Some developments since last week in the Fully Reconditioned West Coast Headquarters. I had a .500 week, and am still slightly above .500 overall, so Kellie the sorority girl from upstairs will not be taking over the picks just yet. At least one more week of bad puns and mildly amusing picture captions to follow.
It’s also Thanksgiving, which is, to me, a holiday that does not make any real sense. Luckily, my family agrees, and so instead of getting together with friends and relatives we don’t really like to eat food that everyone pretends is great one day of the year, we will be in the city of Lost Wages, doing our best to stimulate the tourist economy by losing money. This is okay, because I am once again in the ranks of the employed. #OccupyOfficeRollyChairs.
On to the picks, after the jump.
(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 11 Record: 6-6-2
My Record So Far: 78-75-7
Thursday Early Game (11/24 12:30PM ET)
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (+6)
The Lions looked more like the team who’d begun the year on a tear in the second half of their win against the Carolina Panthers, but even though the Packers didn’t cover the large spread against the Buccaneers in Week 11, they’re starting to talk going undefeated and I’m still taking them seriously. They should beat the Lions by a touchdown at the very least on the big stage during the first installment of Football: Thanksgiving Style.
My Pick: Packers (-6)
Thursday Afternoon Game (11/24 4:15PM ET)
Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys (-7)
Both the Dolphins and the Cowboys are playing well these days. Tony Romo is on point at quarterback (or, AT THE QUARTERBACK POSITION as all of ESPN’s announcers and commentators say) so even though the Dolphins are regaining some of their dignity, they probably won’t be able to hang with the ‘Boys at home in Jerryworld.
My Pick: Cowboys (-7)
Thursday Late Game (11/24 8:25PM ET)
San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens (-3)
The battle of the brothers Harbaugh (henceforth referred to as the Harbros) will involve a lot of smashmouth football, steely-eyed staring, and square jaws. Older Harbro and his Ravens play well against good teams, and younger Harbro and his 49ers have played well against just about everybody, their only loss coming in overtime to the Cowboys. Ray Lewis is questionable (for the game, I mean; how dare anyone question him in any other respect, like, you know, in regards to a murder) but even if he doesn’t play there’s sure to be a camera on him at all times, on the sideline, being the “heart” of the defense or whatever and hamming it up while pretending to celebrate for his teammates. For some reason, I feel like the Ravens are going to take this one (they need the win far more than the 49ers, who already have their division sewn up), and younger Harbro isn’t going to like it one bit.
My Pick: Ravens (-3)
Sunday Early Games (11/27 1PM ET)
Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons (-9.5)
The processes by which Minnesota is Viked have lost Adrian Peterson, their one good player. The Falcons are playing at home in their dome (which rhymes).
My Pick: Falcons (-9.5)
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5)
The Bengals lost two heartbreakers in a row to their division foes in the Steelers and the Ravens, but proved to a lot of people they’re for real by hanging tight in both games. They should take out their frustration on those losses by trouncing the Browns. By trouncing, I mean winning by at least eight points, because I’m picking them, and that would make me happy. Make me happy, Bengals. Make. Me. Happy.
My Pick: Bengals (-7.5)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans (-3)
The Titans lost by six last week to the Falcons, and since the spread was six, that was a push. Losing by six to a slightly better team and hitting the point spread exactly is such a Titans thing to do. They’re probably going to beat the Bucs by three this week and push again, but I’ll go with them because the Buccaneers are even MORE mediocre.
My Pick: Titans (-3)
Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts (+3.5)
My Pick: Panthers (+3.5)
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams (-3)
These teams apparently exist, and will be playing each other. The only people watching will be the players’ parents, who will actually be checking the scores of all the other games on their smartphones. “Oh, yeah, Sam honey, I saw the play. Good work!”–Mom Bradford, while shopping for a cute new bag on Etsy.
My Pick: Cardinals (+3)
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-8)
The Jets were the latest victims of magical white person Tim Tebow, who beat them with a 95-yard drive capped off with a quarterback keeper that had him running over dudes and into the endzone. The Jets have fallen into the realm of mediocre teams, but the Bills seem to have taken their rightful place back in the realm of terrible teams, and mediocre will beat terrible in this ugly game that I probably won’t watch.
My Pick: Jets (-8)
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+3)
Texans quarterback and guy who’s good but everyone forgets he exists Matt Schaub is out for the season with a hand injury. In to replace him is Matt Leinart, known for losing his job to the ancient-but-still-awesome Kurt Warner (who many teams probably wish had not retired right about now) and for being caught in pictures with sorority-esque Woo!-girls. What is a Woo!-girl, you ask? A girl who, once drunk, yells “Woo! I’m so drunk,” while holding aloft a Bud Light or similar beverage in a Statue of Liberty-esque pose. Statwoo! of Liberty, perhaps? The higher the elbow is above the head, the drunker the girl. Matt Leinart will probably score with more Woo!-girls this weekend than he will touchdowns, but that doesn’t matter because the Jaguars are terrible and the Texans have a good defense and two awesome running backs.
My Pick: Texans (-3)
Sunday Late Games (11/27 4:05/4:15PM ET)
Chicago Bears at Oakland Raiders (-4.5)
Just when the Bears and Jay Cutler started to be sort of likable and good, Cutler had to go and break his hand. Now they are four-and-a-hook dogs on the road, playing in Oakland where Carson Palmer might be starting to be good again, maybe? I honestly have no idea how to pick this game, because it’s confusing, but I feel like the Raiders will probably pull it out.
My Pick: Raiders (-4.5)
Washington Redskins at Seattle Seahawks (-4)
Last week, the Redskins beat the spread and took the Cowboys to overtime. That sort of actual football-like performance is not what I’m expecting this week, so the slightly less terrible Seahawks will take this duder at home.
My Pick: Seahawks (-4)
New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles (+4)
The Eagles are only four-point dogs against the Patriots? I guess you could argue that since the Eagles beat the Giants (who played terribly) and the Giants beat the Patriots, then by some sort of geometric proof, you could say that the Eagles are going to lose this one by less than a touchdown, but I’m gonna go all old-school baseball writer and say that math is stupid and what matters is intangibles, meaning, of course, undersized overachieving white players. Which the Patriots, as always, have in spades. Sometimes they even play both sides of the ball, like wide receiver and potential gropester Julian Edelman has, rocking the DB role in nickel and dime packages. I said “packages.” All covertly racist old sportswriters know that overachieving white people always beat talented black people at sports, so this one’s going for the Patriots. (Note for new readers: I hate the Patriots, and all of their “gritty” white players.)
My Pick: Patriots (-4)
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers (-6.5)
I am not going to bet against Tebow ever again. Or until the next time he loses. Whichever comes first.
My Pick: Broncos (+6.5)
Sunday Night Game (11/27 8:25PM ET)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (+10)
The Chiefs, with backup quarterback Tyler Palko, just got annihilated by the Patriots. GODDAMMIT MATT CASSEL!
My Pick: Steelers (-10)
Monday Night Football (11/28 8:35PM ET)
New York Giants at New Orleans Saints (-7)
The Saints, playing at home, are always tough. The Giants looked pretty awful against Vince Young and the Eagles on Sunday Night, and tend to fold up around this time of year, every year. I don’t know why I thought it would be different, but it seems headed down that same sad path for Eli Hap, Mario Hapham, Hakeem Cuts from Shaving, and all the other Giants.
My Pick: Saints (-7)
Can I hold on one more week, or will Kellie from upstairs be taking over? And will Matt Leinart be with her when she does?
Only time will tell.