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Lines by Draft Kings as 12-18 12:00 PM
After a smoking hot week 14 we are on a roll going into the playoff push! I ended last week 8-4 Against The Spread (ATS) bringing my season record to 68-49-2 – a booming 19 games over .500 ATS. My goal is +25 ATS so we are within striking distance this week. As the season draws closer to the playoffs, the wheat starts to separate from the chaff. No time for pretenders, only the contenders prevail starting week 15.
As we predicted in week 2, Urban Meyer would not make it through the season. Never doubt Godzilla!
This week’s big test is Saturday night in Indianapolis for the Pats. Are they the real deal? Are they a Super Bowl contender? We will find out tonight at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Patriots defense is no doubt solid — but can they win a high profile road game against a run first offense? This game will answer those questions for New England.
Meanwhile, more silly woke Covid protocols has led the NFL to move three games around – one to Monday and two to Tuesday night. Who cares, Tuesday night football beats anything the China-apologist hypocrites at the NBA could ever put on. I have not watched an NBA game since they painted BLM on all the courts–the same Marxist organization that hates fathers and proudly put in on their website. I’ll never watch or pay to see another NBA for the rest of my life- and this is coming from a former basketball coach. I’m done with them. Let’s go Brandon!
So here we go with Week 15:
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Patriots at Colts (-2.5)
I love the Colts here at home, driving for the playoffs with Jonathan Taylor running like a man possessed. Remember, Tennessee tagged the Pats run defense for 250 on the ground just a few weeks ago. Had the Titans not turned the ball over five times with a half a team playing, they actually win that game. I have still have to see if Mack Jones can mount a comeback against a good team on the road. The Colts are red-hot, and I see Taylor dominating this game for four quarters. It’s a Billy B reality check game. Adding insult to injury, Pats leading running back Damien Harris is out for the game. Also, the over-under on how many masks Colts head coach Frank Reich will wear is two. I bet the over. Pick: Colts -2.5
Cowboys (-11) at Giants
Look, there are some games you just should not over think. This is one of them. The Jints are pathetic, the season is winding down, and golf outing reservations in January are being made now. Dallas has no room for letdowns against hapless teams like this with four more games to play if they want to be serious contenders. This is easy money. Pick: ‘Boys -11
Texans at Jaguars (-5.5)
I’m betting Houston on principle. Someone tell me how this sorry bunch of kittens (Jags) who have been outscored by 80 points in the last five games is a five and a half point favorite over anybody? Sure, miserable Coach Urban Windbag is gone, but the team is still the same. The Texans are tragic, no doubt — but I’ll take the points and laugh my tail off to the bank. When both teams suck, take the points. Pick: Texans +5.5
Titans at Steelers (-1)
Oh my, is it Sunday at 1:00 PM EST yet? I can’t wait for this game. I’ll be watching it in MS with my older son, Jack, the high school teacher and basketball coach. Grinch that he is, he scheduled basketball practice at 3:00 PM on Sunday to get ready for his upcoming Christmas tournament. I guess he figures the Titans will be ahead by enough by halftime that he can leave. Tennessee is slowly and quietly getting it’s marque players back off injured reserve, one by one. Derick Henry is out for three more games, but we understand the foot is coming along nicely. Meanwhile, the Titans debut new former All-Pro inside linebacker Zach Cunningham, who they stole off waivers from Houston two weeks ago. The Steelers get older and slower week by week. I am very confident in a Titans win this Sunday. This is the sleeper team in the AFC. Pick: Titans +1
Cards (-12) at Lions
Arizona’s loss on Monday night to the Rams with all their starters back was a humbling experience. Their commanding lead for the top seed in the NFL evaporated in the Phoenix desert on a night when phenom sidearmer Kyler Murray couldn’t shoot straight. It’s now time to put up or shut up. The Lions had their one win, then went and got blown out in Denver–as the Broncos played patty-cake with the hapless Lions in the second half. Once Detroit got down by two scores, they made early flight plans. It’s over for Detroit now, as they will be battling for the number one pick in next spring’s NFL draft. Cards seek redemption-and fast. Pick: Cards -12
Panthers at Bills (-12)
How many games can the Bills mafia lose? Once the chic-pick to win the Super Bowl, they are now at serious risk to not make the playoffs. Let that sink in. Carolina just fired the whole coaching staff except hapless head coach Matt Rhule, another bust from the college ranks. That should tell you enough. The Cats got blasted in Atlanta last week and coughed up another proverbial hair ball. Cam Newton proved why he got cut last year– then cut again by the Pats, etc. Bills need to right the ship — or start planning for winter vacation in Palm Beach. Pick: Bills -12
Jets at Miami (-9.5)
I’m laying the 9.5-period! Out of nowhere, from Dan Marino’s dreams and a 1-7 start, the Fish are in the playoff hunt with four weeks to go, riding a six game wining streak. What a turnaround, and now at home in the fish tank against the perennial dumpster fire Jets. A win and they are .500 and potentially tied for the seventh playoff seed in the AFC. This is a fun bet, and I don’t see them cratering now at home to a really bad team. Pick: Fish -9.5
Bungles at Broncos -3
I’m done with Cincinnati. They do everything but win games down the stretch. Denver, once abandoning their season by trading away Von Miller, now sit on the cusp of a playoff appearance. They found a running game behind Melvin Gordon and Javonte Williams, and made it their identity. Teddy Bridgewater is an ample game manager, and their defense is a no-name stingy bunch with a capable secondary. At home in the mountains against a team that finds ways to lose is enough for me. Pick: Broncs -3
Atlanta at SF (-8.5)
Hunch bet on the Dirty Birds. This is a classic NFL let down game. Go to Cincinnati. Win big game in overtime. Get back in race. Go home. Come out flat as a pancake. Have you seen this before? I’m taking the points and looking for a furious fourth quarter bash fest as the dirty birds take this game down to the wire. Atlanta, normally a surly bunch of first and fifteenth paycheck cashiers, actually looked like they had fun last week. Pick: Dirty Birds +8.5
Packers at Ravens +6.5
This is a tough pick because the status of Lamar Jackson is somewhat unknown. Sure he can play-but can he run? Baltimore needs a win here to stay on top of the AFC North with Cleveland and the Bungles breathing down their neck. At home, this becomes a must-win game. They have one advantage: Washington Post’s Virginia politics writer Laura Vozzella’s teenage son Peter–a die hard Ravens fan and football aficionado will be at the game with mom and family in tow. Peter has never seen them lose at home. He keeps the streak alive Sunday. He’s their secret 12th man. Pick: Ravens + 6.5
Saints at Bucs (-11.5)
Seriously, folks? I’m going to bet the Saints with no quarterback you can name week to week over Tom Brady tuning up for a another Super Bowl run with the Tampa Bay gun boats blazing? I don’t think so. Pick: Bucs -11.5
Vikes (-6) at Bears
I’m so sick of both of these teams. The Bears are really smoke and mirrors, I’m not a Coach Nagy fan, or a Justin Fields believer. I’ll go with Cousins on the road, but the problem is the Nordics never seem to cover as road favs. It’s Monday night or I would pass.
Pick: Vikes – 6
Seahawks at Rams (-8.5)
This is a blowout. The Rams are feeling it, and that win in Phoenix Monday night was huge. Now they get a Tuesday night special and another day to prepare. The party’s over for Pete. Rams by 21 or more. Catch hot teams early that get on a little roll and ride the wave. Here’s one wave to ride to the cashier’s booth.
Pick: Rams -8.5
WFT at Eagles (-7.5).
You cannot win an NFL game on the road without a quarterback. It’s really that simple.
Pick: Eagles -7.5
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John Fredericks is the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Virginia Star. He is also the host of The John Fredericks Show weekdays on NewsTalk WJFN 100.5 FM and 820 AM.
Photo “New England Patriots” by All-Pro Reels. CC BY 2.0.