There’s an expression I’ve learned over my many years of living in the South. It goes a little something like this.
When referring to someone’s usefulness, or lack thereof, it’s not uncommon to hear a true Southerner say “That boy is about as useless as tits on a bull.”
I resemble that remark. Or at least my NFL picks do.
I embarked upon a journey ten weeks ago with a friend of mine. His name is Kevin. The objective of this adventure was to see how effectively Kevin and I could pick football games against the spread for an entire season. To make any sort of money gambling on football, one needs to correctly predict about 60% of the games to counter the 10% juice sports books charge to cover their expenses.
Never did I dream I could hit that 60% number. That’s a chore for even the most experienced gambler. But I most assuredly thought I’d be able to hit 40%. Little did I realize how difficult that would be as well.
To put things in their proper perspective, I am currently being beaten by a coin, an inanimate object make of nickel and copper that has never watched a football game in its life. To make matters worse, it’s currently talking trash to me.
I’m not sure what sort of coin KP is flipping to determine its weekly picks. Perhaps it’s a Buffalo Nickel. Perhaps it’s a lucky coin his grandfather gave him from World War II. What I can tell you is that it’s luckier and far more proficient at picking football games than I am.
That being said, this weekend I’m taking my traditional approach to picking Week Ten’s games. It’s something I’ve always done yet neglected to do so far this season.
Any seasoned gambler will tell you that, prior to the spreads being released, they’ll come up with their own lines. Then, once the lines ARE released, they’ll compare their lines to the lines Vegas releases and bet hard against any major discrepancy.
This week, I did exactly that. Monday evening, I came up with what I thought the lines would be for each match-up and bet accordingly depending on how my lines matched with the pros. Wish me luck. Things can’t get much worse, right?
Our celebrity guest this week is the whiskey-drinking and recently wed Dr. Milhouse. The good doctor has contributed to this site before along with other websites as well, one of which I can almost confirm is not Playgirl.com. Either way, since out-picking me is like target practice for our contributors, I fully expect the good doctor to have a ten-win week while I ask for a bigger rifle and smaller barrel with which to shoot my fish.
And so, onward and downward we move to Week Ten.
SPORTSCHUMP’S JUST PUT ME OUT OF MY MISERY ALREADY PICKS
CLEVELAND +6 at CINCINNATI
Okay, so far I’m off to a dubious start. I predicted this line would be at five-and-a-half and the line comes out at six. If I were as good at predicting games as I am at setting lines, I’d be winning this thing outright instead of a dwelling in my dark, damp cellar all season long. In an extremely tight AFC North, this game will put some distance between the two and put the loser in a precarious position in regards to making the playoffs. Cleveland has played well this season, perhaps even overachieving but they’re still 1-2 on the road while Cincy hasn’t lost a game yet in Paul Brown Stadium. I would imagine most people would be laying the points here and I think I’m going to do just that.
DALLAS at JACKSONVILLE (sort of) – no line as of Thursday
Another game in England? Crikey! (Or is that what Australians say?) Either way, they both talk funny. I don’t mind giving England my NFL games as long as I don’t have to start watching cricket or soccer in return. The Cowboys suffered a crushing blow two weeks ago when Tony Romo’s back got reinjured. Latest word is he’ll be traveling with the team to England, why I couldn’t possibly tell you. Give the guy a week off already. Let him rest his back so you’ll have him when you need him. It’s the Jaguars for Pete’s sake. I could beat them with a handful of kindergarteners. I figured this line would be around seven points but as of today there is still no line, again, like it matters who starts behind center. I imagine this spread will be quite high but the Jags might actually feel inspired playing in front of fans considering they don’t get to do that in Jacksonville. I’ll take the Jags if this line is over a touchdown. If it’s not, give me Dallas.
MIAMI +3 at DETROIT
Okay, I was way off on this one. I know, kind of surprising considering I’ve been so spot on with my picks all season. NOT! I actually thought Miami might be favored in this one. After all, they did just embarrass the Chargers on national television. Not only that, Miami’s been playing some pretty solid football. (It’s still sounds weird saying that.) The same, however, cannot be said of the Lions. Miami (5-3) actually has a better point differential than Detroit (6-2). The Lions are coming off a bye and three straight wins but I’ve been underestimating the Fish all season long. Their three-game win streak is also nothing to sneeze at. Give me the mammals and the points in the dome.
KANSAS CITY -2 at BUFFALO
I figured this game would be around pick. Who’d have figured both these teams would be 5-3 headed into this match-up? My instincts tell me to take KC here. They’re the best team in the league against the pass. But I promised myself this week that I’d ‘read between the lines.’ These teams are both surprisingly solid and, I feel, evenly matched. If I can take the home team in what’s most likely to be shitty weather coming off a bye and I’m getting two points, I’ll take ‘em, even if they are still starting Kyle Orton at quarterback. Ya know what? I take that back. The Bills can’t move the ball on the ground and they’ll need to against KC. Give me Andy Reid on the road and lay the deuce.
SAN FRANCISCO +5 at NEW ORLEANS
What the hell is going on in San Francisco? Seriously! Is this team trying to miss the playoffs? They just lost at home to the Rams after coming off a bye week. Nothing against the Rams but how do you score only ten points at home against a division rival after having two full weeks of practice?!? This week, they travel cross-country to face one of the better offenses in the league in one of the toughest stadiums to play. The Niners can ill afford to drop another game and go to 4-5 but that has now become a distinct possibility. Let the Jim Harbaugh rumors start back up please. I hear there’s a school in Gainesville that would love to have him. I put this line at 3 and the Niners are getting more than that. I don’t like the way they’re playing right now but they can ill afford to bow out of the playoff race mid-season. I’ll take the khakis and the five.
TENNESSEE +9.5 at BALTIMORE
Damn, I’m good. I had this at Ravens minus 7. So now they’re going to throw in an extra field goal for good measure? I’m going to have to take it. These are not your father’s Ravens. Back in the day, whenever Baltimore laid a huge number, it was easy money. They couldn’t score unless their defense was doing it for them. These Ravens can actually put points on the board. They’re going to do just that against a Titans team who is 2-6 and circling the drains. The Ravens have lost two straight and aren’t about to lose one more. Meanwhile the Titans are also coming off a bye week and starting a rookie quarterback with an Instragram fetish. There’s not much to like about this Titans team which is why they’re giving the young kid a look to see if he’s their future. Baltimore’s a tough place to play but nine-and-a-half is a lot of points to lay. So I’ll take the kid and the points and hope for a back door cover.
PITTSBURGH -4.5 at NY JETS
I had the Curtain minus five here. The Jets couldn’t beat a drum. Meanwhile the Steelers have become one of the hottest teams in the league. They’re averaging over forty points in their last three games. That means they could score sixty against the Jets. Seriously, why are people still going to Jets games? You know it’s bad when their fan base is collectively writing “Please come back” letters to Mark Sanchez. I’m taking the Steelers here because the Jets, well, they just suck.
ATLANTA -1 at TAMPA BAY
Can’t we get the Jets to play the Bucs so at least one of these teams can get a win? Seriously, we blindly commend the NFL for its parity meanwhile the Jets, Jags, Raiders and Bucs have combined for three wins in 34 games. P.U.! I had the Bucs getting three here which is a shame because the Falcons only have two wins, which is still twice as many as lowly Tampa Bay. The Bucs have been finding ways to lose games all season long. This weekend won’t be any different. Give me the Falcons on the road as I have completely lost faith in my team.
DENVER -11.5 at OAKLAND
I had Peyton minus nine-and-a-half here. They’re coming off an embarrassing beat down to the gloves of Tom Brady last week. Don’t think Mr. Manning won’t want to take out his Brady-envy on the winless Oakland Raiders. That being said, despite their record, the Raiders haven’t exactly been getting blown out this season. Their last four losses were all within ten points. And if they can take one positive out of this season, it’s that they are decent in defending the pass. I’ll go ahead and take the eleven-and-a-half points here in what the Raiders might look to as their Super Bowl.
ST. LOUIS +7 at ARIZONA
I had this line at the Cards minus six-and-a-half. Okay, so maybe this wasn’t the best idea. Perhaps I should get Bally’s on the phone. Repeat after me! The Arizona Cardinals have the best record in the NFL. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? They’re the only 7-1 team in the league! Despite their win in San Fran last weekend, the Rams are still 3-5. The only thing that scares me about the Cards is that they’re squeaking by with these wins. Seriously! When’s the last time you saw a 7-1 team with a point differential of only 36? They’ll look to expand upon that number this week as they take care of a division opponent at home and cover the spread.
NY GIANTS +9 at SEATTLE
Wow, the Giants are bad. That Monday night game against the Colts was unwatchable. If the G-Men aren’t among the worst teams in the league, they’re damn close to it. The Seahawks on the other hand are coming off consecutive weeks where they struggled to beat Oakland and Carolina. Oof! This team is obviously still dealing with some inner turmoil. No word as to whether Russell Wilson is taking black lessons to earn the approval of his teammates. While the Giants are bad, I only had the ‘Hawks laying seven. So essentially I’m getting two extra points for a team that better start playing well before their head coach is graciously asked to leave the premises. I’ll take the blue and the nine.
CHICAGO +7 at GREEN BAY
For some reason, this game slipped under my radar, probably because I forgot the Bears were even in the league. Funny, Bears fans are currently doing the same thing. Last week’s bye could not have come at a better time as this team was reeling. But will an off week make a difference for a team that has lost four of its last five and is now traveling to Lambeau to play a team that’s also coming off a bye and an embarrassing defeat in New Orleans? The Packers are pretty horrible at stopping the run which means Matt Forte could get off for a few but the Bears have already lost to Green Bay in their own building by twenty earlier this season. Why should this outcome be any different?
CAROLINA +6.5 at PHILADELPHIA
Wow, the Eagles are starting Mark Sanchez and they’re still laying six. How well can he possibly know this offense? I know Philly fans will have their batteries ready but will they be throwing them at Panthers fans or at Sanchez when he can’t complete a pass? I like an inspired Sanchez here looking to get his job back and I think Philly is the better team but I just can’t lay six here with a quarterback in his first real test with a new team. Give me Cam Cam and the six-and-a-half.
THE DOCTOR IS REGRETTABLY IN AND MAKING HOUSE CALLS PICKS
It’s now time for….Ask Doctor Milhouse. With your host, Doctor Milhouse.
Oh, hello there!
Doctor Milhouse, we have a letter from Chris in Tampa, Florida. It reads “Doctor Milhouse, my NFL picks this year have been so atrocious, I’ve lost my house, my job, my friends, and what little was left of a functioning liver. Can you save me from myself and try to help me break even for the week?
Why sure, Chris. Let me just put on my Stupid-omatron Helmet!
….Prepare to activate!
Thursday Night’s game–Bengals/Browns (Browns +6.5)
The AFC North this year is one of those divisions where any given team can look like a monkey trying to bang a football. One week they look varying levels of good, the next they’re just trying to stay out of each other’s way. I hate myself for taking the Browns here, because any world where the Browns have a chance to be a playoff team is a world I don’t want to live in. An accomplishment in Cleveland is having only two DUIs to your name–can you imagine how insufferable their fans would be if that team won something? It’s the same reason I hope Lebron gets Ebola. I can’t handle a life where Cleveland fans are happy. Still, the Bengals will manage to play badly enough that the game will be close, so I’ll take the Browns and the points.
Chiefs/Bills (Chiefs -2.5)
The Bills are the quietest 5-3 team in the league, because everyone is so surprised when they win, we all just ignore it thinking it’s a typo and go on with our lives. The Chiefs remain dangerous, and have the capability of playing a good road game and winning convincingly (aside from that season opening blunder against the Titans). The Bills pumped up their record beating bad teams and escaping Detroit by the skin of their teeth. This will begin Buffalo’s slow slide back into mediocrity.
Lions/Dolphins (Lions – 2.5)
I am always shocked when the Dolphins do well. I try to process it and all I ever think about are things like the Fake Spike and Leon Lett. Detroit is trying to get a rhythm going and Miami isn’t going to do anything to stop them.
Cowboys/Jaguars (no line due to Tony Romo and the monkey on his back)
Romo hasn’t been practicing with the team, but really, I would put the Chump’s mother in at QB and trust her to take apart the West London Jaguars. The team is more concerned with how to transport their new Jumbotron across the ocean when they relocate than with protecting Bortles. No matter what the line is, Dallas will cover it like tarps over the seats at Everbank.
49ers/Saints (49ers +5.5)
Remember when the NFC West was awesome and everyone was terrified of them? You should, it was less than a year ago. Now, the 49ers are the toothless grandmother trying to bribe you with five dollars to get a kiss. I’m willing to cling to the bandwagon by my fingernails for one more week, mostly because their defense is still solid and with Brees on my fantasy team, he’ll surely throw 12 INTs and maybe burst into flames.
Titans/Ravens (Ravens -10)
I’m pretty sure you could offer me the Ravens minus 20 and I still might take it. The Titans are going down in flames, as their logo would have you think is permanently the case. When you’re hanging your season on close losses to the Browns and the Redskins, it’s time to put a paper bag on your head. If you’re actually discussing this game with your Short Term Investment Broker, please seek help. Stay away from this minefield. Especially if it means you have to watch it.
Steelers/Jets (Steelers -6)
At this point, I intend to roll with the Steelers until they stop playing Madden on easy mode. The Jets somehow rack up good stats without scoring. I’d explore to see how that actually happens, but it might involve me watching a Jets game. Come on, man, the Doctor has to keep some sort of personal standards. I may be a blogger who hasn’t put on pants in two weeks and lives in my mother’s basement, but I have my pride.
Falcons/Bucs (Falcons -1)
I am fully prepared for the Bucs to not win another game this year. Literally nothing has gone right for them, and it shouldn’t, because they keep making silly moves. The Falcons are also having a dismal year, but their passing game is still working, probably because they have to pass because they’re always down by a billion. I’m willing to bet the Bucs will find another way to embarrass themselves here. I wonder if it’s too late for season ticket holders to get refunds.
Broncos/Raiders (Raiders +12.5)
What’s that bright light beaming down from the heavens? I can’t–what’s–Oh, it’s a giant BACK DOOR COVER arrow pointing at this game. The Raiders have this annoying habit of looking good in the first half, and while they eventually go down, they keep is juuuuuuust close enough to screw you over. Broncos will win this one, but won’t put on the Beat Em Down. Probably because Peyton is still trying to thaw himself out from this past weekend.
Rams/Cardinals (Cardinals -8)
I don’t know how the Cardinals became the best team in the league. Honestly, it frightens me, and I need an adult. But, here we are, and I have no problem believing that they will steamroll the Rams on their way to the playoffs. Who would have thought ten years ago that a USC quarterback was going to lead the Cards to the playoffs, and it wasn’t Matt Leinart. Just goes to show, kids. Never expect to be as good as you think you are. Because if you think you’re better than everyone else, sometimes you end up unemployed, paying child support to a women’s basketball player, and constantly having to refill your Valtrex prescription. Side note: Leinart’s bastard child must get picked on so much in school. Wins the Heisman, knocks up a college basketball player, sleeps around with every skank west of Vegas, and ends up sitting on his couch by age 30, never doing another thing with his life. Poor kid.
Giants/Seahawks (Giants +9)
The Giants looked atrocious on Monday night, but the Seahawks have looked like a puppy the night after it gets neutered since they traded Percy Harvin. Lynch is still good for one Beast Mode Moment a game, but the Giants will bounce back and keep it close enough to cover, while driving people nuts with their roller coaster performances the rest of the season.
Bears/Packers (Bears +8)
It’s a trap! The Bears are stumbling through a rough year. But coming off a bye week, on a nationally televised game on the road, there’s every chance that they could get their act together to put a scare into the Packers. They may not win the game, but they’ll keep it close enough to make it look good.
Panthers/Eagles (Eagles -6)
It’s time to witness the rebirth of the Dirty Sanchez. Chip Kelly’s offense is built for a PAC-12 QB. Foles was supposed to make a name for himself in it, but don’t be surprised if Mark Sanchez decides to permanently move into the starting job using this offensive scheme. Meanwhile, the Panthers defense has been rolling over and taking it for the last few weeks. They’re tired, they’re beat up, and they still have two more weeks before the bye. This game could get ugly, and quick.
And that’s it for this week’s edition of Ask Doctor Milhouse. As a parting gift, take this advice. Bet against the Redskins. I don’t care that they’re on a bye week. They’ll find a way to lose to their vacation. RG3 will be out playing golf and his cart will tip over in flames or something.
KP’S HE’S REALLY STARTING TO RUB IT IN PICKS
Cleveland Browns at Cincinnati Bengals (-6.5)
If you like to follow trends, the Browns are 0-5 straight up in its last five road games versus the Bengals. Giovani Bernard is still out for Cincinnati, but Jeremy Hill proved that he can carry the load. The Browns have not faced any juggernaut teams in weeks, with teams like the Bucs, Raiders and Jags recently falling on its schedule. Both teams have struggled to stop the run, which could benefit the Browns, who focus more on establishing it. But the Bengals have had an extra week to adjust to life without LB Vontaze Burfict. Overall, playing on short rest, with home field advantage and a healthy A.J.Green, I like the Bengals to cover. Cincy wins by a touch.
Against the Spread: Cincinnati Bengals
Straight Up: Cincinnati Bengals
Miami Dolphins at Detroit Lions (-2.5)
Lamar Miller is a little banged up, but it appears as if he will play – and will be needed, considering the Lions own the NFL’s second best run defense and top overall defense. Detroit is also playing at home, and coming off a bye, but most importantly, Calvin Johnson is practicing again. The Dolphins are coming off a shocking blowout win over the Chargers, and own the league’s second best pass defense. But still, this is Megatron, the biggest difference maker among all receivers in the game. With home field advantage and Johnson healthy (Reggie Bush, too), I like the Lions to cover.
Against the Spread: Detroit Lions
Straight Up: Detroit Lions
Kansas City Chiefs at Buffalo Bills (+1.5)
The Bills are coming off a bye, though the additional rest appears to not have allowed Fred Jackson to get healthy enough to take the field. Sammy Watkins is also questionable after injuring his groin during practice. That makes it a tough decision, considering I like Buffalo’s home field advantage and additional week of prep time. Also, so many stats jump out at me for this game, such as: 1) Kansas City is 6th in rushing offense, while grabbing 11 TD’s on the ground, but just 29th in passing offense, 2) Buffalo has a solid run D, ranked 8th in the NFL, while also allowing just 3 TD’s on the ground, 3) K.C. allows the fewest passing yards per game (199.4) and 4) Both teams have a great pass rush: Bills (2nd – 28 sacks), Chiefs (tie-3rd, 27 sacks). I originally had the Bills here, but the Watkins injury worries me, so I’m taking the Chiefs to steal one on the road.
Against the Spread: Kansas City Chiefs
Straight Up: Kansas City Chiefs
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Jets (+4.5)
For a stat cruncher, this is the easiest selection of the week. Over the last two games, Ben Roethlisberger has 862 passing yards, 12 TD’s and no picks. Meanwhile, the Jets have allowed an NFL-high 24 touchdowns through the air, while stumbling to an NFL-low one interception on defense. All signs point to another big day for Big Ben. Roethlisberger and the Steelers cover on the road.
Against the Spread: Pittsburgh Steelers
Straight Up: Pittsburgh Steelers
Tennessee Titans at Baltimore Ravens (-9.5)
The Ravens are 3-1 at home, with all three victories being by twenty or more points. That’s quite a margin. Tennessee is coming off a bye and has had extra time to rest and prepare for Baltimore. Still, it will be rookie QB Zach Mettenberger facing a talented Ravens team in a very hostile crowd. CB Jimmy Smith is out for the year (after having foot surgery), but the Titans do not have a top-notch receiver to take advantage of that loss. With the rookie QB, a young team and a Baltimore squad that has been dominant at home, I like the Ravens to get back on track… and cover.
Against the Spread: Baltimore Ravens
Straight Up: Baltimore Ravens
San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints (-4.5)
The Saints are undefeated at home, and will be seeking its 12th straight victory in front of the home crowd. New Orleans appears to be righting the ship, outscoring opponents Green Bay and Carolina 72-33 over the last two games combined. The Niners have struggled in recent weeks, allowing the Rams to bully them in the trenches last week, and Peyton Manning through the air two weeks back. Playing at home, there’s no way I bet against Drew Brees in this one. New Orleans covers.
Against the Spread: New Orleans Saints
Straight Up: New Orleans Saints
Dallas Cowboys at Jacksonville Jaguars (+5.5)
This game is taking place in London, and therefore, swipes away any home field advantage for the Jags. Tony Romo made the trip and has practiced, so it’s a good bet that he plays. Romo is really the key, considering how poorly Brandon Weeden played against Arizona last week. Certainly, the Jags do not compare to the Cardinals, but Jacksonville has managed to play competitive against solid teams, including the Steelers and Bengals The Jags have a solid pass rush (27 sacks – 3rd in NFL), which could lead to hits on Romo – and therefore, Weeden. Despite all this, Jacksonville’s closest loss was two points versus Tenneseee. All others were by eight points or more. If Romo plays and DeMarco Murray is clicking, I don’t see the Jags sticking with Dallas. Cowboys cover in London.
Against the Spread: Dallas Cowboys
Straight Up: Dallas Cowboys
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+1.5)
This is an interesting line, considering the last time these two teams played, the Falcons destroyed the Bucs 56-14 at home. Sure, Tampa Bay is playing better football these days, but the Falcons are coming off a bye, and clearly know how to beat this team. It should be noted that Atlanta’s last win was September 18th, against these Bucs. Let’s say this is a team that is due. With all its big name offensive weapons injury free, the Falcons cover on the road.
Against the Spread: Atlanta Falcons
Straight Up: Atlanta Falcons
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders (+11.5)
In the last five match-ups between these two teams, the Broncos have won by double-digits each time. The Raiders are still seeking its first win of the season, and it’s hard to see that coming against a Peyton Manning led offense. Especially after Manning is still smarting following last week’s poor performance against Brady and the Pats. Expect Denver to win, and win big.
Against the Spread: Denver Broncos
Straight Up: Denver Broncos
New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks (-9.5)
The 12th man is clearly a strong force, and difficult for opposing teams to deal with. But this Seattle team has really struggled in recent weeks. In fact, the Seahawks’ last double-digit win was a 27-17 victory over the Redskins on October 6th. The Giants, meanwhile, have lost three straight, allowing a total of 98 points versus the Colts, Cowboys and Eagles. Eli Manning certainly can be mistake prone in hostile environments, but plain and simple, I just don’t trust Seattle’s offense in its current state. Tom Coughlin will have his hands on his hips for most of the game, but the Giants will still keep this one close.
Against the Spread: New York Giants
Straight Up: Seattle Seahawks
St. Louis Rams at Arizona Cardinals (-7.5)
Don’t look now, but the Rams’ pass rush has woken up in a big way. The Rams will hope to keep its defensive momentum while facing an Arizona line that has allowed just 13 sacks in eight games. Arizona allows just 79.6 ypg on the ground (3rd in NFL), likely leading to Austin Davis to have to carry the offense with his arm. Arizona’s pass D allows the most yards in the NFL, but has 12 INT’s. With a balanced offense led by Carson Palmer and Andre Ellington, I like the Cardinals to continue to play well, knocking out the Rams at home. Arizona covers.
Against the Spread: Arizona Cardinals
Straight Up: Arizona Cardinals
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-7.5)
Both teams are coming off bye weeks and have had time to heal and prepare for this divisional rivalry. Chicago has been buried in turmoil, and the time off could give the Bears an opportunity to right the ship. The first match-up of the year saw the Packers win 38-17 in Chicago. Green Bay has surprisingly won 8 of the last 10 games in this rivalry. I’ve taken the Bears a few times in recent weeks, and have been wrong each time. Chicago is 3-2 on the road, and call me a glutton for punishment, but I think the Bears can keep this game at a TD or less. The time off allows Chicago’s offense to clear things up a bit. I’ll take the Bears and the points, albeit reluctantly, and without any Lambeau leaps of enthusiasm.
Against the Spread: Chicago Bears
Straight Up: Green Bay Packers
Carolina Panthers at Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5)
Mark Sanchez will start for the Eagles, but let’s not think butt fumble. This is a high-flying offense with tons of talent, and the “Sanchize” played pretty well last week. This time, he gets a Carolina defense that has really been struggling, and is ranked 18th versus the pass and 26th against the run. The Panthers have also allowed 11 TD’s on the ground, so expect Philly to focus on the ground game first. Either way, Carolina has struggled to stop lesser offensive teams, and I like the Eagles to cover at home.
Against the Spread: Philadelphia Eagles
Straight Up: Philadelphia Eagles