Handicapping NFL Week 15: Picks of the Week

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Now that my positive pub post is over (see Symetra Heroes in the Classroom), we can get back to the business of looking at football in an entirely different way, the spread.  I decided that for next year, I’m going to add in the over/under component because I’ve done a heck of a lot better with that than with the games this year.  For those of you who are are not familiar, there is also an over/under spread placed on every game.  You “simply” have to choose whether the combined score of both teams is going to go over or under the assigned number.  Sounds easy, right?  Well, last week, in some cases it seemed easy to me, and others, not so much.  For example, the over/under on the Bears/Denver game was 35.5 points.  Well, you knew that the Bears weren’t going to put up more than two TDS and Denver certainly wasn’t going to do much against the Bears D, so that one was easy.  A more “difficult” pick was TB/Jax.  The over/under was 42.5 points.  Start by splitting the difference with teams – would you think that Jax’s offense would put up 21 points?  Um, no.  What about Tampa putting up 21 points against Jax defense?  Without Josh Freeman and their downward spiral, not likely.  So, the under looked like a good play. But then Jones-Drew goes crazy and Jax almost goes over by themselves, so that didn’t go so well. But other games like:  Balt/Indy under and NE/Wash over were nice ones that came in.  I’m going to keep tracking, because that may be the way to go.

Summary of Last Week:  well, I just gave an unofficial summary of over/unders, but I actually had games I picked in print.  I ended up 2-3 last week, but would have gladly made it 0-5 for a Bears win.  I actually won the Bears game because of the infamous hook.  At gametime, the game went off at 3, but when I put it to print, it was 3.5 so I’ll take it.  But my goodness, that was painful.  I picked the wrong trap game as my upset special of the week and it cost me in two games.  Wherein I was correct by saying that the Saints don’t play as well on the road (but they will today in the Metrodome), they played well enough to barely cover last week vs. the Titans.  I missed that one by 2 points.  However, the San Fran game vs. Arizona was the trap game.  My brother and I talked abou that one mid-week and couldn’t figure out why that spread was where it was.  Now we know – that was the trap game.  Dang!  San Diego hasn’t lost since….well the Bears, and they took care of business last week.  I was checking off my Detroit win in the first quarter when they jumped out to a huge lead vs. the Vikings.  Then, as the Vikings were on the 1 yard line at the end of the game down 6, I was ecstatic for a possible upset, but of course not.  Oh well, didn’t pull closer to the 500 mark, need to do well this week. I missed my opportunity on Dallas, which would’ve been my lock, but totally missed the Saturday night thing…not good. On to week 15:

Packers -11.5 @ KC - I’m trying to figure out what happened with this one because I saw the line starting at 13.5 and it is now 11.5.  I know Arrowhead is a tough place to play, but I’ll take my chances.  Rumor has it that the Packers may start to sit if they jump out to a big lead, so I’m guessing that’s the reason for the drop. However, if the Packers jump out to a big league, it simply means Rogers may sit.  Fine, slow down the offense, as long as you’re up 2 TDS, I’m fine with it.  The Chiefs lost 37-10 to the Jets last week for crying out loud.  They only put up 10 vs. the Bears and 7 of it was on a Hail Mary.

Saints -8 vs Vikings-  the big scary return of Adrian Peterson, the Viking almost-upset of Detroit last week, and the Saints close game vs. the Titans last week kept this line in a nice place. A nice place to pound on the Saints.  Drew Brees is going to eat up that Vikings secondary and Peterson will be a non-factor by the 2nd half.  This is a two touchdown cover, don’t let that point over 7 scare you.

New England -7 vs Denver  -  God is busy today.  Tebow will need him when he’s chasing 14 points.  I wanted to see the Bears Defense match up against Denver and saw it…and it was good for 56 minutes.  Today, I’m interested to see what the Patriots do.  Do you honestly think that they’ll take their foot of the pedal the way the Bears did last week?  If they’re up 7, they’ll  go up 14.  If they’re up 14, they’ll go up 21.  There will be no Tebow heroics on Belichick’s watch, or Tom Brady’s either.

Upset Special of the Week

SanDiego +2.5 vs Baltimore -I can’t believe I’m typing this, but honestly, there aren’t alot of upsets I like this week (although I know there will be some).  I just don’t like this match up for Baltimore.  Sunday night games are sometimes weird.  They have to travel across country and play the Chargers as they are getting on their hot streak.  Baltimore tends to play to their level of competition and I think they are ripe for an upset on this one.  People are going to like that they only have to cover 2.5, so I bet alot of money goes the Ravens way, but I’m gonna go with the opposite.

The Beloved

Bears -3.5 vs Seattle-  live by the hook and die by the hook. I’m hoping it is not the case.  Both teams need this one, but the Bears are at home and Seattle is on a shorter week and playing at a goofy time.  The Bears offense will have something today, I sense it.  Maybe it’ll be better field position, but the Bears won’t lay another egg at home.  Just so you know, it is very possible for Detroit to go 0-3.  They can lose in Oakland today, lose to San Diego, and lose in Lambeau the last game of the season.  So I know it is tough, but don’t put away the Bears stuff yet.

SEASON TOTALS: PICK 3 (15-21-1); UPSET SPECIAL (5-6); BELOVED (5-6); TOTAL: (25-33-1)

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