A moderately successful Thanksgiving Day catapults us into the rest of the Week 12 picks against the spread, ranked in order of confidence. I spent my biggest three portions on the Thanksgiving Day games, and while I predicted all the favorites to win, which they did, I did not get the Cowboys game right against the spread. Dallas, which was 9-0-1 ATS heading into Thursday, finally lost their first game against the line when they couldn't cover against Washington. But I just pulled out the Detroit victory and the Pittsburgh rout was obvious to see, so all in all not a bad Thanksgiving.
Oh yeah, the family and food. That was nice too.
Speaking of the Cowboys, check out these numbers. Ratings might be down a bit throughout the NFL but the Cowboys having a winning football team is almost making up for any losses the league might be experiencing.
Most watched NFL games in 2016:
1. DAL-WASH: 35.1M viewers
2. DAL-PIT: 28.9M
3. DAL-GB: 28.0M
4. DET-MIN: 27.6M
5. DAL-NYG: 27.5M
A matchup of a couple of 4-6 teams, although they couldn't seem to have less in common. Neither of them are completely out of the hunt, but I'm sure the respective "Done Clubs" in both of their home markets are pretty full. I have to take the Saints here being at home and playing a Rams teams with completely zero offense. Although Todd Gurley did score last week, which is a sign of hope for those who drafted him Top 5 in fantasy. Just four touchdowns on the year for Gurley, and still no 100 yard rushing game! He could get that this week, but I'll take the Saints in a year where the Rams might be lucky just to reach that "7-9 bulls**t".
12 points - Miami (-7.5) over San Francisco
This line is probably too high for a team like Miami. Did the morning show with Radio Joe on Friday and he dubbed them the AFC Lions. I like that. I'm going to go with Miami though on account of how terrible the 49ers are, aka the NFC Browns.
11 points - Baltimore (-4.0) over Cincinnati
Man, you think the NFC North is bad, the AFC North has them beat. A win keeps Baltimore level with the Steelers atop the division, so give me the Ravens at home.
10 points - Denver (-3.0) over Kansas City
Could go either way but I like Denver's defense at Mile High? Invesco? Hold on.....
.... oh yeah it's Sports Authority Field now. Whatever, I like Denver's defense at Mile High.
9 points - Tennessee (-5.5) over Chicago
Again, the line might be too high but the opponent is just that bad.
8 points - San Diego (-1.5) over Houston
San Diego's rough start to the season will keep them out of the playoffs, but they are a better team than the Texans no matter what the venue.
7 points - New England (-9.0) over New York Jets
The run on favorites continue.
6 points - Jacksonville (+6.0) over Buffalo
And my first underdog of the weekend (Thursday included). I like Buffalo to win but to me, this has the makings of a close game. Jacksonville will come up short late, per usual, and the Bills will crawl their way to 6-5.
5 points - Carolina (+3.5) over Oakland
I'm so high on Oakland and if this was on the road for them I'd probably take them (5-0 on the road, 1-0 on neutral fields). I sense an upset though.
4 points - Tampa Bay (+5.5) over Seattle
Seattle wins a game that will be much closer than the score indicates.
3 points - Arizona (+4.0) over Atlanta
I'm just throwing darts now.
2 points - New York Giants (-6.5) over Cleveland
I probably should have put more than two points on the Giants here, but if the Browns are going to get a win this season, it would be against a guy like Eli Manning, wouldn't it?
Week 12 of the NFL season kicks off and it's the earliest start to the week of the season, with the first game getting underway right around the time your in-laws arrive. Who says the league has become over saturated? On days like this, you could argue three games of football isn't enough.
(sidebar - I love my in-laws but sometimes it's cool for sports writers to pretend like they hate theirs and make lame jokes about the Holidays, just wanted to give it a try)
Three games this Turkey Day, I'll put the maximum amount of points on them now and then we'll finish the rest of the picks later this week.
Last Week: 7-5-2 Year to Date: 76-79-4
16 points - Detroit (-2.5) over Minnesota
Going to ride the favorites today, and we'll start with the Lions to knock off Minnesota. I like the Lions to come out of the NFC North at this point, even with the news that Adrian Peterson may be able to return for the Vikings later in the season. Detroit could use some help in their running game which is why they won't go far in the playoffs, but they'll be good enough to win the division. Now despite not thinking Detroit anywhere close to a Super Bowl contender, I'd still be willing to throw down $100 on them to win the Super Bowl in a year that has been very good to the underdog. The odds getting increasingly better for Detroit, so put your money on them now before you lose out on any more winnings. I thought about laying some money down (legally!) a few weeks ago at which point the Lions were 60/1 odds. Latest check has them at 33/1. That's almost $3000 I could have cost myself if the Lions win the Super Bowl! Hopefully there's some extra money in my Thanksgiving stocking, but in the mean time I'll have to hope Detroit wins so I can grab my 25 entertainment points from Chuck.
15 points - Dallas (-7.0) over Washington
I actually think Dallas is going to win the game by 7, can you bet on a game to push? I guess that would be a waste of money no matter what the result, but I like Dallas to cover here if for no other reason they've been doing it all season. They are 9-0-1 against the spread, so let's ride that train until it stops. Washington could be the upset pick of the day as they've been as hot as just about anyone. Well, anyone but the Cowboys that is.
14 points - Pittsburgh (-9.0) over Indianapolis
Scott Tolzien could be getting the start on Thursday night and it appears likely that he will. The Colts have the benefit of being the home team, but I've been waiting for a 35 plus point explosion from the Steelers. I see Pittsburgh putting up the type of game I thought the Packers would have been able to a couple of weeks ago.
I'm all in on Dallas. Made the weekly $25 bet in entertainment points with Chuck Freimund, taking the Cowboys. I know because of past failures it's easy to write the Cowboys off, but I think they really have something here. And even if Prescott and Elliott do hit a rookie wall or get injured, don't underestimate a Tony Romo / fresh Albert Morris combo carrying the offense through the playoffs. That's looking quite a ways ahead, but for now just give me the Cowboys this week and another couple of pizzas from Chaz.
13 points - New England (-13.0) over San Francisco
I'd take New England if the spread was 35.
12 points - Miami (-1.5) over Los Angeles
So thus begins the Jared Goff era, and while I'm a bit concernced after streaming Miami's defense in every fantasy league I'm in, I think my efforts will be rewarded against the rookie QB.
11 points - Pittsburgh (-7.5) over Cleveland
FanDuel stack - Big Ben, Le'Veon, Antonio
10 points - New York Giants (-7.0) over Chicago
9 points - Oakland (-6.0) over Houston
I'll say it again, I like Oakland on the road this season. Based on their early road success, they've been able to sustain that attitude and start the season 5-0 when away from the Black Hole. Now, technically this is a home game but it's being played in Mexico City.
8 points - Arizona (even) over Minnesota
The freefall continues for the Vikings.
7 points - Kansas City (-7.0) over Tampa Bay
Lots of talk about Oakland, lots of talk about Denver, and yet here is Kansas City leading the AFC West at 7-2. I am still optimistic about Tampa Bay's chances and their future with Jameis Winston, but I like the Chiefs here.
6 points - Jacksonville (+6.5) over Detroit
Okay, you'll probably lose this bet. BUT if you have some money to spare, but $100 on Detroit to win the Super Bowl. Cleveland earned a title finally with the Cavs, the Cubs won the World Series, Leceister City overcame the biggest odds in sports history to win the Premier League, and President-Elect Donald J. Trump! It's the year of the underdog. Lay down a hundy and good luck!
5 points - Tennessee (+3.0) over Indianapolis
Which team that kicked the Packers ass in the last two weeks is the better team?
4 points - Buffalo (+3.0) over Cincinnati
IF Mike McCarthy is in fact fired at seasons' end, Marvin Lewis will either be fired one minute before or one minute after him.
3 points - Seattle (-6.5) over Philadelphia
Tricky line, but I like the Hawks at home.
2 points - Carolina (-3.0) over New Orleans
1 points - Washington (-2.5) over Green Bay
Just enough people think that the Packers are going to lose this week that they'll probably win. But I wouldn't bet on it.
1. I do weekly picks
2. I was doing good now I'm not
3. This is based off of a Yahoo! league I'm in, confidence pool against the spread
4. People are more prone to read lists instead of paragraphs so I did it this way
Last Week: 4-8-1 Year to Date: 63-66-3
14 points - San Diego (-3.5) over Miami
I'm riding teams with momentum this week. The Chargers season started about as bad as a season could start, with victory being taken away from them in the most improbable ways, repeatedly. But they've won three of their last four, with their lone loss coming at Denver. They are putting up points, overcoming injuries, and riding the wave that is the pro career of Melvin Gordon. They've got Miami coming West, and I like them in front of a fanbase that voted against the prospects of them having a stadium downtown which will likely send them to Los Angeles.
13 points - Carolina (-3.0) over Kansas City
The Panthers are winners of two straight, and at 3-5 they could quietly climb back into this thing especially with how logjammed the NFC is. I like Carolina over a good Kansas City team. Also, I'd like to vent about Cam. He is getting drilled in the head in the pocket! It's so obvious to see!!! Stop being mad at him because you were high and mighty about him being sad he lost in the Super Bowl and recognize that he's taken way more abuse physically (and from you!) than he should be.
12 points - Houston (-1.5) over Jacksonville
Houston has won two of their last three, with their loss also coming on the road in Denver. I still don't think they are that good, but they are 5-3 and that's better than the team we root for. I'll go Houston here, despite being favorites against a divisional opponent on the road. Jacksonville has just been a huge letdown. Although, if they win 8 of their next 8 they would reach the 10-win prediction I had for them at the beginning of the season. You can do it, Jags!
11 points - Denver (+2.5) over New Orleans
Denver has beaten two of the team I've picked this week, but they are now 2-3 in their last five. On the downturn but I like them to rebound against a Saints team that will always find ways to let you down, especially at home.
10 points - Washington (-3.0) over Minnesota
Maybe I'm not as confident as the ten points would indicate, but when Minnesota is reeling I can't help but continue to kick them while they are down. They actually worked out kickers this week for Blair Walsh but decided to keep the incumbent. So you know exactly how this game will go down. Blair Walsh game winning field-goal. Here's hoping that doesn't happen.
THIS IS THE POINT WHERE I WROTE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE BUT THEN IT DIDN'T SAVE SO I WILL NOW PHONE IN THE REST OF THE PICKS WITH ONE SENTENCE ONLY THANKS!
9 points - Chicago (+1.5) over Tampa Bay
If the season started today and went 8 weeks, Chicago might be the team to win the NFC North, I was that impressed with their Monday Night win over the Vikings.
8 points - New York Giants (-2.5) over Cincinnati
The rare weekend with two home games in East Rutherford, and I'll take the Giants to squeak by a struggling Bengals team.
7 points - New York Jets (-2.0) over Los Angeles
Beer sales will be brisk at MetLife this weekend.
6 points - Philadelphia (even) over Atlanta
I don't trust Atlanta in white jerseys (I could just say on the road, but honestly it's Atlanta in white jerseys that scare me off).
5 points - Pittsburgh (-2.5) over Dallas
This game will be bad enough for Dallas that the Romo/Prescott discussion will be the main sports story next week legitimately instead of forced like it was this week (Dak is the answer).
4 points - Seattle (+7.5) over New England
Line is too big, Seattle is hot.
3 points - Baltimore (-10.0) over Cleveland
Might come back in and edit this pick if I'm wrong because honestly what's the harm?
2 points - Arizona (-13.0) over San Francisco
Line is too small, San Francisco sucks.
1 point - Green Bay (-2.5) over Tennessee
One point but a homer victory is all the Packers are getting from me the rest of the season!
Wasn't able to get a column up last week because of reasons and things and stuff, and wouldn't you know it I had my best week of the season. I can't show you proof of this unless I give you my Yahoo password and you look at the pick 'em against the spread confidence pool league that I'm in of which I base this column off of. Although my password is really not hard to guess so I invite you to give it a try if you're bored. Either way, this is the column and these are the picks.
Well, these are the picks I'm submitting to Yahoo anyway. I did picks on The Huddle with Bill Michaels on Thursday and then Chuck and I did our picks on Friday morning on the show and I didn't keep track either time. So let's start from scratch.
Last Week: 9-4 Year to Date: 59-58-2
13 points - Green Bay (-7.0) over Indianapolis
Okay try to follow my logic here. Sometimes there are games where the consenus on something is so weighted that it becomes obvious that it's not going to happen. BUT if the consensus is, let's say, super strong, then I start to feel like, "well yeah, of course it will happen". It's hard to explain but to me it's so obvious that the Packers beat the Colts by at least seven. I'm taking Green Bay 33, Indianapolis 20. Opportunites will be there for the Colts, but at this point I have not felt better about the Packers than I have all season, which is odd to say after a loss. But the Packers are on the path to figuring out their identity, they are going to get healthy again, and they'll have a puncher's chance at this thing when it's all said and done. In the interim, I like them this weekend.
12 points - Seattle (-6.5) over Buffalo
Seattle has not been playing as well as you'd think they would be. The defense is giving up a lot of passing yards and their offense, at least Russell Wilson, is struggling. Maybe if this game was on Sunday I'd feel different but I just envision a rout on Monday night.
11 points - Detroit (+6.0) over Minnesota
Six points??? This where even when you think to start to at least figure out the pattern Vegas has for these games you realize you're far from having it all understood. Minnesota has been playing bad. Detroit's offense has been above average. The teams are trending to where Detroit should be able to at least come to Minnesota and keep it within six. I'm very curious about how this one plays out, and not just for NFC North reasons.
10 points - Tennessee (+5.0) over San Diego
I like San Diego to win to continue their rebound story after a miserable first month, but the line is too high for me. Tennessee is one of those teams that is quietly winning though. Could be a team you hear little about and then Week 17 they're the team flexed to Sunday Night with a playoff seed on the line. Should be a good one hear too in one of the many Eastern Time Zone Team Travels West But Will It Matter With Daylight Saving Time Classics.
9 points - Jacksonville (+9.0) over Kansas City
Kansas City has been good, at home, but Nick Foles? Come on Jacksonville, don't let me down AGAIN!!! Keep it within nine man!
8 points - Cleveland (+8.0) over Dallas
I was going to make this the top pick of the week, as I do have $25 with Freems that Cleveland will win straight up. I've been pulling a lot of bets out lately and I want to test how far I can push the limits. I nailed Joe Callahan being on the active roster to start the season, I called the Cubs coming back from 3-1 down, and I saw the Packers running a read option play coming (despite my partner's embarrassing efforts to backtrack on the claim, and hello Chuck if you're reading this!). So let's test the waters and take the Browns straight up against the NFC's best. Why the hell not.
7 points - Denver (even) over Oakland
Okay I really do like Oakland this season, with my claim being they go something like 8-0 on the road, 4-4 at home. Probably should have been laying money on them since Oakland is currently 5-0 on the road and 1-2 at home. I like them, but I'll take the Broncos here into the dump that is O.co Stadium or whatever the hell it's called.
6 points - New Orleans (-3.0) over San Francisco
You know, I made a reference to the East Coast / Midwest teams traveling to the West Coast as not a big deal because of the extra hour of Daylight Saving Time will benefit these teams traveling. I sort of made that as a joke but I'm gonna go all-in on this. Let's take another traveling team! (the fact that the 49ers are as bad as they are helps me do this as well)
5 points - Carolina (-3.0) over Los Angeles
Let's do it again!
4 points - Philadelphia (+3.0) over New York Giants
Not really sure where to go on this one, but from what I've seen of both teams I guess I just trust the Eagles more?
3 points - Pittsburgh (+2.5) over Baltimore
It really does feel like these games between these two teams are always in primetime, and it's odd to see them play at noon on a Sunday. Haven't seen the latest on Big Ben but I think Pittsburgh at least covers with or without him.
2 points - Miami (-3.5) over New York Jets
Yeah, I don't care enough to know enough or write enough about this one.
LATE - Atlanta (-3.5) vs Tampa Bay
Missed this pick so I'm already one down for the week. For the record I did take Tampa Bay after they were already up 6-0 so I'll own the loss here.
This is the tagline to the article. Bart is on the radio during the week. You'll find him if you try hard enough.