NFL Free Picks 04-05 Week 12

Lucky got it rolling again last week with a sparking 10-5-1 record. This brings me to 78-73-6 for the season. I expect this week’s picks to be easy to digest… well easier then Grandma’s turkey anyway!Colts(-9.5) @ Lions – I’ve got to take the colts against a week Lions D. And when it comes down to winning by 10 points, you can only look at it one way. That’s like 7 minutes of Peyton Manning throwing the ball. Peyton’s putting up one of, if not the biggest year a quarterback has ever had. His touchdown pace is ahead of Dan Marino’s record of 48. I don’t see that slowing down this week. Thanksgiving will give a good portion of a turkey to Edgerrin James as well. Edge comes off a 200+ yard performance last week. The Lions aren’t good enough to keep up with the Colts offensively. The defenses might be equally as bad, but no offense in the NFL compares to the Indianapolis powerhouse set of backs and receivers. After playing a tough game against a broken down Viking team, the Lions will be looking for a big win. But it ain’t happening this week.
Game Date: 11/25/04 12:37 ET

Bears(+3.5) @ Dallas – At this point I’m almost rooting for the Cowboys. But I’ve got to chose who I think has the better shot. The Bears at +3.5 in a game where 3 might win it seems like a pretty good bet. Here’s my reasoning. I don’t know what everybody else saw with Drew Henson, but he didn’t show me much. He was playing the toughest defense in the league, but all this hype is ridiculous. He is facing Craig Krenzel who, and thank God, finally lost a game after 3 straight wins. Last week I said the Cowboy D could even make Kyle Boller look like a good quarterback. This week, ummm, well Craig led his college team to a National Title. Craig Krenzel’s quarterback rating is skimming the bottom of the league, but this week I’m guessing it doubles. Now, 60 isn’t much better then 30, but it’s worth 3.5 points, especially against a pathetic Cowboy team starting a guy who was batting .200 and playing a third base for a minor league team a year ago. Game Date: 11/25/04 16:15 ET

Ravens @ Patriots(-7) – The Patriots are just flat out better than The Ravens. Chris McAllister comes back this week, but the Patriots should still put up enough points to beat a Raven team minus Jamal Lewis. I would just put Ray Lewis at running back and watch him destroy fellow linebackers, but The Ravens never listen to my requests. Chester Taylor won’t keep 8 Patriots in the box, so Boller’s life suddenly gets more difficult. He’s no Joe Montana with single coverage all day either. A tough Pat zone should limit his effectiveness from a week ago. In an important game for The Ravens, New England will do what they’ve done 24 times out of their last 25 attempts, and win. Winning by a touchdown seems like the best bet here. Game Date: 11/28/04 16:15 ET

Eagles(-7) @ Giants – Once again we have a rookie QB who came in and did all right last week. Now everyone has been saying how much promise Eli showed against the Falcons. No one seems to pay attention to Jack around here I guess. The Falcons have the worst pass defense in the league. Eli threw for a 162 yards on 17-37 passing, with one TD and two picks. I guess Ryan Leaf showed promise too. Don’t get me wrong, but Eli isn’t ready to make a difference yet. The Eagles, who cause turnovers with the best of them, will pick Eli multiple times, sack him often. This will be a laugher by the 3rd. The Giants D won’t slow the Green Machine. Donovan and bunch will have an easy time facing a D without their leader.
Game Date: 11/28/04 13:00 ET

Redskins @ Steelers(-10.5) – For the first time this year, a Redskin spread looks reasonable. But am I going to take them? No chance in hell. The Steelers don’t put up big numbers, but their defense is stout. The Redskins offense is blinding. I’m not talking their speed either. My eyes seriously hurt watching Patrick Ramsey run a team. The Redskins have managed to make Clinton Portis look bad, which hasn’t happened since… well ever. Pittsburgh has a good thing going here, and if the Redskins put an end to that I will be stunned. I’m not talking The Chargers in playoff contention stunned, I’m talking Drew Bledsoe returning a punt, breaking seven tackles while sprinting 100 yards for a touchdown stunned. Game Date: 11/28/04 13:00 ET

Browns(+6) @ Bengals – The Bengals put up a good game against what I’d say is the most complete team in the league. But, they haven’t beaten anybody, besides Denver. The Browns can pretty much say the same, but they’ve been robbed time and time again. It just seems like Butch Davis walked under a bridge of ladders before he started coaching the expansion Browns. Every draft pick has been injured for extended periods. That includes Kellen Winslow Jr this year. They are tough though. The Jets only beat them by 3. The Eagles went to OT to beat them. All year they’ve been in games. The Browns beat the Bengals 34-17 in week 6 in Cincinnati. The Bengals have been a little better of late, but 6 point favorites? I don’t think so.
Game Date: 11/28/04 13:00 ET

Jaguars @ Vikings(-6) – This game marks the return of two important players, one for each team. Randy Moss makes his return for the Vikings, which should do everything to boost their confidence. But, Byron Leftwich comes back early for the Jaguars as well. I’m not sure who’s more important for their respective teams. I guess we’ll see Sunday. The Jaguars play close football every week. They should have a tough time stopping Culpepper with his main weapon back in action. I’ve got to take a Vikings team that looked unstoppable with Randy in the lineup earlier this year.
Game Date: 11/28/04 13:00 ET

Buccaneers(-2.5) @ Panthers – The Panthers looked great last week. But they were just playing Arizona. Nick Goings, yes that’s right, Nick Goings ran all over the field, mostly forward, scoring three times. I’m guessing this won’t happen against Tampa Bay. Brian Griese should continue his impressive quarterbacking for the Bucs though. He’s going up against a defense that has been shredded by injuries. In fact the offense has felt it as well. I mean, Nick Goings scored three times for God’s sake. Neither of these teams is impressive, but the Bucs will use a solid rushing attack led by Michael Pittman.
Game Date: 11/28/04 13:00 ET

Chargers(+3) @ Kansas City – The Chiefs continue to be rated as if their team is as good as it was last year. They aren’t. The Chargers on the other hand have beaten the spread so much this year; betters everywhere are paying the price. (I know all about it) Lately I’ve ridden the Drew Brees bandwagon. He’s been good, but that’s not the only reason. I’m real sick of “Big” football writers dropping articles about how Brees is going to be traded next year. What a dumb idea. I mean, don’t put it past the Chargers organization, but how stupid can they be? Brees has turned into more than they had hoped, but now they want to start all over with Phillip Rivers. I hope they do. It’s too nice in San Diego anyway. On Sunday Brees will run his team up and down the field against The Chiefs. LT, who is back, looked dominating against The Raiders last week. This week will be no different. The main thing is, The Chargers have a solid D. It isn’t the Charger D from a year ago. I’ll take the Chargers to win here; I can’t see them needing the 3 points. Game Date: 11/28/04 13:00 ET

Titans @ Texans(+1.5) – Houston let a big win slip out of their grasp last week against Green Bay. David Carr needs to step it up as he did earlier in the year. He isn’t a rookie anymore, someone needs to tell him that. He’s got big weapons in AndrĂ© Johnson and Dominic Davis. Carr is fast, has a big arm, and is accurate. The Titans team, who virtually has nothing to play for, beat The Jags last week. The Texans, an underdog at home, should prove to be more than Tennessee can handle. Carr will get back on track this week against a solid Titan D. Game Date: 11/28/04 13:00 ET

Saints @ Falcons(-9.5) – Joe Horn made it clear two weeks ago that the Saints weren’t dead yet. Thanks for clearing that up last week guys. All I needed was a 34-13 beating in New Orleans to make things a little more visible. Regardless, Aaron Brooks has gotten the short end of the stick against his cousin. Vick has outplayed, and more importantly beaten Aaron on a number of occasions. Vick, T. J. Ducket, and Warrick Dunn should run all over the Saints, everyone else does. Brooks and crew, who find it more convenient to step up when things no longer matter, will be tempted to play well in Atlanta. But temptation is one thing, actually stepping up and beating a much better Falcon team is another. Deuce McAllister, who has been average or less all year, will find little room to roam against a tough Atlanta rush defense. The Saints are unpredictable, but bad enough for a lopsided defeat against Atlanta.
Game Date: 11/28/04 16:05 ET

Jets(-3) @ Arizona – The Jets are a good team, with or without Chad Pennington. The Cards lost to The Panthers 35-10, which means they aren’t as competitive as earlier in the year. The Jets will feed Curtis Martin the ball. Curtis skipped past the 1000-yard mark last week. What a ball player! This spread baffles me, it really does. With a stubborn, good defense, and a solid offense, the Jets should win without trouble. Game Date: 11/28/04 16:15 ET

Bills @ Seahawks(-5) – The Hawks have been playing lackadaisical football. The Bills have won two of their last three, no slouches either. They beat the Jets three weeks ago, and the Rams last week. The Hawks just slipped by Miami, and have looked nothing like the Super Bowl contender I thought they would be this year. But, times change. This is the weekend the Hawks pick it up. Jerry Rice is starting, which is always great. Hasselbeck should be back this week. I’m thinking the week off helped him a little. Shaun Alexander continues to lead the league in rushing. Props to Drew though. I give him a hard time; mainly because he’s the slowest man on the face of the earth, but he put up 3 TD’s last week in a big win (every time they win, Dallas’ draft pick gets worse and worse). This week shouldn’t end up with a W in the win column for Buffalo. The Hawks will be back! Game Date: 11/28/04 16:15 ET

Raiders @ Denver(-11) – The Raiders had a big performance last week, but lost again. Denver slaughtered the Saints by giving the ball to Reuben Droughns time and time again. The Raiders are a terrible run-stopping unit. Look for Droughns to get upwards of 200 yards against Oakland. Anytime running comes easy, Denver glides to victory, especially in Denver. Oakland has little chance to do anything worthwhile in this one. Denver’s D was tough last week. They will be good here too. Game Date: 11/28/04 20:35 ET

Rams @ Packers(-6) – The Pack snuck past a resilient Texan team last week. But they got the Victory. The Rams… well Drew Bledsoe played a hand in their defeat. I don’t know if it had anything to do with his 3 rushes for -2 yards, but I’m willing to guess the Rams game planned against his swift feet. The Rams will get beat again this week playing too far from home. Green Bay is no turf field. The Rams are a tough bunch to figure out. They’ve lost to Buffalo and Miami. (You were wondering who gave Miami a win weren’t you?) But, they’ve beat good teams as well. This week, they’ll lose. I’m thinking big. Brett is at the top of his game, which is great to see. His receivers have been fantastic. The Packer D is starting to play well, which bodes well for their playoff hopes. Green Bay, no problem.
Game Date: 11/29/04 21:05 ET

Miami @ San Francisco – Pick em! This one comes down to a coin toss and I’ll take tails… 49ers it is! Game Date: 11/28/04 16:15 ET


Good Luck with your NFL Football Wagering!
Lucky Lester

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