Lesson No. 1 in sports handicapping: Never bet on or against your favorite team. They always seem to rip your heart out. We thought we knew the Dolphins, but apparently we didn’t.
Miami didn’t show up on Monday night and barely escaped New York with a three-point victory, failing to cover the six-point spread and crushing our chances of a double-digit winning week.
But, it’s tough to complain about a 9-7 week and overall we boast a solid 97-92-2 record against the spread.
On to Week 14!
Dallas (-3.5) at Chicago
Well, it’s December and the Dallas Cowboys are in playoff contention again. “Seems like Groundhog Day every year for the Cowboys in December,” says my buddy TJ Hatter. So is this the year the December swoon continues its trolling away to the Dallas fan base? No. They have a tough schedule ahead of them to close out the season so this is a must-win. With a week of rest, a vaunted running game and a banged up Alshon Jeffery, Dallas should be confident rolling in to Chicago to face that Swiss cheese defense that saw Joique Bell and Calvin Johnson tear through them like a Kleenex during flu season.
THE PICK: Cowboys (-3.5)
Baltimore at Miami (-3)
Ravens won in Miami last year and despite Miami’s 7-5 record they have some flaws. Their run defense has been atrocious the last two weeks, allowing 478 yards in two games to Denver and the Jets. Their offensive line has not been great either, with every member of the line owning a negative pass grade per Pro Football Focus’ offensive line and Baltimore’s pass rush is their strength. It’s a must-win for both teams and Baltimore has been in this position before.
THE PICK: Ravens (+3)
Pittsburgh at Cincinnati (-3)
This game is always a grudge match. Both quarterbacks have not played well as of late, but Andy Dalton is typically better at home. Cincinnati knows how important this game is as they own a 1.5 game lead over the rest of the AFC North and a win against Pittsburgh would put them in great position to clinch the AFC North crown. Ben traditionally struggles with Cincinnati’s defense so we’ll back the trend here and favor the home team.
THE PICK: Bengals (-3)