December 23, 2011
It's a four-dog night, but we'll start the story off with the one favorite on the card. Hope you find lots of covers under your holiday tree.
Chiefs -1.5 vs. Raiders: Arrowhead Stadium is still a difference-making location when the Chiefs are relevant, and the Kyle Orton move restores them. I don't trust Carson Palmer to play a clean game — especially with Tamba Hali crashing the pocket regularly — and Oakland's defense has looked confused for weeks (the same goes for Hue Jackson).
Bears +13 at Packers: No defense is going to look that great trying to stop Aaron Rodgers, but the Bears have done the best job in the division over the years, by far. It's easy to laugh at the Josh McCown appointment, but he probably can't be worse than Caleb Hanie. Green Bay's offensive line is a mess at the moment, and those intricate combination routes weren't much fun without Greg Jennings last Sunday. Chicago can hang around.
Jaguars +7.5 at Titans: Jacksonville was embarrassed last week against a matchup nightmare for them: a team deep at receiver and capable of challenging the deep part of the field. Things should be a lot tamer this week, up against a conservative Tennessee group that stays loyal to Matt Hasselbeck no matter what (even if he's hurt or playing poorly). Here's hoping the Jags do the right thing: play for the cover, and let MJD have 30 touches. We really don't care if you win.
Vikings +6.5 at Redskins: A basic buy-low on Minnesota and a sell-high on the Redskins, the sliding doors of modern line shopping. Adrian Peterson is complaining about his role, and star skill players tend to get placated when that happens. The shorter you can make this game, Leslie Frazier, the happier I'll be.
Chargers +2.5 at Lions: Detroit still seems unbalanced and a little fraudulent to me. There's no running game to speak of, and the big names on the defensive line don't stop the run. When the Chargers get it cranked up, these guys can beat anyone, anywhere; San Diego embarrassed a good Baltimore team last week. Too bad it took the Bolts this long to get the rally started. There's no NIT for the non-playoff teams.
Bonus Pick: Santa Claus wins, but doesn't cover.
Last Week: 2-2-1 (37-33-5 season)
Last Year: 49-34
Image courtesy of US Presswire