villains by nine.

Las Vegas (+2.5) at Denver
One of these teams is going to have to win this game. I think it’s the visitors. Raiders by three.

Dallas (-1.5) at Minnesota
Sooner or later, the experts are going to start believing in the Vikings. As soon as that happens, they’ll start losing games. But until then … . Minnesota by a point.

Cincinnati (-3.5) at Pittsburgh
A lot has changed since these teams met on opening weekend. And most of it favors the Bengals. Cincinnati by three.

Kansas City (-5.5) at LA Chargers
Divisional opponents are often more of a challenge than they ought to be. Kansas City by four.

San Francisco (-8) vs. Arizona at Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
The 49ers defense should keep the Cardinals off the board for most of the evening if not all of it. It’s a low-scoring game, but San Francisco still manages to win by 10.

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NFL 2022 Week Ten Picks

November 13th, 2022 Comments off

So, yeah, I totally forgot about Thursday night’s game until it was half over. Oh, well. I always get the Thursday night games wrong anyhow. And there is no doubt in my mind that I’d have taken the Falcons to win and cover. Not so hard to take the loss knowing you’d have earned the loss if you’d remembered to try.

Seattle (+2.5) vs Tampa Bay at Allianz Stadium, Munich
The Buccaneers are probably gonna have to play some offense before the final two minutes if they hope to pull out a win against the stubbornly underrated Seahawks. Let’s assume that happens. Tampa by a point.

Minnesota (+6.5) at Buffalo
I don’t know what kind of shape Josh Allen’s arm is actually in. Do you? Bills by three.

Detroit (+2.5) at Chicago
The Bears at least appear to be somewhat less bad than the Lions. Home team by three.

Denver (+2.5) at Tennessee
YepThere’s nothing about this matchup that suggests a truly competitive game. Well, maybe the Titans defense. But for that to matter, the Broncos would need to have an offense. Tennessee by six.

Jacksonville (+9.5) at Kansas City
The thing to keep in mind about the 3-6 Jaguars is that they’ve kind of overachieved. Kansas City by 14.

Cleveland (+3.5) at Miami
I’m not sure there’s as much separating these teams as their respective win-loss records suggest. Still, Miami’s a tough place to play. Dolphins by a field goal.

Houston (+4.5) at NY Giants
The Giants are better than they get credit for being. The Texans, at best, are exactly as bad as everyone thinks. New Jersey by 10.

New Orleans (pick ’em) at Pittsburgh
This is one of those games where you end up trying to figure out which team won’t lose. I’m going Saints. And let’s figure their margin of non-defeat will be three.

Indianapolis (+4) at Las Vegas
You can always count on the 2022 Raiders to play terribly. But there’s no degree of terribleness that should expose any team to a home loss against the Colts. Right? Raiders by seven.

Dallas (-4) at Green Bay
Aaron Rodgers appears to have found that cliff everyone’s been expecting Tom Brady to fall off for about a decade now. Rodgers surely will play a few good games down the stretch. But it seems unlikely this will be one of them. Cowboys by six.

Arizona (+2) at LA Rams
I don’t know which of these teams is the weakest. But I know which weak team is at home. Rams by a point.

LA Chargers (+7.5) at San Francisco
The Niners are at home. The Niners have a defense. I’m taking the Niners. By six.

Washington (+11) at Philadelphia
And the Eagles remain undefeated. Philadelphia by nine.

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NFL 2022 Week Nine Post Thursday Night Picks

November 6th, 2022 Comments off

LA Chargers (-3) at Atlanta
This looks to me like not much more than your standard-issue matchup of two solidly middle-of-the-pack teams. So I’ll take the home team. Falcons by a point.

Miami (-4) at Chicago
The Dolphins have to keep winning now to make sure their collapse down the stretch hits as hard as possible. Miami by seven.

Carolina (+7) at Cincinnati
The Panthers show up just as the Bengals are in need of a way to clear an embarrassing prime time loss out of their systems. Cincinnati by 13.

Green Bay (-3.5) at Detroit
The 2022 Packers are not good. But, um, there’s not good and then there’s the Lions. Green Bay by seven.

Indianapolis (+5) at New England
It’s hard to imagine the Colts’ one-dimensional offense presenting too difficult a puzzle for the Patriots’ D to solve. New England by a touchdown.

Buffalo (-11) at NY Jets
There’s no reason to think the Bills will do anything less than beat the stuffing out of the Jets. The smart move is to give the 11 points and then some. But, ah, I don’t know. Road game. Division rivals. Something tells me the Jets find a way to keep it to something resembling a one-score margin. Let’s say Bills by eight.

Minnesota (-3) at Washington
The Vikings are the best team in a weak division. The Handmaid’s Tale Villains are the worst team in a strong one. I think the difference still favors the visitors, but I’m not giving three. Minnesota by a point. At the buzzer.

Las Vegas (-2.5) at Jacksonville
How the hell the Raiders are showing up as favorites against any team in any stadium right now is beyond my comprehension. Jaguars by four.

Seattle (+2) at Arizona
Think I’ll let Kevin Rowland give voice to the difference here: “Oh, Geno! Whoa, Geno!” Seahawks by four.

LA Rams (+3) at Tampa Bay
I’m not sure the winner of this game is going anywhere. But it seems pretty evident that the loser is going directly to the offseason. I’ll take the home team to win it straight up. It’s a push with the points.

Tennessee (-12.5) at Kansas City
These teams may come into this game with the same record (5-2), but they’re not playing on the same level. Kansas City by 14.

Baltimore (-2) at New Orleans
It’s likely the Saints will continue to have their moments through the rest of the season. This, however, will not be one of those moments. Ravens by nine.

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NFL 2022 Week Nine, Thursday Night

November 3rd, 2022 Comments off

Philadelphia (-13.5) at Houston
If you know my feelings about baseball, you understand what it means when I say, um, just, you know, watch the World Series game. It’s what everyone in Philly and Houston will be doing. Eagles by 24.

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NFL 2022 Week Eight Post Thursday Night Picks

October 30th, 2022 Comments off

Denver (+2.5) vs. Jacksonville at Wembley Stadium, London
If this game were an actual home game for the Jaguars, I’d think you could safely give six or seven. Even in London, half that seems reasonable. Jacksonville by a field goal.

Carolina (+4) at Atlanta
This looks like a real barn burner in the making, doesn’t it? Falcons by a point.

Chicago (+10) at Dallas
The Bears had a surprisingly easy time of it in their visit to Foxborough Monday night. There isn’t likely to be anything easy about playing a second straight road game in Dallas on short rest. Cowboys by 13.

Miami (-3.5) at Detroit
I don’t know if the Dolphins truly are a good team. But I do know that the Lions are truly, truly awful. Miami by nine.

Arizona (+3.5) at Minnesota
Just three and a half? Has anyone in Vegas seen the Cardinals play? Has anyone, anywhere seen the Cardinals defense? Vikings by a touchdown.

Las Vegas (-1.5) at New Orleans
The Saints defense has trouble stopping … well, pretty much anything. That’s not a terribly difficult puzzle to solve. Raiders by six.

New England (-2.5) at NY Jets
Totally makes sense that the 3-4 visitors should be giving points to the 5-2 home team. Right? Patriots by a point.

Pittsburgh (+11) at Philadelphia
This is gonna get ugly quick. Eagles by 20.

Tennessee (pick ’em) at Houston
Location and the familiarity of division rivals will he the only things that keep this game close. In the end, it’s the Titans by three.

Washington (+3) at Indianapolis
I think I’d prefer to watch a slap fight between the owners. Do we think that can be arranged? Colts? I guess. By let’s say a point.

San Francisco (pick ’em) at LA Rams
The Rams really should win this game. The Rams really need to win this game. But the Rams aren’t going to win this game. Niners by three.

NY Giants (+3) at Seattle
The Giants get no respect. What they do get is wins. Those are arguably more valuable than respect. New Jersey by a point.

Green Bay (+10.5) at Buffalo
It’s hard to get your head around, but the Packers really just are not a very good football team this season. The Bills, meanwhile, are one of the best teams in the league. And the Bills have had two weeks to prepare while the Packers are playing on the road for a second straight week. None of this points to a close game. Buffalo by 17.

Cincinnati (-3) at Cleveland
The trick to watching this game is not to expect a treat. Bengals by 10.

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NFL 2022 Week Eight, Thursday Night Pick

October 27th, 2022 Comments off

Baltimore (+2) at Tampa Bay
Tom Brady’s back is against the wall. Either that means something and the Buccaneers pull out a win, or it doesn’t and Brady really should just retire and spend more time with his kids. Tampa by a field goal.

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