Good tidings y'all - there are some great matchups this week around the NFL! I've been bestowed the honor of making some predictions for you, so here follows what I believe will happen. Also, the current odds are posted as they come courtesy of Odds Shark because I know that you probably don't trust me.
It's your choice if you want to ridicule my picks or put your car pink-slip down on them, but in case you're wondering, I went 12-4 straight up in Week 12, 11-5 in Week 13, and 13-3 Week14, and 11-5 last week. My guess is that NO ONE picked the Colts to win and the Packers to lose so I like to think that 11-5 is pretty decent, considering how "any given Sunday" the NFL went last week.
Regardless, get out your wallets and call up your favorite bookie, 'cause here we go...
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (+7): Did you think that the Texans would lose to the Panthers and the Colts would be the Titans! Me too! Just kidding, I totally didn't. Because Houston had won seven straight and the Colts have lost a billion straight! Regardless, it's a crazy world and weird things happen. So who do you pick in this one? Perhaps the Colts are energized and sick of people talking about Andrew Luck? Perhaps they've figured things out? Maybe the Texans' facade of eliteness is crumbling? Perhaps they can't continue to win with a fifth round rookie quarterback under center? No, all that stuff I just said is dumb. Pick: TEXANS
Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills (+1.5): The Broncos have been really proving to people that they're legit in the 2nd half of the season and the Bills have been doing pretty much the opposite. I can't say I have much confidence that the Bills will break out of their 7-game losing streak against a team as hot as Denver, even though they're coming off a loss themselves. Pick: Denver
Arizona Cardinals at Cincinnati Bengals (-4): This has the makings of a good game, actually. Before the season, this would have looked like an awful matchup but the Andy Dalton - A.J. Green connection coupled with Cincy's stout defense has made the Bengals pretty formidable. The Cardinals are quietly one of the NFL's hottest teams, whether it's John Skelton or Kevin Kolb under center. It's looking like Skelton will start and I think the Bengals defense will get the best of Arizona. I'm going with the home team. Pick: BENGALS
Cleveland Browns at Baltimore Ravens (-13.5): Colt McCoy will sit for the second straight week with a concussion and the Ravens will be looking to bounce back after their ugly defeat at the hands of the Chargers last week. I don't get the feeling that the Browns will put up much of a fight in this one. Pick: RAVENS
Jacksonville Jaguars at Tennessee Titans (-8): This is another one of those games that at first glance looks awful but when you think about the circumstances it becomes more intriguing. Matt Hasselbeck is fighting off a calf injury and though he may start, there's a solid chance Jake Locker will have to spell him. Pitting two rookie QBs against each other is always compelling and Blaine Gabbert and Locker have a lot of similarities. Though they lost to the Colts last week, I am going to have to say the Titans will take care of business this week. Pick: TITANS
Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-1): Huh. I. Did. Not. See. That. Coming. Of all the teams to knock off the Packers, I'd probably have listed the Chiefs right around 30 to 32 as most likely. That being said, (and as I said two weeks ago in this column - "you never know what Chiefs team will show up" or something like that, which makes me look smart because look at what they did to the Packers.. eh? eh? yeah.), you just never know what you'll get from the Chiefs. Will the team that beat the previously undefeated Packers show up, or will the team that lost 48-3 to the Lions show up? I'm going with the former, because I believe this team is better than they let on, and I think they'll beat a struggling Raiders club. Pick: CHIEFS
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-11): OOOH, this could be interesting! The Patriots are a very good team, but their defense doesn't really inspire a whole lot of confidence. For some reason, I can see the Dolphins really hanging around in this one but ultimately they'll have a hard time keeping pace with Tom Brady and Co. Pick: PATRIOTS
Minnesota Vikings at Washington Redskins (-7): The Redskins are another one of those teams that you can never really count on, in a betting sense. One game, they'll look completely awful and you'll be glad you bet against them. The next week, they'll play the upset and squash a sure win for you. This should be one of the least interesting games of the weekend between two teams with really ugly uniforms, but I think the Redskins will win. Pick: REDSKINS
New York Giants at New York Jets (-2.5): This is a tough one to pick. On one hand, you have to think Eli Manning and the Giants have the edge here because they have Eli Manning and not Mark Sanchez, but on the other hand, they did just lose to the Redskins. I never really have that much confidence in the Jets and it always comes down to the fact that Mark Sanchez is their quarterback. I'm sticking with that hunch here but I'm not confident about it. Pick: GIANTS
San Diego Chargers at Detroit Lions (-1.5): The Chargers simply don't lose in December (Philip Rivers is something like two-hundred-million-and-two in the month of December over his career as a starter. I need the Lions to lose out for my Seahawks to get into the playoffs. I think the Chargers will do their part to make my dream a reality. Pick: CHARGERS.
Philadelphia Eagles at Dallas Cowboys (-1): This will be a big game for both sides but as long as Mike Vick is under center for the Eagles, I think they'll continue to stay hot. There's a lot of talent on both sides of the football, but Shady McCoy is probably the best back in the league and Dallas is without DeMarco Murray. I'm going with Philly. Pick: EAGLES.
San Francisco 49ers at Seattle Seahawks (+1): Seattle, at 7-7, actually matches up well with the Niners and will be playing at home. Both teams possess strong running offenses coupled with tough, run-stopping defenses. Both have that 'game-manager' quarterback. The Seahawks' run game is pretty nicked up though and I just can't see them getting much going on the 49ers stout defense. I don't see San Francisco turning the ball over and though I think it will be a close one, I'm going with the visiting team here. Pick: 49ERS
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-14): The Bears' offense is just atrocious right now. They're missing all their key playmakers and are now facing the Packers at Lambeau. Certainly not an ideal situation. Pick: PACKERS
Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-7.5): The game of the week, I'm sure. It's very tough to pick this one as well, but as I like to say, whoever plays New Orleans is going to have to be ready for a track meet. The way that Drew Brees is playing right now I really can't see the Saints losing to anyone, so I'm going with the home Saints. Pick: SAINTS