Before we get to the picks, one more reminder that our 10th Annual WSSP Toy Drive has entered the #OnlineOvertime! In honor of celebrating our Toy Drive for a full decade, we're looking to do just a little bit more in years past and have extended the deadline through the weekend.
You can donate here - bit.ly/DonateToCHW
I've pledged to donate $1 for every point the Packers score on Sunday against Houston, hope to get at least a few people to join me!!!
Moving on towards the picks, again these are done against the spread each week and I rank them in order in confidence, with the spread based off of the confidence pool I use in a Yahoo league. I'm doing fairly decent but there is a guy in first place that I need to catch up to, and quickly, and some of these picks will reflect that.
Last Week Thanksgiving: 2-1 Last Week Sunday/Monday: 7-5-1 Year-to-Date: 85-85-1 (.500!)
15 points - Green Bay (-6.5) over Houston
I was consistently getting burned on the Packers so for the last month I would bet no more than one confidence point on the result of their game. But, screw it. They're my favorite team, I'm an NFL OWNER!, and I do look at this line and think that Aaron Rodgers should be able to be seven points better than Brock Osweiler, no matter what the defense they face would be. Granted, this could be a quick overreaction to a team that is no better than there 5-6 record would indicate, but I guess we'll know more on Sunday. THE PACK IS BACK!
14 points - Detroit (+5.5) over New Orleans
These next two games are the two games I bet my partner Chuck on, so let's put my mouth where my money is. Detroit's games are all within seven points, so even if they lose I figure they can keep it close. But let's not overlook the Lions, they control their own destiny in the NFC North and as bad as that divison is, there's something to be said for being in first place during the first week of December (unless you're Houston, obviously).
13 points - Seattle (-6.5) over Carolina
Carolina's season has slipped away at 4-7. What they were able to do so succesfully last season in winning games that come down to the wire seems to be impossible for them this season. I don't think it ever gets that close on Sunday Night Football.
12 points - Buffalo (+3.0) over Oakland
Okay, I'm very high on Oakland. And I like them better on the road than I do at home this season. But this is a home game and they are essentially a pick 'em if you consider the three point bump a home team gets. So something is up here. Buffalo is a quiet 6-5 and this is my upset of the week, in that I don't even believe it myself. But let's roll the dice here.
11 points - Denver (-5.0) over Jacksonville
I have officially paid Mike Wickett the $50 we bet that Jacksonville would be a ten win team this season, and they were used to purchase toys for our toy drive. DONATE HERE!
10 points - New England (-13.5) over Los Angeles
I'm with Eric Dickerson, Jeff Fisher has to have naked pictures of somebody.
9 points - Chicago (-1.0) over San Francisco
8 points - Atlanta (-3.5) over Kansas City
Atlanta is a team that I never want to admit when they are good, but I'm not sure why that is. They are 7-4, they have a great offense, but I will continue to underestimate them at every turn. I'm going to go against my unexplained bias here and take them to beat a very impressive Chiefs team. Going to give Atlanta the benefit of the doubt being at home, really.
7 points - Philadelphia (-1.5) over Cincinnati
The Eagles are not a good football team. But the Bengals are worse. This is finally the year that the seat gets too hot for Marvin Lewis.
6 points - Pittsburgh (-6.0) over New York Giants
Fluky Giants Year alert! Give me the Steelers at home against a team that is somehow 8-3. This Giants team, man. They beat the Cowboys but lost to Green Bay. WHAT ARE THEY??
5 points - Arizona (-2.5) over Washington
Rooting for a tie to give both teams their second tie of the season. If Arizona does win this though and strings a few more together, this is could a key game down the stretch as these two teams, and Seattle, all have ties in the NFC. The ties haven't come into as much play as I thought they would quite yet because Arizona has been losing more often than they've been winning. But I'll take them at home here.
4 points - Miami (+3.0) over Baltimore
This seems like it could be the 11:30am Wild Card Saturday Game in one month's time.
3 points - New York Jets (+2.5) over Indianapolis
I think both these teams are bad.
2 points - San Diego (-3.5) over Tampa Bay
I think both these teams are good! But give me the home team again against a cross country traveling Buccaneers squad.
1 point - Dallas (-3.0) over Minnesota
That's now two straight games the Cowboys haven't covered after going 9-0-1 against the spread to start the season.
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!