NFL Week 17 picks 2012

Win a meaningless game and lose a few draft picks? Sign the Bills up!

(Just put Tebow in!)

Jets (+3½) at Bills — Bills

Miami (+10) at New England — New England

Baltimore (+2½) at Cincinnati — Bengals

Cleveland (+6) at Pittsburgh — Cleveland

Houston at Indianapolis (+6½) — Colts*

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NFL Week 1 picks 2012

Welcome to Year Three of NFL picks.

Picking games against the spread is harder than it looks. Growing up in Buffalo led me to believe that the favorite teams always beat up on the underdogs, home or away. Games were won by a touchdown or three, not a fourth-quarter field goal.

Turns out that a seven-point spread is a lot. Any team getting double-digits is a team you should seriously consider picking. And those garbage time points are the ones that will often make or break your picks. Playing at home really does make a difference, but when in doubt, take the points.

I’m learning here. Even though I interned with the Buffalo News this summer, I still doubt they have any idea I make picks and keep standings along with them. It happens.

Last year’s results (we all have the same amount of ties for games that are a push):

Northrop: 125-112-9
Skurski: 122-115-9
Always Game Seven 118-119-9
McKissic: 116-121-9
Sullivan: 114-123-9
DiCesare: 113-124-9
Gaughan: 113-124-9

The Bills start this year at the Jets, who are yet to reveal exactly what Tim Tebow’s wildcat is going to look like. The Bills’ new defensive line gets the first crack at the shirtless rain runner, and I’m taking the Bills.

Bills +2.5 at New Jersey Jets — Bills

Indianapolis +9.5 at Chicago — Colts

Philadelphia at Cleveland +8.5 — Eagles

Washington +7 at New Orleans — Redskins

New England +5.5 at Tennessee — Patriots*

Jacksonville +4 at Minnesota — Vikings

Miami +12 at Houston — Dolphins

St. Louis +7 at Detroit — Lions

Atlanta at Kansas City +3 — Chiefs

San Francisco +5 at Green Bay — 49ers

Carolina at Tampa Bay +2.5 — Panthers

Seattle at Arizona +2.5 — Seahawks

Pittsburgh +1.5 at Denver — Broncos

Cincinnati +6 at Baltimore — Bengals

San Diego +1 at Oakland — Raiders

*Best bet

Largest line of the season: Miami +12 at Houston (Week 1)

Other note: Tim Graham replaces Rodney McKissic in the News’ picks this year.

Divisional Round picks

The real story of this weekend is whether or not Tim Tebow will have enough magic to get past Tom Brady and The Hoodie in Foxborough.

San Francisco and the New York Giants will try to prevent us from seeing the Brees-Rodgers NFC title match up we’re all dreaming of and Joe Flacco will become the first QB in history to start a playoff game in his first four seasons, but all storylines take a backseat to Tebow. I don’t know if he can do it again, but it’ll be interesting.

Saturday night. 8 p.m. CBS. Be there.

New Orleans at San Francisco (+3 1/2)
New Orleans

Denver (+13 1/2) at New England
New England

Houston (+7 1/2) at Baltimore
Houston

Giants (+7 1/2) at Green Bay
Giants

Playoffs:

Northrop: 3-1
McKissic: 3-1
Sullivan: 2-2
Always Game Seven 2-2
DiCesare: 2-2
Gaughan: 1-3
Skurski: 1-3

NFL Week 16 picks

I still haven't decided what I'm going to do if I ever have a daughter, but there better be another one of these guys around when she becomes of age. It might be an arranged marriage.

Santa’s bringing Western New York an early Christmas present this week and it’s exactly what we want.

Winning football? The Bills are beyond Santa’s help. It’s Tim Tebow!

The NFL decided there wouldn’t be enough people getting together this weekend to waive its blackout policy, so you’ll have to find another way to see Tebow play. There are plenty of tickets left if you want to get away from your inlaws for a little before Christmas Eve dinner, or, for broken leg cripples like me who can’t get out to stadiums, there are online feeds to be found.

I’m expecting a healthy dose of Tebow on the ground and through the air. With seven straight losses, despite the odds, it looks like the Bills are going to pull through after all complete my preseason prediction of a 5-11 record. If the Bills lose to Denver, if it won’t get any easier when they travel to Foxboro next week.

The Bills are a three-point underdog.

Denver at Bills (+3)
Denver

Oakland (+1 1/2) at Kansas City
Oakland

Jacksonville (+7 1/2) at Tennessee
Tennessee

Arizona (+4) at Cincinnati
Arizona

Miami (+9) at New England
New England

Cleveland (+13) at Baltimore
Cleveland

Giants (+3) at Jets
Giants

Minnesota (+6 1/2) at Washington
Washington

Tampa Bay (+7 1/2) at Carolina
Carolina

St. Louis (+16) at Pittsburgh
St. Louis

San Diego (+2 1/2) at Detroit
Detriot

San Francisco at Seattle (+2 1/2)
San Francisco

Philadelphia (+2) at Dallas
Philadelphia

Chicago (+13) at Green Bay
Chicago

Atlanta (+6 1/2) at New Orleans
New Orleans

Overall

Northrop: 109-99-7
Skurski: 107-101-7
Always Game Seven 106-102-7
Gaughan: 102-106-7
McKissic: 101-107-7
Sullivan: 99-109-7
DiCesare: 97-111-7

Last week
Miami (+2) at Bills
Miami
Dolphins 30-23. Win
Dallas at Tampa Bay (+7)
Dallas
Cowboys 31-15. Win
Washington (+7) at Giants
Giants
Redskins 23-10. Loss
Green Bay at Kansas City (+14)
Green Bay
Chiefs 19-14. Loss
New Orleans at Minnesota (+7)
New Orleans
Saints 42-20. Win
Seattle (+3 1/2) at Chicago
Seattle
Seahawks 38-14. Win
Carolina (+6 1/2) at Houston
Houston
Panthers 28-13. Loss
Tennessee at Indianapolis (+6 1/2)
Tennessee
Colts 27-13. Loss
Cincinnati at St. Louis (+6)
Cincinnati
Bengals 20-13. Win
Detroit at Oakland (+1)
Detroit
Lions 28-27. Push
New England at Denver (+6 1/2)
Denver
Pats 41-23. Loss
Jets (+3) at Philadelphia
Jets
Eagles 45-19. Loss
Cleveland (+7) at Arizona
Arizona
Cardinals 20-17 (OT). Loss
Baltimore at San Diego (+2 1/2)
Baltimore
Chargers 34-14. Loss
Pittsburgh (+3 1/2) at San Francisco
San Francicso
49ers 20-3. Win
6-8-1

NFL Week 15 picks

C.J. Spiller goes against an older version of himself this week in Miami's Reggie Bush. Hopefully Spiller will turn out to be a more productive NFL runner.

I wrote earlier this year about how Miami week doesn’t matter anymore. The most telling sign of all is that this year’s home game against the Dolphins won’t even be televised because the team couldn’t sell out the game.

It’s pathetic really, but empty seats may be the only way to get any results from our penny-pinching owner. Even mother nature isn’t acknowledging this rivalry — forecast for kickoff is mostly sunny and above freezing.

I find it hard to pick the Bills to win against anyone right now, but wouldn’t it be typical us to somehow pull out a win in a meaningless game and lose draft position? I guess it’s a lose-lose situation. Such is life when you’re a helpless football team.

There are more interesting games to talk about tomorrow. I’m interested to watch Denver vs. New England. Does Tebow have a shot against the Patriots’ league-worst secondary? I’m using this game as a barometer for him — if anyone can solve a good story and crush it, it’s the Hoodie.

Plus it’s fantasy playoffs week. I have two semifinal games to keep track of and it’s not looking good for either of them. Tony Romo is killing me! (But I did pick the Cowboys to win ahead of time.)

Miami (+2) at Bills
Miami

Dallas at Tampa Bay (+7)
Dallas

Washington (+7) at Giants
Giants

Green Bay at Kansas City (+14)
Green Bay

New Orleans at Minnesota (+7)
New Orleans

Seattle (+3 1/2) at Chicago
Seattle

Carolina (+6 1/2) at Houston
Houston

Tennessee at Indianapolis (+6 1/2)
Tennessee

Cincinnati at St. Louis (+6)
Cincinnati

Detroit at Oakland (+1)
Detroit

New England at Denver (+6 1/2)
Denver

Jets (+3) at Philadelphia
Jets

Cleveland (+7) at Arizona
Arizona

Baltimore at San Diego (+2 1/2)
Baltimore

Pittsburgh (+3 1/2) at San Francisco
San Francicso

Overall

Skurski: 101-93-6
Northrop: 100-94-6
Always Game Seven 100-94-6
Gaughan: 95-99-6
McKissic: 94-100-6
Sullivan: 94-100-6
DiCesare: 91-103-6

Last week:
Bills (+7) at San Diego
Chargers
Chargers 37-10. Win
Indianapolis (+16 1/2) at Baltimore
Indianapolis
Ravens 24-10. Win
Houston (+3) at Cincinnati
Houston
Texans 20-19. Win
Oakland (+11) at Green Bay
Green Bay
Pack 46-16. Win
Kansas City (+9) at Jets
Jets
Jets 37-10. Win
Minnesota (+10) at Detroit
Detroit
Lions 34-28. Loss
New Orleans at Tennessee (+3 1/2)
New Orleans
Saints 22-17. Win
Philadelphia (+3) at Miami
Miami
Eagles 26-10. Loss
New England at Washington (+8)
New England
Pats 34-27. Loss
Atlanta at Carolina (+2 1/2)
Carolina
Falcons 31-23. Loss
Tampa Bay at Jacksonville (+2)
Jacksonville
Jags 41-14. Win
San Francisco at Arizona (+3 1/2)
San Francisco
Cards 21-19. Loss
Chicago (+3 1/2) at Denver
Denver
Denver 13-10. Win
Giants (+3 1/2) at Dallas
Giants
Gaints 37-34. Win
St. Louis (+6) at Seattle
Seattle
Seahawks 30-13. Win
10-5