by Noah Pires
November 22, 2018
And just like that *snap* he was gone (The Usual Suspects is top 5 all-time). Last week, I went 4-9, which is far from that 28-13 streak I was rolling with the past 3 weeks. This recent downfall has caused me to revert back to making my own picks once again, so don't be surprised if I have a repeat of this shitshow by the time you read the "Week 13 Pickem" next Wednesday. Without further ado, here are the picks that'll totally get you paid this week *wink*.
CURRENT RECORD: 78-83-0
CHICAGO BEARS (-4.5) @ DETROIT LIONS
PICK: LIONS (+4.5)
The Bears got finessed here. After playing Sunday night in a tight game against the Vikings, they are expected to play again in 3.5 days, on the road, against a divisional rival, at 12:30 in the afternoon. What? And now, it's surfacing that Trubisky has a right shoulder injury, and he likely won't practice this week and is questionable to suit up. If Chase Daniel goes out there, the Lions should be able to take advantage of that, despite their own injuries, and even if Mitch suits up, how much juice will they have left? Offensively, I don't expect all too much out of the Bears. Defensively, though, Khalil Mack should have no problem getting to Staff, which obviously isn't a good sign for Detroit, but I can never bet against Matt Stafford on Thanksgiving. Knowing him, he'l probably sling 4 touchdowns (all of which to Kenny Golladay), just to go back to looking tragic the next week. I don't think either team will big in this spot, most likely having it decided by a field goal, so I'm going with the Motor City.
WASHINGTON REDSKINS @ DALLAS COWBOYS (-7.5)
PICK: REDSKINS (+7.5)
The Cowboys are actually not awful, which is somewhat surprising. Their offense has looked improved recently, and since the addition of Amari Cooper, Dak is actually throwing the ball. On the other side, the Skins still lead the division, despite looking like they're playing in molasses. Last week, the Skins lost Alex Smith to a gruesome injury, and now, are left with Colt McCoy, which is the reason I like Washington in this spot. There's just something I like about McCoy. He was an animal at Texas, and I know that was like 25 years ago, but I think there's still something there. His weapons aren't the best, but with a decent running game and a tight end who can actually catch the ball, I think he should do pretty well. Also, they signed Mark Sanchez, who has NO CHANCE of starting, so that should show their confidence in Colt heading forward, as their backup has never, and will never, be able to complete a pass.
ATLANTA FALCONS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS (-12.5)
PICK: FALCONS (+12.5)
I hate, absolutely hate, picking against the Saints. These guys are wild animals with no regard for human life. They were up about 76 points last week, and on a 4th and long in the 4th quarter, Brees just threw a 45 yard dot to Alvin Kamara for a touchdown. Against the Falcons' defense, the Saints could quite possibly drop a light 60 points. As for the Falcons, Julio Jones is finally finding the endzone, Tevin Coleman is looking improved, and Matt Ryan is having a great year. 12.5 is a huge spread, but for the Saints, it isn't all that crazy. I just think Atlanta keeps it within 2 scores in a divisional matchup, but in all honesty, I have no confidence in this pick.
NEW YORK GIANTS @ PHILADELPHIA EAGLES (-5.5)
PICK: EAGLES (-5.5)
The Eagles might just suck. I'm not 100% on this, but they just might. You know what's even crazier? They play a team that DOES suck! The Giants defense has been terrible as of late, and despite having weapons peppered all over the offense, they are extremely inconsistent. They did put up 38 against the Bucs last week, but they are the Bucs. Tampa has given up 32.9 points/game, so it's not like the Giants' offense was all that special. I get it, the Eagles haven't been great either, but I'm not ready to give the Giants a game on the road against them in a spread smaller than 10 points. Carson Wentz has plenty of weapons and should have no problem tearing the G-Men a new one.
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (-3.5) @ BUFFALO BILLS
PICK: JAGUARS (-3.5)
The Jags' defense looked great last week outside of AB's deep score and the final drive, and that was against one of the league's most elite offenses. Now, facing the Bills, who may trot out Josh Allen coming off injury, I'm not sure Buffalo puts up more than a 10 spot. I'm not sure any quarterback on the Bills' roster could give Jacksonville a run for their money, while Leonard Fournette alone can give Bills Mafia a nightmare. The Jags should have no problem by taking this one by more than a field goal.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS (-3.5)
PICK: SEAHAWKS (+3.5)
Seattle is coming off a long week after giving the Packers the business on Thursday night, while the Panthers are coming off a loss where they risked it going for 2 at the end of the game. I think the Seattle defense could give Carolina some troubles, and the Panthers' defense has been terrible, meaning even this Seahawks team could run the score up on them. I don't expect this to happen, rather, I think Seattle will just dominate time of possession, and as long as they can keep Cam off the field, they should keep it within 3.
OAKLAND RAIDERS @ BALTIMORE RAVENS (-10.5)
PICK: RAIDERS (+10.5)
I can't believe I'm doing this, but I'm rolling with Oakland. 10.5 is a huge spread, although, against the Raiders, it's relatively small. They have nobody left at receiver, and in the backfield, they seem to have no commitment to any one player. The reason I'm picking them, though, is that the Ravens just want to run the ball every play, so I'm not sure Baltimore has the ability to put up 30 points. Last week, against a similar shitty defense in the Cincinnati Bengals, Balty only put up 24 points and only held Cincy to 21, who aren't quite the best offense without Green. I wouldn't be shocked if Oakland drops 13 points to Baltimore's 20, which would make them a winner in my books (and Vegas' too).
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS (-3.5)
PICK: 49ERS (+3.5)
With Jameis starting at quarterback, even the Bills would have a shot at winning. I know the 49ers' defense isn't great, nor are they good, but I've said it once and I'll say it again: whoever Jameis plays looks good because he is just that bad. If they come away with 3 picks, I wouldn't be surprised, and if that's the case, with the Bucs' defense looking like a doormat, Nick Mullens and San Fran could score big. On the road, I'm riding with the Cali Boys to take down King Crableg.
CLEVELAND BROWNS @ CINCINNATI BENGALS (-3.5)
PICK: BROWNS (+3.5)
Do the Bengals stink? I'd say yes. Do the Browns stink? Again, I'll nod my head. The reason I'm so confident, though, is that the Browns are coming off a bye and get to face their former head coach, now Special Assistant to the Head Coach (I think that's the title, I honestly couldn't be bothered to check what the hell Hue Jackson is doing nowadays) of the Bengals. Baker seemed to not like Hue during his time in Cleveland, and if there's one thing that's certainly plausible in this spot, it's that Baker throws 4 TDs. I don't care that they're on the road, since both Cincinnati and Cleveland are in the same state, and if someone is crazy enough to be a Browns fan, they'll be crazy enough to travel to Cincy to root for their team, so there won't be much of a homefield advantage, anyway. Give me Baker, or give me death.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS (-9.5) @ NEW YORK JETS
PICK: PATRIOTS (-9.5)
There's no chance the Jets win this game, absolutely no chance. If Darnold starts, it'll be over before the first kickoff, and if McCown gets the lead job, I don't want to see a second of this game. They're both coming off a bye, so there's no advantage there, and the Pats are a significantly better offensive team and aren't that much worse defensively, meaning they should have no problem. My only concern is the spread, being that it's hovering near 10 points, maybe Darnold/McClown throw a miracle TD with a minute left to bring it within 9, but I'm certainly not betting on that, because if I was, I'd be assuming neither quarterback was colorblind, which they obviously are.
ARIZONA CARDINALS @ LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (-11.5)
PICK: CHARGERS (-11.5)
Damn. These Chargers are frauds. It hurts me to slander my own team, but it's really the truth. They haven't beaten a "good" team outside maybe the Seahawks or Titans, if you consider them "good", and last week, they got embarrassed late by Case Keenum. Now, do I think they'll win this game? Yes, 100%, I don't see them losing to the Cards, but I just don't love the spread. 11.5 is big for any team, and with the Chargers getting shaky every time they're up by 10, I can't say for certain that they'll maintain a big lead. If I were them, I'd run Melvin Gordon until the wheels fell off since Arizona can't stop anything on the ground, but I wouldn't hate a 75 yard bomb to Tyrell Williams. If you need a superlock, take LAC, but with this spread, I'm not confident in taking them.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS (-3.5) @ DENVER BRONCOS
PICK: BRONCOS (+3.5)
Listen, Big Ben got exposed last week. I don't care that he had the game winning score and drove down the field late, he didn't look good. Now, after playing on the road in Jacksonville, he heads to Denver to play another strong defense in the Broncos. Denver plays much better at home, and I'm not sure Ol' Benny Boy will be able to catch his breath in the think Colorado air after running from Von Miller every other play. This spread is extremely small, though, as the Broncos have been nowhere near the level of Pittsburgh, but I like them to upset the Steel Curtain in this spot.
MIAMI DOLPHINS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (-10.5)
PICK: COLTS (-10.5)
Ryan Tannehill against Andrew Luck at home. That is all.
GREEN BAY PACKERS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS (-3.5)
PICK: PACKERS (+3.5)
This is a divisional game, so it should be close, and the Vikings flat out SUCK. This isn't to say the Packers are any good, they aren't either. The Vikings have the better defense, and both offenses are on about the same level, but I trust Aaron Rodgers a million times more than Kirk Cousins. Last time they played, the Vikings missed the game winning kick in OT, so it went down as a tie, but Rodgers was also playing one game removed from the knee injury he suffered week one. Now, with a week and a half to prepare, I'll take Green Bay getting points on the road.
TENNESSEE TITANS @ HOUSTON TEXANS (-6.5)
PICK: TEXANS (-6.5)
The Titans win by 30, the Titans lose by 40. I've been saying it all season; THEY ARE FRAUDS. I don't care if you're the biggest Elvis fan in the world and live in Graceland, you have to admit they just aren't good. Now, Mariota can't feel his fingers again and they're still using Derrick Henry. I'm not touching the Titans with a ten foot pole, and even though the Texans' offense hasn't put up major points recently, I'm confident DHop will expose Malcolm Butler all night long. The Texans defense has also been stellar recently, and whether or not Marcus Mariota starts, the Titans won't have an easy task scoring points. The only reason I'm not 100% confident in the Texans is because the Titans are a wildcard who could piss me off at any second. Sure, they could drop 35 Monday night, and I wouldn't be shocked because that's just what they do, but the shit stars have aligned, and the picture they paint isn't a pretty one. Texans by a million.
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by Nick Ercolano
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