JP is on vacation this week, so he's passed his NFL picks torch to me. I'm not saying I could do a better job than him, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. (You're welcome, Holiday Inn. Great product placement).
Anyway, let's get right in to it. Here are this week's NFL picks.
Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-14): The Steelers have a tendency to get up for big games and let down against bad teams. They beat the Colts by only three points. They topped Jacksonville and Kansas City by four. They beat Arizona by 12, but it wasn't pretty. So I'm a little nervous with that 14-point spread. I'm guessing the Steelers win, but I'm taking the points. Pick: Browns to cover.
New England Patriots at Washington Redskins (+9.5): Sorry folks, but this one won't be pretty. Very few teams in the NFL are playing as well as the Patriots, and they can do it at home or on the road. The Redskins' defense has been very solid all year, but they haven't faced a team as explosive as the Patriots. I'm expecting a rout. Pick: Patriots.
New Orleans Saints at Tennessee Titans (+3.5): The Saints have been impressive the last two weeks against good teams, but that was in the Superdome. On the road, they're a different team. The Titans, surprisingly, seem to be finding their stride, especially Chris Johnson. I think they'll run all over New Orleans and win this game. Pick: Titans.
Kansas City Chiefs at New York Jets (-10.5): Tyler Palko is not your savior, Chiefs fans. Pick: Jets.
Philadelphia Eagles at Miami Dolphins (-2.5): The Dolphins are one point away from having lost their first seven and won their last five. Imagine if they go 7-9, believe in Matt Moore as the guy again next year and then ... go 7-9 again. In any event, Michael Vick is back and I see an Eagles win. Pick: Eagles.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars (+1): What happened to the Bucs this year? Sheesh. Pick: Jags.
Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions (-7): A lot depends on if Adrian Peterson will play. Either way, with the Lions' playoff hopes dwindling, I expect a strong effort from them. Pick: Lions.
Houston Texans at Cincinnati Bengals (-1.5): The Texans have won six games in a row, are 9-3 and have only lost to other winning teams. The Bengals have lost three of four and were blown out by the Steelers last week. So why is Cincinnati favored again? Pick: Texans.
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (+2.5): Expecting a fairly boring game that's won by a touchdown because the Panthers' defense is awful. Pick: Falcons.
Indianapolis Colts at Baltimore Ravens (-17.5): I thought the 20-point line in the Patriots-Colts game last week was too high, and I think this line is too high too. Pick: Colts to cover.
Chicago Bears at Denver Broncos (-3.5): Chicago has no Matt Forte or Jay Cutler, and they're playing the king of WIN WIN WIN NO MATTER WHAT GOT MONEY ON HIS MIND HE CAN NEVER GET ENOUGH. Not understanding this line at all. Pick: Tebows.
San Francisco 49ers at Arizona Cardinals (+3.5): Arizona's quietly won four of their last five, and while only one has been against a winning team, they're still wins. I'd lean on picking them again this week against a 49ers team that has every right to coast. Pick: Cardinals.
Oakland Raiders at Green Bay Packers (-10.5): It's not happening this week. Not at home. Pick: Packers.
Buffalo BIlls at San Diego Chargers (-6): I don't think the Chargers' win over the Jaguars should make us believe anything different about their chances this season, but I also don't know if the Bills win another game this year. Pick: Chargers.
New York Giants at Dallas Cowboys (-4): It's December, which means it's time when the Cowboys rope you in to believing in them, only to let you down. It's also the time when the Giants' backs are against the wall and they come out and play better. I'm rolling with them this week. Pick: Giants.
St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks (No Line): Whatever. Pick: Seahawks.
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