|Yet another Manning-Brady Classic is a tough one to predict. Photo from sportsinvasion.net|
I started off this week by making my Thursday night pick on Twitter (@WilliamBotchway) as I always do:
My Pick for Tonight's Game: Saints (-7.5) over FALCONSThe Saints still got the win, but played pretty poorly, and failed to cover the spread. That means that I'm 7-5 on Thursday night games headed into the Thanksgiving triple-header next week. After an 8-5-2 Week 11, I'm 84-75-4 on the whole season.
— William Botchway (@WilliamBotchway) November 22, 2013
This is the last week that any teams will be on bye, as the playoff races are really heating up. Let's get on with it.
UPSET ALERT next to games in which I think the underdog will win outright, not just cover. Home team in CAPS.
BROWNS (-1) over Steelers. After a pretty impressive victory at home over a good Lions team while wearing very unimpressive uniforms, the Pittsburgh Bumblebees roll into Cleveland in a game that will decide the playoff fate for both teams. Both teams are 4-6, but with my Jets controlling the #6 seed in the AFC, everything is wide open. The Steelers already own a tiebreaker over the Jets, while the Browns will play them in December. Even with Jason Campbell at the helm, I think that the Browns are the better overall team, and aren't completely dead in the playoff push just yet, even though I killed them off two weeks ago.
Buccaneers (+10) over LIONS. The Bucs defense is actually pretty good, and Calvin Johnson will be slightly slowed down by Darrelle Revis. I think that he will only be 97% of Megatron because, really, not even Revis Island can affect this behemoth too much. But that 3% will make this game closer than you may have originally thought. Also, Mike Glennon hasn't looked all that terrible recently.
Vikings (+5.5) over WHERE ART THOU AARON RODGERS? The Packers aren't close to the same team they were with Aaron Rodgers. They have been relegated to a below average squad that can lose to any team, on any day, anywhere. I just can't trust them anymore.
CHIEFS (-3.5) over Chargers. The Chiefs offense should get back on track after a poor performance last week against Denver. Denver's defense is pretty bad, the San Diego boasts the league's worst defensive unit. Congratulations in advance to Jamaal Charles in gaining infinite yards in this game.
Bears (+1) over RAMS. Vegas is giving way too much credit to the Rams. But I won't complain, I'll just safely take Josh McCown on the road. Show that sentence to me one month ago and I would have said: "C'mon buddy, is Josh still in the league? Are you sure you aren't talking about Luke?" Well, it seems that Josh McCown, starting quarterback for the 2004 Cardinals and for 9 games, the 2007 JaMarcus Russell, Daunte Culpepper Raiders, is actually good. UPSET ALERT.
Panthers (-4.5) over DOLPHINS. Just when the Dolphins started to spiral out of control, they got back on track last week with an important win over the Chargers. Unfortunately for them, the Panthers are a really good team, and I don't see how they can match up, especially because their biggest issue is on the offensive line. Ryan Tannehill, say hello to the floor.
Jets (+4) over RAVENS. I trust neither team, so I'm going with the "close game" pick here. It's an odd number game for the Jets, which obviously means that they are going to come out on fire and win an important game in Baltimore. Both teams struggle on offense, and the Jets defense is better than that of the Ravens, so...UPSET ALERT.
Jaguars (+11.5) over TEXANS. I've tried this before, but the 2013 Jaguars defy all logic. Anyway, I'm falling into the "bad teams don't beat other bad teams by this many points" trap and closing the door so that I don't consider laying 11.5 points with this awful Texans team.
RAIDERS (+1.5) over Ryan Fitzpatrick. Matt McGloin looked good last week. That's another example of "what the hell happened in the last 12 weeks." The Titans...well...they look like they're out of it. Blame the quarterback.
CARDINALS (-3) over Colts. I don't know which Colts team is going to show up in this one, but I do know that the Cardinals are actually pretty good. When in doubt, home team.
Cowboys (+3) over GIANTS. I don't feel good about this pick either way, but I know that the Cowboys are the better team. They did in fact give up 40 first downs to the Saints two weeks ago, but the Giants offense isn't on that level. I can't believe this stupid Giants team is in the middle of the playoff race now. Bad teams shouldn't be alive in Week 12. Hopefully the Cowboys can kill those hopes this week. Smash cut to the scoreboard at 7:30 saying Giants 42, Cowboys 3. Whatever, leave me alone Giants. UPSET ALERT.
PATRIOTS (+2.5) over Broncos. The Pats look like they are back, and while this spread is pretty small to begin with, I'm going to have to pick a close game. I don't know who is going to win, but if I had to choose, I'd still go with the Broncos. Look out, the cold weather will probably factor into the result, in favor of the Patriots. Manning-Brady 14 should be a good one.
49ers (-5) over WASHINGTON PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM. Washington is simply bad at this point.
Last Week: 8-5-2
This Week: 0-1