Almost had to take a bye week here, but have no fear we are in before the kickoffs here. If you were unable to check out my thanksgiving picks, you can do so right here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp_U76Nifok , that would be our official youtube channel which I’ll be updating again either later today or tomorrow with a video chronicling my trip to the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. So far this week with the Thanksgiving games I’m 2-1, which brings my year long total to 62-24 against the spread. Vegas can be a cold hearted bitch but we are getting through this so let’s get into the rest of the picks.
1) Oakland Raiders (-1) at Tennessee Titans
I’ve been against the Raiders much of the way because I feel like they’ve gotten a ton of hype, despite not beating any one .500 or better (other than the Jets but that was the Geno Smith game). Well, this week they get to play the 2-8 Titans and so I’m back on the Raiders here. Look the Titans defense is pretty good (ranked number 6 overall) but they haven’t been able to carry the offense to anything save for that game in New Orleans where they won a stunner in overtime. Honestly though, I could call my boy Adam Tobey and have him rally up the Benai Brith youth troop and we’d drop 30 on the Saints defense too. The Raiders have been pretty unlucky the past three weeks but that luck will turn around in Tennessee. I like the Raiders in a pickem.
2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3) at Indianapolis Colts
If you can make this 3.5 for a little less juice, I’d like it a little more because it reads like a field goal winner either way. It’s the battle of the oldest quarterback in the league vs. the youngest quarterback in the league. Despite Matt Hasslebeck being undefeated this season, I’m going to take my chances with youth on the road. Famous Jameis has arrived folks! Way sooner than anyone could have predicted, Winston has the Bucs right in the midst of a playoff race. While Winston has made the play when he’s had to, I can’t give him all the credit. The Bucs have done it this season lead by a stout defense, lead by Lavonte David and by the number 2 rusher in the NFL, Doug Martin, who has bounced back in a big way this year. The Bucs really showed me a lot last week when they went into Philly and beat them by four touchdowns, I think their road prowess continues this week. I like to the Bucs +3
3) Houston Texans (-3) over New Orleans Saints
Oh boy do I love this pick! I like it so much it was so close to being my lock of the week. The Texans are rolling after taking down the undefeated Bengals and my New york Jets and now they get Brian Hoyer back. While Hoyer likely won’t be battling for a pro bowl slot, he’s the best the Texans have and opposing defenses don’t need Deandre Hopkins to get a better quarterback. Speaking of defenses, you’ve probably heard all week that the Saints defense will be a lot better because they’ve finally fired Rob Ryan. Well, they still have the same personnel and the last time I checked, Drew Brees still can’t win on the road. Don’t expect Brees to get his act together against JJ Watt and that stiff Defense of the Texans. I lie the Texans by a field goal.
4) Kansas City Chiefs (-4) over the Buffalo Bills
After going on the road and outscoring their opponents 62-16, the Kansas City Chiefs return home winners of four straight to play host to the Buffalo Bills. The Bills have a good defense but seem to really be struggling to score on the offensive side of the ball. You mean to tell me a Rex Ryan led team has trouble with the quarterback position. As a Jets fan, I’m tired of that narrative. The defense should keep it close, but I like Kansas City, -4.
5) Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5 at Seattle Seahawks
Big Ben makes his first ever appearance at Seattle today and I’m going to go with the road team in this one. Go ahead a take a peak at the Seahawks schedule. They really haven’t beaten anyone all season and have been beatable at home. On the other side of things, the Steelers are coming off a bye so Ben has had an extra week to rest up and get healthy. You know I don’t choose underdogs that I don’t think can win. I like the Steelers +3.5
6) IF YOU”RE DESPERATE: Atlanta Falcons (-1) over Minnesota Viking
I know I know, the Falcons have been awful as of late and continue to find a way to lose. Actually I haven’t lost too much this season but when I have it’s mostly been with the Jets and the Falcons. That said, this is my tenth game that I’m picking before the primetime games even start and so it’s a bit of slim pickings. The Falcons have been a bit too dependent on Devonta Freeman after his fluky hot start and so now that he’s out I expect a lot of Matt Ryan airing it out. That’s when the Falcons are at their best. The Vikings were a bit exposed last week against the Packers and I expect a bit of a hangover here. Falcons will find a way to get it done.
LOCK OF THE WEEK (10-1): New York Giants (pk) at Washington Redskins
Prior to this season, I have never picked the Giants and when I have it’s blown up in my face. That said, the Giants have been my Lock of the week 3 times this season and I like em again today. The Redskins are sneaky good at home (4-1) and have their big weapon back in Desean Jackson which makes Kirk Cousins look like a professional quarterback. That said, the Giants are coming off of a bye and get Prince Amukamura back. Couple Prince with the resurgence of JPP and the Giants have something on the defensive side of the ball to go along with Eli, who’s looked great. The Giants will find a way to get it done and put the NFC East to bed before Decemeber.