Handicapping NFL Week 16: Picks of the Week

Quick Summary of Last Week:  I watched last week not knowing exactly what I wanted to happen during the Packer/NE game.  When you are in a survival pool for $26,000 and you are 1/30 people left and 20 of them pick New England (and you didn’t), there is some internal conflict.  Root for Packers?  Seriously?  I kept telling myself, “The Bears will win the Division anyway.”  So, just as I decided that it was okay to root for the Packers for last week, they folded like a card table.  My 8,9, and 10 year olds performed better in a 2 minute drill than the Packers did in that final drive.  Flynn, here’s an idea, how about a quick slant on 4th and 1.  Man up – call a play! I knew I hated them, that’s the last damn time I…….oh sorry, I digress.  Obviously, New England didn’t cover.  Houston struggled with that too. I felt good about my Detroit pick last week against Tampa, and then they actually went and won on the road.  That one helped me win a confidence pool.  I also felt really comfortable taking Buffalo last week getting 5.  They also came out and won their game in Miami.  Lastly, the Bears, ah the Division Champions!  That was just an awesome game altogether.  Hester, Division, Vikings train-wreck, Favre out – what more could you ask for? Oh well, on to week 16:

WEEK 16 PICKS:

Texans -2.5 @ Denver – I don’t know what my infatuation is with this team, but when I think of what it’s offense can do against Denver’s “Defense,” I’ll gladly just spot 2.5.  I know that Houston doesn’t have the best Defense and that is why the Over/Under on the game is 49.5, but I don’t think that Denver is going is to jump out on Houston the way Tennessee did last week.

Tampa Bay -6.5 vs Seattle - I’m excited about this “playoff” game.  Ok, really I’m not.  If you’ve read my past posts, you’ll know that I’m not too thrilled with Tampa, and Seattle shouldn’t be in a playoff intense game, but it is what it is.  I’d put this down as my least favorite pick of the week, but I’m banking on my whole concept of Coast to Coast games here.  Teams that travel across country typically struggle so I’m gonna tip this one towards Tampa.

Washington +7 vs Jacksonville -A common mistake that people often make around this time is to assume that just because someone has extra “playoff” incentive that they are going to win.  Sure it helps to have a little extra motivation, but it doesn’t guarantee a cover.  I’m making this decision with the “knowledge” that MJD may not play today.  If that is the case, I feel really good about this game because the Jags Offense is predicated on having him really involved.  Without him, I like having Washington +7.

Upset Special of the Week:

Minnesota +14.5 vs Philadelphia -My brother and I argued about this game extensively on Christmas Eve, so I have a little extra pride involved in this pick.  We both have good arguments, but I’m tipping it towards the Viqueens based on gut.  Listen to my logic here:  Vegas doesn’t respect the Bears – that’s been fact all year.  They see Minnesota get spanked by the Bears last week and think, “Well gosh, if the Bears beat them that bad, just watch what happens when the Eagles play ‘em at home.”  Then the Eagles put up 28 points in the 4th quarter last week against the Giants and Vegas thinks, “Well gosh, if the Eagles can score 28 against the Giants, they’re going to score 100 against the Vikings.”  This is how your typical public bets too and this is why it is not going to happen like that.  First of all, the Vikings played the Bears without Adrian Peterson.  Second of all, the Vikings aren’t going to kick to DeSean Jackson.  Third of all, the Eagles aren’t going to on-side kick today.  Fourth, my feeling is that the Vikings are going to design some offensive plays that get Webb moving a little bit - see: Michael Vick.  All of this contributes to the Vikings covering 14.5 points.  There – now you have 2 reasons to root for them tonite.

THE BELOVED:

Bears -2.5 vs Jets – this line moved from -1 to -2.5 overnight, haven’t quite figured it out yet.  I’m thinking that maybe the big-time gamblers that can move lines with their wagers were waiting to see the weather this morning before placing their bets on the Bears.  Are we going to see a Wooton repeat?  Maybe a Sanchez slow walk off the field after that shoulder gets landed on again?  Jets aren’t going to be able to run on the Bears and Sanchez can’t pick the Defense apart like a Brady might.  Time to move the Safeties up and press with Corners, boys.  Bears win and make next week an exciting finish.

Last Week: 3 Picks: 1-2 Upset Special: 1-0 Bears Pick: 1-0

Season: 3 Picks: 26-14-2 Upset Special: 8-6 Bears Pick: 4-8-1

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