The Wife Hates SportsChump 2022 Weekend Pick ‘Em: Week Fifteen

It’s embarrassing when you run a sports-related website, host a sports-related contest, ask contributors to pick football games against the spread… and watch impatiently as they out pick you.  That’s just not normal for two extremely knowledgeable fellows such as us. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I’m still in the lead in this contest, handsomely as is appropriate, but if you take a close look at who is picking games more accurately, our special guest prognosticators have taken the lead, just not overall monies won.

Kevin and I would like to take a quick moment and thank all of you for taking time to properly kick our ass this season.  It’s like LeBron or the Golden State Warriors taking the court, knowing every time we’re going to get our opponents’ best.  We would expect nothing less.

This week, we welcome newbie David Bradley, local standup comedian and karaoke singer extraordinaire, whose Steve Perry “Oh Sherry” is second to none.  Let’s see how he does with his football picks.

With only a few weeks left in the season, here are your standings to date…

SportsChump: 38-29-3 (56.7%) +$380

Celebrity Guests: 42-27-1 (60.8%) +$250

The Wife Hates Sports: 31-38-1 (44.9%) -$180

$50 on Indianapolis Colts at Minnesota Vikings (-4)

Remember when everyone was talking about the Minnesota Vikings.  Then they get blown out on Thanksgiving Day by the Cowboys and they’re yesterday’s news.  They quietly won two out of their next three, beating both the Pats and Jets.  They are also 6-1 at home.  The Colts, meanwhile, have not won a game since the first game Jeff Saturday took over.  Like Minnesota, the Colts also got blown out by Dallas and are 2-4-1 on the road.  This game has all the makings of a Vikings unleashing, despite their far to frequent inability to cover.  The Vikings aren’t in jeopardy of losing their stranglehold on the NFC North, but a win here will seal the deal.  They also prefer to lock up the two-seed in the NFC playoffs and not have to travel to San Francisco.  I’ll take the Vikings to cover as Jim Irsay and the Colts officially begin their search for their next head coach.

$40 on Fresno State (-4) at Washington State

It’s our last chance to bet some college football so let’s get the ball bowling.  Fresno State is taking on the Washington State Cougars in the Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, marking the first time in my memory that a bowl game has been named after a celebrity.  Not even Bob Hope holds that honor.  Washington State was a middle of the pack team in the Pac-12.  Fresno State won the Mountain West.  While one would assume the talent in the Pac-12 is better, Fresno State scored more points than the Cougs this season and allowed fewer.  Both these teams can put up points, which means the over 53 might be a solid play.  Judging by how these teams ended their seasons, Boise with a conference win and some convincing wins down the stretch and Washington State getting pummeled by instate rival Washington, momentum seems on Fresno’s side.  Accordingly, I’m taking the other FSU to cover the three-and-a-half.

$30 on Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (-3)

Massage therapist jokes aside, this might be the game Cleveland finally decides it’s happy with the Deshaun Watson signing.  All the Browns did this summer was come up with the off-season’s most controversial signing, offering uber-talented yet clearly troubled Deshaun Watson $230 million for five years.  After serving an 11-game suspension, Watson has played two games for Cleveland and not looked very Watson-like.  The Browns have split those games with Watson only throwing for one touchdown.  This weekend, they welcome in a Baltimore Ravens team that is, per usual, battered by injuries.  They won’t start Lamar Jackson and are hanging on to that division lead by a thread.  The Browns will look to play spoilers.  I foresee a heavy dose of running game behind Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt as the Browns try to get Watson comfortable under center.  The Browns have all but admitted this season was a wash and will use the rest it to get Watson in sync with his teammates.  That starts Sunday.  This will be Watson’s first home game which means he will be playing in front of the only crowd that will root for him.  The kinks will still show but the Browns get enough done at home to cover the three.

$20 on Cincinnati Bengals at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3 ½)

Considering how much money I’ve lost on the Buccaneers this season I can’t believe I’m going to do this.  I don’t want to jinx anything as I have Tom Brady as one my two fantasy quarterbacks and the playoffs start this week but I’m riding the GOAT until he’s unable to throw the football, which we may be a point we have already reached.  The Bengals waltz into Tampa on a scorcher.  They have won five straight over Cleveland, Kansas City, Tennessee, Pittsburgh, and Carolina.  The Buccaneers have lost to four of those teams.  Their offense has been uncharacteristically stagnant but what better time to turn that around than against the hottest team in the NFL, who is not as strong defensively as a Super Bowl contender should be.  The Bucs must prove they can score the football.  Mike Evans hasn’t had a 100-yard receiving game in over a month.  Expect the Bucs to go back to their bread and butter in what’s getting close to a must-win for the worst division leader in football.  Excluding last week’s embarrassment, the last five Buccaneers games have been decided by less than a touchdown.  The Bucs, fully in desperation mode, will fight and claw to keep this one close.  I hope.  I’ll take the Bucs plus the three-and-a-half.

$10 on Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Chargers (-3)

The Chargers are peaking right now, which is about normal for them right before they soil the bed in the playoffs.  I’ve made a lot of money on the Titans this season.  They tend to cover but this task in L.A. might be too much.  The Titans appear to be one step away from dismantling this team entirely.  They’ve fired their GM and while they continue to ride the Derrick Henry train, one gets the feeling this team will look very different in the future.  When its commonly agreed Tennessee has reached its ceiling, that does not bode well for a team that doesn’t strike the fear into anyone, despite their physical nature.  Meanwhile, the Chargers are clicking and looking to make a playoff push.  Their offensive playmakers are back and healthy, right in time for a run and right on time to welcome in a Titans team that has lost their last three.  The Titans might turn this thing around but now is not the time.  Their lead in the AFC South may be tenuous but this isn’t a must win… yet.  Right now, the Chargers are playing better football, so I’ll ride the hot hand and lay the three.


$50: Detroit Lions (+1) at New York Jets

It’s almost as if Vegas hasn’t been watching Detroit play over the last month.  The Lions are for real and should fight for a playoff spot the rest of the way.  While the Jets have home field and plenty of talent on both sides of the ball, this falls back on Zach Wilson, who gets the start for the injured Mike White.  White was the equivalent of Taylor Heinicke in Washington, providing more offense and a spark to the locker room.  Wilson is not that in any way, shape, or form.  Yes, this could be a path to redemption for Wilson, but let’s be realistic.  Oh, how the tables have turned, considering Detroit is my top confidence pick of the week.  I feel good about it, too.  Lions win on the road.

$40: Philadelphia Eagles (-8.5) at Chicago Bears

This game features the top two rushing offenses in the NFL (Chicago – 1st, 189.2 ypg | Philadelphia – 2nd, 162.2 ypg).  The Eagles add additional weapons and the best record in the league.  As for who stops the run, neither team cracks the top ten in yards allowed.  The Eagles rank 18th while the Bears are 27th.  Turnover differential is also an eye-opener in this matchup.  The Eagles are a +14, the best mark in the league, while the Bears are a -3.  Weather tends to be a factor this time of the year.  The forecast looks decent (just cold – but no precipitation).  In the end, I like the talent and ferocity of the Eagles to overwhelm the Bears over four quarters.  Eagles cover on the road.

$30: Kansas City Chiefs (-14.5) at Houston Texans

This is the “fool me twice” situation of the week, considering I took Dallas to cover at home facing the Texans last week.  Houston – sporting the worst record in the NFL – showed a lot of fight against the Cowboys, and that was without its top two wide receivers.  So, why go against the Texans for the second straight week?  Perhaps the answer to that question is “stupidity”.  Also, I think we all know Dallas tends to have games like this, especially as the season comes to an end and the playoffs are approaching.  The Cowboys are simply just getting into “Cowboy Form”.  Statistically, the creativity and talent of Patrick Mahomes and the K.C. offense is going to be too much for the Houston defense to handle.  The Texans are 29th in total defense and face the league’s top rated offense that averages 423.3 ypg.  So, we’ll see whether this becomes a “shame on me” moment.  I doubt it.  Chiefs cover on the road.

$20: Tennessee Titans at Los Angeles Chargers (Over 46.5)

Not crazy about a number of the other lines, so I’m taking a card out of the SportsChump’s deck and focusing on the over/under.  Of the 13 games the Chargers have played this season, eight have resulted in a final score totaling 47 points or more.  With Derwin James likely out again, that opens possibilities for Tennessee to make more plays on offense.  Considering the weapons that the Chargers have – and basing this off of L.A.’s scores this season versus similar defenses – this has the look of a high-scoring game.  Therefore, give me the over.

$10: New York Giants (+4.5) at Washington Commanders

Two weeks ago, these teams played to a 20-20 tie.  Both remain in playoff position.  The Seahawks have helped with that, falling to 7-7.  Now, we get a pivotal NFC East rematch and two teams headed in opposite directions.  The Giants have been floundering for weeks, but always play the Commanders competitively.  Over the last six games in this rivalry, two have gone to overtime and five of the six have been decided by six points or less.  Washington will focus on shutting down Saquon Barkley and should prevent him from having a monster game, considering they rank 9th against the run.  It’s whether the Commanders can really take off offensively.  To this point, that hasn’t been the case.  It’s all been winning ugly.  Therefore, give me the Giants and the points in a close one.

CELEBRITY GUEST WEEK FIFTEEN: DAVE BRADLEY (Last season’s record: 0-0, $0)

$50: Seattle Seahawks +3 ½

$40: Miami Dolphins +7

$30: Jacksonville Jaguars + 4 ½

$20: Arizona Cardinals +2 ½

$10: New York Giants +4 ½

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