Handicapping Week 15

By Zack Cimini

There’s officially three weeks left to try and rescue yourself from a sub-par gambling year. Get those quality picks in and separate yourself from the .500 mark as you try to eke out a 60 percent year. Who do we have for week 15?

Indianapolis -3 at Jacksonville- Pick Jacksonville
The Colts enter this game banged up on a short week. Jacksonville has been a herky jerky team all season long but are still in the AFC playoff hunt. You’d figure a team with that type of desperation for a win to separate themselves would of come out with much more aggression at home against Miami. It didn’t happen but Jacksonville should be able to stay in this game against the Colts.

Dallas at New Orleans -7.5- Pick Dallas
It seems as if odds makers have not been watching the same New Orleans Saints team we have all witnessed the past few weeks. They did destroy the Patriots but are coming off back to back weeks against the Redskins and Falcons were they did not look dominant. Edging out wins they did do but failed sports bettors in doing so. They will continue that trend against Dallas.

Green Bay at Pittsburgh -1.5- Pick Green Bay
We just can’t go with the Steelers in this one after the month they’ve had. Repeat these two teams….OAKLAND and CLEVELAND. In the words of ESPN Prime Time’s great segment….C’MON MAN!! Green Bay is on the opposite track of the reeling Steelers, winners of five straight. The hunger is there while the bubble has been burst in Pittsburgh.

New England -7 at Buffalo- Pick New England
With the Jets and Dolphins breathing down their necks and pressure mounting to the end of the dynasty, New England gets the luck of the scheduling gods. The Buffalo Bills and their horrific offense. Maybe the Bills should of held onto JP Losman. Buffalo can’t figure it out behind center even with the Harvard graduate, Ryan Fitzpatrick back there. Watch him go out and have a field day against a Patriots secondary that’s been vulnerable all season.

Arizona -12 at Detroit- Pick Arizona
The 49ers just have the Cardinals number. Yet even though this team turned the football over seven times, they were only down 17-9 at the start of the fourth quarter. Another fumble by Beanie Wells pretty much sealed an insurmountable game of self inflicted wounds. Coach Ken Whisenhunt is one of the top five coaches in football and will have this team ready for a blowout.

San Francisco at Philadelphia -7.5- Pick San Francisco
Philadelphia may have caught the attention of media eyes this past Sunday and is why Vegas is capitalizing with their tilted line to get people to bet on Philadelphia. This team can go far in the playoffs but does not match up well against the 49ers. The New York Giants had struggled for a stretch of games offensively and especially through the air. It seemed that they could not be stopped on every drive against the Eagles, producing over 500 yards offensively. San Francisco seems to be back to their basic plan of letting Frank Gore control the offensive tempo. If they can’t stop Gore it could be a long day again for this defense with Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree roaming against this secondary.

Chicago at Baltimore -11- Pick Baltimore
All Baltimore has to do is stick to running the football. Ray Rice, Willis McGahee, and LeRon McClain pose as the best backfield in the NFL. Wonders on why Jay Cutler is tossing so many interceptions is exactly because of what Baltimore has and he doesn’t. Matt Forte was supposed to be their answer in the backfield but the Bears are the worst in the league at compiling only 85 yards a game. Their defense isn’t helping matters out either as they rank 25th in the NFL and are giving up nearly 130 yards on the ground a game.

Cleveland at Kansas City -2- Pick Kansas City
Kansas City has found their future back in Jamaal Charles. Kansas City should be able to do enough offensively to offset the DANGEROUS Brady Quinn and high powered Cleveland Brown’s offense.

Cincinnati at San Diego -6.5- Pick Cincinnati
This game is seemingly for the second seed in the AFC which leads to a bye week. Cincinnati is coming off a poor outing against the Vikings and has to regroup and travel across the country to San Diego. All the while having to play with the loss of their own teammate in Chris Henry. This team has held it together all season and will find away to hang around with one of the premier teams in the NFL.

Oakland at Denver -14- Pick Denver
It’s hard to trust any team with a double digit point spread but this is almost of the college football variety. Besides a horrible first quarter against the Colts the Broncos played solid last week. Oakland is throwing their third string quarterback that has started and played in one game since 2007. Talk about proving a point to JaMarcus Russell. We all saw how the Raiders suddenly stopped playing like a team and started performing like the Raiders we all know once Bruce Gradkowski got hurt. The game wasn’t out of reach at 17-13 but quickly spiraled into a Redskin blowout win.

Tampa Bay at Seattle -6.5- Pick Seattle
If the Bucs wouldn’t have snuck a win against Green Bay earlier this year they’d be on their way to duplicating the Lions of a year ago. Next year they might be satisfied that they were able to go through this type of season while letting rookie Josh Freeman try and learn on the field. Still could they have been a near playoff team with Jeff Garcia as their quarterback? It’s too late for that and Seattle and they’re 12th man crowd should roll over the Bucs.

Minnesota -9 at Carolina – Pick Minnesota
By putting the ball in the hands of Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor the Vikings found know their true keys to success. They shocked us all when they tried to win the game with an air attack against the Arizona Cardinals. Instead of being cute with their play calls they’ll stay with their basic bread and butter the rest of the season. Running the football and turning things over to their defense which is going to create turnovers.

New York Giants -3 at Washington- Pick New York Giants
Washington is going to try to play spoiler the rest of the season, and could possibly do it here. They’ve had Dallas and Philadelphia on the ropes. This game is pivotal to the Giants and their playoff hopes. Look for New York to squeak this one out in the fourth quarter.

Games currently OTB

Miami vs. Tennessee
Unlike most people we will take the Dolphins in this contest. Both teams have turned around the season after atrocious starts, but the Dolphins have the extra zeal on both sides of the ball.

Atlanta vs. New York Jets
It doesn’t matter if it’s Kellen Clemons or Mark Sanchez the Jets are dummying down the pass calls too much to survive these last three games.

Houston vs. St. Louis
As the awards are given for games of the decade, athletes, etc. All St. Louis Rams fans can say is what a difference a decade makes.