NFL Picks Week 16

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Sup pussies,

It’s your boy Santa, only this year I’ve been crushing my keto diet and am totally shredded. I’m talking yoked. Even the reindeer look like they’ve been mainlining HGH, but that’s just how dedicated they are to keto and Crossfit. It’s Christmas, so you know what that means: I’m about to visit every house in the world in one night and delicately arrange large and unwieldy presents underneath everyone’s tree. But newsflash, fatties- you’re not getting that new iPad. My factory doesn’t make that shit anymore. You’re getting workout gear. You’re getting a Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym no matter what you asked for unless you asked for a Bowflex Xtreme 2 SE Home Gym, in which case you’re getting a Bowflex Revolution Home Gym out of respect. I’m no longer accepting cookies, either. You leave out some snickerdoodles or some carrots for the reindeer and your ass is getting the biggest piece of coal you’ve ever seen. You leave out keto foods in 2019. Red meat, salmon, eggs, butter (grass-fed only or even your dad is getting shut out in the present department), nuts, and ‘cados are the only things I eat now, and the deer are the same. Mrs. Clause gave Rudolph a parsnip and now he’s at home on the bench. Sorry, I only have space for winners on my team.

As is it Christmas, I’ve been keeping my list. It’s kind of what I do. I’ve been paying particularly close attention to the NFL this year, and have compiled a complete breakdown of the games this week based on who’s been naughty or nice. It’s a foolproof formula that even you carb-brains could figure out. Little known fact about Keto Santa: I’m actually a sharp. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about every single bet I’ve ever made and the performance of each of my 45 fantasy teams after I bang out a couple sets of curls. Alright, done. That’s 10,000 today. Gotta stay grinding. As a special gift to you, I’m giving you a look behind the curtain. A glimpse into how the sausage gets made. Here’s my 2019 Week 16 NFL Naughty and Nice List. Do with it what you will.

  1. Saturday NFL games- Nice
  2. Three NFL games on a Saturday- Nice
  3. Houston Texans playing on Saturday afternoon, allowing them to practice for their inevitable Saturday playoff game- Naughty
  4. Deshaun Watson- Nice
  5. Jameis Winston- Nice
  6. Jamies Winston first-quarter interceptions- Nice
  7. Jamies Winston second-quarter interceptions- Nice
  8. Jameis Winston third-quarter interceptions- Nice
  9. Jameis Winston fourth-quarter interceptions- Nice
  10. Bucs’ remaining receiving corps- Naughty
  11. Texans -3 over Bucs- Nice
  12. Patriots’ advance scouting team- Naughty
  13. Pats’ giving the Bengals some shine by allowing them to be the latest team to accuse them of wrongdoing- Nice
  14. Pats’ winning the division for the millionth time despite being awful on offense and getting less than 75 total yards against the Bills- Nice, I guess
  15. Bills Mafia- Naughty
  16. Sean McDermott complaining on the sideline- Naughty
  17. Pats -6.5 over Bills- Nice
  18. Rams’ intestinal fortitude- Naughty
  19. Nick Bosa’s current mental state- Sorry, Keto Santa sticks to sports
  20. Kiara Mia’s influence on this 49ers season- Nice
  21. Niners winning 13 games and being the 5 seed- Naughty
  22. 49ers -7 over Rams- Nice
  23. Giants +2.5 over Redskins- Naughty
  24. Christian McCaffery getting 100 catches again- Nice
  25. The other 105 players on the field for Panthers-Colts- Naughty
  26. Colts -7 over Panthers- Naughty
  27. Duck- Naughty
  28. “Renegade” becoming a Steelers thing out of nowhere, then every broadcast talking about how “Renegade” is a signature Steelers thing constantly- Naughty
  29. The entire history of the Jets franchise- Naughty
  30. Steelers -3 over Jets- Naughty
  31. Mike Thomas getting 15 catches a game- Nice
  32. Drew Brees padding stats for so long we’ve forgotten how much stat-padding he’s done- Nice
  33. Titans’ home field advantage- Naughty
  34. Trying to tackle Derrick Henry- Naughty
  35. Titans’ playoff hopes- Pretty Naughty
  36. Saints -3 over Titans- Nice
  37. Lamar Jackson- Nice
  38. Lamar Jackson shattering defenders’ ankles- Naughty
  39. Baker Mayfield- Naughty
  40. Every Baker H8r- Nice
  41. Browns- Naughty
  42. Ravens -∞ over Browns- Nice
  43. Bulletproof Coffee- Nice
  44. Bengals vs. Dolphins- Was a lot nicer two months ago
  45. Fitzmagic revenge game- Nice
  46. Dolphins Pick over Bengals- Nice
  47. Falcons -7.5 over Jags- Naughty
  48. Broncos -7 over Lions- Naughty
  49. Chargers -7 over Raiders- Naughty
  50. Awful 4 o’clock games- Naughty
  51. Russell Wilson- Nice
  52. Every Seahawks player fumbling on every play- Naughty
  53. Seahawks being the number one seed despite fumbling every play and never winning a game by more than one possession in a really weird way- Nice
  54. Bengals almost beating Seattle in Seattle in week one- Naughty
  55. Kyler Murray- Nice
  56. Kyler Murray- Naughty
  57. Cardinals +9.5 over Seahawks- Nice
  58. NFC East- Naughty
  59. Talking about the NFC East- Naughty
  60. Cowboys -1.5 over Eagles- Nice
  61. Mitch Trubisky being drafted over Pat Mahomes- Naughty
  62. Being reminded that Mitch Trubisky was drafted over Pat Mahomes every two seconds- Naughty
  63. Matt Nagy’s ability to gameplan beyond the first 15 plays- Naughty
  64. The reasoning behind not just scripting more plays if the first 15 always work so well- Naughty
  65. Chiefs -6 at Bears- Nice
  66. The “6” key on my computer being sort of jammed- Naughty
  67. Aaron Rodgers- Naughty
  68. Aaron Rodgers’ family- He’ll never know
  69. Packers +5.5 over Vikings- Nice

That’s it. If you’re wondering where you fall on this list, too bad. I haven’t checked The List twice yet, which means it’s not public domain. I’m a little behind this year after the budget cuts. Fewer of your little shithead kids believe in me now, which means my resources are down, too. That’s why I switched to keto. Figured children would be more likely to believe in a sculpted Adonis who looks like 2009 Dwight Howard than in a fat old man. Hey, dad, maybe take your stupid kid’s phone away and do some real parenting. The earlier they stop believing in me, the earlier they come to you when they’re disappointed in their present haul. Just some (keto-friendly) food for thought.

Merry Christmas, losers.

NFL Picks Week 15

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It hurt my soul to write out “week 15.” Seems so much worse when it’s sitting there in front of you. The season’s almost over, folks, and there’s still a ton left up in the air. One thing that’s decided already, though, is MVP. Lamar Jackson is one of the more obvious MVPs I can remember, and there’s a decent chance he’s unanimous. Just an amazing season that checks off all the boxes: record-breaking? Check. Best team in the league? Check. Most entertaining offense? Check. Add in that he seems like an awesome, beloved teammate and a decent person all-around and it’s a no-brainer. He’s even threatening to make me root for the Ravens, something I haven’t done since the early 2000s. Thank God Suggs isn’t there to ruin this. By the way, I’m allowed to enjoy Lamar’s success because I went on the record before the draft as being pro-Lamar and wanted him to be Brady’s heir apparent. I’m saved from the internet’s ire, at least today.

We’re really getting down to nut-cutting time, and a bunch of teams are staring destiny in the face. We’ve got some #clinchingscenarios on the line, and a ton of super irrelevant games. Should be fun!

All lines from Bovada.

Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers (-4)

Let me make this clear: I want the Bears to win. I don’t think I’ve done a particularly good job of hiding my distaste for Aaron Rodgers over the years (I don’t hate him as much as he hates getting gifts from his family or attending grandparents’ funerals), so I’m sure it’s not shocking. And everything seems to favor the Bears, here. The Bears are Back, everyone’s been talking about how the Packers are a really shaky 2 seed, it’s the holidays so you know Rodgers has to spend all his time telling himself not to think about his family, literally everything is going against the Packers. But the Packers will win, because they always beat the Bears in Lambeau and they always beat the Bears when it would be most crushing for them. RIP Bears.

Pick: Packers -4

Seattle Seahawks (-7) at Carolina Panthers

Seahawks need this game, and, for their own psyche, need to win by a lot. Panthers have respectfully bowed out of this season for all non-McCafferey stat-padding purposes. Side note: did you know DJ Moore was fourth in the league in receiving yards? You do now.

Pick: Seahawks -7

New England Patriots (-10) at Cincinnati Bengals

Just to weigh in on this latest Patriots (hopefully) micro-scandal- I don’t really care. I don’t think normal people really care. The people who despise the Pats and base their entire existence on hating the Pats will obviously pounce and try to get Brady, Belichick, and Kraft executed and every draft pick until the end of time taken away, but that would have happened regardless. My thing is just be smarter. You’re never going to get the benefit of the doubt, particularly in this area. Don’t put yourself in this situation to begin with, and you won’t have the hyenas saying you have to cheat to beat the Bengals. Or maybe they got “caught” on purpose because they always rally together and win the Super Bowl when mired in controversy. In that case, carry on.

Pick: Pats -10

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs (-10)

At this point in the season, it’s always safer to pick the team that’s playing for something against the team that isn’t. But, improbably, the Broncos are still alive for the playoffs. If they win out and every other team in the league loses all their games, they’re in. That quest ends this week, but they’ll at least keep it close.

Pick: Broncos +10

Miami Dolphins at New York Giants (-3.5)

Nice.

Pick: Dolphins +3.5

Philadelphia Eagles (-5.5) at Washington Redskins

Sweet.

Pick: Eagles -5.5

Tampa Bay Bucs (-4) at Detroit Lions

Love it.

Pick: Bucs -4

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-3)

I’ll tell you what I wouldn’t want to do if I were an AFC South team, and that’s go into Nashville for a must-win December game and try to contain Tannehill and Tractorcito. No one’s hotter than the Titans and no one’s more content to blow the division than the Texans. They already won their Super Bowl, so everything else is gravy. Mike Vrabel is never satisfied, and he’ll have the boys ready to win by a thousand.

Pick: Titans -3

Minnesota Vikings (-1.5) at Los Angeles Chargers

Pass.

Pick: Chargers -1.5

Cleveland Browns (-3) at Arizona Cardinals

Sick.

Pick: Browns -3

Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders (-6.5)

Can’t get enough NFL football.

Pick: Raiders -6.5

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers (-11)

Folks, I haven’t seen a massacre this bad since the last time I opened a box of Cheez-Its after 1 am.

Pick: 49ers -11

Los Angeles Rams (-2) at Dallas Cowboys

The Man wants me to talk about this game, but I refuse. I’m just a rebel.

Pick: Rams -2

Buffalo Bills at Pittsburgh Steelers (-1)

The Steelers have morphed into an even more Bills-y version of the Bills, and this Spider-Man meme game could be a possible bizarro-world first-round matchup if the Bills win. But they won’t, because you don’t beat Duck Hodges in Heinz Field at night. You just don’t, no matter how many fans go through tables during the tailgate. Pretty sure Buffalo people view going to Pittsburgh the same way a European person would view going to Monaco or Croatia.

Pick: Steelers -1

Indianapolis Colts at New Orleans Saints (-9)

It’d be a real shame if something happened and I wasn’t able to watch this game.

Pick: Saints -9

NFL Picks Week 14

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Folks, the Bears are back. Sure, they’re only back when they play below .500 teams, but they’re back nonetheless. I don’t know, man, I think I see it with Mitch. You do the draft over again and taking him over Mahomes and Watson seems like a no-brainer. Guy can run and only has five abominable throws a game. You can win with that. Combine it with a revolutionary mind like Matt Nagy and you’ve got a recipe for success. Bears could make some noise in the playoffs. All they need is to win out and hope that the Vikings, Packers, Niners, and Seahawks all forget to show up for all their games. Not too much to ask. Side note on the Cowboys- yikes. Is that Dak contract set in stone yet? Because, umm, yeah.

Special edition this week, I’m writing the picks while watching The Irishman. As someone who is both a man and Irish, this movie was made specifically for me. It’s in the title. As a challenge, I’m going to see if I can finish this before the three-and-a-half-hour run time expires (micro-rant: if you complain about the movie being too long because your brain had been transformed into 2019 phone brain and you can’t focus on anything for more than ten seconds, I hope you die. It’s a long movie, deal with it). Forgive any mob puns.

All lines from Bovada.

Washington Redskins at Green Bay Packers (-13)

Me, watch this game? Fuggedaboutit! No, we have fun here.

Pick: Packers -13

San Francisco 49ers at New Orleans Saints (-2)

I don’t know how the Niners got stuck with all these east coast gauntlet games at the same time, but they really pissed someone off in the league office. Don’t feel super confident about Jimmy G going into the Dome, if we’re being honest. Relevant Irishman tie-in: the de-aging technology on RDN looks fine, but he still moves like an old man. It’s weird. This applies to Drew Brees this season (and NOT to another old QB who will remain anonymous).

Pick: Saints -2

Denver Broncos at Houston Texans (-9)

Broncos stink. And I think can all agree that the Texans are a juggernaut, right? Easily one of the best teams in history.

Pick: Texans -9

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-12.5)

Hate to say it, but it’s about time someone iced Matty Patricia. He’s about to get blown out by Kirk Cousins, and you just can’t let that happen.

Pick: Vikings -12.5

Indianapolis Colts at Tampa Bay Bucs (-3)

Pretty sure the Colts died last week. Jacboy’s not even close to healthy and Vinatieri’s cost them like five games at this point. They’re down on the mat. You can’t go into Tampa with a broken spirit and expect to contain Jameis. Just not gonna happen. He’ll hang 387 yards, 4 TDs, and 3 INTS on your head before you can blink.

Pick: Bucs -3

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons (-3)

I will give this game the same amount of undivided attention I’m currently giving The Irishman. Which I think I’m like halfway through.

Pick: Panthers +3

Baltimore Ravens (-6.5) at Buffalo Bills

Improbable at the beginning of the season, this game is actually crucial for the AFC East race. I’m really not used to having to sweat the division out, and I really don’t expect to, but the fact that the Bills are still hanging around is a testament to them. But the Ravens are gonna win, and I prefer it that way. Not getting the one seed sucks, but not winning the division would be humiliating. Another team can’t win the AFC East until two years after Brady retires.

Pick: Ravens -6.5

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns (-7)

Bengals are the hottest team in the league, and the pushover crybaby Browns won’t be able to stand in their way. Shoutout to Baker’s army of imaginary haters, haven’t heard from them in a while.

Pick: Bengals +7

Miami Dolphins at New York Jets (-5.5)

Speaking of hot teams. Fitzmagic is officially in full effect, and there’s nothing the Jets can do to stop it. It was sad to see the Jets’ miracle run come to such an ignominious end, but it just opens the door for the Dolphins, who haven’t technically been eliminated from the playoffs, yet.

Pick: Dolphins +5.5

Los Angeles Chargers (-3) at Jacksonville Jaguars

I’ll tell you what, Big Bob De Niro is Back, although he’s decidedly not Irish. I think old guys are back, in general. De Niro, Pacino, Pesci, LeBron, definitely some others. Makes me optimistic about the Super Bowl this year. Unless 2020 is the year of not-old-guys, in which case I’m very nervous.

Pick: Jags +3

Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots (-3)

I know it’s nonsensical, but the garbage time offense from last week really has me buying back in. Every pass is either to Edelman or James White, as it should be. Keep playing good D and you never know, right? Just have to get down just enough where teams stop really trying and they’re golden. God, just let me fast forward to a week after the inevitable playoff loss so I can avoid the molten-hot takes and grave dancing.

Pick: Pats -3

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) at Arizona Cardinals

The Irishman just ended. Forgive me, it was very distracting. I couldn’t beat the clock, and for that, I apologize. I give it nine old man emojis. This game gets two old man emojis.

Pick: Steelers -3

Tennessee Titans (-3) at Oakland Raiders

Derrick Henry has only started 28 of 59 games in his career. Imagine starting another running back over him. I couldn’t. The Raiders are out on their feet, and one long TD run from Tractorcito will completely end their season. Scientists will be trying to figure out if the Titans are actually good for generations.

Pick: Titans -3

Seattle Seahawks (-1) at Los Angeles Rams

In the Legion of Boom’s heyday, they would always lose one game to the Rams. It was random and inexplicable and easy to predict. It was always the week Johnny Hekker would break out the fake punts and the score would be like 11-6. Even though the Rams are better than they were then, they have less chance to win. They’re just too soft and the Seahawks are too good. Someone lure Sean McVay into a meeting in an empty house before putting a bullet in his head and cleaning up the evidence already.

Pick: Seahawks -1

New York Giants at Philadelphia Eagles (-9.5)

Eli’s back, probably. Hooray.

Pick: Eagles -9.5

NFL Picks Week 13

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Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving. I know I did, dutifully watching three pretty bad games while not being in physical proximity to my family. Alas, such is the price I pay for my lavish big city lifestyle. At least I was able to avoid questions about why I’m still single and don’t have any kind of career to speak of. Unfortunately, I can’t run from this week’s terrible slate of games, salvaged only by Niners-Ravens and a possibly decent Sunday night-Monday night combo. Really wish they put the Ravens at 4:25, but oh, well, I guess. We got Jets-Bengals to look forward to.

All lines from Bovada.

Green Bay Packers (-7) at New York Giants

Here’s something I’m thankful for: despite being miles away from my family on Thanksgiving, I know I was closer to mine than Aaron Rodgers is to his. Giants stink so they’ll get an easy win, but I wouldn’t feel too happy about this team if I was a cheesehead. Feels like an early playoff exit. What else is new for Rodgers, who fewer and fewer people are calling the GOAT these days?

Pick: Packers -7

San Fransisco 49ers at Baltimore Ravens (-6)

Hell yes. The Niners are in the middle of an absurd stretch of games against really, really good teams, and getting out completely unscathed is a little unrealistic. Packers last week, now Ravens, Saints next week, then Seahawks in week 17 (Rams no longer count as competition). West coast team coming east for a 1 o’clock game plus Lamar being completely on fire means this is the one they drop. No shame, but they’d better win the rest of their games if they don’t want to get slapped in the face with a Wild Card appearance.

Pick: Ravens -6

Philadelphia Eagles (-10) at Miami Dolphins

This is a sad, sad game that no one needs to watch.

Pick: Dolphins +10

Cleveland Browns (-2.5) at Pittsburgh Steelers

The Mason Rudolph revenge game that won’t feature Mason Rudolph, sweet! Did you know Myles Garrett hit him over the head with his own helmet a few weeks ago? If, for some reason, you watch more than three seconds of this game, you’ll be seeing the clip at least forty-five times, so don’t worry if you’re a little lost. Browns are in the middle of a classic “we finished the year hot but missed the playoffs, so let’s get the hype going for next year!” run, which is exactly what they did last year. And probably next year, and the year after that. Browns big.

Pick: Browns -2.5

Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-2.5)

I don’t care that the Titans are back, I don’t care that Ryan Tannehill is taking the next step not playing terribly, and I definitely don’t care that Derrick Henry is doing his annual routine of becoming the best running back in the league the last six weeks of the season. Titans just don’t beat the Colts. Ever.

Pick: Colts -2.5

Washington Redskins at Carolina Panthers (-10)

Yuck. Redskins predictably can’t even tank right. What are they doing winning games? Do they want Chase Young or not?

Pick: Panthers -10

New York Jets (-3.5) at Cincinnati Bengals

I’m addicted to this Jets run. They’re so good now! Completely out of nowhere. That’s the power of a run the table guarantee when used correctly (i.e., when you play all the terrible teams on your schedule). I don’t see why the Jets can’t win out. You know, besides the fact that they’re the Jets.

Pick: Jets -3.5

Tampa Bay Bucs (-1.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars

I’ll tell you something- Jags SSSSSSSSSSSTTTTIIIINNNNNKKKKKKKKKK. They’re horrible and they quit three months ago. Can’t wait to watch Jameis put up 408 yards with 3 TDs and 2 INTs. Either Chris Godwin or Mike Evans will have 200+ yards receiving, and honestly, it might be both.

Pick: Bucs -1.5

Los Angeles Rams (-3) at Arizona Cardinals

Rams are such a disgrace. I understand losing to the Patriots in a Super Bowl kills morale. Happened to the Falcons, happened to the Seahawks, will happen to whatever NFC team makes it this year. But to fall apart so completely one year after reinventing the NFL and getting a thousand new coaches hired simply because they knew Sean McVay like this is embarrassing. Have some pride. Stop sucking so much. Be less boring. Guarantee they lose again this week, even though I kind of forgot the Cardinals existed during their bye.

Pick: Cardinals +3

Los Angeles Chargers (-3) at Denver Broncos

It’s time to talk about what’s actually important- Thanksgiving leftovers. There’s a growing swath of anti-turkey rhetoric online these days, but, if you ask me, it’s just typically anti-traditionalism for its own sake. Because if you remove turkey from the equation, you remove the best part (by far) of Thanksgiving leftovers. The post-TG turkey sandwich is what God had in mind when he created food. The turkey tastes 10,000,000 times better day two or three or four (if you’re lucky, day five and six). The mashed potatoes are probably the most versatile leftover in that simply heating them up isn’t the only available option. You can fry them up in little patties, maybe bake them in little patties, if you’re feeling adventurous you can use them as a spread for your sandwich, or simply heat them up with some gravy. Pretty much everything you just kind of have to eat them as-is unless you get really creative. So ends the discussion.

Pick: Broncos +3

Oakland Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs (-10)

You’re telling me Andy Reid is gonna lose coming off a bye the same week his appearance on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives aired? Please. Chiefs by a zillion.

Pick: Chiefs -10

New England Patriots (-3.5) at Houston Texans

The Texans could beat the Pats five thousand consecutive times and I would never be worried about them.

Pick: Pats -3.5

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks (-3)

If, for some reason, I was in charge of making the lines, I probably would have made it Seahawks -4.5, so I’ll take the 3. Kirk Cousins already won a “big” game in primetime earlier this year. It won’t happen again.

Pick: Seahawks -3

NFL Week 12 Picks

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This is a day late, yes. You want to fight about it? I didn’t think so. I’ll be honest, Colts-Texans was so exciting I passed out for an entire day. Just knocked me right out. My brain couldn’t live with the new information it learned Thursday night; that information being that both these teams are somehow destined to lose in the Saturday afternoon Wild Card game. The AFC shouldn’t even have playoffs, it should just be Pats-Ravens in the AFC Championship Game. “B-but what about the Chiefs?” Shut up. Chiefs stink, too. Every team stinks, which is just what the NFL wants.

Mixed bag this week, some really, really good games, some really, really bad ones. For those of you without access to calendars, Thanksgiving is next week, which means we’re getting dangerously close to Playoff Scenario Graphics. Cherish this moment, it’s the best time of year.

All lines from Bovada.

Seattle Seahawks at Philadelphia Eagles (-1)

Am I missing something, here? The Seahawks are good and the Eagles are eh. Just about the only thing in the Birds’ favor is that Seattle is a west coast team coming east for a one o’clock game. Eagles’ season is on the line for the thousandth time this season, it’s time to put them down for good.

Pick: Seahawks +1

New York Giants at Chicago Bears (-6)

Puke city. There’s zero chance the Bears still play for Matt Nagy, right? That team wants nothing more than to quit on their dickhead coach. Giants win despite their best interests.

Pick: Giants +6

Carolina Panthers at New Orleans Saints (-10)

Do people realize that Mike Thomas is currently on pace to break the single-season record for receptions? Because he is. I’ve established my love of massive reception totals with minimal yardage, but Michael racks up absurd yardage along with his one-yard quick screens and isn’t particularly fast, quick, or athletic. It’s breaking my brain, but I embrace it. This game is a showcase of Mike Furrey All-Stars, with Mike, Kamara, and CMC all likely to get 10+ catches for under 100 yards, which, if the planets align, will protect my browsers from porn for the foreseeable future. I can’t figure either one of these teams out, but I know that Kyle Allen STINKS and that he’s not going into the Dome and winning.

Pick: Saints -10

Pittsburgh Steelers (-7) at Cincinnati Bengals

Distraction-free week for the Steelers, just what you want when facing such an inferior opponent. Just focus on the task at hand, no outside talk about various controversies, onfield or otherwise. What happened last week? I sustained head trauma after an opponent bopped me on the noggin with a helmet and I’m having trouble remembering. I certainly remember how bad the Bengals are, though.

Pick: Steelers -7

Detroit Lions (-3.5) at Washington Redskins

Now that we’re in #YearEndSalesEventSZN, it’s time someone asks the question- has anyone ever actually gotten a car for Christmas? Do they even manufacture bows big enough to put on the roofs? If you woke up on Christmas morning and didn’t have any presents under the tree, wouldn’t you be a little pissed? And then your idiot husband is like “Hey, look, honey, I bought you a new car!” “Dang, Carl, thanks! What’d you do with the old one?” “Well, I sold it and all our other possessions so I could afford to buy this new car upfront since I didn’t find their financing options attractive enough.” “Sick.” What a terrible and impractical gift to give someone. If I got a car for Christmas, I feel like the whole time during the maiden voyage (which someone else technically did, because how else would it have gotten to you?) I’d just be thinking about how much I would have rather just gotten a new sweatshirt or something.

Pick: Lions -3.5

Tampa Bay Bucs at Atlanta Falcons (-4)

I know the Falcons are back and the Bucs are the opposite of back, but I’ll never take the Falcons. Not after I watched them blow a 28-3 lead in the third quarter of the Super Bowl against the New England Patriots.

Pick: Bucs +4

Miami Dolphins at Cleveland Browns (-10.5)

This can go one of two ways for the Browns: they can rally behind the loss of their best player, come together, and salvage the season by going on a surprise win streak. Or, they can, you know, be the Browns and lose to the Dolphins.

Pick: Dolphins +10.5

Oakland Raiders (-3) at New York Jets

I know I spat in the face of the rule ten seconds ago, but never pick a west coast team coming east for an early game. Especially not when the Jets are hot and have a Run The Table guarantee in play.

Pick: Jets +3

Denver Broncos at Buffalo Bills (-4)

I don’t know, man. Let me know how this one ends.

Pick: Broncos +4

Jacksonville Jaguars at Tenessee Titans (-3.5)

There are diehard Jags and Titans fans out there. Legitimately. Imagine being one of those people. Imagine convincing yourself that either of these teams will be anything other than an irrelevant also-ran. Like, imagine being the Titans fan that’s like, “yeah, this is the year we’re gonna beat the Patriots and go all the way!” I can’t. I can’t imagine living such a pathetic life, and my life is about as pathetic as it gets. You can keep this game if it’s not Color Rush.

Pick: Titans -3.5

Dallas Cowboys at New England Patriots (-6.5)

I’m so secretly-not-that-confident about this game that I couldn’t be more confident. The Cowboys are a different animal obviously, but the last time the Pats faced an actually good offense it went… not great. Cowboys can rush the passer and theoretically run the ball down their gullet. But, like, come on. Have you watched Zeke this year? He stinks. I’ll bet my life that 1,000-year-old Randall Cobb and Mike Gallup don’t do anything too crazy. Pats can’t block anyone, but they haven’t blocked anyone all year and are 9-1. It’s Jason Garret vs. Bill Belichick. I really should have just said that and saved myself an entire pointless paragraph.

Pick: Pats -6.5

Green Bay Packers at San Fransisco 49ers (-3)

I know I’m obviously making it up, but I feel like they already played this year. Maybe I’m just caught up in the NFL 100 festivities and am just seeing old Packers and Niners highlights wherever I look. I’m seeing T.O., Dorsey Levins for some reason, another guy whose name I’m forgetting but he had 181 yards rushing while also throwing for 263 yards in the same playoff game. Classic helmet matchup; just feels like January. I tell you what, though, I’m stumped. Jimmy G’s been dying to cost them a game or two with a backbreaking pick late in the fourth quarter. Aaron Rodgers is dying to throw a tantrum on his team after they cost him a game late in the fourth quarter. Niners are better, so might as well just pick them.

Pick: Niners -3

Baltimore Ravens (-3.5) at Los Angeles Rams

Pats murdered the Rams, who are now in one of the more hopeless cap situations in the NFL. They’re about to get steamrolled.

Pick: Ravens -3.5

NFL Picks Week 11

APTOPIX Steelers Browns Football

I was all set to go on a rant against the Browns’ headhunting safeties and my pure hatred for headhunting safeties in general. There was gonna be a lot of vitriol and fury, let me tell you. I turned the game off with like a minute and a half left so I could get some shuteye and wake up early to UNLEASH (h/t Skip) on the safeties of the NFL when I got a notification that the game ended in a brawl and that Myles Garrett used Mason Rudolph’s helmet as a weapon. What the hell, man? You couldn’t have done that two minutes earlier? There’s a lot of pearl-clutching and melodramatic melancholy out there today, but when you take a step back this is so funny. Listen, Garrett’s getting suspended, most likely for the rest of the season. But how can you not see the humor in this? He grabbed another guy’s helmet and bopped him on the head with it. Rudolph ate it, so it’s okay to laugh. Look at that picture. That’s a funny picture. Plus, I guarantee Rudolph is fine with it because now no one is talking about how terrible he was. All the contrarians online are pointing to Rudolph trying to take Garrett’s helmet off first for some reason (seriously, what was his plan, there?) as reason enough to defend Garrett (if you’re a Garrett defender, like, why? He hit someone over the head with a helmet. Not a lot of moral gray area), and I’d like to think this was intentional escalation by Rudolph. He knew what he was doing. He had to take the heat off himself. Now it’s Browns being Browns, not Mason Rudolph stinks. Genius level thinking. The good news for Myles is that this will definitely blow over and no one will ever bring it up again for the rest of his career. Don’t worry, man.

All lines from Bovada.

Denver Broncos at Minnesota Vikings (-10.5)

You know who’s been playing way too well and is itching to throw a game away? Kirk Cousins. Feel like I’ve gone with this a million weeks in a row, but the point stands. Big win in primetime last week, classic, classic letdown spot here. Broncos stink, but have just enough guys to be frisky in the right situation. This is that situation. It’s about time the Vikings receivers go on another tirade against their QB.

Pick: Broncos +10.5

New Orleans Saints (-5.5) at Tampa Bay Bucs

Last week was the third time this year the Saints didn’t score a touchdown. Third! That’s not good, folks. I know they’ve had a billion injuries or whatever, but they can’t score. At all. But, umm, you know who gives up the most points per game in the NFL? It rhymes with ducks. I bet you thought I was going to say a different word, there. We keep it clean around these parts. Shoutout Mikes Thomas and Evans, number one and two in receiving yards. Also shoutout Ndamukong Suh, no longer the dirtiest player in the league.

Pick: Saints -5.5

Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers (-4)

Let’s try this again: what’s a bigger lock- Falcons getting blown out on the road or that the fun will never stop once a can of Pringles is popped?

Pick: Panthers -4

Buffalo Bills (-6.5) at Miami Dolphins

I don’t like that the Dolphins have dragged themselves up into the realm of the regular old bad teams. That’s boring. Going 0-16 while losing every game by 50 is way more exciting, and smarter. Sick job getting the seventh pick in the draft, guys. That’s what you get for tapping into Fitzmagic. Your season always winds up going off the rails.

Pick: Bills -6.5

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-3)

I’ll take the Colts because Brissett is back, but their season is one giant house of cards that will collapse at the slightest touch. The Titans have a better scoring differential. That’s the ultimate red flag. Both of these teams are so boring.

Pick: Colts -3

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens (-4)

Let me tell you something about these two QBs- they’re good. I’m not expecting a ton of defense, which is great news. Deshaun and Lamar are gonna trade highlight-reel touchdown drives all afternoon. RedZone might as well always just run double box with Texans-Ravens on one and everything else on the other. The universal law of anti-fun maintains that either one of them will get hurt or this will be a defensive slugfest, but I spit in the face of the universal law of anti-fun. Sparks are about to fly.

Pick: Ravens -4

Dallas Cowboys (-3.5) at Detroit Lions

I’m not going to waste anyone’s time talking about two dead teams.

Pick: Cowboys -3.5

New York Jets at Washington Redskins (-2)

Folks,,,,,,,,,, Sam Darnold’s quest to get the Jets back in the playoffs is going to be the most disastrous flight since Dion Waters last passed TSA inspection. Oh! I’ll be here all week, make sure to buy your second drink and tip the wait staff. But seriously, a Jets player displaying optimism in 2019 is just asking to lose to one of the worst teams in history.

Pick: Redskins -2

Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers (-10.5)

Not that I’m complaining, but what was with the lack of ’72 Dolphins coverage this year? We had two teams at 8-0, and not even a mention. Maybe this means we, as a society, are finally forgetting about the ultimate “yeah, but if they played today they’d lose by a billion” team. Anyone who still calls them the best team of all time is either senile or a personal friend of Don Shula, in which case you’re probably also senile. Anyway, I think I’m just addicted to predicting Cardinals backdoor covers even though I think the success rate is like 10%.

Pick: Cardinals +10.5

New England Patriots (-4) at Philadelphia Eagles

Pats’ first game after their first loss. Not to get too dramatic, but if this team is going to do anything in the playoffs (“anything” for the Pats means going to the Super Bowl), they’ll win this game by a thousand. Have to. If they look shaky again, the rumblings and grave dancings will commence. Someone fast forward me to the Bengals game so I can enjoy a blowout win again.

Pick: Pats -4

Cincinnati Bengals at Oakland Raiders (-11.5)

With the release of Disney+ (Mandalorian episode one review: pretty dece), everyone is going back and discovering the shows and movies of their youths (shoutout Gargoyles). The show I need to come back is The Mystic Knights of Tir na Nog, Saban’s galaxy brain idea to put Power Rangers in Medieval Ireland. I’m pretty sure I was the only one who watched it but I had, like, five action figures from it. It was awesome, and now that I think about it it’s a good thing I can’t watch it anywhere because then I won’t ever realize that it actually sucked.

Pick: Raiders -11.5

Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams (-6)

I’m all in on this Bears turnaround. They won with the season on the line last week, and now they get to go through the soft-ass Cali Brahs and keep the train moving. I’ve determined that the Rams are the least tough team in the NFL, mostly because I know what happens to Jared Goff whenever the temperature falls below 67 degrees.

Pick: Bears +6

Kansas City Chiefs (-4) vs Los Angeles Chargers

Supongo que este juego de la Ciudad de México realmente sucederá. Aunque esto será lo más cercano a una ventaja de campo local que tienen los Chargers durante toda la temporada, esta línea es insultantemente baja. Los Jefes van a ganar por mil. Reservar.

Pick: Chiefs -4

NFL Picks Week 10

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The Raiders. Are they good? I don’t know. I know they’re on track to make the playoffs where they’ll lose in the first round, but I don’t know if they’re any good. I know Josh Jacobs is good. I think Darren Waller is good. I guess Derek Carr is dece. The rest of the roster feels solid and Jon Gruden has been a top ten coach in the league this year (mostly because there’s at least 22 awful coaches, but still). But the Raiders? Good? I don’t know. I’ll never know. They could win the Super Bowl this year (lol) and I’d still be wondering the same thing. I do know that the Chargers stink, though.

This is the third consecutive week I’ve said this, but yikes this is a terrible week. Half the interesting teams are on bye and all the games suck. You’ve gone apple picking two weeks in a row, but you might have to make it three once you take a look at the schedule. But it just means you’ve built up a lot of goodwill with the people in your life who expect you to use Sundays to do something other than watch football. Next week is better, but even if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t tell you to skip four weeks in a row. Then it’s a concrete pattern and a lifestyle you can’t escape. Maybe this is a housework weekend where you’ve got the TV on in the background. That could stop the dangerous precedent from being set.

All lines from Bovada.

Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears (-2.5)

There have been a lot of coaches that have looked bad this year, but I’m not sure if anyone’s taken as big a step backward as Matt Nagy. He had the route through the labyrinth last year, but this year he STINKS. Everything he touches turns to poop, every press conference he sounds even dumber than he did last week, and he seems completely over his head and prone to lashing out because he’s realizing alongside everyone else that maybe being Andy Reid’s playcaller is a much better situation than, you know, not having Andy Reid around to do all the work, especially without last year’s cupcake schedule. That being said, I think the Bears win by a lot this week. They aren’t this bad and, as we’ve established, the Lions are dead. Bears think about salvaging the season.

Pick: Bears -2.5

New York Giants (-3) at New York Jets

Jesus. In theory, I could go to this. In fact, I know someone who is. There are going to be thousands of people at MetLife Stadium to watch this “game.” Think about that for a second. Don’t know if the black cat on the field cursed the Giants or Cowboys, but until I do if they are I can’t pick the Giants. Jets might be cursed by proxy, but that changes nothing from their usual state.

Pick: Jets +3

Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints (-14)

What’s the safer bet: the Falcons get blown out on the road or the sun rises in the east? Vegas is undecided.

Pick: Saints -14

Baltimore Ravens (-10.5) at Cincinnati Bengals

Alright, fine, I’ll comment on what happened last week: it happened. There, happy? Now we can move on with our lives. Oh, no, the Pats aren’t going undefeated, what will I do? They’re still gonna win the Super Bowl, so get your jokes in, now. Literally only one team can do what the Ravens did on offense because they’re the only ones with Lamar Jackson. I’m not worried. What I am worried about is the fact that I’ve misspelled Cincinnati wrong on the first attempt at least three weeks in a row, which is a distressing development after I thought I overcame that weakness last season.

Pick: Ravens -10.5

Buffalo Bills at Cleveland Browns (-2.5)

I’ll tell you what, I’m back in on the Bud Knight ad universe. It was tired and played out, but like all great Family Guy jokes, it’s gone on long enough to be funny again. The injection of the Bud Knight Platinum has really brought new life to the franchise. Something about the way the Bud King (Prince? I have no idea what his title is) sadly asks “where are the Bud Light Platinums?” when his crew steps onto the Staring Into the Abyss Turret really tickles my funny bone. Can’t wait for another three years of these!

Pick: Bills +2.5

Kansas City Chiefs (-6) at Tennessee Titans

In a weird way, I think the Titans have a better chance of winning if Patrick Mahomes plays. Everyone will just count them out and bury them, which is the only time the Titans are any good due to Mike Vrabel’s oddly specific deal with the devil. You know what? I actually don’t care who the Chiefs QB is. We’re going Titans, and pretending we didn’t at roughly 1:08 PM on Sunday.

Pick: Titans +6

Arizona Cardinals at Tampa Bay Bucs (-4.5)

I’m unironically excited to watch this completely irrelevant game because these are two of the five most entertaining QBs in the NFL. I can’t take my eyes off Jameis. I want the Bucs to sign him to a 25-year extension because next year he’ll put it all together, and Kyler is just pure electricity. Mike Evans is completely on fire and Chris Godwin is always padding his stats. Larry Fitzgerald is still alive, but barely. There is at least one player named Zane. What else do you need? Because it’s how football works, this game will finish 12-6.

Pick: Bucs -4.5

Miami Dolphins at Indianapolis Colts (-11.5)

I’ll be honest, despite the fact that I’ve been interacting with them most of my life, I have no idea what the dynamic is between Jets fans and Dolphins fans, but I can guarantee it’s contentious now. Once the initial comedy of last week’s win wears off, how pissed would you be if you were a Fins fan? I’d be furious. The only plan this season was to go 0-16. I’d argue they were having one of the best seasons in the league. And the dumb Jets ruin that by accident by being more inept than the team that is intentionally inept. They gave the Bengals a possibly insurmountable one-game lead in the race for Tua. Now you pretty much have to go back to Rosen to ensure they don’t win another game. What a mess.

Pick: Colts -11.5

Carolina Panthers at Green Bay Packers (-5.5)

Based on my research, the last time a white guy lead the league in rushing was Jim Taylor in 1962. Christian McCaffery currently leads the NFL in rushing yards per game. We could be witnessing history, folks. One thing that’s helped him is that he doesn’t get caught from behind on long runs anymore, which was such a terrible but also hilarious look for white guys in general. How has he gotten faster? Well,,, who could say? I’m worried his quest for the title might take a hit this week since the ‘Thers (that’s what the cool kids are calling the Panthers, now. Deal with it) are gonna be down all game. The rumblings over trouble in Green Bay will just make Aaron Rodgers angry enough to destroy his next opponent.

Pick: Packers -5.5

Los Angeles Rams (-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL teams usually travel on Friday or Saturday for road games, and, given the length of the flight and time difference, I’m guessing the Rams are going to Pittsburgh today. It’s currently 33 degrees in Pittsburgh. This thing is OVER.

Pick: Steelers +4

Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys (-3)

I know this game probably deserves more discussion, but just like the Giants, until I know which way the black cat directed its curse, I can’t pick the Cowboys. And I’m just sick of them on primetime.

Pick: Vikings +3

Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers (-6)

Remember the old Seahawks-49ers games in the mid-2010s? Those were awesome, and this game should be awesome, too. Man, that Niners D was crazy. Willis and Bowman, the Smith brothers (it was funny because they clearly weren’t brothers), some other guys. Aldon Smith was so good, and then he wasn’t. Anyway, this feels like such a sucker line. 6 points is so high that I feel like I’m being forced to take the Seahawks, which is exactly what The Man wants me to do. Which is why I’ll gladly do it.

Pick: Seahawks +6