Handicapping Week 14

By Zack Cimini

Last week appears to of been one of the roughest weeks this year for sports bettors and handicappers. Taking a pounding like that can make you hesitant to play the next week or itchy to get that next bet in. Think logically and make sound choices to try and recapture a season near .500. We will do our best as well to help you out with your selections.

Denver at Indianapolis (-7)- Pick Denver
The Colts have teetered with losing many times this season. Denver has enough balance on both sides of the ball too try and complete what the Dolphins did earlier this year against the Colts. It seems Orton and the Broncos have overcome their mid-season woes and appear to be gaining back to their early season strides. Seven points is too much too give up here.

Cincinnati at Minnesota (-6.5)- Pick Cincinnati
There were three hard pressing red flags last week that the Vikings somehow must correct in a week. We don’t see that happening and they may start to slip a bit towards the seasons end. They’ve had a relatively easy schedule thus far, and with their first significant test being a failure (Packers don’t count) those effects will still linger. Teams that have been able to hang around is exactly what the Cincinnati Bengals exemplify.

New York Jets (-3) at Tampa Bay- Pick NY Jets
Expect the Jets to try and seize the little bit of playoff hopes and aspirations they have left. In September this was a team making noise and led by a rookie in Mark Sanchez that appeared headed for stardom. Since then different phases of the team have started to crumble. The good thing for them is the Dolphins and Patriots have also had up and down years. The team that’s ready to rise to the occasion will get a shot with a home playoff game as the division title winner. Three points is actually a small line here for a team as hungry as the Jets should be.

Buffalo(-1) at Kansas City- Pick Kansas City
One of those ugly December games that has to remain scheduled unfortunately. Will give the home team the edge here in hopes that Brodie Croyle somehow makes it into the game.

Green Bay (-3) at Chicago- Pick Green Bay
Green Bays been on a quiet tear and isn’t going to be a team playoff contenders want to face. They are balanced on both sides of the ball and you really never know when they’re going to be able to come out and play their A game. They won’t have too against the Bears to be able to get a win. Besides their game against the Steelers the Bears have played poor, ugly, and disastrous.

New Orleans (-10.5) at Atlanta- Pick New Orleans
The Saints have dodged the two games they likely should have lost against the Dolphins and Redskins. Now its just a matter if they want to keep pouring it on to historic finish, or preserve the health of their players for the better of a championship run. It’s week fourteen and Drew Brees is still trying to secure a runaway MVP title. For at least another week we will say they keep pouring it on.

Detroit at Baltimore (-13.5)- Pick Detroit
This is one of those double digit home favorite point spreads that you just stay away from. The Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has failed to live up to the hype of his rookie campaign. This team is more geared to utilize their great tandem of running backs. Yet the team keeps having more of a ratio of passes than runs. With Ed Reed likely out the Lions and Daunte Culpepper will look for some big plays early with one of the best receivers in the game at their disposal. It’s just one of those games where you have to figure the Ravens might score between 20-27 points. We don’t see the Lions being shutout, and their has also been awful weather back east thus far.

Miami at Jacksonville (-3)- Pick Jacksonville
Can the Dolphins stop the Jaguars rushing attack with Maurice Jones Drew? If not, Garrard will have a field day throwing over the top to Ernest Wilford and Mike Sims-Walker. Based upon the Dolphins latest games they’ve been lucky on a few missed big pass plays. Last week Brady missed several deep balls in which the Dolphins young cornerbacks were out of position or just burnt deep.

Carolina at New England (-13)- Pick New England
Quarterback Matt Moore will get his second start and travel up north to a cold not Carolina friendly environment. New England may be a 7-5 team but they’ve been dominant at home. They should be able to load the box to stop the DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart show, and see what Matt Moore can do.

Seattle at Houston (-6.5)- Pick Houston
Both of these teams are a loss away from being virtually mathematically eliminated from playoff contention. Houston’s had some real tough losses but should finish the season strong. Seattle’s just missing too much talent too hang around the entire game on the road.

Washington at Oakland (Pick’Em)- Pick Washington
Besides the fourth quarter Oakland really didn’t show much against the Steelers. Washington has actually played decent football over the last month. Their losses obviously don’t show it but they’ve been close nail biters similar to what the Steelers have been facing. Oakland on the other hand is also doing a fine job showing some type of dignity as a team and to their season. Talent wise though the Redskins should do enough defensively to force Gradkowski into plenty of costly mistakes.

San Diego at Dallas (-3)- Pick San Diego
Let the Wade Philipps December down fall and under fire show begin. They should hold it together enough to make the playoffs but gaining a win….we don’t think so. San Diego is on fire right now and will be the scariest team heading into the playoffs from the AFC. That’s right ahead of the Colts.

Philadelphia at NY Giants (-1)- Pick Philadelphia
The Giants needed a win badly last week and earned it on self forced errors from the Cowboys. The game was about to get out of hand if Marion Barber didn’t choke away the football. The Giants are not a 2009 playoff team and the Eagles will showcase that and exit any slight hopes the Giants may have.

Arizona (-3.5) at San Francisco- Arizona
Ignore the fact the 49ers have played their best against the Cardinals for some odd reason over the last few years. After last weeks win the Cardinals appear ready for another strong run in the 2010 post season. The 49ers on the other hand have been far too inconsistent as a team for head coach Ken Whisenhunt to not come out with a strong enough game plan to take control from the onset.

Currently OTB
St. Louis at Tennessee(-13) – Pick Tennessee
This game is currently off the board with Young’s setback during practice yesterday. With him or Kerry Collins this will be an easily handled game. Once one of the most explosive teams in football, St. Louis has scored under ten points six times this season.