For the Win - Week 16
by Jeff Pasquino
December 19th, 2012

Here I am again this year, back for more NFL picks. Just like last season I will still be picking all of the NFL games each week, but I will try and help some of you with some confidence and rankings of the selections - which also may assist those of you with Las Vegas trips. I tend to rate games that I like (and some extras like Over/Unders) with 1-3 "Stars", which basically highlight my best bets for the week. Those games which have zero stars I don't truly like one way or the other, but will select to help those trying to get some advice for their weekly office pools or other contests that they may be participating in either this week or this season.

Quite the week last week as I was 10-6 overall in Week 16, going 67% for my "star" picks (7.65-4 with two "For The Win" picks) and a remarkable 5-1 for my Picks of the Week. Could I be turning the corner and starting my roll into the playoffs? We shall see. Let's get going on Week 16 games:

Note that the lines and Over/Unders are taken from VegasInsider.com.

(Saturday) ATLANTA (-3.5) at DETROIT
I could go on and on about Atlanta needing respect, Detroit mailing it in, and the Falcons gearing up for a national television audience, but let's keep it simple. The Lions just lost to Arizona, who lost 58-0 the week before. Atlanta just beat the Giants 34-0 and need one more win to lock up home field throughout the NFC playoffs. Atlanta, by a big margin. PICK: Falcons

OAKLAND (+8.5) at CAROLINA
Ugly, ugly game on the docket here, but both teams are coming off of big road wins. The Raiders cruised over the Chiefs, 15-0, while the Panthers spanked the Chargers 31-7. This call is all about two things getting plenty of points and a little bit of revenge for running back Mike Goodson, who returns to Carolina after having a good day in Week 15 for the Raiders. I think Carolina probably wins this game, but I will gladly take more than a touchdown of a head start for Oakland. PICK: Raiders

NEW ORLEANS (+3) at DALLAS
The Cowboys were very, very fortunate to win last week in overtime against the Steelers, while the Saints had their best game of the year on defense with a 41-0 shutout of the Buccaneers last week. Dallas plays better on the road than at home and Drew Brees is still pretty darn good. I will take points and Brees nearly every time, and I will definitely do it for New Orleans in Dallas. PICK: Saints

TENNESSEE (+13) at GREEN BAY
The Packers are far better than the Titans, but I think that this is a classic sandwich game for Green Bay. Minnesota is next week and the Packers just locked up the NFC North and have very little left to play for, so I think they will probably win this game and win by 7-10 points but they won't cover that big number. Take Tennessee and their new offense to keep up somewhat against the Packers but still lose, 31-20. PICK: Titans

HOUSTON (-7.5) vs. MINNESOTA
Similar to the Falcons, a Texans win locks up the top seed in the AFC for Houston. Minnesota is a one-trick pony, but it is a pretty good trick by the name of Adrian Peterson. I expect Houston to focus almost all of their defensive energy on Peterson but he will still get over 100 yards rushing. The problem is that Christian Ponder may not top 100 yards passing. Take the Texans to win by double digits. PICK: Texans

NEW ENGLAND (-14.5) at JACKSONVILLE
Over two touchdowns, and I am still taking the Patriots? Yes, simply because I don't think Jacksonville can score 13. That means the Patriots only need 28 to cover, and I think they may have that by halftime. The Patriots have to hope Denver slips up to try and grab a bye, so you know that they will come out guns a-blazing after the bad loss to San Francisco last week. The Jaguars are the unfortunate recipient of their ire this week. New England could easily win by 30. PICK: Patriots

INDIANAPOLIS (-6.5) at KANSAS CITY
This is where the Colts go to Kansas City and lock up their 10th win and get into the playoffs. Who didn't see that coming this year? Kansas City was embarrassed last week by the Raiders, getting shut out at home, 15-0. The Chiefs are talking about starting Ricky Stanzi at quarterback. Yes, you heard me. Need I say more? Colts win, Colts win, and Indianapolis is in the playoffs after being the worst team in the NFL last season. PICK: Colts

BUFFALO (+4.5) at MIAMI
Do you think that if they didn't play this game and just posted some stats and a score, would anyone notice? I don't even thing the players girlfriends, wives, children or even mothers are going to watch this game. I know I won't. If you are at the sports bar looking for this game, it'll be the one TV way, way, way in the back corner. Enjoy. PICK: Bills

NY JETS (-2) vs. SAN DIEGO
"Do you see that guy way in the back of the sports bar? Yes, the television right across from him has the Jets-Chargers game on it. Nice to see you, Mrs. McElroy." PICK: Jets

WASHINGTON (-5.5) at PHILADELPHIA
The Eagles and Redskins usually play one another to close scores, but all bets are off on the history lessons now. Andy Reid's team is 4-10 and at the bottom of the NFC, while the Redskins are sitting in first place for the first time in over a decade. Take Robert Griffin III to run all over and through Philadelphia to win by more than a touchdown PICK: Redskins

CINCINNATI (+4) at PITTSBURGH
This is a playoff game for the Bengals, since they have to know that if they lose this game they have to not just host and beat the Ravens to get into the postseason, but likely they have to hope Pittsburgh somehow loses at home to the Browns. That's not going to happen, so Cincinnati will give everything they got at the Steelers. These two fought a tight one in Week 7, with the Steelers winning in Ohio by a touchdown, but I like the way the Bengals are playing and they have extra time to rest after beating Philadelphia last Thursday. The game will be close, so getting more than a field goal feels like the best value play here. PICK: Bengals

TAMPA BAY (-3) vs. ST. LOUIS
Greg Schiano is building for 2013 at this point, and that has to re-begin by scoring points this week. The Rams are not much better after losing at home to the Minnesota Petersons in Week 15, 36-22. I like Doug Martin to run all over and through the St. Louis defense this week. PICK: Buccaneers

DENVER (-13) vs. CLEVELAND
The Broncos have to keep winning to hold on to a first round bye in the playoffs, and I love their chances with home games against the Browns and Chiefs. That looks like back-to-back homecoming games, but no matter Denver will roll all over Cleveland this week and win by 20 or more. I'm not sure Cleveland gets 10 points. PICK:Broncos

CHICAGO (-5.5) at ARIZONA
Am I really taking the Bears on the road to not just win but to cover by almost a touchdown? The game must be in Arizona oh right, it is. The Cardinals are giving away quarterback snaps to the first 50 fans who show up this week, but I don't know if they'll get that many in the stands. That's good news for you, Ryan Lindley! Enjoy getting sacked by Chicago a half-dozen times this week. PICK: Bears

NY GIANTS (-2) at BALTIMORE
You would think that this game would get more love, but the Giants were just hammered in Atlanta, losing 34-0 while Baltimore cannot get out of its own way as they free fall in the AFC North. For some strange reason, no one wants to catch them and pass them in the standings, so they just keep standing in first place. This is more of a pick against Baltimore than for the Giants, as I expect Justin Tuck and Jason Pierre-Paul to dominate the Ravens at the line and force several Joe Flacco fumbles. The Ravens are thin at linebacker and might also be short Torrey Smith, while the Giants may get Ahmad Bradshaw back. Sounds like an easy call to me for the team who needs the game the most. PICK: Giants

SEATTLE (+1) vs. SAN FRANCISCO
The Seahawks became an answer to a trivia question last week, as they became the first team to score 50+ points in consecutive weeks since 1950. Whether they ran up the score or not is debatable, but points are points and a swarming defense at home is still a swarming defense. Watch out, Colin Kaepernick. I like the Seahawks to remain perfect at home and beat the 49ers, forcing San Francisco to win next week to lock up the division (which they should at home against the Cardinals). Bottom line the home team needs this more, wants to make a statement and is getting a point. Take Seattle. PICK: Seahawks

Best Bets

Once again this year I will give not only the "Best Bets" but also a rating of each one on a 1-3 "Star" scale. The more stars, the more I like that side of the game.

* ONE STAR GAMES *

  • INDIANAPOLIS (-6.5) at KANSAS CITY
  • CINCINNATI "FOR THE WIN" (+180) at PITTSBURGH
  • 6-POINT TEASER: ATLANTA (+2.5) at DETROIT (OVER 44.5)
  • 6-POINT TEASER: NEW ORLEANS (+9) at DALLAS (OVER 45.5)
  • 6-POINT TEASER: CHICAGO (+0.5) at ARIZONA (UNDER 43)
  • 3-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (9-5 ODDS)
  • ATLANTA (+2.5) at DETROIT
  • NEW ORLEANS (+9) at DALLAS
  • CINCINNATI (+10) at PITTSBURGH
  • 4-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (3-1 ODDS)
  • ATLANTA (+2.5) at DETROIT
  • NEW ORLEANS (+9) at DALLAS
  • CINCINNATI (+10) at PITTSBURGH
  • CHICAGO (+0.5) at ARIZONA
  • 5-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (5-1 ODDS)
  • ATLANTA (+2.5) at DETROIT
  • NEW ORLEANS (+9) at DALLAS
  • CINCINNATI (+10) at PITTSBURGH
  • CHICAGO (+0.5) at ARIZONA
  • DENVER (-7) vs. CLEVELAND
  • 6-TEAM, 6-POINT TEASER (7-1 ODDS)
  • ATLANTA (+2.5) at DETROIT
  • NEW ORLEANS (+9) at DALLAS
  • CINCINNATI (+10) at PITTSBURGH
  • CHICAGO (+0.5) at ARIZONA
  • DENVER (-7) vs. CLEVELAND
  • INDIANAPOLIS (-0.5) at KANSAS CITY
  • ** TWO STAR GAMES **

  • CINCINNATI (+4) at PITTSBURGH
  • *** THREE STAR GAMES ***

  • ATLANTA (-3.5) at DETROIT
  • PICKS OF THE WEEK: Cincinnati, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Houston, Chicago

    Results

    Last Week

  • OVERALL: 10-6 (62.5%)
  • BEST BETS (STARS): 7.65-4 (65.7%)
  • PICK OF WEEK: 5-1 (83.3%)
  • Season

  • OVERALL: 105-110-6 (48.8%)
  • BEST BETS (STARS): 79.55-84-1 (48.6%)
  • PICK OF WEEK: 11-14 (44.0%)
  • As always, questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to pasquino@footballguys.com.

    © 2012 Footballguys - All Rights Reserved