December 2, 2016

How about this for kicks? + Week 13 NFL picks

by Dan Bilicki In: Football, Picks

While people have been railing on NFL kickers recently for missing extra points and a shockingly high rate, one kicker has been rock solid this season: Justin Tucker.

Do you know what else he has been pretty rock solid at? Ideas.

Particularly and idea that would make kickoffs pretty interesting.

Tucker has pitched the idea that a kickoff through the uprights would be worth a point for the kicking team.

Not only would this increase scoring marginally – it’s not like every kicker can do this, certainly in varying conditions – but it would also increase safety.

The league has pushed the kickoffs forward to the 35 and increased the starting spot after touchbacks to the 25 in order to get teams to take a knee more often. This is meant to eliminate the play which causes a lot of injuries: The kickoff, where the two squads collide with a full head of steam.

So now, if a team is trying to put the ball through the endzone and even getting a kickoff specialist with that type of range, we’d see more touchbacks and less injuries.

Of course, returns are exciting and this would take away some of them, but this is a solid, outside-of-the-box idea that deserves at least a little bit of consideration.

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

MINNESOTA +3 over Dallas

Maybe the Cowboys are for real, but I still know that deep down inside, they’re just waiting to break my heart.

Los Angeles +13.5 over NEW ENGLAND

The Rams just gave up 49 points, but don’t count out their defence. As Bill Belichick pointed out, L.A. has held five opponents under 14 points. This feels like a game where the Pats won’t show off any tricks and look to coast through.

Detroit +6 over NEW ORLEANS

Plain and simple: I wouldn’t bet on the Lions losing a game by more than a possession. Every week they seem to keep it close, win or lose.

CINCINNATI +1 over Philadelphia

The Bengals didn’t struggle as badly as we thought they would without A.J. Green, keeping it close against the Ravens. Philly’s defence remains one of the league’s better units, but offence is a real concern.

Houston +6.5 over GREEN BAY

Considering the Packers’ run defence has been among the league’s worst over the past month or so, the Texans should plow away in Lambeau. Aaron Rodgers can’t bail out this team every week (well, probably not, right?) and asking him to cover by a TD seems like a reach.

Kansas City +3.5 over ATLANTA

The Chiefs have the type of defence that has a shot at containing the Falcons. With Justin Houston returning to form after his long injury layoff, K.C. is becoming one of the league’s most complete teams.

BALTIMORE -3 over Miami

The Ravens defence is a terrible matchup for the Dolphins’ ailing offensive line, which should spell the end for the Dolphins’ incredible winning streak.

Denver -5 over JACKSONVILLE

Will the Jags wait until the end of the season to fire Gus Bradley? Will Blake Bortles be benching? These are the only two questions that remain for the Jags this season.

San Francisco +1 over CHICAGO

Our first real tankapalooza game! Neither team has incentive to win, but we figure the Colin Kaepernick will want to pad his stats for his free-agency tour this coming off-season.

OAKLAND -3 over Buffalo

No offence to the Patriots, but the Raiders could be the best in the AFC – and maybe the NFL. If Derek Carr wants to solidify his MVP credentials, he needs to take care of the Bills.

Tampa Bay +4 over SAN DIEGO

This is actually a pretty even matchup, with the Bucs defence really stepping up recently. Should be a three-point game, but the Bucs are also better on the road.

Washington +2.5 over ARIZONA

The Cards’ season is going down the drain and Washington has had a few extra days to prepare for this one. Look for Kirk Cousins and Co. to start a new winning streak.

New York Giants +6 over PITTSBURGH

What did the Steelers show against a short-handed Indy team that it should be giving this many to a pretty good Giants team? I’ll gladly take the points here.

SEATTLE -6.5 over Carolina

A big rivalry the past few years will fall flat with the Panthers simply not up to snuff this season. Seahawks can coast into the playoffs with their division sucking so bad, but home-field advantage is an understandable key for them.

NEW YORK JETS -1.5 over Indianapolis

What a terrible Monday nighter. I’ll flip a coin and go with a Colts team that will likely have Andrew Luck back under centre and few extra days to prepare.

Last week: 12-3-1

This season: 86-81-6

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