Tagged with "Picks & Predictions"
BlackBandit20s Super Bowl Pick
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Students, Professor Bandito will give you a bit of history lesson today. Lets go back some 54 years ago. The NFL consisted of 12 teams in 11 cities. The league would mourn the death of its commissioner Bert Bell midway through the season. The Colts (who were playing happily in Baltimore would defeat the New York Giants for the second time in as many seasons to win the NFL title. The Cardinals franchise played in Chicago, and were the poor south side cousins in Comiskey Park to the more affluent Bears who played in Wrigley Field. But they were owned by Violet Bidwell-Wolfner widow of Charles Bidwell one of the more senior owners in the NFL. She was besieged by suitors for her ball club who was losing money. The Bidwell family decided to spurn all the suitors and not sell, and instead moved to St. Louis where for 27 years they would be the football counterpart to a more famous (and more successful) baseball team of the same name.

One of those spurned suitors was Lamar Hunt, heir to a oil tycoon fortune. Hunt was frustrated in his bid to buy the Cardinals and annoyed that the NFL showed no signs of expanding beyond its 12 team, 12 city base. Hunt contacted another Texas oil tycoon, Bud Adams as well as 6 other owners including Barron Hilton (yeah the hotel owner and Paris’ grandfather) Bob Howsam in Denver, Billy Sullivan in Boston and Detroit insurance magnate Ralph Wilson (who was considering Miami, then chose to go to Buffalo because it had a stadium to join his “foolish club” which would become the American Football League.

The league started in earnest in 1960, though the NFL initially gave the AFL owners some guidance (Bell gave Hunt a copy of the NFL constitution to copy as a framework for the AFL’s bylaws.) they strategically moved to kill the upstart league before it got playing. The NFL awarded an expansion franchise to the owners of the AFL’s Minnesota contingent, but the AFL scrambled quickly and came up with a new team to play in Oakland. With 22 pro teams playing (14 in the NFL and 8 in the AFL) there was a lot more football. The NFL tried its best to ignore the younger league and for the first five years succeeded. Some of the AFL teams struggled, most notably in Oakland, Denver and New York and two of the stronger teams in Dallas and Los Angeles had trouble competing with their NFL counterparts and moved to Kansas City and San Diego respectively. Nevertheless the AFL survived and began to thrive after inking a multimillion dollar broadcast deal from NBC in 1965. This set off a brief but very expensive signing war. Realizing that this war would ultimately hurt everyone involved, the two leagues would agree to a merger, but not before two more franchises were formed in Atlanta & Miami and still two more were formed in New Orleans (to placate a Louisiana congressman that was helping to push through the merger) and Cincinnati (Paul Brown’s re-entry into football after 5 years.) The lasting result was 28 teams in a new NFL going forward.

Oh and one other thing, the NFL and AFL decided to have a championship game between their respective league champions. Then NFL commish Pete Rozelle liked the name Pro Bowl but since it was the name of the NFL’s all-star game, it would be foolish to change it to that. The name of the first two games were the awkwardly named NFL-AFL World Championship game, though writers had taken to the nickname Super Bowl. Rozelle hated that name, something Hunt had thought of watching his kids play with a rubber “Super Ball” but the name stuck and the NFL decided at the third game to make it the official title, retroactively renaming the first two games which were won the NFL’s standard bearer the Green Bay Packers in decisive routs. The Colts looked to be ready to hand the AFL’s third champ the New York Jets the same fate, but a confident Jets team backed up the “guarantee” of its brash cocky QB Joe Namath and handed the heavily favored Colts a 16-7 stunner that more or less legitimized the AFL, when the Kansas City Chiefs knocked off the Minnesota Vikings in the last game between a separate entity AFL/NFL setup the AFL had more than proved it belonged and the Super Bowl was already a football institution.
Fast foward back to present day where the Super Bowl is the crown jewel of football and the dream of every football player. The winning team will get a $92K payday but its the foot high Tiffany Silver Trophy that is the desire. The best quote is from Johnny Davis who was a reserve running back for the Niners in their first Super Bowl win. "The money is nice, but I'll spend that its the ring that lasts forever"


Super Bowl 47

Baltimore Ravens (13-6) vs San Francisco 49ers (13-4-1)

For the NFL Championship and the Vince Lombardi Trophy

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans 6:30 (CBS)

Favorite 49ers by 4

Super Bowl Fast Facts: There has never been a shutout or overtime in the 46 previous games and all but one (Miami in 6) has seen both teams score at least one touchdown each.

Fast Fact: This is the first time that teams with no losses in the Super Bowl have faced one another.

Last Meeting: Ravens defeated 49ers 16-6 in 2011 Ravens have won 3 of the 4 regular season meetings


AFC Champion Baltimore Ravens

Regular Season: 10-6 AFC North Champions

Defeated AFC Wild Card Indianapolis (#5 seed) 24-9 in AFC Wild Card Round

Defeated AFC West Champion Denver in 2OT (#1 seed) 38-35 in AFC Divisional Round

Defeated AFC Wild Card New England (#2 seed) 28-13 in AFC Championship

Team Leaders Joe Flacco 3817 Yards 22 TDs, Ray Rice 1143 yards rushing, 9tds, Anquan Boldin catches 921 yards 4 tds, Torrey Smith 49 Catches 855 Yards 8 TDs

1-0 in the Super Bowl winning Super Bowl 35



NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers

Regular Season 11-4-1 NFC West Champions

Earned 1st Round Bye as NFC #2 seed

Defeated NFC North Champion Green Bay 45-31 in NFC Divisional Round

Defeated NFC South Champion Atlanta 28-24 in NFC Championship

Team Leaders QB Colin Kaepernick 1814 Yds 10 TD, 415 Rushing Yards 5TDs, Frank Gore 1214 Rushing Yards 8 TDs, Michael Crabtree 85 catches 1105 yds 9 tds

5-0 in the Super Bowl Winning Super Bowls 16, 19, 23, 24 & 29



When the Ravens have the ball

Led by their quietly confident QB Joe Flacco the Ravens started fast kind of coasted to the postseason and grinded out 3 wins over teams with higher profile QB’s The Ravens arent the game manager/possession manager type team that won the Super Bowl 12 years ago. They have top notch players at the skill positions. With the highly underrated Ray Rice able to break off a long run at any point but able to pound the ball when needed. Speed at the wideout is in abundance with Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith being burners but keep an eye on cagey possession Dennis Pitta who has become Flacco’s security blanket. The Niners have a punishing defense led by MLB Patrick Willis, Navarro Bowman, Aldon Smith and Ahmad Brooks who have been stingy with yards and gruding with points. Joe Flacco has had plenty of time to throw the ball with a solid offensive line led by veterans Matt Birk and Michael Oher but the Niners are exceptional at putting pressure on the QB so it will be inter


When The Niners have the ball

Since taking over QB duties for Alex Smith some ten weeks ago. Colin Kaepernick has taken the Niners from playoff contender to Championship caliber. He adds a dimension of speed and daring to an offense that had gotten predictiable under Smith. Frank Gore is a bulldog of a running back who has a solid blend speed and power that keeps opposing defenses honest. Michael Crabtree has really matured into a primo target and had a monster season. Vernon Davis has become a bit of a forgotten man in the offensive scheme with Kaepernick’s rise but was getting plenty of touches in the conference championship he is a tough matchup for any defense. This defense aint the feared squad of yesteryear. Many of the names are the same Ray Lewis, Ed Reed et al. They are a bit older and slower but are still cagey enough to cause offenses problems and must be accounted for. The Ravens give up much more yards but dont give up the big play or big score



Much ado has been made about the Harbaugh Brothers facing off but the truth is that both coaches are top notch and are more alike than one would think. They both have the teams playing at top notch. The younger Harbaugh (Jim) may be a bit more likely to take a gamble or three while the older Harbaugh has been accused of being a bit too predictable in his play calling and forgetting about his running game at times.


The Prediction

The game is a bit too close to call. Both teams are more alike than not. Strong running games, swashbuckling QB’s unafraid to go after the big play. Defenses that will ballhawk and create turnovers. Coaches who are literally cut from the same coaching cloth. I think that the unflappable Kaepernick will be the slight difference here and for some reason, I think that this is the best defense Joe Flacco has faced and he will make just enough mistakes to get beat. This will be one of the better Super Bowls regardless.

Pick Niners 28 Ravens 23

Black Bandit20's Confernece Championship Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions


Well the divisional round split the baby, again. I only got the Sunday games right this time. Now it’s the final four teams. Three of the four teams that are playing this week are holdovers from last year as only the defending champ Giants are not here this year. Odds are provided by bodog.net and are for informational, comparison and entertainment purposes only. If you bet the lines and get took its on you.


Sunday, January 20



49ers (12-4-1, #2 seed as NFC West Champions) @ Falcons (14-3, #1 seed  as NFC South Champions)

Georgia Dome, Atlanta 3:00 (FOX)

Favorite 49ers by 5

Last Week 49ers defeated NFC North Champ Packers 45-31, Falcons defeated NFC #2 Wild Card Seahawks 30-28

Fast Fact SF: QB Colin Kaepernick rushed for a 181 yards a playoff record for a QB  ATL: The task of slowing down the Niners offense will fall to Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan who went 18-37 as coach of the Niners from 2005-2008.

The Niners slugged it out with the Packers and rolled to a pretty easy win. The Falcons raced out to a big lead, blew it and rallied late to steal the win. Colin Kaepernick is the dynamic edge that confounds defenses with his running as well as his precise passing. Meanwhile the Falcons Matt Ryan finally got the playoff monkey off his back with a solid performance. Im still curious as to the thinking of Falcons Mike Smith who tried his best not to lose instead of playing to win, they blew a big lead in the 4th trying to play conservative. Im looking at the Falcons playing at home where they are 7-1 as a formidable task to overcome especially for a young QB like Kaepernick. I think that the Niners defense is the real edge here, I think that they can get to Matt Ryan enough to force him into mistakes. The Falcons have a bad tendency to wander on defense and gave up 7.44 yards a play in the divisional round game. With having trouble with mobile QB’s this could spell trouble. I have a feeling that the Niners will string along the Falcons and grind out a win.

Pick-San Francisco



Ravens (12-6 #4 seed as AFC North Champions) @ Patriots (13-4 #2 seed as AFC East Champions)

Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 6:30 (CBS)

Favorite Patriots by 10

Last Week Ravens defeated AFC West Champ Broncos 38-35 in 2OT, Patriots defeated AFC South Champ Texans 41-28

Previous Meetings: Two previous meetings in Foxboro, 1-1 split last meeting Pats defeating Ravens 23-20 in the 2011 AFC Championship game.

Fast Facts NE: Patriots are 4-0 at home in the AFC Championship BAL: QB Joe Flacco is the first NFL quarterback to have at least one win in each of his first five appearances, they have been in consecutive years to boot.

The rematch of last years epic AFC title game is the nightcap. Joe Flacco led the resilient Ravens to upset the Broncos in Mile High. Meanwhile the Pats looked almost bored in dispatching the Texans in the divisional round. Many people think that Joe Flacco continues to mature and develop into an upper echelon quarterback but the one thing that has been eluding the Ravens signal caller is a conference title, it seems that every other team in the AFC has beaten him for a conference title when in reality it has been 3 teams Pittsburgh, Indy and yes New England. Having had lost in the title game last year when a last second game tying field goal was shanked, the Ravens feel that they are not far off from beating the Pats, especially when they defeated them in week 2. Tom Brady has had an uneven record against the Ravens, but I just cant see then aged Ravens defense slowing down the Pats offense and I cant see the Ravens offense who got let off the hook by bad defensive secondary play, getting the same kind of breaks against a Pats team who seemingly always is going for the throat. The media would love to see a Harbaugh brothers Super Bowl to play up the sibling rivalry. But they wont get it, it’ll be the Patriots…again.

Pick-New England



BlackBandit20s NFL Divisional Playoff Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions


Yeah, I know I split the four games, and should have known better on both the ones I lost. The degree of difficulty is steeper now as the best 8 teams in the NFL are left after the wild card round. Washington was the only divisional winner that did not survive the wild card round. This weekend of doubleheaders is the best weekend of the football season. Odds are provided by bodog.net and are for comparison and entertainment purposes only.




Saturday, January 12


Ravens (11-6 #4, AFC North Champ) @ #1 Denver Broncos (13-3 #1 AFC West Champ)

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver 4:30 (CBS)

Favorite Broncos by 10

Last Week Ravens defeated AFC #1 Wild Card Colts 24-9, Denver had a bye as the AFC #1 seed

Playoff History: The Ravens defeated the Broncos 21-3 in the 2001 AFC Wild Card Round

Fast Facts BAL: DEN: Denver has yielded 237.3 total yards and 13.5 points during a six-game home winning streak

Most of the eyes wont be on the matchup at first it will be on the temperature gage where it is well publicized that Peyton Manning is 0-3 in playoff games in which the kickoff temp is under 40 degree. Even in midday (2:30 MT kickoff) it will still be a frigid 17 degrees on Saturday. Manning  didn’t exactly torch the Ravens defense earlier this season in Baltimore in week 15, he threw for a modest 208 yards in their 34-17 win it was the Broncos defense that played lights out. They have been the unsung heroes of the Broncos 11 game win streak never giving up more than 24 in any game. Bottom line, I don’t trust Joe Flacco. He has played good enough to garner wins when needed but I don’t think that they will be able to get Ray Rice on track against the Broncos defense when its needed




Packers (12-5, #3 NFC North Champ) @ 49ers (11-4-1 #2 NFC West Champ)

Candlestick Park, San Francisco 8:00 (FOX)

Favorite 49ers by 3

Last Week Packers defeated NFC #2 Wild Card Vikings 24-10, 49ers had a bye as the NFC  #2 seed

Playoff History The Packers have won four of the five playoff meetings, most recently a 25-15 win in Green Bay in the 2001 wild card round

Fast Facts GB/SF: Packers QB Aaron Rodgers grew up a Niners fan and was in attendance for the Packers last playoff visit to San Francisco, the only Niners only playoff win in the series in the 1998 Wild Card round.

This might be the best game of the divisional round, Aaron Rodgers is still playing with a chip on his shoulder after his favorite boyhood team passed on him with the first pick. He gets a chance to really stick it to them as the player he was passed on for Alex Smith is cooling his heels on the Niners bench watching Colin Kaepernick lead the Niners to an NFC West title. Rodgers and the Pack looked almost bored in stuffing a QB-less Vikes squad last Saturday but the curve gets considerably steeper facing a tough Niners defense that aside from a beatdown in Seattle have played pretty well. I know that I picked the Niners to make the Super Bowl and I really like their balance in the run and passing game. I said that I didn’t trust Flacco in the earlier game, I cant trust Kaepernick in his first playoff game against a battle tested Aaron Rodgers (with that chip) even at home. The Packers will win a tight game.

Pick-Green Bay


Sunday, January 13


Seahawks (12-5, #5 NFC Wild Card) @ Falcons (13-3, #1 NFC South Champ)

Georgia Dome, Atlanta 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Falcons by 3

Last Week Seahawks defeated NFC East Champ Redskins 24-14, Falcons had a bye as the NFC #1seed

Playoff History: First Postseason Meeting, last regular season meeting was 2011 won by the Falcons 30-28 in Seattle

Fast Facts SEA: Attempting to be the 2nd NFC West Coast based team to win consecutive playoff games in the Eastern Time Zone (1989 Rams won in Philly and New York)  ATL: TE Tony Gonzalez is 0-

The Seahawks are riding a 6 game win streak and Russell Wilson has quietly come into his own as bona fide star in this league. Has there been a more maligned #1 seed than the Falcons? After winning their first eight, the Falcons went a pedestrian.5-3 on the back half of their schedule. Matty Ice is starting to catch more and more hell for his repeated playoff failures. The Seahawks defense is tough and after spotting the Redskins a 14-0 lead roared back to win their Wild Card matchup. But I cant give the Seahawks all the credit. Playing a hobbled RGIII on a horrid field the Seahawks had to simply sit back and wait for the Redskins to crack. I cant see them pulling off a second road upset. The Falcons are a flawed #1 team to be sure but they can win a track meet which I get the feeling that the Seahawks will try to do…and fail.




Texans (13-4, #3 AFC South Champ) @ Patriots (12-4, #2 AFC East Champ)

Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 4:30 (CBS)

Favorite Patriots by 10

Last Week Texans defeated the #2 AFC Wild Card Bengals 19-13, Patriots had a bye as the AFC #2 seed

Playoff History: First playoff meeting, last regular season meeting Patriots defeated Texans 42-14 in week 14

Fast Fact NE: With a win QB Tom Brady can pass boyhood idol Joe Montana for most playoff wins (currently tied at 16 wins apiece) HOU: DE JJ Watt led the NFL with 20 ½ but had none of Tom Brady in their week 14 meeting this season.

The Texans are putting on a brave face, with the us against the world mentality. They may even get a break on the weather as they may be playing under a climate mild for Foxboro in January. The Texans are a decent team but they faded badly down the stretch and only a more anemic showing from the Bengals in the wild card round got them a win. They can not be that anemic against the Pats. Brady will direct his pinpoint offense and points will come plenty. I doubt that the Texans will be able to put points up to match.

Pick-New England


Last Week: 2-2

BlackBandit20's NFL Wild Card Round Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

There is a line that is apropo for this time of the football year. Ive always liked the line Chuck D dropped in the obscure Janet Jackson song "New Agenda" Where he stated "Time to step it up. Step it cause its playoff time!" The time for talk is over, the pretenders and fake contender have been sent to the sidelines. After the NFL's 32 teams have played a total of 256 games and now only 12 teams are left. Eight are playing this weekend and four others are sacked out on their respective couches, barcoloungers and recliners feigning detached interest but wondering which of the four winners that they will face. The full weekend of doubleheaders starts Saturday. This is the NFL Playoffs, for the football junkies this is the where the money is made. In an interesting side note all four of the matchups, the foes have faced each other in the playoffs previously. All odds are provided by bodog.net for entertainment & comparision


Saturday, January 5


#6 Cincinnati Bengals (10-6, #2 AFC Wild Card) @ #3 Houston Texans (12-4, AFC South Champion)

Reliant Stadium, Houston 4:30 (NBC)

Favorite Texans by 5

Last Week Bengals defeated Ravens 23-16, Texans lost to Colts 28-16

Previous Playoff Meetings Texans defeated Bengals 31-10 in the 2011 AFC Wild Card Round

Fast Facts CIN: Bengals have the longest playoff winless drought, their last playoff win was in the 1990 wild card round against the then Houston Oilers

Hou: Texans are 7-0 when RB Arian Foster rushes for better than 100 yards, he had 153 in the playoff meeting last year.

The Bengals, return the playoffs in their first non-strike consecutive playoff appearances with a quiet confidence and went 7-1 in the back half of their schedule to claim the wild card. The Texans on the other hand, stumbled down the stretch losing 3 of their last 4 after an 11-1 start. Matt Schaub has not played at the fearsome level he was during the Texans torrid start and the defense while still solid under the leadership of JJ Watt has suddenly gotten a bit suspect and have given up 20 or more points in their 3 late losses. The Bengals aren’t offensively fierce past AJ Green being the only credible target of Red Dalton and the serviceable running of BenJarvus Green-Ellis. I know that I picked the Texans to make the Super Bowl but something keeps telling me that they are lacking confidence and if hit in the mouth early may fold. Do the Bengals finally get their first ever road playoff win here??? I cant do it! I would love to be wrong here but something tells me that the Bengals are overdue for a flat performance.




#6 Minnesota Vikings (10-6, #2 NFC Wild Card) @ #3 Green Bay Packers (11-5, NFC North Champion)

Lambeau Field, Green Bay (8:00 NBC)

Favorite Packers by 6

Last Week Vikings defeated Packers 37-34

Previous Playoff Meeting: Vikings defeated Packers 31-17 in the 2004 NFC Wild Card Round

Fast Facts MIN: Vikings have yet to win a game outdoors this season. Their 3 road wins were at Detroit, St. Louis and Houston (closed roof) GB: In his last five games against the Vikings, QB Aaron Rodgers has completed 74.7% of his passes with 16 TDS & just 1 interception. His QB rating a blistering 132.5

The Vikings have rode the near record running of Adrian Peterson to an improbable playoff berth, winning a thrilling game against their hated rivals, they face this same team with the stakes just as high but now upped ante for both teams. The Packers have played solid pretty much all season but have a tendency to mentally wander at times. Aaron Rodgers has been his usual dependable self and directs an offense that can score in bunches. Both teams sport defenses that can play good and have fiery point men in Jared Allen for the Vikes and Clay Matthews for the Pack. The question is which Vikings QB will show up, if it’s the skittish Christian Ponder that threw 2 damaging interceptions in Lambeau the Pack rolls to an easy win in spite of what running Peterson has. If it’s the serviceable Ponder that kept the turnovers to nil and kept the Packers defense honest with smart throws they have a shot. Im gambling that the Vikes use Peterson to pound the rock and keep the ball away from Rodgers and company and steal a massive upset.



Sunday, January 6



#5 Indianapolis Colts (11-5, #1 AFC Wild Card) @ #4 Baltimore Ravens (10-6 AFC North Champion)

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Ravens by 5½

Last Week Ravens lost to Bengals 23-17, Colts defeated Texans 28-16

Playoff History: Colts have won both playoff meetings, most recently 20-3 in the 2009 AFC Divisional Round.

Fast Facts BAL: Making their 5th consecutive playoff appearance, the longest current streak in the NFL.

IND: Only 2nd team in NFL history to have made playoffs the season after winning 2 games or fewer

The Ravens sputtered down the stretch and needed a blowout of the fading G-Men to hold off the hard charging Bengals to win their division. The Colts are a team that were the feel good story of the year playing inspired ball under their coach Chuck Pagano who battled leukemia and came back late. Im nowhere near sold on Joe Flacco, he is a decent QB to be sure but I think that the Ravens offense shouldn’t revolve around him as they are under utilizing the redoubtable running of the rugged Ray Rice. Andrew Luck is going to be a big time quarterback and the Colts look to be in good hands under his stewardship, but the Colts are a little over their collective heads add to boot the Baltimore crown will be extra amped watching the final home game of the incompararble Ray Lewis. The Ravens should be able to run at will on the weak Colts run defense, and the Ravens defense will be playing at a fever pitch. The Ravens should be able grind out the win with few problems.




#5 Seattle Seahawks (11-5, #1 NFC Wild Card) @ #4 Washington Redskins (10-6, NFC East Champion)

FedEx Field; Landover, MD 4:30 (FOX)

Favorite Seahawks by 3

Last Week Seahawks defeated Rams 20-13, Redskins defeated Cowboys 28-18

Playoff History: Seahawks have won both playoff meetings most recently 35-14 in the 2007 Wild Card round

Fast Facts SEA: The Seahawks have lost their last 8 road playoff games, their only road win was their first ever playoff win against Miami in 1983.

WAS: QB Robert Griffin III set a rookie record for QB rating (104.2) and rushing yards (815)

The Redskins thumped their despised rivals in front of a deliriously happy home crowd to win their first divisional crown since late last century (That’s not hyperbole, they last won the NFC East in 1999 when their opponent were still in the AFC) RGII has been the heart and soul of the offense but fellow rookie Alfred Morris is the underrated engine that fuels the leagues top running game. RGIII is a bit hobbled with a slightly bum knee and it has limited his scrambling potential but he is still a wily passer out of the pocket. The Seahawks have their own rookie phenom in Russell Wilson who has been playing solid all season and they have been scoring points at a frenetic pace coming down the stretch. The problem I have is that the Seahawks don’t play well outside of Seattle going 3-5 with their only road wins being at Carolina, at a fading Chicago and in Toronto against the Bills which was pretty much a vanilla neutral site. I want to say the Seahawks are the one team that could give the Niners trouble. But there is something that tells me that the Redskins will be a tough team to beat at home.



Last Week: 14-2 (Lock & Upset Correct)

Regular Season Final Total: 167-88-1

Locks: 13-4

Upsets: 7-11

BlackBandit20s Week 17 NFL Picks
Category: NFL
Tags: NFL Picks & Predictions

Cue the old Kenny Loggins song… “This Is It” The 2012 regular season draws to a close with this slate of Sunday games. All the AFC playoff spots have been spoken for with the Colts and Bengals claiming the wild card spots, but the matter of the byes and home field advantage are still very much up for grabs. In the NFC one wild card slot is left and the NFC East title is still up for grabs. All this week’s games are on Sunday as the NFL decided a few years ago to stop having the season end with a Monday nighter for fear of a playoff bound team being at a disadvantage prepping for a playoff game on a short week. As correctly predicted the Cowboys-Redskins game will be the Sunday Night finale and the stakes couldn’t be higher. This game could have the potential of a win or go home. Using the flex schedule the Dolphins-Patriots game and the Packers-Vikings matchup were moved to the later slots. Both networks get doubleheaders this week so get ready for wall to wall football.  All odds are provided from bodog.net and are for entertainment and comparison purposes only. If you spend the New Year’s money having to pay back your bookies, that’s on you. Don’t call me if you get took.



Sunday, December 30

Ravens (10-5) @ Bengals (9-6)

Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Bengals by 3

Last Week Ravens defeated Giants 33-14; Bengals defeated Steelers 13-10

Fast Fact Something has to give; the Bengals have allowed an average of 58 yards rushing over their last four games, the Ravens rushed for 224 yards in their last win.

Playoff Implications: Both teams have clinched playoff spots, Ravens can move to #3 spot with win and NE Loss

Both teams are headed for the postseason, so expect a game played close to the vest. Joe Flacco may try to get his passing groove on the way he did back in September. The Bengals will really have to work hard to contain the rugged running of Ray Rice. (Unintentional alliteration). Considering that both teams will try to keep the injuries to a minimum. It’s a tough call to make here, but Ill gamble that the Bengals will play a little bit better at home and squeak a win out.



Panthers (6-9) @ Saints (7-8)

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Saints by 6

Last Week Panthers defeated Raiders 17-6, Saints defeated Cowboys 34-31 in OT

Fast Fact The Saints have given up 6512 yards in total offense, 281 yards shy of the infamous record set by the 1981 Baltimore Colts…Saints interim coach Joe Vitt was a coach on that team as well.

Considering that the Saints were all but left for dead after an 0-4 start the fact that they could have a breakeven season is saying something. The Saints offense is still very much high powered but their defense is still very much a mess. That said, facing a Panthers team that is still full of questions on both sides of the ball, I’m not real sold on the Panthers going into the Big Easy and getting a win.

Pick-New Orleans


Bears (9-6) @ Lions (4-11)

Ford Field, Detroit 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Bears by 3

Last Week Bears defeated Cardinals 28-13, Lions lost to Falcons 31-18

Fast Fact The Lions have given up an average of 31.9 points during their 7 game losing skid.

Playoff Implications Bears clinch #2 wild card with win and MIN loss

The Bears are trying their best to blow a 7-1 start and miss the playoffs, but they need help.  The Lions are still playing hard but are wasting the brilliant efforts of Calvin “Megatron” Johnson and Matthew Stafford. The Bears seem to win in spite of Jay Cutler; it’s the big play ball hawking defense that has been bailing them out of games more often than not. I have some strange feeling that the Bears with more and more injuries including those to Matt Forte, Brian Urlacher and Peanut Tillman, this game would be a lot closer than one would assume.



Browns (5-10) @ Steelers (7-8)

Heinz Field, Pittsburgh 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite No Line

Last Week Browns lost to Broncos 34-12, Steelers lost to Bengals 13-10

Fast Fact The Browns have not won in Pittsburgh since 2003

The Browns got thumped by the Broncos to no one’s surprise, while the Steelers lost a slugfest with the Bengals. Neither team has anything to really play for, but the Steelers might want revenge for a stunning upset that the Browns handed them last month. To tell you the truth, I’m not real sure on the Steelers being all there for the season finale. Though I do think that they may be able to grind out a win against the Browns,



Texans (12-3) @ Colts (10-5)

Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Texans by 7

Last Week Texans lost to Vikings 23-6, Colts defeated Chiefs 20-13

Fast Fact The Texans have never won in Indianapolis, even last year’s 2-14 Colts team knocked off the playoff bound Texans in Indy last December.

Playoff Implications Both teams have clinched playoff spots; Texans can clinch #1 seed with win

With both teams headed to the postseason, like in the Bengals-Ravens contest expect both teams to play it pretty conservatively. The Texans are still trying to figure how much they will need or use RB Arian Foster who left the Vikings game with an irregular heartbeat. I’m thinking that the Colts will play the Texans tough just to prime for the playoffs. Though the Texans are still battling for the #1 seed, something tells me that the Texans will play just unfocused enough to slip.



Jaguars (2-13) @ Titans (5-10)

LP Field, Nashville 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Titans by 4

Last Week Jaguars lost to Patriots 23-16, Titans lost to Packers 55-7

Fast Fact

It seems the end of the season can’t come fast enough for both these teams. The Jags played the Pats tough in a loss while the Titans took about an awful beating as they could have gotten and the seat got real hot under head coach Mike Munchak. The Titans are bad that’s true but its asking a little too much to ask the Jags to win on the road.



NY Jets (6-9) @ Bills (5-10)

Ralph Wilson Stadium; Orchard Park, NY 1:00 (CBS)

Favorite Bills by 3½

Last Week Jets lost to Chargers 27-17, Bills lost to Dolphins 24-10

Fast Fact The Jets allowed 11 sacks against the Chargers, tying a team record set during a replacement game in 1987.

Both teams are trudging to the end of forgettable seasons, the Jets jeering grinning preening head coach simply refuses to use Tim Tebow even in a lost cause like this season ender.  The shattered Mark Sanchez will get the start and one has to wonder if he’s even mentally ready to QB this team. The Bills just have been playing so inconsistently it’s hard to get a read on them, still I think that their offense will be able to plod through this one and get a win.



Eagles (4-11) @ NY Giants (8-7)

MetLife Stadium; East Rutherford, NJ 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite Giants by 7

Last Week Eagles lost to Redskins 27-20, Giants lost to Ravens 33-14

Fast Fact The Eagles have won in their last five appearances in New York against the Giants

Playoff Implications Giants clinch playoff berth with win and losses by MIN, CHI AND DAL

The Eagles are fading away but are still playing hard down the stretch; Michael Vick is auditioning for another job, no matter what he says to the media. The G-Men were in firm control of their playoff destiny three weeks ago but have taken a pair of hellacious road beatings and now need a truckload of help in addition to winning this game. I think that they get the win; they aren’t bad enough to lose to this woeful squad.

Pick-New York Giants


Buccaneers (6-9) @ Falcons (13-2)

Georgia Dome, Atlanta 1:00 (FOX)

Favorite No line provided

Last Week Buccaneers lost to Rams 28-13, Falcons defeated Lions 31-18

Fast Fact A Falcons win would tie their 1998 Super Bowl team for most wins in a season.

The Falcons toyed with the Lions before pulling away late for the win while the Bucs are coming apart down the stretch in Greg Schiano’s first season. With the #1 seed already in their pocket, one has to wonder how much the Falcons are going to play their starters in an otherwise meaningless game. I think the Falcons, who are tough at home will dawdle just long enough to make it look interesting but have more than enough to beat a Bucs team that just doesn’t measure up.



Cardinals (5-10) @ 49ers (10-4-1)

Candlestick Park, San Francisco 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite 49ers by 17

Last Week Cardinals lost to Bears 28-13, 49ers lost to Seahawks 42-13

Fast Fact The Cardinals have gone six games without a touchdown pass.

Playoff Implications 49ers clinch NFC West with win and clinch #2 seed with first round bye with win AND GB loss

The Cards just gave a bucketload of turnovers and points to the Bears in another loss while the Niners took a frightful beating on their second straight primetime appearance. The Niners need to shake off the memories of that loss and focus on a sad sack Cards squad that is a shadow of the team rolled to an NFC title as a lovable underdog in 2008. The Niners user their mulligan last week and will spare the Cards no quarter.

Pick-San Francisco (Lock of the Week)


Packers (11-4) @ Vikings (9-6)

Mall of America Field @ HHH Metrodome, Minneapolis 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Packers by 3                                                                                 

Last Week Packers defeated Titans 55-7; Vikings defeated Texans 23-6

Fast Fact With 102 rushing yards, Vikings Adrian Peterson would become the 8th NFL running back to surpass 2000 rushing yards.

Playoff Implications Packers clinch #2 seed and first round bye with win

The Vikings are caught in between Peterson’s outside chance at breaking the 28 year old rushing record held by Eric Dickerson and getting the offense moving similar to the efficient one that frustrated the Texans. The Packers are coming in after a thorough beatdown of the Titans. The Packers have already clinched a home playoff game; it’s the bye that’s on the line. If the Vikings win, they could likely face the Packers in Lambeau the very next week. In a pick that is more heart than head, I think the Vikes become the 2nd team this year to go from double digit losses to double digit wins and a playoff berth. Will AP get

2K or 2105? I think the former but not the latter, but the Vikes win will salve that

Pick-Minnesota (Upset of the Week)


Chiefs (2-13) @ Broncos (12-3)

Sports Authority Field @ Mile High, Denver 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite Broncos by 16

Last Week Chiefs lost to Colts 20-13, Broncos defeated Browns 34-12

Fast Fact The Chiefs are trying to avoid tying a franchise worst 2-14 season, while the Broncos are attempting to have their best record since 2005

Playoff Implications Broncos clinch 1st round bye with win or NE loss.

This has all the makings of a classic mismatch, but the Chiefs play teams tough in spite of their horrid record, but this is another case of asking too much of a bad team on the road versus a much much better team. The Broncos are trying to secure a round 1 bye and should have no real problems with the woeful Chiefs.



Dolphins (7-8) @ Patriots (11-4)

Gillette Stadium; Foxboro, MA 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite Patriots by 10

Last Week Dolphins defeated Bills 24-10; Patriots defeated Jaguars 23-16

Fast Fact The Patriots gained a total of 23 first downs last week against Jacksonville, a season low

Playoff Implications Patriots have clinched AFC East can clinch 1st round bye with win and losses by EITHER DEN or HOU, clinches #1 seed with win and losses by HOU AND DEN

The Pats have to fight off general boredom as they have locked their division down long ago but need a load of help to get a bye. The Pats are just going through the motions ahead of the playoffs. The Dolphins are much improved but not so much that they can go into Foxboro and win.

Pick-New England


Raiders (4-11) @ Chargers (6-9)

Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego 4:25 (CBS)

Favorite No Line provided

Last Week Raiders lost to Panthers 17-6, Chargers defeated Jets 27-17

Fast Fact Chargers QB Philip Rivers has thrown for 3455 yards this season and will likely miss the 4000 yard passing mark for the 1st time since 2007.

Both teams are headed nowhere but the Raiders are just playing horrible. The Chargers haven’t played like gang busters themselves but they are at least playing at some competent level. The Raiders are considering using Terrelle Pryor at QB. That in itself should tell you how far the Raiders have sunk. The Chargers at home playing their hated instate rivals will relish the chance to lay a real beating down.

Pick-San Diego


Rams (7-7-1) @ Seahawks (10-5)

Century Link Field, Seattle 4:25 (FOX)

Favorite Seahawks by 11

Last Week Rams defeated Buccaneers 28-13; Seahawks defeated Niners 42-13

Fast Fact The Seahawks scored 150 points in their last three games, the most in a three game span since the Los Angeles Rams scored 163 from October 22-November 5 1950.

Playoff Implications Seahawks have clinched playoff spot, can win NFC West with win AND SF loss, get first round bye with win AND losses by BOTH SF & GB

The Seahawks just showed out on Sunday Night and thrashed the Niners in front of a deliriously thrilled home crowd. The Rams are vastly improved and look as if they could put up a real fight here but the Seahawks are the better team on both sides of the ball. Russell Wilson has this team playing on a focused playoff like level.



Cowboys (8-7) @ Redskins (9-6)

FedEx Field; Landover, MD 8:20 (NBC)

Favorite Redskins by 3½

Last Week Cowboys lost to Saints 34-31 in OT, Redskins defeated Eagles 27-20

Fast Fact Since 2000, Dallas is 2-10 in season ending games.

Playoff Implications Winner of this game is NFC East Champion

The media can’t help themselves; they are so in love with the Pokes and the possibility that Tony Romo can finally redeem himself in the playoffs that they ignore the fact that this is a seriously flawed team. RGIII is getting close to folk hero status in the DC area and the Redskins are on the precipice of their first division title since 1999. Though Dez Bryant has seemingly channeled Michael Irvin and been making plays at an incredible clip. There is something that I just do not trust about the Cowboys. When the money is on the line, the Pokes have come up short more often than not as of late. Facing a full house on the road, I just feel that the Cowboys will just not do the deed and Tony Romo will again fall on his face when he needs to step up.



Last Week: 10-6 (Lock Correct, Upset Incorrect)

Overall 153-86-1

Locks: 12-4

Upsets 6-10


Blog Categories

This website is powered by Spruz