December 25, 2015

Was Chargers-Raiders the right call? + Week 16 picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

I’m not sure if the NFL knew what they were doing with Thursday’s game or just completely blew it.

First of all, they knew that a matchup like Oakland-San Diego wasn’t going to be a great one at this point of the season. I mean, best-case scenario would be one of the two teams would be fighting for a wild-card, but probably not both of them.

But being the only pro sports event on Christmas Eve and no new TV shows on, there are bound to be an audience for the game. So should they have picked a better matchup, or was it right to throw on a game certain to marginal?

On one hand, the NFL had a sports monopoly last night and could’ve aired anything and got ratings – even Browns practice squad vs. East Illinois University would’ve drawn eyes.

But why not put on a game that had potential to be a good one? Like Washington-Philadelphia (which is on Saturday night) or Patriots-Jets? It would’ve capitalized on the exposure and potentially won over some new fans.

It’s probably the former instead of the latter, considering the NFL has about as much market penetration it can get. But it would’ve been nice to see a game that mattered on a night when everybody is snuggled up on their sofa.

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

OAKLAND -5.5 over San Diego

It was nice of the Raiders to try to get Charles Woodson some glory on offence, but man was that play telegraphed.

Washington +3 over PHILADELPHIA

Who would’ve thought when Washington drafted Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins in the same year that it would be Cousins that it is trying to lock down and RG3 is essentially out the door. At least he can start making friends with Eagles players before joining them in the off-season.

Pittsburgh -10 over BALTIMORE

The Ravens are seriously hurting and if the Steelers can beat the Broncos by seven last week, they can certainly cover this big number against their weakened rival.

Chicago +3 over TAMPA BAY

Two weird teams should make for a good game. The Bears have been a bit unpredictable and could come up big on the road here. Why not take the points?

Carolina -7 over ATLANTA

The Panther literally just blew out the Falcons and showed they can handle some adversity last week in New York. This one seems like a cake walk.

BUFFALO -6 over Dallas

The Cowboys may fight hard, but starting Kellen Moore isn’t exactly encouraging. Also, you can’t rule out the Bills fans revolting against Rex Ryan if they lose this game.

Jacksonville +3.5 over NEW ORLEANS

Drew Brees is pretty much the only good thing the Saints have going and he’s hurt. The Jags can score when they’re on and New Orleans’ defence is repug.

San Francisco +9.5 over DETROIT

Why should the Lions be favoured by this many points over anybody?

KANSAS CITY -12.5 over Cleveland

It’s a big number, but there’s no reason why the on-fire Chiefs shouldn’t blow out a visiting, tanking Browns team.

MIAMI -1.5 over Indianapolis

The Dolphins seem to be in turmoil again, but the Colts just aren’t holding up.

New England -3 over NEW YORK JETS

I mean, the Pats won’t take it easy on a rival team that’s trying to make a last-ditch effort for the playoffs, right?

Houston +4.5 over TENNESSEE

Even if it is Brandon Weeden starting, should Zach Mettenberger be giving points to anybody?

ARIZONA -4.5 over Green Bay

Why wasn’t this game flexed to the Sunday nighter instead of Giants-Vikings?

St. Louis +13.5 over SEATTLE

The Rams looked good last week and will always get up for games against their division rivals.

MINNESOTA -5.5 over New York Giants

Without Ol’ Dirty Beckham, I don’t think the Giants can hang with the Vikes.

DENVER -3.5 over Cincinnati

ESPN finally got a great game for Monday night and one that should matter for some fantasy finals. The Bengals did well in A.J. McCarron’s first game, but playing against the Broncos at Mile High is something very different.

Last week: 9-5-1

This season: 121-92-8

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