Defeated14’s monster spread differential vexed old Lucky Lester. As you can see by my Atlanta Hawkish record, (5-9-2) it was more of a three legged race to 95 than a sprint to 100 wins. At the end of Week 15 my record slid in at 95-93-3. I’ve had better days, but the best are still to come. Another 16-0 record would work quite nice. I won the lottery this week, 3$ prize, I’m letting it ride on the Chiefs to win. This week will solve much of the playoff dilemma, just wait and see. One certain undefeated team should end all the talk of a perfect season. Wins over losses, ready, break!
Tampa Bay (+3) at New England – The Buccaneers are the better team here. Everyone seems to have hopped back on the Patriot bandwagon, but it’s going to take a lot more than a win over buffalo to get me on the rusty old thing. Tampa Bay owns one of the leagues best defenses along with an offense that is run-heavy. New England will find it difficult to stop Carnell Williams, and even the young Chris Simms should find room in the Patriot secondary. Look for Tampa Bay to assist a couple wayward sports-riders off the Patriotic Bandwagon.
Game Date: 12/17/05 13:30 ET
Kansas City (+3) at N.Y. Giants – The Chiefs really dominated the Cowgirls through much of the Kansas City / Dallas match-up a week ago. Then, with 16 seconds left, the Chiefs had all but lost to the Boys. Lightening struck, a 15 yard out, a 40 yard pass to Donte Hall, and whammy, all the Chiefs needed to do was kick a 40 yard field goal to send the game into overtime. Wide right. Not Jay Feeley wide right, we’re talking Kris Brown wide right. It was terrible. The Chiefs can’t lose this game. It would all but guarantee their seat on the couch come playoff time. The Giants really don’t have room to lose either, but they aren’t as good as Kansas City, so they’ll lose. Eli Manning has shown he’s not ready to be an NFL star quite yet, and the Giant defense has shown it’s age. Look for Larry Johnson to dominate yet again. Game Date: 12/17/05 17:00 ET
Denver (-9.5) at Buffalo – The Bills are a terrible sack of rotting cow-manure. They struggle on offense, and because they’re so bad at keeping the ball, their defense struggles as well. JP Losman is young, and already people are giving up on him. This is his first year as a starter. Give the kid a break. Look at Drew Brees, it took him 4 years to contribute. The Bills aren’t ready. Their best offensive weapon, Willis McGahee, is hurting, and their best defensive player has been out since Week 4. Buffalo has nothing to play for. Denver comes into town looking to keep their division lead and possible a couple home games come post-season play. Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell should form an admirable duo in this one. Jake won’t make mistakes and the Broncos will play much better than they did last week. Game Date: 12/17/05 20:30 ET
Arizona (-1) at Houston – With the way Kris Brown kicked that field goal at the end of last weeks game, I truly can’t justify betting on the Texans to win a football game. It’s apparent that they either A- aren’t trying to win, or B- are trying very, very hard to lose. Okay, there is a C- the Texans are cursed by the the prince of darkness and they will never win another football game as long as humans rule the earth. You decide. I’ll decide this one, the Cardinals win in a game that means about as much as a regular season Major League Baseball game. Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin blow up. (Figuratively)
Game Date: 12/18/05 13:05 ET
Carolina (-8.5) at New Orleans – The Panthers are levels above Atlanta. The Saints were destroyed by the Falcons on Monday Night Football. How in the hell can I justify taking the Saints in a game that isn’t even during prime time? I can’t. The Saints’ season was over months ago, just like the outcome of this game. I would be surprised if the Saints get within 20 points of the Panthers. Carolina has too much on the line, and they’ve been looking forward to this rematch since their opening day loss to New Orleans.
Game Date: 12/18/05 13:05 ET
N.Y. Jets at Miami (-9) – The Jets showed they could win a football game last week against… wait, they just beat the Raiders, that’s all. How bad is Oakland? Miami has won 3 in a row since Nick Saban told the world that wins didn’t matter for his football team. Fooled me. Miami beat the Chargers in San Diego last week. Who are they kidding? If New England loses out, (Almost impossible because NE plays the Jets) and the Dolphins win out, (possible), the Dolphins would go to the playoffs and the Patriots would sit home. Needless to say, this game means a lot for the Fins. Nick Saban will lead his team to their biggest victory since they upended the Dolphins in Week 1.
Game Date: 12/18/05 13:05 ET
Philadelphia at St. Louis (-3) – The Eagles played tight with the Giants, but not even a stellar first-start performance by Ryan Moats could propel the Eagles to victory. This week, the Rams will outgun the Eagles in St. Louis. Torry Holt will have a big game, he’s always wide open. Steven Jackson will bounce back from 3 consecutive weeks where he pooped the bed, to lead the Rams to victory with 25+ carries. Moats will find room to run once again, but Mike McMahon won’t do enough for the Eagles to win.
Game Date: 12/18/05 13:05 ET
Pittsburgh (-3.5) at Minnesota – The Steelers ended the Chicago streak last week with a gutty and flawless performance by their second year signal caller, Big Ben Roethlisberger. Hines Ward fought a big fight on his way to the endzone for the Steelers’ first touchdown and Jerome Bettis rumbled and bumbled for their second. Pittsburgh’s defense wouldn’t allow Kyle Orton to get anything going through the air, and they did a nice job shutting down the Bear rushing attack. This week will be a little bit of the same in Minnesota. The Vikings will find their streak ended by the Steelers, just as the Bears did. Both teams need this victory to stay in the playoff hunt, but the Steel show will out play the Vikings on Sunday. Their will be no room to run, and Brad Johnson won’t find the same success through the air. The Steelers don’t commit turnovers, so it will be hard for the Vikings to capitalize. Game Date: 12/18/05 13:05 ET
San Diego (+8.5) at Indianapolis – The Chargers need this victory about a million times more than the Colts do. If anything, a loss for the Colts here might actually help their Super Bowl chances. A loss would put an end to any speculation on resting players, an undefeated season, what should Tony do, and all that other junk. Don’t get me wrong, I think the Colts should go for the gusto, nothing is more powerful than a perfect season Super Bowl Champion. Think about it. Everyone knows about the Ô72 Dolphins, but can you name the last 5 Super Bowl Winners? Okay, the Patriots have won three, but everyone only knows that because they won three. The other two? Exactly. Unfortunately for the Colts, a pissed off Charger team will tromp into Indianapolis with their playoff lives at stake, and come out with a huge upset. LT will show up on Sunday as the best player in the NFL, and a couple big plays on defense will surprise Peyton and the Colts. Game Date: 12/18/05 13:05 ET
Seattle (-7.5) at Tennessee – The Seahawks won’t overlook the Titans just because they play the AFC’s top team in Week 16. Mike Holmgren knows the Titans can play tough football, and he also knows that the best thing the Seahawks could do is put this game out of reach by half time like they did last week against the Niners. The Titans don’t have the firepower to hang with the Hawks, and they know it. Plus, next week might be just as meaningless for the Hawks as it should be for the Colts. Look for Shaun Alexander to score 3 times in the first half before he’s pulled for a spot on the sideline begging Holmgren to put him back in so he can run for the record books. Is it just me or does Mike enjoy watching Shaun squirm about?
Game Date: 12/18/05 13:05 ET
San Francisco at Jacksonville (-16) – The 49ers are a very bad football team with a very bad running game and a rookie quarterback who is years away from making an NFL impact. Did I mention their defense hasn’t managed to prevent Urcle from scoring? The Jaguars might not be as good without Byron in the lineup, but David Garrard has all it takes to put a lump on the Niners. He can run much better than Byron, and the Jaguars will use that to their advantage. All games from here on out are must wins for Jacksonville. The AFC is crazy. Game Date: 12/18/05 13:05 ET
Cincinnati (-8) at Detroit – The Bengals will bounce back from their most pathetic offensive performance of the season last week against the Browns. The thing that speaks volumes about the Bengals is that even in their off week they managed to come out victorious. This week Cincinnati goes to Detroit to play the red-hot Lions. Their faces are red with embarrassment, and their asses are hot from getting kicked around by every team in the league. Nothing will put an end to Detroit’s misery this season, not even that crazy fat lady from the movie Misery. Watch Carson Palmer come back in fine fashion, making a late season push for the MVP award.
Game Date: 12/18/05 16:10 ET
Cleveland (+3) at Oakland – The Browns haven’t played too shabby of late. The Raiders are worse than the Duke Blue Devil football team. I don’t think it’s right to give Tui one start and then write him off for good, but Andrew Walter is a young gun slinger who just happens to be waiting for a chance to shine. Could he do for the Raiders what Charlie ÒBrownÓ Frye has done for the the Browns? Randy Moss sure hopes so, anyone who can get him the ball would be real nice, especially for my fantasy football team. Reuben Droughns will take advantage of a tired and depleted Raider defense on Sunday. Look for the Browns to come out with much more firepower as they take down the Raiders at home. Game Date: 12/18/05 16:10 ET
Dallas (+2.5) at Washington – The Cowboys are better than the Redskins. Ouch. It hurts to say it, but the Cowboys should win this game. I’ll take a loss in the bank account to watch the Girls lose to the Skins on Sunday. The problem is I don’t see it happening. Drew Bledsoe, yes, my least favorite quarterback since Ryan Leaf, has been playing some fine football lately. I hope to God that ends sunday, mind you, but signs point to that not happening. Expect the Skins to put up a late fight, but the season sweep of their biggest rival is out of the question. The Cowboys will still find the playoffs tough sledding, but with a win here they’ll stay in the hunt.
Game Date: 12/18/05 16:20 ET
Atlanta at Chicago (-3) – The Bears lost last week, and all of a sudden their bandwagon lost a ton of weight. Well, now it has enough room for my big ass. The Bears will shut down Mike Vick and pound Thomas Jones into an Atlanta defensive front that couldn’t stop a gang of Care-Bears. The Falcons don’t match up well against the Bears, and that doesn’t bode well for Falcon playoff aspirations. Mike Vick will be at home watching this years post-season for the first time since he was hurt. Kyle Orton will do just enough for the Bears to slay the Dirty Birds. Game Date: 12/18/05 20:40 ET
Green Bay (+3.5) at Baltimore – The Packers aren’t a good football team. In fact, they’re down right pitiful. The Pack is fighting for wins that don’t mean a thing and Brett Favre is starting, getting needlessly pounded, and throwing oodles of interceptions while rookie quarterback Aaron Rodgers is waiting for his chance to show the Packers who they picked in the first round. They won’t sit Brett, though, in which case they’ll have just enough to take down the Ravens in Baltimore. But it will be Samkon Gado who leads the Packers to victory, not the old man with the gray beard. Mike Sherman has seen his last days in Green Bay, why not make them wins?
Game Date: 12/19/05 21:10 ET
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