Wow. The less said about last week’s 5-11 showing the better. If I have another week that bad and dip below .500, I’m officially turning the picks over to Kellie Monaghan, the stereotypical cute ex-sorority girl who lives in my building and just TOTALLY thinks the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is SO HILARIOUS and it’s just her most GUILTY pleasure. Because chances are, she may know more about making football picks than I do.
Oh well, moving on. Here’s another early edition of NFL Picks, the earliosity and earlitude necessitated by yet another Thursday night game that is “nationally televised” yet no one in America with a basic cable package can watch.
If I lose as many games this week, since there are four teams on byes, my record for the week will be 3-11. Let’s hope that Amber is not the color of my picks’ energy. You could say my record went . . .
This past week’s picks were not my mix. No congratulations necessary.
(Note: All point spreads listed here are the lines at the time bets were made. Be sure to consult your very legitimate and legal sports book [cough] before making a bet of your own; lines move constantly due to the action on particular games. Also, gambling is illegal in many states. And watch out for those offshore betting sites, lest you end up like an online poker professional. Okay? Okay. Onward and upward.)
Week 10 Record: 5-11
My Record So Far: 72-69-5
Thursday Night Game (11/17 8:25PM ET)
New York Jets at Denver Broncos (+4.5)
In a refrain that will probably become old by the time this column is done, I was incorrect about both of these teams last week. I thought the Jets would defeat the reeling Patriots at home, and I thought the Chiefs would rebound from an embarrassing loss and knock off their division rival Broncos. Instead, Tom Brady threw seventeen touchdowns to tight end Rob “Poses with Porn Stars” Gronkowski and Tim Tebow won running what was essentially a modified college offense, completing only two passes (one for a TD) but rushing for 43 yards and another touchdown as well. The Jets can stop the run, and they have cover corners, so conventional wisdom would say they should have no trouble with the Broncos. That’s the way I’m going, even though after last week I don’t even know what’s real anymore.
My Pick: Jets (-4.5)
Sunday Early Games (11/20 1PM ET)
Tennessee Titans at Atlanta Falcons (-6)
I was also incorrect in picking the results of these teams in Week Ten. I thought the Panthers would finally have a (cliche alert) STATEMENT WIN (end cliche) by defeating the Titans, who ended up massacring them and making Cam Newton look like the rookie he is. I thought the Falcons would top the Saints at home in their own building, and they nearly did, coming back late to take it to overtime. Then they lost in overtime after Mike Smith decided to go for it on fourth and inches instead of punting from his own thirty. This decision has made NFL pundits’ collective head explode, even though statistically it was smarter to go for it than to punt. The Falcons at home should rebound after this and take the win over the Titans, but like I said, I really have no idea what I’m talking about.
My Pick: Falcons (-6)
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cleveland Browns (+1)
This game is both poop and pee.
My Pick: Jaguars (-1)
Carolina Panthers at Detroit Lions (-7)
In one of the few things I got right this past week, the Lions fell to the surging Bears, and, if I might say so myself, got thoroughly embarrassed doing so, to the point that even quarterback Matthew Stafford got in on the petulant cheap-shotting. I’ve written before, many times, that I don’t think Suh is a dirty player or that the Lions are necessarily a dirty team, but their actions in Week Ten, like many of my picks, once again showed I know a lot less than I think. All that being said, I think the Lions will win this game at home.
My Pick: Lions (-7)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers (-13.5)
Last week I made the mistake of taking the same amount of points against the Packers, and they put a hurtin’ on the Vikings on Monday night 45-7. I correctly predicted that the Buccaneers would lose, so we’ll go with that. I’m going to correctly predict that the Buccaneers will lose again (power of positive thinking is all I have left).
My Pick: Packers (-13.5)
Buffalo Bills at Miami Dolphins (-2)
The Bills are falling rapidly, and the Dolphins are rapidly falling in the Suck for Luck standings with another win last week, but I still can’t see taking a favored Miami Dolphins team unless video games become reality and I can play with some Sega Genesis-era Madden Dan Marino.
My Pick: Bills (+2)
Oakland Raiders at Minnesota Vikings (-1.5)
Likewise, I can’t see picking a thoroughly demolishable Vikings team as the favorite. I picked them last week to beat the spread against the Packers, and we all know how that turned out. Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me . . . fool me . . . well I won’t get fooled again.
My Pick: Raiders (+1.5)
Dallas Cowboys at Washington Redskins (+7.5)
I picked the Cowboys to win last week and was correct. I picked the Redskins to win last week over the Dolphins and was incorrect. I think we’ve all learned an important lesson here.
My Pick: Cowboys (-7.5)
Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-7)
Though the Bengals, whom I picked to beat the Steelers last week, ended up losing, they still looked like one of the top teams in the AFC. The Ravens lost to the Seahawks. We know the Ravens can get up for big games against the Stillers, but can they muster the same sort of Ball So Hard University enthusiasm for the Bengals? And will it matter? I think the Bengals take this one, or at the very least play it close enough to beat the spread.
My Pick: Bengals (+7)
Sunday Late Games (11/20 4:05/4:15PM ET)
Seattle Seahawks at St. Louis Rams (-2)
The Seahawks beat the Ravens last week, but that was at home in Seattle, where the home field advantage actually means something. I chose the Rams last week and they came through for me, but only because the Browns missed a potential game-winning field goal. I have a feeling that because I’d like them to win, the Rams will instead lose.
My Pick: Seahawks (+2)
Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-9.5)
I hate the 49ers with every fiber of my being. When the Rams moved to St. Louis, it coincided with me getting really interested in watching the NFL for the first time, and every year, the 49ers, with Steve Young and Jerry Rice and whoever else, would come in and lay waste to every season’s hopeful beginning. Now, the same franchise has the most unlikable wangbro in football as its head coach, and doesn’t even have the benefit of exciting, enjoyable players like Young or Rice. They win by “gutting things out,” which I fucking hate, and am coming to hate even more as all football pundits can’t seem to speak with Jim Harbaugh’s browang tickling their tonsils. This hatred of mine isn’t healthy, so I’m going to go to anger management therapy. First step: picking the 49ers to easily handle the Cortnills at home.
My Pick: 49ers (-9.5)
San Diego Chargers at Chicago Bears (-3.5)
Philip Rivers is the new old Jay Cutler. New Jay Cutler is no longer the old Jay Cutler. Fin.
My Pick: Bears (-3.5)
Sunday Night Game (11/20 8:25PM ET)
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants (-4)
The Eagles had the potential to be so fun to watch. I know a lot of people were rooting against them because they tried to buy a title with free agent talent at skill positions, and because Michael Vick is a horrible person no matter how much the media has tried to say he’s “redeemed,” but as someone who enjoys watching football, I really wanted to enjoy watching them go all Greatest Show on Turf on everyone and, at the very least, be entertaining. Instead, they are even more disappointing than my record this year picking games. The Giants will bounce back from losing to the San Francisco Guttywangbros to win this one with ease.
My Pick: Giants (-4)
Monday Night Football (11/21 8:35PM ET)
Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (-15.5)
Man, that spread is intimidatingly huge. Wait! Matt Cassel’s out! Never mind.
My Pick: Patriots (-15.5)
I mean it. If I lose enough ground to go below .500 for the season, neighbor Kellie is taking over the picks. So maybe this is goodbye. It’s been real. It’s been fun. It’s been real fun. Pound the rock, don’t smoke it.