360 Picks: Week 14


The computer’s successful run with straight picks continues with an 11-5 week and it’s strung together 4 consecutive over .500 weeks with the over/under picks, removing some of the early season stink with a 10-6 week. The spread picks continued to tread water, turning in a 7-9 offering. We also won our prop bet – Odell Beckham did not make another one handed touchdown catch – easy money on that one..

First let’s look at how we’ve done, then we’ll move on to this week’s selections.

Straight up: 6-2 on High confidence picks, 5-3 on Low. 11-5 Overall
Straight up season: 59-27-1 on High confidence picks, 58-47 on low. 117-74-1 Overall

Spread: 4-3 on High confidence picks, 3-6 on Low. 7-9 Overall
Spread season: 32-31-1 on High Confidence Picks, 60-65-3 on Low. 92-96-4 Overall

OU: 4-3 on High confidence Picks, 6-3 on Low. 10-6 Overall
Season OU: 21-28-1 on High confidence picks, 65-73-4 on Low. 86-101-5 Overall

Parley Picks: Done for the season. 1-11 Overall. Parlays aren’t our thing. Going to stop suggesting them.
Suicide Selections: 3-1, 39-13 Overall.

360 Picks Week 14:

Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals:

Line: Bengals by 3.0
Over/Under: 47.0

Analysis: Pittsburgh on the road is a mediocre 2-4, while Cincinnati has held their own at home, going 3-3. The Steelers defense is beat up and the Bengals are getting healthier after A.J. Green and Giovanni Bernard suffered injuries that forced them to miss multiple games during the season. A win here will allow the Bengals to start pulling away in the best division in the NFL.

Straight Pick: Bengals
Spread Pick: Bengals – 3.0
OU Pick: Over 47.0

Confidence: High on the Straight and the Spread; Low on the Over.

St. Louis Rams at Washington Redskins:

Line: Rams by 3.5
Over/Under: 45.0

Analysis: Ryan Leaf was released from prison in Montana this week, and some reports have Robert Griffin suffering the same fate in Washington after the season ends. The Redskins may try to trade him, but given his injury history, reputation, and poor on field performance in 2013 and 2014, finding someone to give them any value will be a challenge. The Rams, meantime, are a quarterback away from competing after using the multiple picks extorted from Washington in exchange for the pick used to take Griffin to assemble a talented roster. The Rams should win this one easily.

Straight Pick: Rams
Spread Pick: Rams – 3.5
OU Pick: Under 45.0

Confidence:  Low on all three picks.

New York Giants at Tennessee Titans:

Line: Giants by 2.0
Over/Under: 46.5

Analysis: The Giants continue to play hard for Tom Coughlin despite a talent gap with most opponents created by twenty plus players lost for the season to injury. Smart money has Coughlin retiring at the end of the season, but wise fans will want to see him come back to help clean up this mess. Wins will be hard to come by down the stretch as pile higher and higher – five more players were placed in injured reserve this past week. The Titans have lost multiple players on their offensive line and the Giants may be able to exploit this advantage, but will have to do it without Robert Ayers and Mathias Kiwanuka, two of the five players lost to season ending injuries this week. Look for the losing streak to go to eight.

Straight Pick: Titans
Spread Pick: Titans + 2.0
OU Pick: Over 46.5

Confidence: Low on the Straight and the Spread; High on the Over.

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints:

Line: Saints by 10.0
Over/Under: 50.5

Analysis: Before their recent three game losing streak, the Saints were one of the most feared home teams in all of football. And one of the worst road teams. And then they went into one of the leagues toughest venues, Heinz Field, and soundly thrashed the Steelers. Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria! Let’s try to return to some semblance of order and take the Saints to win at home.

Straight Pick: Saints
Spread Pick: Saints – 10.0
OU Pick: Over 50.5

Confidence: Low on the Straight and the Spread; High on the Over.

New York Jets at Minnesota Vikings:

Line: Vikings by 6.0
Over/Under: 40.0

Analysis: Kudos to Rex Ryan for designing a game plan last Monday Night to show the rest NFL that he can take any group of players and cobble together a plan to keep the team competitive. John Idzik, outgoing General Manager of the Jets, forced him to start non-NFL caliber quarterback Geno Smith over Michael Vick, so Ryan ran the ball 49 times. Who knows what this week will bring, and while “As the Jets Turn” is amusing, it’s not entertaining enough to make me want to watch this game. A good rule of thumb in picking NFL games is – if Geno Smith starts, pick the opponent to win and cover.

Straight Pick: Vikings
Spread Pick: Vikings – 6.0
OU Pick: Over 40.0

Confidence:  Low on the Straight and the Spread; High on the Over.

Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins:

Line: Dolphins by 3.0
Over/Under: 45.5

Analysis: The Jets ran for 277 yards on the Dolphins and the Ravens love to pound the rock, however, Miami is one of the better coached teams this season and will make adjustments. Baltimore needs to adjust to the loss of nose tackle Haloti Ngata for the remainder of the regular season for “Using Adderall,” NFL player code for “I used a banned substance, and saying I took Adderall sounds better than admitting to marijuana, cocaine, or steroids.” Ngata’s loss will greatly impact the middle of the Ravens defense, so take the Dolphins.

Straight Pick: Dolphins
Spread Pick: Dolphins – 3.0
OU Pick: Over 45.5

Confidence: High on all three picks.

Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns:

Line: Colts by 4.0
Over/Under: 50.0

Analysis: After much debate and holding the the country in suspense for four days, Cleveland announced that Brian Hoyer will continue to start at quarterback, thanks for team leader Joe Thomas coming out in support of him. Johnny Manziel’s asinine behavior has obviously not made him any points with the veterans in the Browns locker room. If Hoyer continues to struggle, Cleveland head coach Mike Pettine will have a short leash. Cleveland’s run game will give them a big advantage against the Colts struggling run defense, but Andrew Luck will be the difference in this one.

Straight Pick: Colts
Spread Pick: Colts – 4.0
OU Pick: Over 50.0

Confidence: Low on all three picks.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Detroit Lions:

Line: Lions by 10.0
Over/Under: 41.5

Analysis: A well rested Detroit team needs to keep pace with Dallas, winners on Thursday night, for one of the NFL Wild Card spots. Tampa Bay’s season is collapsing under it’s own weight, but they have played inspired football for first year coach Lovey Smith. Look for Detroit to win a close, hard fought contest.

Straight Pick: Lions
Spread Pick: Buccaneers + 10.0
OU Pick: Under 41.5

Confidence: Low on all three picks.

Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars:

Line: Texans by 7.0
Over/Under: 42.0

Analysis: This game will look more like the first half of the Giants/Jaguars game than the second, but don’t expect Ryan Fitzpatrick to throw another 6 touchdown passes. If the Giants were able to sack Blake Bortles 7 times, how many sacks will J.J. Watt tally? Lay the point, maybe 2 or 3 times.

Straight Pick: Texans
Spread Pick: Texans – 7.0
OU Pick: Under 42.0

Confidence: Low on all three picks.

Buffalo Bills at Denver Broncos:

Line: Broncos by 10.0
Over/Under: 48.5

Analysis: Kudos to Doug Marrone for keeping the Bills in the playoff chase for as long as he did with E.J. Manual and Kyle Orton as his quarterbacks, but the clock strikes midnight for the Bills at three of their for remaining games are against the Broncos, Packers, and Patriots. First up in Denver, back in the hunt for the number one seed after New England lost to Green Bay last Sunday. It’s in Denver, where the Broncos score points by the bucket full.

Straight Pick: Broncos
Spread Pick: Broncos – 10.0
OU Pick: Over 48.5

Confidence: High on the Straight and the Over; Low on the Spread.

Kansas City Chiefs at Arizona Cardinals:

Line: Chiefs by 1.0
Over/Under: 39.5

Analysis: Be careful walking around in Arizona or you may get hit by the flaming debris of falling Cardinals. Once seemingly a shoe-in for home field advantage in the NFC, the Cardinals are only one game up on the surging Seahawks for the NFC West and not even assured of a playoff spot. The realities of Drew Stanton starting at quarterback have hit hard and now the Honey Badger will miss at least a few games. To make matters worse, Kansas City is among the best road teams this season and are 12-2 away from Arrowhead since Andy Reid came to town.

Straight Pick: Chiefs
Spread Pick: Chiefs – 1.0
OU Pick: Under 39.5

Confidence: Low on all three picks.

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles:

Line: Pick Em
Over/Under: 48.0

Analysis: The Eagles struggle against teams with winning records and Seattle is surging. That’s all you need to know about this game.

Straight Pick: Seahawks
Spread Pick: Seahawks E
OU Pick: Under 48.0

Confidence: Low on all three picks.

San Francisco Forty-Niners at Oakland Raiders:

Line: Forty-Niners by 9.0
Over/Under: 41.0

Analysis: The Forty-Niners have had ten days to think and read about how bad they are after their loss on Thanksgiving night. Head coach Jim Harbaugh (The worst possible choice to replace Tom Coughlin is he decides to retire. Yes, that means bringing Ray Handley back would be preferable to this locker room cancer) has one foot out the door and the team is in turmoil. Enter the Raiders, what’s good for an ailing team. The only danger is that this game is sanwiched between Seattle games. It won’t make a difference.

Straight Pick: Forty-Niners
Spread Pick: Forty-Niners – 9.0
OU Pick: Over 41.0

Confidence: High on all three picks.

New England Patriots at San Diego Chargers:

Line: Patriots by 4.5
Over/Under: 52.5

Analysis: If the Patriots have a regular season Kryptonite, it’s the Chargers in San Diego. New England is 1-2 out there and the one game the Patriots won was by only 3 points. The Chargers are the pick here.

Straight Pick: Chargers
Spread Pick: Chargers + 4.5
OU Pick: Over 52.5

Confidence: Low on all three picks.

Atlanta Falcons at Green Bay Packers:

Line: Packers by 12.5
Over/Under: 56.5

Analysis: Atlanta is a poor team away from the Georgia Dome, and there is hardly a place further away from their home than Lambeau Field. It will be a bitter cold December night for Matt Ryan and company as Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy roll over Falcons.

Straight Pick: Packers
Spread Pick: Packers – 12.5
OU Pick: Under 56.5

Confidence: High on the Straight; Low on the Spread and the Under.

If you want to play a parley: Don’t look for one here. We’ve been horrendous at them.

If you’re in a suicide pool: In order… Broncos, Forty-Niners, Packers, Bengals

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