I Suck at Gambling- NFL Week 15, 2013

Last Week: 10-5. My entire life: 30-26-2.

Last week was the craziest week of football I remember. The Abominable SnowMegatron in Philly. The most snow for a Ravens game in M&T Bank Stadium ever, and positive freakishness in Baltimore. The Cleveland Browns (and terrible officiating). The sideline in Pittsburgh ruining Antonio Brown’s truly miraculous near-comeback.1 Me taking the Seahawks at +2.5 in San Francisco and having it come through AND having the 49ers actually win by 2! There were some downers, a couple of injuries and that picture of the start of the 3rd quarter in FedExField, but all in all, an incredible day. It’s got me feeling good heading into Week 15, so this’ll probably be a disaster. As always, lines from Sportsbook.com; home team in CAPS.

Chargers (+10.5) over BRONCOS

I’ve got a good run going of picking a double-digit underdog against the Broncos, only for the Broncos to cover anyway because Peyton Manning and touchdowns all-day-‘erry-day and stuff. Pythagorean points suggest the Chargers have been the fifth unluckiest team in the league, underperforming by more than a win, so maybe Vegas is giving them a few too many points. Screw it.

UPDATE: Felt terrible about this after that opening drive. Felt good after that Broncos’ neutral zone infraction that gave the Chargers a new set of downs, and it went well from there.

FALCONS (-7) over The Washington D.C. Football Team

Both of these teams are bad. It’s possible we’re overreacting to that crushing D.C. loss last week, but also maybe expecting Cousins to be better than he really is? The Falcons defense should make him look good, but for now, I’ll take Matt Ryan.

BUCS (+6) over 49ers

Let down game and cross-country flight for the 49ers, slipping into the early game slot for the first time in a while. The Bucs defense is good, and I’m still not convinced our offense is.

Seahawks (-7) over GIANTS

If only the Giants had something to play for…

Bears (-1.5) over BROWNS

At this point, we’ve got to be able to count on Cleveland to go for a good draft pick, right? Even if they have to chain Josh Gordon in the locker room to do it? ‘Cause he has been so unstoppable, even having Brandon Weeden throw him the ball might not be enough.

Texans (+6) over COLTS

The Colts already clinched their division, and they’re two games behind a tie for the two seed in the AFC. They’re pretty much locked in to the four seed. The Texans might just confuse everyone, opening the door to the first overall pick with their first ever win in Indianapolis. Or not. I don’t care, I’m gunning for it.

JAGUARS (+1.5) over Bills

Here’s to hoping Gus Bradley actually has them playing better now than in the beginning of the season, and hasn’t just gotten lucky the past few weeks.

DOLPHINS (+1) over Patriots

The Pats have been very lucky, even eking out a win after poor Gronkowski went down and out with that injury. But I think it stops here.

Eagles (-6) over VIKINGS

If not taking the Vikings on the road won’t work for me, I’ll try not taking them at home, damn it! I’m not taking them.

PANTHERS (-11.5) over Jets

The Jets do not deserve their six wins. The 9-4 Panthers might deserve 10. Plus, they’re going to be pissed after a little embarrassment on Sunday Night Football right? Or at least regress to their mean?

The Kansas City Football Team (-6) over RAIDERS

Kansas City has nothing to play for either, but… whatever.

Cardinals (-3) over TITANS

Arizona’s playoff prospects are dimming, but until they’re extinguished, I expect them to keep it up, Honey Badger or no.

Saints (-6.5) over RAMS

Even after that last win, Saints with plenty to prove, and the NFC two seed to secure.

Packers (+7) over COWBOYS

Rodgers hasn’t been cleared. I reserve the right to reverse this pick if he isn’t. But I really, really think he will be. The Packers are a half game back. And the Cowboys are coming off a short week in which Josh McCown scored on them every time he got the ball.

UPDATE: Sportsbook has actually dropped this game for the moment, and an hour or so ago Rodgers was ruled out. So no action here.

Bengals (-2.5) over STEELERS

I just took five four road teams in a row. Oh dear.

LIONS (-6) over Ravens

With that half-game lead, the Lions can’t let up. Also the Ravens might be a little emotionally drained after experiencing five touchdowns in the final 2:07 of regulation last week.

And that’s another week in the books! With football season drawing to a close, I’m going to have to learn how to look stupid guessing basketball and hockey games soon. Stay tuned.

  1. I would put it behind The Play, but possibly ahead of the Music City Miracle2 and the Immaculate Reception, and definitely ahead of the Toucherception from last year, as well as the Miracle at the Meadowlands and the Miracle at the New Meadowlands. The Music City Miracle and the Immaculate Reception were in the playoffs, but this would have been almost as good, with the Steelers and Dolphins still very much in the hunt. There was more controversy in Tennessee and in Pittsburgh in 1972, but there was almost even more in Pittsburgh last Sunday: imagine if the snow had obscured the sideline, leaving them no choice but to call it a TD even on replay? Sigh… 
  2. Inception footnotes! I love how immediately after the Music City Miracle, one announcer notes that “All that’s missing is the band!” 

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