I’m very sorry for taking such a long time last week to get my picks posted.  You see, I was in Mammoth on Sunday night and the mountain got 12-16″ of new snow, so I decided to stay for Monday (which was EPIC, by the way).  Which meant that I was only home for about eight hours before leaving for my work trip on Tuesday morning.  Which meant that running my simulations and posting Gamblor’s picks had to take place from my hotel in Oxon Hill, Maryland, and the write-ups didn’t happen until I returned to California on Saturday (my birthday).  I promise I won’t let something like that happen again – Gamblor and Son of Gamblor’s picks are guaranteed to be available every Thursday morning from here on out.  Of course, I also guaranteed a Green Bay blowout last week, and we saw how that turned out, so I suppose you should take the new guarantee with a few grains of salt.

Anyhow, Vegas treated me to a late birthday present last weekend, as the ball bounced my way in spectacular fashion a couple of times during the morning.  First, the Raiders let Jacksonville come back and instead of losing by a late field goal, allowed Maurice Jones-Drew slip through and score a touchdown, thereby covering the spread on my largest bet of the week.  And second, the Redskins punter fumbled away an extra-point snap at the end of regulation, costing the Skins the game by a single point – which meant they covered the two-point spread on my third-biggest bet of the week.  My second and fourth-biggest bets were both blowouts (Chargers and Saints), and overall the computer pulled in a profit of $480 on weighted win percentages of 80.2% (Gamblor) and 99.9% (Son of Gamblor).  It was a great weekend, and it broke the computer’s four-week losing streak, bringing the season’s winning back up to $1360.

This coming week is a relatively quiet one for the computer, as most spreads are pretty much where they ought to be.  Due to a statistical hiccup, I’ll be forced to bet on Miami at home again (they have been so bad on their home field lately that the computer doesn’t think they should ever be favored there), and the week’s biggest bet is on the Giants, who have probably accounted for the lion’s share of the computer’s profits this year.

Away Home Spread Gamblor’s Pick Bet Amount Son of Gamblor’s Pick Bet Amount Overall Pick Overall Bet
SNF at SND -10 SNF $0.71 SND $9.27 SND $8.56
HOU at TEN -1.5 HOU $21.25 HOU $21.25
JAC at IND -5 JAC $10.45 JAC $10.45
ARI at CAR -2.5 ARI $5.08 CAR $0.68 ARI
CLE at CIN -1.5 CIN $28.34 CIN $39.55 CIN $67.88
KAN at STL 1 STL $7.14 STL $7.14
BUF at MIA -5.5 MIA $7.08 MIA $61.89 MIA $68.98
PHI at NYG -2.5 NYG $53.07 NYG $68.35 NYG $121.43
WAS at DAL -6 WAS $2.07 WAS
DET at TAM -6 DET $5.67 DET $5.67
NOS at BAL -1 NOS $5.02 NOS $0.22 NOS $5.24
ATL at SEA 6.5 SEA $2.95 SEA $0.04 SEA
NYJ at PIT -6 NYJ $6.61 NYJ $2.21 NYJ $8.82
DEN at OAK -6.5 DEN $21.08 DEN $21.08
GNB at NEP -4 GNB $1.53 GNB
CHI at MIN 3 MIN $5.37 MIN $5.37


Computer’s Pick: San Diego (-10)
Bet Amount: $8.56 (Conflict)
COMMENTS: This spread seems a little bit fishy to me.  According to Gamblor it’s just about right, but Son of Gamblor thinks it’s a little bit high and the books are trying to scare money away from the Chargers.  To me, it seems a little bit low – I can’t imagine many people are interested in betting against San Diego in December.  I think San Diego will win this game handily, especially with the opportunity to show off on a weeknight.
Computer’s Pick: Houston (+1.5)
Bet Amount: $21.25 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: Tennessee has fallen to pieces, but is playing against Houston going to be the tonic they’ll need?  Houston’s season is over.  They lost in truly heartbreaking fashion to the Ravens on Monday, and will have absolutely nothing left in the tank against the Titans.  Chris Johnson has been chomping at the bit to put together a few long runs, and think this will be a great opportunity for him, as Houston’s defense will put forth minimal effort.  I like the Titans in this spot to take advantage of Houston’s low spirits.
Computer’s Pick: Jacksonville (+5)
Bet Amount: $10.45 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: A pretty standard hedge bet from Gamblor, indicating that the computer thinks this spread is pretty much perfect.  This one is definitely a coin toss for me – the Jaguars have looked good lately, and almost always stay within a few points of the Colts.  My guess is that this pattern will hold true and the Jaguars will keep this game close enough to cover, but it’s not a guess I’m particularly confident about.
Computer’s Pick: Arizona (+2.5)
Bet Amount: $4.39 (Conflict)
COMMENTS: Don’t get fooled by Arizona’s solid performance against the Broncos last week – they’re still a terrible team.  And don’t read too much into Carolina staying within three touchdowns of the Falcons – they are also still a terrible team.  I like Carolina a lot better than I like the Cardinals – the Panthers have a lot of motivation to avoid claiming a place among just nine other teams that have finished a sixteen game season at 1-15.  And with their two remaining games after this featuring Pittsburgh and Atlanta, this is their last shot at a second win this year.  I think they’ll bring everything they’ve got, while Arizona will just mail this one in as they try to figure out how to get their hands on a halfway decent quarterback for next season.
Computer’s Pick: Cincinnati (-1.5)
Bet Amount: $67.88 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: For some reason the computer is pretty enthusiastic about the Bengals here.  I can’t say I am – but that’s not to say I’m enthusiastic about the Browns either.  I do feel like they’ll get a little lift from getting Colt McCoy back, and Peyton Hillis should have a field day running over the Bengals defense, so in the end I’m pretty dismayed by the computer’s pick – but it’s definitely possible this one could go the other way.
Computer’s Pick: St. Louis (+1)
Bet Amount: $7.14 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: How amazing is it that a pair of teams that went a combined 5-27 last season are now playing against each other in a game that has serious playoff implications?  Kansas City seems like a bit of a fluke, but St. Louis is a team that seems to be a few receivers away from fielding a very solid squad.  The line on this game is dependent on whether or not Matt Cassel plays (right now I’m assuming he will – the Rams would probably be favored by about 3 if he sits) but either way I prefer St. Louis in this game.  Even though it’s not a long trip for the Chiefs, they’ll be feeling the Chargers breathing down their necks and are too inexperienced – they’ll make too many mistakes and give this game away.
Computer’s Pick: Miami (-5.5)
Bet Amount: $68.98 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: It makes me sick to have to bet on Miami – they have looked absolutely abysmal in their last couple of games.  I’m actually rather amazed that the spread isn’t lower with how badly they’ve looked, and I’m happy that the computer isn’t risking more on them.  This bet is actually primarily driven by Son of Gamblor, who feels that the travel distance will play a large factor in this game.  I don’t think it will matter – Miami will find a way to blow what should be an easy victory, and may pull out a win, but they probably won’t cover the spread.
Computer’s Pick: NY Giants (-2.5)
Bet Amount: $121.43 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: It’s the computer’s largest bet of the week, once again relying on the New York Giants to put together a decent payoff.  I’ll have to run the numbers, but despite losing the computer’s money in its second-largest bet of the season (whey they lost to Dallas), I’m pretty sure the Giants have been a pretty lucrative bet for the computer this season.  But not here.  The Giants have the physical talent to keep up with the Eagles in a shootout, but they’ll be a little rusty from not having played with each other in a while.  This will lead to a slow start, which Philadelphia will exploit to jump out to a quick lead.  And they won’t look back.
Computer’s Pick: Washington (+6)
Bet Amount: $2.07 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: The excitement level in late-season games goes in two distinct directions.  Some games have playoff implications, and are thus exciting.  Some games have draft implications, and are thus…well, not exciting, but at least potentially interesting.  And some games have no implications whatsoever, and are simply boring as hell, even from a gambling perspective.  There’s no telling whether the Cowboys will pack things in for the season – they’re not going anywhere, and neither are the Redskins.  This is certainly a classic rivalry, but neither team has much incentive to get motivated for this contest.  I’ll go ahead and take the six points, just because it seems like a gift, but I have zero interest in the outcome of this game.
Computer’s Pick: Detroit (+6)
Bet Amount: $5.67 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: I feel bad for the Buccaneers.  They’ve put together their best season in quite some time, and are stuck in a division that features the two best teams in the NFC.  Furthermore, they’ll get to watch some team from the pathetic NFC went limp into the playoffs with a 7-9 record before losing in the first round.  I’m not sure how they’ll react.  It’s possible they’ll take out their frustrations on the Lions and try to maintain an outside shot at going to the playoffs, but it’s equally possible they’ll just phone things in for the remainder of the season.  Given how far they’ve come this year, I believe it’s going to be the former – they’ve got some young stars (Freeman, Williams, Blount) who still have big dreams of making a mark in the NFL, so I think they’ll play with a lot of heart.  Detroit, on the other hand, will just stumble across the finish line like they do every year, wondering which poor sap will get drafted into their vortex of helplessness next year.
Computer’s Pick: New Orleans (+1)
Bet Amount: $5.24 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: I’m looking forward to this game – but I do think New Orleans should be able to win this one.  Baltimore is working off a short week and the Saints really look like they’re hitting their stride.
Computer’s Pick: Seattle (+6.5)
Bet Amount: $2.99 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: It’s a long way for Atlanta to go and still play at their highest level, but I think they’ll pass the test.  There’s a lot on the line for them in every game that remains this season, and they can now claim to be one of the elite teams in the NFL.  Elite teams don’t phone in games when they’re looking to secure home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, and playing the Seahawks is a gift they’ll take full advantage of.
Computer’s Pick: NY Jets (+6)
Bet Amount: $8.82 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: I have a very bad feeling about the Jets.  But then again, at the beginning of the season everyone was thinking that Sanchez was looking like a deer in the headlights against Baltimore, and then he went off and won the next five games in a row.  Rex Ryan usually does a good job motivating his team, which is why last week’s failure against Miami was such a surprise.  It seems like the Jets are still disoriented from their loss to New England, and I think Pittsburgh will be able to take advantage of that.  Enough to win the game.  But not enough to win big – it’s possible we’ll see another one of Pittsburgh’s shady finishes that causes them to fail to cover the spread here.
Computer’s Pick: Denver (+6.5)
Bet Amount: $21.08 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: Betting money on the Raiders as big favorites is one of the dumbest things you can ever do.  I’d normally waste twenty dollars of my own money trying to buy a victory for the Raiders here, but it appears the computer is willing to do that for me.  Thanks Gamblor!
Computer’s Pick: Green Bay (+4)
Bet Amount: $1.53 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: I know I guaranteed a Green Bay blowout last week, but that all changed when Aaron Rodgers got knocked out of the game with a concussion.  Actually, the Packers had yet to score by that point in the second quarter, so I think we can all agree that my “guarantee” was pretty worthless.  In the words of Bender, “I can guarantee you anything you want!”  But I absolutely guarantee that the Patriots are going to dismantle the Packers in this game.  This spread assumes that Rodgers will play – there’s a good chance he won’t.  If he doesn’t then you can expect the Patriots to be favored by about 13 points or so, but Gamblor’s thoughts on the game won’t actually change all that much.
Computer’s Pick: Minnesota (+3)
Bet Amount: $5.37 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: For the second week in a row, Minnesota will have a hell of a time focusing on this game.  They don’t even had a venue for it yet.  It seems like this favors Chicago in a big way, and once there’s a formal spread posted for this game I’ll re-run the simulation.


W L P Weighted Wins Weighted Picks Weighted Win % W L P Weighted Wins Weighted Picks Weighted Win %
1 9 4 3 1681 1876 89.6% 6 0 2 3692 3692 100.0% $647.02
2 10 5 1 918 1030 89.1% 5 3 486 491 99.0% $206.10
3 13 3 1203 1428 84.2% 5 4 1132 1988 56.9% $184.96
4 8 6 672 891 75.4% 3 4 1343 1832 73.3% $200.21
5 6 5 411 583 70.5% 9 3 974 1477 66.0% $372.58
6 4 7 1 432 559 77.3% 2 3 649 727 89.2% $121.28
7 8 6 666 2401 27.7% 3 4 1792 3924 45.7% -$291.65
8 7 5 507 1000 50.7% 6 2 1526 2876 53.1% $6.96
9 6 6 1 1625 1768 91.9% 5 2 1766 2017 87.6% $462.73
10 8 5 1077 2707 39.8% 3 5 1996 5620 35.5% -$337.12
11 6 10 260 999 26.0% 6 4 921 2577 35.7% -$204.94
12 9 7 354 631 56.1% 6 2 108 734 14.8% -$56.31
13 9 6 1084 2893 37.5% 4 4 2224 6584 33.8% -$431.29
14 10 6 515 642 80.2% 7 2 3395 3398 99.9% $479.91
Total 113 81 6 11404 19407 58.8% 70 42 2 22004 37938 58.0% $1,360.44