Thursday, November 22, 2012

NFL Week 12 Picks ATS: Please Pass the Gravy

LAST WEEK: 8-6 ATS - Sixth straight week above .500


THURSDAY THREE FAN PICKS: 3-0 ATS - smartest fans on the Inter-Web

FRIDAY FIVE CONFIDENCE PICKS: 4-1 ATS last week, 19-7 ATS on the season.

Hang on a second TSZ readers, I just need to loosen my belt a little bit because I've already had three giant servings of...what's that stuff called again...oh yeah, WINNING. Mmmm...Delicious. Thank you Lions, thank you Redskins, thank you Patriots, and thank you inconsistent, underachieving Cowboys. I hope Jason Garrett follows The Spread Zone and took our betting advice, because he's going to need a little extra cash while he collects unemployment. Big D is for Disaster. 

It's the time of year for gratitude, not gloating, so let's just say we're thankful and move on to the rest of the first 16-0 ATS week in the brief history of TSZ. The Week 12 line-up has a remarkable 11 of the remaining 13 games with lines under 4 points, and 8 of those are handicapped at less than a field goal. Can you say awesome freakin' weekend? Looks like we might build on the record-setting pace of 24% of NFL games this season being decided in the final two minutes. Fasten your seat belts and loosen your wallets, because we're in for a post-Thanksgiving Day football feast. 

As you've probably gathered by now our picks are bold and HOME TEAMS are in CAPS. Now let's pour the gravy on our 3-0 ATS start this week.

CHICAGO BEARS (-0.5) over Minnesota Vikings: This line is obviously suffering from the Jason Campbell Effect. With Cutler returning this week, the line should be more like 6.5, and we would still support the Bears up to a touchdown. An angry Bears defense will be Peanut punching and picking Ponder and Co. all day. Even with Peterson in the backfield the past few years, Minnesota is 0-5 SU and ATS in their last five visits to Chicago, while the Bears are 7-1-1 ATS in their last 9 against the Vikes. 

CINCINNATI BENGALS (-7.5) over Oakland Raiders: Although the Bengals are a disappointing 3-7-1 in their last 11 home games, they are a team on the rise in the AFC. Dalton and the passing game will be efficient and score big early. The Law Firm will carry them the rest of the way to an easy victory. The most impressive thing lately is the play of Cincinnati's defense. They will cash in on some forced throws from Carson Palmer who will be trying to show up his old team. Play all your Bengals in Fantasy Football this week! 


Pittsburgh Steelers (-1.5) over CLEVELAND BROWNS: Like we said before, we like Charlie Batch more than Byron Leftwich. Batch will manage the game well by not trying to do too much. This is a game where we think the Steelers dominant defense will win the game. Although Cleveland is 5-1-1 ATS recently within their division, Pittsburgh is 16-1 SU in their last 17 against the Browns. With a 1.5 point line, if you take the Browns, you are really saying they'll win outright. We don't see that happening.

Atlanta Falcons (-1.5) over TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS: This is a classic undervalued versus overvalued match-up. Who has Tampa Bay beaten this year? Carolina twice, Kansas City, Oakland, San Diego, and Minnesota. None of them has the weapons the Falcons have. Matt Ryan throwing 5 picks and no TDs last week was a statistical anomaly. Sure, the Bucs always play the Falcons well, but Atlanta's passing attack will eat up the horrible Tampa Bay secondary. The Bucs will only be the sexy pick until the game kicks off. Fantasy owners, however, remember to start Josh Freeman because he's going to be playing catch-up from the second quarter on. 

Denver Broncos (-10.5) over KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: It looks like Brady Quinn will get the start at quarterback this week for Kansas City, which ultimately made our choice for us. We actually have a hard time betting against Matt Cassel simply because he used to be a Pro-Bowler and could go off any week. No, he was not a professional bowler, but that would have influenced our pick, too. The Broncos are one of the hottest team in football, and are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 trips to Kansas City. Although they are 0-10 ATS in their past 10 games as a favorite of 8+ points, we see that streak coming to an end as Peyton throws for three TDs in the first half alone, and the Denver defense continues its accelerating dominance. Broncos big.


Buffalo Bills (+3.5) over INDIANAPOLIS COLTS: It appears the league has figured out some of Andrew Luck's tendencies. Although the Colts are very good at home - 6-1 SU and ATS of late - the Bills defense is playing better and should be able to disrupt their offense enough to force some timely turnovers. The glaring difference between the two teams is the running game. With Fred Jackson back to spell him from time to time, we see CJ Spiller having a career day as Buffalo wins this outright.

Seattle Seahawks (-3.5) over MIAMI DOLPHINS: What happened to the Dolphins? We'll tell you. They've been running a college football scheme all season to ensure quarterback Ryan Tannehill's success. Unfortunately, while the college season is coming to an end, the NFL goes on...and on. Tannehill should have pulled a Brandon Weeden and stayed in college until he was 29. Like we always say here at The Spread Zone "Leaving college in fours years is like leaving a great party at 9:30 pm." Historically, Seattle is bad on the road and coming out of the bye, but as one of our followers likes to say, "rushing and defense travel well." We'd like to add passing and "pointy birds" to the list. Beast Mode scores two TDs and Wilson throws for a couple more as the Dolphins swim into another defensive net. 

Tennessee Titans (-3.5) over JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS: We do not understand the over-hype for Chad Henne. If the hype were simply around his Movember mustache, we'd totally get it, but it appears people think he's also a talented football player. The fact is he's a career 60% passer who has more INTs than TDs since being drafted by the Dolphins in 2008. Let's face it, ever since losing to Appalachian State his senior year at Michigan, he has basked in mediocrity. Get off the Jaguar bandwagon and come back to reality. Both teams have terrible SU/ATS stats against everything and everyone in recent history, but the Titans are rested and prepared, which is a recipe for a blowout in Jacksonville. 


SAN DIEGO CHARGERS (+1.5) over Baltimore Ravens: A compelling stat we found was that the Ravens are 12-8 ATS in their last 20 against the AFC West. However, a closer look reveals that 9 of those ATS wins came at home, leaving them with an unimpressive 3-7 ATS record when they travel to play this division. The Chargers now have more than just Malcom Floyd and Antonio Gates with the emergence of Danario Alexander in the passing game. Danario has elite skills, but has struggled with injuries his whole career. We see him having a big game, while Ryan Mathews gets back on track running against a soft Baltimore defense. Take the points and the Chargers in a close one.

St. Louis Rams (+2.5) over ARIZONA CARDINALS: Initially we were rolling with the Cards at home, but the announcement of Lindley starting at QB this week changed everything. It feels like Arizona is tanking it. Are they trying to win the Matt Barkley sweepstakes? Since they're starting their third string QB you have to wonder. Any Rams stats we found are deceptive because of their recent history. The important one is that they've covered their last four division games. Jeff Fisher will have his defense ready to exploit the young Arizona QB. We like St. Louis so much, Vinny picked up their defense for his fantasy team.

San Francisco Forty Niners (-2.5) over NEW ORLEANS SAINTS: Much like the Rams above, ATS stats for the Saints (12-2 ATS at home, 6-1 SU vs Niners) will be deceptive. Those numbers didn't pile up with a defense that gives up almost 500 yards/game. Similarly, the Niners are a very different team now than they have been for the past decade. Their defense will slow the Saints offensive attack down, and Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter will run all over the New Orleans defense, making it unimportant whether Alex Smith, Colin Kaepernick, or your grandmother follow the micro-managed John Harbaugh game plan. Just be careful - if it is your grandma, you might lose her for the holidays if she has "the hot hand" this week.

Green Bay Packers (+2.5) over NEW YORK GIANTS: The Packers relish the underdog role, going 9-1 ATS in their last 10, while the Giants are 3-8-1 in their last 12 at home. Aaron Rodgers gets Jordy Nelson back this week, which adds to their more consistent and reliable offense. We do think Eli will bounce back against a shaky Packers secondary, but even his fourth quarter magic will not be enough to pull a rabbit out of this hat. Green Bay rolls to their fifth straight win in New York.


Monday Night Football

Carolina Panthers +2.5 over PHILADELPHIA EAGLES: We recommend not watching this game. It will be ugly and there is a Who's the Boss marathon on TVGN, which will get almost as many laughs. Nick Foles, however, will get his QBR into double digits, and Cam Newton will foolishly do his Superman touchdown routine even though they will only be rolling to their third victory of the season. I think he needs to come up with a Mediocre Man TD dance where he just sits down, takes of his shoes, rubs his feet, and grabs a beer out of the mini-fridge in his sock. We think this will be a one or two point game, so we're taking the points.

Phew. Those extra three games are exhausting. We sure could use a cup of coffee. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink. 

Thanks again to all of our loyal followers. Today is Thanksgiving and we are eternally grateful to you for making The Spread Zone what it is today. We hope you all had a wonderful day with friends, family, food, football, and fun. And, in the spirit of continued alliteration - see you tomorrow for our fabulous Friday Five. 

Happy Holidays and Happy Betting, 

Vinny and Marco

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  1. Thanks for the picks fellas. I feel a little ashamed for doubting your Detroit pick. Detroit really should have covered a lot easier if it wasn't for an invisible knee by Houston and Swartz throwing that red flag. Anyway I won't doubt your mastery again. Lots of visitors this week but who's to doubt the GURUS? Not me!

  2. [BNB4B]
    Morning fellas.
    I only went 2-1 yesterday because I stupidly thought the Cowboys would play TWO halves instead of only the second half. My bad. However, I was the only one from my pickem league to take DET +3.5 (thanks guys). The rest of your picks look great. Let's shoot the moon this weekend.

  3. [BNB4B]
    Oh yeah...almost Pack are going for their SIXTH consecutive win, not 5th.

    1. Love the attention to detail, BNB4B. What I meant was that they're 4-0 in their last four trips to the Meadowlands, going for #5. Go Packers - this week. Thanks for your comments. We're VIPing our Friday Five this week, so we'll be sending you an e-mail.

      Glad our Detroit pick helped. They should have had the win, too.

      Vinny and Marco

  4. Harjamania18

    Hey i've just started reading your guys' blogs, you guys really know your shit. Keep up the good work.


    1. Thank you. Hope we can count on you to participate in our Thursday Three fan picks next week. Our supporters are what make this site what it is.

      Vinny and Marco

  5. [BNB4B]
    Ha! now I see it...

  6. Cant decide between cinn, pittsburgh or bills. Rank them in order of likely covers.

    1. Hey Hameen,

      Sorry we didn't respond sooner, but we thought others might respond here and wanted to give them the space to do so. We're probably too late, but we like Pitt, Cincy, Bills in that order. Feel free to e-mail us if you don't get input from fellow readers.

      Vinny and Marco