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It all comes down to this guy.
The last week of the NFL regular season. Seems like it just started a week ago. My how time flies.
Just kidding. Let's pick some games. I'm 50-59-4 on the season. I went 9-6 last week. I'm going to pick every game this week because it's my only chance at getting to .500 for the regular season.
This being the last week of the season, it's really tough to figure out some of these games. A lot of teams have nothing to play for. Either they're in or out of the playoffs, or their coach is getting fired, and so, who cares?
As a result we've got some weird lines in the mix. Getting these right will take skill. So, when I get them right, remember it's skill! Anyone can get them wrong, that's just bad luck.
All lines come from the Las Vegas Hilton, via Vegas Insider.
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The Carolina Panthers are 6.5-point favorites on the road against Atlanta.
This is one of those lines that makes you scratch your head. The Falcons are trash, and should be 10-point underdogs. What's going on here?
The pick: Panthers -6.5
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The Green Bay Packers are 3-point favorites on the road against Chicago.
Aaron Rodgers is back! And this is a good thing? He's a great QB, but he's coming off a long layoff, which makes you nervous. The star of this game should be Eddie Lacy, who is going to run all over the terrible Bears defense. But he's hurt. We're looking at two highly flawed teams going for the division title.
The pick: Bears +3
The Tennessee Titans are 7-point favorites at home against Houston.
Oy, what a terrible game. Will anyone, even fans of these teams watch? I'll just take the home team and give the points.
The pick: Titans -7
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The Pittsburgh Steelers are 7-point favorites at home against Cleveland.
The Cleveland Browns were a team just good enough to screw everything up this year. They have some talent, and might have been a tough team if they had a good QB. They played well enough to show they aren't a disaster, but that screwed them out of a great draft pick. The Steelers could make the playoffs if they win here, so I expect them to throttle the Browns.
The pick: Steelers -7
The New York Giants are 3.5-point favorites at home against Washington.
How bad is the NFC East? These teams are trash. I'll take the home team here and hope it's a short game.
The pick: Giants -3.5
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The Cincinnati Bengals are 6-point favorites at home against Baltimore.
The Bengals haven't lost at home all season. And not only are they winning at home, but they're killing their opponents. Ravens QB Joe Flacco is injured, which is why the Ravens were clobbered last week. I'll take the Bengals here, but I think the Ravens get up for a divisional game with the season on the line and could manage to cover this spread.
The pick: Bengals -6
The Indianapolis Colts are 11.5-point favorites at home against Jacksonville.
Andrew Luck and the Colts are the most underrated team going into the postseason. They are the scariest team in the playoffs. You could see them getting bounced in the first round, or making it all the way to the Super Bowl. It's a lot of points, but I think the Colts are rolling right now.
The pick: Colts -11.5
The Miami Dolphins are 6-point favorites at home against the New York Jets.
Rex Ryan is a good coach. He'll lose his job, but he shouldn't. The Dolphins are decent at home and need the win.
The pick: Miami -6
The Minnesota Vikings are 3 point favorites at home against the Detroit Lions.
The Lions should hire Rex Ryan as their next coach. They have a ton of talent on defense, and Ryan could shape it into a fearsome group. On the offensive side of the ball, Stafford and Calvin Johnson are great. Ryan should be smarter about hiring an offensive coordinator this time. I think he could flourish in Detroit.
The pick: Vikings -3
The New England Patriots are 9-point favorites at home against Buffalo.
Bill Belichick should be coach of the year. To do what he's done with this crew is incredible.
The pick: Bills +9
The New Orleans Saints are 12.5-point favorites at home against Tampa Bay.
This is a lot of points in a divisional game. I think the Saints win, but don't cover.
The pick: Bucs +12.5
The Denver Broncos are 12-point favorites on the road against Oakland.
Manning is going to go crazy in this game. Not only will he try to set records, he'll try to put the records out of reach for the next person that challenges him. He'll get some criticism for running up the score, but to those people, he'll say, "You can stick it where the sun don't shine."
The pick: Broncos -12
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The San Francisco 49ers are on the road against Arizona, and it's a pick 'em.
I don't know what to make of these two. The Cardinals had the upset of the year beating Seattle last week. But in that game Carson Palmer had four interceptions. The Cardinals should have lost because of that. Can they pull off another big win? I think so.
The pick: Cardinals, straight up
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The San Diego Chargers are 9.5-point favorites at home against Kansas City.
The Chiefs are so annoying.
The pick: Chargers -9.5
The Seattle Seahawks are 10.5-point favorites at home against St. Louis.
The Seahawks loss was a good thing. It's okay to lose sometimes as a wake up call. I think Seattle crushes the surprisingly feisty Rams, and sets themselves up for a Super Bowl run.
The pick: Seahawks -10.5
The Philadelphia Eagles are 6.5-point favorites on the road against Dallas.
I am going to recuse myself from picking this game! I am an Eagles fan and I believe I have jinxing powers, since my picks are so bad. So, I want to pick the Cowboys to jinx them here. But then I'm scared that will blow up in my face since the football gods are on to me and my jinxing. I think the Eagles are the better team by a mile, but this football and anything can happen. Sometimes a backup QB can torch you because you don't have any tape on the guy. Or, in this case, the Cowboys have no pressure on them. They're expected to lose, so they may play more freely. Meanwhile, Nick Foles might stink up the place since this is his first really big game as a pro. So, I hope the Eagles throttle the Cowboys and win by 20. But I could very easily see this being a squeaker.
The pick: Cowboys +6.5
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