Five Game Parlay: Week 12
We are starting to hit the home stretch in the Five Game Parlay and this thing is still really close. Joe Gallina is going to have to make a move soon, but we have three competitors who have broken the 30 win mark for the year. Gary Haddow takes his first lead of the season so let’s get right to the standings after 11 weeks and the Week 12 picks.
Gary 33-22 (5-0)
Ryan 30-24-1 (2-3)
Drake 30-25 (3-2)
Steve 29-26 (4-1)
Joe 24-30-1 (0-5)
Pittsburgh Steelers -4.5 over Cincinnati Bengals. Does anyone think the Bengals can put up points on the Steelers? I think this line is more indicative of no Juju and no Conner, but the Steelers are more than competent on offense with Samuels, Diontae, Washington, and Vance. Most importantly, the Steelers defense is going to FEAST on Ryan Finley and that terrible offensive line.
Atlanta Falcons -4.5 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Falcons have been on an in-division tear the last two games. While I am not sure if the defense will continue to be absolutely dominant, I AM certain that Matt Ryan will be putting up points with Julio and Ridley as his go to play makers. Even if this is a shoot out with zero defense I think the Falcons would cover this spread. Given the lack of defense on the Bucs, I see this as an easy choice.
Detroit Lions -3.5 over Washington Redskins. This line is pretty surprising given Jeff Driskel hasn’t played terribly the last two games. Anytime you have a less than bottom of the barrel QB playing with Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones Jr you have to assume he will make enough plays happen to be competitive. The Lions almost beat the Cowboys, and yet this is a less than four point line against the hapless Redskins? I just don’t get it. When the terrible Lions defense is being considered a solid fantasy start, you know the Redskins are in trouble.
San Francisco 49ers -3 over Green Bay Packers. This is my least confident pick, but the game I am most excited to watch. Admittedly, I am a diehard 49er fan, but this pick isn’t about being a homer. This pick is about Kittle, Sanders, and Deebo being good to go for this game which makes Jimmy G ready to rock and roll. This pick is about Aaron Rodgers playing so much worse on the road. This pick is about the 49ers defense stepping up in big moments. I genuinely believe there is a more than 50% chance these two teams meet in the playoffs, and I’m hoping the 9ers prove the last two games were injury related blips in an otherwise dominant season.
Baltimore Ravens -3 over Los Angeles Rams. If you don’t think the Ravens are the best team in the NFL right now, then you haven’t been paying attention. If you don’t think the Rams are playing terribly, then you haven’t been paying attention. This pick is based on the Ravens crushing it, and the Rams looking like trash. My favorite personal meme, if you will, to post on social media is talk about how terrible my day has been, but “at least I didn’t sign Jared Goff to a $110M contract.” That is where this Rams team is at… being a crappy meme.
Buffalo Bills -4 over Denver Broncos. This pick comes down to having much more faith in Josh Allen than I do in Brandon Allen. While I don’t expect a shitload of offense in this one, Allen should make one big play with his arm to John Brown and likely a couple big runs to pull this one out. Outside of Courtland Sutton the rest of the Broncos offense is pretty pedestrian except Phillip Lindsay once a month. Give me the Bills winning 17-10.
Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5 over Cincinnati Bengals. The Steelers are a fraction of the team they have been in recent seasons, which makes sense with all of the injuries they’ve endured. However, the Bengals are the worst team in football and Ryan Finley won’t be able to do a damn thing against this defense. James Washington and Jaylen Samuels will do enough that the Steelers win this one by ten.
Oakland Raiders -2.5 over New York Jets. Just because the Jets won their last two games, I am not quite ready to say that they aren’t trash yet. The Raiders defense has been playing a little better of late, and don’t know how the Jets defense will stop Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller, and I think the Raiders win this one by four.
Detroit Lions -3.5 over Washington Redskins. This pick is more a shot on the Redskins than it is confidence in the Lions. Detroit always finds a way to blow a game, and to pick them when they are more than a field goal favorites on the road seems like insanity. However, I have been impressed with Jeff Driskel, while Dwayne Haskins still looks lost and the rest of the team appears to have given up. Give me the Lions in a surprisingly easy one.
Baltimore Ravens -3 over Los Angeles Rams. The Rams offense has been in disarray, and the Ravens entire team is in overdrive lately. This is the fourth road favorite I am taking, which is generally a recipe for disaster. However, Jared Goff has looked like trash, and the Ravens defense looks like a whole new team since they traded for Marcus Peters and got healthy.
Buffalo Bills -4 over Denver Broncos. The Bills Mafia is like nothing I've ever seen in my life. The tables, the booze, the fires, it's all true. Every single person entering that stadium deserves your respect because they've made it from their car-through the parking lot-and into New Era field. There are combat zones who would look like a picnic compared to this Thunder Dome. God speed Broncos.
Pittsburgh Steelers -6.5 over Cincinnati Bengals. This feels wrong but if picking against the Bengals is wrong, I don't even want to be right. This team is a dumpster fire with such little talent I can't believe they'll keep any game close. Who knows the players that Pittsburgh will roll out but they'll instantly be more skilled and better coached than the Bengals.
Oakland Raiders -2.5 over New York Jets. The Jets run defense is legit. Go ask Saquon Barkley. I don't love Josh Jacobs this week but I think Darren Waller and Tyrell Williams can break free for a couple scores that the Jets simply can't match.
Detroit Lions -3.5 over Washington Redskins. Really? Driskel vs Haskins, this is what we're down to? Pass me a beer or 20. This one is going to be painful to watch.
Atlanta Falcons -4.5 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Is this Atlanta defense for real? Who knows? I think they'll give up some points but Jameis Winston is a turnover machine. They'll get 4-5 sacks and probably a pick 6. Dirty Birds stay hot.
NY Jets +2.5 over Oakland Raiders. I don't like to pick teams that fly all the way across the country and that's what the Raiders are doing in this one. Throw in the fact that the Jets have a very good run defense who should be able to contain Josh Jacobs, and this is a recipe for the minor upset.
Atlanta Falcons -4.5 over Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Atlanta is playing very well and the turnover machine that is Jameis Winston will keep the Bucs playing from behind most of the game.
Washington Redskins +3.5 over Detroit Lions. The Lions will break your heart if you think they will win a game that they are supposed to win. Trust me...they've broken my heart more times than I can count.
Jacksonville Jaguars +3 over Jacksonville Jaguars. Nick. Fucking. Foles. End of story.
Baltimore Ravens -3 over LA Rams. Remember when I said that I don't like to pick teams that fly all the way across the country? Well, I take it back as the Ravens are just too good to only be three point favorites against the out of sync LA Rams.
New England Patriots - 6.5 over Dallas Cowboys. Both of these teams are coming off hard fought victories last week and I went back and forth on who to choose in this game. I eventually put my fortunes in the hands of the team who has the better head coach. The Patriots are a better team when playing at home. Tom Brady’s sore elbow is supposed to allow him to play this week, and he has a 103.9 passer rating in New England compared to 81.9 on the road. Who’s he throwing the ball to? Just like most weeks, it should be Julian Edelman. Where do their points come from? How about a Sony Michel breakout game and a bunch of receptions from James White too? Pats 20, Cowboys 13.
Detroit Lions - 3.5 over Washington Redskins. The Redskins are the worst team in football. Look for the Lions to snap their three game losing streak against a Washington team that has lost its last nine straight home games. They are also 2-7 against the spread in those games. The Lions should certainly cover the spread this week.
Cleveland Browns -10.5 over Miami Dolphins. I’m not a big Browns fan, but I think they’ll beat the Dolphins rather easily this week. The Browns are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games, and the Dolphins have gone 5-1 ATS in their past six games. However, the Dolphins just placed safeties Reshad Jones and Bobby McCain on injured reserve this week, which should give the Browns’ passing attack a big boost. Also, the Browns are 2-0 since RB Kareem Hunt has been active. Look for both Nick Chubb and Hunt to have big performances against a Dolphins D that allows just over 148 rushing yards per game. The Browns should cover the spread rather handily this week.
San Francisco 49ers -3 over Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers is still one of the top QBs in the game but I was surprised to see that he has a losing record (42-45) when playing on the road. These are two good teams, but the 49ers have a superior defense that can get to the QB. While Rodgers still has the ability to scramble in order to avoid the sack, the 49ers will still make him uncomfortable all day long. You can run on the Packers and the 49ers love to run the football. Even if Matt Breida sits, the 49ers have enough depth at the RB position to help support their passing game. I like the 49ers to cover the spread at home.
Buffalo Bills -4 over Denver Broncos. The Bills will be happy to be playing in front of a home crowd after two straight road games. The Broncos, on the other hand, will be playing their second straight road game. Both teams possess top defenses, but the Broncos D let the team down as the Broncs watched a 23-7 third quarter lead evaporate. I’m not expecting too many points to be scored in this game. Look for the Bills to squeak out a 16-10 victory.