I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was a good as my survivor selections this past week. That’s because your boy’s sheet was a clean as a sermon on Christmas. The Cowboys, Patriots and Colts all won their respective games, though not before giving us a full-blown sweat in the process.
On the selection side of things, yours truly had another winning week going 2-1, with the Bolts and Bengals over our only misplay. That runs our record to a solid 11-6-1 ATS over the last 6 weeks of selecting big, fat hairy winners. But as degens always say, “what have you done for me lately”?
1. New England Patriots (-11.5) – Don’t look now, but the Pats are starting to roll downhill (in a good way). Besides their slip up in Carolina a couple Monday nights ago, they have won 4 of their last 5 and are averaging 34.0 pts per game in the process. Besides the douchey Red Sox organization, Tom Brady is a close 2nd on my hated sports figures. But that doesn’t mean I can’t use his evil for good as he has been on fire of late with his doucey TE Gronk back and receivers starting to round into shape. The Browns are starting Caleb Hannie this week. You do the math.
Nuggets: Patriots are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 home games and 6-0 overall at home this season.
2. Baltimore Ravens (-7) – Yeah, I’m not afraid to select the home team. Maybe that’s because their not “my” home team. But when I see a winner, I select a winner and the Ravens have been just that at home under John Harbaugh. Don’t believe me? How is a 29-4 home record under the less douchey Harbaugh brother? Not enough for you? Well how about a 5-1 record this season at the Bank combined with an opponent who is 0-5 on the road this season in the Vikings. Put that in your crab pipe and smoke it. Ravens won’t be looking ahead either as this win is as important as last Thursday’s win over the Steelers as any loss now could jeopardize their playoff chances.
Nuggets: Ravens have the 2nd best home record (behind Seattle) winning 82% of their games in Charm City.
3. Denver Broncos (-12) – This could be a let-down spot for the Donkeys as they have played 3 straight “game of the year” contests going 2-1 vs. the Chiefs (twice) and the Pats. So maybe laying the 12 isn’t in the cards, but selecting them to just win is almost a lock at this point. Besides the fact they need to hold on to the best AFC record overall, but their opponent is starting Ryan Fitzpatrick under center and has the look of a dead team walking in Tennessee.
Nuggets: Broncos are 6-0 at home this year and the Titans are 0-4 vs. the Broncos over the last 4 meetings.
New Orleans (-3.5) – Last time we saw Drew Brees and the Saints they were getting skull-dragged in the Great Northwest on MNF. You know what that means, don’t ya? It means they will do the same to their next opponent (Carolina) in their house and here’s why. The Saints just don’t lose back to back games under head coach Sean Payton and Brees on the national stage at the Superdome is unbeaten. This one has been “Flexed” to SNF and I fully expect Saint Fans to be nice and lubed up by kickoff. I fully aware that this isn’t your mother’s Panther team and that they are 11-1 ATS in NO in their last 12. But give me the home team and the better QB and head coach in a game they have to have.
Nuggets: Saints are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 following a S.U loss.
Indianapolis Colts (+6) - Don’t get me wrong here, I’m fully aware the Colts haven’t been the same since Reggie Wayne went down a couple months ago. They are 3-2 since Wayne’s knee went the wrong way and have been curb stomped by the likes of St. Louis (in Indy) and Arizona. But this week they take on another team that looked much better months ago in Cincinnati and I’m just catching a vibe they not only cover, but maybe win the game SU. Andrew Luck isn’t exactly lighting the world on fire of late, but he looks like Joe Montana compared to the Bengals signal caller Red Rocket Andy Dalton. Take the 6 now or even buy it up to 7 if you want to be safe, but a money-line Colts plays wouldn’t be the worst idea either.
Nuggets: Indy is 4-2 on the road SU. The Bengals are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games in Week 14.
Buffalo Bills/Tampa Bay Bucs (over 42.5) - I love bottom feeder games. One reason is the “sharps” in Vegas don’t exactly spend most of their time researching these type of matchups as most of the public money comes in on the “high profile matchups”. So getting in on this total early should be taking into account before the whales starting pushing their chips in on this very low total, which will increase it up. These two teams hate playing defense, but can get the ball in the end zone which sets up for a perfect over play. With no playoffs to play for, expect to see these “hot seat” coaches to play more loosey-goosey with their play calls which can lead to either big plays or defensive touchdowns and good scoring field position. Weather shouldn’t be an issue either as this one is being played in Tampa.
Nuggets: Over is 5-0 in the Bucs last 5 after a SU loss the previous game.
As pointed out in the survivor selections, I’m a big fan of the home team in Purple this week. Not only because of the home record of coach Harbaugh (29-4), but the fact that the Ravens have done a great job vs. the run the past month. Adrian Peterson is an absolute beast, but if the Ravens control him and make that bum Matt Cassell have to throw it, it could get ugly for the Vikes.
I also expect the Ravens to exploit a weak Vikings secondary as Joe Flacco is coming off his best game of the season (IMO) last Thursday night. Jacoby Jones has brought that down field threat back to the offense and has assisted in Torrey Smith‘s production. If TE Dennis Pitta returns (my guess is they activate him but he plays sparingly if at all) they will give Flacco his security blanket back and could actually open some running lanes as well for Ray Rice/Pierce in the process. Ravens are in “must win” mode for the rest of the season and I would be shocked if they blew one at home to the Vikes. Ravens 31-20