I was already going to make the intro short because I have Christmas stuff (shopping) to take care of, but then helicopters started hovering over my building because there was a 5-alarm fire that destroyed three buildings less than five blocks away, so I got sidetracked.
So let’s get to the picks ASAP, shall we? Since I don’t have time for a flowery lead-in, I’m going to give you the Niners game free of charge. But by all means, leave your credit card number in the comments if you’re feeling adventurous.
Onto the Week 16 picks, with odds courtesy of 5dimes.com from around noon PDT Thursday (12/22/11):
Texans (-7) @ Colts
Houston was embarrassed last week by the Panthers and should come out angry, while the Colts can relax because they won’t finish 0-16.
Cardinals @ Bengals (-4)
This is the week when Cincinnati’s playoff hopes evaporate.
Rams @ Steelers (-17)
Pittsburgh has a lot better short-week scenario than the Niners, who have to go to Seattle. The Rams are dreadful on the road, but the Steelers are probably starting Charlie Batch and got beat up in San Francisco. In other words, TOO MANY POINTS!!!
Broncos (-1.5) @ Bills
The Bills have lost seven straight and have the 4th-worst run defense in league, but … wait, why aren’t the Broncos favored by 4 or more?
Giants @ Jets (-2.5)
I can tell I haven’t watched any ESPN since Monday Night Football, since I didn’t even know these two teams were playing each other this Saturday. I foresee the NFC East getting pretty crazy by the end of Christmas Eve.
Jaguars @ Titans (-8)
All I care about in regards to this game is whether or not MJD plays during fantasy championship week. And NONE of you care about that in the slightest, except my wife because I’m managing her team for her work league (and she only reads 33% of my posts, if that).
Dolphins @ Patriots (-11)
The Pats want homefield throughout, and they’ve scored 31+ points in six straight.
Browns @ Ravens (-13.5)
Baltimore likes playing at home, and they have a little business to take care of to wrap up the No. 2 seed.
Vikings @ Redskins (-7)
Minnesota’s quietly making a bid for the No. 1 overall pick in next April’s draft. If the Colts mess around and win a game it could be an interesting 3-way battle with the Rams.
Buccaneers @ Panthers (-9)
I don’t know if they could make this line high enough. Carolina demolished the Bucs 38-19 a few weeks ago in Tampa.
Chargers @ Lions (-1.5)
I can’t help but envision Detroit either missing the playoffs or barely squeaking in.
Eagles @ Cowboys (-1)
That DeMarco Murray injury is a killer for Dallas. This game absolutely must end with a game-tying/winning FG attempt for Dan Bailey.
Bears @ Packers (-14)
Josh McCown, huh?
Falcons @ Saints (-7.5)
Contingency pick: I can see the Saints suffering a letdown after the 49ers crushed the Steelers on Monday (New Orleans had to figure that was their best shot at passing San Francisco in the conference standings), as long as the Niners also beat Seattle on Saturday. If the 49ers lose in Seattle, New Orleans will destroy Atlanta.
Pick: Falcons (unless the 49ers lose, then I reserve the right to change this pick and this pick only)
Raiders @ Chiefs (-1)
The Chiefs had their Friday Night Lights series finale last week against Green Bay, complete with interim coach Romeo Crenell crying on the sidelines after receiving a Gatorade shower. The Raiders are scrambling to resemble a team fighting for their playoff lives, and their defensive coordinator is on borrowed time (even though most of the blame should fall on Hue Jackson).
The Arrowhead factor would seem to be too much to ignore, as is the fact that the Chiefs are technically still in the AFC West race. But, the Raiders have won four in a row in Kansas City and let’s face it … the Chiefs are going nowhere.
By the way, Darrius Heyward-Bey has more yards (775) and touchdowns (3) than Michael Crabtree (703/2). Then again, Alex Smith has missed Crabtree when he’s been wide open in the end zone about a half dozen times this year, including once against the Steelers.
49ers (-1) @ Seahawks
We all know the reasons why the Niners could lose this game:
- Seagull Sanctuary (or whatever it’s called) is loud.
- The Seahawks have won three games in a row by a combined score of 99-41.
- Seattle’s a division rival who knows the 49ers’ personnel.
- The 49ers just played a so-called emotional game against the Steelers.
- Ted Ginn probably won’t play, and he was the biggest reason why the 49ers won their first meeting with Seattle.
- MARSHAWN LYNCH IS IN
Here’s why San Francisco will win this game:
- Mr. Beast Mode’s numbers in two games against the 49ers since joining the Seahawks: 23 carries for 62 yards, 9 receptions for 51 yards, 0 TD.
- A letdown seems unlikely considering how important the No. 2 seed is
- Another letdown deterrent: how much that loss to the Cardinals stung two weeks ago, and this is pretty much the same game.
- Braylon Edwards is coming back (okay, maybe that’s a stretch to put that reason in the “win” category).
- Patrick Willis might play (it’s kind of a longshot, but a slight percentage chance that Willis plays is better than 100% certainty that Braylon will be active).
- The Seahawks have never faced this version of Aldon Smith.
- This game pits Jim Harbaugh against Pete Carroll, and this time Harbaugh’s team is the one with more talent.
Pick: 49ers 19, Seattle 17 … with the o/u at 38 I’m taking the under
Last week: 7-7-1