December 26, 2008

The final weekend

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

No opening shpiel today, let’s get right into the picks so I can go out Boxing Day shopping.

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

Oakland (+13) over TAMPA BAY
It’s always risky taking the Raiders since they stink, but Tom Cable is coaching to keep his job and I’m sure anyone on the Raiders is going to try to step it up to show other potential employers that they can actually play. The Bucs are strong at home but 13 points is a bit too much to pass up.

Detroit (+10) over GREEN BAY
The Lions win! The Lions win! The Packers are having the unluckiest season in the history of the NFL so why wouldn’t it be capped off by giving the Lions their only victory? Do you think Lions fans would rather go 0-16 and be in the history books of infamy forever, or win the game and be just a sad 1-15 squad? I think they want the 0-fer

Dallas (+1.5) at PHILADELPHIA
Why are people griping about this game being moved to the 4 o’clock spot? It’s not like the Eagles would ever let up against the Cowboys, their hated division rivals. The Eagles will be going all out, no matter what the outcome of the earlier games.

New York Giants (+6.5) over MINNESOTA
Remember last year, when the Giants played all out in week 17 and nearly beat the Patriots to give them a 15-1 season? Well, do you really think that Tom Coughlin is going to rest everyone in week 17 this year when playing all-out and keeping their momentum up led them to a Super Bowl last year? That not.

Chicago (+3) over HOUSTON
A must-win for Chicago against an over-rated Texans team. I can’t wait for everyone to pick Houston to make the playoffs next year. Hell, I’ll probably be suckered into it. But they really aren’t better than a .500 team in my mind and that’s how they’ll end this season: at .500.

NEW ORLEANS (+3) over Carolina
Drew Brees need a bit over 400 yards to break the single-season passing record and playing on their home-field fast track is perfect for that. Look for the eliminated Saints to be throwing ever chance they get. The Panthers are pretty secure and probably won’t be playing too much more than a straight defence.

ATLANTA (-14) over St. Louis
Poor Rams. Will their defence ever come around? It seems like they’re building it up but it always disappoints. Now with their offence a mere shadow of what it used to be, it may be a while before the Rams return to prominence – even if they’re in the NFC West.

CINCINNATI (-3) over Kansas City
Ugh. Really? Well, everybody has to play somebody in Week 17. This game will be one of those out-of-town scores where they don’t show highlights for the game and the announcer basically says, “In Cincinnati today, T.J. Houshmanzadeh caught two TD passes in the Bengals 17-10 win over K.C.”

BALTIMORE (-12.5) over Jacksonville
Thus concludes a very disappointing Jaguars campaign. They will now realize how much they need better receivers and how much a healthy offensive line really means in football. The Ravens have something to play for so they’ll probably light up the “Wait til next year” Jags.

Tennessee (-3) over INDIANAPOLIS
Well this is a waste of a perfectly good matchup. With both teams locked into where they’re seeded for January, there’s no sense in either of them going all-out. Especially when there’s a chance they could meet again in two weeks time. I like the Titans’ backups more than the Colts in this one.

PITTSBURGH (-10.5) over Cleveland
Would you say that Bruce Gradkowski is lucky to be getting the start this week for the Browns, or that it’s unfortunate? Either way, the Browns are toast this week, just like coach Crennel is toast before the playoffs even end. There is no way that he should be keeping his job.

New England (-6) over BUFFALO
The Patriots showed last week that they can play no matter what the circumstance. It was against the completely beleaguered Cardinals, but it was still a very impressive performance. How stupid do you think that Bills management feels now about giving Dick Jauron that contract extension earlier this season? He is so fired.

Miami (+3) over NEW YORK JETS
Since New England is going to toast the Bills, the Jets can win and send the hated Pats to the playoffs or they can lose and send the Dolphins. As much as I hate thinking about seeing a team literally roll over for anyone, I can’t help but think it’ll happen here. The Jets really hate the Pats that much.

Seattle (+6) over ARIZONA
Goodbye Mike Holmgren, I can’t wait to see you in two years, patrolling the Toronto Bills sidelines. Either that or the Redskins’ if they can’t lure Bill Cowher.

SAN FRANCISCO (-3) over Washington
The Redskins didn’t beat the Eagles, the Eagles beat the Eagles. The Redskins are a decent team but the Niners have looked better and better every week with Singletary at the helm. I’m glad he’s getting an extension, he deserves it.

Denver (+8) over SAN DIEGO
What’s this? A Norv Turner coached team that has a must-win, clutch game? Would you seriously bet on him to cover eight points? I said earlier this week that I’d take the Chargers to win the game, but eight points is just too much to be giving, even if the Broncos lost to Buffalo last week.

Last week: 9-6
This season: 102-87-6


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