Last week: 6-2
Year to date picks against the spread (ATS): Official picks: 37-31-1. Total picks ATS: 41-31-1
Recap: Grumbling: Loved the Giants, didn’t add to last weeks picks on Monday. Liked the Rams and Dallas a lot (But only because Dallas was getting 3.5, and not 3, since figured there was still a goo chance the game would be close and they would blow it at the end, which naturally is what happened), but usually don’t do this piece until late Saturday or Sunday. Woulda Coulda Shoulda. Had I added them all it probably would have been reversed. So, since am doing this week’s, quickly and without too much commentary, they’ll probably all lose:
Picks: 3 official. 1 extra:
Bears +4 (at Vikings)
Look for the possible upset. Though not an official pick here of Chicago however; the line was 5.5, and at 4 this is an iffier pick. (So naturally, since I’m not officially making the pick, the Bears will win. Though since am tallying unofficial picks (4-0 so far), who knows.)
Ravens +7 (v. Chiefs)
Baltimore’s kept almost every game close this season. Granted, they don’t have a QB any more, but they sill have a very good head coach. Chiefs are hot, but they showed frailty earlier in the year, and even if they don’t again, Baltimore’s not the easiest place to play.
Giants +5 (at Panthers)
The Giants can beat any team in the league, including the Panthers. Too bad they don’t have someone actually helping them manage end game strategy decisions. (They actually botched last Monday as well, though this time, unlike in other instances this season, they didn’t also wind up losing as a result.)
But the call here is that the Giants, who also have a very suspect (but smart and turnover hungry) defense, and iffy O line play, still pull off the upset.
Though who knows with these Panthers – they’re playing better and better; and, most impressively of all, and the reason for their success – are playing as a team. And thus there’s still a decent chance they solidly outplay the Giants (remember the Eagles, who aren’t the Panthers, did it earlier in the year as well).
But more likely it’s a good game, and the Giants do it once again – that is, beat an unbeaten team late in the year.
Denver +6.5 (at Steelers)
Pittsburgh is playing out of its mind right now. And, like the Seahawks, is one of those teams who don’t have a great record, but that no one wants to face in the playoffs if they make it in.
Simultaneously, the near labeling of Brock Osweiler as a big improvement over an obviously injury riddled and slowed Peyton Manning, may have been a little too premature, (When the Broncos won with Peyton it was because of the defense and in spite of Peyton, but when they won with Brock, yeah, what a great QB, or so some of the proverbs went. But it’s not as simple as that.)
Denver’s also missing some safeties, but their defense is still staunch, and this is a great test to see what they can do.
They’re still a great team – even with Gary Kubiak as head coach. (Remember Kubiak’s long and largely unsuccessful tenure in Houston, finally turning them into a very strong team before immediately turning it around to lose 14 almost close ones in a row to close out the brief “strong team” period at 2-14.) And they might even be better than Pittsburgh. Though again right now it looks like maybe not.
But they are getting 6.5 points here. This is an excessive volume if the game, despite Pitt’s blazing offense – and if so possibly in part because of Denver’s D – stays close.