December 19, 2014

Think up a better title, NFL Network + Week 16 picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

On Saturday night, there will be Thursday night football. Apparently.

Two games, in fact.

Why? Because the NFL Network thinks that its Thursday Night Football brand is strong enough to work on Saturday night. You know, instead of just calling it Saturday night football or even just, you know, “Football.”

Really, any direction they could have gone that didn’t call games happening on a certain day of the week that isn’t another day of the week, would’ve worked out fantastically.

And when you consider the quality of games that the league has put on Thursday nights this season, you might actually try to avoid these games.

I’m sure most casual football fans outside of Nashville and Jacksonville didn’t even tune in for last night’s meeting between two two-win teams that only mattered for the purposes of draft positioning and what little bragging rights there are for not being at the bottom of the AFC South.

And while we know the NFL is simply trying to capitalize on college football not playing this Saturday, it’s not like we need to spread out the games to another day of the weekend.

Really, with all the hub-bub of Christmas and holiday parties going on, it’s doubtful people want to sit at home on a Saturday night and tune in for games.

All the lines are from Vegas and the home teams are in CAPs.

JACKSONVILLE -3.5 over Tennessee

The Jaguars won this game, but really lost. The Titans are now in the driver seat for the first-overall pick. Really, the pick was easy: Tennessee needs the top pick to get a QB like Marcus Mariota or Jameis Winston while the Jags took Blake Bortles last year – for better or for worse.

San Diego +1 over SAN FRANCISCO

The Chargers need some of their December magic to make the post-season while the 49ers are just playing out the string until the inevitable dramatic off-season.

Philadelphia -8 over WASHINGTON

If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s Robert Griffin III isn’t going to do well under Jay Gruden. If there’s another, it’s that Mark Sanchez is awful when pressured – and Washington is bad at getting a good pass rush on.

Minnesota +6.5 over MIAMI

The Vikings have been playing well, but just not winning. The Dolphins are on the playoff bubble, but have struggled recently and shouldn’t be giving this many points.

Tampa Bay +10.5 over GREEN BAY

Sure, the Bills are a lot better than the Bucs, but the Packers did demonstrate that they’re not as good on the road as at Lambeau. The battle of the Bays could be closer than you think if the Bucs show up to play.

Detroit -9 over CHICAGO

With the amount of drama going on in Chicago with Jay Cutler getting benched and likely run out of town, how could you bet the Bears this week with Jimmy Clausen at the helm?

Atlanta +6 over NEW ORLEANS

The Falcons won this matchup earlier this season and the Saints have been awful at home, so why not take the points. Oh wait, if Julio Jones is in fact out, I will gladly lay the points.

New England -10 over NEW YORK JETS

Will the Pats take it easy on Jets? Probably not. Will Rex Ryan try to play spoiler? It could happen. Most likely: New England takes full advantage of Geno Smith’s every mistake.

PITTSBURGH -3 over Kansas City

This could be the game that the Chiefs finally see a receiver score a TD. But it probably won’t help them win.

CAROLINA -3.5 over Cleveland

After how bad Johnny Football looked last week, I’d rather have car crash Cam in this one. The Panther should be able to run it down the Browns throats this game.

Baltimore -5.5 over HOUSTON

The Texans are starting Case Keenum and could play Thad Lewis. Would you be comfortable taking them against a potential playoff team that’s not from the NFC South?

New York Giants +5 over ST. LOUIS

You’re giving me Odell Beckham Jr. and five points? I’ll gladly take both.

Buffalo -5.5 over OAKLAND

The Bills as a road favourite seems weird, but that defence should hold off Derek Carr.

Indianapolis +3 over DALLAS

An injured Demarco Murray, the fact that the Cowboys play worse at home and we’re set for a big letdown after a massive win Philly last week. The Colts should have this one easily.

Seattle -8 over ARIZONA

The Cardinals managed just three points against the Seahawks a couple of weeks ago and now have to turn to Ryan Lindley. Seattle’s defence could shut them out.

Denver -3.5 over CINCINNATI

Peyton Manning is over the flu and playing in prime time. That’s awful news for the Bengals and it could kill their playoff hopes.

Last week: 11-4-1

This season: 120-98-4

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