December 19, 2008

Week 16 Picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Ice Hockey, Picks

With the Colts clinching a playoff spot and Mats Sundin finally deciding where he wants to play this season, two mysteries of the sports world were banged out yesterday. While the Colts had an inside route to their final destination, it really came down to the wire with the crafty Swede who came to the conclusion that the travel that’s involved with playing on the West Coast is worth dealing with if it means a better shot at the Cup. But more on Sundin tomorrow, now it’s time for NFL week 16 (clutch time!) picks.

All the lines are from Vegas and all the home teams are in CAPS.

Baltimore (+4) at DALLAS
I’ll bet that the last game played at Texas Stadium won’t bring up the same sentimental feelings as the last at Yankee Stadium. This game has huge playoff implications for both teams so it looks like we’re in for a treat of a Saturday night game. It might be a bit heavy on the defence, though.

Pittsburgh (-2) over TENNESSEE
Another huge matchup with the No. 1 seed in the AFC on the line. It’s just too bad that the Titans will be resting most of their walking wounded. Missing two guys off their defensive line — and especially all-pro Albert Haynesworth — won’t help Tennessee in the slightest.

Miami (-4) over KANSAS CITY
The Dolphins haven’t allowed a TD in three weeks in now and can you really count on the Chiefs to not be stumped by the strong Miami D?

NEW ENGLAND (-7.5) over Arizona
We’ve all seen what happens when the Cardinals play on the road in a cold weather setting. This is a bunch of points to be giving to a “division champion” but it’s only the NFC West champs.

Cincinnati (+3) over CLEVELAND
I just found out this week that both T.J. Who’s-your-daddy and Chad Ocho Cinco went to the same college (Oregon State) and were taken in the same draft (Ocho in the second round and T.J. in the seventh). How is it not brought up more that these two highly skilled receivers have spent the past 12 years together? That sort of chemistry can beat the Browns.

WASHINGTON (+5) over Philadelphia
The Eagles have been reborn ever since the McNabb benching which everyone skewered Andy Reid for; turns it out it was quite smart. A lot of it has to do with Brian Westbrook being healthy too though. The thing is, when division teams clash like these two, you’re better off taking the points.

ST. LOUIS (+5.5) over San Francisco
The Niners have been covering when they’ve been getting points, not giving them. They have greatly improved in the past few weeks, but I’ll take the points and hope the Rams keep it respectable in their last home game of the season.

Atlanta (+3) over MINNESOTA
Don’t you just bet that Michael Turner loves the fact that one of the Williamses is out for this game. He and super-rookie Matt Ryan will have some room to breathe without the behemoth in the middle, bearing down on them.

DETROIT (+7) over New Orleans
This will be the one that the Lions win. As much as we want to see the woeful Detroit squad go 0-16, can it really happen? Actually, I just think that the immensely skilled Calvin Johnson will keep it close enough to make taking the seven points a safe call.

NEW YORK GIANTS (-3) over Carolina
While the Panthers are dominant at home (8-0) this season, they don’t travel that well. Sure, the Giants have all kinds of issues right now with Plaxico Burris and injury woes, but they’re a resilient team and can’t you see them pulling it together with home field advantage through the playoffs on the line? And if the Panthers take this game and the one seed, does that not make them Super Bowl favourites because of their superb play at home?

SEATTLE (+5) over New York Jets
The Jets are just awful when playing on the west coast and I have no idea why. Even against crappy teams like San Francisco and Oakland they couldn’t claim victory. Playing in Seattle for Mike Holmgren’s last home game doesn’t spell a certain victory either. I’ll take the points.

Houston (-7) over OAKLAND
The Texans are headed towards being the 2009 sleeper of the year after pulling together a strong string of wins after stumbling out of the gate. It’s too bad that they can only play well when there’s absolutely nothing on the line. Do you realize if they win out, they’ll be at 9-7? That’s a lot better record than this team should be at.

DENVER (-7) over Buffalo
This is the first of two interesting games that are fatefully intertwined. In this game, being played at 1 p.m., if the Broncos defeat the Bills, like I think they will, then the next game on this list won’t matter a thing because Denver will have clinched their division and the Chargers will be bounced from contention.

TAMPA BAY (-3) over San Diego
If you like the Broncs, you have to take Tampa here. There’s no way that San Diego will go all out with their hopes crushed. The Bucs are a strong play either way at home and they need a win to stay in contention.

CHICAGO (-4) over Green Bay
There’s nothing really on the line hear and I’ll I’m hoping for is a huge snow storm to bring the classic winter weather element into play for this huge division rivalry game.

And unless I get blown out here, I’ll clinch a .500 record for the season. Hurrah!

This week: 1-0
Last week: 6-6-3
This season:  94-81-6

1 Comment

  1. You play the vegas odds. You should totally make predictions with dual proline spreads and evaluate your accumulated win:loss ratios at season’s end. I win on proline but sometimes I go on LONG droughts. Anyhow, you make some compelling arguments for your picks. I’m waiting for your wk 16’s cuz I need to crunch all the opinions & numbers before I shell out on sunday.

Leave a Reply