Okay, now that my fantasy football season is over (takes brief moment to wipe away the tears), I can tell you one thing I learned this season about setting fantasy lines up and picking games as a fantasy newbie.
If you’re not setting your fantasy lineups according to the point spreads and over/unders that Las Vegas presents, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity. There were a number of games this season where I looked specifically at over/unders then planned my fantasy lineups accordingly.
And it paid off.
Of course I missed my playoffs by a single damn point (why do you keep bringing that up) but there’s a lesson to be learned here. As you already know if you’ve ever placed a wager or visited a sportsbook, Las Vegas isn’t always right but they’re a hell of a lot closer to right than you and I are most of the time. Rest assured they know far more about the game you’re wagering on than you’ll ever do.
So, for example, if you’re debating over which offensive player to start and there’s a significant difference between the over/unders in those two games, start the guy who’s playing in the game with the higher number. It might not work every time but I guarantee you it will work out in your favor more often than not.
As we move on to Week 15, we pretty much know what teams will be in the playoffs. We’re just looking at seeding at this point. And speaking of seeding, our boy Kevin will be drafting first next year and he still hasn’t been able to make up any ground on yours truly. With only three weeks left in the regular season, I have a comfy and cozy eight game lead.
Our celebrity picker this week is such a talented writer, he gave up his regular writing job for radio where he didn’t have to spell as much. If you live in the Tampa area and are a sports fan, you know him, you love him and you’ve probably shared a drink with him. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the incomparable Bill Freitas.
Best of luck, sir, as we move on to Week 15.
SPORTSCHUMP’S NOW THAT FANTASY IS OVER WHAT DO I DO WITH ALL MY EXTRA TIME PICKS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at St Louis Rams (-2)
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers missed a golden opportunity to stay in the playoff hunt last week. I should know. I was there. While not mathematically eliminated yet, a home loss to the Saints proved this team is not quite ready for prime time. Meanwhile, Jeff Fisher may have done enough to keep his job by beating the Lions. Surely, I jest. Nine other teams have beaten the Lions this year. That doesn’t make Jeff Fisher special. That makes him barely competent. Either way, all it takes is barely competent to beat the Bucs. Since the Bucs aren’t ready for prime time, I’m going with the Rams. Two points isn’t all that much to lay so I’m doing it, officially ending a season of promise for the young Bucs and giving Rams brass a difficult decision regarding what to do about their head coach next season.
New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys (+3)
Every season, there’s one team that I consistently wager incorrectly on. This season, that team is the New York Jets. For some reason, I just refuse to believe they’re all that good but there they are, right in the midst of a playoff hunt. However, they are 3-3 on the road and even though the dysfunctional Cowboys are a reflection of their dysfunctional owner, this is still a game they can win, unless they’ve given up which is also a possibility. A 28-7 road loss last week to a slightly above average Packers team didn’t give me the impression that the Cowboys were all too eager to play out the rest of this season. This game, however, is on a Saturday night which means we should see about 100,000 liquored up Texans in the crowd who aren’t too fond of New Yorkers. Since I’m routinely wrong on the Jets, I’ll go ahead and take America’s team and the three as they attempt one last push at respectability.
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5)
I want to say that 8-5 Minnesota is pretty much assured a wild card spot but nothing’s official yet. Winning this game against the Bears will most certainly help. Chicago is looking to play the spoiler but that shouldn’t matter much. They couldn’t spoil a Thanksgiving dinner by farting in the middle of it. I’m not sure what that means but it’s the first visual that came to mind. I think the Vikes put it on Chicago. I know they’ve been struggling lately but they have enough talent to turn this around and lock up the sixth and final playoff spot in the NFC. They do so by covering.
Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3)
This is how bad things have gotten for Atlanta. They started off the season 5-0 and are now underdogs in Jacksonville. That’s inconceivably bad. Considering Atlanta just lost by 38 to Carolina while the Jags just hung 51 on the Colts, this line should actually be larger. But Las Vegas knows everybody in their right mind is going to bet Atlanta so they don’t want to take a bath. Consider me one of those suckers. The Falcons can’t possibly lose seven straight, can they? I’ll tell you what. I know Dan Quinn was supposed to be the next big thing as head coach but if he drops this one to the Jags, Arthur Blank is going to have to take a long hard look and make sure this guy can do more than defensively coordinate. Heck, after giving up 38 to the Panthers, I’m not even sure he can do that. Either way, I’m taking the Falcons and the points.
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (no line)
Andrew Luck is really fucking with Las Vegas. Another week, another last minute line. As of this printing there is no line listed for this game which means nobody is sure whether Andrew Luck’s lacerated kidney will miraculously heal by Sunday. This is an important game too. A playoff berth will go to the winner. A mid-round draft pick will go to the loser. In fact, with all the big names banged up for both teams, I’m not sure either will be able to put together a full effort. Both teams have lost two straight but Indy’s back at home for the first time in a month. I’ll take the home team and the no point spread while I got it.
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens (+7.5)
I’d like to remind everybody that the Kansas City Chiefs have won seven straight after dropping five of their first six. I’m not sure we’ve ever seen a season so lop-sided. Seriously, I’ll have to get with my fact-checkers on this but I’d be willing to wager that this is the first time in NFL history a team has lost five straight and won seven straight in the same season. But at 8-5, the Chiefs aren’t guaranteed a playoff spot yet. Along with the Jets and Steelers, they’re vying for two remaining spots in the AFC big dance. Knowing all that’s on the line, even against a shitty Ravens team, they might come out a little tight. I think they win this one but I’m not entirely convinced they do so by seven-and-a-half.
Buffalo Bills at Washington Redskins (+1)
That’s it. I’m done. I’m totally done with the Buffalo Bills. Not only did Shady McCoy cost me the playoffs in my fantasy league by not living up to what most thought he would do against his former team last week, he really hasn’t lived up to expectations at all. Maybe it’s because the Bills have too many weapons on that team but even with all that, even with those fangs, they don’t know how to kill the bunny. The Redskins on the other hands are clinging on to their playoff hopes. At 6-7, they still sit atop the NFC Least and can feel the Giants breathing down their neck. Don’t expect the Bills to do the G-Men any favors here. While I still think they win their division, they won’t make up any ground this week. The Redskins cover and win at home to keep things interesting in the NFC East for yet another week.
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-14)
Let’s talk split plays here for a second before we get into breaking down this game. A split play is as such. Whenever you see a high point spread and a low over/under, it makes sense to place two wagers. A perfect example was the SEC Championship Game between Florida and Alabama. The point spread was 17 and the over/under was 41, which means all Florida needed to do was score 13 points and you won at least one of those bets. For example, you wager $100 each on Florida +17 and over 41. If Florida scores 13 points, Alabama would have to score 13 plus another 17, so 30, to cover. They didn’t hence win/win. This game doesn’t quite fit that bill as the over/under is 47 but we’ll see another one coming up shortly with Cleveland/Seattle that might be worth looking into but quickly, how many points would Tennessee need to score in this game for at least one bet to hit? They’d have to score 17 points. Get it? 17 points (Tenn) plus the 17 points (NE) plus the 14 point cover gets you to 48, which surpasses the over/under of 47. The question is whether Tennessee can score 17 points against a New England defense that made Brian Hoyer question why he ever started playing football in the first place. I’m going to leave the split play alone only because I think New England is a team that doesn’t want to be fucked with right now. They cover, but again, we’ll revisit the split play for Cleveland-Seattle.
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles (+3.5)
Ladies and gentlemen, here is your high over/under of the week, as you’d expect it to be. Las Vegas clearly thinks this one’s going high, hence the 50.5 total. And it’ll probably move before kick off as there’s no conceivable way this game goes under that number. So get it while it’s hot. Arizona is a damn fun to team to watch, as is Philadelphia because they’re a hot mess. Philly’s played well lately, beating both New England and Buffalo but I don’t think the third time is a charm. I’m taking Arizona. (Note: the o/u is already up to 51. Told ya’.)
Carolina Panthers at New York Giants (+5)
I’m taking the G-Men here. I’m not suggesting the G-Men win this game and ruin Carolina’s perfect season although it’s possible. They’re on a short week but it’s all or nothing at this point. Lose and their season could be done. I’m taking the five.
Cleveland Browns at Seattle Seahawks (-14.5)
I’d say something stupid here like if Johnny Manziel went into Seattle and beat a hot ‘Hawks team, I’d eat my shorts… but that’s trite. Plus I just had some coffee and peanut butter toast so I’m not all that hungry. Let’s go back to that earlier split play conversation in the Tennessee-New England game. The over/under in this game is 43. So if Cleveland scores 13 points, you at least win one of the two bets, Cleveland plus the points if the over/under doesn’t it or the over/under if Seattle covers the spread. Are we on the same page yet? Of course you’re paying the juice but if both bets hit, you’re the big winner in the casino. Of course, losing both bets is also a possibility but with far fewer options. So if you think Seattle will shut out Cleveland by a score of 28-0, don’t listen to anything I’ve just said. Just to set an example, I’ll take the points. Let’s see how that works out.
Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders (+3)
When this line came out, I really thought it would be larger. Thank you, Denver Broncos. I’m taking the Packers and laying the three confidently.
Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers (-2)
Can we call this the battle between the two softest teams in the league? Or how about two of the most disappointing? The Chargers are 3-10!!! Why did they even suit up this season? Personally, I’d rather watch fish fuck that watch this game so if you catch me at the local pet store on Sunday, that’s just me avoiding anything to do with this game at all costs. I guess I have to take the Chargers here only because they’re the home team and only laying two but I shouldn’t do it out of spite. If they can’t cover the deuce against a team in disarray that traveled all the way across the country to play there on a short week, they have no business finishing out the rest of their sorry ass season.
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)
I’m taking the Steelers here. I think they’re peaking at the right time. The Broncos hit a speedbump last week and the Steelers are going to make them pay for it. This game could potentially have some major seeing implications if things work out. Steelers will leave no doubt this week that they’re a team nobody wants to play in the playoffs.
Cincinnati Bengals at San Francisco 49ers (+4.5)
Bad luck for the Bengals. Now we’ll never know how their story book season will go. Could they finally win a playoff game behind a healthy Andy Dalton? He’s out at least the rest of the regular season with a fractured thumb on this throwing hand. The good news is no surgery is needed. The bad news is that the 49ers will be feasting on AJ McCarron worse than Brett Musburger feasted on his girlfriend. “That’s one goooooood-lookin’ lady!” Was that wrong? Probably but who cares. Most of you have stopped reading by this point. I’ll take the Niners here because Blaine Gabbert.
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (-3)
Thank you, Commissioner Goodell, for another Monday Night Special. I mean, did anyone in their right mind think that either Detroit or New Orleans would be in playoff contention at this point in the season? And didn’t New Orleans already have a prime time game at home this season? What the hell is that all about? Aren’t we done with all the Katrina reparations? This is another game I could care less about and not only because I’m still bitter about missing my fantasy playoffs by a point. I do like the game going over 50.5. You know what? The Lions are bad. The Saints are worse. I’m taking Detroit and the three.
BILL FREITAS’ ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS TO BE RIGHT ON THESE PICKS PICKS
Picks are worse than flipping a coin. At least you’re half right on the coin. That said, I’ve been spot on in my assessments during the 2015 NFL season. Quite frankly, if you picked the opposite of my chosen winners this year, Trump would ask you for a loan (See what I did there? Self-deprecating AND topical). Let the incompetence begin.
Bucs @ Rams
The ketchup and mustard bowl. Try not to look directly at the uniforms while stomaching this “May the worse team lose” matchup. Sure the Bucs have a better record than the Rams (barely). But the Rams have had more “quality losses” as opposed the “shoulda-won but lost anyway” games Tampa Bay put us through at the very worst moments. One thing the Bucs have done was pull us back in just when we thought we were out. They rarely lose two in a row, while St. Louis seems to be quite comfy with it. Dr. Jekyll returns and the Bucs win ugly.
Jets @ Cowboys
Jets on a hot streak, Cowboys on a sh*t streak. The rumble at Jerry’s house will not have quite the home field advantage for a bad team in a worse division. The Bucs beat them, for crying out loud (Sorry). Cowboys are finished and the Jets will implode…but not this week. Jets win and cover.
Falcons @ Jags
If you’re having trouble sleeping, this game will work better than a Tylenol PM with a NyQuil-ada chaser. Both teams are terrible. Atlanta is the bigger surprise. Looks like the OC they gave the Bucs was better than anyone imagined. Throw in the fact that both teams’ records seem to be headed in opposite directions, I’m choosing the home dog seemingly on the way up. Jax win and cover. And I’m going to guess they cover huge.
Texans @ Colts
Great gobs of goose-shit, flip a coin. But seriously folks, when you take a long hard look at this season in general, there’s plenty of bad football to go around. More than likely at least one team with a losing record will make the playoffs. These two have identical records as well as identical over the past five games. And their last victories were the Texans beating the Saints and the Colts beating the Bucs. Pee-you! So for the simple reason of the Colts getting the ever loving snot beaten out of them last week against Jax and having two dinged up quarterbacks, I’m holding my nose and picking Houston.
Chiefs @ Ravens
The Chiefs went ahead and decided to become a football team all of a sudden. Good for them. And not a moment too soon. Unlike other divisions, a winning record is no guarantee for a playoff spot. So this is a must win for Kansas City. Ravens on the other hand were picked by some to go to the Super Bowl or at the very least, win the division and decided to lay a turd instead. Injuries didn’t help. Taking the Chiefs by a touchdown…but eight? Sure.
Bills @ REDSKINS
The Bills never disappoint in disappointing their poor pathetic and loyal fan base year after year and 2015 is no exception. The REDSKINS (all caps on purpose…no native Americans were harmed. See folks? Sticks and stones and whatnot) Anyhoo, they actually have a playoff chance (pause for laughter). Both have the same crappy record, but the Skins are winning more as of late and are my pick because they’re home and suck less.
Titans @ Pats
These are going to get shorter and shorter because I’m under the gun and perpetually hungover from too many CHRISTMAS (Suck it, political correctness) parties. Can the Titans shock the world a la Philadelphia and hand the Patriots their third straight? No. Why? Because they won’t.
Cardinals @ Eagles
Speaking of Phili, will they continue the “streak” to three? Against Arizona? Are you high? You are? Weed and gambling don’t mix, so pick the Cards and spend the rest of the day laughing at a doorknob.
Broncos @ Steelers
Steelers because I heard Fran Tarkenton on the radio say they’re his top three teams in the league. What, you got a better reason? I’ve seen chicks clean up picking teams based on the cuddliest mascot.
Bengals @ 49ers
Bengals begin their post-season meltdown early. Thanks ginger. 49ers.
Panthers @ Giants
Panthers. Fine, I’ll make it a tad more interesting. They don’t cover. They need a loss before the playoffs. It just won’t happen this week.
Browns @ Seahawks
Nobody wants to play Seattle these days. Especially the Browns. Seahawks.
I’m literally typing this at a company party. Asses on copy machines, baby!
Last three rapid fire!
Don’t take these seriously or Jesus will come down the chimney and choke you out.
KEVIN PAUL’S ONE LAST SHOT PICKS
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at St. Louis Rams (-0.5)
This game will be won on the ground, with Doug Martin and Todd Gurley to be significant pieces of each team’s offensive attack. The Bucs – with Winston as an add-on runner to Martin – have the 4th-best rushing offense in the NFL while the Rams are ranked 6th. Gurley had been M.I.A. until last week’s outburst against the Lions, making this game a bit more interesting on paper. But the Bucs also sport a top ten run defense (8th to be exact, allowing 94.1 ypg) and are a much more potent team in the pass game, featuring players like Mike Evans and Vincent Jackson. For those reasons and more, I like Tampa Bay to steal away a key win on the road.
KP’s Pick: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New York Jets at Dallas Cowboys (+3.5)
We know the drill with the Cowboys at this point… just one victory without Tony Romo under center and plenty of injuries on both sides of the ball. The Jets have the top-ranked run defense (78.9 ypg), allowing just two TD’s on the ground. Do we really expect Matt Cassel and the Dallas passing game to carry the offense against an aggressive Jets defense? By the time the weekend is over, we’ll be chanting J-E-T-S on one side and M-E-S-S on the other. New York stays ahead of its playoff chase.
KP’s Pick: New York Jets
Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5)
In a game that could decide the mediocre AFC South, the main storyline is injuries, injuries and more injuries. Andrew Luck hoped to be back for this one, but he’s not fully recovered. Donte Moncrief (foot) is expected to join him. Matt Hasselbeck (ribs) is likely to start, but not 100 percent and will be short at the receiver position. Houston, meanwhile, has injuries of its own, most notably J.J. Watt, who played with a broken hand last week. Jadeveon Clowney showed some flashes of brilliance, but now he’s dealing with a hamstring issue and is listed as questionable. For those that are playing, the key matchup will be how Indy’s 29th ranked pass defense can handle DeAndre Hopkins. This pick is banking on a big day by DeAndre and a one-game division lead for the Texans.
KP’s Pick: Houston Texans
Atlanta Falcons at Jacksonville Jaguars (-3.5)
Dear Matt Ryan: What the hell happened? The Falcons opened the season 5-0 and have since lost seven of eight. Devonta Freeman was the top rusher in Atlanta’s games from Week 5-8 and hasn’t hit that mark since. There’s only so much that Julio Jones can do. As for the Jags, here’s a team on the rise with a potent pass attack. Opponents need to get to Blake Bortles and attack Jacksonville’s weakness (39 sacks allowed, 5th most). The problem: Atlanta has an NFL-low 15 sacks this season. That should leave time for Bortles to get the ball to both Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. Playing at home, give me Jacksonville against the sinking Falcons.
KP’s Pick: Jacksonville Jaguars
Buffalo Bills at Washington Redskins (+0.5)
Here’s a tricky game, featuring a talented, but inconsistent Bills team facing a Redskins team that is dangerous at home and clearly motivated by its first place position in the NFC East. Rex Ryan may be aggressive with a defensive mind, but the Bills only have 19 sacks on the year (30th in the NFL). That could mean time for Kirk Cousins to throw and considering his track record at home, that’s a good thing. On the other side, Buffalo will attack Washington’s 24th-ranked run ‘D’ with its run-heavy offense (141.8 ypg), headlined by Tyrod Taylor and LeSean McCoy. But despite the talent that Buffalo has on its roster, Washington’s 5-2 home record shines brighter. Give me the ‘Skins at home in a nail-biter.
KP’s Pick: Washington Redskins
Carolina Panthers at New York Giants (+4.5)
The 2015 Panthers are like a fine wine, improving with age and still eyeing an undefeated season. Enter the “giant killers” (no pun intended), a team that has won many big games as the underdog, including that famous Super Bowl win that spoiled an undefeated season for the Patriots. Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning have struggled with clock management this season, but this is a duo that knows how to win the big game. The Giants nearly pulled the same trick on New England earlier this year. As for the game, the most intriguing matchup is Josh Norman versus Odell Beckham Jr. OBJ will have to have a solid game to give the Giants a shot, although New York has numerous other receivers to throw to. I like Carolina’s 5th-ranked pass defense to give Eli fits, but the Giants to push Carolina to the brink. Take New York and the points in a close one.
KP’s Pick: New York Giants
Tennessee Titans at New England Patriots (-14.5)
Another week leads to another key injury for the Patriots, with LeGarrette Blount’s setback paving the way for Brandon Bolden and James White. Injuries or not, the Titans remain outmatched, especially when having to travel to New England to face Tom Brady and the Pats. But Brady aside, look at the trenches, where Tennessee has given up 44 sacks (2nd most) and the Patriots have 42 sacks (2nd in NFL). Anyone else think Marcus Mariota is going to be running for his life Sunday? Afterward, he may need to stop in Nantucket for a vacation. Pats cruise.
KP’s Pick: New England Patriots
Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5)
Any Vikings game typically opens with Adrian Peterson, who will be facing a Chicago defense that is ranked 26th against the run (125.7 ypg). A good day is possible. The Vikings also have numerous injuries on its defensive front, which could lead to time in the pocket for Jay Cutler and holes for Matt Forte. On Chicago’s side, there are an equally alarming number of injuries, most notably to Alshon Jeffery (questionable – calf), Tracy Porter (questionable – ankle) and Zach Miller (questionable – illness). The Bears expect to have Jeffery available but the Vikings have more to play for and home field, too. Give me the Vikes by a TD.
KP’s Pick: Minnesota Vikings
Kansas City Chiefs at Baltimore Ravens (+7.5)
Matt Schaub is expected to return and start for the Ravens, facing a Kansas City defense that is ranked 15th against the pass. That unit has 18 INT’s, the second most in the NFL, facing a pick-six happy Schaub. The K.C. defense is also a top ten unit that should fare well against a depleted Ravens team. The Chiefs are in the middle of the AFC Playoff chase and should win this game, but the Ravens have kept games close all season, with exception of last week’s loss to the Seahawks. I’m taking Baltimore and the points, assuming that Matt Schaub makes enough plays at home to keep this game within reach.
KP’s Pick: Baltimore Ravens
Cleveland Browns at Seattle Seahawks (-14.5)
The only denomination of “12” that Johnny Manziel can handle is a twelve-pack of beer. Seattle and its 12th man will have a field day facing the Browns at home. Plain and simple, this is the hottest team in football right now and there’s no reason to think that Seattle will not run away with this one. ‘Hawks cruise behind Russell Wilson and Co.
KP’s Pick: Seattle Seahawks
Green Bay Packers at Oakland Raiders (+2.5)
Last week, the Raiders rebounded with an impressive win over the Broncos and now get the Packers at home. Green Bay has been hit or miss in recent weeks, but Aaron Rodgers and Co. feature a much stronger offense than Denver has. Oakland is 28th against the pass, so keeping Rodgers in check could be difficult. Derek Carr will have to have a big day, facing a Green Bay defense that has allowed 16 passing TD’s in 13 games. Take the Pack with confidence.
KP’s Pick: Green Bay Packers
Denver Broncos at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)
The Broncos do not have the offensive horsepower (no pun intended) to stick with the high-octane Steelers – that is, unless Denver’s defense can find ways to keep Big Ben in check. Let’s not forget Denver is first in pass defense (188.2 ypg), allowing just 13 TD’s through the air in 13 games. Denver is also the number one overall defense and the only team in the NFL to allow less than 300 total yards per game. You get the idea… if the Steelers find a way to win, it likely won’t be by more than a touchdown. Take Denver and the points.
KP’s Pick: Denver Broncos
Cincinnati Bengals at San Francisco 49ers (+4.5)
AJ McCarron can now escape the storyline of lifetime backup QB with an incredible college resume and a gorgeous wife. He gets the keys to one of the better teams in the AFC, putting Cincinnati’s Super Bowl hopes on his back – well, at least the hopes of getting a first-round bye. Facing the Steelers last week, McCarron threw for 280 yards with 2 TD’s and 2 INT’s. Not too shabby. The Bengals will likely focus on its run game, led by Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. That goes double for the matchup against San Francisco’s defense, which is ranked 31st against the run. Cincy’s ‘D’ (34 sacks) should also have a big day against a San Francisco front that has allowed 45 sacks (the most in the NFL). McCarron gets his first win as a starter, taking care of the Niners on the road.
KP’s Pick: Cincinnati Bengals
Miami Dolphins at San Diego Chargers (-0.5)
Lamar Miller had a monstrous first half against the Giants last week, only to see little to no action in the second. That should be a different story facing a Chargers defense that is 27th against the run. San Diego’s only chance will be if Philip Rivers has a solid day… and he should have some success against a Miami ‘D’ that is 26th against the pass. But overall, San Diego’s depleted offensive line and wide receiver group will lead to its demise and another defeat in what has been a very disappointing season. Miami wins on the road.
KP’s Pick: Miami Dolphins
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles (+3.5)
The Eagles have bounced back with two solid victories over the Patriots and Bills, but faces another major challenge as it tries to salvage the season and take the mediocre NFC East. Sure, the Eagles are playing better football, but Arizona causes all kinds of headaches and mismatches. The stats tell no lies, as the Cards have the league’s top overall offense (417.5 ypg) and the 4th best defense (322.4 ypg allowed). Having John Brown healthier and David Johnson anchoring the ground game helps, too. Give me Arizona on the road.
KP’s Pick: Arizona Cardinals
Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (-2.5)
If you like shootouts, you may want to tune into Monday Night Football this week. If you like defense and teams jockeying for playoff position, you may want to see what’s on HBO. Drew Brees at home against a Detroit defense that has just 6 INT’s on the year? Expect big things. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson against a New Orleans defense that has allowed 36 passing TD’s and is ranked 30th in the NFL? Expect big things. As for the game itself… well, someone has to win and this looks like a 38-35 kinda game. Give the advantage (and the late field goal) to the home team, in this case, Drew Brees and the Saints.
KP’s Pick: New Orleans Saints