Friday, December 03, 2010

NFL -- Week 13 Picks

After another 2-1 week in Week 14, the season record is at its high point of the season at 19-16-2 heading into the final quarter of the 2010 NFL season. I've been hot here in the second half after a .500 first half, so far basically the opposite of how things went for my football picks in 2009, so here's hoping I can keep that trend going this week. There aren't any games that really jump out at me this week as being obvious or almost too good to be true, but I did find six games that I think I know the winner of against the spread, and it's just a question of narrowing those down to the two or three I have the most confidence about.

With that in mind, and with my Eagles having nabbed a huge win last night on the NFL network -- the only broadcast I would put up there with NBC's Sunday night team among the worst regular sports telecasts in the world today -- here are the Week 15 picks, in no particular order as always:

1. Baltimore Ravens -3 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. I was sure the Steelers would win this game to avenge their earlier-season loss at home against the Ravens in the final game of Ben Roethlisberger's season-opening suspension for his sexually assaultive extra-cirricular activities, but then I saw Big Ben hobbling around on his injured foot last night on ESPN and I think I've changed my tune on this one. I don't love having to give the 3 points, but this game is in Baltimore, and as hard as it is to imagine the Steelers losing twice to the Ravens during the regular season, I've made no bones about the fact that I think the Ravens are among the very best teams in the AFC all year, and nothing I've seen has made me think otherwise. So give the Ravens the three points for home field advantage anyways, and Big Ben's foot is the thing that simply tilts this game in Baltimore's favor for me. With that swarming, pressure defense coming at him all game, Ben Roth is simply not going to be able to rely on his usual ability to stand strong and avoid the rush with his feet. I don't see a blowout here by any means, but I think the Ravens will find a way to take this one by more than a field goal and take a commanding lead in the AFC North having swept the season series against their only competition in the division.

2. Jacksonville Jaguars +4 at Tennessee Titans. With all the problems the Titans are facing now on offense, having to change their quarterback and go with Kerry Collins (!!!!!) behind center, and with Randy Moss already moping his way through the motions for the rest of the season there, I will be hard-pressed to pick the Titans to win another game this entire season, even with as much as I like their coach Jeff Fisher. I'm not sure I would pick the Jags to win this one straight-up on the road, but with a four-point cushion I just think the value is clear here, even with the Jags going on the road for a key divisional matchup. The Jags have been playing well for the better part of a month now, and I see them putting up at least a good fight in this one, so I'll take the team and the points and go with the clear value pick here.

3. Green Bay Packers -10 vs. San Francisco 49ers. Here we have the 49ers coming off a short week and a key divisional matchup, travelling on the road to frigid Lambeau Field for a game that is crucial for the Packers to win to keep pace in the NFC playoff race now that the Eagles got their big win on Thursday night even with evil Andre Johnson unfairly allowed to participate. The Pack's offense has come alive recently, averaging 31 points per game over their last three games as well as their last three home games and the 49ers have been generally dismal on the road this season other than last week's performance on Monday night against probably the real worst team in the NFL in the Cardinals. I expect the Pack to throw up another 30-spot in this one, and I'm not foreseeing the 49ers being able to amass 20 points against a pretty stingy Packers defense thus far in the 2010 season. Ten points is a lot of points to give, but I think the Pack will surpass that margin by the time this one is done. Of course, 49ers coach Mike Singletary will probably see the line and think it is "100" instead of "10", but that's another story for another time, after Singletary gets fired at season's end.

All three of these games could go either way, but I do think they represent the best value among all the lines I'm seeing this week. Best of luck if you're playing the games, and in particular if your team is in the hunt in the NFC, every single game becomes very important here now that the Bears appear poised to nab one of the 6 postseason slots. With the NFC West, North, South and East winners getting four of the six spots, that leaves room for only three out of Bears/Packers, Eagles/Giants, and Saints/Falcons/Buccaneers in the postseason picture, so every single win from here on out is pretty much crucial for these teams if they want to be playing into January 2011.

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4 Comments:

Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Um...isn't it Week 13?

11:50 PM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

I guess that is right, I will correct. Merci for the correction.

Now down with the Giants!!

12:19 AM  
Blogger GnightMoon said...

Last week's Browns/Panthers & Texans/Titans games weren't pick ems, they were spreads that hadn't been released yet because of uncertain starters at QB. I would be a very rich man if those games were pick ems.

It's tricky to actually get money on many of these spreads - Jaguars +4 this week, for example, is not a line that you could get any money on.

The NFL Network TNF broadcast is jawdroppingly awful, which is really a shame because NFL Net has a plethora of strong analysts yet chooses Matt Millen & The Worst Color Commentator in the History of Sports, Mr. Joe Theismann.

1:48 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Moon -- I have been using the Yahoo! Sports lines at the time of my post since the beginning of these picks. If some of them are wrong, then so be it. Too lazy to look it up, and I'm not putting money on all of these games so you may be right. It's all just for fun here anyways, but you may be right, you would probably know better than me.

No doubt Theisman is one of the most idiotic, least value-adding morons on television today. I don't know that I can say he is a bigger idiot than Chris Collinsworth, but if anyone could give him a run for his money in NFL broadcast history, Theisman has got to be the guy.

9:43 AM  

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