We caught a double-dose of disaster last week as our two top Confidence Pool plays, the Jaguars and Rams, crashed and burned, leaving squares all over the nation with misty eyes and empty wallets. Nevertheless, we still pulled a fairly decent number despite the mess at the top of our totem.
Let’s check out Week 16 where we rate our most confident straight up pick from (16) all the way to our least confident (1). The point spread on each game is in parentheses but these picks are not against the spread.
Week 15 Straight Up Record: 10-6 (84 of possible 120)
16. Patriots: Bills at Patriots (-13): The best online sportsbooks, found in one convenient location over at Sportsbook Review, are tagging the Pats as 13-point home chalk, and if they don’t cover the number bookies all over New England will be having a very Merry Christmas indeed. While covering is in question, losing is not an option.
15. Rams: Rams (-13½) at Cardinals: Jared and the Juggernauts done us dirty last week, but we don’t hold a grudge. We will welcome the Rams back into our lovin’ arms as they bring the heat to the desert this week because they’re pissed off coming off a bad loss.
14. Colts: Giants at Colts (-9): Saquon Barkley is as good as advertised, which means he’s pretty freakin’ good. But that’s about it in the Giants’ arsenal because Eli Fading, er, Manning is a shadow of his former self and Big Blue’s secondary will be riddled by Luck’s Big Pass Attack.
13. Titans: Redskins at Titans (-10): The case could easily be made that Tennessee should occupy the top spot in this week’s Confidence Pool, but the Redskins surprised us last week when they not only covered what the best online sportsbooks were dealing but won the game outright over the Jags as seven-point road hounds. Nevertheless, the Titans should give the ‘Skins a healthy dose of reality because at least Tennessee has what Jax doesn’t – an offense.
12. Saints: Steelers at Saints (-5½): Someone put sugar in the tank of New Orleans’ high-octane offense last week as they were lucky to come away with a 12-9 win over the Saints. However, that just means they’re due to put up big numbers against a team that essentially won their Super Bowl last week with a rare win over their nemesis from New England. Can you say letdown?
11. Cowboys: Bucs at Cowboys (-7): The Bucs have the chops to ring up points when the moon and stars align, but at this point they look almost disinterested. The Boyz are vying for a playoff spot and should be tough in Week 16.
10. Browns: Bengals at Browns (-7): For years the Browns have been the skinny kid at the beach, getting sand kicked in his face year after year by the likes of Benny Bengal, Sonny Steeler and Ricky Raven. Well, it appears Slim has been pumping iron because he’s the one ready to inflict a little payback. Benny took a beating earlier in the season and now it’s time for one more.
9. Bears: Bears (-4) at 49ers: The spread is relatively tight in this one as we see a playoff-bound Bears team on the road against a middling-at-best 49ers squad. The Niners’ defense has tightened up, limiting their last two opponents to an average of 18½ points, while their offense averaged 23 PPG. However, Mitchell Trubisky and this Chicago offense can put up points in a hurry and it’s doubtful the 49ers will improve their winning streak to three after this one is done.
8. Vikings: Vikings (-5) at Lions: The Vikings had little trouble dispatching the Lions in their first meeting and now they have every incentive to win this game in order to stay in the postseason hunt.
7. Broncos: Broncos (-2½) at Raiders: This Monday night finale scares me a bit as the Broncos should be bigger favorites because, after all, it’s the Raiders. But seeing as we don’t have to cover the number and just pick a winner, then the choice is clear.
6. Chiefs: Chiefs (-2½) at Seahawks: KC has to be steamed after letting the Chargers back into a game that was clearly decided. The Link isn’t the easiest place to play, but the Chiefs are 5-1 ATS on the road this season and they have beaten better.
5. Jaguars: Jaguars (+4½) at Dolphins: It truly pains us to pick the Jags even this high, and as underdogs to boot, because they did us so dirty last week in falling to the Redskins. But when this defense rises up, there is none better.
4. Jets: Packers at Jets (PK): The Packers tanked this season and are now mercifully out of the playoff picture. Nothing left to play for and that will show on Sunday.
3. Falcons: Falcons (-3.5) at Panthers: The Falcons beat the Cats handily earlier in the season and their offense finally clicked to the tune of 40 points in a win over the Cards last week. This opened with Carolina as around a field-goal favorite but shifted with QB Cam Newton ruled out for the year.
2. Ravens: Ravens (+4½) at Chargers: The Chargers will be gassed after their late rally against the Chiefs last week, while the Ravens are still in contention for a division title.
1. Eagles: Texans at Eagles (-2½): Nick Foles is getting it done in relief of Carson Wentz and it wouldn’t surprise us one bit if the Texans take a breather while the Eagles soar.