December 5, 2008

Week 14 picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Fantasy, Football, Picks

You really don’t remember how bad the Raiders actually are until you actually sit and watch them play. Because there will always be a better game on Sundays to view and Oakland isn’t going to be getting any Monday night dates any time soon, there isn’t really much of a chance to view this hapless squad unless your team is scheduled to rout them.

This week’s picks with the lines from Vegas and the home teams in CAPS.

INDIANAPOLIS (-13.5) over Cincinnati
I am really not sure how the Colts only managed 10 points against Cleveland last week, but scoring is not going to be a problem against the Bengals. If Manning puts up some big numbers in the remaining weeks, he’s a shoo-in for MVP, right? It should come down to him or Albert Haynesworth with the outside chance of Warner or Brees.

CHICAGO (-6.5) over Jacksonville
After getting beaten like a rented mule by the Texans, how can the Bears not win this? It will be a shame when the Jags can Jack Del Rio this offseason, he doesn’t deserve it. The Jags lost three of their top six linemen and that’s a big part of how well a team can do.

GREEN BAY (-6) over Houston
The Packers just keep finding ways to lose but are still quite a good team. They just miss every bounce and can’t seem to get it all together in the end. But, against the Texans, they won’t need those bounces because they will just plain out-class them.

Cleveland (+14) over TENNESSEE
Sure the Titans beat the holy hell out of Detroit, but this is Cleveland. Sure, they’re not much better but I just don’t feel good about a line this high. Double-digit favourites don’t usually cover very often and I’ve already picked Indy this week.

DETROIT (+9.5) over Minnesota
Sure, the Williamses found a way to avoid suspension but this is the last realistic chance for the Lions to win a game. The won’t actually win, but they will keep it close with a late Calvin Johnson TD.

BALTIMORE (-5) over Washington
I still find it a bit amazing how well the Ravens are playing, especially their defence. Three of their starting defensive backs from the beginning of the season are on IR yet they still hold everyone in check. And don’t get me started on their runningback-by-committee. I haven’t been so frustrated by a situation like this since the early 2000’s with Denver’s backfields.

NEW YORK GIANTS (-6.5) over Philadelphia
The Eagles took advantage of an ill-prepared, tired Cardinals squad who don’t play well in the cold and have rewarded gamblers with an easy line. Had Philly not blow out Arizona and just won by a TD, this line would be a bit higher. Giants have no reason not to win this one.

Atlanta (+3) over NEW ORLEANS
Drew Brees was exposed last week and will have to step it up if he wants to get back into consideration. This is a huge game between two division rival where the loser pretty much becomes a long-shot to make the playoffs.

New York Jets (-3.5) over SAN FRANCISCO
This line seems awfully fishy but I still have to take the Jets. The last time that New York was in the Bay Area, they lost to Oakland but that shouldn’t be repeated. I’m really counting on Thomas Jones to come through here too.

Miami (+1) over BUFFALO at Toronto
Playing in under the dome in Toronto gives the Dolphins quite the advantage in this one. The Bills and their fans used to be able to hold over the Dolphins a decent, cold-weather home-field advantage when they visited. Not in this case. Plus, I can’t pick J.P. Losman.

Kansas City (+9) over DENVER
I have no idea what is up with this Broncos team but I do know they shouldn’t be favoured by nine points — even against the Chiefs. Division games like these are usually close so the points are a good help here. Have you picked up Peyton Hillis in your fantasy football pool yet?

ARIZONA (-14) over St. Louis
A lot of big lines this week, eh? The Cardinals have been resting after their Thanksgiving loss and there’s no reason for them not to take out their frustrations on the lowly Rams and clinch the division.

Dallas (+3) at PITTSBURGH
Game of the week potential, except the field will make this a plodding run-up-the-gut type game. That does not really favour the ‘boys. I’m also worried because of the Marion Barber and DeMarcus Ware injuries but they should both be able to see action and make an impact. You’d figure with a defence as fast as the Steelers, they’d try to take advantage of that by maintaining their field a bit better.

New England (-4.5) over SEATTLE
Are the Patriots really bad enough to only be favoured by this much against the Seahawks? Well they are trying to re-sign Junior Seau and have already brought back Roosevelt Colvin. Sadly, that should be enough to hold off Matt Hasselbeck while the Cassel returns to his above-average form.

CAROLINA (-3) over Tampa Bay
I can’t bet against the Panthers at home. The Bucs (and pretty much all of the NFC South teams) are like those old school types that play great home and don’t travel very well. This game could decide who wins the division and that’s good news for Panthers fans.

Last week: 7-8
This season: 86-75-3

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