2010 Weekly Predictions: Week 15

December 16th, 2010 - 11:54 am

I had a lousy week against the spread, finishing with just a 6-9 mark in Week 14. In seven of the nine games I missed, I correctly predicted the winner but not by the right amount. On the bright side, I finished 13-3 on my straight-up predictions for the week, missing on Arizona-Denver, Miami-NY Jets, and Detroit-Green Bay.

Full predictions will come out later this week. Point spread for Thursday’s game comes from Vegas.com as of Thursday afternoon.

Last Week: 13-3
Last Week against the spread: 6-9

This Week: 10-6
This Week against the spread: 10-6

Overall: 151-73
Overall against the spread: 123-94-5

San Francisco 49ers (5-8) at San Diego Chargers (7-6)
It’s hard to believe that at 5-8 the 49ers still have a chance to make the playoffs. Even if they lose to the Chargers, which is what’s going to happen, they can still win the division with a sub-.500 record in the pathetic NFC West. In this matchup, two former Bears will square off as Ron Rivera’s San Diego defense will take on Mike Singletary’s 49ers. The Chargers are playing too well right now and the 49ers don’t have enough talent to pull this one off.
Prediction: San Diego 24, San Francisco 13
Actual Score: San Diego 34, San Francisco 7
Spread Pick: San Diego -9 1/2
Actual Score: San Diego 34, San Francisco 7

Buffalo Bills (3-10) at Miami Dolphins (7-6)
The Dolphins have the No. 5 defense in the league and are relatively healthy. Although this is a game the Bills could pull off, the Dolphins will get it done at home.
Prediction: Miami 21, Buffalo 20
Actual Score: Buffalo 17, Miami 14
Spread Pick: Buffalo +5 1/2
Actual Score: Buffalo 17, Miami 14

Arizona Cardinals (4-9) at Carolina Panthers (1-12)
I’m not so sure the Panthers can’t win this game with how bad the Cardinals are this season. The only thing that worries me about that notion is how well the Cardinals played last week against Denver. I think Arizona rides that momentum to a road victory.
Prediction: Arizona 23, Carolina 16
Actual Score: Carolina 19, Arizona 12
Spread Pick: Arizona +2 1/2
Actual Score: Carolina 19, Arizona 12

New Orleans Saints (10-3) at Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
This should be quite the matchup between NFC and AFC powerhouses. As much as I like the Ravens’ defense, their offense hasn’t been very good and I’m not sure they can keep up with a Saints offense that’s clicking right now.
Prediction: New Orleans 24, Baltimore 17
Actual Score: Baltimore 30, New Orleans 24
Spread Pick: New Orleans +1 1/2
Actual Score: Baltimore 30, New Orleans 24

Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5) at Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
If the Colts want to get back into the division race, this is their last chance. They have a laundry list of players on the injury report with nine guys listed as questionable. I know I’ve said that I’ve jumped off the Colts’ bandwagon and finally stepped onto the Jaguars’, but something still tells me the Colts will pull this close one out at home.
Prediction: Indianapolis 27, Jacksonville 23
Actual Score: Indianapolis 34, Jacksonville 24
Spread Pick: Jacksonville +5
Actual Score: Indianapolis 34, Jacksonville 24

Detroit Lions (3-10) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)
The Lions have 13 players on the injury report compared to the Buccaneers’ two. Tampa Bay is healthier and playing at home and should get the job done with its run game.
Prediction: Tampa Bay 21, Detroit 17
Actual Score: Detroit 23, Tampa Bay 20
Spread Pick: Detroit +5 1/2
Actual Score: Detroit 23, Tampa Bay 20

Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) at New York Giants (9-4)
This game is essentially for the division and should be a great game to watch. Philadelphia won the first matchup between these teams by 10 points. I expect the game to be a little closer this time but it should be a similar result. The Giants will struggle to contain all the Eagles’ offensive weapons and Philly’s defense should harass Eli Manning.
Prediction: Philadelphia 24, NY Giants 20
Actual Score: Philadelphia 38, NY Giants 31
Spread Pick: Philadelphia +2 1/2
Actual Score: Philadelphia 38, NY Giants 31

Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) at St. Louis Rams (6-7)
Matt Cassel had limited participation in practice this week due to an illness but the Chiefs are mostly healthy. The Rams have the benefit of playing at home in this cross-state rivalry but I’m not sure they have the run defense to stop the league’s top-ranked attack.
Prediction: Kansas City 21, St. Louis 17
Actual Score: Kansas City 27, St. Louis 13
Spread Pick: Kansas City +1 1/2
Actual Score: Kansas City 27, St. Louis 13

Washington Redskins (5-8) at Dallas Cowboys (4-9)
The Cowboys have been playing better since the coaching change and I expect them to take care of a woeful Redskins team ranked dead last on defense.
Prediction: Dallas 24, Washington 17
Actual Score: Dallas 33, Washington 30
Spread Pick: Dallas -7 (would be a push by my prediction)
Actual Score: Dallas 33, Washington 30

Cleveland Browns (5-8) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-11)
Always a thrill (sarcasm) to watch Ohio’s professional football teams go at it. Personally, if I had the choice, I’d rather see the Missouri state rivalry than this one. I have no accurate reading on these two teams. They’re both bad and bad teams are inconsistent, hence, hard to predict. The best I can go off of is that the Browns have the fourth-worst offense in the league and have 16 players on the injury report. With gun to head, I’ll take the Bengals.
Prediction: Cincinnati 24, Cleveland 21
Actual Score: Cincinnati 19, Cleveland 17
Spread Pick: Cincinnati -1
Actual Score: Cincinnati 19, Cleveland 17

Houston Texans (5-8) at Tennessee Titans (5-8)
This is a matchup between the chronically mediocre for third place in the AFC South. Somebody sound the alarm. I’m going to give the edge to the Texans if only because they have a much better offense and aren’t ranked that far behind the Titans’ defense.
Prediction: Houston 24, Tennessee 23
Actual Score: Tennessee 31, Houston 17
Spread Pick: Houston +1 1/2
Actual Score: Tennessee 31, Houston 17

Atlanta Falcons (11-2) at Seattle Seahawks (6-7)
The Falcons ought to make short work of the Seahawks. They’re better on offense, they’re better on defense, they’re better at football.
Prediction: Atlanta 27, Seattle 17
Actual Score: Atlanta 34, Seattle 18
Spread Pick: Atlanta -6
Actual Score: Atlanta 34, Seattle 18

New York Jets (9-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3)
The Jets have been playing bad football lately and I don’t expect this game to be as close as the two records would indicate. The Steelers have injuries to deal with, but should take care of the Jets.
Prediction: Pittsburgh 20, NY Jets 13
Actual Score: NY Jets 22, Pittsburgh 17
Spread Pick: Pittsburgh -5 1/2
Actual Score: NY Jets 22, Pittsburgh 17

Denver Broncos (3-10) at Oakland Raiders (6-7)
I was shocked at how badly the Broncos played last week at Arizona. So much so that I have to predict them to lose this week against a Raiders team that could run all over them.
Prediction: Oakland 27, Denver 20
Actual Score: Oakland 39, Denver 23
Spread Pick: Oakland -7 (would be a push by my prediction)
Actual Score: Oakland 39, Denver 23

Green Bay Packers (8-5) at New England Patriots (11-2)
Aaron Rodgers is doubtful for this game and, frankly, doubtful is the word I would have used for the Packers’ chances of winning this game even if Rodgers was completely healthy. The Patriots are the best team in football right now and the Packers’ injuries are finally catching up to them. The Pats should win comfortably here.
Prediction: New England 27, Green Bay 14
Actual Score: New England 31, Green Bay 27
Spread Pick: Green Bay +14
Actual Score: New England 31, Green Bay 27

Chicago Bears (9-4) at Minnesota Vikings (5-8)
This game will be played outdoors at the University of Minnesota, a smaller venue which ought to be more kind to the Bears than the Metrodome has been in the past decade. Where the Bears play isn’t as important as whom they will play against and rookie Joe Webb — yeah, who? — is expected to start at quarterback for the Vikings. I expect Minnesota to give it all they have, especially with a big dose of Adrian Peterson, but the Bears can and should win this game to clinch the division title.
Prediction: Chicago 23, Minnesota 17
Actual Score: Chicago 40, Minnesota 14
Spread Pick: Chicago -6 (would be a push by my prediction)
Actual Score: Chicago 40, Minnesota 14

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