After a November full of favorites winning, there were plenty of underdogs who won to start December…
…including my Cowboys, who I picked against.
I’ll be in attendance in the Meadowlands this weekend to see the Boys take on Eli’s team. Hopefully Eli Manning Day in Meadowlands before the game will remind fans why they have been hating on him for years by the end of the game.
To further comment on all of those upsets, I also saw a suffer in wins this in Week 13. While I still put up a solid 11-5 straight up, I went just 7-9 against the spread. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (winning team in red, spread winner in red):
Redskins (-1.5) at Cowboys
- Cowboys 38, Redskins 14- After two weeks of feeling the Cowboys would play better after their poor performance the week before, I finally gave up on that. And then, they finally won. 10-6 is still not guaranteed to make the playoffs in the NFC, but if the Cowboys can get to full strength and win out to make it, that hypothetical hot streak would make them a dangerous team heading into the playoffs.
Vikings (+3) at Falcons
Lions (+3) at Ravens
- Ravens 44, Lions 20- The Ravens have finally been able to put together consistent enough play to say that they are definitely a threat to go on a run to the playoffs. As for the Lions, they have completely fallen off after their impressive start to the season.
Patriots (-8.5) at Bills
49ers (+3) at Bears
Buccaneers (-1.5) at Packers
- Packers 26, Buccaneers 20 (OT)- Are the Packers still a threat to make the playoffs? Almost everyone has written them off, but if they win week and Aaron Rodgers comes back, suddenly everything becomes a lot more interesting.
Colts at Jaguars (-9.5)
Broncos at Dolphins (+1.5)
Chiefs (-3.5) at Jets
- Jets 38, Chiefs 31- I watched the majority of this, and what a game it was. The Chiefs had a chance to march down field and score a TD to win and cover, but a penalty on a Jets field goal led to a Jets TD, which led to one of the funniest things I have ever seen in a football game.
Texans (+6.5) at Titans
- Titans 24, Texans 13- I would have nailed this spread and winner perfectly, had Derrick Henry not ran for a 75 yard touchdown on a play where the clock would have ran out had he been tackled.
Browns at Chargers (-14)
- Chargers 19, Browns 10- The Browns came (somewhat) close to getting their 2nd win over the Chargers since the start of the 2016 season. They also came (somewhat) close to getting their second win overall since the start of the 2016 season.
Panthers at Saints (-4)
Rams (-7) at Cardinals
Giants at Raiders (-8.5)
- Raiders 24, Giants 17- Geno Smith: 0-1 straight up as Giants QB, but 1-0 against the spread. Good teams win, great teams cover. Sign this man John Mara.
Eagles (-6) at Seahawks
- Seahawks 24, Eagles 10- GOD DAMMIT PHILLY! The one time the Cowboys need you to win all season, you let them down. The hot stat around the league this week is how the only win the Eagles have over a team currently above .500 is the Panthers. I won’t diminish what the Eagles have done this season, but keep note of this ahead of their matchup with the Rams, as well as going into the playoffs.
Steelers (-5) at Bengals
- Steelers 23, Bengals 20- No one is talking about the actual game this week, only the violence that this game produced. But to stick to sports, this game was a great example of the vulnerability of the Steelers (down 17-0) as well as the dangers (23-3 run to finish).
2017 Straight-Up: 127-65, 2017 Vs. Spread: 95-91-6
Let the first quarter of the fourth quarter of the NFL season begin.
Saints at Falcons (-2.5)
- Huge matchup to start the week between the team leading the NFC South, and the team who was favored to be doing so coming into the season. While the Falcons took a step back last week, their defense found success against an improved Vikings offense. This matchup has been one over the years that has been won by the home team, especially when the visitor has been having the better year. I have the Falcons earning the win at home.
Cowboys (-4) at Giants
- The Cowboys defense finally put together a great performance last week, holding the Redskins to 14 points and forcing four turnovers. Now, they get their defensive QB Sean Lee back. The Cowboys are definitely better with Zeke as to Alfred Morris, but the Cowboys are now as close to full strength as they will get without their star RB. Eli Manning day will only last so long as fans will be reminded “Oh wait, I forgot it’s not 2011 anymore”, and the Cowboys will win and cover in the Meadowlands.
Colts at Bills (-4)
- After playing some okay football under Jacoby Brissett, the Colts have fallen off and have dropped 6 of 7. The Bills are clearly no threat in the AFC, but I like them to win and cover in this matchup. The Bills have been beaten up on inferior opponents at home this season, and the only win the Colts have on the road was in Houston in the Texans’ first game without DeShaun Watson. Bills Mafia will get this win on Sunday.
Vikings at Panthers (+2.5)
- I think the Vikings are the better team here, but I like the Panthers to get the upset win at home to end the Vikings’ winning streak. Earning two straight road wins against good NFC teams is tough. The Vikings beat the Rams at home, then the Rams beat the Saints at home, and then the Saints beat the Panthers at home. Things will come full circle, and the Panthers will beat the Vikings in Charlotte.
Bears (+6.5) at Bengals
- The Bengals are coming off a hard fought home performance against a good Steelers team. So while they played well, they got pretty banged up in the process. I think that this will show this week, and the Bears will keep it close and cover. However, the Bengals are the better team, and they will get the win at home.
Packers (-3) at Browns
- The Packers have finally been playing some good football under Brett Hundley. They should have no problem beating the Browns, but Cleveland know that this may be their best chance to win in their four remaining games. The Browns will keep in close, but the Packers will win by less than a score, and enough to cover.
49ers at Texans (-3)
- The 49ers got the win in Jimmy Garoppolo’s first start and he played well, but it is easy to forget that all 15 points came from the right foot of Robbie Gould. The Texans have played a little better of late under Tom Savage, winning at home before losing two close ones on the road. The Texans will return home and win by one score, and enough to cover.
Raiders at Chiefs (-4)
- This game is very tough to pick, as the Chiefs have completely fallen apart, and while the Raiders have put together some wins, they have not exactly given anyone the feeling that they are a threat in the AFC. While it was their second loss, much of the Chiefs downfall began on that last second loss to the Raiders in October. I think they will get revenge this time winning at home. This one will be close, but I’ll give the Chiefs the cover as well.
Lions at Buccaneers
- Note: This spread has not been announced yet due to the status of Matt Stafford. I will choose this game once his status is announced, and reveal what my pick was next week.
Titans (-3) at Cardinals
- I think this game will be very similar to when the Jaguars went to Arizona a few weeks ago. Just like the Jaguar game, the Cardinals will play well at home against a better AFC South opponent. Except this time, they won’t get out to a 13-0 lead. The Cardinals will keep it close, but the Titans will ultimately win by less than a score, but enough to cover.
Jets (-1) at Broncos
- Will the Broncos finally find their way this weekend? Nope! While I picked the Dolphins last week, I thought it would be a boring and low scoring game, not a blowout at the hands of the lowly Dolphins. The Broncos are hopeless on offense, and the Jets will continue their surprisingly good play and win in Denver.
Redskins (+6) at Chargers
- The Redskins looked awful last week, but they will come into this one on extra rest. While the Chargers won yet again last week, they looked less dominant against the Browns than they have in past weeks. I think the Chargers win again, but the Redskins keep it close to cover, and lose it in a Redskins way.
Seahawks (+2.5) at Jaguars
- Even week Jaguars, underdog Seahawks, and Seahawks coming off a great win. Do you see a trend here? Russell Wilson and the Seahawks will go into Jacksonville and take care of business yet again.
Eagles at Rams (-2.5)
- I’m not completely buying into the Eagles wins being degraded due to the lack of wins over good teams, but I think the Eagles will come up short on the West Coast yet again this week. In the first matchup of Jared Goff vs. Carson Wentz, I think Goff shows why he was the No. 1 pick, and the Rams win and cover at home.
Ravens (+5) at Steelers
- You can throw out the record books when these teams match up. The Ravens have put together a few good wins lately, and just like the Bengals, the Steelers are banged up and missing a few key players. I’m expecting a great game on Sunday night, with the Ravens covering, but the Steelers getting the win.
Patriots (-11.5) at Dolphins
- A division leader traveling to a division rival while shorthanded is bad for almost any team. Except for the Patriots. Tom Brady and Co. thrive in the face of adversity, and I expect nothing different this weekend without Gronk. The Patriots will win and cover over the Dolphins for the second time in three weeks.
That’s it for this week, be back for Week 15. Can the Steelers edge out the Ravens once again?