Week 12 is upon us, place your bets!
The NFL gods have presented us with some really interesting matchups this week, especially on Thanksgiving Day, so let's get right into it! Here are my picks, with the current odds, as they come courtesy of Odds Shark. It's your choice if you want to ridicule them or put your car pink-slip down on them.
Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions (+7): While you're busy fighting off sleep from the heaps of triptafen injected food, there are going to be three really good matchups happening across these United States. First up, the Packers travel to Detroit to take on the Lions, and this one is going to be a doozy. Green Bay is favored by seven, which to me sounds a bit high, but can I honestly pick against Aaron Rodgers right now? No, I can't. Regardless, it's going to be fun to watch two top NFC teams duke it out, and if anything, the Bucs proved last week that the Packers are almost mortal. Still, pick: Green Bay
Miami Dolphins at Dallas Cowboys (-9): The Dolphins are heating up and if you're a Seahawks' fan like me, you love this. The more games they win, the more likely it becomes that they won't steal the QBOTF from Seattle's grasp in the upcoming draft. With that in mind, I'm picking the red-hot Miami team that is coming off wins against Kansas City, Washington, and Buffalo and are starting to believe. What's more, they've got a little chip on their shoulder from enduring all that "Suck for Luck" nonsense early on. Dallas is a very good team but are notoriously inconsistent. They're due for an let down. Pick: Miami
San Francisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens (-4.5): The Harbaugh Bowl. I'm going with the Ravens here because they're at home and because I really want the 49ers to lose, if only because they're NFC West Rivals (and because the Seahawks already beat the Ravens, ha!). In reality though, this is going to be a great game, running and defense will be key for both sides, and I imagine it will be ended with a very, very firm handshake and 'bro' hug between coaches. Pick: Baltimore.
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-7.5): The Ohio teams face off and as much as I'd love to see Mike Holmgren's boys travel to Cincinnati and take down the Bengals this week, I just don't see them being able to muster much against the Cincy defense. Andy Dalton and the Bengals improving offense will get the ship righted this week. Pick: Bengals.
Carolina Panthers at Indianapolis Colts (+4): Are the Colts going to win any games this year? If they hope to, this is one of their best chances. The Panthers are anything but consistent, but gave the Lions a run for their money last week and should be able to handle the Colts this week, led by Cam Newton and Steve Smith. Pick: Panthers
Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (+3.5): Houston is going to have to rely on the arm of Matt Leinart, it appears, for the rest of the season and the Jaguars defense is actually pretty tough. I think this will be a close one, but I still think the Texans will be too much for the Jaguars and their ineffective offense led by Blaine Gabbert. Pick: Texans.
Buffalo Bills at New York Jets (-8.5): The Bills are in a tailspin, losers of three straight and now without their best offensive weapon, Fred Jackson. But, the Jets just lost to the Broncos, so who the hell ever knows what will happen in the NFL. I see the Jets winning this one, if only for their very strong defense. Pick: New York
Arizona Cardinals at St. Louis Rams: Two juggarnaughts. The Rams offense hasn't been able to get anything going lately, putting just seven on the board last week against Seattle, and the Cardinals have been playing a little bit better as of late, beating the Rams three weeks ago and picking off the Eagles the following week. The Cards last last week to the 9-1 49ers but I wouldn't look past them. I'm picking the road warriors here, led by John Skelton. Pick: Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tennessee Titans (-3.5): Josh Freeman had a field day last week against the Packers and nearly led his team back for the win. I think he'll continue that this week on the road at Tennessee and whether it's Jake Locker or Matt Hasselbeck at QB for the Titans, I don't think they'll have an answer for Tampa Bay. Pick: Bucs
Chicago Bears at Oakland Raiders (+1.5): This will be a great game. Two hard-nosed, punch you in the mouth defenses. Two inconsistent yet exciting offenses. Caleb Hanie gets the call here and I'm going to put my money on the Raiders pulling this one out. Carson Palmer is starting to heat up, the Raiders are dangerous at home, and the Bears will struggle to produce on offense. Pick: Oakland
New England Patriots at Philadelphia Eagles (+4): This should be interesting. The Patriots are... well, the Patriots, and the Eagles just got done beating the Giants so you know they haven't completely gone off the rails. Whether it's Vince Young or Michael Vick under center, this is an explosive Eagles team when they want to be, so all bets could be off. Still, I have to pick the Patriots here. Pick: New England.
Denver Broncos at San Diego Chargers (-7): The damn Chargers have let me down the last five weeks, and yet I still don't have the balls to pick against them. I also don't want to think about what might happen in the world if Tim Tebow and the Broncos keep winning against good teams. Pick: Chargers.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (+10.5): The Chiefs are wily, and will randomly show up and play tough. They are, though, now without their starting QB in Matt Cassell so they'll be hard-pressed to do much against the Steelers vaunted defense. This could be a bloodbath. Pick: Steelers
New York Giants at New Orleans Saints (-6.5): I am actually going to be in the Big Easy this weekend so I'm angry that this game was slotted to the Monday Night time. Regardless, I am going with the Saints in this one - the Giants are as inconsistent as you can get and playing in the Super Dome is never an easy task. Pick: Saints.
Check out more of my incoherent ramblings over at Field Gulls.