2013 NFL Week 16 Bettor’s Guide
Now that bye weeks are over and everyone is square, the return to normalcy for my handicapping prowess has returned.
Analysis: This could very well end up being a blowout, but the Bills never really lie down, even when outmatched. The Fins cannot afford to lose any games if they expect to make the playoffs. There is even a scenario where the Fins can win the AFC East if they win out and the Patriots lose out. Miami will play accordingly. Late cover on the over.
New Orleans Saints vs. Carolina Panthers
Bank of America Stadium
Charlotte, North Carolina
My Call: CAR -3
Over/Under: Under 45
Analysis: The Saints aren’t home. They can forget being home in the playoffs after losing this game. As such, they can forget winning a playoff game. Period. Although it will be 80 degrees in Charlotte at game time, it will be raining monsoon-style. Again, the Saints aren’t at home and are playing in “weather.” You know how this goes.
New Orleans 16
Analysis: Dallas has the worst defense in the history of the NFL. Washington is not much better at all. Neither team can stop anyone. Dallas has managed to choke away a once three-game lead in the NFC East and they are well on their way to bowing out of the division in Week 17 for the third straight season. Do not be surprised if Tony Romo’s struggles against Green Bay continue with this game.
Analysis: Robert Quinn and Chris Long are about to make Mike Glennon remember them for the rest of his life. However, is this the week that the Rams play well for consecutive games, or go back into the tank as they have alternated pathetic showings with all world play the following game all season?
Tampa Bay 13
St. Louis 24
Cleveland Browns vs. New York Jets
East Rutherford, New Jersey
My Call: CLE +1.5
Over/Under: Under 42
Who even cares? You can’t win anything by wagering on this trash.
NY Jets 11
My Call: KC -7
Over/Under: Over 48.5
Analysis: The Chiefs have become an offensive juggernaut since the Broncos picked them apart twice in three weeks. When they get Justin Houston back and fully ready to contribute at his normal All-Pro level, LOOK OUT. The Colts are soft. Not the place to go when facing an explosive offense, still-very good defense, and raucous crowd.
Kansas City 34
Analysis: Vikes straight up, no hesitation cover. On the road. The Bengals are going to miss the playoffs altogether. Adrian Peterson is playing, by the way.
FINAL – OT
Analysis: You just never know with games like this. You have to like the Titans here only because the Jags just lost a ton of starters and key contributors over the past 10 days.
Analysis: You usually cannot trust the Seabags with 10 points this season. Yes, they are home. No, it won’t be 58-0. Yes, the Cards will lose (and need the Saints, 49ers and Eagles to all lose, as a result, to remain alive in the NFC Wild Card hunt).
Analysis: There are two versions of the Detroit Lions: the offensive juggernaut that no defense (not even Seattle’s) can stop, and the one that shoots itself in the foot for 50 minutes, while playing well enough for the remaining 10 minutes to keep themselves in shouting distance. The Giants defense has largely been very good this season. If the Choke Artist Lions from Monday night are still lingering, this game will be close. If the Lions are focused, the Giants can add another L to another wasted season in the primes of several key players’ careers. Look out for Julian Talley to continue to walk in Victor Cruz’s footsteps from unheralded WR at UMass, to walk on with the Football Giants, to playing due to injury (Cruz for Steve Smith, who left via free agency, Talley, ironically, for Cruz.)
NY Giants 24
Analysis: The Raiders officially went off the deep end after allowing Nick Foles to embarrass them two months ago. Ever since then, the Raiders have gone into the tank. The Bolts will avenge their mind-boggling loss at 3:30 AM EDT in Oakland from earlier this season. Phil Rivers will continue to be ridiculously efficient and accurate. But that loss to Oakland is almost certainly going to be the very reason the Bolts miss the playoffs.
San Diego 38
Analysis: Aaron Rodgers will not play. I do not believe it will matter. Green Bay’s problems are defensive in nature. This one is too tough to call. The Packers are fighting for the NFC North title and giving Rodgers reason to come back for Week 17, and are at home in this tilt. The Steelers are just the skin of their teeth away from being officially eliminated from playoff contention. Both teams are desperate, but when it doubt, go with the home team.
Green Bay 26
FINAL – OT
Analysis: The Ravens are on a roll. The Patriots defense is just abominable. The Ravens have been a thorn in New England’s side for half a decade. Nothing will change about that on Sunday.
New England 17
Analysis: I would be a lot more confident about Chicago with the points if Josh McCown was starting and not Jay “Mistake Waiting to Happen” Cutler. There’s not much else to say about this game. Whoever has the ball last most likely wins.
Analysis: The Falcons entered the NFL getting their carcasses smacked around in Candlestick while members of the NFC West. The Falcons will get their carcasses smacked around in Candlestick to close the stadium for NFL business for good.
San Francisco 30