Free NFL Picks 05-06 Week 17

The Rubix Cube of Picks!
This is just about the most difficult week to pick a game. I mean, sure, the Bronco’s at +11 is a great line… if the Bronco’s are playing their starters. But you have to look at it like this, will the Chargers be starting all their players now that they’re out of the hunt? Awe, the question is there in all but a few games. Then you have the Reggie Bush Saga. Can the Texans really justify winning? It’s tough to figure out on your own, so I’m here to donate some free advice to the rest of the betting community. Interested? Read on!

Denver (+11) At San Diego – I’m going to go with the Broncos in this one, based on the idea that neither team is dying to win this game. After a couple of quarters I don’t see the Chargers relying heavily on the oft-damaged body of Ladainian Tomlinson. Each team will give plenty of opportunities to back-up players, and that being so, the Broncos have the advantage at +11. Jake Plummer will play a few, maybe the first half of series, but the Broncos are winners, and they’ll stay closer than 11. Game Date: 12/31/05 16:35 ET

NY Giants (-7.5) At Oakland – The New York Football Giants choked their way into the playoffs by being lambasted by the Washington Redskins last week. It all came down to who needed it most, and apparently the Giants didn’t. This week the Giants play the Raiders, and to be honest, the Raiders are quite possibly the most pathetic team in football. The Giants would like this game to assure at least one game in New York. That’s important to Eli, Jeremy Shockey, and Tiki Barbar. If Oakland is playing a team on a missions, they’re screwed. So… They’re SCREWED! Game Date: 12/31/05 20:05 ET

Arizona (+7) At Indianapolis – The Cardinals have a ‘wing it deep’ motto with Josh McCowen at the helm. With Indianapolis in need of nothing, the Cardinals will take advantage with Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald. Tony Dungy might be back on the field for this one, but the Colts don’t seem to win games that mean nothing (0-9 the last 9 games that have no playoff indications). Take the Cardinals and the 7 point buffer zone. Game Date: 01/01/06 13:05 ET

Baltimore (-3) At Cleveland – The Ravens have played like a real live NFL Football team the last two weeks. It’s really quite amazing. Kyle Boller has tempted Baltimore fans into cheering for him, while playing well enough to get Brian Billick another year coaching the Ravens. Will it continue? I have to believe it will. The Browns haven’t played well of late, and Jamal Lewis has run with a little bit of his old fervor. Jamal loves to run against the Browns. Don’t expect 295 yards out of him, but expect another good game out of the Ravens. Ed Reed is filthy! Game Date: 01/01/06 13:05 ET

Carolina (-4) At Atlanta – The Panthers need to win this game to assure themselves a spot in the post season. It’ll be a tough one, but the Panthers, after playing like a pile of rabbit pellets against the Cowboys last week, will be up for the Falcon challenge. Expect Deshaun Foster to annihilate the piss poor Falcon run defense on way to a Panther victory. Steve Smith will be extra motivated to produce after he had 18 yards while getting kicked out of the game last week. Steve’s the kind of guy to get some payback.
Game Date: 01/01/06 13:05 ET

Chicago (+4.5) At Minnesota – The Bears have the 2nd spot in the NFC playoffs wrapped up, but don’t take that as a reason the Bears will sit their starters. Some guys will get rest, but Rex Grossman has only played in two football games this year, he’ll get plenty of reps for the Bears to win. And when he comes out, Kyle Orton will get on the field. You have to believe the Bears would have beaten the Vikings with Kyle calling plays too. Lovie Smith isn’t the type of coach that gives away a victory because the game has no playoff consequences. He’ll have his Bears ready to go. Take the better team with the points. Game Date: 01/01/06 16:20 ET

Buffalo (-1) At NY Jets – The Bills are better than the lowly Jets. New York has a solid defense, but their offence makes any defense look heroic. The Bills have played well after getting shit kicked by the Patriots three weeks back. A 9 point loss to the Broncos and a win over the Begnals has given the Bills life. Some life would do the Jets good, but that isn’t expected to happen until they pick Matt Leinart in the 2006 NFL Draft (pure speculation). Take the Bills in this meaningless show of NFL football. Game Date: 01/01/06 13:05 ET

Cincinnati At Kansas City (-7) – The Chiefs are looking solid, and they have to win this game to keep their playoff homes alive. The Steelers have to lose to the Lions, but the Chiefs can’t do anything about that, expect them to take care of their side of the deal. The Bengals won’t play their starters for the entire game, but even if they did, the Chiefs have more to lose in this game. Larry Johnson always runs like a man possessed. If I’ve learned anything the past two weeks, it’s been that the team with the most on the line almost always plays with more passion. Passion equals victory.
Game Date: 01/01/06 13:05 ET

Miami At New England (-6) – The Patriots aren’t a team that sits their starters. Bill Bellichick likes to win football games, and with a chance to move up a spot in the AFC, expect him to do just that. Miami has played well lately, but they aren’t in the Patriots league. Well they are in their league, just not, well you understand. They aren’t as good for God’s sake! Take the Patriots with only a touchdown needed to cover. Game Date: 01/01/06 13:05 ET

Detroit At Pittsburgh (-14.5) – The Lions are bad (See every one of their games after their first win over the Panthers). With a loss on Sunday and a Houston Texan victory over the 49ers, the Saints will vault into the #1 spot in the NFL Draft. Can they possibly play the Steelers tough? Nothing to win. Everything to lose by winning. A stupid owner. A crappy team. The Steelers have to win to guarantee themselves a playoff spot. Joey Duck is starting. The 1908 Ford Model T gets the same gas mileage as the 2005 Ford Explorer. Ford’s are built in Detroit. Detroit sucks! Game Date: 01/01/06 13:05 ET

New Orleans At Tampa Bay (-14) – The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing the worst team in football and they need to win the game to guarantee playoffs. Hmmmm… this is a no-brainer. I think I would have taken the Saints at -20. Look for Cadillac Williams to have a first half eruption, then sit the rest of the game to rest himself for the playoffs. The Bucs should dominate this match-up.
Game Date: 01/01/06 13:05 ET

Houston At San Francisco (+2) – The Niners can’t possibly finish the season with the number 1 pick in the draft. It seriously can’t happen. They’d have to lose to the Texans, the Packers would have to beat the Seahawks, the Jets would have to beat the Bills, the Saints would have to beat the Buccaneers, and that’s the only possible way Reggie ends up a Niner. On the other hand, the Texans just have to lose to guarantee themselves the #1 pick in the 2006 Draft. So, I’ll take the team who has the better chance to get Reggie by losing. I actually think if the Texans win, the entire coaching staff in Texas will be removed. (This will be the first time a coach got fired for winning)
Game Date: 01/01/06 16:10 ET

Tennessee At Jacksonville (-3.5) – The Titans won’t have Steve ‘Air’ McNair for this contest, and the Jaguars will be testing out Byron Leftwich’s ankle, or giving their starting quarterback as of now, David Garrard, all the snaps. Either way, the Jaguars are in this one to win it. The Titans don’t really stand a chance, considering they’re bad. Look for all of the Jaguar running backs to gain considerable yards on rout to yet another Jacksonville victory. Hooray!
Game Date: 01/01/06 16:10 ET

Seattle (+4) At Green Bay – The Seahawks second stringers are twice as good as the Packer starters. Shaun Alexander is searching hard for his 28th touchdown of the year. When he gets it in the first quarter of this game, he’ll be the record holder for the most touchdowns in a season, taking the title from Priest Holmes. Look for the Seahawks to control the ball against the worst Packer team in recent history. Game Date: 01/01/06 13:05 ET

Washington (-7) At Philadelphia – The Redskins need to beat the Eagles to get into the playoffs. The Eagles are the biggest disappointment of 2005. The second is Terrell, who just happens to be an Eagle. Take the Redskins to upend the Eagles by a considerable amount. I don’t know if any team is playing better than the Redskins right now. Definitely not he Eagles. Game Date: 01/01/06 16:20 ET

St. Louis (+12.5) At Dallas – By the time this game is played, the Cowboys will already be removed from playoff contention. Just to see what they got in Drew Henson, the rookie will get the majority of snaps for the Cowgirls. It’s going to be real nice seeing the Cowboys out of the playoffs. Look for Steven Jackson and Julius Jones to have a runoff. The cowboys will win, but not by more than 10. Drew Bledsoe is slow and un athletic. Bill Parcells will quit after te season. Jerry Jones, in response, will get another face lift, tying him for the record with Michael Jackson. Whoop, there it is!
Game Date: 01/01/06 20:40 ET

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Lucky Lester – Free Football Picks

Free NFL Picks 05-06 Week 16

Gotta Go With Jesus on Christmas!16 promises to be a good one. There are playoff hopefuls, playoff doubtfuls, and downright bad teams that don’t stand a whoring chance. This is where the questions arise; which teams are going to hold ’em and which teams are going to fold ’em? What’s more important now is what I’m going to do. I’ve got professional poker star, Jesus Ferguson, in my fridge and he’s got some secrets for you. How can you turn down a guy named Jesus on Christmas Week? Even if he is a compulsive gambler.

Buffalo @ Cincinnati (-13.5) – The Bengals have clinched their division, but that doesn’t mean they’re resting their starters. Cincinnati can still finish the season with the 2 spot in the AFC Playoffs. That would mean every team aside from the Colts would have to come to Cinci to take down the Bengals. They like that idea. The Bengals can easily win out. They will destroy the Bills this week in Cinci and they could be playing a Kansas City team that has no chance to make the post season in Week 17. Jesus said he’d hold the Bengals. In fact, Jesus says come playoff time, the Bengals pose the biggest threat to the Colts. Then again, he’s just a card player.
Game Date: 12/24/05 13:05 ET

Pittsburgh (-7) @ Cleveland – If the Steelers win out, they’ll find themselves in the playoffs. The Browns have played well of late, but there is no way they get in the way of the Steel Show making it to the post season. They just aren’t that kind of team. They’ll sneak by the Raiders. They’ll beat the Titans. They won’t upset the Steelers. Big Ben struggled to produce last week, but with the way his defense played he didn’t need to throw touchdowns. This week, Ben will attempt to get his cannon up to speed right before the playoffs. Take the Steelers in a little game of smash mouth pig skin. Does any team play as tough as Pittsburgh? Game Date: 12/24/05 13:05 ET

San Diego (+1.5) @ Kansas City – The Chargers are trying to wheel and deal their way into the playoffs, but they’ll need a big upset by someone else to get them in. That’s right. The Chargers could finish 11-5 and out of the AFC playoff picture. If that be the case, (and Jesus thinks it will be), the Chargers will be the only team watching the playoffs who beat the Patriots and the Colts. The Chargers have played in some tough games, but that just seems downright screwy. Larry Johnson will shine in this game. The Chargers have “the best back in the league”, so Larry will be at his best to change that title. As the last couple weeks have gone for the Chiefs, Larry’s big game won’t be enough to clear up the AFC playoff picture. Drew Brees will be the difference in this game, assuring a big pay day for him this off season. Game Date: 12/24/05 13:05 ET

Tennessee (+6) @ Miami – I was thinking Miami, but when I went to the fridge I came back thinking Tennessee. This is my (Jesus’) thought process; Tennessee is 4-10, and the Dolphins are 7-7. The Titans play pretty well against average teams, and the Dolphins are definitely average. Gus Frerotte might not play, which means Sage Rosenfels is the starter. When Sage is the starter, good things don’t happen in Miami. Four of the Dolphins’ seven wins have been by less than 5 points. Tennessee is getting 6 points and coming off a good game against the best team in the NFC. Steve McNair can still wing it. In a tight one, I’ve been convinced, fold the Dolphins.
Game Date: 12/24/05 13:05 ET

Jacksonville (-6) @ Houston – Jesus says, “Hold the Jags.” Who’s to argue? The Texans have been playing much better of late, and the Jaguars always have a tough time putting the Texans away. These things won’t matter on Saturday. Throw out all history and all the previous games this season. The Jaguars need to win this game to assure their place in the playoffs. Sure, they played more like pussy cats than Jaguars last week against the 49ers, but that was last week. The Jags will dominate the Texans, just as the Houston should hope. Expect Fred Taylor to shine in a game he’ll be relied on to move the ball. David Garrard will find Jimmy Smith, Reggie Williams, and Ernest Wilford for a couple scores as the Jaguars pummel the Texans. Don’t be confused by a couple out-of-character games last week. These two teams will return to their old selves.
Game Date: 12/24/05 13:05 ET

Detroit (+3) @ New Orleans – I’m taking the Lions because, well, Jesus told me I had to do it. I was like, “Should I hold ’em or fold ’em Lions dog?” and he tells me “Hold ’em!” I was a little surprised, so I asked why. He gave me that look like not many people ask him why, then said, “Joey Harrington is auditioning for his next team. You’ve got to hold the Lions against the down-and-out Saints.” Then I was thinking Jesus’ got a good point. Joey gets the start this week in – wherever the Saints are playing this week. Joey will almost assuredly be allowed to look for a new team come this off season. Joey has two games to prove he could make it in this league. Next year will be Drew Brees time for Joey. Will anyone take a flyer on Joey Duck? The same goes for Charles Rogers. Game Date: 12/24/05 13:05 ET

Dallas @ Carolina (-5) – The Panthers control the fate of so many, including themselves. If they take down the Cowboys, not only will they find themselves in the playoffs, but they’ll eliminate the Cowgirls as well. Carolina has a better defense than Washington, and look what the Skins did to Dallas. Julius Peppers will look like a world class sprinter chasing after Drew Bledsoe this weekend. Drew might not take 9 sacks in this contest. Shit, he might not make it that deep into the game. The way the Cowboys have been blocking combined with the way Drew moves, has the Panthers foaming at the mouth for this weekend’s game. Desahun Foster is a big, fast back. He’ll be given plenty of opportunities to end Dallas’ playoff dreams. Steve Smith will be unguardable, as he has been all year. Look for the Panthers to lambaste the Cowboys in Carolina. Game Date: 12/24/05 13:05 ET

NY Giants (+3) @ Washington – The New York football Giants match up well against the Redskins. New York allows Tiki Barber to carry much of the load. Washington has really struggled to stop the run lately. Even in last weeks dousing of Dallas, the Cowboys still had good rushing totals. Tiki Barber rushed for 220 last week. I don’t expect a repeat performance of that magnitude, but I do expect another giant week out of the little guy. Eli Manning might impress this week with the Redskins paying proper attention to Tiki. Amani Toomer could find more than his share of passes. The same goes for Jeremy Shockey. New York’s defense stops the straight ahead run pretty well, and that’s what Washington does on the ground. Don’t think for a second that Mark Brunell will toss 4 touchdowns like he did last week. Washington has played their way back into the mix, but this game belongs to the Giants. Game Date: 12/24/05 13:05 ET

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay (-3) – The Falcons looked absolutely terrible last week against the mighty Chicago Bears. Nobody looked as bad as Mike Vick. Brian Urlacher hit him hard early, and after that Vick couldn’t get anything done. I don’t question Mike’s winning percentage, but is it possible that he’s the problem in Atlanta? He’s one of the most dynamic players to ever play the position, but he doesn’t have the throwing ability that guys like Donovan, Daunte, Randall, or even Kordell Stewart. That’s right, even Kordell threw better in his heyday. Vick will have another chance to prove me wrong this week against the Buc’s, but I’ve got the NUTS, and something tells me that Atlanta will fold ’em this year. Tampa Bay controls their own playoff destiny. They’ve got the better team in this contest. Cadillac Williams should find plenty of rushing room against one of the worst rushing defenses in the league. Williams has the power to run outside and the toughness to get the tough yards. Atlanta always struggles against running backs with that kind of skill set. Don’t expect that to change any time soon.
Game Date: 12/24/05 13:05 ET

San Francisco (+9) @ St. Louis – Jesus says “Fold both these teams.” I’ve got to agree, neither team is much of a winning hand. But, like cards, in the sporting business you don’t have to have a winner to win. The 49ers are getting too many points to bet against them this week in St. Louis. Plus, they’re playing against St. Louis. St. Louis is responsible for half of the 49ers’ victories this year. Half of San Fran’s 12 losses have come by 8 points or less. Most of their big losses have come to much better teams than the Rams. Look for the Niners to play close throughout, while magically losing at the end. (Ala Kris Brown’s missed field goal two weeks ago) The Rams don’t have the quarterbacking to get the job done. The Niners have played tough all year, they’ll continue that trend. Game Date: 12/24/05 13:05 ET

Philadelphia (+1) @ Arizona – Here’s a couple of Championship contenders. Jesus asked me if he could hold the Eagles for next year. I told him he couldn’t. He decided to hold ’em this week anyway. I agree. The real question is, which team is a bigger disappointment? The Eagles were picked to run away with the NFC crown. And it’s not like they were on that path before McNabb went down for the year. The Cardinals were everyone’s sleeping pick to take the NFC West Division crown. Apparently, they missed the memo. Philly still has Andy Reid, and Reid still has one of the most explosive defenses in football. If any team in the NFL has the corners and safeties to match-up against Anquan Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald, Philly does. With Kurt Warner done for the season, the hopes of getting those two playmakers the ball has greatly diminished. Expect the Eagles to do just enough to win their second straight game. That would be a winning streak. That would be Philadelphia’s second winning streak of the year. Who would have thought? Jesus shows me a printed piece of paper dated before the start of the season claiming the Eagles miss the playoffs and says, he would have thought. This guy’s good!
Game Date: 12/24/05 16:10 ET

Indianapolis @ Seattle (-7) – “Hold the Hawks. Seattle would win in a heads up game even if the Colts cared about the outcome of the game. Alexander’s going to be a Colt headache.” (Ferguson) I don’t know if I agree with Fergy on the idea that the Hawks would beat the Colts anyway, but I can’t argue that the outcome of this game will land in favor of Seattle. If Seattle wins this week they clinch home-field throughout the playoffs. That’s big for Seattle. If Shaun Alexander scores three more touchdowns this year he’ll take home the all time single season touchdown record. That’s big for Seattle and Shaun. In a game that means nothing for the Colts, I can’t expect more than a quarter out of Peyton Manning and even less from Edge. The same goes for Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne. Look for the Hawks to put a pretty good smack down on the best team in football’s second string. Game Date: 12/24/05 16:15 ET

Oakland @ Denver (-13) – The Broncos are still playing for a couple of home games in the playoffs. It’s between Cincinnati and Denver, and both teams are 11-3. This week should be an easy task for the Broncs. If Oakland hadn’t lost all hope before Week 15, they sure have now. A couple big miscues led to a game winning field goal by Phil Dawson last week in the game against Cleveland. The Raiders just can’t do anything right. Denver isn’t as good as people think, but they are a tower of greatness and success when placed next to Oakland. Kerry Collins is still a pile of crap and Randy Moss hasn’t done much to prove his worth. Lamont Jordan is having a solid year, but Denver’s defense is playing equally as good. They’ll have the upper hand on Saturday. Mike Anderson will eclipse 1000 yards in this game, making him the one billionth different back to gain a grand in Shanahan’s offense. Take the Broncos in what has the making of a shellacking.
Game Date: 12/24/05 16:20 ET

Chicago (-6.5) @ Green Bay – The Bears are a good football team. I made it on the bandwagon last week, and Jesus is on it with me this week. “Hold this hand! These Bears might even win a playoff game with Rex on board.” Ferguson is right. Rex Grossman gives the Bears a piece of the puzzle they have been playing without all year. Rex can get the ball to off season signee, Mushin Muhammad and speedster Bernard Berrien. Kyle just didn’t have the experience to do so. Chicago’s defense is much better than the Ravens. How does that sound Brett? Brett Favre might go his fourth straight game without a touchdown pass. Without Samkon Gado in the backfield, a shutout in Green Bay sounds like a very good possibility. Give it up to Lovie Smith. He handles everything with class and makes the right decisions for his football team. Good thing he doesn’t listen to Joe Theisman. Bad thing I have to hear that idiot talk. He must have said, “I would leave Kyle Orton in,” ten times during the Bears – Falcons game last Sunday night. Then Rex came in and played well. Theisman was still chattering away. Would someone fire that asshole?
Game Date: 12/25/05 17:05 ET

Minnesota (+3) @ Baltimore – When I asked Jesus what he’d do with the Vikings, he said, he’d hold ’em at least one more week. That makes perfect sense to me, hell, it makes dollars. The Vikings are better than the Ravens. Don’t be tricked by Boller’s big game and Jamal Lewis’ 100 yard performance on Monday Night. Boller threw a couple of passes, that if played right, would have been interceptions instead of touchdowns. Boller still doesn’t have the velocity to make most NFL throws. Jamal is still running tentative. Baltimore has played better the last few weeks, but Minnesota still has a chance. That alone should lead them over the Ravens. The Viking defense is one of the league’s best at getting takeaways. Baltimore will help them out in that area, Jesus and I are sure of it. Brad Johnson has had a Cinderella-type year, he’ll continue the comeback with a win in Baltimore. Game Date: 12/25/05 20:40 ET

New England @ NY Jets (+5) -This time Jesus and I disagree. I don’t think the Patriots have anything to play for, in which case they’ll sit Tom Brady in turn giving away all chances of winning, even against the lowly Jets. Ferguson thinks that Tom Brady’s presence on the sideline is enough to lead his team to victory. My good buddy, and advisor, Jesus, has made some very good arguments thus far, and he might have a point. But I write articles and he plays cards, and I’m taking the Jets. Bollinger is playing better lately, and the Patriot second stringers aren’t much to be scared of. Little Doug Flutie will be out getting reps. That’s always good TV.
Game Date: 12/26/04 21:10 ET

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Lucky Lester – Free Football Picks

Free NFL Picks 05-06 Week 15

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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Lucky Lester – Free Football Picks

Free NFL Picks 05-06 Week 14

Some say it was Lucky… They’re right. It was Lucky who picked 16 games correctly. It was Lucky who followed up his 12-4 Week 12 with a 16-0 week 13. It was Lucky who went to the local “club” and celebrated with friends (Bubbles, Jazmine, Nikki, Tracy, and CJ). I was a football pick’em god last week. This week there shall only be more of the same. Perfection finds only a few, Jessica Beil, Jessica Alba, the 1972 Dolphins, and me. How will I follow my perfect week? you ask. I’m going for the gusto. follow along as I sing my song.Tampa Bay @ Carolina (-5.5) – The last four weeks the Bucs have played average teams and ended up 3-1. In those wins, they’ve just barely won, taking three games by a combined 11 points. This week the Carolina Panthers invite the Buccaneers to town, and they aren’t as friendly as the Redskins, Saints, and Falcons. Carolina’s defense is something Chris Simms won’t get used to. He’ll get harassed often, finishing the game with multiple turnovers. Deshaun Foster is the all around running back Carolina needed to become on of the NFC’s best teams, he’ll be the deciding force in a Panther win on Sunday.
Game Date: 12/11/05 13:00 ET

New England (-4) @ Buffalo – The Buffalo Bills showed me they can’t win football games when they lost to the Dolphins last week. They’ll still be sick from the last second loss that removed them from any hopes of playoff contention. JP Losman won’t find all the open spaces in the New England secondary, he just doesn’t have it yet. If Eric Moulds is indeed suspended, as reports have published, Belichick will find it easy to key in on Lee Evans. Look for the Patriots to blitz Losman early and often on their way to a Sunday victory.
Game Date: 12/11/05 13:00 ET

St. Louis @ Minnesota (-7) – The Vi-Kings are inching closer and closer to a spot in the playoffs. Are you kidding me? If you would have told me that 6 weeks ago, I would have pooped in your soup. Now, I’m on the train, or ship if you will. Reports out of Minnesota are that ex-panther bathroom loving cheerleaders are welcome to find business in Minnesota. The weather isn’t as nice, but boats are better than bathroom stalls in bars. Koren Robinson showed last week that he can be a number one receiver. Now if he can just “Say nope to dope” everything would be grand. Look for Brad Johnson to take full advantage of a spotty Ram secondary. The Viking defense will play well again. Game Date: 12/11/05 13:00 ET

Chicago (+6) @ Pittsburgh – I’m not sure who will win this big game, but I’d bet it’s not by more than 3 points. The Bears have one of the greatest defense the league has seen in some time. That is the great spread equalizer. Six points is hard to come-by when finding enough yardage to get into field goal range is like pulling impacted wisdom teeth (which sucks). Kyle Orton isn’t allowed to make many mistakes, which means the tough Steeler defense will get a healthy dose of Thomas Jones and company. Don’t count out Big Ben though, even with the injury, he’s in his third game back, expect him to play mistake free. Take the points! Game Date: 12/11/05 13:00 ET

Oakland (-3) @ NY Jets – The Raiders are horrendous. Kerry Collins sucks, and anyone who thinks it’s all Norv Turner’s fault is probably as drunk as Kerry looks on a daily basis. Does anyone else in football look like they’ve battled the booze more than Kerry? Randy Moss looks as sedated running routes as he does after an off-season run in with the Magic Dragon, and Lamont Jordan doesn’t get the opportunity to get out of the backfield. And that’s only the offense. Yikes. Luckily for the Raiders and their fans, they play the Jets this weekend. The T-e-r-r-i-b-l-e Jets. New York doesn’t have a quarterback that is ready to play on Sunday, and the rest of their team isn’t good enough to make up for that fact. This isn’t a game I’d like to see, but I’m as sure as shit the Jets will lose their 8th consecutive game.
Game Date: 12/11/05 13:00 ET

Indianapolis (-8) @ Jacksonville – The Colts are lucky they don’t have to go into Jacksonville and face the Jaguars with Byron Leftwich at the helm. This is a huge game for David Garrard, but I’m not sure he can handle all the pressure. The Colts don’t overlook teams, that’s why they’re so great. Jacksonville usually plays the Colts tough, and I think they’ll do exactly that, but to expect the Jags to get within 10 points of the best team in football without their starting quarterback is too much. The Jaguars will play a tight first half, but in the end, a 2 touchdown victory taking the Colts to 13-0 is fully expected. Next weeks game against the Chargers will be the Colts’ first loss of the season. Game Date: 12/11/05 13:00 ET

Houston @ Tennessee (-6.5) – The Texans aren’t as terrible as 1-11, they’re more like a 3-8 team with enough luck to lose their way into the #1 draft spot. Lucky! Either way, 1 win, 3 wins, they still suck. The Titans play well against the garbage of the league, and they’ll do it again on Sunday. Steve McNair practiced on Wednesday, and he’ll most likely start on Sunday. Chris Brown should be around 100% and Drew Bennett is dying for a breakout game. Look for Houston to continue down the Reggie Bush path.
Game Date: 12/11/05 13:00 ET

Cleveland @ Cincinnati (-12) -When the Browns play an opponent with a winning record they are 1-3. IN those 3 losses they’ve never lost by less than 12 points. In Week 1 the Bengals took the Browns apart in Cleveland, 27-13. Expect a bigger lashing this week in Cinci. Carson Palmer has been as accurate as ever, and the players around him seem to thrive with him on the field. Chad Johnson hasn’t blown up in any of the past few games, so expect him to pick on Cleveland on Sunday. Charlie Frye will start his second professional game, but don’t expect him to go another game without a turnover. The Bengals have a knack for forcing turnovers, leading the league in takeaway / giveaway ratio. Take the Bengals in an easy one.
Game Date: 12/11/05 13:00 ET

Washington (-3.5) @ Cardinals – The Redskins aren’t a dominant football team, but they’re much better than the Cardinals. Washington’s defense has struggled of late, but expect them to blitz Kurt Warner until he cries mercy. The Cards don’t have the offensive line to stop the Skins’ blitzing linebackers. Kurt Warner will have another week where his picks outnumber his touchdowns, and Clinton Portis will have his second strong week in a row. Chris Cooley and Santana Moss will have big games with Mark Brunell finding plenty of time to let it fly. Game Date: 12/11/05 16:05 ET

NY Giants (-8.5) @ Philadelphia – If the Eagles didn’t show the world how bad it’s gotten in Philly, they’ll be issuing a repeat performance on Sunday against the Giants. With Brian Westbrook down and out, the Eagles have seemingly lost all hope, if any was left after Donovan’s injury. Andy Reid is inline to pick up a game changing receiver in the draft. These loses might be more of a blessing than the Eagles originally expected. The Giants aren’t quite as good as the Seahawks, but Eli Manning should do enough to finish off the Eagles by the end of the 3rd quarter. Look for the Eagles to continue their downward tumble. Game Date: 12/11/05 16:05 ET

San Francisco @ Seattle (-16) – Seattle doesn’t have time to waste too much energy on the 49ers. Instead of allowing the inferior Niners to hang around all game long like they did a few weeks ago, they’ll come out with a mission to have the starters out at half-time. Look for Shaun Alexander to get his two touchdowns, and Matt Hasselbeck will try to get back on line with returning star wide receiver Darrell Jackson. The Seattle Defense will forcefully slam Alex Smith into multiple turnovers like they did to Mike McMahon last week in Philadelphia. Game Date: 12/11/05 16:05 ET

Miami @ San Diego (-13) – The Dolphins did two things last week. They showed me how absolutely terrible they can be and they showed their resilience. Don’t be confused, they never once showed that they were good. The Chargers are quite possibly the second best team in football. They won’t allow the Dolphins to play with them, just because their resilient. Ladainian Tomlinson was held without a touchdown last week against Oakland. That won’t happen again. With Zach Thomas out of the lineup, LT will take full advantage of Miami’s youth in their linebacking corps. This is San Diego’s easiest game left on the schedule. It’s a must win. Game Date: 12/11/05 16:15 ET

Baltimore @ Denver (-14) – The Ravens are a bad team. Kyle Boller hasn’t grown into an NFL quarterback. The Raven linemen and running backs seem to be digressing. And probably most surprisingly, Baltimore’s defense has been anything but great this year. I don’t hide the fact that Denver isn’t one of my favorite teams, but they’re at least two touchdowns better than the Ravens, especially in Mile High. Jake Plummer made snakelike mistakes last week, and it cost Denver the game. He won’t make the same mistakes this week. Handoffs will be a larger part of the Bronco offensive game plan. Look for Tatum Bell to breakout with his first big game in the last few weeks.
Game Date: 12/11/05 16:15 ET

Kansas City (+3) @ Dallas – The Chiefs are the better team here. I said it. Dallas hasn’t played well in must-win games, (see last weeks debacle). This is a must-win for both teams, but especially the Chiefs. If Dallas loses, they fall to 7-6 with 3 very winnable games to go, Washington, Carolina (whom might have their spot wrapped up by then), and St. Louis. If the Chiefs lose, the consequences could be much worse. Kansas City finishes the season against New York, San Diego, and Cincinnati. Ouch. And in the AFC 10 wins might not get you into the post-season. Take the better team with more to lose to upset the Cowgirls in Dallas. Game Date: 12/11/05 16:15 ET

Detroit @ Green Bay (-6) – The Lions are tumbling into the Jets’ realm of extinction. Stay tuned to Sunday Night Football if you want to watch the trend continue with a loss to the pathetic Packers. Brett Favre has played sub-Brett, he lost his top receiver to start the season, he’s handing the ball off to his 3rd sting running back, and his offensive line is sieved-like at best. The Packer defense has been surprisingly stingy, but they can’t do it alone. You’d think all of this would add up to a loss. The you realize they’re playing the Lions. I know they’re led by none other than Jeff Garcia, and they have loads of talent on both sides of the ball, but they are horrendous. Everything’s bad about Detroit these days. Watch Brett bounce back from a couple bad weeks in a row, to have one of his best of the season. Don’t expect jack from the Lions.
Game Date: 12/11/05 20:35 ET

New Orleans @ Atlanta (-10) – This is a real powerful Monday Night showdown. New Orleans hasn’t won since Clinton was in office, and Atlanta is methodically dropping out of the playoff picture as they find themselves last in their division, having lost 3 of their last 4, including a tumble to Green Bay in Atlanta. Fortunately the Falcons play the Saints. Mike Vick always plays well against his cousin’s team, and Aaron Brooks hasn’t played well all year. This doesn’t bode well for New Orleans, and it really doesn’t bode well for those of you hoping for a decent Monday Night game. Look for New Orleans to die while Atlanta breaks out the defibrillator pads in attempt to jump start their season. Gubernational! Game Date: 12/12/04 21:10 ET
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Free NFL Picks 05-06 Week 13

Winnie CooperIn names sake alone, Winnie Cooper shall will me to win. In your heart and mine, Winnie will always have a place, and with a name like Winnie, who else would better fit an article predicting winners such as this one. You must read on, I have the Texans winning for God’s sake. They’re 1-10 on the year, so if my prediction screams true they’ll double up on Sunday. Hold your tits and toes, this is going to be one wild ride.

Atlanta at Carolina (-3) – The Carolina Panthers have really struggled running the football this year. If Stephen Davis was still starting, I would take the Falcons, because there is no way he can pound the Falcons outside the tackles. In an intelligent move, the Panther brass has decided to start Deshaun Foster for the second straight week. Atlanta loses when teams can run the ball against them. This game will be no different. Sunday is huge for both teams, and Jake Delhomme and Steve Smith will find open spaces after the Falcons are forced to gear their defense to stop the run. Take the Panthers at home. Game Date: 12/04/05 13:05 ET

Buffalo (+4) at Miami – The little bird int the window says Miami 17, Buffalo 7, but I hate birds. If Buffalo wins out they could take the Patriot’s playoff spot, well technically anyway. Winning out starts this weekend in Miami. Many people expected more from the Buff, will they prove themselves this week against the weak Miami Dolphins? Ricky Williams had his best game of the year last week, and he’ll continue to get his fair share of carries down the stretch. This is an advertisement session for Nick Saban. He’s selling Ricky as a solid back. And he’s exactly that, but Ronnie Brown has the ability to be great which limits Ricky’s time in Miami. Look for Buffalo to slow Ricky just enough to take the Fins down in Miami.
Game Date: 12/04/05 13:05 ET

Cincinnati (+3) at Pittsburgh – The Steelers were embarrassed on Monday Night Football, so they should be ready and rearing to dismantle the Bengals at home on Sunday. Unfortunately for them, the Bengals are one of the top 5 teams in football and they’re always ready to play. This showdown in Pittsburgh will be the weeks best game, but don’t expect the home team to come out on top. One more week for Ben Roethlisberger to find his touch, then the Steelers will start winning again. Game Date: 12/04/05 13:05 ET

Dallas at N.Y. Giants (-3) – The Cowgirls will fumble their way to second place in the NFC East as the Giants vault themselves to the top of the pack. Look for this battle of 7-4 squads to come down to the wire with the Dallas defense failing to stop Eli Manning at the end of the game. A touchdown late will put the New York Football Giants up for good. Drew Bledsoe is too slow to get away from the Giant pass rush that stymied one of the best offensive lines in football last week in Seattle. I never thought I’d say this, but the Giants defense will be too tough for the Cowboys to pull off the upset.
Game Date: 12/04/05 13:05 ET

Green Bay at Chicago (-7) – The Bears are good. Don’t be confused because their offense isn’t a high-powered, well-oiled, gas-hogging machine. The Chicago Bear defense is back in full force. Who’s touting Brian Urlacher as the most overrated player in the league now? Precisely. The Packers won’t do just enough to cover the spread in this one. For the billionth time this year, Brett Favre’s interceptions will outnumber his touchdown tosses. Thomas Jones will pound the Packers defensive front into submission early.
Game Date: 12/04/05 13:05 ET

Houston (+8) at Baltimore – I don’t know what I’m doing here. Truly the Texans are a horrendous 1-10, and well on their way to the first pick in the 2006 draft. But they’ve played much better of late, really, they have. There is no question in my mind they fell victim to black magic against St. Louis last week, and they’ve played teams tough all year. David Carr looks much more comfortable in the past few games, paving the way for the Texan’s second victory of the season. The Raven defense might be the biggest disappointment of the year, in fact, Baltimore might give the Jets a run for the leagues biggest disappointment. On Sunday they’ll stake their claim for the top spot with a loss to the bottom of the league. I still think the Texans would be 5-6 if they were in the NFC North.
Game Date: 12/04/05 13:05 ET

Jacksonville (-3) at Cleveland – David Gerrard isn’t as great as many people are expecting him to be. There’s a reason why he’s backing Byron Leftwich up. But David will be good enough to hand the ball off to Fred Taylor and Greg Jones upwards of 40 times. His legs will be good enough to make plays when his first read isn’t open and the Jaguar defense will step up in the absence of their starting signal caller. The Jaguars didn’t get this far (8-3) to lose it all because Leftwich broke his ankle. Game Date: 12/04/05 13:05 ET

Minnesota (-3) at Detroit – The Vikings are winning football games left an right. A win this week would make it 5 straight for Brad Johnson and the Vikes. The Bears are running away with the division but with three very winnable games left on the schedule, the Vikings could find themselves in the playoffs at 9-7. I know, it’s unbelievable and highly unlikely, but look at Drew Bledsoe, probably the 15th best quarterback in the league and he is the 6th leading passer of all time. Crazy shit happens. Look for the Vikings to get their 5th straight against the Lions. Sorry, Detroit, Jeff Garcia doesn’t make all the difference. If I hear, ÒIf Jeff didn’t get hurtÓ one more time I’m going to make sure that person dies a painful death. Think hours and hours of ÒI’m a Barbie Girl, in a Barbie WorldÓ by Aqua on repeat.
Game Date: 12/04/05 13:05 ET

Tampa Bay (-4) at New Orleans – The Saints have no right to play close to the Bucs. New Orleans’ defense is better than people think, but to say they’re good is a flat out lie. The Bucs are solid on both sides of the ball. I know the Saints have nothing to play for, and usually they win these meaningless games, but this is even a tough year for the Òonly win when it hurts youÓ Saints. Cadillac Williams will rush for just around 150 yards as he carries the Bucs to 8-4.
Game Date: 12/04/05 13:05 ET

Tennessee at Indianapolis (-16) – The Colts won’t slip up against the Titans. There is no way Peyton, Coach Dungy, and the Defense will overlook this match-up. The Titans don’t have a powerful offensive line. That will be exploited on Sunday in Indianapolis. Edgerrin James will find loads of room to run, as he always does. James almost doubles the amount of 5-9 yard runs of any other back in the league. He’s a sure thing. If the Colts go undefeated this year, he’ll be the difference. Game Date: 12/04/05 13:05 ET

Arizona (-3) at San Francisco – The Cardinals have really struggled, but they’ve found offensive fire power with Kurt Warner throwing powder-puff balls to Larry Fitz and Anquan Boldin. Those two receivers form one of the leagues top receiving units. If the Cards could only get a running game going. Dennis Green is coaching for his job here, but what he really needs is enough losses to draft a top signal caller. This week won’t help as Arizona will walk into San Francisco and trounce the 49ers. Three words: Alex Smith starting. This is exactly what the 49ers need to do. Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay, Oakland, it’s time for your stubborn donkeys to do the same. It’s time to see what the youth can do.
Game Date: 12/04/05 16:10 ET

Washington (-3) at St. Louis – The Rams won’t get lucky for the second straight week… wait, they’ve been luck since I could spell football. So what if that was only a couple years ago. They can’t get lucky against the Redskins. Not with LaVar Arrington making sure luck gets it’s ass pounded into the ground. There is no way the Redskins give up all those rushing yards two weeks in a row, is there? My bet is staying away from the Rams. One of these days, this luck crap will run down their leg, you’ll see. That day will be Sunday. Clinton Portis will have his best game of the year yardage-wise and Mark Brunell will find Santana Moss for old-times sake.
Game Date: 12/04/05 16:10 ET

Denver at Kansas City (+1.5) – The Broncos are 9-2. Amazing. Who would have thought, after losing to the Miami Dolphins on opening day the Broncs would win 9 of the next 10 on route to the second best record in football. Not I. I didn’t even think the Broncos would have a 1000 yard rusher on the year. Well, I’m sticking to my guns. The Chiefs have more on the line at home against Denver, so they’ll play to win. Larry Johnson will rush for more yards than Denver has given up to any other back all year. And Mike Anderson and Tatum Bell will both fail to reach the 100 yard plateau… in this game. Just trust me on this one, the Chiefs need this game and Angry Larry will pull them past the Broncos. Game Date: 12/04/05 16:20 ET

N.Y. Jets at New England (-10) -The New York Jets will lose their 10th game of the year, streaking their losses to 7 in a row. It’s been a tough year for Jet faithful, and I don’t know if it’s getting better anytime soon. Fortunately for the Jets, they’re still in the Reggie Bush lottery. Another big loss on Sunday could put them in a tie for first place in that league. The Jets still have one of the best secondarys in football, so look for the Patriots to pound all day long against New York’s front seven. Tom Brady will have a solid bounce back game.
Game Date: 12/04/05 16:20 ET

Oakland at San Diego (-11) – The Raiders have struggled to do just about everything. The defense, which was stout to start the season, has really tailed off of late, causing Kerry Collins to panic like that guy swatting the bee away in that Milwaukee’s Best commercial. And like that commercial, Collins should be crushed by a giant can of beer. God knows that’s his dream. Look at him. Collins needs to get his back foot chopped off so he can’t throw off it, then maybe the Raiders would have a chance. But, probably not. Ladainian Tomlinson will look like a scary combination of Tecmo Bowl’s version of Marcus Allen and Bo Jackson, leaving the rest of the writers to agree with Coach Schottenheimer’ s Week 12 assessment.
Game Date: 12/04/05 20:40 ET

Seattle (-4) at Philadelphia – The Hawks will win easily. How Seattle managed to win last week is beyond me. Terrible calls went against them, then more terrible calls went against them, then their offense played like garbage, and they still managed to pull out before anything bad happened. 9-2. That’s solid. The Eagles aren’t playing for much on Monday. The Hawks will be playing for home field throughout the playoffs. Watch Seattle dismantle the Eagles. Shaun Alexander loves to play in prime-time. He’ll run all over the Eagles defense.
Game Date: 12/05/05 21:10 ET
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Lucky Lester – Free Football Picks

Free NFL Picks 05-06 Week 12

You sucked again! Guess what you have to do?The Tossed Salad Man? No, no, I’ll pick the games better, I will! I’ll learn to pick! I don’t want to toss a salad. I’m no better at shelling greens than I have been at picking games in weeks 10-12… Last week, in light of my struggles of late, I studied team histories, wins and losses against the spread, favorite and underdog records, even rivalry records. And what did I come out with? A week 11 record only the Duke Blue Devil Football program could be proud of. Well, I’m accustomed to winning, so I won’t take it anymore. I’m going to win once and for all, if I have to go with my gut in every game, I will. Here’s my picks, reasons, and even a little humor for the start of Holiday Season. As it turns out, look for the team with the best record to find themselves on top.

Atlanta (-3) at Detroit – Atlanta only loses to teams who force the issue on the ground. The Lions couldn’t manage to rush for over a hundred yards if their contracts depended on it. In Atlanta’s 4 losses, they’ve given up loads of yards on the ground. Two weeks ago it was Samkon Gado running over the Falcons, this last week it was Cadillac Williams. Fortunately for the Falcons, they won’t be tormented by a strong rushing attack in Detroit, starting tail back Kevan Jones hasn’t eclipsed the 100 yard mark once this season. Look for Atlanta to get off the train tracks and on the right track.
Game Date: 11/24/05 12:35 ET

Denver (-2.5) at Dallas – I’ve never been more excited for this match-up. I’m guaranteed one of these overachievers will lose. Unfortunately one will win. The Broncos are much better than I could have ever dreamed (nightmare), and the Cowboys can barely slip past the Lions. That’s right, I don’t care how many games they’ve one, I have a pretty strong feeling Denver will show everyone how funny it looks when Drew Bledsoe tries to escape pressure. I see a short video of a man trying so hard to move forward on a treadmill but the forward speed is impossible to eclipse, as he eventually gives up and gets sucked under 4 defensive linemen who used to play for Cleveland. Mike Shanahan for president… shit, that asshole would be an upgrade. Game Date: 11/24/05 16:20 ET

Baltimore at Cincinnati (-9.5) – Baltimore’s been playing better. They beat the Pittsburgh Steelers… Blah, blah, blah… Save that stuffing for the turkey. The Bengals may have fallen short in Indy, but the didn’ t give up and almost came back to tie it at the end of regulation. Cinci still possesses Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson, a combination Baltimore will find utterly impossible to slow down on Sunday. Look at the last match-up between these division foes. This one should be a remix addition on that game where Cinci was pissin’ all over Baltimore. Game Date: 11/27/05 13:00 ET

Carolina (-4.5) at Buffalo – Chicago, Miami, and New Orleans. These are the only teams the Panthers have failed against. This game in Buffalo is important, very important, Bambi’s dad shot by a hunter important. They won’t lose. The only time the Panthers have lost all year is when focus has been forgotten. The first game of the season against the Saints, Carolina expected to dominate, to say the least – they didn’t. Miami has no place taking out Carolina, and last week the Panther’s were riding a winning streak they thought would give them victory all by itself. Well, after realizing that they can’t imagine themselves to Wonderland like Alice, they’ll wake-up and smoke the Bills like a Clinton cigar. Game Date: 11/27/05 13:00 ET

Chicago at Tampa Bay (-3) – The Bucs have their running game back in tact. The bears will remove it from the field of play. Cadillac will have few yards, but a big touchdown, leading the Bucs to victory over the best defense in football. The Bears and Bucs will have one of footballs greatest defensive battles this season. Think about the Bengal – Colt game and completely reverse it. Tampa Bay will take this one by a touchdown, the only one scored all day in Tampa.
Game Date: 11/27/05 13:00 ET

Cleveland at Minnesota (-4) – The Vikings have done something I didn’t think was possible… won three games in a row. Amazing! Brad Johnson looks terrible play in and play out, plus he’s like 50. Mewelde Moore played possessed for Minnesota. It just seems like each of the past three weeks the Vikings stumble upon victory somehow. Whose to say it will stop at home against the Browns? Not I.
Game Date: 11/27/05 13:00 ET

New England at Kansas City (-3) – The Patriots are still overrated. They could finish the season at 8-8 and in the playoffs in their division. That’s what’s going to happen. The Chiefs need this game a million times more than the Patriots do. The Chiefs are better than New England and they have Larry Johnson. Over 500 yards rushing in the last 3 games Larry Johnson. Kid is for real. Larry will be on his game to take the Patriot mystique down a notch Thanks Giving Weekend. Game Date: 11/27/05 13:00 ET

San Diego (-3) at Washington – The Chargers are one of the leagues best teams. After a slow, luckless start, they’re back to dominating their opponents. The Redskins on the other hand, are showing the world what I had figured all along, they’re a .500 ball club at best. We’re balls deep into the season, where losses to division celler teams like Oakland destroy playoff hopes outright. Washington won’t recover in time. The Chargers are too productive on both sides of the ball.
Game Date: 11/27/05 13:00 ET

San Francisco at Tennessee (-7) – The Titans have some young breaths of life these days. Drew Bennett is back, taking pressure off McNair, Chris Brown, Erron kinney, and the rest of the Titans’ young receiving corps. San Francisco is starting Ken Dorsey at quarterback for the second straight week. Look for Brown to have a huge day on the ground while the Titans slow San Fran to a Drew Bledsoe like crawl (sprint) all day long. Game Date: 11/27/05 13:00 ET

St. Louis (-3.5) at Houston -The Rams played like a pile of rabbit droppings last week. Even stud runner Steven Jackson didn’t rush for more than 20 yards against the pathetic Arizona rushing defense. The Rams will rediscover their need to give the ball to Jackson over and over again in Houston. After giving up 211 yards to Larry Johnson last week, St. Louis will be looking to give it to Houston, while the Texans will attempt to change a few things. My guess is the Rams come out on top of this battle. Jackson will sing his dreadlock buddy, Bob Marley’s, Redemption Song for his Rams and Fantasy Owners alike.
Game Date: 11/27/05 13:00 ET

Jacksonville (-3.5) at Arizona – The Cardinals aren’t good just because they took advantage of a Rams team that pisses the bed biweekly. They are bad. They have a bad offensive line, a bad defense, and a quarterback that doesn’t win anymore. Jacksonville on the other hand, has scored 30+ each of the last two weeks after going 58 games without reaching the 30 point plateau. They needed it last week, and they’ll play high scoring football this week in Arizona. Look for a trouncing by the Jaguars.
Game Date: 11/27/05 16:05 ET

Miami at Oakland (-7) – The Raiders will take down Nick Saban’s Dolphins. Saban’s got it right, Miami doesn’t need to win. In fact, he might be the smartest coach in the league. His team’s out of it, he’s got young players who may or may not be on the team next year, he needs to make personnel decisions. If he’s the worst team in the league he might get Matt Leinart. Who thinks Miami needs to win now? Think about it. Randy Moss will have his biggest game of the year, despite Kerry Collins throwing like a boxer on the ropes. Moss is sick of the criticism he’s been getting because Collins throws like a pussy every damn down. Moss scores more points than Miami in this one. Game Date: 11/27/05 16:05 ET

Green Bay at Philadelphia (-2) – The Eagles are led by a young gun slinger with running capabilities. Weird. Remember when Donovan used to be exactly that? McMahon gives the Eagles enough play making ability to win games. They’ll show that this weekend at home against the woeful Packers. Game Date: 11/27/05 16:15 ET

N.Y. Giants at Seattle (-5) – The Hawks are the much better team here. Their offensive line is better, their running back is better, their quarterback is better, and their secondary is better. Did I mention coaching? Much better in Seattle. The Hawks are always tough at home, and always tough against the Giants. Matt Hasselbeck will throw three touchdowns in this contest as the Giants attempt to shut down Shaun Alexander. Unfortunately, you can’t stop Shaun. The Hawks win big in Seattle. Game Date: 11/27/05 16:15 ET

New Orleans (+3) at N.Y. Jets – Yeah! Football! Everyone loves a good 1st round pick contest. To the loser goes Reggie Bush. Wait, to the loser goes Matt Leinart. Vince Young? Holy crap, either team would take a good look at me if I showed up at practice. This game will be ugly, but the Jets have the worst chance of winning football games right now. The Saints are out of any playoff or season saving chances, so they’re ready to start playing well. As it always is. That’s unfortunate for New Orleans (lower pick) but it works for me. Money in the bank! Game Date: 11/27/05 20:40 ET

Pittsburgh @ Indianapolis (-6) – The Colts amazed me last week. Peyton is amazing, though I still think the MVP belongs with Carson Palmer in the AFC, and Edgerrin James is dominate. What a game plan out of Dungy’s Colts. The Steelers won’t be on track quite yet with Big Ben’s big return scheduled for this Monday. They’ll be better with Ben in there, but not good enough to disrupt the Colt’s winning ways. 11-0? Undefeated? Game Date: 11/28/05 21:00 ET

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Free NFL Picks 05-06 Week 11

Just say NO to drugs… and Week 10…With Week 10 deep down in the depths of my memory I will attempt to woo you with a much better attempt at picking the pro games this week. Check my Week 10 Review if you’re brave, but don’t be frightened off by a week I’d just as well forget. We all have weeks we’d rather not remember, like that time you woke up stark naked in bed with that girl who just happened to have noticeable back hair. Week 11 brings a new way to make up for lost picks, yes, that’s right, 16 games to pick. time isn’t on my side, so I better get right down to it. Ennie Meennie Mini Moe, My mom told me to pick the very best one and the Bears, Titans, Cowboys, Colts, etc., are not it…

Carolina Panthers (-3) @ Chicago Bears – There are a few reasons I must take the Panthers in this match-up; the Bears are 3-5-2 against the spread (ATS) in their last 10 games, and have lost one and pushed one in their last two. When playing NFC South teams the Bears haven’t won a game against the spread in the last three years. They’re only 1-4 against that division teams since 2002, that one win coming this year against the hapless Saints. The Panthers have beaten the spread three of their last four contests. The Bears have a defense made of steel but an offense as tough as veal. The Panthers have the best of both worlds, with solid attacks on both sides of the ball. With a toned down passing attack, trying to save Jake Delhomme from throwing untimely interceptions, the Panthers will win their 7th straight game of the year. Game Date: 11/20/05 13:00 ET

Philadelphia Eagles (+5) @ New York Giants – Call me crazy; Gourdo, my imaginary friend, always does, but I think Donovan going down is good for this Eagle team. Remember when McNabb went down a few years ago, and Koy Detmer came in a ran the show? He played really well. Then Koy went down, and AJ Feely came in and led the Eagles to victory. Well, I think it’s going to happen again here. Without McNabb roaming the field, Andy Reid has to put a lot more thought into his game plan. McMahon will give the Eagles a threat on the ground, like McNabb used to be before his hernia, and his arm is strong enough to make all the throws. Don’t be surprised if the Eagles surprise and make a push for their Division Title.
Game Date: 11/20/05 13:00 ET

Jacksonville Jaguars (-4.5) @ Tennessee Titans – In their last five contests, the Jaguars are 1-4 against the Titans. Make that 2-5 after this game. The Jaguars are as good as they’ve been since they were an idea for a franchise, and the Titans are as sickly as they’ve been in years. Chris Brown has been solid, but McNair looks average at best. With trouble at the receiver spot, don’t be surprised if the Titans fail to score more than 14 points on Sunday. The Jaguars will pick on rookie Adam Jones with tall receivers Earnest Wilford and Reggie Williams. Take the Jaguars in this game, as they attempt to take down the Titans in Tennessee.
Game Date: 11/20/05 13:00 ET

Detroit Lions (+10) @ Dallas Cowboys – In their last 10 games when favored, the Cowboys are 3-6-1 against the spread. They lucked out big time when McNabb threw a touchdown pass to Roy Williams, putting Dallas up for good, 21-20. What the Cowboys didn’t do was show me they are a dominate football team. In fact, Philly dominated that Monday Night game for 55 minutes. As luck would have it, the ‘Boys won. This week might be another victory for Dallas, but don’t expect it to be that easy. The Lions will be ready to play. With a big play defense, all the Lions have to do to win is get Joey Harrington to play like he did last week. Yeah, that’s all they have to do. Their defense will keep them close. Close enough to cover. Close enough to win? Game Date: 11/20/05 13:00 ET

Indianapolis Colts @ Cincinnati Bengals (+5.5) – This year the Colts are 6-3 ATS, being favored in every single game. The Colts are undefeated. In their 10th game of the season, the Colts will walk away with their first defeat. Indianapolis hasn’t faced an offense with the Bengals firepower, consistency, or balance. The Colts will be ready for this game, but I don’t think luck will be on their side. Carson Palmer will outplay Peyton Manning like he has all year. This will be a battle of the leagues top quarterbacks, and a dandy it should be. Take the Bengals coming off a bye week. Coach Lewis will have them ready to rise at home against the Colts.
Game Date: 11/20/05 16:15 ET

New Orleans Saints @ New England Patriots (-10) – These are the same old Saints and the growing too old too fast Patriots. Nothing New about them besides their names. This has been a very tough year for the Saints. Think Rambo, think stale gum, think Mickey Rourke in Sin City tough. I’m talking tough here. When I say tough, I mean completely impossible tough to swallow. Here’s a little hint, there won’t be a bright spot for this team until the draft. In this fine season, the Saints are 2-4-1 against the spread as underdogs, while only winning 1 out of 6. The Pats are an even 3-3 picked to win. Tom Brady will put them one game up in that category when they take down the Saints big in New England. Aaron Brooks just isn’t consistent enough to play well an entire game against the Patriots. He doesn’t have Deuce McCallister to lean on. This should be an old-fashioned trouncing. Game Date: 11/20/05 13:00 ET

Arizona Cardinals (+10) @ St. Louis Rams – When picked as the favorite, the Rams are 1-3 ATS this season, and 3-7 ATS in their last ten games. The obvious pick is the Rams, who’ve played much better since Martz had to walk away because of his sickness. But the Rams are still the Rams, a team that plays to the level of their opponents. The Cardinals Kurt Warner will be out to prove he can still get the job done. He’ll look to win his first game as a Cardinal.
Game Date: 11/20/05 13:00 ET

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+6) @ Atlanta Falcons – The Buc doesn’t stop here. The Buc’s find themselves atop the NFC with a much improved Chris SImms at quarterback and a struggling rookie running back at the center of the offense. Joey Galloway has played awesome, but the Bucs can still get much better. They’ll have to play better to beat the Falcons. Atlanta comes into this game with a loss to the Packers on their conscience. This is a must win for Atlanta. The Buccaneers, however, will have other ideas. Cadillac Williams will finally have a day he can write home about, as even a 1st time starter Samkon Gado rushed for over 100 yards against Atlanta. The Falcons won’t be able to stop Williams, and when they commit 8 or 9 to the line, Galloway and Simms will hookup for big scores.
Game Date: 11/20/05 13:00 ET

Oakland Raiders @ Washington Redskins (-6) – As underdogs, the Raiders have lost every single game this season. They’re 1-5 ATS in these games. I’m taking the Redskins, I don’t know about you. The Redskins are about even this year, 3-2 as favorites. Washington showed they can put up points against the toughest defenses in the league. This week, they play a defense that is average at best. With young corners trying to keep up with Santana Moss, this should be another high-scoring affair from Washington. The Raiders need to win the rest of their games to get anywhere, the only place they’ll go is the off season. This will just be another step toward the bottom of the league and the top of the draft.
Game Date: 11/20/05 13:00 ET

Pittsburgh Steelers (-2) @ Baltimore Ravens – The Steelers will find it hard pressed to score points if Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t start on Sunday. Fortunately for the Steel Show, it will be harder for the Ravens to score with Kyle Boller calling plays against their defense. That’s right, I’d take Tommy Maddox and the Steelers against Boller and the Ravens any day of the week and twice on Sunday. Shit, I’d take the Steelers if Randel-El was running the show. In fact, the Steelers might be better off with Antwaan throwing the ball. Did anyone see that running bomb that was dropped on a dime to Hines Ward? The Steelers win football games. They always seem to find a way. The Ravens stumbled on a couple wins earlier in the year, but their glory days look to be over. Take Steel City and whoever they have taking snaps. Game Date: 11/20/05 13:00 ET

Miami Dolphins (+2) @ Cleveland Browns – I don’t know how the Dolphins can be 3 point underdogs against the Patriots and 2 point underdogs against the Browns. Don’t get me wrong, the Browns play tough, but are they a point away from New England? No, no, no. The Dolphins are better than the Browns. Nick Saban has a powerful defense and an apt offense. I’ve sold the Phins short all year long, but I will be had no longer. Viva Miami! Gus Frerotte for Prez!
Game Date: 11/20/05 13:00 ET

Seattle Seahawks (-12) @ San Francisco 49ers – The Seahawks are good, and the 49ers have Cody Pickett starting at quarterback. ‘Nough said. But wait, I’ll say more; sure the Niners played tight with the Bears, but Chicago doesn’t have the offensive explosiveness that Seattle possesses. Shaun Alexander is leading the league in rushing because he is a great back with the best offensive line in the league. Matt Hasselbeck is accurate and confident, and he can make every pass in the book. Darrell Jackson won’t be back this week, but that doesn’t seem to bother the Seahawks, they’ve lost one game without D-Jack in the lineup. Look for Matt to look to D-Hack and Joe Jurevicius for big plays to balance Alexander’s running. Hawks win big in San Francisco. Game Date: 11/20/05 16:05 ET

Buffalo Bills (+10) @ San Diego Chargers – As an underdog the Bills are 1-3 ATS this season. Their single win came in a game where they were 9 point dogs. This week they are 10 point dogs against the Chargers. In their three losses against the spread, they lost by a combined 49 points. Basically their getting kicked around like the girlfriends of NFL tight ends. Yeah, I said it. The Bills are playing better, more confident, and JP Losman looks like he might get this quarterback thing down after all. I’m taking the Bills to get surprisingly close to Ladainian Tomlinson and the Chargers. The Chargers still win at home. They need this game just as bad as ever.
Game Date: 11/20/05 16:15 ET

New York Jets @ Denver Broncos (-13) – Besides the fact that when favored the Broncos have won three straight games ATS, and are 6-3-1 in their last 10, the Jets just don’t have anything going for them. Their season is basically meaningless; at 2-7 there is no chance for New York to catch the average Patriots for a shot at the playoffs. Their coach, one of my favorite coaches in the league, Herman Edwards, is in jeopardy of losing his job. Curtis Martin is getting older, and the trade of Doug Jolley for Heath Miller (Pick #22) is looking more and more like a major mistake. The Broncos, on the other hand, have overachieved all the way to 7-2. Seeing as though I didn’t pick them as a playoff contender, it’s time for me to apologize. Yeah right. Good luck losing in the first round you mile-high playoff screw-ups. Anyway, back to this game; the Broncos will have to try very hard not to kick the living crap out of the Jets. New York’s defense can only play hard for so long, especially up their in that thin air. Too much time on the field will be their downfall as Little Spencer’s Broncos win again.
Game Date: 11/20/05 16:15 ET

Kansas City Chiefs (-6.5) @ Houston Texans – The Chiefs may have lost, no, got embarrassed by the Bills, but by no means are they going to lose to the Texans on Sunday Night Football, and there is no way they win by less than a touchdown. Larry Johnson is going to annihilate the Houston Texans defense, that has taken a step back from last year. Trent Green won’t have a game as bad as he had last week, and Dick Vermeil has to realize he can’t play it safe anymore. More touchdowns, more big plays, more go for it to win the game, less losing to teams like Buffalo. (The Chiefs are 4 out of 5 ATS this year when favored) Game Date: 11/20/05 20:35 ET

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers (-4) – The Vikings can ‘t continue to squeak by like this. Two weeks in a row, amazing! Until last week, the Vikes were 0-6 as underdogs against the spread in 2005. Nice. Randy Moss always plays well against Green Bay. Unfortunately for the Brad Johnson, Randy runs routes for the Raiders. There was 3 non-offensive touchdowns last week, and Minnesota still barely beat the Giants. The Packers have found a little trust in Gado, and they’ll continue to use him as he seems to have a knack to reach the end zone. Brett Favre continues to rifle perfect passes to his receivers. Donald Driver is underrated. Look for the Packers to even the season series on Monday Night Football.
Game Date: 11/21/05 21:05 ET
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Free NFL Picks 05-06 Week 10

Wing Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding! Start Your Engines!I’m one game under .500 if you take away the first week of the season. I’m 47-38-1 if you give me the benefit of two off weeks… (week 1 and week 8) Basically, I’m looking for a line here… Throw me a bone. All weeks included, I’m 54-61-1… Hey, not even Einstein was perfect. I’m halfway through the year with nothing but the up and up in my near future. The goal is 15 games over .500 for the year. Stay tuned to see if I reach the plateau. week 10 has the makings of a make-up week. I’m looking for 11-3, which would bring me up and over Shaq’s free throw percentage for the year. This is how I’m going to do it…

Kansas City Chiefs (+1.5) @ Buffalo Bills – This is my best bet of the week. I know what you’re saying, that doesn’t mean dick, but listen to what I’m saying. Since Takeo Spikes injury, the Buffalo Bills usually stout defense has been a sieved to opposing rushing attacks. The Kansas City Chiefs, both with and without Priest, have one of the leagues most feared running games. Kelly Holcomb is a better option than J.P. Losman, but he won’t make the difference against the Chiefs. Trent Green will have on of his best games of the year, as will Tony Gonzalez. With the Bills keyed in on Larry Johnson, Green will find wide open spaces in the secondary.
Game Date: 11/13/05 13:05 ET

Washington Redskins (-2) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers – The Washington Redskins showed me they were for real with a win over an emotionally charged Eagle team that was ready to play. Both teams played stern defense, but it was the Redskins who came away with the big play when the game was on the line. In some cases, you just have to admit you were wrong about a team and remove your foot from your mouth. This is one of those times. I’ve been hard on Joe Gibbs and the Skins. I’ve been critical of the Redskin offense. The bottom line is, Santana Moss is the real deal, Clinton Portis is a solid back, and Mark Brunell still has enough in the tank to get the ball to his two playmakers. Game Date: 11/13/05 16:20 ET

New England Patriots (-3) @ Miami Dolphins – The Patriots let me down for the millionth time. This time I was taking the Pats to pull out the upset. Sure enough, the Colts were much too good for Tom Brady’s Patriots, leaving me to question if the Patriots are indeed done. I predicted in my season preview that the Patriots would be lucky to be 4-4 halfway through the regular season. At 4-4 the Patriots still control their own destiny. They are the sure leaders of their division. Even if they continue down the path of mediocrity, they’ll beat out the Bills, Titans, and Jets with relative ease. Take the Patriots over the Dolphins in a game they should win. They’re still good enough to this kind of game.
Game Date: 11/13/05 13:05 ET

San Francisco 49ers (+13) @ Chicago Bears – I’ll be surprised if either of these teams score 13 points in this game. The 49ers will most likely rely on Cody “Couldn’t win at UW” Pickett while the NFC Norris leading Bears will bet their load on Kyle “Just enough to win” Orton. These two signal callers don’t make for an air assault, that’s for sure. The Niners will do their best to run the ball as much as possible, as will Chicago. That doesn’t sound like a 13 point spread to me. That sounds more like 17-7. Take the Niners for the single reason that both the Bears and San Francisco struggle to put points on the board. Game Date: 11/13/05 13:05 ET

Minnesota Vikings @ New York Giants (-10) – The Vikings got a big win against the up again down again Detroit Lions in week 9. That doesn’t mean they are good enough to play with the Giants. That means they are good enough to trick the betting world in to wagering on the “new” Vikings. Let me tell you something; the “new” Vikings are led by the “not so new” Brad Johnson. Betting on Michael Bennett busting out for another 100+ yard performance is a little bit of a stretch. Eli Manning is back at home, which means, he’s in his comfort zone. Take the Giants in a clubbing.
Game Date: 11/13/05 13:05 ET

Arizona Cardinals (+4) @ Detroit Lions – Up or down? How will the Lions play in week 10? Last week was down, so many would expect a little improvement… Ha! Don’t bet on it. The Arizona Cardinals are ready for a breakout game after falling to the bottom of their division. The Lions are an easy target, especially with Joey “DD” Harrington at the helm. Kurt Warner will manage his best game of the year, possibly even going turnoverless in Detroit. Customarily the Lions play better football at home. Customarily the Lions don’t suck.
Game Date: 11/13/05 13:05 ET

Baltimore Ravens (+7) @ Jacksonville Jaguars – The Jaguars don’t usually play with a huge lead. The Jaguars don’t often score more than 21 points. With the Ravens playing better football of late, the Jaguars will be lucky to grind out a tough win at home against the aging Ravens. Fred Taylor won’t be available for the Jaguars, but their young receiving corps and the ageless Jimmy Smith will make enough big plays to down the Ravens. Not without a fight, which is exactly why the Ravens will cover the spread in Jacksonville.
Game Date: 11/13/05 13:05 ET

Houston Texans @ Indianapolis Colts (-17) – 17 points is tough, but not tough enough. I know the Texans covered last week against the Jaguars, but these aren’t the Jaguars, these are the 8-0, finally beat he Patriots, going 9-0 without question, Colts. The Colts won’t fumble their undefeated season chances against the hapless Houston Texans. Andre Johnson finally broke out of his season long slump with a whopping 91 receiving yards in week 9. Big F-ing deal! Getting excited about 91 yards is why the Colts will beat the Texans by 30 points. Game Date: 11/13/05 13:05 ET

New York Jets @ Carolina Panthers (-9) – The Carolina Panthers are starting to really come together. Imagine how good they’d be with the best defensive tackle in football, Kris Jenkins. With or without Kris, they’re still 10 points better than the Bollinger led New York Jets. Stephen Davis will finally have a good yard per carry average and Steve Smith will continue to dominate as he has all year. Don’t look now, but the Panthers are going for their 6th straight victory.
Game Date: 11/13/05 16:10 ET

Denver Broncos @ Oakland Raiders (+3) – The Oakland Raiders will stun the world by taking down the unflappable Denver Broncos. Jake Plummer can’t throw the ball, don’t be confused by his last two games, without a rushing attack Jake is nothing. The Raiders will stand stout against the Bronco blocking scheme, putting pressure on Jake to do the right thing. He’ll fail the test as the Oakland Raiders fight back to 4-5, giving their postseason hopes another week of survival. This game means too much to Warren Sapp, Randy Moss and the rest of the Raiders to give up a game to their rival Broncos in Oakland. Game Date: 11/13/05 16:10 ET

St. Louis Rams @ Seattle Seahawks (-7) – There are a lot of things pulling me in the Rams’ direction. The 7 points the Seahawks are giving is painful, the way Stephen Jackson is running the rock, and the way the Rams usually take care of the Hawks is another reason. But can I bet against the Hawks? No. Not after Shaun Alexander learned to lower his shoulder into opposing defenses, not after the Hawks went down to Arizona and came away victorious, and not after the way the Hawks finished off the Rams in their early-season match-up. Look for the Hawks to further distance themselves from the rest of their weak division. Don’t look too much into the easy Seahawk schedule, but if they win the games they should, they’ll have the best record in the NFC by seasons’ end. Game Date: 11/13/05 16:20 ET

Green Bay Packers (+9.5) @ Atlanta Falcons – Take the Packers? Green Bay has played close in too many games to bet against Brett Favre with 9.5 on his side. Green Bay’s 7 loses have come by a total of 40 points. That’s an average of less than 6 points difference, with 4 of those losses coming by 3 points or less. In other words, the Packers do just enough to screw you over when you bet against them. Don’t let Brett fool you; he’s still got enough gas in the tank to put points up against a Falcons defense that couldn’t sack Gus Frerotte once last week in Miami. Game Date: 11/13/05 16:20 ET

Cleveland Browns (+8) @ Pittsburgh Steelers – This marks my 6th underdog point spread of the week. I’m not sure Cleveland can score enough to beat the Steelers, but I am sure that Charlie Batch attempted 11 passes last week against the pathetic Green Bay secondary. If that’s any indicator on what’s to come in his second start, there is no way the Steelers will finish off the Browns easily. With Willie Parker out, the Steelers will rely on Duce Staley and Jerome Bettis to carry the load. Cleveland will be ready, take them with more than a touchdown on their side.
Game Date: 11/13/05 20:40 ET

Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles (-3) – It’s time for the Eagles to step up and play like the best team in the NFC. Even without TO, Donovan McNabb and the rest of the birds showed they can produce on offense. Reggie Brown is a solid talent. If you ask me, between Donovan and Brian Westbrook, the Eagles will run more in week 10 than they’ve done all year. Without TO, Donovan McNabb is the perfect rushing weapon to keep the Cowboys honest. Last week there were multiple times when McNabb had ample opportunity to pull the ball down and get an easy first down. He didn’t and they ran out of time against Washington. Don’t expect Andy Reid to make the same mistakes twice. Game Date: 11/14/05 21:10 ET

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Free NFL Picks 05-06 Week 9

A Layover with a HangoverHere I am, down under… way, way too far down under. Note to self, while spending hours and hours waiting for the next plane headed to the US because your original plane is being glued back together (not kidding), don’t buy $112 worth of drinks at Sydney International’s King’s Palace. Note number two; after suffering the effects of $112 worth of Sydney’s finest, both in the pocket and in the gut, don’t sit down at an airport internet bar to type an entire weeks worth of picks. After breaking every airport rule I know, besides the bowie knife in the sock trick, here are my NFL Week Nine Picks.

Lions (-1.5) @ Vikings – Who would have thought? The Green Bay Packers are last in a weak NFC North Division at 1-6… the Randy Mossless, and now Daunte Culpepperless, Minnesota Vikings are stuck at 2-5 and the Kyle Orton led Chicago Bears have bulldozed their way to a 4-3 record by taking down the Detroit Lions last week. Where does that leave the Lions? 3-4, second place. Look for the Vikings to play with their heads down now that their fearless leader is down and out. The Lions will take full advantage of the party-happy Vikings, having a touchdown party of their own on Sunday, led by Kevin Jones, who is still looking to match his breakout second half a year ago. Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Chargers (-6.5) @ Jets – The San Diego Chargers had a huge win against the Kansas City Chiefs last week. As good as the Chargers have been this year, they are still looking up at the playoffs with a 4-4 record halfway through the season. The Jets are lost, their season all but in the dumps, and the Chargers will take advantage of Herman Edwards’ squad in New York. The Chargers, despite their record, have one of the leagues best offensive attacks; they’ll showcase the stars of that unit, Keenan McCardell and Ladainian Tomlinson and Drew Brees, on Sunday. Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Titans (+3) @ Browns – The Titans took one on the chin at home last week to the Oakland Raiders. Look for them to turn the tides on the Browns this week, upsetting a very average or below average Cleveland squad. The Browns found a way to give the Texans a victory last week, they’ll manage to do the same for the 2-6 Titans. Chris Brown will be looking for 100 yards as Steve McNair will pick on a Brown secondary minue Gary Baxter, who is out for the year for the Browns. At least this will keep Cleveland in the Matt Leinart sweepstakes. Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Raiders @ Chiefs (-5) – The Raiders have won 3 of 4 after starting the season with 3 straight losses. I said they were the best winless team in football, they’re just now starting to prove me right. Unfortunately, the Chiefs won’t get caught shifting their entire defense towards Randy Moss like the Titans did. They’ll play a zone that will fool Kerry Collins into at least two costly picks, allowing Priest Holmes, Tony Gonzalez, and Trent Green to take advantage of easy scoring opportunities. Gonzalez will have his second big week in a row, and Holmes will team with Larry Johnson to outgun the Raiders.
Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Bears (-3) @ Saints – Kyle Orton is this year’s Ben Roethlisberger. His team’s not as solid as the Steelers were last year, but that won’t stop the Bears from pushing themselves through a weak North Division, and into the playoffs. The hapless Saints will continue their tumble toward a top pick in the draft. Look for Chicago’s star runner, Thomas Jones not Cedric Benson, to have a big day against the “River Runs Through It” defense of New Orleans. Aaron Brooks better do his best to keep the Saints out of the top spot in the draft, or Matt Leinart might be taking over his position as soon as next season.
Game Date: 11/06/05 16:05 ET

Bengals (-3) @ Ravens – The Bengals played down to the Packers level last week, but they’re still a much better team than the Ravens. Baltimore has been “playing hard” as Brian Billick has pleaded to the media… Well, it must be the coaching. Hint, hint. The Ravens will fall to 2-7 with a loss to the Bengals this week, look for Billick to be the leagues first coach to get axed. Yikes. I said it. He’s not getting the job done, and not even his defense has been able to find him victories. The Ravens need something to change.
Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Panthers (-1.5) @ Buccaneers- The Panthers are 5-2 and just won in dominating fashion against the Vikings in week 8. Look for Steve Smith to continue his MVP-Type season by out-dueling a very good Buc secondary. The Bucs should be absolutely disappointed with their Week 8 loss to the 49ers. I know I’m disappointed in them. Cadillac Williams needs to run like he did at the beginning of the year for the Bucs to have a chance. Can he do it against a banged up Panther front 7 who are without Kris Jenkins? That’s the question. Either way, Jake Delhomme and the Panther rushing attack will dive headfirst into Tampa Bay’s defense. This will be a big time game ending with a Panther W. Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Texans (+13) @ Jaguars – The Texans found a victory last week against Cleveland. Don’t ask me how they did it? It’s still beyond me. This week they’ll assuredly lose, so don’t get ballsy and take the Texans to win for big money. However, I’m betting the slow it down, drag it out Jaguars won’t win by more than 13, giving me a rare Texan victory. David Carr will continue to throw a limited amount of times, while Dominic Davis gets pounded into a Jaguar defensive front that gave up 174 yards to Steven Jackson last week. Ouch.
Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Falcons (-2) @ Dolphins – The Falcons should demolish the Dolphins of Miami. Amazingly to me, the Dolphins find themselves at just a game under .500 going into their 8th game. An even record of 4-4 is too much for me to swallow, as any team lead by Gus Frerotte doesn’t belong at .500. Ronnie Brown has begun to show why he was picked where he was, further distancing himself from Ricky Williams as the teams leading rusher. The Falcons will gang up on Brown, forcing Gus to beat them… he won’t. The Falcons should win big in Miami.
Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Giants (-10.5) @ 49ers – The New York Football Giants gave it to the Washington Redskins hard in week 8. Eli Manning didn’t look dominant, but he didn’t need to as the Giant defense stepped up big and Tiki Barber ran like a man on a mission to dominate. Think “The Rock” in “Doom”. The 49ers just got their last win of the season, blowing my mind and yours, by taking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 15-10. That’s it for them. No way in hell they beat the Giants.
Game Date: 11/06/05 16:05 ET

Seahawks (-4) @ Cardinals – The Seahawks got a much needed week off. Ken “The Hammer” Hamlin is out for the season after getting beat up outside of a Seattle Night Club. Look for the Seahawks to come out and play rough and tough like Ken, and beat the Cardinals in a big divisional game. Shaun Alexander should look like the Jamaican Bobsled team, having “Cool Runnings” all game long in Arizona. Matt Hasselbeck has been great for the Hawks, finally showing that he can lead his team to big victories. This will be another notch on the Hawks’ belt. Game Date: 11/06/05 16:05 ET

Colts @ Patriots (+3.5) – I can’t take the Colts until they finally beat the Patriots. Not even their undefeated record allows me to take them against New England. As my long-time readers know, the Patriots have been the bane of my existence one too many times. Until Manning shows me he can take advantage of a struggling Patriot defensive unit, I have to put my money on Tom Brady, Corey Dillon, and the rest of the Pats. Game Date: 11/07/05 21:05 ET

Steelers @ Packers – The Pittsburgh Steelers pulled out a big one on Monday Night against the falling Ravens. Baltimore came back in the 4th with 3 field goals, taking the lead, and seemingly ruining Pittsburgh’s night. Not to be outmatched, Big Ben took his team down for the winning field goal in the game’s final minutes. This week Big Ben, Hines Ward, Jerome Bettis and the rest of the Steel Crew will find it much easier as they take on Grandfather Brett in Green Bay. At 1-6 the Pack can only go up right? Wrong. Will 1-7 be the straw that breaks Favre’s back? Brett will tell you, “there is no last straw, there is only hay.” Think about that, as the Steelers thump the Packers in Lambeau. Game Date: 11/06/05 16:15 ET

Eagles (+2.5) @ Redskins – The Eagles will turn it up after getting embarrassed for the second time this year. The first ribbing came from the Dallas Cowboys, who the Eagles will get a chance to pay back in Week 10. The second came from the Bronco’s last week. I believe Washington showed their true colors when they got throttled by the Giants 36-0 last week. Don’t be surprised if the Eagles take down the Redskins in another laugher. Philadelphia is too good to dabble in mediocrity for too much longer. Game Date: 11/06/05 20:30 ET
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Lucky Lester – Free Football Picks

Free NFL Picks 05-06 Week 9

A Layover with a HangoverHere I am, down under… way, way too far down under. Note to self, while spending hours and hours waiting for the next plane headed to the US because your original plane is being glued back together (not kidding), don’t buy $112 worth of drinks at Sydney International’s King’s Palace. Note number two; after suffering the effects of $112 worth of Sydney’s finest, both in the pocket and in the gut, don’t sit down at an airport internet bar to type an entire weeks worth of picks. After breaking every airport rule I know, besides the bowie knife in the sock trick, here are my NFL Week Nine Picks.

Lions (-1.5) @ Vikings – Who would have thought? The Green Bay Packers are last in a weak NFC North Division at 1-6… the Randy Mossless, and now Daunte Culpepperless, Minnesota Vikings are stuck at 2-5 and the Kyle Orton led Chicago Bears have bulldozed their way to a 4-3 record by taking down the Detroit Lions last week. Where does that leave the Lions? 3-4, second place. Look for the Vikings to play with their heads down now that their fearless leader is down and out. The Lions will take full advantage of the party-happy Vikings, having a touchdown party of their own on Sunday, led by Kevin Jones, who is still looking to match his breakout second half a year ago. Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Chargers (-6.5) @ Jets – The San Diego Chargers had a huge win against the Kansas City Chiefs last week. As good as the Chargers have been this year, they are still looking up at the playoffs with a 4-4 record halfway through the season. The Jets are lost, their season all but in the dumps, and the Chargers will take advantage of Herman Edwards’ squad in New York. The Chargers, despite their record, have one of the leagues best offensive attacks; they’ll showcase the stars of that unit, Keenan McCardell and Ladainian Tomlinson and Drew Brees, on Sunday. Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Titans (+3) @ Browns – The Titans took one on the chin at home last week to the Oakland Raiders. Look for them to turn the tides on the Browns this week, upsetting a very average or below average Cleveland squad. The Browns found a way to give the Texans a victory last week, they’ll manage to do the same for the 2-6 Titans. Chris Brown will be looking for 100 yards as Steve McNair will pick on a Brown secondary minue Gary Baxter, who is out for the year for the Browns. At least this will keep Cleveland in the Matt Leinart sweepstakes. Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Raiders @ Chiefs (-5) – The Raiders have won 3 of 4 after starting the season with 3 straight losses. I said they were the best winless team in football, they’re just now starting to prove me right. Unfortunately, the Chiefs won’t get caught shifting their entire defense towards Randy Moss like the Titans did. They’ll play a zone that will fool Kerry Collins into at least two costly picks, allowing Priest Holmes, Tony Gonzalez, and Trent Green to take advantage of easy scoring opportunities. Gonzalez will have his second big week in a row, and Holmes will team with Larry Johnson to outgun the Raiders.
Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Bears (-3) @ Saints – Kyle Orton is this year’s Ben Roethlisberger. His team’s not as solid as the Steelers were last year, but that won’t stop the Bears from pushing themselves through a weak North Division, and into the playoffs. The hapless Saints will continue their tumble toward a top pick in the draft. Look for Chicago’s star runner, Thomas Jones not Cedric Benson, to have a big day against the “River Runs Through It” defense of New Orleans. Aaron Brooks better do his best to keep the Saints out of the top spot in the draft, or Matt Leinart might be taking over his position as soon as next season.
Game Date: 11/06/05 16:05 ET

Bengals (-3) @ Ravens – The Bengals played down to the Packers level last week, but they’re still a much better team than the Ravens. Baltimore has been “playing hard” as Brian Billick has pleaded to the media… Well, it must be the coaching. Hint, hint. The Ravens will fall to 2-7 with a loss to the Bengals this week, look for Billick to be the leagues first coach to get axed. Yikes. I said it. He’s not getting the job done, and not even his defense has been able to find him victories. The Ravens need something to change.
Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Panthers (-1.5) @ Buccaneers- The Panthers are 5-2 and just won in dominating fashion against the Vikings in week 8. Look for Steve Smith to continue his MVP-Type season by out-dueling a very good Buc secondary. The Bucs should be absolutely disappointed with their Week 8 loss to the 49ers. I know I’m disappointed in them. Cadillac Williams needs to run like he did at the beginning of the year for the Bucs to have a chance. Can he do it against a banged up Panther front 7 who are without Kris Jenkins? That’s the question. Either way, Jake Delhomme and the Panther rushing attack will dive headfirst into Tampa Bay’s defense. This will be a big time game ending with a Panther W. Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Texans (+13) @ Jaguars – The Texans found a victory last week against Cleveland. Don’t ask me how they did it? It’s still beyond me. This week they’ll assuredly lose, so don’t get ballsy and take the Texans to win for big money. However, I’m betting the slow it down, drag it out Jaguars won’t win by more than 13, giving me a rare Texan victory. David Carr will continue to throw a limited amount of times, while Dominic Davis gets pounded into a Jaguar defensive front that gave up 174 yards to Steven Jackson last week. Ouch.
Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Falcons (-2) @ Dolphins – The Falcons should demolish the Dolphins of Miami. Amazingly to me, the Dolphins find themselves at just a game under .500 going into their 8th game. An even record of 4-4 is too much for me to swallow, as any team lead by Gus Frerotte doesn’t belong at .500. Ronnie Brown has begun to show why he was picked where he was, further distancing himself from Ricky Williams as the teams leading rusher. The Falcons will gang up on Brown, forcing Gus to beat them… he won’t. The Falcons should win big in Miami.
Game Date: 11/06/05 13:00 ET

Giants (-10.5) @ 49ers – The New York Football Giants gave it to the Washington Redskins hard in week 8. Eli Manning didn’t look dominant, but he didn’t need to as the Giant defense stepped up big and Tiki Barber ran like a man on a mission to dominate. Think “The Rock” in “Doom”. The 49ers just got their last win of the season, blowing my mind and yours, by taking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 15-10. That’s it for them. No way in hell they beat the Giants.
Game Date: 11/06/05 16:05 ET

Seahawks (-4) @ Cardinals – The Seahawks got a much needed week off. Ken “The Hammer” Hamlin is out for the season after getting beat up outside of a Seattle Night Club. Look for the Seahawks to come out and play rough and tough like Ken, and beat the Cardinals in a big divisional game. Shaun Alexander should look like the Jamaican Bobsled team, having “Cool Runnings” all game long in Arizona. Matt Hasselbeck has been great for the Hawks, finally showing that he can lead his team to big victories. This will be another notch on the Hawks’ belt. Game Date: 11/06/05 16:05 ET

Colts @ Patriots (+3.5) – I can’t take the Colts until they finally beat the Patriots. Not even their undefeated record allows me to take them against New England. As my long-time readers know, the Patriots have been the bane of my existence one too many times. Until Manning shows me he can take advantage of a struggling Patriot defensive unit, I have to put my money on Tom Brady, Corey Dillon, and the rest of the Pats. Game Date: 11/07/05 21:05 ET

Steelers @ Packers – The Pittsburgh Steelers pulled out a big one on Monday Night against the falling Ravens. Baltimore came back in the 4th with 3 field goals, taking the lead, and seemingly ruining Pittsburgh’s night. Not to be outmatched, Big Ben took his team down for the winning field goal in the game’s final minutes. This week Big Ben, Hines Ward, Jerome Bettis and the rest of the Steel Crew will find it much easier as they take on Grandfather Brett in Green Bay. At 1-6 the Pack can only go up right? Wrong. Will 1-7 be the straw that breaks Favre’s back? Brett will tell you, “there is no last straw, there is only hay.” Think about that, as the Steelers thump the Packers in Lambeau. Game Date: 11/06/05 16:15 ET

Eagles (+2.5) @ Redskins – The Eagles will turn it up after getting embarrassed for the second time this year. The first ribbing came from the Dallas Cowboys, who the Eagles will get a chance to pay back in Week 10. The second came from the Bronco’s last week. I believe Washington showed their true colors when they got throttled by the Giants 36-0 last week. Don’t be surprised if the Eagles take down the Redskins in another laugher. Philadelphia is too good to dabble in mediocrity for too much longer. Game Date: 11/06/05 20:30 ET
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Good Luck with your NFL Football Betting!
Lucky Lester – Free Football Picks