Thursday, December 17

NFL Picks: Week 15

More like Sin City Fanatics! Week 14 was an excellent week for all five prognosticators (53-27 combined record), highlighted by Bucko's sparkling 12-4 mark and a solid 10-6 debut from Gopo. We'll see if this gets trickier over the last few weeks, as a lot of lines stay Off until late because of QB injuries and teams clinching playoff position and resting starters.

In other news, this is the one week per year where I enter a fun nickname for every team! I haven't decided whether I'm going to have a Spanish picks week yet.

Things are really close heading down to the last three weeks, with me holding a slim four-game advantage over a hard-charging Nick. Part of this may be due to the fact that I've been holding Houston Texan-like at .500 over the past six weeks. As Snoop would say in his Snoop Dogg's iFizzle App: "Step yo' game up!"

Last week
Andy: 10-6
Figgs: 10-6
Nick: 11-5
Bucko: 12-4
Gopo: 10-6
Nick's Money Picks ($): 1-1

Year to date
Andy: 111-96-1
Figgs: 102-105-1
Nick: 107-100-1
Bucko: 18-14
Gopo: 10-6
Nick's Money Picks ($): 27-25

Thursday game
8:20 pm kickoff

JAGONS (+3) vs Peytons
Andy: I was leaning Jags in a bold pick, but I'm not taking them if I only get 3 points. Besides, why get cute and pick against a team that's won twenty-two straight games against a club I haven't bought into all year? Horsies.
Figgs: I'm sticking with Nick's philosophy of not picking a team that you don't think will win the game if the line is low. I'll taking the Fighting Peyton's.
Nick: It's 5:36, and I'm about to pull a 180 on this one. All things being equal, I'd take the Colts. The Colts are usually good ATS on the road, and the Jags typically struggle ATS at home. But the home teams have fought hard in these "nationally broadcast" Thursday nighters, and I just don't have a feel for how the Colts are going to handle playing their starters. And there's the psychological factor - the Jags are fighting for their playoff lives, but what's Indy's incentive to lay it on the line in the second half? The shine's been taken off a 16-0 regular season since New England did it two years ago. I might be talking myself into this one, but a great coach once said, "In any fight, it's the guy who's willing to die who's gonna win that inch." That's Jacksonville. Book it.
Bucko: It sounds like Manning is playing. I'll take the Colts tonight. Peyton is the shit!
Gopo: colts - as long as manning plays, i'll stick with them. surprised the line is so low though...

Saturday game
8:20 pm kickoff

'AINTS (-7.5) vs America's Team
Andy: For some perspective on this matchup, let's go to Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips for his thoughts on facing the 13-0 Saints:
Usually when people say you can't do something, people bow up and have a lot of pride...I don't think our confidence is we can't do it and we got to do something else to be able to do it...We're not going to cow down to these guys.
Let me get this straight. I'm supposed to take the club that is facing the undefeated New Orleans juggernaut, playing a Saturday night game on the road in the league's toughest venue, riding a 37-game December losing streak, AND whose head coach can't form a coherent sentence and expects his team to "bow up" but not "cow down"? No thanks. Saints.
Figgs: I've been going back and forth on this one. I don't like picking against the Saints, and Phillips' rambling doesn't give me too much confidence, but I'm gonna go with Dallas. The Saints stay undefeated, but closer than the experts think.
Nick: The Saints were lighting up the league early this season and Vegas adjusted with some big lines. As such, the Saints have struggled the last six weeks or so against the spread. Here we have a combination of the pendulum swinging back a bit and the usual Vegas juice for the Cowboys of around three points. The Saints have squeaked by the last two weeks, but it's been in afternoon games on the road against mediocre opponents. This is a slaughter in the Super Dome. Saints. ($ -7)
Bucko: I'd love to see the Saints just destroy the Cowboys here, but I don't believe that's going to happen. We may only have one undefeated team after this one. Saints could pull it out, but the BadBoys will cover. Cowboys
Gopo: cowboys - i've changed this pick while writing this sentence twice already. i think saints will win, but they've been keeping things close against worse teams the last couple weeks. that said, i might log back on in 5 minutes and change this again.

Sunday games
1:00 pm kickoffs

BUFFALOES (+7) vs Patsies
Andy: I just don't know about this New England club anymore. I'm not saying there isn't a good chance they can win this - there is - but they're not the dominant force they once were. Plus, Buffalo has been scrappy for their new coach and I get seven points. PLUS, I just rewatched the 1993 AFC Wild-Card game where they came back from down 35-3 (the Frank Reich Game) and I'm on a bit of a Buffaloes kick. Buffalo.
Figgs: It's been hurting me that I keep sticking with New England, but I've come this far, I might as well keep running with em. Pats.
Nick: New England usually has Buffalo's number. This lineis higher than it should be, but I'm going to bank on New England winning this one comfortably.
Bucko: Pats. I believe they will win this big.
Gopo: pats - i think they're starting to feel the pressure after a couple losses they didn't think they'd have. they pull it together.

MOTOR CITY KITTIES (+12.5) vs Are There Even Actual Cardinals in Arizona? Why Not Change to the "Cacti" When You Moved?
Andy: This Detroit team simply plays no defense. The up-and-down Cards picked a good week to be on the way up, so I'm going Arizona here. They can't turn the ball over 7 times in two consecutive weeks, right? Cardinals.
Figgs: Cards.
Nick: I'm going to go Cards here too. This line is probably about where it should be, but like Andy said, the Lions just can't stop anybody. Most good teams should cover big numbers against them.
Bucko: The birds bounce back this week. Cards
Gopo: cards - would have considered the lions if stafford was playing, but i have no faith in culpepper.

TITTIES (-4) vs Fish
Andy: I have a soft spot for Tennessee, and this one is a bit of a toss-up for me so I think I'll lean their way in my least favorite game on the board. Plus, I always give them a little extra credit during the week where I call them the "titties." Don't know why that might be. Titties.
Figgs: To quote the Dead Schembechlers, "Chad Henne is a bitch, a motherfucking bitch." Titans.
Nick: Maybe a little too far with the "Dead Schembechlers" thing, Figgs. This was the toughest game for me to pick. I might change this later, but right now I think I've got to take the points here because Tennessee simply hasn't been viery good ATS against good teams. I'll stick with the Dolphins for now.
Bucko: I think the Tit-ans can win by a least a TD.
Gopo: dolphins - these are two of the same teams basically. run heavy, ok qbs. i think it'll be close.

CHIEVES (+1) vs Brownies
Andy: Damn, so close to being a favorite! I'm sure Pittsburgh fans will be eager to check out this matchup of two out of the past three teams to have defeated them; if they miss it, they can catch another such matchup next Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium. This will be a really interesting game for our heroes - was the Pittsburgh game an anomaly against a struggling team in weird weather, or have the Browns toughened up? I'm putting my vote behind the latter, plus I get to bet against a KC team that is really pretty awful. BROWNS!
Figgs: I can't pick against us when there's actually a chgance we can win. Brownies.
Nick: I don't expect much throwing in this one, and the Chiefs have been giving up nearly 200 YPG on the ground recently. The Browns really aren't a bad running team, and I think a Cribbs/Jennings combo can do some real damage. For the second week in a row, Browns.
Bucko: For the first time I'm actually picking the Browns to win.
Gopo: chiefs - sorry boys, i think kc is a better club than what you guys have right now. plus browns have a bunch of folks on d hurt.

EWES (+14) vs .500's
Andy: Texans, big. If there's one thing this New Galveston team does, it's beat bad teams by a lot. And finish .500. This game is perfect for both of those. Cows.
Figgs: This is a big line, but Houston can out up some big points. Texans.
Nick: Can't imagine taking the the Rams here. If you're betting, you either stay away or take the chalk.
Bucko: I'm going with the Texans, but I might change before kick-off.
Gopo: texans - ugh. line is so big. last week i went against a giant line with the rams and it bit me. never trust a qb named 'null'

J!E!T!S! (-6) vs The ATL
Andy: New Jersey can run the ball, has a chance at a playoff spot, will have Sanchez at QB, and is facing an ATL team I don't trust in cold weather and possibly snow. I'll lay these six. Jetz.
Figgs: Is Ryan or Turner playing? I'll go with the Dirrty Birrds in case one of them does.
Nick: I'm not sure what the quarterback situation is here, but right now I'm going Birds.
Bucko: Once again we are going to see some heavy JET running. Jets
Gopo: falcons - they surprised me last week by keeping it close. i think they play well. especially since matt ryan is back.

IGGLES (-9) vs Gold-Diggaz
Andy: Philly should win this easily, though San Fran's unusually strong MNF performance spooks me a bit. Still, Philly's riding a four-game win streak and knows this one virtually assures them of the NFC East. Eagles.
Figgs: Little too high of a line for me, I like the Niners to keep it close.
Nick: Niners on the East Coast in the snow? I like the Eagles big here.
Bucko: Very hard one for me, but I'm going Niners
Gopo: niners - philly is a roller coaster team. i think they come back down on this one.

Andy: I hate this, but Ravens. Hate this. Hate the Ravens. I feel like C-3PO describing Jawas - disgusting creatures. Ratbirds.
Figgs: Ugh, ratbirds.
Nick: Ravens, in one of my favorite games of the week. ($ -9.5)
Bucko: Ravens
Gopo: bears - i'm picking the conditions in this one. i don't think either team puts up many points in this one.

4:00 pm kickoffs

SUPER CHARGERS (-6.5) vs Cincitucky Bungles
Andy: This one says "stay away" to me loud and clear, because: how will the Bengals respond after a drubbing in Minnesota and the death of Chris Henry? My read is that they won't be able to rally back this quick, especially against a really good San Diago team gunning for their 9th straight W and a division title. Chargers.
Figgs: I see Andy's point, not really sure on this one. Chargers.
Nick: I agree with Andy's points, and I think Cincy's a paper tiger. Bolts.
Bucko: I'm going with the Bungles in a close game.
Gopo: bengals - andy is totally right. this is a stay away game all the way. however, i can't pick against a team that has the emotional drive that the bengals will have for this game.

SHANNON SHARPES (-14) vs Charlie Frye and his Los Angeles Raiders
Andy: Fuck it, I'm backing Chuck and the Silver and Black. I jumped off the Denver bandwagon a while back and don't feel like getting back on, especially not if I have to give 2 TD's. Raiders.
Figgs: Why not, Raiders. Just as long as Frye doesn't get hurt and they have to put in J.P. Losman.
Nick: Raiders. Char-lie! Char-lie!
Bucko: I think Frye is going to have some trouble here, but can keep it within 14. Raiders
Gopo: raiders - no way i'm giving two touchdowns to denver. they are not that good.

SQUEALERS (-1) vs The Pack
Andy: Call me crazy, but I think the Steelers are going to show up for this one. The Packers are better on paper and SHOULD win this, but I think Pittsburgh is going to salvage some pride. The pride they left at Cleveland Browns Stadium last time they visited. You know the weirdest part of this? I don't even feel yucky taking them like I normally do. Steelers.
Figgs: I likewise think the Steelers come back for this one.
Nick: The Steelers are in disarray. Go! Pack! Go!
Bucko: Rodgers is going to light it up. Cheese Heads
Gopo: packers - the steelers are not good. after having watched every game this year, that much is clear.

SHEHAWKS (-6.5) vs Buccos
Andy: Seattle might be my favorite game on the board here. They're not great, but they're 4-2 at home and always a handful in Qwest and the Bucs are AVERAGING a thirteen-point loss this season. Am I missing something here? Seahawks.
Figgs: I like the Hawks at home.
Nick: What Andy said. Seahawks.
Bucko: Seahawks
Gopo: seahawks - at home, those guys are solid. freeman isn't going to be able to handle qwest.

8:20 pm kickoff

CATS (+9) vs Purple People Eaters
Andy: I like this one even less than the TEN-MIA game, in part because of the wishy-washy (-9) line, but in part because Carolina has destroyed me this year - I'm 3-10 picking their games. Let's say...Minny.
Figgs: Eh, Vikes.
Nick: I'm not really comfortable with this one either. Vikes?
Bucko: I need Sydney Rice to play big for my fantasy team. Vikings
Gopo: vikings - don't think deangelo is playing, which is going to hurt carolina.

Monday Night Game
8:30 pm kickoff

Andy: Giants here almost seems too simple, although I think I trust them more now on reputation than on actual performance. I'm still going NYG, though.
Figgs: Giants.
Nick: Giants. They've just got to beat the Skins by >3, right? ($ -3)
Bucko: Redskins
Gopo: giants - redskins are neither good nor consistent. every one of their games is a tossup for me. since the line is low, i'll go with the better team.


LDUTheCoach said...

I disagree.. Peyton and Reggie Wayne pleaded to their coach to let them play tonight, and they will play and they will win!!

check out what the coach thinks @

Best of luck,

Andy said...


First of all: TheCoach totally burned you!

I hate to be the one to bring this up, but I think maybe you've been angering the Football Gods with some of your picks. When you say "book it" or "comfortably" or call me out on a pick, it typically ends up being wrong. The Football Gods prefer that you exercise some humility when making your selections!

Andy said...

I still can't believe that Saints game. I will never understand this league.

Andy said...

These are edited for space but not intent:

Figgs: Brownies.
Nick: Browns.
Bucko: Browns.
Gopo: chiefs.

Nice pick, McBeam.