Before we get started on this week's picks, let's have one more moment of silence for all you Texans' backers out there that took the points — anywhere from six to eight points, depending on when and where you bet the game — against the Titans this past weekend.
To refresh, the Texans were trailing 17-13, and all the Titans need to do was take a knee, and the game is basically over, and all you Texans' bettors would have been home free, counting your money. Then this wagering tragedy happened...
Utterly incredible, and reason number one million that gambling is both the best and worst thing ever. (Also, the fact that this went unnoticed by the CBS announce team is a travesty! Get on the ball, Gumbel and Green!) Of course, I had the Titans as one of my best bets, so I can only cry so much for all of you that didn't. That win got me to a mediocre "tread water" mark of 3-3 on the week last week.
So that video clip is my personal reminder that I need to do better for all of you! So let's try to do just that. Here are this weekend's pick, all NFL games with the college regular season all wrapped up....
Jets PICK EM over BRONCOS
I always like to say that the NFL season needs to be evaluated in segments. Sure, the Broncos won three games earlier this season, but they are on an eight-game losing streak now, and are quite possibly the worst team in all of football to back from a wagering standpoint. Hell, at least the Browns covered a 13-point spread in Los Angeles last weekend against the Chargers! More specifically, at least the Browns are 3-9 ATS this season — the Broncos are 2-9-1! The Jets are no great shakes on the road this year against the number (just 1-3-1), but if you're asking me if I think the Jets, who play HARD under head coach Todd Bowles, are better than the Broncos right now, there is no hesitation. They absolutely are. The Broncos are near rock bottom, with more room to fall.
CARDINALS +2.5 over Titans
My biggest takeaway from the Texans-Titans game last weekend was this — the Tennessee Titans might be the worst 8-4 team in the history of the NFL. Their offense is a big nothing, Marcus Mariota is overrated at quarterback, and their defense gave up 368 yards passing to Tom Savage and just two healthy wide receivers. The Cardinals are 5-7 SU on the season, but they're pretty good at home, especially against AFC teams, going 8-1 against AFC foes at home since the start of the 2013 season. I can't believe I'm backing Blaine Gabbert here, but if Vegas is going to give me points at home just because the Titans have a hollow 8-4 record, I thank them.
Redskins +6 over CHARGERS
I got sucked into the Chargers' vortex last weekend. Yeah, I know they won, and now they're 6-6 after starting the season 0-4, but I should have known better than laying big points with them in what amounts to a home field with zero advantage, even against the Browns. The Chargers tend to play to the level of whoever the opponent is, and as I envision this game, I see a back and forth shootout. Washington has been solid in traveling to the West Coast this season, with road wins over the Rams and Seahawks, and I think they bounce back from the Thursday night thumping from the Cowboys last week with a spirited effort. The extra few days rest will help, too.
RAMS +2.5 over Eagles
This is a situational play here, with the Eagles having to play a second West Coast road game in two weeks, and coming off a physical battle against the Seahawks on Sunday night this past weekend. The Eagles are a league best 9-3 ATS this season, but the Rams are right behind them at 8-4 ATS. I was a little surprised the Eagles were favored in this game, quite honestly. In almost any other scenario, I'd back the Eagles regardless of number in a "bounce back" situation, but on the road against the Rams isn't one of them, as I think Rams head coach Sean McCoy's familiarity with Philly from his Redskins days will come in handy, too.
Seahawks +3 over JAGUARS
On the flip side of this past Sunday night's Eagles-Seahawks game is Seattle, who seemed to send their reminder to the NFL world that they aren't going away, despite injuries decimating their secondary. I think there are quarterbacks out there who will make Seattle pay, especially on the road, for missing multiple defensive backs, Jacksonville is not one of them. Blake Bortles is 2-12 both SU and ATS agains NFC teams since he was drafted in 2014, and the Seahawks are actually 4-0 SU on the road in their last four road games, On this day of dogs, I will continue to take the points!
STEELERS -7 over Ravens
With the Steelers coming off one of the most brutally physical games in recent history against Cincinnati on Monday night, I really wanted to take the points here. However, the Steelers have dominated the AFC North, going 8-1 in their last nine games. They're also 8-1 in their last nine games at home in prime time, and they are now 15-1 in their last 16 December games. The Ravens have lost their best cornerback for the season, and Joe Flacco seems to be a little too comfortable for a guy who is still wildly overrated....
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Hard for me to forget that this a Ravens team that should have lost to the Texans at home a couple Mondays ago.
Steelers 33, Ravens 16.
LAST WEEK: 3-3
SEASON RECORD: 48-34-2 (58.5 percent)
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 to 6 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast and like him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SeanTPendergast.