TIMES SQUARE – The Waterford Crystal Ball dropped at the crossroads of the world at midnight ushering in another New Year and as the mess is being cleaned up by New York’s Cleanest, I’m here with my NFL crystal ball for another Free Cheesy Bruin NFL Picks segment. I went five out of six last week with a limited schedule of games and am here with selections from the final full slate of games ending the 2016 NFL season. While I lost count several weeks ago of the record, I am still a few game over .500 which means you ain’t owing anybody a dime by backing my picks with some dinero of your own.
FAVORITE: All the Houston Texans do is win home games (7-1) and division games (5-0) on their way to what seems like perennially winning the NFL’s worst division. Head Coach Bill O’Brien doesn’t get enough credit winning with the likes of the T.J. Yates, Brock Osweilers, and now Tom Savages of the world at quarterback. It could be William Butler Yates or Randy “Macho Man” Savage under center and I would put my cash on an O’Brien-led team any day of the week. All this said, today’s game against the upstart Tennessee Titans means nothing to the Texans as they have already clinched a post-season spot but if you remember, the Titans were on my radar back in September as an ‘over’ win total wager. I don’t care who’s backing up the injured Marcus Mariota because that offensive line opens up sinkholes for DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. With all the injuries on both sides, the Titans are favored in this game and should tell you all you need to know. TENNESSEE (-4) over Houston
UNDERDOG: The Sunday Night Football game should be a decent game to watch as the winner becomes the NFC North Division champs and with it a spot in the playoffs. Green Bay has won five in a row and seems like a sure thing to make it six against a mish-mash Detroit Lions squad who have lost the last two and haven’t put a team away all year as they’ve played nail-biter after nail-biter. But the Lions are 6-1 at home and are underdogs. Normally I would say go with the smell that Vegas is cooking up a Packers victory. Not so fast bruddah–everybody and their mother is betting on Aaron Rodgers and an offense finally hitting on all cylinders that will ride the wave all the way to the playoffs as Matthew Stafford sports his throwing hand injury. The Cats win close games and this is no different. DETROIT (+3) over Green Bay
OVER: With a “W”, the New Orleans Saints finish the year at 8-8. These are the types of angles I like as a point-spread prognosticator and one that the garbage-time style of offense the Saints often employ excels in. They throw the ball late in games that they are winning as Drew Brees pads his gaudy statistics. Atlanta has nothing to play for having sewn up their own playoff position with a division crown. I’m following the experts who have set the total at a whopping 57 despite the game being nothing more than a throwaway to the average person. We’re too smart for that type of thinking. Right? New Orleans/ATLANTA OVER 57
UNDER: One explanation is all that’s needed here. I am in jeopardy of finishing in last place in my fantasy football league and with the Derek Carr injury, am forced to start Jameis Winston against the Carolina Panthers today. I have turned into a ‘mush’ when it comes to making money in my league so there’s a good chance Winston throws a few picks and zero touchdowns to seal my fate. Carolina/TAMPA BAY UNDER 46
HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y’ALL!!!!
That’s it. Please comment below and come back tomorrow for Dangerous DJ Eberle, who will be tearing 2017 up! And please follow us on Twitter – @CheesyBruin & @MeetTheMatts and like our Facebook page, Meet The Matts.