By Des Boodam
OK gamers there’s only three more weeks in the World Series of Handicapping football contest to make your mark… and just because you have no shot at the title doesn’t mean you can’t finish strong, post some good numbers and potentially win a little cash – I know it is so hard… is hard enough to go 4-3 consistently let alone 5-2, 6-1 or 7-0 – but you have to play the game. The NFL is tricky because every week it’s not just one or two outcomes that are shocking but 4 or 5. When we have to chose 7 outcomes is difficult to avoid every single surprise for the week – on less of course your strategy is to predict the surprises and go with the less chalky picks. Either strategy could be effective, and we should never judge a particular strategy because the way these games fall – anything can happen.
Let’s see how the field is leaning this week and you can decide whether to go against the grain or not.
TENNESSEE +2.5 at NEW YORK GIANTS
This one makes sense only because the Titans have something to play for and the Giants are all but eliminated. The Giants have no OBJ, but that didn’t stop them from covering last week, and they’ve played pretty good ball for the last three weeks finishing 3-0 against the spread. I believe this is going to be a low scoring super conservative game that the Giants don’t really want to win. Vegas is pretty much calling it a coin flip and the field believes in the fight of the Titans. I believe in it too and think they win this game straight up as both Houston and Indianapolis are in prime position to win. Titans win in a close one 20-17.
OAKLAND +3 at CINCINNATI
A west coast team travelling to cold and miserable Ohio in December as a three point underdog. Again Vegas says this game is an absolute coin flip, and I think the Raiders are a better team. They have better QB play and that’s where I’ll start. The Bengals are banged up and have been bad all season. Oakland beating Pittsburgh last week tells me they have an edge still, and at the very least they get three points. Oakland wins straight up as Derek Carr continues to roll 24-20.
HOUSTON -6 at NEW YORK JETS
The Jets are terrible, and I know they went into Buffalo and beat the #2 defense. The problem is that the Bills don’t have a formidable offense and the Texans do. The Texans are going to run through the Jets offensively and even if the Jets can put up some points, I don’t’ think it will be enough cover. The Texans have way more to play for, and will come out firing. Houston 31-20.
MIAMI +7 at MINNESOTA
The field loves that the Dolphins beat the Patriots. I believe this is a suckers bet and though I think Ryan Tannehill is good enough to move this offense on the road with the players he has, I believe that the Vikings are going to be even more amped up for this game. Both teams have something to play for, so I expect this game to be competitive, but I also expect the Vikings to pull away at the end, as their offense at home is significantly more consistent at home, and the Miami defense is bad on the road. I am fading this game, unlike the first three. Minnesota 31 -23.
Good luck gamers!!