This past weekend, I met my parents in Las Vegas for a non-traditional Thanksgiving that involved my parents paying for expensive meals, a visit to a 24-hour tiki lounge where a drunk Australian set a ten dollar bill on fire after the video poker machine would not take it, and many hours of sitting in the Mandalay Bay sports book, staring at multiple screens and holding betting tickets in my clammy hands, waiting to hit big while semi-attractive cocktail waitresses of undetermined ethnicity brought me drinks and called me “Hon.” Did I bet on a Hawaii-Tulane WAC football game because it was the last sporting event of the day? You bet I did. It’s probably bad news that I’m only a four hour drive from that town, because I could see all of this becoming a bad, bad habit.
If my picks always turned out like they did in Week 12, though, maybe it’d be a very good habit. Let’s keep this roll going, shall we? Let’s shall. I don’t subscribe to triskaidekaphobia.
There is no clever reason to post this song. I just like it.
(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 12 Record: 11-5
My Record So Far: 89-80-7
Thursday Night Game (12/1 8:25PM ET)
Philadelphia Eagles at Seattle Seahawks (+3)
On to the footballs! The Eagles got destroyed by the Patriots, and the Seahawks lost to the lowly Redskins. Though the Seahawks are playing at home and they have one of the best home field advantages in the league, I actually think the Eagles will beat them for some reason, if only so that people in the media can say “Are the Eagles really out of it?” So I’ll take the Eagles minus three, also known as the Minusthreagles.
My Pick: Eagles (-3)
Sunday Early Games (12/4 1PM ET)
Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-21)
This was originally scheduled to be the Sunday Night primetime game, but NBC was able to flex this one out, thankfully. While it would be kind of funny if the winless Colts beat the Patriots, that won’t happen, and I don’t have any doubt that Brady and Belichick will have plenty of target practice planned to get this game well out of hand.
My Pick: Patriots (-21)
Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills (-1.5)
The thoroughly average Titans secured remarkably unremarkable victory last week over the Buccaneers. The Bills managed to beat the spread, but could not beat the Jets. Chris Johnson finally broke out of his slumber, running for nearly 200 yards, but he will likely not do that this week and anger every fantasy football player who owns him. The Titans have won without Johnson being effective, however, so this one should go the way of Tennis E.
My Pick: Titans (+1.5)
Kansas City Chiefs at Chicago Bears (-8)
The Bears lost to the Raiders last week with Caleb Hanie at quarterback. He didn’t look terrible, but he didn’t look good, either. The Chiefs played some competitive football even though they had Tyler Palko under center themselves, only losing to the Steelers by four (and giving me a loss in the process). The Bears being favored by eight just feels like too much, especially since Kyle Orton might suit up and actually be the best quarterback in the game for the Chiefs.
My Pick: Chiefs (+8)
Oakland Raiders at Miami Dolphins (-3)
While the Dolphins won three in a row and played the Cowboys tough, they tend to fall on their faces at home, and the Raiders are playing some pretty good football. Carson Palmer definitely wasn’t worth what the Raiders traded for him, but he’s holding up fairly well, and he should only get better, at least until the regular season ends, and then I can bet big against him in the first round of the playoffs.
My Pick: Raiders (+3)
Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7)
The Bengals played both the Steelers and the Ravens tough, then had a letdown game in which they barely beat the Browns. The Steelers had some trouble last week beating the Chiefs, maybe because they were looking ahead toward this potentially tough division game. I don’t know what it is, but I think the Bengals, even if they don’t win, will keep this close enough to beat the spread.
My Pick: Bengals (+7)
Carolina Panthers at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3)
If the Carolina Panthers quarterback were a brutal death metal band bringing the mosh, his name would be Slam Newton.
My Pick: Panthers (+3)
New York Jets at Washington Redskins (+3)
Sexy Rexy Ryan goes up against Sexy Rexy Grossmember in this battle of two teams that I really don’t care about at all. When the Jets aren’t as good as they’re supposed to be, Ryan’s quirks aren’t as fun, and the Redskins are just gross.
My Pick: Redskins (+3)
Atlanta Falcons at Houston Texans (+2.5)
The Texans have lost yet another quarterback, and now their quarterback is W.B. Yeats. There will not be enough pass protection since, because of the rules of football, the centre cannot hold.
My Pick: Falcons (-2.5)
Sunday Late Games (12/4 4:05/4:15PM ET)
Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (+6.5)
The Ravens played really well last week in the battle of the Harbros, and that led to me winning my first Vegas sportsbook bet of the weekend, with the cashier at the book saying to me, “Gotta go with that B-more, big baby!” So, I guess I gotta go with that B-more.
My Pick: Ravens (-6.5)
Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings (PK)
Tim Win By Threebow.
My Pick: Broncos
Green Bay Packers at New York Giants (+6.5)
If the Green Bay Packers wore long johns with the socks built in, would they be undie-feeted?
My Pick: Packers (-6.5)
Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals (+4.5)
The Cowboys nearly pooped the bed on Thanksgiving, only beating the Dolphins by a point at home in Jerryworld. The Cardinals beat the Rams on the back of a 200-plus yard rushing game from Beanie Wells and another punt return touchdown by Patrick Peterson, who has about as white a name as a black guy can have. I’m going with the home underdog in this one, which will probably mean Tony Romo turns in a legendary performance and Beanie Wells turns into Weenie Bells. I’m stickin’ with it anyways.
My Pick: Cardinals (+4.5)
St. Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers (-13.5)
The only hope for the Rams in this game would have been the 49ers winning their big matchup with the Ravens on Thanksgiving. Instead, they will be facing an angry team coming off a long rest with something to prove, playing at home. This game may possibly be bad enough that the Rams finally fire Spag Stevenuolo.
My Pick: 49ers (-13.5)
Sunday Night Game (12/4 8:25PM ET)
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (-8)
Suh’s out, the Lions got their buns kicked by the very similar Packers, and the Saints are playing at home and, to employ a cliche, “firing on all cylinders.” I’m clichemed of that cliche.
My Pick: Saints (-8)
Monday Night Football (12/5 8:35PM ET)
San Diego Chargers at Jacksonville Jaguars (+2.5)
My new job’s hours will ensure that I miss at least half of this game. My lack of desire to watch this game will ensure that I will miss the other half of this game. I suppose I should mention that the Chargers have lost six in a row (LOSS BY THREEBOW), Philip Rivers is having by far the worst year of his career, Norv Turner’s probably going to be fired soon, and Jack Del Rio was finally fired by the Jaguars, who got a new owner whose last name is Khan. Would it be possible for neither of these teams to win? I guess I’ll go with the inexplicable our-coach-got-fired-now-we’re-fired-up win for the Jagwires.
My Pick: Jaguars (+2.5)
Well that’s it for lucky Week 13. As people who want to pretend they’re not from the United States sign off their emails, Cheers.