Coin Flippin: NFL Week 11 PicksPosted: November 22, 2015
We are not gamblers. That doesn’t mean we can’t pretend. Some of these choices have actual thought put into them. More of these choices were made with gut, intuition, and a little thing called grit.
Employ these recommendations at your own peril. Gambling is ungentlemanly.
[Home team in caps. All lines per VegasInsider.com consensus. Bye: Cleveland, New Orleans, New York Giants, Pittsburgh]
CAROLINA (-7) vs. Washington
Derek: As I mentioned yesterday, my picks this week will be the result of a coin flip. We’re off to a great start, as the coin was wrong last night. We’ll get back to my terrible picks starting with the Thanksgiving games, but for now I want to see if an inanimate object can pick games better than I can. Heads I pick the home team, tails I pick the road team. Let’s do this.
The Redskins are on an absolute tear right now, relatively speaking. They came back against Tampa, almost put up a decent showing against New England, and throttled New Orleans. The Panthers have to slip up sometime, right? I’ll take Washington.
Will: Picking games is like playing fantasy football in that it makes me feel stupid because I’m bad at it. I hate picking games. I have no idea what’s going to happen in any of these goddamn things. I’m picking angry this week. Let’s see how it goes.
I’ve been seeing some talk on Twitter about how mean and nasty the Panthers’ o-line is, which dovetails nicely with my strategy this week. Panthers stay unbeaten, cover at home.
DETROIT (PK) vs. Oakland
Derek: The Lions may have beaten Green Bay last week, but the coin and I will not submit to recency bias. The Raiders have been the better team this year, so I say they pull it off.
Will: …Yeah, I’m gonna put more stock in the seven losses that preceded that win. The Raiders have dropped two straight, but are they not a better team than Detroit? They can’t win this thing straight up? I say they can.
Dallas (-1) vs. MIAMI
Derek: Tony Romo is back! As we all know, the Cowboys are undefeated this year when Romo starts. Who cares about the small sample size? The Cowboys show new life and stay alive in the NFC East race.
Will: I like Tony Romo, and I really really hope he has a good game and everyone celebrates him because he seems nice. Cowboys. (So much for picking angry.)
ATLANTA (-5.5) vs. Indianapolis
Derek: It’s Indy’s first game since news broke of Andrew Luck’s lacerated spleen, meaning Old Man Hasselbeck, one of my personal favorites, will once again take over. Hasselbeck is 2-0 this season, and the Falcons have looked like hot garbage for a little over a month now. That said, this is the first of Hasselbeck’s starts in which the opposing team didn’t spend any time preparing for Luck. They’ve had two weeks to do so, and Julio Jones should be able to take down Indy’s 28th ranked pass defense. The Falcons get back on track.
Will: This one is tricky, because both of these teams are good but also sorta suck. It’s also tricky because Andrew Luck’s innards exploded. I sniff a hint of Ewing Theory here. Colts cover.
BALTIMORE (-2.5) vs. St. Louis
Derek: Case Keenum is starting for the Rams this week. Todd Gurley is incredible, but he can’t do it all by himself. Baltimore only gives up 3.8 yards per carry, which is tied for sixth best in the league. Call me crazy, but I don’t trust Keenum to make Baltimore regret stacking the box. I’ll take Baltimore.
Will: I will not call you crazy. I don’t trust Case Keenum to deliver a FedEx, let alone a football. Ravens.
New York Jets (-2.5) vs. HOUSTON
Derek: The Jets are only favored by 2.5? That’s a little fishy. Vegas is begging us all to take the Jets. The coin and I shan’t fall for their trickery. Normally, I’d point out that the Jets have had 10 days to prepare and the Texans are on a short week, but my picks suck so I’m glad the coin is pointing me the other way. The points it is!
Will: That’s super duper fishy. What the hell is this about? Houston’s at home, but they’re Houston. Did their Monday Night win swing things that much? Y’all ain’t fooling me. Jets.
MINNESOTA (-1) vs. Green Bay
Derek: Okay, this is the week the Vikings lose. I don’t understand how this is happening. The Vikings have covered in every game since Week 2. The Packers haven’t covered since Week 5. It can’t go on forever! I’ll take Green Bay.
Will: And this is the week the Packers get their shit together. It has to be. Right? I say yes.
PHILADELPHIA (-5.5) vs. Tampa Bay
Derek: Tough to pick this one, since I’m not sure how Mark Sanchez will perform in relief of Sam Bradford. Is he a step up? A step down? Who knows? I sure don’t. And as always, when you don’t know, take the points.
Will: No idea. Points.
Denver (-1) vs. CHICAGO
Derek: The Denver defense has feasted on turnovers at times, and now they get to face a turnover prone quarterback. John Fox and Jay Cutler have the revenge factor going for them, but Peyton Manning sitting out may actually be good for the Broncos. I say Denver wins.
Will: I know that I don’t want to be the one who doubted Brock Osweiler. When every quarterback in the league is at least 6-foot-8, we’re gonna look back at Brock as the reason why. Broncos.
SEATTLE (-12.5) vs. San Francisco
Derek: Thank goodness. I didn’t want to back Blaine Gabbert in Seattle. I’ll miss watching Colin Kaepernick sail passes out of bounds, but Blaine Gabbert is a nice consolation. Or the 49ers will win and I’ll spend all of next week in a closet. I’ll choose to think positively and pick the Seahawks.
Will: The Seahawks won by 17 last time these teams met, and that was on the road. They oughta win by two touchdowns at home, easy. But nothing comes easy in the National Football League. God help me, I’m backing Blaine Gabbert in Seattle. This will end well.
Kansas City (-3) vs. SAN DIEGO
Derek: The Chiefs have played two teams that were passing well (Green Bay in Week 3, Cincinnati in Week 4) and got blown out in both games. The Chargers are coming out of their bye and should be able to air it out. I’ll take the points.
Will: Seems like the Chiefs are decent, but I’m not sure they’re favored-by-three-on-the-road decent. Plus, if anyone is going to come up with a garbage time touchdown to cover the spread, it’s Phil Rivers. Points for me too, please.
ARIZONA (-5) vs. Cincinnati
Derek: It’s getting late in the season, and it’s a prime time game! In other words, it’s exactly the sort of game in which you bet against Andy Dalton. Arizona it is.
Will: Oooh! Good game here. I have a hunch that ol’ Andy has another well-viewed loss or two in the chamber. Cardinals.
NEW ENGLAND (-7) vs. Buffalo
Derek: The Bills have started talking smack, which I’d say is ill-advised. How many times have we seen somebody run their the mouths before playing the Patriots and get blown out? Enough for me to take the home team.
Will: …yeah, have fun with that, Buffalo. I recommend Tim Hortons’ Timbits as sorrow-drowning fare. Pats.