Jim Mancari, ContributorWeek 16 was the complete microcosm of my season of picking. Let’s look at the games one-by-one.
I went with the Saints on the road over the Panthers, and until the last drive, I was sitting pretty. But of course, Cam Newton hits former Giant Domenik Hixon for a touchdown, which allows Carolina to cover the spread.
Then I take a gamble and bet against the Seahawks at home with the Cardinals. I was really just expecting the Cards to cover the 10.5-point spread, and not only did they do that, but they wound up winning the game. Go figure.
So then I’m thinking the Bears would actually show up against the Eagles with a chance to clinch the NFC North division title. But this game was a total embarrassment.
And finally, I think Sunday was only the third or fourth time all season I did not pick the Giants. And of course they wind up winning.
That’s just the way it’s gone this year for me. But at least I’m not alone, as even the experts have been having trouble handicapping games this season. I guess that’s what’s great about the NFL.
Here are this week’s picks. I’ll be using the point spreads from Yahoo! Sports. Feel free to include your picks for these or any other of the week’s games in the comments section. Good luck!
Week 16 Record: 1-3
Overall Record: 27-37 (Final record: 31-37)
New York Jets (+6.5) at Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins have to win to keep their playoff hopes alive, but I think the Jets – playing really for the future of their coach Rex Ryan – will go out with a bang this season, whether that’s a win on the road or simply covering the spread. I don’t think I’ve been right all season with the Jets, but I’ll show the other New York team a little love in Week 17.
Philadelphia Eagles (-6.5) at Dallas Cowboys
In the play-in game for the NFC East title, the Cowboys got terrible news that Tony Romo will not play. That’s a huge blow, but Kyle Orton is a capable back-up. With so much on the line, I’m expecting a close game the whole way through. The Eagles are actually a better road team than home team, but the Romo injury is the sole reason for the fact that Philly is favored on the road. This one might come down to a final kick.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+12.5) at New Orleans Saints
The Saints had the chance to lock up the NFC South but lost to the Panthers. They should demolish the Buccaneers at home. It’s simple for the Saints – if they win, they’re in the playoffs. But if they lose, it becomes a bit more difficult, with the 49ers and Cardinals still very much in the mix.
Washington Redskins (+3.5) at New York Giants
Sure, this game has no postseason implications whatsoever, but the Giants surely would like to end their season on a high note. Finishing 7-9 after an 0-6 start would at least prove that the team did not fold completely. In fact, it would be a complete turnaround from what the team normally does – surge out to a good record out of the gate and then fold late in the season. Yes, we’ve had plenty of disappointments, but maybe the Giants can give fans a bit of a late Christmas present with a home win over the hapless Redskins. I’m expecting Big Blue to release all sorts of pent up anger on Kirk Cousins and Washington.
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