Pigskin picks: Turkey Week edition
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Nov 25, 2008
Let's just hope that you weren't planning to buy a turkey with gambling winnings.
If you've been using our ATS picks for more than just the entertainment purposes for which they were intended, your holiday fund isn't too healthy. Although we posted a 9-7 record last week, we are still sitting at the kids' table for the season, staring dejectedly at an 83-88-5 mark.
But in this time of giving thanks, we're still pleased to have picked straight-up winners pretty consistently. Going 9-7 for the week, we are now 110-65-1 (.628) on the year.
Starting with three heaping helpings of Thursday football, here's how we intend to fatten up in Week 13:
Tennessee (-11) at Detroit
The winless Lions obviously haven't beaten a Quality Opponent all season (0-7), and their breakthrough victory won't come against a Tennessee team that is stinging from its first loss.
The pick: Titans 30, Lions 14
Seattle at Dallas (-12½)
After throwing for 341 yards against the 49ers on Sunday, Tony Romo gets to pick on another NFC West weakling, as the Seahawks rank fourth-worst in Defensive Passer Rating.
The pick: Cowboys 34, Seahawks 17
Arizona at Philadelphia (-3)
With a Quality Record of 2-5, it's clear that the Eagles struggle against the upper-level teams, and the high-flying Cardinals certainly qualify.
The pick: Cardinals 27, Eagles 23
Denver at N.Y. Jets (-9)
The Broncos have sunk to No. 26 in Scoreability after their no-show against Oakland, while the Jets continue to lead the league in that category...but a letdown in this spot seems inevitable.
The pick: Jets 24, Broncos 20
San Francisco at Buffalo (-7)
Fresh off a 51-point outburst, the Bills have climbed to fourth in Scoreability, and they now go against a 49ers team that ranks dead last in Bendability.
The pick: Bills 31, 49ers 22
New Orleans at Tampa Bay (-3½)
Drew Brees has the Saints sitting atop the league in Passing Yards Per Attempt, but the Bucs have surrendered just 14.6 PPG against Quality Opponents, the best mark of any team.
The pick: Buccaneers 23, Saints 20
Carolina at Green Bay (-3)
With a better Quality Record (4-3 vs. 3-6) and superior lines according to our Hog Indexes, the Panthers should be able to control the trenches and pull off a road win.
The pick: Panthers 24, Packers 23
N.Y. Giants (-3½) at Washington
Their league-best mark in our Relativity Index indicates that the Giants get up for big games, and they could well duplicate their comfortable win against Washington from the season opener.
The pick: Giants 22, Redskins 13
Miami at St. Louis (no line)
This game is off the board due to the uncertain status of QB Marc Bulger and RB Steven Jackson, but the Rams figure to have them and still be home 'dogs of more than a touchdown...so we'll warily bite.
The pick: Dolphins 24, Rams 17
Baltimore (-7) at Cincinnati
Playing from behind will present a major problem for the Bengals, who are sitting dead last in Passing Yards Per Attempt and facing a Ravens team that owns the league's best Defensive Passer Rating.
The pick: Ravens 20, Bengals 12
Indianapolis (-4½) at Cleveland
With Brady Quinn done for the year, Derek Anderson resumes QB duties for Cleveland, but he might not have much incentive to save the job of the man who benched him, embattled coach Romeo Crennel.
The pick: Colts 31, Browns 19
Atlanta at San Diego (-5)
The winning Falcons, with a Quality Record of 3-3, are 5-point underdogs to the losing Chargers, who have a Quality Record of 2-7? We'll walk into the trap.
The pick: Falcons 24, Chargers 22
Pittsburgh at New England (-1)
In what looks to be a very even matchup, the Patriots' vulnerability to the Big Play could be what ultimately decides this pivotal AFC showdown.
The pick: Steelers 20, Patriots 17
Kansas City at Oakland (-3)
It's asking too much of the Raiders, ranked third-worst in Scoreability, to figure out how to get into the end zone two weeks in a row.
The pick: Chiefs 21, Raiders 15
Chicago at Minnesota (-3½)
The earlier meeting this season was a 48-41 shootout won by the Bears, but since this is likely to be a lower-scoring affair, we'll take the home team to win but not cover.
The pick: Vikings 23, Bears 20
Jacksonville at Houston (-3)
Hosting their first-ever Monday Night Football game is a big deal for the Texans, and they should be motivated to earn both respect and a victory.
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