Friday, December 23, 2011

TRG: Pick 6 Week 16

Happy Holidays everyone! As I'm sure most of you are today, I'm gearing up for what will be a busy weekend. This week's picks will be a slightly more abridged version than usual. I've been watching these lines all week, and I've got to admit, they look pretty tough. The Colts pulled a huge upset last night, continuing last weekend's theme. Here's who I like for the weekend:

Denver -3 over BUFFALO

Buffalo has lost their last 7 games in a row, going 1-6 ATS over that span. The offense has struggled to do anything outside of garbage time, and injuries over that 7 game stretch have weakened the defense (26th overall). While many are speculating how Tim Tebow will play in cold weather, I'm not concerned. The best thing you can do in cold weather is run the ball, and nobody runs the ball like the Denver Broncos. The Dolphins gashed Buffalo for 254 yards on the ground last week, leaving the Bills with the 28th ranked run defense. Tim Tebow may not have to complete more than two passes to win this game. Look for Tebow, McGahee, Ball, and anyone else who can run the ball to stick it to the Bills tomorrow. The defense will be much better off this week as well, facing a slumping Ryan Fitzpatrick and gimpy Stevie Johnson.

San Diego +1.5 over DETROIT

The terribly inconsistent Chargers are remarkably consistent in the month of December. Now 2-0 ATS this month, they look like they've found their stride, though it may be too late for them to make the playoffs. Rivers has thrown for 510 yards, 4 TDs, and 0 INTs over these last two games, and they looked fantastic against Baltimore. Detroit, on the other hand has squeaked out a couple of wins these past two weeks, though they came against Minnesota and Oakland. The secondary has been giving up huge passing plays, and they are going to be exposed tomorrow. If the Chargers can maintain their current form, they won't have a problem winning this game outright.

BALTIMORE -12.5 over Cleveland

Baltimore just played the Browns three weeks ago and won by 14, in Cleveland. I'll definitely jump on them laying 12.5 at home. The money is going on the Browns, as the line opened at 13.5, but I think that's an over-reaction to Baltimore's loss last week. I don't see any shame in it though, as San Diego may not have a great record, but they've final started to resemble the team many people (myself included) thought had a great chance to make a Super Bowl run this year. The Browns have struggled mightily on offense, scoring more than 14 points only once in their last 9 games. After Pittsburgh lost Monday and Houston lost last night, Baltimore is still in the driver seat to secure the #2 seed and a first round bye. They'll have plenty of motivation to go out there and crush the Browns. Baltimore is a solid 4-2-1 ATS at home this year.

New Orleans/Atlanta OVER 52

Both quarterbacks are coming into this game hot, and both offenses were over 40 points last week. This should be a great Monday night battle, with the Falcons fighting for a playoff spot and to keep their division hopes alive. As I mentioned last week when picking the over in the NO/MIN game, the Saints have a poor passing defense, ranked 28th. Atlanta isn't much better, currently ranked 17th against the pass. This should be the exact kind of game that TV networks hope to get in prime time- a pass-heavy game filled with big plays and lots of points.

San Francisco -2 over SEATTLE

Seattle is coming into this game having won 5 of their past 6, but I'm not sold. While beating Baltimore was note-worthy, the other 4 wins came against: St. Louis,  Philly (Vick was out), St. Louis, and Chicago (Cutler and Forte out). The one loss came against Washington, who isn't exactly a quality opponent, either. The Niners lost to Baltimore and to Arizona in the last 4 weeks, but won against St. Louis and Pittsburgh. SF looked good on Monday Night, even if Roethlisberger was banged up. The red-zone offense has struggled at getting TDs, but kicker David Akers has done a good job making sure the Niners come away with points. The defense has now set an NFL record in not allowing a rushing TD in their first 14 games. Seattle RB Marshawn Lynch may have done well in recent games, but he's about to face the toughest D he's seen in quite some time. The game may be a tight one, but the Niners should come out on top, so I don't mind giving 2 points.

Minnesota/Washington OVER 43

The last three Minnesota games have all been overs. The 30th ranked passing defense is getting torched on a weekly basis now, and I feel optimistic about Washington being able to score points after seeing them handle the Giants so well last week. With a healthier Adrian Peterson, I expect Minnesota to exploit Washington's average run defense and they should be able to make a few trips to the end-zone as well. I feel like the game could go either way, but points will be scored in this one. Take the over.

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