Your boy is on the peak of the mountain, screaming down below at all the haters who didn’t think he could do it. After a midseason slump that only lasted from weeks 4-14, I went 11-5 last week bringing me to 112-109-2, putting me back in the black for the season. The name of this column is “don’t be an idiot,” in which I promise to think of reasons why an idiot would bet on certain games, and then do the opposite. That said, my best advice to you is to not be an idiot and walk away. You’ve done well enough if you get up on the house after 16 weeks of gambling on the NFL.
But you came here for gambling picks, and so I’m going to give them to you anyways with the caveat that the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards losing money on the NFL.
Jacksonville +10.5 over HOUSTON
It would be one of the most impressive coaching jobs in recent memory if the Texans could go to the playoffs on the collective backs of Case Keenum, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Ryan Mallett and Tom Savage. More than anything, it’s a credit to their running game which is fourth overall in the NFL.
Ten and a half points is just an absurd amount to spot the Texans given their quarterback. The fact that they’re going to be pounding the ball nonstop against the weak Jaguars‘ defense makes it even less likely that they’ll cover above a TD and a field goal..
NEW YORK GIANTS -2.5 over Philadelphia
Neither team is playing for a playoff spot but only one coach is coaching for his job.
NEW ENGLAND -5 over Buffalo
This line dropped like a rock after the Pats clinched home-field advantage. The Bills started as 10-point favorites and kept sinking after the Broncos lost their shot at the No. 1 seed in the AFC Monday night.
This line is kind of a crapshoot since neither team has anything to play for. It’s like gambling on the NBA in January. By taking New England, I’m hoping Brady stays in through the third quarter, because the Bills’ defense should be able to eat Jimmy Garoppolo alive.
SB Nation studios presents: More teams should go for it on fourth down
Cleveland +10 over BALTIMORE
All we have to go on is Connor Shaw’s preseason performances, which were actually not bad at all. He’s probably not the answer in Cleveland, but I think they’ll establish a conservative game plan that uses his ability to run the ball to control the clock as best they can. Baltimore has been miserable on offense and the Browns‘ defense has the ability to play at an extremely high level, at times.
I’m not calling a Cleveland win, but I’ll take the 10 points even if it is on the road.
MINNESOTA -7 over Chicago
Minnesota is 5-0 ATS in their last five, and 5-1 ATS in their last six at home — which in theory sounds great, but 7 points is a lot for a team that’s not engineered to blow anyone out.
San Diego (pick ’em) over KANSAS CITY
Chase Daniel’s job shouldn’t be much different than Alex Smith’s. Andy Reid will prescribe a steady diet of handing the ball off to Jamaal Charles and only throwing passes to anyone named Kelce. That said, Kansas City doesn’t fare well at home in the division. The Chiefs are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 AFC West games at Arrowhead.
The Chargers fare pretty well on the road in general, going 8-3 in their last 11. If they win they’re in, so I’m leaning on the Chargers to cover.
Carolina +3.5 over ATLANTA
Another tough game to bet on since both teams are playing for the right to be the winner of the second-worst division in NFL history. Of course we all know this means whoever represents the NFC South will probably end up winning a playoff game. That’s just how the NFL works.
The Panthers are a team that at least has the potential to play good defense. That’s a lost cause for Atlanta. Carolina’s also riding a three-game winning streak, and the Falcons are a miserable 1-4 at home in their last five. The over/under is a healthy 47 points which tells you that Vegas doesn’t think much about Atlanta’s defense at all. A semi-healthy Cam Newton should be able to take advantage of it.
Detroit +7.5 over GREEN BAY
WASHINGTON +5.5 over Dallas
MIAMI -6 over New York Jets
St. Louis +13 over SEATTLE
OAKLAND +14.5 over Denver
Arizona +7 over SAN FRANCISCO
New Orleans -4 over TAMPA BAY
TENNESSEE +7.5 over Indianapolis
PITTSBURGH -3 over Cincinnati
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