Handicapper runs every Friday on SportsPickle during the NFL season.
- – – – -
1:00 p.m. ET
Arizona at Minnesota (-8)
The Vikings are 2-5. The Titans are 5-3. A lot of Vikings are probably going to start saying the post-practice spread looks like sh*t in order to get to play for a team that might actually make the playoffs.
My pick: Minnesota
Chicago at Buffalo (+3)
If Shawne Merriman records 5 sacks this week, let's not go crazy and say picking him up was a brilliant move by the Bills. A) The Bills don't make brilliant moves; it's sort of a rule; and B) Anyone getting less than 10 sacks against Jay Cutler and his Chicago line is a failure.
My pick: Buffalo (and to win)
San Diego at Houston (+3)
The Chargers are on that next level where the Texans hope to get one day. The Texans are tired of just being a talented team that disappoints in the regular season. They want to be a talented team that also starts disappointing in the playoffs.
My pick: Houston (and to win)
New Orleans at Carolina (+6.5)
I have realized there is no such thing as a Super Bowl hangover. It doesn't exist. There is no hangover. Super Bowl champions just stay drunk. For example, last year the Steelers lost to the Bears, the Bengals twice, the Chiefs, the Raiders and the Browns. Against good teams they actually did pretty well.
This year the Saints have lost to the Cardinals and the Browns, but last week beat the Steelers. My point being this: drunk people tend to get into trouble when they hook up with really ugly people. They think they're good, that they have it under control, and then they wake up the next morning, roll over and realize: "Ohmigod. I just lost to the Browns."
My pick: New Orleans
Tampa Bay at Atlanta (-8.5)
I'm still surprised that Raheem Morris said that the Buccaneers are the "best team in the NFC." I mean, if he was trying to motivate his team, as he said he was, why qualify it with "NFC"? The NFC is the far inferior conference. It's like wearing around a "World's #1 Stepdad!" t-shirt. Congrats and everything. But maybe it's not something to really gloat about.
My pick: Tampa Bay
New York Jets at Detroit (+4)
Really, Tom Kowalski? Really?
But the entirety of human history suggests that trying to make fun of someone who has positive things to say about the Detroit Lions will pay off more often than not. So I'm doubling down.
My pick: New York Jets
Miami at Baltimore (-5)
The Miami Dolphins have averaged less than 2 yards per carry this year out of the wildcat.
In fact, this is a current visual approximation of what Miami's wildcat looks like:
My pick: Miami (and to win)
New England at Cleveland (+5)
Note to Tom Brady: do not try to get a chemical peel while you are in Cleveland. They just dunk your head in the Cuyahoga.
My pick: Cleveland
4:05 p.m. ET
New York Giants at Seattle (+7)
I have some confusing and very disgusting news to share with you: Eli Manning's wife is reportedly pregnant.
I'm pretty confident in my understanding of how children are conceived, but I am also now positive that storks are still responsible for some babies because there's no way Eli Manning would have sex with anyone. He's definitely still in the girls-have-cooties phase.
But stork or not, Eli Manning is going to be a father. And I think he will be a very good father. Just like this guy:
My pick: New York Giants***
Kansas City at Oakland (-3)
I am really looking forward to this game. Yes, for history and first place in the AFC West and all that crap. Whatever. But mainly because one of the teams will lose and then I can start saying that team sucks again. Because the Chiefs and the Raiders being good has really messed up my brain. If at least one of these teams could go back to being an embarrassment, I would really appreciate it.
My pick: Oakland
Indianapolis at Philadelphia (-3)
The Eagles are favored to beat the Colts. Does that make any sense to you? It doesn't to me. Want to know the sole reason the Eagles are favored? Because Vegas thinks there is some sort of great significance to Andy Reid being undefeated in his career following bye weeks. That's ridiculous. First, Andy Reid is an established moron. Second, he does nothing during his bye weeks. He doesn't watch film. He doesn't prepare for the next opponent. He takes the whole week off and eats pie. It's his pie week. The only impact he might have on the Eagles is that he's a lot more cranky and demanding once his pie week is over.
My pick: Indianapolis (and to win)
8:25 p.m. ET
Dallas at Green Bay (-9)
Before the season started, NBC probably thought this would be the biggest game on their schedule. The two NFC Super Bowl favorites! Historic franchises! RATINGS GOLD! Now? Eh.
The Packers aren't all that good and the Cowboys are completely terrible. They should really let Faith Hill come back to re-record her specific lines about this game. Instead of singing she could just roll her eyes and make a wanking motion.
My pick: Green Bay
Monday night: 8:35 p.m. ET
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (+5)
Bengals fans should really have to hold up signs to signify if they're booing Ben Roethlisberger or the Bengals.
My pick: Pittsburgh
- — – — –
Last week vs. spread: 5-7-1
Last week just winners: 6-7
- — – — –
Season vs. spread: 51-62-4
Season just winners: 67-50
- — – — –
***Lukewarm Locks last week: 0-1
***Lukewarm Locks this season: 2-6-1