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Week 17 – For all the marbles!

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Week 17 and the final week of NFL action for the season.

Already we have teams who have punched their ticket to the playoffs. New England, Pittsburgh, Jacksonville and Kansas City have clinched their divisions. The wildcard has not been resolved with Tennessee, Baltimore, Buffalo and the Chargers all still in it. The Steelers and Patriots are still fighting for the #1 Overall seed.

The NFC Picture is a bit clearer, with Philadelphia taking the overall #1 Seed, followed by Minnesota and the Rams winning their divisions. New Orleans and Carolina have clinched the playoffs with Atlanta and Seattle fighting for the second wild card spot.

Last Week’s Results

Head to Head: 14-2
Against the Spread: 12-2-2

Season to Date

Head to Head: 153-86
Against the Spread: 111-80-32

All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com

All games will be played on Sunday, December 31st

Chicago at Minnesota
Line: Vikings by 11½

This is the time the Vikings have to watch out for being complacent. With their spot in the playoffs secured and a first round bye, they have to stay fresh. At the same time, they can get their 13th victory which will be a franchise record.

This is my lock!
Smooth’s Pick – Minnesota (31-7)

Cleveland at Pittsburgh
Line: Steelers by 10½

The Browns can end their season becoming the third team in NFL history to go winless. Tampa Bay was 0-14 in 1976, Detroit was 0-16 in 2008. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was undecided on resting his players, but they still have the #1 seed to clinch. Look for them to go “all-in”.

Smooth’s Pick – Pittsburgh (38-9)

Dallas at Philadelphia
Line: Cowboys by 2½

There’s a cause for concern for Eagles fans, despite wins the last two weeks, the Offense led by Nick Foles have lost a step, and with high powered offenses like Minnesota and the Rams, Philly could be a 1 and out squad. Look for Dallas to give them a run for their money.

Smooth’s Pick – Dallas (21-19)

Green Bay at Detroit
Line: Lions by 7

This would have been a classic matchup if they were still in the playoff hunt. But this is just a regular game to close out the season.

Smooth’s Pick – Detroit (27-16)

Houston at Indianapolis
Line: Colts by 3½

Both teams were to contend this season, but they each had injuries to their QB’s that affected their seasons. Both teams will play for positions in next year’s draft.

Smooth’s Pick – Indianapolis (24-16)

NY Jets at New England
Line: Patriots by 15½

The one thing we can say for the Jets is that they’ll have the better record in the ‘big apple’. But losing 10 games this season is nothing to crow about for Gang Green. Look for the Patriots to close out the season with a “W”.

Smooth’s Pick – New England (35-7)

Washington at NY Giants
Line: Redskins by 3

On the flip side, a loss is not a bad thing for the G-men. They’ll clinch the #2 pick in next year’s draft, and they can certainly parlay that pick into extra draft picks if teams need a QB. As for the Redskins, they can end the season at .500 with a win.

Smooth’s Pick – Washington (23-17)

Arizona at Seattle
Line: Seahawks by 8½

The Seahawks need this game badly. They need a win and hope for an Atlanta loss. With that kind of distraction, the Cardinals could sweep in for the upset.

This is my upset special!
Smooth’s Pick – Arizona (22-18)

Buffalo at Miami
Line: Bills by 3

At the worst possible moment, the Bills find themselves needing lots and lots of help. But first they must win in South Beach, a task not easy at all against the fish.

Smooth’s Pick – Miami (24-19)

Carolina at Atlanta
Line: Falcons by 4

The dirty birds are in the driver’s seat. Win, and you’re in. Lose, and you can still get in if Arizona pulls off the upset. Carolina would like nothing less than to knock the defending NFC Champs out of the playoffs and win the division. Will be hard on the road, though.

Smooth’s Pick – Atlanta (27-21)

Cincinnati at Baltimore
Line: Ravens by 9½

This is Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis’ ‘swan song’. He will step down after the game is over. Disappointing season for the Bengals. For the Ravens, a win will clinch a wild card.

Smooth’s Pick – Baltimore (34-9)

Jacksonville at Tennessee
Line: Titans by 3½

Big game for the Titans, a win over the Jags will put them into the playoffs. But Jacksonville, enjoying its best season in 10 years, will want to have a say in it. Titans have lost three straight and need to break the streak.

Smooth’s Pick – Jacksonville (24-17)

Kansas City at Denver
Line: Broncos by 3½

The Chiefs managed to stop the bleeding enough to recover and win the AFC West. Head coach Andy Reid will give Alex Smith a rest and start Patrick Mahomes, having locked the #4 seed. The Broncos try to end the season with a win.

Smooth’s Pick – Denver (21-18)

New Orleans at Tampa Bay
Line: Saints by 7

The Saints clinched a playoff spot, but still need a win this weekend for the NFC South division crown. They’ve dominated the Bucs both at home and on the road the last few years. But this could be different.

Smooth’s Pick – New Orleans (27-24)

Oakland at LA Chargers
Line: Bolts by 8

The Raiders end their season on a low point, having lost three in a row to knock them out of the playoffs. The Bolts need a win and some help to get to the playoffs. This should be a win, but as for help, that’s another story.

Smooth’s Pick – LA Chargers (31-10)

San Francisco at LA Rams
Line: Niners by 2½

The Niners are beginning to look like a team that wants to challenge for the NFC West next season. QB Jimmy Garopalo has turned the offense on having scored 44 points last weekend. He’ll get a real test verses the newly crowned NFC West champs.

Smooth’s Pick – LA Rams (27-19)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.

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College Bowl Playoffs 2018

college-football-playoff-rankings-final-four-alabama-georgia

Here are our selections for the college football playoffs. All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com. Both games takes place on Monday, January 1st, New Year’s Day.

rose bowl

Rose Bowl
Pasadena, California
Georgia vs. Oklahoma
Line: Georgia by 2½

Analysis: Oklahoma’s offense evolves around Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. The senior quarterback is brutally efficient with the ball and is highly mobile in cases of play breakdowns. His favorite target is tight end Mark Andrews, who is second on the team in receiving and first in receiving touchdowns.

Of all four teams in the college bowl playoffs, Oklahoma has the worst defense. The Sooners are ranked 81st in the nation in yards allowed, however their defense has held opponents to a respectable 25 points per game. And although this unit will be scrutinized leading into the Rose Bowl, the Sooner defense has held ranked opponents to 20 points or less in three of four matchups this season.

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As for Georgia, its offense is run-heavy, thanks to the combination of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Chubb and Michel, who are third and ninth in the SEC in rushing yards respectively, have combined for over 2,000 yards and 26 touchdowns. Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm was forced into starting duties, but the 19-year-old has been incredibly efficient as a passer.

Georgia’s defense is one of the best in the nation and has talent at every single position. However, the linebacker unit may be the most talented group in all of college football. Roquan Smith is coming off a Butkus Award-winning season that saw him lead the Bulldogs in tackles, sacks and quarterback hurries. The back end is stuffed to the brim with upperclassmen who understand their role in the defense and work as one complete unit.

Prediction – Mayfield will have his work cut out for him. If he can be effective in the air, the Sooners should be able to take the Bulldogs to task. But the Georgia defense is the key to the Bulldogs and if they can stop the Sooners, they should be able to play for their first national championship since 1980.

Smooth’s Pick – Georgia (47-25)

sugar bowl

Sugar Bowl
New Orleans, Louisiana
Alabama vs. Clemson
Line: Alabama by 3

Clemson might not have Deshaun Watson, Wayne Gallman and Mike Williams, all who have left for the NFL, but the Tiger offense can still score. Junior quarterback Kelly Bryant has stepped into the starting role left by Watson. In addition, the running back tandem of Travis Etienne and Tavien Feaster has combined for 1,403 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns.

Clemson’s defense is as good as ever with the Tigers sitting at the top 10 in the nation in yards allowed, passing defense and points allowed. Clemson has one of the best defensive lines in the country with Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant having put up at least 7.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for a loss. Both are shoe-ins to make the 1st round in next year’s NFL draft.

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Alabama head coach Nick Saban has once again turned his team of five-star recruits on defense into arguably the best in the country. No team has allowed fewer yards or points this season than the Tide, plus the team has racked up 31 sacks and 20 turnovers.

The Crimson Tide returns several key players on offense last season. Quarterback Jalen Hurts has become an incredibly efficient passer as well as one of Bama’s best rushing threats. The only Tide player to catch more than 15 passes this season has been Calvin Ridley but finding a second consistent threat will be important in this game.

Prediction – Over the past two seasons, Clemson and Alabama have treated college football fans to two of the best national championship games of all time. This game also has the makings of a classic as well and the point spread shows it. This will be another war in the trenches. And one that will favor Alabama’s powerful defense.

Smooth’s Pick – Alabama (39-28)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.

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Week 16 – Happy Holidays!!

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Week 16 and the Christmas holiday has the league making adjustments in their usual schedule. There’s no Thursday game. But there are two more games on Saturday. Sunday Christmas Eve will feature 12 matchups with no Sunday night game. Then Monday Christmas Day has a late afternoon game and an evening matchup, making more time for players and fans to enjoy the holiday.

Right now the Patriots, Steelers and the Jags have clinched playoff spots in the AFC, while the Eagles and Vikings have punched their ticket in the NFC. More teams can clinch a playoff spot this weekend.

Last Week’s Results

Head to Head: 13-3
Against the Spread: 10-3-3

Season to Date

Head to Head: 139-84
Against the Spread: 99-78-30

All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com

Saturday, December 23

Indianapolis at Baltimore
Line: Ravens by 13½

At this point, the Colts can only ride the next two games out. Their only recourse is to try and play spoiler to the Ravens, who need to win both games and get help in the wild card.

Smooth’s Pick – Baltimore (34-7)

Minnesota at Green Bay
Line: Vikings by 9

With the Pack eliminated from the playoffs, they shut down Aaron Rodgers for the season. They also can play spoiler by preventing their longtime rival from getting home field advantage with a win.

Smooth’s Pick – Minnesota (28-13)

Sunday, December 24

Atlanta at New Orleans
Line: Saints by 5½

This is one of the biggest matchups of the weekend, with the Saints clinching at least a wild card berth with a win. For Falcons, a win Sunday and a win next weekend will send them back to the playoffs.

Smooth’s Pick – New Orleans (28-21)

Buffalo at New England
Line: Patriots by 11½

A win by the Patriots will kill the Bills hopes for the playoffs. As for Buffalo, they need to play their best game of the year, and they didn’t look good the last time they played the Patriots.

Smooth’s Pick – New England (36-10)

Cleveland at Chicago
Line: Bears by 6½

This is the Browns only hope for a win, as their next game is in Pittsburgh. The Bears can only hope they’re not victims to Cleveland’s first win.

Smooth’s Pick – Chicago (27-13)

Denver at Washington
Line: Redskins by 3½

The Broncos haven’t won in DC since 1998 and they can get a three game win streak if they do it. The Redskins can get to .500 with a win Sunday and win next weekend.

Smooth’s Pick – Washington (24-16)

Detroit at Cincinnati
Line: Lions by 4½

Desperation time for the Lions as they need to win and get help along the way. As for the Bengals, they begin the transition to a new head coach as Marvin Lewis resigns at the end of the year. This will be a tough matchup.

This is my upset special!
Smooth’s Pick – Cincinnati (27-24)

LA Chargers at NY Jets
Line: Bolts by 6½

They pulled off a stinker verses the Chiefs and now the Chargers look to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. As for the Jets, they’ll go with Bryce Petty the rest of the way and hope to pull of an upset.

Smooth’s Pick – Chargers (26-17)

LA Rams at Tennessee
Line: Rams by 6½

This is a more important game for the Titans, as they need to win and keep winning. They hold the 1st wild card spot. The Rams need to win and hope for an Eagles and Vikings loss for the top spot in the NFC.

Smooth’s Pick – LA Rams (30-27)

Miami at Kansas City
Line: Chiefs by 10

The Chiefs hold their own destiny. They can win the division with a win on Sunday. The Dolphins continue to play poor defense, giving up 36 points on the road.

Smooth’s Pick – Kansas City (31-13)

Tampa Bay at Carolina
Line: Panthers by 10

The Panthers’ offense is operating like a well-oiled machine. They hold the 1st wild card. A win can clinch a playoff, but the Bucs could play spoiler.

Smooth’s Pick – Carolina (28-16)

Jacksonville at San Francisco
Line: Jags by 4½

Jacksonville has won seven of its last eight and clinched its first playoff berth in 10 years. But they’ll face a test with a resurgent Niners team with Jimmy Garofalo holding the reigns at QB.

Smooth’s Pick – Jacksonville (24-19)

NY Giants at Arizona
Line: Cardinals by 3½

At this point, the best the Giants can do is to hold on to the 2nd pick in the draft. To do that, they’ll have to lose their remaining games. The Cardinals look like a candidate for an upset, but it’s hard to tell with all the injuries on the G-men side.

Smooth’s Pick – Arizona (28-17)

Seattle at Dallas
Line: Cowboys by 4½

The Cowboys finally get Ezekiel Elliott back from his 6 game suspension. They’ll need him as they try to make a push for the playoffs. Both the Seahawks and Cowboys are 8-6, and the loser will most likely be kicked out of contention.

Smooth’s Pick – Dallas (27-15)

Monday, December 25

Pittsburgh at Houston
Line: Steelers by 8½

Pittsburgh is still reeling from that no TD call. They’ll have to lick their wounds and travel to Houston, where they will be without Antonio Brown for one game. The spread could have higher, otherwise.

Smooth’s Pick – Pittsburgh (28-18)

Oakland at Philadelphia
Line: Eagles by 9

The Eagles just barely escaped with a win verses the Giants. This weekend, they can put the Raiders out of their misery. Oakland need to win and get lots and lots of help.

This is my lock!
Smooth’s Pick – Philadelphia (33-12)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.

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Week 15 – If the season ended today…

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Week 15 and there were more teams that clinched their divisions, most notably Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. New England had the chance to close out the AFC East, but they tanked on Monday night verses Miami. Minnesota also blowing an opportunity to clinch the NFC North. We should see more teams clinch their divisions this weekend, with some important matchups heading our way.

Last Week’s Results

Head to Head: 9-7
Against the Spread: 9-7

Season to Date

Head to Head: 126-81
Against the Spread: 89-75-27

All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com

Thursday, December 14

Denver at Indianapolis
Line: Broncos by 2½

This is a matchup that could have been more interesting had both teams won more games. But both teams are going nowhere fast. And this is a matchup for who gets the better draft spot.

This is my upset special!
Smooth’s Pick – Indianapolis 24-17

Saturday, December 16

Chicago at Detroit
Line: Lions by 5½

The Bears continue to play some pretty good football and this weekend, they can play spoiler on the road verses the Lions. Detroit needs this game badly and it’s going to a tough game to do it.

Smooth’s Pick – Detroit (28-16)

LA Chargers at Kansas City
Line: Pick ‘em

The winner of this game takes control of the AFC West, and right now the Bolts have the advantage. Despite the Chiefs playing at home, the Chargers have the upper hand because they’re playing better.

Smooth’s Pick – LA Chargers (27-21)

Sunday, December 17

Arizona at Washington
Line: Redskins by 4½

The Redskins could have been in contention had they played better earlier in the year. But this is just to play out the season. The Cardinals need a win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

Smooth’s Pick – Washington (19-17)

Baltimore at Cleveland
Line: Ravens by 7

Baltimore looks to solidify a wildcard spot verses the hapless Browns, who look like they won’t win another game this season. They’re destined to get the top pick in next year’s draft.

Smooth’s Pick – Baltimore (25-13)

Cincinnati at Minnesota
Line: Vikings by 11

Tough luck for the Vikings who missed the chance to clinch last weekend. They get another chance verses a Bengals team who probably won’t make .500 this season.

This is my lock!
Smooth’s Pick – Minnesota (37-10)

Green Bay at Carolina
Line: Panthers by 2½

The Packers get Aaron Rodgers back at the right time. They’ve struggled without him and they need to run the gauntlet and get to 10-6. The Panthers are a tough sell to do that.

Smooth’s Pick – Carolina (30-14)

Houston at Jacksonville
Line: Jags by 11½

Both teams are going in different directions. The Jags can control the AFC South win a win verses the Texans. This will be a huge win, as they will have a 10 win season for the first time in 10 years.

Smooth’s Pick – Jacksonville (33-12)

Miami at Buffalo
Line: No Line

The Bills need to win all their games to get any chance at a wild card. The Dolphins shocked the Patriots last weekend, but with snow in the forecast in Buffalo on Sunday, it’s looking pretty bleak for the fish.

Smooth’s Pick – Buffalo (17-10)

NY Jets at New Orleans
Line: Saints by 16

Gang Green got clobbered in the Mile High city last weekend, and it could get worse going into the Big Easy. The Saints can clinch a playoff berth with a win Sunday, and they could get it.

Smooth’s Pick – New Orleans (33-7)

Philadelphia at NY Giants
Line: Eagles by 7½

The G-men are just not that good this season. With injuries and the debacle at the helm, it just wasn’t meant to be. For the Eagles, they’ll have to win the rest of the way without Carson Wentz who had successful surgery on his knee. Nick Foles will lead the way in the playoffs.

Smooth’s Pick – Philadelphia (27-14)

LA Rams at Seattle
Line: Seahawks by 2½

The Rams failed in their test against a formidable opponent. They get another chance verses a Seahawks team who need this game badly.

Smooth’s Pick – Seattle (23-21)

New England at Pittsburgh
Line: Patriots by 3

The Steelers are slight underdogs verses the Patriots, who could lose two straight. That would be unheard of in the Tom Brady era. But the Patriots have had the Steelers number the last few years.

Smooth’s Pick – New England (26-22)

Tennessee at San Francisco
Line: Niners by 2

This is a rare moment for the Niners, being favored against a team over .500. That’s because they have a two game win streak. The Titans need to figure out their offense problems and fast.

Smooth’s Pick – San Francisco (21-15)

Dallas at Oakland
Line: Cowboys by 3

Dallas needs to win on Sunday night to keep their wildcard dreams alive. They take on a Raiders team who have sputtered at the worst time possible. The Silver and Black need to stop the bleeding fast.

Smooth’s Pick – Dallas (27-19)

Monday, December 18

Atlanta at Tampa Bay
Line: Falcons by 6

The Falcons got the big victory over New Orleans to keep their division title hopes. But they’ll need to continue to win and having to go to a division rivals house, that gonna be a tall order.

Smooth’s Pick – Atlanta (27-20)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.

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Week 14 – Fantasy Football League Regular Season Ends This Weekend!

fantasy-football-badge

It’s week 14 and this week is the final week of most Fantasy Football Leagues. We’ve been playing with a 12 team internet broadcast league for the last 9 years. So far, our team, the SJM ThunderCats are struggling to make the championship round of the playoffs. Last year’s champs, Fumbles and Stumbles are looking for a repeat, while 3 time champs, the Choirboys put up the highest point total of the season. However, they’re in the wildcard spot and could be kicked out of the championship round with a loss. In two weeks, we’ll have a Fantasy Football League champion. Stay tuned.

Last weekend,

Head to Head: 13-3
Against the Spread: 10-3-3

Season to Date

Head to Head: 117-74
Against the Spread: 80-68-27

All odds courtesy of oddsshark.com

Thursday, December 7

New Orleans at Atlanta
Line: Falcons by 1

This is a huge game for the dirty birds. They need a win to stay alive in the NFC South. A loss will not only knock them out of the division hunt, it might even knock them out of the wild-card.

Smooth’s Pick – Atlanta (23-21)

Sunday, December 10

Chicago at Cincinnati
Line: Bengals by 6

Tough loss for Cincinnati verses Pittsburgh pretty much ends their playoff hopes. However, there’s still a chance for a .500 record with the Bears coming to town. Chicago have been horrible on the road. This is the Bengals chance to get a “W”.

Smooth’s Pick – Cincinnati (28-14)

Dallas at NY Giants
Line: Cowboys by 4

The Bob McAdoo era is over, Interim head coach Steve Spagnolo will take the helm for the rest of the year. If there’s any consolation, a win by the G-men will knock the Cowboys out of the playoffs.

Smooth’s Pick – Dallas (26-13)

Detroit at Tampa Bay
Line: None

No line on this game because of the game-day status of QB Matthew Stafford. He suffered an injury on his throwing hand. Team doctors say he’ll play this weekend. Just how effective he’ll be is another story. This is a must win for the Lions.

Smooth’s Pick – Detroit (20-12)

Green Bay at Cleveland
Line: Packers by 3

A few weeks ago, the point spread would have been 10 points or more. But with the Packers playing the way they are, it’s no telling what kind of team will play on Sunday.

Smooth’s Pick – Green Bay (27-16)

Indianapolis at Buffalo
Line: None

Also no line of this one because the Bills QB situation. They looked horrible last weekend verses the Patriots. They need to win the rest of their games for any chance for the wild-card. The Colts look like they could end their season right now.

Smooth’s Pick – Buffalo (13-9)

Minnesota at Carolina
Line: Vikings by 3

The Vikings bring their high powered defense to Charlotte to take on the Panthers. Cam Newton have issues with these types of games. The Vikings now have a chance to seriously look at overtaking Philadelphia for the #1 spot in the NFC.

Smooth’s Pick – Minnesota (23-16)

Oakland at Kansas City
Line: Chiefs by 4

KC continues their downward spiral, and it doesn’t get any easier. The Raiders come into town needing a win to keep their playoff dreams going. This is an even matchup, Oakland won on a last second TD and Field Goal in week 4. KC will go for revenge.

Smooth’s Pick – Kansas City (19-16)

San Francisco at Houston
Line: Texans by 2½

The Niners got their second win of the season last weekend in Chicago. It will be a challenge to put together a two game win streak with a second straight road win. The Texans are tough at home.

Smooth’s Pick – Houston (24-13)

NY Jets at Denver
Line: Pick ‘em

With their 8th loss in a row, the Broncos are on their worst losing streak in nearly 50 years. The Jets ended a two game skid by beating Kansas City, and they can make it two in a row with a win this weekend.

Smooth’s Pick – NY Jets (20-17)

Tennessee at Arizona
Line: Titans by 3

The Titans look to continue their AFC South title hopes with a win in the desert. The Cardinals continue to struggle having lost three of their last 4 games. However, this game could change their fortunes.

Smooth’s Pick – Arizona (23-20)

Washington at LA Chargers
Line: Bolts by 6

The Chargers looked dead in the water starting their season with 4 straight losses. But they’ve gone 6-2 during that stretch, and with the battered Redskins coming to town, their win streak may continue.

This is my lock!
Smooth’s Pick – LA Chargers (31-13)

Philadelphia at LA Rams
Line: Rams by 2½

If you look between the numbers during the Eagles win streak, only two teams have records over .500. Both of those teams they lost. The Rams get their biggest test of the year and this could be a playoff preview.

Smooth’s Pick – LA Rams (24-21)

Seattle at Jacksonville
Line: Jags by 2½

Sports books have the Seahawks as underdogs, because they’re going from west coast to east coast. But they’ve done very well this season. The Jags have let down betters a number of times with disappointing home losses. This looks like another heartbreaker.

This is my upset special!
Smooth’s Pick – Seattle (26-23)

Baltimore at Pittsburgh
Line: Steelers by 5

Pittsburgh won a brutal Monday night game verses Cincinnati. They get another brutal matchup with the Ravens, who won three straight and need this game to stay alive in the AFC North. A win by the Steelers would clinch the division.

Smooth’s Pick – Pittsburgh (28-13)

Monday, December 11

New England at Miami
Line: Patriots by 11

The Patriots go for their 9th straight and another AFC East crown with a win verses the Dolphins, who snapped a 5 game losing skid. Look for the Patriots to rip the depleted Miami defense. Rob Gronkowski will not be playing due to a suspension.

Smooth’s Pick – New England (38-12)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.

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The Giants Moving Forward After Ben and Jerry’s.

NFL: New York Giants-Minicamp

Well Giants fans, your long national nightmare is over.

Owner John Mara has relieved head coach Bob McAdoo and General Manager Jerry Reese of their duties, and now comes the long road to recovery.

There were a number of fatal errors that led this team to where we are now. This team has been neglected for a number years thru sheer incompetence in evaluating talent and a proper game plan to help the team be competitive on the field. You can thank Reese for that. By neglecting to draft offensive linemen, the Giants haven’t been able to score more than 30 points in a game for the last 5 seasons. Eli Manning’s numbers would have been much better than where they are now.

Look at other teams during this stretch. The New England Patriots have been able to replenish their offense by keying on specific needs to keep Tom Brady at the top of the charts. The Pittsburgh Steelers have also done a lot to help Ben Rothlisberger and his longevity. It’s a miracle that with this Giants offensive line Eli Manning hasn’t suffered a serious injury, thus jeopardizing his career.

NFL: New York Giants-Ben McAdoo Press Conference

From the moment Ben McAdoo took the podium at his press conference to be head coach of the G-men two years ago, it was clear from his oversized suit that this decision was wrong from the get-to. He clashed with his players, refused to give up play calling until it was too late, and seemingly had it in for Eli Manning as a way to justify his incompetence.

Well, now it’s over and Big Blue Nation had a large part in McAdoo’s and Reese’s departure. The talk of a full scale boycott by Giants fans in the last three home games made it impossible for John Mara to ignore. A half-filled stadium of unhappy spectators would be just too much for ownership to endure. Eventually, money talks and the loss of much needed revenue made this firing a business decision.

Moving forward, we can only hope John Mara and Steve Tisch will learn from this. Eli Manning deserved better than the treatment he received. Whether he decides to retire as a Giant is his call. I hope he does. Every NFL team goes thru peaks and valleys every year. We’re going through a valley and eventually we’ll be able to endure the journey.

It’s all part of the process of being a fan.

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Week 13 – Closing the “Book of Eli”

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Week 13 and three teams have already been eliminated from playoff contention. The Browns, the Niners and the Giants. Like all fans “Big Blue”, we’re still stunned at the benching of Eli Manning. More than likely, we may have seen the last of the two-time Super Bowl MVP in a Giants uniform. The future of life without Eli begins this weekend.

Head to Head: 11-5
Against the Spread: 9-5-2

Season to Date

Head to Head: 104-71
Against the Spread: 70-65-24

All odds courtesy of Oddsshark.com

Thursday, November 30

Washington at Dallas
Line: Redskins by 1

Three weeks ago, this would have been a marquee matchup. But with both teams on the skids and just about out of contention, this is just another game being played out for the season to end. It should still be an intriguing game.

Smooth’s Pick – Dallas (24-16)

Sunday, December 3

Denver at Miami
Line: Pick ‘em

Both teams are also heading downhill, more so for the Broncos. Their once great offense can’t get started. Miami still with QB issues. This could get ugly.

Smooth’s Pick – Miami (14-12)

Detroit at Baltimore
Line: Ravens by 2½

Every game is big for these two teams. The Lions need to bounce back from a loss to the Vikings. The Ravens look to capitalize and stay close to the Steelers. This could be a close one.

Smooth’s Pick – Baltimore (20-17)

Houston at Tennessee
Line: Titans by 7

This is a divisional game that with make or break the Texans for the season. A win by Tennessee gives them a chance to take control in the AFC South.

Smooth’s Pick – Tennessee (24-13)

Indianapolis at Jacksonville
Line: Jags by 9½

Another divisional game, although the Colts could play spoiler, but that’s not likely. The Jags need a win to keep pace with Tennessee.

Smooth’s Pick – Jacksonville (34-16)

Kansas City at NY Jets
Line: Chiefs by 3

The Chiefs are in trouble. They came out of the starting blocks on fire and now they find themselves looking from behind at the Chargers on their back. They get a chance to get back on track with Gang Green, but it won’t be easy.

Smooth’s Pick – Kansas City (17-13)

Minnesota at Atlanta
Line: Falcons by 3

The Vikings can sew up the NFC North with a win this weekend. The Falcons might be on the outside of the playoff hunt. They need this victory to keep themselves relevant.

Smooth’s Pick – Atlanta (31-24)

New England at Buffalo
Line: Patriots by 8½

This is one of those games that the Bills usually play hard, a divisional game with the Patriots. But they’re still having issues at QB and the Patriots look to finish off the Bills.

Smooth’s Pick – New England (27-24)

San Francisco at Chicago
Line: Bears by 3

The Niners are losers of 10 out of 11, they travel to the windy city to take on the Bears, who are showing signs of life. They look to break a 4 game skid.

Smooth’s Pick – Chicago (19-16)

Tampa Bay at Green Bay
Line: Pick ‘em

These two teams used to play twice a year when there was the NFC Central. The Bucs had a hard time playing in the cold. They still do, but with the Packers hurting at QB, they look to steal a win in Lambeau.

Smooth’s Pick – Green Bay (21-14)

Cleveland at LA Chargers
Line: Bolts by 13½

The Browns just keep on losing, and losing. Another loss will guarantee Hue Jacksons’ firing at the end of the season. The Bolts look to pull to .500 with a victory.

This is my lock!
Smooth’s Pick – LA Chargers (37-10)

Carolina at New Orleans
Line: Saints by 4

The Panthers need this game and so do the Saints. Both teams are at 8-3. A win will probably mean a win in the NFC South for one of these teams.

Smooth’s Pick – New Orleans (28-21)

LA Rams at Arizona
Line: Rams by 7

The “Greatest Show on Turf” has returned to the Rams at its new home in Tinseltown. Despite the win, this will be a tough divisional matchup in the desert. Looks for the Cardinals to come out swinging.

Smooth’s Pick – LA Rams (26-19)

NY Giants at Oakland
Line: Raiders by 7

Giants management did the unthinkable this week and benched Eli Manning for of all people, Geno Smith. We’ll soon see if this was a move of desperation to save McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese’s jobs or an act of genius. Look for the Raiders to drop the hammer.

Smooth’s Pick – Oakland (35-7)

Philadelphia at Seattle
Line: Eagles by 5½

The Eagles continue to fly high, but this weekend they may have met their match. The Seahawks are matched perfectly on pass defense with Philly and their primed for competition.

This is my upset special!
Smooth’s Pick – Seattle (23-13)

Monday, December 4

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati
Line: Steelers by 5½

Slim chances for the Bengals. They’ll need to keep winning if they want to make the playoffs and they’ll need to beat division rivals. This is a chance to catch the Steelers sleeping.

Smooth’s Pick – Pittsburgh (29-13)

Now with all of our picks, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. If you have a gambling problem, then please seek help by going to gamblersanonymous.org.