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This is it. This is now the final stretch towards the PlayOffs and we have begun to see a number of teams being eliminated while others are ...

Sunday, 18 November 2012

NFL Week 11 Picks 2012

It's the short Thanksgiving week coming up so I'll have a full thread for that day where I'll look back at how my pre-season predictions have been doing and it will be a much fuller thread than this one.

It has been a long week at work for me so I'll only be posting my picks and reasons for them this week:

Green Bay Packers @ Detroit Lions Pick: I'll back the Green Bay Packers to win this game and cover the spread for the following reasons:

First, both teams have some major injuries on both sides of the ball, but at least the Packers are coming off a bye and can have planned for this game without the likes of Clay Matthews, Greg Jennings and Charles Woodson.

Second, the Packers are 6-0 against the spread when coming off a bye under Mike McCarthy.

Third, Green Bay picked up some serious momentum before their bye, while the Lions loss in Minnesota last weekend could be the body blow to their Play Off chances and they may be emotionally down because of that defeat.

Fourth, road favourites coming off a bye generally do cover the spread.

Fifth, Green Bay have dominated this series, going 7-3 against the spread in the last 10 games and they are also 3-1 in their last 4 visits to Detroit.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Carolina Panthers Pick: This is essentially a 'pick 'em' contest and I am backing the road team for the following reasons:

First, the Buccaneers are one of the hotter teams in the NFL, while Carolina have struggled for most of the season and so Tampa Bay should be able to make that momentum count.

Second, I believe the Buccaneers have more play-makers on both sides of the ball and a turnover here or a big play there could make all the difference in what should be a high-scoring game.

Third, the Buccaneers do have Atlanta on deck and I have seen that being an argument for them perhaps being unfocused on this game- personally, I think Tampa Bay know that game will be almost meaningless if they lose this one as they are already 3 games behind in the Division. To earn a Wild Card, they can't pick and choose games on which to focus.

Cincinnati Bengals @ Kansas City Chiefs Pick: I'll be backing yet another road team to win and cover the spread in this game for the following reasons:

First, Kansas City put in a big effort on Monday Night Football before coming up just short in pulling the upset over Pittsburgh and they may have emptied the tank for that game and could be flat in this one.

Second, the fans are planning on showing their discontent in this game and that could make it tougher for an Offense that has given the ball away far too much this season.

Third, the Bengals are 4-2 in the last 6 games of this series and they will know they could potentially have a big impact in the AFC North if they win this game with Pittsburgh and Baltimore meeting one another twice in three weeks and both suffering with major injuries.

Fourth, Cincinnati are 4-1-1 against the spread as the road favourite since the beginning of last season.

New York Jets @ St Louis Rams Pick: I am taking the New York Jets to keep this close enough to cover the spread for the following reasons:

First, the Jets have been blown out twice, but teams generally respond well to that dynamic in their next game, although I am a little concerned with the way they seem to be imploding from within for a second season in succession with players blaming Tim Tebow under anonymous names.

Second, a stat I picked up from another site was that teams coming off a tie are just 2-6 against the spread in their next game if they are playing a non-Divisional game.

Third, the Jets may be focusing on the Thanksgiving Day game where they host the New England Patriots, but that game will be meaningless if they lose this one. However, the spot the Rams find themselves in is even worse as they have two Divisional games after this one while coming off a Divisional game.

Fourth, the Rams are 8-17 against the spread as the home favourite over the last few seasons.

New Orleans Saints @ Oakland Raiders Pick: I am backing the New Orleans Saints to continue their late run and also cover the spread for the following reasons:

First, both teams are going to move the chains all day long in my opinion, but the difference will be that New Orleans will convert more drives into touchdowns than Oakland will and I also think Carson Palmer is more likely to throw turnovers than Drew Brees.

Second, momentum is a huge factor and I think the Saints have a lot more momentum than the Raiders who have allowed at least 42 points in each of their last 2 games.

Third, the Saints are 14-5 against the spread when playing non-Conference opponents, the Raiders are 8-17-1 against the spread in the same spot.

San Diego Chargers @ Denver Broncos Pick: I haven't picked too many home teams, but I like the Denver Broncos in this one for the following reasons:

First, the San Diego Chargers just make far too many mistakes and that has hurt them all season, while the pressure on Norv Turner is beginning to take its toll.

Second, as I said before, momentum is a huge factor and the Broncos have won 4 in a row while they have scored at least 30 points in each game. Peyton Manning is on fire and the Chargers were torched by Josh Freeman last week.

Third, the Broncos will be fully focused in putting the Chargers away in the Division and a win today would do just that.

Indianapolis Colts @ New England Patriots Pick: It does look a big spread, but I am going to back the New England Patriots to cover for the following reasons:

First, Tom Brady is one of the 'bitter' players in the NFL who seems to raise his game when he is playing against someone who is getting all the attention at the Quarter Back position. Brady made a point of crushing Tim Tebow twice last season and I think he is focused on doing the same here and putting Andrew Luck 'in his place'.

Second, the Patriots should be a little better on the Defensive side of the ball now that Aqib Talib is back from suspension and can make his debut for them here. Talib is a good Defensive Back and I expect he will make New England a little tougher.

Third, Indianapolis are playing really well, but they were blown out in Chicago and by the New York Jets and Luck is definitely not as good on the road as he is in his dome.

Baltimore Ravens @ Pittsburgh Steelers Pick: I will take the home side to keep this close despite missing Ben Roethlisberger and I like the for the following reasons:

First, I imagine the Steelers Defense is going to step up their play knowing the Offense will need a lot of help without their Quarter Back leader.

Second, the Ravens Defense has given up some big plays on the ground and they should be given a healthy does of runs which may open things up for Byron Leftwich to make deep plays to Mike Wallace and Antonio Brown.

Third, 6 of the last 10 games between these teams have been decided by 3 points so getting more than a field goal on the points looks generous to me.

Fourth, over the last 10 seasons, Pittsburgh have only been the home underdog on 4 occasions and they have covered the spread in every one of those games.

Chicago Bears @ San Francisco 49ers Pick: I am going to take the Over 36.5 Points in this game as I think that looks too short considering both Defenses are capable of scoring points themselves or creating turnovers that lead to short fields.

I think the layers may be under-estimating Chicago's chances of moving the chains with Jason Campbell on last weeks performance against Houston, but there were a couple of factors in play. First, the weather was ridiculous and even the Texans had a hard time finding consistency, particularly in the passing game, and second, Campbell will have had a week learning with the first team Offense this week and should be more clued in.

Alex Smith should be starting for the 49ers despite leaving the game against St Louis with a concussion last week, and I think he'll have some success too. A 20-17 result either way would not be a surprise to me so the over total points looks the call for a small interest.

MY PICKS: Green Bay Packers - 3 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (4 Units)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers - 1 Point @ 1.95 Paddy Power (2 Units)
Cincinnati Bengals - 3 Points @ 1.83 Ladbrokes (2 Units)
New York Jets + 3.5 Points @ 1.95 Pinnacle (1 Unit)
New Orleans Saints - 5 Points @ 1.92 Ladbrokes (3 Units)
Denver Broncos - 7.5 Points @ 2.00 Tote Sport (1 Unit)
New England Patriots - 9.5 Points @ 2.00 Tote Sport (1 Unit)
Pittsburgh Steelers + 3.5 Points @ 1.92 Sky Bet (1 Unit)
San Francisco 49ers-Chicago Bears Over 36.5 Points @ 2.00 Pinnacle (1 Unit)

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