Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Keller's Picks, Week 17

(Click here to see current NFL Pick Em standings -- week-by-week and YTD.)

Like a lot of NFL teams, I've essentially locked up my seeding at this point in the season.  But, Weidman still has something to play for, which means I can't slack off.  Now, there are justifiable reasons that I'm making all of these picks, but there are at least a couple where I might be picking based more on what I want to happen rather than what I think will actually happen.

Carolina at NOLA:
Drew Brees has the following QBERT split: Away: 74.3, Home 99.8.  Saints are unstoppable at home (ask the Falcons) and Brees needs to defend his shiny new passing record this week so Tom Brady doesn't it steal it out from under him.

Buffalo at New England:
I'd like nothing more than for the Pats and hated Ravens to lose, the Steelers to win, and have the road to the Super Bowl come through Pittsburgh.  I'd also like to have a nacho fountain in my dining room and Captain America's shield.  Ain't gonna happen.

Chicago at Minnesota:
When in doubt, take the home team.  Adrian Peterson is out and the Vikings have one of the worst pass defenses in history, but Matt Forte and Jay Cutler's Infuriating Face are also on injured reserve.  I don't trust a McCown brother to put up big numbers, even against a pass defense as woeful as this one.

NY Jets at Miami:
I know.  All home teams thus far.  The Dolphins took the Pats to the brink last week in Foxborough and I just have this feeling that Rex Ryan's team is going to crap the bed.  Nothing more than a feeling, but it's a strong feeling.  Plus which, Miami's favored.  Which is rare enough that you need to take it when it happens (not the Line of the Week, though).

San Francisco at St. Louis:
If Charlie Batch can beat the Rams by 27, then Jim Harbaugh's practice squad can beat the Rams by 10.

Detroit at Green Bay:
If the Lions still had something to play for, I'd take them.  I think the Packers want to finish the season strong and they want to finish 8-0 at Lambeau Field in order to pay back all their shareholders.  Since, ya know, those shareholders can't vote, they don't get dividends, and they can't sell their shares.  They should at least get something, right?

Washington at Philadelphia:
More of a vote of no confidence in the Redskins than a vote of confidence in the Eagles.

Indianapolis at Jacksonville:
Now that Dan Orlovsky has a taste for victory, he will pursue it at all costs.  I think the Colts are on the upswing and the Jags are just trying to limit injuries so they don't have to sit out the first couple of weeks of golf season.

Tennessee at Houston:
Titans have something to play for.  Texans don't have anything to play for and TJ Yates is also showing some warts.  This one is sneaky, though, since Houston is a three point dog at home.

Seattle at Arizona:
I wish I could quit the Cardinals.  I really do.

Kansas City at Denver:
Now we're getting to the part where I start picking what I want to happen.  I'm not in the habit of picking against Football Jesus and I don't recommend it.  However, he looked absolutely awful against an average Buffalo pass defense last week.  The Chiefs have a very good pass defense and I think they could win this game all by themselves on pick sixes and recovered fumbles.

Tampa at Atlanta:
Falcons are tough at home, they're angry that they lost last week, and the Bucs are just dreadful.  I know Cam Newton is a good player, but 48 points?  C'mon, man!

Baltimore at Cincinnati:
This is a pretty even split between "want to" and "think it will actually happen" so allow me to explain.
  1. The Bengals are fighting for their playoff lives while the hated Ravens are playing for seeding.
  2. Baltimore sucks on the road this year.
  3. They almost lost to Cleveland at home last week.
  4. AJ Green should be ready to go and should be motivated to prove that he deserves to go to the Pro Bowl.
  5. I trust in the Might Ginger.

Steelers at Cleveland:
I think the Browns are almost as motivated to work on their short game as the Jags.  Plus which, the Steelers actually have something to play for.

San Diego at Oakland:
Picking it this way because I want the winner of the AFC West -- whoever it may be -- to finish 8-8.  That has been a weird division all year, the games have been tough to pick, and I want people to start screaming about how it's unfair that an 8-8 team gets a home game and an 11-5 team (hello, hated Ravens) has to play on the road.  I don't agree that it's unfair, I just want whatever crappy team that wins the AFC West to have to deal with all the whining and nagging for a bit.

Dallas at NY Giants:I think Eli is starting to become a clutch quarterback and I know Romo is not.  Also, Romo hurt his throwing hand in Week 16 and injuries like that tend to make it difficult to grip and throw the ball.  Cowboys will need to air it out to beat the Giants and I don't think a lame Romo gets it done in December.  Or January.  Or whatever month it will be at that point.

Line of the Week:
Saints (-9) over Panthers.  At this point, I'd need a spread of at least 14 points to pick against New Orleans at home.  They're pretty well unstoppable in the Superdome this season.

Moneyline of the Week:
Cincinnati (+113) over BaltimoreI feel more confident about this pick than I do picking the Chargers, but I could just really, really want this to happen.

Over/Under of the Week:
Washington at Philadelphia (46.5, UNDER).  That number just seems too high.  I know the Dream Team has a lot of talent on offense, but the Redskins are good enough on defense to keep this game from getting out of control.  Plus which, you're probably looking at a 34-7 Eagles victory (maybe even 34-10), which is still the Under.

NOLA over Carolina
New England over Buffalo
Minnesota over Chicago
Miami over NY Jets
San Francisco over St. Louis
Green Bay over Detroit
Philadelphia over Washington
Indianapolis over Jacksonville
Tennessee over Houston
Arizona over Seattle
Kansas City over Denver
Atlanta over Tampa
Cincinnati over Baltimore
Steelers over Cleveland
San Diego over Oakland
NY Giants over Dallas

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