Welcome to SLICED SPREAD, the place on Inside Pulse Sports for weekly NFL picks against the spread, head to head survivor picks, and score prognostications.
With Thanksgiving fast approaching, I am on a tighter deadline than usual. We also have an appetizing menu of three NFL matchups that will be served up for us come turkey day, and one thing I am especially thankful for is that the Detroit Lions are finally playing well enough to warrant the national spotlight this year as they continue their tradition of being Thanksgiving hosts.
Now, does that mean Detroit will beat the undefeated visiting Packers? You’ll read what I think in a minute as we move…
Onto the breakdown!
SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 11 BREAKDOWN
WEEK 11 ATS: 8-6
WEEK 11 LOCKS ATS: 2-1
WEEK 11 H2H: 10-4
WEEK 11 H2H SURVIVOR PICK: WIN (Patriots over Chiefs)
THIS SEASON ATS: 89-71
THIS SEASON LOCKS ATS: 20-13
THIS SEASON H2H: 107-53
H2H SURVIVOR TEAMS USED:
Chargers (Week 1, Win)
Lions (Week 2, Win)
Steelers (Week 3, Win)
Packers (Week 4, Win)
Giants (Week 5, Loss)
Raiders (Week 6, Win)
Cowboys (Week 7, Win)
Niners (Week 8, Win)
Texans (Week 9, Win)
Eagles (Week 10, Loss)
Patriots (Week 11, Win)
SLICED SPREAD: NFL WEEK 12 PICKS
Home teams are shown in CAPS
Point spreads shown in ().
*LOCK IT UP: DETROIT (+5.5) over Green Bay — For the first time since Barry Sanders was in the Detroit backfield, the Lions are finally relevant again on Thanksgiving day. It’s just their luck then that the have to play host to the unbeaten Green Bay Packers, a team that has looked unstoppable for most of this season. With that said, this is my gut feeling pick of the week against the spread because I just have that sneaking suspicion that this will be a somewhat surprisingly close game when all is said and done. Green Bay wins it in a shootout. Packers win 34-31
*LOCK IT UP: DALLAS (-7.5) over Miami — I have rightfully rolled the dice with Miami lately and the Dolphins have rewarded me with a very solid month. However, the Fins are now saddled with traveling to Dallas to face a solid Cowboys team, and I just think that this is the wrong non-division opponent to square off against on a short week. My pick is also aided by the fact that Dallas historically dominates on Thanksgiving, Leon Lett notwithstanding. Cowboys win 28-17
*LOCK IT UP: San Francisco (+3.5) over BALTIMORE — I know, I know. The Niners are traveling across the country on a short week, so how could I lock up San Francisco in this spot? Well, Baltimore is one of the most inconsistent teams in the league this season, and possibly the most up and down 7-3 team I’ve ever seen. Couple that with the fact that the 9-1 Niners have showed a ton of toughness this season, and to me I see a field goal game that can go either way. What I don’t see is a blowout in any direction, and so I’ll lock up the 3.5 points that the Niners are getting in this spot. And since I’m going with that train of thinking, I might as well go all the way and say… Niners win 23-20
Minnesota (+9.5) over ATLANTA — The Falcons should stay on track at home against an uninspired Vikings team, but Minnesota won’t get totally blown out. Therefore… Falcons win 27-20
ST. LOUIS (-2.5) over Arizona — Last time the Rams and Cards clashed, the end result was a shocking Arizona overtime win that included a blocked field goal to end regulation and then an AZ punt return in OT to end the game. Flash forward to this week and I think St. Louis is healthy enough to exact revenge and win at home. Rams win 29-24
INDIANAPOLIS (+3.5) over Carolina — Now that every other team in the league has at least 2 wins, I think the Colts will be motivated here to win without worrying about compromising their 2012 draft position. After all, nobody really wants to go winless, right? Colts win 17-16
*H2H SURVIVOR PICK: NY JETS (-9.5) over Buffalo — Just two Sundays ago, the Jets were 5-3 and looking ahead to possibly shoring up the AFC East crown. Since then, Gang Green has suffered two huge losses at the hands of Tom Brady and Tim Tebow, and now they find themselves toiling at the .500 mark with a 5-5 record. There is still hope for the Jets to right the ship, however, thanks to a favorable rest of season schedule. It also helps out Rex Ryan’s team that they are playing a Bills team that has completely tanked recently, and I think that trend continues this week for Buffalo. Jets win 27-10
CINCINNATI (-7.5) over Cleveland — I don’t like this spread but after two tough weeks on the road, I just can’t fathom the more talented Bengals getting trapped here at home. Bengals win 27-13
Houston (-3.5) over JACKSONVILLE — Houston still has Arian Foster in the backfield and that should be more than enough to counter Jacksonville’s anemic offense, even with Matt Leinart starting in place of Matt Schaub for the Texans. Texans win 27-12
TENNESSEE (-3.5) over Tampa Bay — I can’t get the best read on either team right now, and so for that reason I’m going with the hosting Titans who are tough enough at home for me to take them here. Titans win 23-19
OAKLAND (-4.5) over Chicago — Losing Jay Cutler is a huge blow to the Bears, especially when having to travel to the Black Hole this week to play against the Raiders. Oakland will not feel any remorse for Chicago here and the Raiders will pull away in the second half after a tightly contested first two quarters. Raiders win 30-13
SEATTLE (-4.5) over Washington — The Redskins fooled me by playing the Cowboys close last week, but when any mediocre team has to go up to Seattle after losing a close division game, I’ll take the Seahawks as long as the spread is reasonable. Seahawks win 24-12
New England (-2.5) over PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles certainly threw a wrench into the Giants’ works on Sunday night, but they just won’t be able to go point for point with Tom Brady in what should be a highly entertaining high-scoring matchup. Patriots win 38-30
Denver (+6.5) over SAN DIEGO — I jumped on the Denver / Tebow bandwagon right around the same time I jumped off San Diego’s, and so I’ll stick with that sentiment until I get a sign that tells me otherwise. This one will end as close as it can get. Broncos win 21-20
SUNDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:
Pittsburgh (-10.5) over KANSAS CITY — The Patriots emphatically walloped the Chiefs in the second half of last Monday night’s game, and the Steelers will do more of the same. Steelers win 30-17
MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL:
NY Giants (+7.5) over NEW ORLEANS — I think this spread is a little overinflated based on the Saints’ Week 11 bye and the Giants’ atrocious play at home versus Philadelphia. Drew Brees does enough to win head to head, but the Giants cover by a couple of points. Saints win 29-23
That’s it for this week’s edition of SLICED SPREAD.
See you next week – CB.
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