NFL 2014 Week 16 Picks & Analysis – FootballSunday, December 21, 2014 9:21
Picks and analysis for Week 16 of the 2014 season.
NFL WEEK 16
Let’s take a peek at last week’s tally and see how we rack up against the competition…
WEEK FIFTEEN ATS = 9 – 6 – 1 CUMULATIVE ATS = 112 – 109 – 3
SPECIAL TALLY WEEK FIFTEEN = 1 – 3
CUMULATIVE SPECIALS = 33 – 28
GAME OF THE WEEK 7 – 8
LOCK OF THE WEEK 6 – 10
UPSET SPECIAL 6 – 9
O/U OF THE WEEK 14 – 1 WEEKLY O/Us 1 – 3
PREMEIRE PARLAY 2 – 1 CUMULATIVE O/Us 37– 28
I’m hot on the tails of Jason La Canfora and Jaimie Esenberg over at CBS.com. Two other guys are about even and the other four can’t match up.
Let’s see what we can do in week 16…
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ ARIZONA CARINALS -6.5 36 [U]
This is one of the very few games I think the Gangsters got wrong.
It doesn’t happen very often—and I really can’t blame Vegas thinking a Seattle team in championship form should slam a division rival down to its third quarterback and reeling from a bevy of injuries to its best players.
You know, the team with the best record in the NFC…Third in points allowed….The Coach of the Year…
The Cardinals are that once in a decade team that has the look of destiny.
They may very well lose this one because the ‘Hawks have the look of a champion.
I’ll be surprised if each team scores more than one touchdown.
I won’t be surprised to see either of these squads hoist the Lombardi after the Super Bowl.
The Seahawks win the game; the Cards cover.
Seahawks 17 Cardinals 16
GAME OF THE WEEK
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS @ DALLAS COWBOYS – 3.5 55.5 [O]
Dallas has finally thrown off the shackles of their three-year run of 8-8 mediocrity and is now looking to climb from the dungeon of about 18 years of post-season irrelevance.
Not since 2009 have the Cowboys been a playoff team. In fact, since 1996, Dallas has won only four division championships; losing seven and winning two playoff games.
Now you know why non-Cowboys fans resent seeing the very definition of an average NFL team treated like royalty by the league and their television overlords.
More annoying is the whole “the NFL is better if Dallas is relevant” tripe thrown around by the television punditry.
Why? Wouldn’t Da Raiders marauding to the playoffs be just as worthy a story? How about the Browns exorcising their seemingly relentless demons and facing the Jets in the AFC Championship game?
This isn’t jealousy, folks. Steelers Nation, of which I am a proud citizen, has experienced only very brief periods of irrelevancy since 1970, it’s about the hold Jerry Jones exerts over the NFL’s other owners.
If it wasn’t for Jimmy Johnson’s highway robbery of the Vikings, Dallas’ playoff history—post-Tom Landry, a true league luminary—would be even more dreadful.
Speaking of lucky. The Colts had one down year between Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. Only the Pats and Pittsburgh can match Indy’s excellence in the new millennium.
If the Horseshoes can strengthen their running game and tighten up their defense, they might be the AFC’s darkhorse team.
This will be one of the highest scoring games up of the year. It could be a field goal win for the either team.
We’ll take the home squad, miles above the number.
Colts 38 Cowboys 34
LOCK OF THE WEEK
DENVER BRONCOS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS +3 47.5 [O]
This is a game we have seen many times before. A Denver Broncos squad comes into a conference foes house as a three-point favorite and wins by ten points.
The opponent for this pro football edition of Groundhog Day is of course the Cincinnati Bengals. Between 1990 and 2012 the Bengals rank above only the Browns and Rams for the worst home-field record.
This Monday Nighter is yet another big game against a quality opponent late in the season and in the playoffs Bengals fans have been lucky enough to look forward to, only to walk away from Paul Brown Stadium shaking their heads.
The hand wringing over Peyton Manning’s health smells a little like stale Ben-Gay if you ask me. People get the flu. Athletes get thigh bruises. The commentary fluttering around the NFL about Manning’s arm strength might be a plant by John Fox and friends. Truth is, Peyton Manning was never known for an exceptional arm. Precision accuracy, superior preparation, and exquisite timing are Manning’s gifts.
If the Bengals think Jeremy Hill will run wild against the Wild Horses the way he did against the Browns awful rushing defense, they might want to think about the Broncos’ being the NFL’s second best defense against the run.
That leaves Andy Dalton to beat the Broncos excellent pass defense.
In his three plus years in the league, Dalton has shown little ability to win a big game when he has to.
We’ll take Manning, give the points and bet big on the Over.
Broncos 33 Bengals 24
OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK
BALTIMORE RAVENS @ HOUSTON TEXANS +5 42 [O]
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll notice about eight home underdogs on the Week 16 slate. Which means handicappers go home happy or crying in their hands.
Baltimore, like Indy has the look of a darkhorse—a team that could catch fire all the way to Arizona. Make no mistake; the Ravens are superbly coached by the sane, well-grounded Harbaugh who has been scrapping with the Steelers and Bengals in the AFC North during his tenure in the Charm City.
This is not the Rat Bird’s first rodeo.
The only question is, can they tame the wild bull they call J.J. Watt?
The answer may be yes in Joe Flacco’s mind, but it may not be yes on every play—and that’s when Watt can burn you on either side of the ball.
This’ll be a close one and we’ll, yet again, split the baby.
Ravens win…Texans cover…In a tight game, Under the number.
Ravens 20 Texans 16
As usual, my entire slate of picks is in bold italics…
NFL Lines For Week 16 – 12/20 – 12/22, 2014
|Date & Time||Favorite||Line||Underdog||Total|
|12/20 8:25 ET||At San Francisco||-1 O||San Diego||40.5|
|12/20 4:30 ET||Philadelphia U||-7||At Washington||50.5|
|12/21 1:00 ET||At Miami||-6||Minnesota||42|
|12/21 1:00 ET||Green Bay||-12||At Tampa Bay||49|
|12/21 1:00 ET||Detroit||-8||At Chicago||44.5|
|12/21 1:00 ET||At New Orleans||-6.5||Atlanta||56|
|12/21 1:00 ET||New England||-10.5||At NY Jets||46.5|
|12/21 1:00 ET||At Pittsburgh||-3||Kansas City||48|
|12/21 1:00 ET||At Carolina||-4||Cleveland||41|
|12/21 1:00 ET||Baltimore O/U||-5||At Houston||42|
|12/21 4:05 ET||At St. Louis||-6.5||NY Giants||43.5|
|12/21 4:25 ET||Buffalo||-6.5||At Oakland||39.5|
|12/21 4:25 ET||At Dallas GW [O]||-3.5||Indianapolis||55.5|
|12/21 8:30 ET||Seattle US [U]||-7.5||At Arizona||36|
|12/22 8:30 ET||Denver LW [O]||-3||At Cincinnati||47.5|
|12/20 8:25 ET||At Jacksonville||-1 U||Tennessee||44|
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