Saturday, December 5

NFL Picks: Week 13

Last week wasn't a stellar one for any of our three competitors. Figgs went against the Browns in a rare move and paid for it, Nick talked smack on Thanksgiving and went 1-2, while I managed to go 1-6 in the Sunday early slate. Just when you think you're getting to know the league a bit better...

We also had our first push of the year, thanks to that crazy Tennessee-Arizona ending. As silly as the "Vince Young wins football games" thing has been in the past, it's been nothing but true this year, as the Titans have ascended from 0-6 to 5-6 since inserting him at QB. I wonder why no pushes this year? Too many half-point lines? Big lines from the wide good/bad gap in the league making accurate lines tougher? Maybe it's just a statistical oddity, who knows.

And finally, we have a new member of the team for the rest of the 2009 slate: longtime FCF reader Bucko. We'll see how he fares against our admittedly not-super-strong competition.

Last week
Andy: 7-8-1
Figgs: 7-8-1
Nick: 5-10-1
Nick's Money Picks ($): 2-2

Year to date
Andy: 96-79-1
Figgs: 88-87-1
Nick: 87-88-1
Nick's Money Picks ($): 26-23

Thursday game
8:20 pm kickoff

BUFFALOES (+3) vs Jets (in Toronto)
Andy: Both of these clubs far exceeded my expectations last week; Buffalo by trouncing the Dolphins and New Jersey AFC by handling the Panthers. I'm taking Buffalo here for the first time in a while; I like them in Canada, I think they're playing hard for this interim coach, Ryan Fitzpatrick is coming on strong, and I can't give points to take the J E T S on the road. Buffaloes.
Figgs: Jets, because the Jills burned me last week to the tune of 100 smackers (maybe I should have listened to Andy's "I wouldn't bet this game" comment).
Nick: Jets. Mark Sanchez's QB rating is 62, but oddly ESPN isn't plastering that all over SportCenter. This line should be lower, but Buffalo loses their formidable home field advantage in Toronto. I want to take the Bills strictly on principle, but I look at the Jets' last four games, featuring a win over mediocre Carolina, and respectable losses to three good teams, and I think they'll have enough to beat the Bills by more than three. Jets.
Bucko: I'm going to go with the Jets. I think this will be a battle of the running game. I think Thomas Jones will have a big game against the terrible rushing defense of Buffalo.

Sunday games
1:00 pm kickoffs

FALCONS (+5.5) vs Eagles
Andy: The Battle of the Birds! Philly isn't really all that, and Atlanta is inconsistent, but I'm not willing to give that many for Philly. Falcons.
Figgs: I feel this game will be close either way, so I'll go with the underdogs. ATL.
Nick: Atlanta's QB situation has me a little nervous. Eagles.
Bucko: Atlanta is really beat up right now, and Philly always plays strong near the end of the season. Eagles.

BEARS (-9) vs Rams
Andy: I don't see why the Bears should beat anyone by nine points. Rams.
Figgs: I can't believe I'm picking them, but Bears.
Nick: I'll take the Rams strictly on principle. But if Jacko is out, I might switch.
Bucko: Rams are beat up. I think Bears win by 10 - 13 here. Da Bears

BENGALS (-13) vs Lions
Andy: If the Bengals couldn't beat the Browns by this many points, it isn't logical that they'll beat the Lions by this many. Plus, they really don't score that many points. Yeah, they're 8-3, but it's with solid defense and rushing, not big-play scoreboard-pounding. Detroit.
Figgs: I just can't bring myself to pick the Lions. Cincy.
Nick: I like what Andy said. The Bengals are built to win close games with fundamentals, not to cover big spreads. Lions.
Bucko: Bengals D plays well, and Palmer has a big day. Bengals

REDSKINS (+9.5) vs Saints
Andy: The Saints will win, but they're still floating after demolishing the Patriots and might struggle early, as they've done from time to time. I originally picked Washington, and I kinda wish I was getting 10, but I've really liked this Saint club all year. Why would I not want to take them here? N'awlins.
Figgs: Gotta go Saints here.
Nick: What's the worst case here? Saints by seven? Gimme' New Orleans.
Bucko: Redskins have a solid defensive backfield, but just not enough points here. Saints

PANTHERS (-5.5) vs Bucs
Andy: Fuck the Panthers - they never cover for me. The Bucs, meanwhile, I've been underestimating for awhile. I like this bet.
Figgs: Delhome isn't playing, so that works in their favor. Cats.
Nick: Eh, this feels like a sucker bet, but I'm taking the Cats. As long as Delhomo doesn't throw eleventy billion picks, the Panthers win by at least seven, right?
Bucko: Doesn't look like like Jake is playing. I'll go with the underestimated Bucs.

JAGS (Even) vs Texans
Andy: Texans. Please. Not only do the Jags suck, but Houston has a golden opportunity to return to .500, which they always gravitate to.
Figgs: I don't think either team is very good, but I like Andy's theory of Houston getting back to .500.
Nick: Jags. JAX is tough at home, they're still in the hunt, and I feel like this heartless Houston team is a walking corpse.
Bucko: Jags just don't have anything besides Jones-Drew. Houston in a tight one.

COLTS (-7) vs Titans
Andy: Vince. Young. Wins. Football. Games. These guys might sneak into the playoffs at 9-7. Titans.
Figgs: I gotta stay with VY here. Titans.
Nick: Titans. I'm really rooting for the Titans to pull this run off, and I wouldn't be surprised if they win this game outright.
Bucko: Titans streak ends here. Colts.

CHIEVES (+5) vs Broncos
Andy: Chiefs. The Broncos aren't going to come out as strong as they did last week, and KC is as good a 3-8 team as you'll find.
Figgs: Broncos.
Nick: This line should be seven. Even after last week, Vegas doesn't fully trust the Donks again. I don't trust them either, but I trust them enough to cover against lousy teams. Kansas City qualifies. WHY DON'T YOU JUST GO HOME CHIEFS? YOU CAN'T BEAT DENVER!
Bucko: Broncos

DOLPHINS (+4) vs Pats
Andy: Patriots. I'm kinda over the Fish after they got mauled in Buffalo. Wow, I timed that bandwagon jump badly.
Figgs: I like the Pats by a whole bunch.
Nick: Miami wins this game outright. The Dolphins are a playoff caliber team, but they used
Bucko: Patriots rebound in this one. Hopefully they wear the throwbacks too. Pats

STEELERS (-14.5) vs Raiders
Andy: Pittsburgh at home, in December, fighting for a playoff spot, against a disinterested Raider team, with Big Ugly back in the lineup. I'll roll that.
Figgs: Ugh, Stillers.
Nick: Sadly, I've also gotta go Steelers.
Bucko: Welcome home, Gradkowski. About 0.5 pts too many for me here. Raiders.

4:00 pm kickoffs

BROWNS (+13.5) vs Chargers
Andy: [Tries to envision a scenario under which the Browns allow fewer than 40 points.] I stepped up and bought some Dawg Pound seats for this one. Yeah, we're huge underdogs, and some fans are whiny about the team, and some are even betting against their own team, which is awful, but I'm doubling down and sticking with my team. Browns.
Figgs: Chargers. We really suck.
Nick: Isn't this the lock of the century? Chargers. ($ -13)
Bucko: The Browns sucked before the injuries, so we suck even more. Bolts.

GIANTS (+2.5) vs Cowboys
Andy: Cowboys. It seems clear to me that the Giants suck, though the Cowboys are notoriously bad in December. I don't like this game. At all
Figgs: I'll pick up one on everyone when the Giants take this one.
Nick: I hung on with the Giants for too long, and now there's no way I can trust them against a decent team. 'Boys.
Bucko: Giants running game is hurting, Cowboys

SEAHAWKS (Even) vs 49ers
Andy: 49ers, I guess, who the hell cares?
Figgs: I'm with Andy, who really cares? Niners.
Nick: The classic coin flip game. I feel like the Niners have a little more to fight for. Plus Mike Singletary might pull down his pants.
Bucko: I feel the 49ers have a slight edge here. It's time for Crabtree to have a breakout game.

8:20 pm kickoffs

CARDS (+3) vs Vikings
Andy: Is Warner back for this game? If so, I'm taking him and the points. If not, I'll go with Minny. Bucko, aren't both QB's ageless wonders? Nick, what does "most balanced" mean? The Browns are every bit as balanced - they suck in all facets of the game. Looks like I'm going Cards. The Vikes have had the easiest schedule this side of Penn State so far in 2009, and the Cardinals are making a playoff push.
Figgs: I really like both of these teams, but I'm going with AD and the Vikes.
Nick: The Vikes are rolling. They might be the most balanced team in the league. I'll stick with them on the road and indoors.
Bucko: I'm going with the ageless wonder here. Vikings

Monday Night Game
8:30 pm kickoff

PACKERS (-3) vs Ravens
Andy: Packers. The Ratbirds' playoff push ends right here, right now.
Figgs: I hope I'm wrong, but I'm going ratbirds.
Nick: Lambeau on Monday night in December? What a home field advantage! GO! PACK! GO!
Bucko: I like what Andy and Nick both said. Packers


Nick said...

I also lost $50 on the Fish last weekened.

Andy said...

Figgs: Chargers. We really suck.

Nick: Isn't this the lock of the century? Chargers. ($ -13)

Bucko: The Browns sucked before the injuries, so we suck even more. Bolts.

Andy said...

Wow, I did absolutely horrible this week. Either Figgs or I is going to throw up a 4-12.

Figgs said...

That's embarrassing.