The Pi-Rate Ratings

December 30, 2011

PiRate Picks For College And Pro Football–December 30, 2011-January 6, 2012

Filed under: PiRate Picks_College & Pro — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — piratings @ 1:40 pm

Week 17 in the NFL Can Be Feast or Famine

With a lot of bowls and week 17 in the NFL, this time of year can be tough to prognosticate.  We have no love affairs with any of the coming week’s bowl games.  We cannot form any lovable teasers or money line parlays.

 

We are going with five straight plays, all from the NFL, as our suggestions for the week.

 

1. Oakland -3 vs. San Diego

The Chargers stopped caring about the 2011 season about midway through the second quarter of last week’s game.  Detroit kept playing, while the Bolts’ players began plotting their itineraries home for the winter.

 

This game means a lot to the Raiders.  They are still alive in the playoff hunt, and we believe they have a better chance at getting into the playoffs than any other team they are competing against.  Additionally, they are playing this game for Al.  Al Davis was a Chargers’ assistant when he took over as head coach of the Raiders almost five decades ago.  He made it a habit of beating up on his former team, both as coach and later as owner of the silver and black.  To qualify for the playoffs in this season would be a special gift for their former owner.  Look for Oakland to win big.

 

2. New York Giants -3 vs. Dallas

A couple weeks ago, Tom Coughlin looked like a lame duck coach, and the Cowboys looked like sure winners in the NFC East.  Now, the opposite looks true.  Jason Garrett looks like he has lost control of the team, and Jerry Jones looks to be exerting more control over how they Cowboys will play.  The Giants look playoff ready, and even though they are not world beaters at home, we believe they will enjoy the best home field advantage they have enjoyed in a long time, maybe even like they were playing at old Yankee Stadium once again.

 

We believe the boys from the Gotham will win this game by double digits, much like they did last week against their hometown rival.

 

3. New York Jets +3 vs. Miami

This is our contrarian pick of the week.  Everybody assumes the Jets are done for the year.  They have been 8-7 before and on the outside looking in.  Sure, Miami has looked more like a playoff-caliber team as of late, but the Dolphins have nothing real to play for in this game, and many of their players will already be looking forward to the off-season with no desire to risk injury. 

 

We believe LaDainian Tomlinson has one more big game in his legs.  We believe the Jets’ defense has one heroic effort left to display.  We believe the Jets have one more rabbit to pull out of their hats.  We’ll go with Rex Ryan’s rambunctious roughriders to win this game by a touchdown or more.

 

4. Cleveland +7 vs. Pittsburgh

This is a huge rivalry game, and the Browns know how to play their nemesis from just up the road.  Cleveland stayed within contention on a Thursday night at Heinz field last month, and we believe they are waiting in ambush to send the Steelers to the wildcard round of the playoffs.

 

The crowd will turn out on New Year’s Day to really support their Browns, making the entire field a dog pound.  We believe Cleveland will send them home happy, or at least disappointed following a narrow loss.  We’ll take that touchdown and go with the underdog.

 

5. Baltimore -2 vs. Cincinnati

This is the game of the week, better than the Giants-Cowboys game.  Cincinnati faces elimination with a loss, but they can still back into the playoffs at 9-7.  Baltimore earns a playoff bye with a win, and they have a small shot at the top seed.

 

The Ravens have not fared all that well on the road this year, but we believe they are ready to remedy that ailment this week.  This game will be a surprise sellout thanks to a 2 for 1 ticket giveaway, but we believe Baltimore will spoil the party with a defensive win.

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