by Noah Pires
December 20, 2019
Saying last week was a good performance would be a vast understatement. Not only did all three SuperLocks hit, but I only got three games wrong. I said I hated the board last week, which shows how little I really know about this, so in hopes of replicating the last rendition of these picks, I'll say I hate the board once more. I'm sure that's not how the powers that be work, but it's certainly worth a shot.
Last Week: 13-3-0
Current Record: 125-99-0
SuperLock Record: 21-8-0
Houston Texans (-2.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Pick: Texans (-2.5)
Over the past couple of weeks, Jameis Winston has looked like a man possessed, throwing for 400+ yards as if it’s no big deal. Even without their top two options active, they have been cooking, and against a soft Houston secondary, I’d assume this trend will continue. The bad news? Tampa’s pass defense is much worse and are now facing a top three QB in the NFL, one with a top five weapons group surrounding him. This will be a boat race, but with Jameis throwing at least three interceptions this game, the Texans should be able to capitalize and maintain a big enough spread to cover the relatively low number.
Buffalo Bills @ New England Patriots (-6.5)
Pick: Bills (+6.5)
I have zero confidence in this pick. I have no read on the Patriots, but what has been apparent is that they have been awful against good teams and great against bad ones. The Bills fall into the “good” category, which makes me think the Pats may struggle, as they did the last time these two squads faced off. Because of that, you’d think the Bills are a lock. Well, Vegas knows that, so the big spread is telling me the Patriots are the pick. Well, not so fast. I know that Vegas knows that I know this is too big of a spread, so I’m going to fade the fade that was already being faded and stay with Buffalo. Whatever mental maze I just threw out there was a wild ride, so I hope it pays off.
Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers (-6.5)
Pick: Rams (+6.5)
This is another one I’m not totally sure of. The Rams are the picture of inconsistency, and although the 49ers dropped a game to the lowly Falcons last week, I still view them as a top three team. We can’t forget, though, that the Rams’ offense was cooking in their two previous games, and seeing as they’ve already played San Fran, they may be a bit more comfortable offensively than you may think despite the elite defense they’re set to face. I’m putting way too much faith in Jared Goff here, and because of that, I strongly suggest you fade this pick.
Jacksonville Jaguars @ Atlanta Falcons (-7.5)
Pick: Jaguars (+7.5)
SuperLock city. If the Falcons had lost last week, what would this spread be? Three and a half? Probably. They stink, just like the Jaguars, but the difference between the stenches both teams exude isn’t a big enough gap to warrant such a large spread. Minshew has another solid matchup for him to regain his footing from earlier this season, and Leonard Fournette is basically a lock for 27 touches and 113 yards. As for Atlanta, they should do very well as the Jags’ defense has looked like one of the league’s worst units, but the Falcons just won their Super Bowl by besting the 49ers last week. They have nothing left in the tank after that game, which came down to the wire, and because of this, I don’t feel confident in them blowing the Jags out.
Baltimore Ravens (-10.5) @ Cleveland Browns
Pick: Ravens (-10.5)
This pick is so easy that I could lock it in, but it being this easy has me concerned. The Browns are dead. Every wide receiver worth a damn on this team spends more time talking with other teams’ QBs pre game than they do with Baker and it shows. Baltimore’s secondary is going to have Mayfield wishing he was cutting lawns in a Progressive commercial instead of looking into 22 fearless eyes as the Ravens route Cleveland by an ungodly number. Sure, the Browns gave Baltimore the business earlier this year, but Lamar is back to cement himself as the MVP and will singlehandedly bury the Browns’ franchise, which, with all honestly, won’t be too hard.
New Orleans Saints (-3.5) @ Tennessee Titans
Pick: Titans (+3.5)
The classic bounce back off a down week against a team that just blew the doors off a seemingly competent team. The Saints bundled the Colts on Monday night, but if you watched the game, you’d know this means literally nothing. As for the Titans, they started slow out the gate but did a decent enough job playing catchup, despite losing. I’m a fan of this pick because in all honesty, I don’t think the Saints are even that good while Tennessee is one of the more underrated squads in the NFL. Their defense will be a much tougher task than Indy was, and their offense, led by freak athletes and a former WR playing QB, is potent enough to keep up with New Orleans. This could very easily be decided by a field goal, so I’m rolling with the Titans.
Carolina Panthers @ Indianapolis Colts (-6.5)
Pick: Panthers (+6.5)
With a new QB, coach, and no hopes of making the playoffs, it would make you think this is an easy dub for Indy, right? Wrong. All I’m going to say is Christian McCaffrey could single-handedly cover this number. The Colts’ defense is woeful and their offense has less weapons than Switzerland when a war rolls around. I just don’t see how Indy wins this by a TD or more, so give me the cats.
Cincinnati Bengals @ Miami Dolphins (-0.5)
Pick: Dolphins (-0.5)
This game is hard to pick. I don’t think that the Bengals are bad relative to their opponent, so the line seems fair. What does separate them, though, is Brian Flores being a much better coach than Zac Taylor, and Ryan Fitzpatrick being a far better garbage QB than Andy Dalton. When there’s nothing left to decide a game, I look at coach and the guy slinging the pigskin, and in this case, the Dolphins have the edge.
Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5) @ New York Jets
Pick: Jets (+3.5)
Remember last week when I picked the Texans to cover simply because the spread made no sense to me? Well, that’s what I’ve got here. The Steelers are a million times better and the only thing comparable about both teams is their coaches’ eyes being fucked. Folks, I’m calling this game “eye gate”. Moving past that shitty joke, what really cements this pick, again, is the spread. The Steelers’ defense should, hypothetically, lock up the Jets’ offense, but let us not forget when New York went and beat the hell out of Dallas earlier this season. I have a strange feeling the same will happen come Sunday, so based off my gut alone, give me gang green (not the virus).
New York Giants @ Washington Redskins (-1.5)
Pick: Giants (+1.5)
SuperLock city. This comes back to my common belief that there are a handful of teams that should NEVER be favorites. Washington certainly falls into that category, and for that reason alone, I’m siding with the G Men. Saquon almost looked like his old self last week, and with Daniel Jones making his return, he has something to prove. As for the Skins, sure, they’ve been a bit better recently than they were to kick off 2019, but they’re more concerned with being a top three team in the draft than stealing a win from New York in a meaningless week 16 game. This one will be a sweat since both stink, but I’m fairly confident the Giants leave the nation’s capital with a dub.
Detroit Lions @ Denver Broncos (-6.5)
Pick: Broncos (-6.5)
The Lions stink. They were murdered early in the season when the refs, for some reason, had a vendetta against them, and after Matthew Stafford got his back blown out like your favorite adult actress, they’ve been running through a myriad of quarterbacks that blough. This isn’t to say the Broncos are much better, as they’ve had three different tall, white quarterbacks (Elway’s favorite) lead the charge so far, but they are certainly a better team than Detroit on both sides of the ball. Their defense will have no issue stopping the Lions' offense, even with Kerryon back. The only receiving weapon left is Golladay, and I think it would be reasonable to bracket him all game and let the other practice squad members try to beat the Broncos. On top of this, we just saw Jameis Winston impersonating his teammate JPP and still throw for a million yards and 50 TDs against the Lions, so Lock should have enough confidence and opportunity to build a big lead.
Oakland Raiders @ Los Angeles Chargers (-5.5)
Pick: Chargers (-5.5)
I want the Chargers to lose. Even though I bet against them and they got blown out by Minnesota last week, I still believe the reverse jinx is alive and well, so I’m taking LAC. On top of this, the Raiders just blew their final home game in Oakland last week to the Jaguars, so they have to be dead. The last two teams these two faced off, Phil looked like…well…Phil, and he’s a maniac, so he probably has this date circled on his calendar as a revenge game. Good for you Rivers, win this game, bud. Keep moving the Chargers down the draft board so they have an even bigger chance of blowing the pick. Whatever, I’m over it.
Dallas Cowboys (-2.5) @ Philadelphia Eagles
Pick: Cowboys (-2.5)
With a combined record of 14-14, these two teams are battling it out for the lead in the NFC East. What a joke. It’s not like both teams are awful, they’re mostly just inconsistent. We saw the Cowboys look incredible last week against the Rams, but that was after dropping three straight games. The Eagles have very little left on offense, so if the Cowboys go into the game with the same plan as they had against the Rams, they should dominate. Now, the reason I’m not fully confident in this pick is because there’s a good chance the Cowboys come out flat, as they are on to do. I have to believe in my heart of hearts, though, that Jason Garrett wants to keep putting food on the table for his family and will win this game, so give me Dallas.
Arizona Cardinals @ Seattle Seahawks (-9.5)
Pick: Cardinals (+9.5)
Honestly, the only reason why I’m siding with the Cardinals is because it seems like every time they’re big underdogs, they cover. I have no stats to back this up…actually, yes I do. The Cardinals are 2-1-1 ATS this season when they are more than one TD underdogs, with that one loss coming against the Saints, playing in New Orleans. Seattle has a similar homefield advantage to NOLA and have already beat the brakes off the Cardinals earlier this year, but I have reason to believe that the Seahawks won’t win by 10+. Why? Because their margins of victory, at home, this year have been by one, six, and seven. They have no problem playing close, and against a team they know they can manhandle if they really wanted to, there’s no reason to expend all their energy, especially with the 49ers up next in the most important game of the regular season for them.
Kansas City Chiefs (-4.5) @ Chicago Bears
Pick: Chiefs (-4.5)
The Bears aren’t good. The Chiefs are. KC’s defense has even been impressive, which doesn’t bode well for Mitch, and I wouldn’t put it past the fans of Chicago to boo the Bears off the field at half time. This would seem like a close game, as Chiraq has a solid defense and are at home, but this just feels like a route, similar to what the Chiefs pulled off last week.
Green Bay Packers @ Minnesota Vikings (-4.5)
Pick: Packers (+4.5)
SuperLock numero three. Kirk Cousins in prime time is a debacle, and he is now 0-8 ATS (and straight up) in Monday Night Football games in his career. You’d think that means he’s due, but no, it means he sucks. I’m not convinced Green Bay is nearly as good as their record suggests, but they’re sure as hell not four and a half points worse than Minnesota. Green Bay will win this game straight up and make all the handicappers look like fools for throwing this line out there for sharps, like myself, to put their entire life savings on it. Maybe I’m overly confident, or maybe I’m just that good. You’ll find out next week.
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