TIMES SQUARE – The Waterford Crystal ball descends tonight to usher in 2018, but before that happens I’ll be tapping into my crystal football for the last edition of Cheesy Bruin’s FREE NFL Picks. No other team sport season flies by quite like the NFL, as it seems like just yesterday I was making over/under win totals for 2017. [Ba Doom Cha] Cheesy jokes aside, here’s hoping we cash in with today’s selections.
FAVORITE: I’m not always a backer of teams with win-and-in playoff scenarios because most of the betting public is looking for and wagering on these teams and in turn inflates the point spread against the bettor. However, today I’ve found an interesting proposition in the Atlanta vs Carolina game. The Panthers are winners of three in a row and seven of the last eight, while the Falcons were pushed around in New Orleans last week and just look listless on offense but Vegas oddsmakers have Atlanta and not the streaking Panthers as favorites. If something looks too good to be true it usually is and the wise guys are telling me everything I need to know and that is the Falcons win with enough to spare. The Pick? ATLANTA -3.5 over Carolina
UNDERDOG: Last week I mentioned my stance on finding teams who can salvage a less than memorable season by hitting the .500 mark at 8-8. Nobody wants to be part of a losing season, so it makes much sense to find motivation in that. Arizona sits at 7-8 in a lost year in which their starting QB and RB went down early with season-ending injuries, while it has been reported that Bruce Arians, a player’s coach will be leading the troops in his last game for the Cardinals today. The Seahawks on the other side of the field will be hoping to win and get the necessary help in order to qualify for the playoffs. Seattle has been erratic over the last month and while at home for this game, will struggle for the win. Too many points to pass up for the motivated Cardinals. The Pick? Arizona +9.5 over SEATTLE
OVER: Here’s a risky pick but I’m going on the hunch that Angry Ward’s Minnesota Vikings can do most of the game’s scoring against Chicago. It’s a gamble because the Bears have gone ‘over’ in only four games and that is the worst mark in the league. If the Vikes can hit the thirty mark then I’m confident we can cash this ticket. The Pick? Chicago/MINNESOTA OVER 38.
UNDER: The Rams are already assured of hosting a first-round playoff game as either the #3 or #4 seed in the NFC so the team will be resting key personnel on both sides of the ball. The Forty Niners have turned into a late feel good story with Jimmy Garropolo under center having won five of their last six after a nine game skid to open the season. The first meeting of the season saw 80 points on the board and that just seems too ambitious to come by today. The Pick? San Francisco/ LA RAMS UNDER 43.5
Here’s wishing all our readers and contributors a safe, Happy & Healthy New Year!
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