The Christmas season is wrapped up and our thoughts are turned to the New Year. Before we arrive at the juncture, one more week of NFL picks to make for the end of the regular season and pickings are slim. The wagering gods have been kind to me as my recent 16-3-2 record shows against betting odds at SBR Forum (27-14-3 ATS for the season) the last seven weeks and we’ll look to leave wrap up 2013 with even more winning value plays.
Pittsburgh to plant Cleveland
Another dismal season is about to come to pass for the Cleveland Browns. If this division battle was being played maybe even three weeks ago, I would have considered the Browns for a play because this typically is a meaningful confrontation for them in the Steel City. However, Cleveland has given up in dropping six straight and the offense is pathetic and the defense is wore out.
Pittsburgh on the other hand still has slim playoff hopes after hanging on to win at Green Bay, having managed to win five of seven (6-1 ATS) and they are a +7 in turnover margin in this stretch.
Knowing the Steelers are 18-2 and 13-7 ATS with the Browns in town, as a NFL football handicapper, I have this prideful group winning by at least 13 points with one of my sports picks.
NFL Pick: Pittsburgh -7
Philadelphia Goes on the Road for a Division Crown
Since losing to Dallas 17-3 at home on Oct. 20, Philadelphia has turned its season around with a 6-2 record (5-3 ATS). Quarterback Nick Foles was thoroughly ineffective in the earlier meeting but has grown significantly since that time as a field general. The comfort level he has with his teammates is noteworthy, as collectively you can see they are oozing confidence.
Dallas finally engineered a clutch victory in coming from behind at Washington to win 24-23 as field goal favorites. If you look at the Cowboys record since defeating the Eagles, they are very familiar .500 at 4-4 (2-6 ATS) and since Week 14 of the 2008 campaign, America’s Team is 41-41 SU.
The sportsbooks tell us what we need to know about this important tussle since they met last time. Back in October, Philly was a three-point favorite at home and now they are a three-point favorite on the road. (The Tony Romo news has spiked the line to 7) The Eagles are the play!
NFL Pick: Philadelphia -7
Detroit in Free Fall
After nine games this season, the Lions were 6-3; as both Chicago and Green Bay were without their starting quarterbacks and had defenses which were weekly having troubles stopping the opposition. At that point, it was Detroit’s division to lose…and they did.
The end of the Jim Schwartz era as head coach might be closing (though in Detroit, he might get a contract extension, think Matt Millen and Wayne Fontes), as their star players too frequently do not play like stars and too many of the ‘foot soldiers’ are undisciplined and have caused the Lions to lose.
Players like Matthew Stafford and Ndamukong Suh are too often allowed to rely on the skill without the proper refinements and the team pays the price.
With another season down the tubes and Minnesota 18-3 SU hosting the Lions, I believe the money line NFL odds are manageable and will take the Vikings over disinterested Detroit.
NFL Pick: Minnesota on the Money Line