Wednesday, November 23, 2016

2016 NFL Week 12 Picks

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm getting this one out quickly because of the three Thursday games.

Cowboys -6.5 versus Redskins

This line seems too high against a decent Washington team until you consider that they have to travel on a short week after a night game on Sunday and that Ezekiel Elliott can put a game away late behind this incredible offensive line. Kirk Cousins has been on fire and now has R.Kelley as an effective new workhorse to keep a balanced attack, but I just don't believe in their defense, especially against an efficient offense on the road.
Dak Prescott's been great and put Zeke in a position to succeed.

Steelers -9 at Colts

I don't like that the spread is so high for a Pittsburgh road game, but I think you have to lay the points with Andrew Luck in the concussion protocol. He covers up so much for Indianapolis, so while I think backup quarterback Scott Tolzien can be adequate, I don't trust this offensive line to give him time to make plays. Compound that with Le"Veon Bell being on a tear and going against this hit or miss defense, and I'm taking the road favorites.

Giants -7 at Browns

We're pretty much at the point that you have to go againt Cleveland each week until they prove otherwise, especially with the spread just at a touchdown. There's always the chance of a garbage time score preventing a cover, but their defense isn't likely to put up much resistance against Odell Beckham and a resurgent Rashad Jennings.
Landon Collins has vastly improved in his second year and should protect the lead.
Patriots -7.5 at Jets

It might not be smart to be taking so many road favorites with such high spreads, but New England is one of the best teams in football (#3 in Football Outsiders DVOA) while New York is one of the worst (#31 in DVOA). There's some concern that the Jets' stoud defensive line can slow down LeGarrette Blount on the ground to prevent this one from getting away from them, but Tom Brady should carve up this secondary.

Raiders -3 versus Panthers

Carolina has the advantage of extra rest after a Thursday game compared to a short week for Oakland after MNF, but they do have to come across the country to face a superior team with former Defensive Player of the Year Luke Kuechly likely out after a scary concussion. Derek Carr leads an offense that ranks as 4th best overall and in both passing and rushing DVOA, and he should take advantage of a young secondary that ranks just 19th against the pass.
Amari Cooper moves so smoothly that he made Houston look silly on that game winning touchdown.
Last week: 4-1
Season total: 34-30-2

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