“Come all ye office-pool players, casual bettors, wiseguys, and degenerate gamblers: the NFL Picks Against The Spread column is here to help you win mountains of cash and/or bragging rights. They say you need to win at least 53% of your games to actually make a profit betting on NFL games. Well you and I know that I’ll probably only hit about 45% at the most, so go ahead and play the opposite of all my recommended Best Bets and you’ll be sure to make some money.”
While my colleague takes a small hiatus from providing valuable prognostication, I hope to satisfy all of your gambling needs in the same fashion.
He had a pretty ingenious formula (whether serious or not) of suggesting to bet against his picks, therefore improving his odds of getting them right by about 10%.
Since I’ve gone exactly 50 % on my picks so far this season, who knows WHAT you should do with my picks. But take them as you may.
Chiefs -6.5 vs Texans
This game has the perfect makings of a home blowout. One team has lost four straight, three of them blowout losses, and hasn’t covered the spread in a single game this season (0-6). The other is undefeated on the year, winning five of six by two scores or more, and 5-1 ATS.
The former is obviously the Texans, and the latter is the Chiefs.
The Texans are also starting second-year undrafted QB Case Keenum, hoping he can avoid the dubious honor of throwing yet another pick-six that the former two quarterbacks so greatly perfected. Hey, at least the Texans set SOME sort of record this year, right?
Keenum will have to make his first start on the road, but not just on the road: in Arrowhead, one of the toughest places to play in the league. And he’ll have to do it against the 2nd-ranked pass defense in the league.
With the Chiefs clicking on all cylinders this season, and the Texans brutally falling to the depths of despair, this looks like a non contest before the first whistle even blows. Take the Chiefs with confidence.
Ravens +1 @ Steelers
Despite the betting and casual fans’ love to pick apart the Ravens, they’re actually a much better team than most give them credit for. They’ve gone 4-2 ATS, with the 5th-ranked strength of schedule in the league.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh has one win SU and ATS, coming last week after a bye, and is 0-2 at home. Though the team still trots out onto Heinz field and bears the franchise logo, this squad may be the worst Steelers’ team since the AFL-NFL merger. No exaggeration.
The Ravens have mainly struggled to run the ball this year (surprise, surprise), but against the Steelers’ 31st-ranked run defense, Ray Rice/Bernard Pierce should be primed to have huge games.
In one of the few matchups between these two teams that ISN’T shown on Sunday or Monday night, expect the Ravens to come out on top.
Bears PK @ Redskins
Nobody seems to know where to go on this one, with the line currently settled as a straight-up pick. With two teams going in such opposite directions, this game feels hard to stay away from.
While it may seem scary to bet against RG3, this team should not strike fear in anybody. The Redskins have gone 1-4 SU and ATS, with their only win coming against the Raiders led by Matt Flynn, who was subsequently released from the team.
On the other end, the Bears have not been darlings among betters, but have nonetheless gone 4-2 SU this season, only losing to the red-hot Saints and on the road to division rival Detroit.
The Bears, coming off of a strong Thursday night win over the Giants, have had ten days to prepare for this matchup. The Redskins, on the other hand, are coming off of a brutal road loss to their bitter rival Dallas, under the lights of primetime no less.
In a game surprisingly tabbed as a pick-em, pick the Bears.
St. Louis +6 @ Carolina
Cincinnati +2.5 @ Detroit
Buffalo +8 @ Miami
Chargers -7.5 @ Jacksonville
Atlanta -7 vs Tampa Bay
NY Jets +4 vs New England
Cowboys +2.5 @ Philadelphia
Tennessee +4 vs San Francisco
Green Bay -10 vs Cleveland
Denver -6.5 @ Indianapolis
Minnesota +3.5 @ NY Giants