For some reason, the Vikings were 10 point underdogs against the Cardinals last night. The Cardinals are one of the six true Super Bowl contenders in the league, but no one should be favored by that much on Thursday night. If we’ve learned anything from these Thursday night games, it’s that teams never play their best game, and they’re usually low scoring and sloppy. So, if any one is favored by double digits against a good team like the Vikings, take the points. On to Week 14.
EAGLES (Even) over Bills
Don’t look now, but the Eagles are tied at the top of the wretched NFC East, and they’re starting to look like the team everyone expected them to be. Sam Bradford is far from perfect, but he can make some throws. Chip Kelly has realized DeMarco Murray was a mistake, and Ryan Matthews is a better fit for this offense. The Eagles are the least dysfunctional team in the division, I think they end up winning it.
49ers (+2) over BROWNS
It is unbelievable the Browns are laying points. The 49ers have played pretty well since benching Kaepernick, and are coming off of a big win over the Bears. The Browns are putting Manziel back under center, it’s clear that there’s a ton of disconnect between Mike Pettine and his bosses. My prediction: the Browns end up with the number one pick and blow it like they do with all of their draft picks.
Lions (-3) over RAMS
The Lions are coming off of that horrible loss to the Packers last Thursday. As long as they’ve revived Jim Caldwell I think they should bounce back nicely. On second thought, they might do better if they just leave Caldwell on the sideline. Seriously, how do you cover the Hail Mary as poorly as they did last week? I’m still in disbelief. Moving on.
BUCCANEERS (-4.5) over Saints
The Saints are in free fall, and meanwhile the Bucs are starting to look dangerous. They’ve won three of their last four and are right in the thick of the NFC Wild Card race. Winston is starting to come into his own, and playing the Saints defense should be huge for him. Start him in any and all fantasy leagues.
JETS (-7) over Titans
The Jets offense is quietly one of the better ones in the league. It has it’s limitations, but Ryan Fitzpatrick has been making big throws late in games, his receiving core is loaded, and the running game is strong. Right now they’re in a tight AFC Wild Card race, I expect them to take care of business here.
Steelers (+2.5) over BENGALS
I’ve been saying this all season, the Steelers have the best offense in the league when healthy. Even without Le’Veon Bell their running game is strong. Big Ben struggled against the Bengals in the first game, but that was his first game back from injury and he likely wasn’t completely healthy. While the Bengals are a more complete team, the Steelers offense is humming right now and they have the better quarterback, I think they get a big one in Cincy.
Colts (Even) over JAGUARS
Everyone’s going to freak out after watching the Colts get humiliated on national television last week, but as I’ve already explained the Steeler’s offense is humming. The Colts haven’t lost a division game since Week 15 of the 2012 season. That’s 16 straight games. I don’t see that ending this week while they’re in a tight division race with the Texans.
CHIEFS (-10) over Chargers
The Chiefs are red hot right now. They lost Jamaal Charles and their running game got better, Alex Smith is throwing downfield for the first time in his career, Jeremy Maclin’s been revived from the dead and their defense is as strong as ever. Of course, they always seem to blow one of these games down the stretch, hopefully it’s not this one.
BEARS (-3.5) over Redskins
I’d say the Redskins offense was exposed last week, but everyone already knew that they didn’t have a great offense. Cousins is fine. He’s serviceable, but he’s not going to win you games. He refuses to push the ball down the field. The Bears had a bad loss last week, I think they’ll bounce back and beat a Redskins team coming off of a short week.
Falcons (+7.5) over PANTHERS
I don’t think the Panthers lose this one, but I expect it to be close. The Falcons haven’t looked good for a long time, but they’re still a talented team, and the Panthers have looked vulnerable recently. The defense has been good, but just got torn up by the Saints. The Falcons need Matt Ryan to regain his confidence, if he does this could be the week the streak ends for the Panthers.
RAVENS (+11.5) over Seahawks
I picked against the Seahawks last week and got totally burned. While I am respecting the Seahawks as a Super Bowl dark horse, I’m expecting a bit of a letdown this week flying all the way to Baltimore to play an early game. The Ravens have been hit hard with injuries, but they’ve still been competitive, and I expect them to cover at home.
BRONCOS (-6.5) over Raiders
The Raiders offense couldn’t do a thing against Oakland the first time they played, and the only reason they stayed in the game was because of Peyton Manning’s interceptions in the end zone. Now, the Brockweiler is in at quarterback. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, he’s 6’8, incredibly handsome, and he’s a much better fit for this offense than 2015 Peyton Manning. In fact, he’s a much better fit for any offense than 2015 Peyton Manning, because 2015 Peyton Manning throws about four good passes a game.
PACKERS (-6.5) over Cowboys
The fact that the Cowboys are only one game out of a playoff spot is proof that the system needs changing. And for the record, I’d just like to say that living in Dallas and listening to Dallas radio trying to talk positively about this team and be happy that they’re 4-8 and still in the playoff picture is maddening. They should all be ashamed of themselves. Talk about the Mavericks, talk about the Stars, talk about the Rangers for all I care. These are actual good teams, but of course, the NFL is king, and it is the Cowboys. I hope they lose by 30.
Patriots (-3.5) over TEXANS
I love the Patriots only laying 3.5 against Houston. Seriously, despite giving up two special teams touchdowns and a pick six on the goal line, playing without Gronk, Edelman, or Lewis, they were still driving for a tying touchdown and probably would’ve gotten it had they not had four drops in a row. Also, apparently J.J. Watt broke his hand in practice this week. He’s still gonna play, but you know, BREAKING YOUR FREAKING HAND might hamper him a little bit. NFL guys continue to amaze me with their toughness.
Giants (-1) over DOLPHINS
This is an easy pick. The Dolphins are a horrible team. They’ve played two good games the entire season. The Giants have mismanaged the ends of games this year, but they have been a pretty good team. Had it not been for three horrible clock mismanagement fiascos, they’d be a respectable 8-4. This looks like an 8-4 team, they just can’t get out of their own way at times.
NFL Record Last Week: 12-4-0
NFL Record Overall: 93-95-6
College Football Record Last Week: 6-2-0
College Football Record Overall: 58-46-0