Don’t be an idiot: NFL picks against the spread, Week 16
Place your bets … after you read this.
Gambling on the NFL based on transitive properties is completely pointless. The Jaguars covered against the Ravens who beat the Dolphins who beat the Patriots who crushed Cincinnati who lost to the Browns who lost to the Jaguars. Every year you can make a diagram of the parity in the NFL and when you toss in gambling against the spread it becomes even more asinine. You’ve got to take it one game at a time and just hope that there’s not a pick-six in the last minute.
Never has gambling been more important to our nation than for Thursday Night Football games, and especially this week’s stinkfest of the Titans and Jaguars. Both teams get shit on a lot. It’s like if you have an ugly baby, you’re allowed to call it ugly, but if a friend comes over one random Thursday and is like “Damn that’s a bad-lookin’ kid,” you’re probably going to be pissed. So my recommendation to America during games such as this stinkfest and next week’s Texans/Jags game is just to bet heavily and enjoy the game for what it is- NFL football.
Last week I went 8-6-1 bringing me to 101-104-2 on the year.
Detroit -9 over CHICAGO
It’s hilarious that some in the media have framed the move to Jimmy Clausen as a last-ditch effort for Marc Trestman to save his job. In what world do you try to save your job by playing the worst quarterback on your roster? In no way can his job be saved. He could win the next two games by a combined score of infinity to zero and he’d still be out of town.
So the disaster that is the Bears aside, this is a hell of a road spread to cover for the Lions. Chicago is a disaster at home though — they’ve gone 3-13-1 ATS in their last 17 at Soldier Field. The other reason I’m taking the Lions here is their defense. They aren’t an offensive juggernaut as they’ve been in years past, but their defense has kept them in the win column. Specifically their rush defense, which is the best in the league. I can’t imagine the beating they’re going to be putting on Jimmy Clausen after they shut down Forte, and Chicago’s defense is bad enough that the Lions offense can look like they did a couple years ago, at least for a week.
NEW YORK JETS +11 over New England Patriots
Rex Ryan usually has a way of turning chicken shit into slightly tastier chicken shit when the Jets play the Patriots. My guess is that Rex tries to run the ball a thousand times like he did in the first half against the Dolphins and keep the game within a respectable three scores. It probably won’t work, but it might be enough to cover the spread while providing an interesting blueprint for how to beat the Patriots which in turn will be completely ignored by the Colts three weeks later.
Cleveland +3.5 over CAROLINA
Can Johnny Football get his act together on the road? Maybe, but the bigger question is which Browns defense will show up. Will it be the one that dominated the Colts and Texans, or the one that got blown out by the Bengals?
Of course, a lot has to do with who will be starting at QB this weekend. Carolina is a solid 10-4-1 ATS in their last 15 home games, most of which were played with Cam Newton at QB. As bad as Manziel looked last week, I think the Browns defense can make Derek Anderson look bad too.
Green Bay -10.5 over TAMPA BAY
Green Bay is similar to the Patriots in the fact that they are kind of assholes after a loss. Aaron Rodgers will throw for four TDs and complete passes to eight different receivers and blow the doors off the Bucs. The Packers know they will have to win if they want to keep pace with the Lions who have a bye against the Bears.
Green Bay isn’t great on the road (2-7 ATS in their last nine), but the Bucs are a miserable 1-6 against the spread at home this year.
Baltimore -6 over HOUSTON
The Texans are a remarkable 7-7 considering that their quarterbacks have been Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallet, Tom Savage, and now Case Keenum. One would assume that they’ve been skating by on the strength of their defense and more specifically J.J. Watt. But the Texans are a dismal team against the pass, ranked 27th out of 32. Their real strength has been in their run game, and the Ravens have the fourth best rush defense in the NFL. They’ve been on a tear recently, holding their last two opponents under 100 total yards rushing even without big terrifying badass Haloti Ngata who was suspended for obviously being on PEDs. The way that the Ravens can cover this spread is by forcing the ball into Savage or Keenum’s hand, and I like their odds to get that done.
Indianapolis +3 over DALLAS
So we’ve established the fact that the Cowboys are garbage at home, but I think that lack of homefield advantage has something to do with the fact that they’ve been such utter disappointments in the last seven years since they moved into Jerry’s world. But now they have a good team and an important game. It feels like a homecoming game so there figures to be more excitement in the crowd.
However, the potential loss of Demarco Murray is too much to overlook. Even if he does play with a broken hand, it will likely be too painful or 100 percent numb for him to be effective. Without Murray, the Cowboys offense can’t function at full speed.
Seattle -7.5 at ARIZONA
It’s a fool’s errand to bet against Bruce Arians at this point, but I think his magic has run out now that he has to resort to Ryan Lindley. On one hand I understand why Arians went with Lindley over rookie Logan Thomas, because he would have to completely redesign his offense in less than a week to compete against arguably the best defense in football. On the other hand, I have to consider that running a kneel-down every play would probably give you a better result than Ryan Lindley.
Both teams have been very good against the spread as of late. Arizona is 5-0 ATS at home and the Seahawks are 5-1 in their last six. The Cardinals have a great defense, but they’re going to be in the shitter all afternoon in terms of field position. It pains me to say this, but I think the Cards are finally cooked.
JACKSONVILLE -3 over Tennessee
Philadelphia -7.5 over WASHINGTON
Kansas City +3 over PITTSBURGH
New York Giants +5 over ST. LOUIS
San Diego (pick ‘em) over SAN FRANCISCO
OAKLAND +6 over Buffalo
NEW ORLEANS -6 over Atlanta
Minnesota +7 over MIAMI
CINCINNATI +3.5 over Denver