Are you looking for a vote of confidence when picking spreads, money lines and the under/ over in the NFL? Let me be that football wizard who has seen the prophecies of victory and has the ability to put your precarious souls at ease. Almost 20 years of sports wagering experience is proudly listed on the resume, as well as playing in my 21st season of fantasy football(definitely a self-proclaimed pioneer). But enough about this guy. In this weekly column, I'll offer up anything from sportsbook's outcomes, moods and reflections, as well as offer words of advice and knowledge on betting strategies. Additionally, for every game, I'll have my picks for the spread, moneyline and under/ over ready to go. And if you're good(or I just happen to be feeling generous), I'll offer up one of my tantalizing, high-odds 'Nicks Picks', a ticket too good to be true. Anyway, if for some reason any of Nick's Picks let you down, I'm cool with you telling your bookie it was all my fault. Yeah... right.
'THE THINNING' - Yes, akin to the movie bearing a similar name, the last few weeks to wager on the NFL regular season will be just as creepy as a winter-bound descent into madness. Teams fighting for a wildcard spot, others dueling for division and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. Then, there are those left without hopes(and mathematical possibilities) of making the postseason. These include: teams that give up, the ones that love to play spoiler and of course, the squads that have been impossible to predict on a weekly basis all season long. I take almost the same caution with these last few games of the year as I do the first 2-3 contests on the regular season calendar, before identities are made and trust can be warranted. Basically, there is a smaller pool of quality games to choose from when deciding on where to put your action. Sure, a lot of the teams in the league have an identity that can be counted on, due to it being this late in the season. But it's the attitude of the teams, not their talent, which makes me more cautious when deciding on my picks this close to the playoffs. A lot of games this late are simply not worth the risk, due to the invisible odds on deciphering current, on-field collective attitudes.
NOTE: I HAVE ALTERED THE POINT VALUES ON VARIOUS SPREADS TO INCREASE ODDS OF WINNING CERTAIN GAMES. OBVIOUSLY, THE PAYOUT WILL BE LESS THAN CHOOSING THE POINTS A SPORTSBOOK PROVIDES. THOSE CHANGED BY ME WILL BE LISTED IN BRACKETS.
NICK'S PICK OF THE WEEK: 3 GAME PARLAY | CAR -2.5 | LAR (+3.5) | PIT (+3.5)
DENVER BRONCOS @ INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - IND (+3.5) | IND -110 | UNDER 45.5
CHICAGO BEARS @ DETROIT LIONS - DET -5 | DET -220 | OVER 44
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS @ KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - LAC -1 | LAC -110 | OVER 46
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES @ NEW YORK GIANTS - PHI (-6.5) | PHI -318 | UNDER 40.5
BALTIMORE RAVENS @ CLEVELAND BROWNS - BAL (-6.5) | BAL -303 | UNDER 40.5
GREEN BAY PACKERS @ CAROLINA PANTHERS - CAR -2.5 | CAR -140 | OVER 47
MIAMI DOLPHINS @ BUFFALO BILLS - MIA +3.5 | MIA +151 | OVER 39
ARIZONA CARDINALS @ WASHINGTON REDSKINS - WAS -4.5 | WAS -214 | UNDER 42
CINCINNATI BENGALS @ MINNESOTA VIKINGS - MIN (-9.5) | MIN -532 | OVER 42
HOUSTON TEXANS @ JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - JAX -11.5 | JAX -562 | OVER 39
NEW YORK JETS @ NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - NOS -16 | NOS -1136 | OVER 47.5
LOS ANGELES RAMS @ SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - LAR (+3.5) | LAR +121 | OVER 47.5
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS @ PITTSBURGH STEELERS - PIT (+3.5) | PIT +131 | OVER 54
TENNESSEE TITANS @ SAN FRANCISCO 49ers - SF -1 | SF -118 | UNDER 45
DALLAS COWBOYS @ OAKLAND RAIDERS - DAL (-2.5) | DAL -156 | OVER 46
ATLANTA FALCONS @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - ATL -6 | ATL -242 | UNDER 49
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS:
TOTAL O/U 11-5
TOTAL O/U 104-94