All posts by McGons

2-Time Marist Floor Hockey Champion, easy resume builder. Long suffering Cowboys, Mets, Nets, and Rangers fan. Follow along for early season optimism, only to end with late season heartbreak.

McGon’s Picks: NFL Divisional Playoffs

Wild-Card weekend lived up to the hype of being wild…

…as all four underdogs covered, and one got the win.

While there was not a great deal of excitement for most of these matchups besides Panthers-Saints, they all ended up being decent games. The Chiefs were absolutely rolling over the Titans, before the exact opposite happened in the second half. As great as the Rams have been all year, they did not look ready for the big stage as the experienced Falcons dominated. Jags-Bills was kind of boring, but the whole prospect of it being a Bills-Jags playoff made it interesting. And the final game was the best overall, as the Panthers nearly stole a victory down the stretch. While I enjoyed the games a lot, my picks did not do great, and the huge spreads did not help. I went 2-2 straight up, and 1-3 against the spread. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (winning team in red, spread winner in red):

Titans at Chiefs (-8.5)

My Pick: Chiefs 27, Titans 14

  • Titans 22, Chiefs 21- In the first half, the Chiefs were dominating even more than I predicted. They were clearly the superior team, and the Titans looked like they had no business being in the playoffs to start. But then halftime came, and I think you can argue this was a more impressive comeback than in last year’s Super Bowl. This deficit was 7 points less, but the Titans are not nearly as good of a team as the Patriots, and this was on the road versus on a neutral site. The teams we saw in the first half were nowhere to be found, and the Titans pulled off an incredible victory to earn a trip to Foxborough.

Falcons (+6) at Rams

My Pick: Rams 27, Falcons 24

  • Falcons 26, Rams 13- Well, looks like that experience factor played a much bigger role than I could have predicted. The entire night, you could just feel it was not the Rams night. They could not make any big plays, committed several turnovers, the crowd was not into it at all, and the Falcons were doing almost everything right. I think we can all still agree the Rams are a better team on paper. But the Falcons came in and took care of business when it mattered most, and that’s all that matters now as the Falcons will look to earn another trip to the NFC Championship.

Bills at Jaguars (-8.5)

My Pick: Jaguars 30, Bills 13

  • Jaguars 10, Bills 3- I knew the Bills would have trouble scoring, but I thought they could come away with more than a field goal. And I knew the Jaguars offense could be limited, but didn’t think it would be this bad. The Jags will have a tough time scoring on Sunday in Pittsburgh, but the same can be said about the Steelers, going up against the best defense in the NFL right now.

Panthers at Saints (-6.5)

My Pick: Saints 24, Panthers 17

  • Saints 31, Panthers 26- The Panthers did not play badly last week, but if you watched this whole game, it was clear that the Saints were the better team, and will pose a big threat to the Vikings on Sunday. However, props to the Panthers for almost stealing this one. After the Christian McCaffrey long TD, and the very questionable decision for the Saints to go for it on 4th down, the Panthers had a chance to steal this one. However, the Saints defense prevailed to move on.

2017 Playoffs Straight-Up: 2-2, 2017 Playoffs Vs. Spread: 1-3

The last weekend with a full slate of football is here.

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Falcons (-2.5) at Eagles

Falcons 23, Eagles 13

  • The Eagles are not dead yet, but I don’t think their stay in the playoffs will last very long. The Falcons were not able to completely light up the scoreboard last week, but they completely dominated one of the best teams in the NFL this season. We all know how good the Falcons can be when they are hot, and I think that could be the case right now. Once again, I don’t think they will blow the Eagles out, as they are at home and it will be a decently cold day in Philly. But besides against the Giants (when the Eagles’ defense gave up 29 points), Nick Foles and this offense have done nothing, scoring 13 against the Raiders (not counting the 6 points on the game’s final play) and getting shutout by the Cowboys (albeit Foles did not play the whole game). The Falcons are playing good football at the right time, and the Eagles are not set to succeed without Carson Wentz. The Falcons will win, cover, and move within a win of another Super Bowl trip.

  • 2016 Falcons-Eagles matchup, the last time these teams met.

  • These teams last met in the playoffs in the 2004 NFC Championship, and the Eagles moved on to the Super Bowl.

Titans (+13.5) at Patriots

Patriots 31, Titans 20

  • This game has a very similar feel to the Patriots second round matchup last season against the Texans. Saturday night game, and Patriots are a massive favorite at home against a team many felt was not good enough to make the playoffs. The Patriots struggled in that game, but were able to pull away late to get the win and cover. I think this game goes very similar, except the Titans are a little better and the Patriots have dealt with plenty of distractions the last week, so the Titans will cover. The Titans will come out fired up after their incredible second half comeback last week, and it will be a close one at the half. However, the Patriots will pull away in the second half to win, but the Titans will do enough to cover in this one.

  • 2015 Titans-Patriots matchup, the last time these teams met.

  • These teams last met in the playoffs in 2003, with the Patriots winning a close one en route to a Super Bowl XXXVIII win over the Panthers.

Jaguars (+7) at Steelers

Steelers 21, Jaguars 17

  • The big topic everyone has been talking about this week is how the Steelers will fare in this one after the Jaguars came into Pittsburgh and dominated back in Week 5. While the Steelers offense has obviously gotten better since then, the same can be said for the Jaguars defense. However, Antonio Brown may not be 100% and to go along with that, he has been dealing with an illness. He should be able to go, but I don’t think he will be the AB we have seen this season. That being said, the Steelers still have so many weapons that I don’t think they will lose this game. The Jags defense will play great, but their offense will struggle again, and the Steelers will win a low scoring game. The Jaguars will cover this big spread, but the Steelers will move on to the AFC Championship.

  • These teams met in Week 5, and the Jaguars dominated the Steelers to earn a 30-9 win on the road.

  • These teams last met in the playoffs in 2007, and the Jaguars edged out a close victory in Pittsburgh.

Saints (+5) at Vikings

Vikings 24, Saints 21

  • Once again, I think the best game of the weekend will be saved for the last one. These teams met back in Week 1, but much has changed for both of them since. The Vikings have a new QB, and may be the most well-rounded team on both sides of the ball in the league. The Saints defense has greatly improved, and they have elevated from an average team to a very good team. With the playoff experience Drew Brees and Sean Payton have compared to Case Keenum and Mike Zimmer (as a head coach), the fact that the Saints are getting 5 points says a lot about how Vegas feels about the Vikings. I think this is going to be a close one, and the Saints will cover. However, I have the Vikings winning it on a late field goal. In recent Vikings playoff games, field goals have been their nightmare. They lost the 2009 NFC Championship to these Saints in OT on a field goal, and Blair Walsh shanked a chip shot which would have beaten the Seahawks two years ago. The field goal Gods will work in their favor this time, as Kai Forbath will send the Vikings to the NFC Championship, one win from hosting the Super Bowl at home.

  • These teams last met in Week 1, with the Vikings winning 29-19 at home.

  • These teams last met in the playoffs in the 2009 NFC Championship, with the Saints winning an all time classic in OT, which sent them to Super Bowl XLIV, which they won over the Colts.

Hopefully this weekend will be even better than last. Be back next week for championship Sunday. Can the Vikings erase bad playoff memories of the past?

McGon’s Picks: NFL Wild-Card Playoffs

It sucks that the NFL regular season is over, but you know what that means.

The PLAYOFFS are here, and we have some exciting matchups coming this weekend. While the point spreads do not necessarily reflect it, I think we will have some good games on our hands this weekend. The early Saturday game, Titans-Chiefs is not that exciting, but you have the defending NFC Champion Falcons playing the rising Rams in their first playoff since 2004 (which was also against the Falcons) on Saturday night. On Sunday, you have two of the longest playoff droughts coming to an end in the Bills-Jaguars matchup, and the most intriguing matchup of the weekend comes late Sunday with NFC South rivals squaring off in the Panthers and the Saints. Despite a Super Bowl for the ages, only 3 of the 12 playoff games last year were decided by one score, as the other 9 were 13-point plus blowouts. And of those 3 close games, the Packers were up 21-3 on the Cowboys before a second half comeback, and the Falcons were up 28-3 on the Patriots before a second half comeback, in case you forgot (JK, no one forgets). So especially with the way NFL ratings have gone down this year, the league needs some better games this postseason.

As for the regular season finale, Week 17, things were pretty unpredictable like I predicted. However, I did not do so badly. I went 10-6 straight up, and 8-8 against the spread, which helped me finish with an above .500 record against the spread for the regular season. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (winning team in red, spread winner in red):

Cowboys (-3) at Eagles

Packers (+7) at Lions 

  • Lions 35, Packers 11- It’s very hard to succeed with a backup QB in this league, but despite only playing in less than half the games, Aaron Rodgers may have proved he is the league MVP this season.

Texans at Colts (-5.5) 

Bears at Vikings (-12)

Jets (+15) at Patriots

  • Patriots 26, Jets 6- Another #1 seed for the Patriots, but is there trouble in paradise in New England? We will see if this latest report impacts the Patriots on the field over the next few weeks.

Redskins (-3.5) at Giants

  • Giants 18, Redskins 10- Despite the frigid temperatures, this game was actually great to attend, as it felt like a late season baseball game in which the crowd was pretty empty, and everyone was just there to have a good time. As for the game, the Giants only TDs came on a long run and off of a turnover, but Kirk Cousins and the Redskins could not get anything done.

Browns at Steelers (-6)

  • Steelers 28, Browns 24- I left the Giants game at halftime, so I caught the end of this one. My boy Jabrill Peppers had his first career INT, but what a heartbreaking way for the Browns to clinch an 0-16 season.

Panthers at Falcons (-3.5)

Bengals at Ravens (-9.5)

  • Bengals 31, Ravens 27- Holy Andy Dalton! This game definitely felt more like a Bills win than a Bengals win. How crazy that after the Ravens had played great down the stretch, all they had to do was beat the Bengals at home, and they could not get it done. I thought this spread was too big, but I took Ravens after because the Bengals had looked so horrible just 3 and 2 weeks prior. The Bengals did not make the playoffs, but at least they played spoiler in Weeks 16 and 17.

Bills at Dolphins (+2.5) 

  • Bills 22, Dolphins 16- Buffalo did it! It felt right that the Bills would lose and ruin any playoff chances, but even if they did win, I didn’t think there was any chance the Ravens would lose at home. Let’s go Buffalo!

Saints at Buccaneers (+6)

  • Buccaneers 31, Saints 24- After two weeks of nearly upsetting a division rival, Tampa finally pulled through. However, this did not affect the Saints, as the Panthers loss clinched the NFC South for New Orelans.

Jaguars (+2.5) at Titans

  • Titans 15, Jaguars 10- The Jaguars had nothing to play for, and the Titans had everything to play for. This may have not been a great pick, but if these two teams were matched up again this week, I would definitely go with the Jags.

Chiefs (+4) at Broncos

Raiders (+7) at Chargers

  • Chargers 30, Raiders 10- The Chargers are definitely better than the Titans and Bills, but they have to pay the price for their 0-4 start by watching from home this weekend.

49ers (-4) at Rams

Cardinals (+8.5) at Seahawks

  • Cardinals 26, Seahawks 24- Considering the Cardinals were able to finish 8-8 without Carson Palmer or David Johnson, suddenly my bold prediction before the season of the Cardinals finishing 12-4 is not so far off.

2017 Straight-Up: 173-83, 2017 Vs. Spread: 125-121-10

Enough of the regular season. It’s playoff time.

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Titans at Chiefs (-8.5)

Chiefs 27, Titans 14

  • The Titans did not finish the season very strong, and are lucky to be a playoff team, yet they were able to earn the first wild card spot. However, they may have been better suited to be the second wild card and face the Jaguars, because I think this is a bad matchup for them. Outside of struggling to finish the season, they will be missing DeMarco Murray, who is probably their most experienced player in big games, as he played a few playoff games and plenty of prime time games with the Cowboys. The Chiefs, meanwhile, finished the season strong after their midseason slump, winning 4 in a row (3 under Alex Smith). The Chiefs won’t blow the Titans out of the water on the scoreboard, but they will control the clock with Kareem Hunt in the cold weather and clearly be the superior team on Saturday to win and cover.

  • 2016 Titans-Chiefs matchup, the last time these teams met.

Falcons (+6) at Rams

Rams 27, Falcons 24 

  • Records get thrown out the door in the postseason, but everyone who has watched football this year knows the Rams have been significantly better than the Falcons, even if they were only one game better in the standings. While this game is home for the Rams, they don’t necessarily have a home field advantage, and the likely good weather will play to both team’s advantage. The Falcons are obviously more experienced in the postseason than the Rams, and of course come in with a chip on their shoulder after last season’s Super Bowl collpase (however, their play has not exactly reflected a chip on their shoulder). At the end of the day, I think the Rams will get this victory strictly on being a much better team than the Falcons this season. The other factors will make this a close game, however, and I think the Falcons cover. If the Falcons can get by this game, they have a great chance to turn a somewhat disappointing season into an NFC Championship appearance, as they would play the shorthanded Eagles the following week.

  • 2016 Falcons-Rams matchup, the last time these two teams met.

Bills at Jaguars (-8.5)

Jaguars 30, Bills 13

  • A playoff matchup between two perennial losing franchises is awesome, however, I think the Jaguars will ultimately show they are a much better team. The Bills may be without LeSean McCoy in this one, and even if he plays, he probably will not be at full strength. Whether he plays or not, the Bills will have a tough time up against Sacksonville and the best defense in the NFL. While the Jaguars offense is not always great, I think they will spend a lot of time on the field on Sunday and put up some points. I see this game being within a score at halftime, but then the Jaguars will pull away in the second half to win and cover.

  • 2016 Jaguars-Bills matchup, the last time these two teams met.

Panthers at Saints (-6.5) 

Saints 24, Panthers 17

  • I have the Saints covering a decently large spread, but I think this still has potential to be the best matchup of the weekend. It is hard to beat a team 3 times, but the Saints dominated in both matchups this season. The Panthers were playing well down the stretch, but looked shaky in each of their last two games. Combine the fact that the Saints are much better at home and the Panthers are much worse on the road, all signs point towards New Orleans. However, despite Drew Brees being the Super Bowl winning QB of the two, Cam and the Panthers have much more recent experience in the playoffs, including a trip to the Super Bowl just two years ago. The Panthers will play hard and this will be a good game, but I think the Saints are a touchdown better, and I think they will win, cover, and move on.

  • These teams met in Week 3 and Week 13, and the Saints won both times.

Now, I’ll reveal my pre-playoff playoff bracket. These picks are not necessarily the ones I’ll be making the next few weeks, as the matchups could change and I could also change my mind. However, this is how I think the playoff will shake out. I’m not going to give explanations, as I will save them for the week prior to the game.

Wild-Card Playoffs

  • AFC: Chiefs (4) over Titans (5), Jaguars (3) over Bills (6)
  • NFC: Saints (4) over Panthers (5), Rams (3) over Falcons (6)

Divisional Playoffs

  • AFC: (2) Steelers over (3) Jaguars, (1) Patriots over (4) Chiefs
  • NFC: (2) Vikings over (3) Rams, (4) Saints over (1) Eagles

Conference Championship

  • AFC: (1) Patriots over (2) Steelers
  • NFC: (2) Vikings over (4) Saints

Super Bowl LII from Minneapolis, MN

  • Vikings over Patriots

Let’s hope for a great Wild-Card Weekend, be back next week for the Divisional Round. Can the Falcons or Panthers score an upset and make another run to the Super Bowl?

McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 17

How in the world is it already Week 17?

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It’s hard to believe the NFL regular season is coming to an end. While it was not the greatest season for my team on the field, I enjoyed this season a lot. After what felt like the longest and most painful offseason ever, this season was over before you knew it. Writing these articles made this season more enjoyable, and probably made it go by faster, so thanks to all the loyal readers who have followed along.

Week 17 is going to be tough to pick. You never know how long the starters are going to play, and you don’t know which team’s backups are going to succeed. In addition, the Panthers-Falcons game is the only one in which both team’s playoff seeding will be impacted by the result of the game. Also, there are no winner take all games, which is usually the case on the Sunday Night matchup.

As for last week, Week 16, things could not have gone more similar to Week 15. Favorites dominated again, going 13-3, and that was reflected greatly in my straight up record, which tied my season high at 14-2. However, once again, the spreads were a little harder. It was not necessarily a bad week, but I went just 7-8-1 against the spread. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (winning team in red, spread winner in red):

Colts at Ravens (-13.5) 

  • Ravens 23, Colts 16- Much credit to the Colts for playing as well as they did despite struggling of late, especially on the road against a playoff contender. Weather was definitely a factor in the Ravens not dominating, but they pulled out the win nonetheless and look set on locking up the 5th seed this weekend.

Vikings at Packers (+9)

  • Vikings 16, Packers 0- Another game in which weather hurt my chances of nailing the spread and cover. All the Packers needed was one TD to push, but Hundley and Co. could not find the end zone in the freezing temperatures against the elite Viking defense.

Buccaneers at Panthers (-10) 

  • Panthers 22, Buccaneers 19- Despite earning the win, the Panthers played down football for the first time in a few weeks. Despite locking up a playoff berth, and the fact that they need a win and a Saints loss to win the division, I think they will try this weekend as it would be bad to go into the playoffs off of two bad performances in a row.

Browns (+6.5) at Bears 

  • Bears 20, Browns 3- Cleveland is hopeless.

Lions at Bengals (+3.5)

Dolphins at Chiefs (-10.5) 

Bills at Patriots (-12)

Falcons at Saints (-6)

Chargers at Jets (+6.5) 

  • Chagers 14, Jets 7- Very tough loss against the spread on this one by just half a point. This spread actually went to Chargers by 7, so I would have pushed, but I’m not gonna adjust the spread on here after a small half point change.

Rams (-6.5) at Titans

  • Rams 27, Titans 23- The Titans kept it close against one of the better teams in the NFL, but I didn’t think this was necessarily the Rams best performance either. The Titans just need to win to grab the 6th seed, but I’d much prefer to see the Bills or Chargers make it over them.

Broncos at Redskins (-3)

Jaguars (-4.5) at 49ers

  • 49ers 44, Jaguars 33- I’m not saying they won’t make it, and I’m not saying I won’t pick them, but I can tell you now that almost every sports writer is going to be picking the Niners as a playoff team next year.

Giants at Cardinals (-3.5) 

Seahawks at Cowboys (-5)

  • Seahawks 21, Cowboys 12- This was one of the most frustrating games I have watched the Cowboys play in all of my years of being a fan. Much credit to the Seahawks defense, but the Cowboys were overall the better team Sunday. The Cowboys had over 100 yards more of total offense, the Seahawks had a crazy amount of penalty yards, and the Cowboys defense played awesome. So who beat the Cowboys on Sunday? The Seahawks defense, in part, but really the Cowboys beat the Cowboys. The three turnovers were absolute killers. Dez was complaining for the ball all first half, finally makes a catch, and fumbles, which leads to a short scoring drive. The pick 6 was such a bad pass and decision that you throw out the tape. That’s not who Dak is, and that was probably the first absolute panic throw he’s ever made. The only long Seahawk scoring drive came off another pick, which was a mix of a throw behind Dez, Dez dropping it when he could have made the catch, and an incredibly unlucky bounce. And you know things are bad when the most accurate kicker in NFL history misses twice in the 4th quarter. Alright. Emotions spilled out. Can’t wait for next season, a fresh start from the distraction that the majority of this season has been.

Steelers (-9) at Texans

Raiders at Eagles (-9) 

  • Eagles 19, Raiders 10- I don’t care at all about the actual game, just another best/worst beat of all time on the last play of the game. If you took Eagles when I took them at -9, this was an incredibly lucky push, and it could have been a win had they taken the extra point. However, the line would move to Eagles -10. So therefore, it was almost the luckiest push ever, but turned into a heartbreaking tease of a loss when they did not take the extra point.

2017 Straight-Up: 163-77, 2017 Vs. Spread: 117-113-10

Let’s hope an unpredictable Week 17 doesn’t ruin my winning record against the spread.

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Note: Many of these games are ones betters should avoid based on not knowing who’s going to play, so I’ll make note if it’s one to avoid.

Cowboys (-3) at Eagles

  • This game is extremely unpredictable, as the Cowboys are out and the Eagles are locked into the #1 seed, so you never know how long regulars are going to play. It sounds like the Cowboys regulars will play longer than the Eagles, so I’m going to take the Cowboys in this one. Avoid taking this game.

Packers (+7) at Lions

  • Neither team has anything to play for here, so I’m expecting a decent game between these division rivals. This could be Brett Hundley’s final showcase to his future as the Packers backup or as a potential trade piece if another team’s QB goes down. I expect him to play decent and get the Packers the cover, but the Lions will get the win at home.

Texans at Colts (-5.5) 

  • The loser of this game will benefit more based on draft pick, but I expect the Colts to win based on being the better team. Jacoby Brissett and the Colts fought hard in a losing effort in Baltimore, and this could also be his final showcase as a starting QB. The Texans have been hopeless since Watson went down, and the Colts will win and cover at home.

Bears at Vikings (-12)

  • While a lot would need to happen, the Vikings have not locked up the #2 seed, so they will be playing their starters. And these starters will continue to dominate like they have. The Vikings could be the most complete team in football on both sides of the ball, and this will show when they win and cover in the regular season finale.

Jets (+15) at Patriots

  • The Patriots will undoubtedly take care of business this Sunday to wrap up the AFC’s #1 seed. However, this Jets team has been tough all year, and this spread is an insult to them. It may not be by much, but I like the Jets to cover this huge spread on Sunday.

Redskins (-3.5) at Giants

  • I’ll actually be in attendance for the most anticipated matchup of Week 17. If the Giants were to send out the squad they did against the Eagles two weeks ago, I think they win this home game. But with Evan Engram, Sterling Sherphard, and Tavarres King all likely out, I don’t see where the Giants will get any offense. The Redskins will close out the regular season with a win and cover.

Browns at Steelers (-6)

  • With the Jets beating the Patriots in New England being so unlikely, the Steelers are all but locked into the #2 seed. It’s also very unclear ho much everyone is going to play, which is why this spread went down so much. My only comment is that no matter who plays for the Steelers, I see them winning and covering over the winless Browns. Unless it’s announced that the regulars are expected to play the entire game, definitely avoid betting this game.

Panthers at Falcons (-3.5)

  • By far the biggest matchup of the weekend even though there’s a chance a Panthers win does not impact their playoff chances. I think the Panthers are the better team, and they are not going to mail it in since they can still win the division, but the Falcons have so much more to play for here. The Falcons will earn the win at to lock up the 6th seed and get another crack at a run to the Super Bowl.

Bengals at Ravens (-9.5)

  • The Bengals are a better team than the Colts, but I expect the Ravens to get the cover at home this time. Last time the Bengals played surprisingly well, they followed it up with two consecutive blowout losses. After unexpectedly winning last weekend, the Marvin Lewis era will end on a bad note. The Ravens will win and cover at home to set up a matchup in Kansas City next weekend.

Bills at Dolphins (+2.5)

  • The Bills need a win and help to make the playoffs for the first time since 1999, but what do the Bills do year after year? Spoil other teams’ playoff chances in Week 17, or get their own chances spoiled by an opponent in Week 17. The latter will come true here, as the Dolphins will win at home to ruin the Bills’ playoff hopes.

Saints at Buccaneers (+6)

  • The Saints have been the most consistent team in the division all season, and they will look to prove so by wrapping up the division this Sunday. However, the Bucs have nearly played spoiler in the NFC South the last two weeks by covering but falling just short of a win. I think the same happens here, as the Bucs cover at home, but the Saints win to lock up the NFC South.

Jaguars (+2.5) at Titans

  • The Jaguars are locked into the #3 seed, but after last week’s performance, I don’t think they want to head to the playoffs on two consecutive losses, especially as an inexperienced playoff team. While a loss would actually give them an easier first round matchup in my opinion (Titans again, as to Chargers/Bills), I think the Jaguars will flex their dominance, and the ODD WEEK JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS will get it done in the final week of the regular season and eliminate their division rivals.

Chiefs (+4) at Broncos

  • The Chiefs will get their first look at their potential QB of the future, as Patrick Mahomes will make his first career start with the Chiefs locked into the 4th seed. The Broncos will start Paxton Lynch, who has not proven himself at all in his small sample size of games played. I think the rookie Mahomes edges him out in a low scoring game, and the Chiefs get the win on the road. Definitely avoid this game, as it features two very young and unproven QBs.

Raiders (+7) at Chargers 

  • The Chargers need a win and a Titan loss to make the playoffs. I think they will do their part and get the win, and coupled with my pick of a Titans loss, they will earn a trip to Jacksonville next weekend. However, the Raiders have played a few close games lately, and the Chargers have not been as strong over the last few games, so I’ll take the Raiders to cover here.

49ers (-4) at Rams

  • This game could have been a thriller, but the Rams are planning on sitting their regulars in this one. Health is most important, but I wonder if they took into consideration the fact that the Eagles would be an easier second round matchup than the Vikings, as a loss and a Saints win would drop the Rams to the 4th seed. Jimmy G and Co. will continue to shine and get the Week 17 win and cover in LA.

Cardinals (+8.5) at Seahawks

  • The Seahawks are in with a win and a Falcon loss, and despite my pick of the Falcons winning, I could easily see the Panthers winning. The Seahawks are the better team and will get the win at home. However, their offense has now had two bad weeks in a row. I think they win a low scoring game with the Cardinals getting the cover.

That’s it for the regular season, but don’t worry, these articles won’t stop in the playoffs. They won’t be as long, but they will be much more in depth on the big playoff matchups. Will Dan Quinn edge out his old friends once again?

McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 16

Week 15 was one of the most chaotic weeks of NFL Football in recent years…

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…so chaotic, that every single favorite won.

Yes, that’s right. For just the third time since 1970, every single favorite won this past week. This was very reflective in my straight up record (13-3). Based on when I made the picks, Rams over Seahawks was an upset, but the line moved from Seahawks by 2 to a Pick ‘Em by game time. There were a lot of big spreads this weekend, which led to a lot of favorites winning. However, at the same time, the spreads were tough, and I went just 6-7-3 against the spread. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (winning team in red, spread winner in red):

Broncos at Colts (+2.5) 

  • Broncos 25, Colts 13- This pick was actually looking pretty good, until Trevor Siemian went down for the Broncos. In came the Brocketship, who looked like 2015 Brock to lead the Broncos to the comeback win.

Bears (+5.5) at Lions

  • Lions 20, Bears 10- This spread and winner came close to hitting, until Mitch Trubisky threw a terrible pick to end any comeback chance for the Bears. The Lions are in decent position to steal the last Wild Card spot.

Chargers at Chiefs (+1)

Dolphins at Bills (-3.5)

  • Note: This spread was made after it was announced Tyrod Taylor would start for the Bills. Once it was, I made my pick. 

Packers at Panthers (-3) 

Ravens at Browns (+7)

  • Ravens 27, Browns 10- After finishing 0-8 at home, is there any hope for a Browns win? As for the Ravens, they keep looking more and more like they will be a playoff team.

Texans at Jaguars (-10.5)

Bengals at Vikings (-10.5)

Jets at Saints (-15)

  • Saints 31, Jets 19- The Jets proved once again in Week 15 that they won’t go down without a fight. Also, shoutout to anyone who had the under, as Mark Ingram’s long TD hit the over, and had he been tackled, the game would have ended and the under would have hit.

Eagles (-7.5) at Giants

  • Eagles 34, Giants 29- The Eagles defense has some questions to answer, but what a performance by Nick Foles in his first start for the team since 2014. The Giants continue to find it impossible to reach the 30 point mark.

Cardinals at Redskins (-4)  

Rams at Seahawks (-2)

  • Rams 42, Seahawks 7- I think everyone can agree that we didn’t see this coming. What an unbelievably impressive performance by the Rams. Some people think this Seahawks dynasty is over, but I’m not buying that just yet. They have plenty of injuries on the defensive side of the ball, and if they can improve the rest of the offense besides Russell Wilson, they will still have a chance to be great next year.

Patriots at Steelers (+3)  

  • Patriots 27, Steelers 24- God. Dammit. I don’t think I’ve ever been so mad about a game that I did not have action on and did not impact the Cowboys in any way. I don’t think the call was wrong, the rule just sucks. Especially with Tony Romo on the call, this felt like the Dez catch all over again. The New England Patriots continue to get more lucky breaks than any sports franchise ever. Are they the best? Yes. But also the luckiest time and time again. Big Ben made an absolutely idiotic throw which then popped right up into the Patriots’ hands for a pick to end the game. Un-freaking-believable. This country needs the Patriots to lose in the playoffs this season (unless it’s to the Eagles).

Titans at 49ers (-2)

  • 49ers 22, Titans 20- A game winning field goal for the straight up win and a push against the spread.

Cowboys (-3) at Raiders

  • Cowboys 20, Raiders 17- After the Anthony Brown dropped pick and the Jourdan Lewis pass interference, it was a script I’ve seen so many times with my teams, a win taken away at the last second. WHAT A MIRACLE to then have the opposite happen to Raiders fans.

Falcons (-6.5) at Buccaneers

  • Falcons 24, Buccaneers 21- The Bucs played like many thought they were capable of coming into the year. Devonta Freeman did great for the Falcons, but it’s clear the Matt Ryan of 2017 is not nearly the Matt Ryan of 2016.

2017 Straight-Up: 149-75, 2017 Vs. Spread: 110-105-9

Merry Christmas, folks (hopefully no one reports this blog for being insensitive to those who don’t celebrate).

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Colts at Ravens (-13.5) 

  • As the season comes to a close, these two teams could not be going in more opposite directions. The Ravens were under performing, but now look headed towards a playoff berth. The Colts played some competitive football early on, but have really fallen off since. I think this opposite direction will show on Saturday and the Ravens will crush the Colts.

Vikings at Packers (+9) 

  • Welcome back to Lambeu, Aar- wait he’s done for the year again. Now that their chances are done, the Packers won’t be sending out #12 on Saturday night. However, with Brett Hundley getting more comfortable at QB in his last few games, I think he will do enough to help the Packers cover at home in this rivalry game. However, the Vikings are too good right now, and they will get the win.

Buccaneers at Panthers (-10)

  • The Panthers have put their early season inconsistencies behind, and are soaring towards a playoff berth. After nearly pulling one out on Monday Night, the Bucs are banged up and will have one less day of rest. I expect the Panthers to easily win and cover to lock up their 4th playoff berth in 5 seasons.

Browns (+6.5) at Bears

  • I’m not giving up on Cleveland to get a win. They say even the best teams can’t have a perfect season in a professional sports league. Well I’m going to argue vice versa for the Browns… but not this week. The Browns will fight hard and cover in their second to last game, but the Bears will edge out a win at home.

Lions at Bengals (+3.5) 

  • Is this going to happen? I’m not sure, but the Cowboys need it to and I’m gonna stay optimistic for the Bengals. The Bengals know they can’t have a performance nearly as embarrassing as the last two in Marvin Lewis’s last home game. The Bengals will get it together and upset the Lions at home. We all know and agree that the Detroit Lions CANNOT have nice things.

Dolphins at Chiefs (-10.5) 

  • While I don’t know if they will return to their early season form, the Chiefs are winning again at the right time and will look to lock up the AFC West this Sunday. The Dolphins returned to their expected form last Sunday, and I don’t think that will change this Sunday in Kansas City. The Chiefs won’t blow them out, but they will do enough to cover at home.

Bills at Patriots (-12)

  • The Bills just clinched at the very least a .500 season, and if they win out, they will be in. But you know what? No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills! The Patriots will return home after a tough road trip and win and cover over a team that they constantly do so against.

Falcons at Saints (-6) 

  • The Saints know that they missed a great opportunity just two weeks ago in Atlanta, and as the better team, I don’t think they squander the opportunity again. This matchup is commonly won by the home team as well, so I’m definitely taking the Saints. I think the Panthers are better than the Falcons, and seeing how they struggled in New Orleans just a few weeks ago, I’m taking the Saints to cover as well.

Chargers at Jets (+6.5)

  • The Chargers need a miracle to win the division, but they still have a great shot at a Wild Card. The Chargers are the better team and really need this one, so I’m gonna take them to win. However, this Jets team is tough, especially at home. I considered taking the Jets in an upset, but I’m sticking with the Chargers, and taking the Jets to cover.

Rams (-6.5) at Titans

  • After the Rams annihilated the Seahawks in a place where they rarely lose, let alone get blow out, I think this Rams train keeps on rolling. The Titans have fallen apart, and even though the Rams have been great all season, they seem more than ever to be coming together at the right time. The Titans won’t feel as bad as the Seahawks did last week, but they still won’t win or cover.

Broncos at Redskins (-3) 

  • If Brock Osweiler comes in and plays like he did last week, expect the Broncos to win on the road. However, I don’t trust the Brocketship nearly enough to do that again. Expect a close, low scoring game, with the Redskins edging out a win by one score, and enough to cover.

Jaguars (-4.5) at 49ers

  • It’s hard not to be impressed by what the 49ers have done over the last three weeks. However, this Jaguars team is way too good right now. Jimmy G will face his first real defensive test, and while I don’t think he’ll fail, I don’t think it will be enough. The EVEN week Jaguars will keep on rolling into the playoffs by winning and covering in Santa Clara.

Giants at Cardinals (-3.5) 

  • The Giants played well last week, but that was by far their best offensive performance of the season. The Cardinals are not an exciting team at all, but they have been better this season than they have been given credit for. In one of the least relevant games of the year, the Cardinals will win a close, low scoring game, and will cover as well.

Seahawks at Cowboys (-5)

  • Every week I say you can’t doubt the Seahawks, but this season is looking more and more like a bump in the road for this talented group. With Ezekiel Elliott coming back, I’m expecting this offense to look a lot more like last years, and the one that looked like one of the best in the NFL during their three game winning streak before the suspension. This will be by no means close to the score of last weeks Rams-Seahawks game, but my Cowboys will win and cover over Bert’s Seahawks in the BTB Bowl.

Steelers (-9) at Texans

  • With the Steelers tendency to play down to their opponent, as well as the loss of Antonio Brown, I’m expecting this to be a one score game for much of the contest. However, the Texans have completely mailed it in, and the Steelers still have a shot at the top seed if the Pats happen to lose. The Steelers will pull away late to win and cover on Christmas.

Raiders at Eagles (-9) 

  • While last week showed the Eagles vulnerability on defense, it also showed that Nick Foles could be the perfect answer. Nick Foles greatest game as Eagles QB came against the Raiders four years ago, and I’m expecting him to find success in his first home start in his second stint as Eagles QB. The Raiders will score, but the Eagles will do a lot more of that as they will win and cover on Christmas night.

That’s it for this week, be back next week for the regular season finale. What will we see on Christmas this year that we had never seen before?

McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 15

Just like the game I went to in Dallas, we had a close game at the half…

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…but this time, it was the Cowboys who pulled away in the second half. After a pretty boring game through the beginning of the fourth quarter, the Cowboys exploded for 3 TDs and 2 INTs of Eli “That’s my Quarterback” Manning. I won’t go into crazy detail on this, but I think that the Cowboys have a greater chance to make the playoffs than the less than 10% chance they are being given. We all know there will likely be an upset along the way, but if favorites win every game involving these NFC teams in the hunt, except one of the Falcons games (Week 15 at Bucs or Week 17 vs. Panthers), the Cowboys will end up as the 6th seed. The Cowboys will be favored the next two weeks, and if the Eagles win their next two (which they are favored to do), they won’t be playing for anything Week 17, and the Cowboys could therefore be favored in that one as well (I just convinced myself the Cowboys are going to the Super Bowl).

As for the picks in Week 14, let’s just say it was like the NBA- a game of runs. After an amazing start which saw me at 8-1 against the spread and 7-2 straight up after the early games, the late games absolutely killed me. I ended up with a winning record, but things could have gone so much better. I went 9-7 both straight up, and against the spread. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (winning team in red, spread winner in red):

Saints at Falcons (-2.5)

Cowboys (-4) at Giants

Colts at Bills (-4)

Vikings at Panthers (+2.5)

Bears (+6.5) at Bengals

  • Bears 33, Bengals 7- Well, I was right about the Bengals being banged up,  but I could have never imagined it being that bad. The Bears put together as complete of a performance as it gets, and the Bengals clearly played their Super Bowl 6 days earlier.

Packers (-3) at Browns

49ers at Texans (-3)

  • 49ers 26, Texans 16- Has the next Joe Montana arrived in San Fran? What a great performance by Jimmy G to lead the Niners to their second straight win in his second start.

Raiders at Chiefs (-4)

Lions (-2.5) at Buccaneers

Titans (-3) at Cardinals

  • Cardinals 12, Titans 7- Talk about a shitty game. The Titans still have a great shot to make the playoffs, but they are clearly no threat whatsoever.

Jets (-1) at Broncos

  • Broncos 23, Jets 0- Josh McCown getting hurt helped, but where has this Denver team been for the last 8 weeks? The Jets now have an opportunity to lose out and get a better draft pick after their surprisingly okay season.

Redskins (+6) at Chargers

  • Chargers 30, Redskins 13- The Redskins looked like the Redskins of the previous week, and the Chargers returned to their form from Thanksgiving in Dallas.

Seahawks (+2.5) at Jaguars

  • Jaguars 30, Seahawks 24- Even week Jags, WTF? I was so sure Seattle would win this one, but Jacksonville came to play and the Seahawks comeback effort was too late. I have no problems with the Seahawks on offense and I like Russell Wilson a lot, but (sorry Bert) the Seahawks defense continues to be a bunch of sore losers, especially one of the two people I hate in the NFL more than anyone, Michael Bennett (you can probably guess who the other is, hint: same last name). However, I loved that we nearly had a Malice at the Palace 2.0.

Eagles at Rams (-2.5)

  • Eagles 43, Rams 35- What an amazing game and performance by the Eagles. Even though the Rams lost, the Eagles are the ones keeping their heads down after this one. Can Nick Foles have another magical run as Eagles backup QB?

Ravens (+5) at Steelers

Patriots (-11.5) at Dolphins

  • Dolphins 27, Patriots 20- Games like these commonly happen when a team is shorthanded on the road. Just not usually for the Patriots. The Dolphins had their best performance of the season by far, and the exact opposite can be said about the Pats. Special shoutout to anyone who had Over 48, as the Pats had 1st and Goal at the 1, and ended up settling for a field goal, pushing the total to 47.

2017 Straight-Up: 136-72, 2017 Vs. Spread: 104-98-6

It’s hard to believe it’s already Week 15.

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Broncos at Colts (+2.5)

  • Based on last week, the Broncos should easily win this one. But that Broncos team had not been seen since Week 2, and they have yet to win on the road this year. The Broncos will return to their losing ways, the Colts will get the upset win at home on Thursday night.

Bears (+5.5) at Lions 

  • The Bears looked extremely sharp last week, and I like that train to keep rolling this weekend in Detroit. However, the Lions have more to play for here, and they are the home team. I think the Lions edge out a close win, but the Bears cover.

Chargers at Chiefs (+1)

  • If this game were to have been played last week, I probably would have taken the Chargers. Not to base too much off last week, but the Chiefs looked good, and we know what they are capable of. Now as a home underdog, I think the Chiefs get the home win over the Chargers.

Dolphins at Bills

  • Note: This spread has not been announced yet due to the Bills QB situation. I will choose this game once the starter is announced, and reveal what my pick was next week.

Packers at Panthers (-3) 

  • R-E-L-A-X Packers fans, #12 is back. The Packers are capable of beating anyone with Aaron Rodgers, but in order to make the playoffs, they will need to win out in 3 tough games. And I don’t think they get in done in this one. The Panthers are coming off a great win over the hottest team in the NFC, and I think they keep cruising towards the playoffs with a home win in Rodgers’ first game back.

Ravens at Browns (+7)

  • The Ravens played great last week, but it has to hurt to do all of that in a losing effort. The Browns are coming off what should have been their first win, and they know this could be their last chance in their last home game. The Browns will do enough to cover, but the Ravens will get the win.

Texans at Jaguars (-10.5)

  • If the even week Jags can get a win, I don’t think the Texans can come close to competing with the odd week Jags. The Jaguars will keep this train rolling into the postseason and crush the Texans at home.

Bengals at Vikings (-10.5) 

  • Another big spread, but another game in which I like the favorite to cover. The Bengals looked decimated last week, and I think the same happens this week. The Vikings will get back to their winning ways and easily win at home over the Bengals, and cover as well.

Jets at Saints (-15)

  • Big spreads? No problem. The Jets QB situation is horrific now without Josh McCown, and now I think they will look like the team everyone expected them to be coming into the season. The Saints will win big at home over the Jets.

Eagles (-7.5) at Giants

  • The Eagles have one of the best backup QB situations in the league in Nick Foles, someone who has succeed in that role before for the same team. However, I think this game will be close and low scoring at the half just like the Cowboys game against the Giants. However, just like the Cowboys, the Eagles will pull away late to win and cover.

Cardinals at Redskins (-4) 

  • If you were to ask someone who was having a better season of these two teams, they would probably say the Redskins. The Cardinals are not making the playoffs, but they are very low key 6-7, one game ahead of the 5-8 ‘Skins. The Cardinals have been playing better of late, and I think it will be a close one. However, the Redskins will score late to get the win and cover at home.

Rams at Seahawks (-2) 

  • The up and coming Rams get their first test on the road against the previous Alphas of the NFC West. While I think the Rams end up winning the division, I’m taking the Seahawks at home in this one. The Seahawks looked great defending their home turf when the Eagles came to town two weeks ago, and the Rams are coming off of a tough loss to those same Eagles. Wilson and the Seahawks will survive in this one.

Patriots at Steelers (+3) 

  • After watching the Steelers on prime time the last 3 weeks, I’m starting to feel that they are a team of destiny this year. Losing on the road to the lowly Dolphins may just be the pre-playoffs wake up call that the Pats needed, but I’m sticking with the Steelers in this one. I could see the Pats winning, but I cannot believe they are 3 point favorites on the road against a team with a better record. I’m going with the home ‘dog Steelers in this one.

Titans at 49ers (-2) 

  • The Niners are hot, and the Titans are not. Jimmy G has lead the Niners to back to back wins on the road, and now he returns to SF for his first home start. I think he succeeds and the Titans come out flat on the West Coast again, and the Niners get the win and cover at home.

Cowboys (-3) at Raiders

  • Super Bowl LII five weeks early? It does not look like that will be happening. However, this is a big game for both teams. And with the Cowboys knowing Zeke will be back next week, I think they go in knowing they have to win this game. Their defense looked significantly better with their MVP Sean Lee back in the lineup to make 18 (EIGHTEEN!) tackles, as well as an interception. I think this will be a close one, but the Boys will edge it out on Sunday night to keep their hopes alive.

Falcons (-6.5) at Buccaneers

  • The Falcons have been playing competitive football at the right time as they hope another playoff run is near. And it think that will show on Monday night. The home team Bucs will keep it close, but the Falcons will pull away late to win and cover.

That’s it for this week, be back for Week 16. Can Chris Boswell hit a winning field goal for a FIFTH straight week?


McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 14

After a November full of favorites winning, there were plenty of underdogs who won to start December…

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…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.

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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?

McGon’s Picks: NFL Week 13

After a September and October full of upsets and inconsistent play by many teams, favorites have finally found their way in November.

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Week 12 was the best Sunday for the betting public this season, and Vegas sports books have taken a beating as favorites have gone 37-15-4 against the spread this month. Just as Week 12 was great for the rest of the public, it was great for me as well. I went a season high 11-4-1 against the spread, and tied a season high at 14-2 straight up. Here’s a look back at the picks I made (winning team in red, spread winner in red):

Vikings (-3) at Lions

Chargers (-2.5) at Cowboys (Thank God I don’t have to justify what went wrong here)

Giants at Redskins (-7.5)

Buccaneers (+9.5) at Falcons

  • Falcons 34, Buccaneers 20- The Falcons are starting to find their groove at the best time possible. While its possible that they take a step back any week, it would not be shocking to see them go on a late season run somewhat similar to last season.

Browns at Bengals (-8)

Titans (-3) at Colts

Bills (+10) at Chiefs

  • Bills 16, Chiefs 10- The Chiefs downfall from one of the best offenses in the league to one of the worst continues to make little sense. There’s only one way to explain it…

Dolphins at Patriots (-16)

Panthers (-4.5) at Jets

Bears at Eagles (-13.5)

Seahawks at 49ers (+6.5)

  • Seahawks 24, 49ers 13- The Seahawks continue their dominance over the Niners, as they have now won 9 in row against them (including playoffs), a streak that began during their incredible NFC Championship game. After 8 quarters, the Niners scored their first TD against the Seahawks this year with the clock reading :00, with the throw courtesy of new QB Jimmy Garoppolo.

Saints at Rams (-2.5)

Jaguars (-5.5) at Cardinals

  • Cardinals 27, Jaguars 24- After the Jaguars narrowly pulled out their first even week victory of the year in Week 10, they went back to their even week ways with a down performance in Week 12. Blake Bortles had two great rushing TDs, but then blew a chance at a comeback win with one of the worst interceptions I have ever seen.

Broncos at Raiders (-5)

Packers at Steelers (-14)

  • Steelers 31, Packers 28- Kudos to Brett Hundley and the Packers for their great performance in this one. The Steelers, despite their 9-2 record, continue to show vulnerability against weaker opponents, but still find a way to pull out wins in the end.

Texans (+7) at Ravens

  • Texans 23, Ravens 16- Vegas knew what was gonna happen before we did.

2017 Straight-Up: 116-60, 2017 Vs. Spread: 88-82-6

December football is here.

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Redskins (-1.5) at Cowboys

  • With Ezekiel Elliott and Sean Lee both still out, I don’t see much changing for the Cowboys. They finally got Tyron Smith back last week, but that offensive line health only lasted for so long as they lost Zack Martin to a concussion, and he’s questionable for this game. It’s hard to imagine the Cowboys playing as poorly as they have the last 3 weeks (especially in the second half) yet again, but that’s what I’ve said the last two weeks. The Redskins have played better of late and will earn a close win on the road.

Vikings (+3) at Falcons

  • I’ve been going back and forth on this one, but I’m gonna go with my original instinct of a Vikings upset on the road. The Falcons have looked great the last 3 weeks, but the Vikings have looked great for the last 7. They controlled the entire game in Detroit on the road, and I like them to grind out a win this week and establish themselves as a true threat to the Eagles’ top seed. Let the Vikings hosting the Super Bowl at home talks begin.

Lions (+3) at Ravens

  • Another road upset here. The Ravens have given us more of an image of who they are of late, and while they’ve won a few games, I still don’t think they are consistent enough to keep it rolling. The Lions have fallen off a little after their hot start, but I think they are the better team and will come in with a few extra days of rest, and will get the upset win in Baltimore.

Patriots (-8.5) at Bills

  • No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills, and that will stay true this week. The Bills looked much better last week after three straight brutal losses, and this is the perfect time for Brady and Co. to come in and put them back in their place. I don’t think it will be a rout like the Saints game, but the Patriots will come in and win and cover in Buffalo.

49ers (+3) at Bears

  • The Jimmy G era will get off to a good start. While it is too early to say he’ll for sure turn around the Niners, I think he will look good this weekend in Chicago. The Bears have fallen off and have dropped 4 in a row, and I think the Niners get the upset for their first road win of the year.

Buccaneers (-1.5) at Packers

  • The Packers looked great last week, but based on how they have looked under Brett Hundley prior to that game, I have to believe that is the best performance we are going to get from this team. Jameis Winston is back for the Bucs, and I think they pull out a close win in Green Bay, and enough to cover.

Colts at Jaguars (-9.5)

  • Never doubt the odd week Jags. The Jaguars defense dominated the Colts in Week 7, and while the Colts have played better since, I think this is a bad matchup for Indy. The Jags will rebound from their poor performance in Arizona to win and cover at home.

Broncos at Dolphins (+1.5)

  • The noise of a toilet flushing is all you need to know about my thoughts for this game. The Broncos are the better team on paper, but I can’t help but continue to think that they’ve been cursed since annihilating the Cowboys in Week 2. I have the Dolphins winning a close, low scoring game at home.

Chiefs (-3.5) at Jets

  • The Chiefs return to the Meadowlands two weeks after getting embarrassed by the Giants. The Chiefs should be better than the Jets, and with the Jets commonly playing well against better opponents this year, then losing a close one in a very Jets way, this spread is perfect. I think the Chiefs edge out a close win, and I’ll pick them to cover as well.

Texans (+6.5) at Titans

  • The Titans and Texans have played a lot of close games of late. The Titans are the better team than the Watson-less Texans and are home, so they should definitely get the win. However, the Texans did beat the Titans 57-14 earlier this year. Despite missing the key piece to that blowout, I think the Texans will play tough in a divisional matchup and cover.

Browns at Chargers (-14)

  • The Chargers are a team to watch out for as the playoffs near. They have been getting excellent play on both sides of the ball, as seen on Thanksgiving against the Cowboys. I think they continue their hot play and destroy the Browns at home. The Browns are searching for their first win since the last time they played the Chargers.

Panthers at Saints (-4)

  • Biggest matchup of the weekend right here. The Panthers have won 4 straight, and the Saints lost their first game since Week 2 last week, but they could have easily lost the week before as well. However, I’ll toss that all aside and look at how great the Saints have played at home this year. The Panthers have found a way to disappoint commonly in the last two years, and I think the Saints win a great game in New Orleans, and enough to cover.

Rams (-7) at Cardinals

  • After losing two weeks ago in Minnesota, the Rams came back to beat one of the NFC’s elite in the Saints. The Cardinals have had trouble putting together good performances in consecutive weeks this year, and I think they will fall back and the Rams will win and cover on the road.

Giants at Raiders (-8.5)

  • Despite the Broncos late comeback, the Raiders looked great last week at home. I don’t think Geno Smith is going to make the Giants THAT MUCH worse, but based on the turmoil in the organization and in the media, I don’t see him or the team playing well this week. I had the Raiders covering before the Giants QB decision, but with all this turmoil I have the Raiders crushing the Giants in Oakland. Rational Giants fans, don’t listen to all the moron Giants fans. Watch the video below.

Eagles (-6) at Seahawks

  • The Eagles continue to fly week after week, and I think the same happens this week against the Seahawks banged up defense. The Seahawks will stay in this game at home and with Russell Wilson under center, but the Eagles are too good right now, and they will continue this ride by winning and cover in Seattle.

Steelers (-5) at Bengals

  • The Steelers have played down to many of their opponents over the past two years, but they have always been sharp in division games. In this one on the road in Cincinnati, I think the Bengals keep in close. However, I have the Steelers pulling away late to win and cover on Monday night.

That’s it for Week 12, be back next week. What will Sundays be like without the comedy of Eli Manning?