I am in Las Vegas for CES, the giant electronics trade show. As such, I am able to easily, and legally, gamble on football.
So, I did just that on Sunday, teasing the Cowboys to win -1, and taking the over on 42 points for their game against the Lions. I won my bet, which was awesome. It wasn’t a ton of money, but it was enough to make me happy.
(For what it’s worth, I gave back half of the money to Vegas betting on red in roulette.)
I did not do as well in my picks last week on this site. I went 1-3 overall. Picking against the spread is hard, especially if you’re me. I am going to make more picks here, and you should probably just pick the exact opposite of what I pick, since I am always wrong.
The New England Patriots are 7.5-point favourites at home against the Baltimore Ravens.
There is a lot of chatter about how the Ravens are Patriot-killers. There is a lot of chatter about how Joe Flacco knows how to get it done in the playoffs. There is a lot of chatter about how John Harbaugh is the least respected, great coach in the NFL.
I agree with almost all of that chatter!
The one thing I do not agree with? That the Ravens are Patriot killers. I believe the Patriots win this game. I think Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski are going to be great on the offensive side. I believe Darrell Revis helps to shut down the Ravens passing attack.
My pick: Patriots -7.5
The Seattle Seahawks are 11.5-point favourites at home against the Carolina Panthers.
There’s a very real possibility that the Carolina Panthers are the weirdo team that gets hot and rips through the playoffs. It happens often — the Giants and the Packers were those teams.
But there’s an even better possibility that the Seahawks are the best team in the league and their punishing defence is going to kill Cam Newton and the Panthers.
I like the second possibility better than the first.
The pick: Seahawks -11.5
The Green Bay Packers are 6-point favourites at home against the Dallas Cowboys.
That Cowboys game was ridiculous. I am happy about all the bogus calls since I bet the Cowboys to win, but if I didn’t bet the Cowboys, I would have been appalled. What a mess.
The question for this game: Which team is the real Cowboys? The team that played the first three quarters, or the team that showed up in the fourth quarter?
I can’t shake the feeling that the real Cowboys team was the team we saw in the first half that got smoked by the Lions offence. The Cowboys are 8-0 on the road, so everyone expects a better performance.
But, the Packers are 8-0 at home. And they have looked fantastic all season long. They’re coming off a bye week, so they should be ready. There’s concern about Aaron Rodgers playing with a calf strain. But, his leg was messed up when he torched the Lions in the last game of the regular season. The Lions have a better defence than the Cowboys.
But it’s unlikely all four favourites are going to cover, so I want to pick one underdog. The Cowboys seem like the best of the options.
The pick: Cowboys +6
The Denver Broncos are 7-point favourites at home against the Indianapolis Colts.
So, there’s a line of thinking that says the Colts beat a crappy team in the Bengals, which is going to seduce people into picking the Colts. I am one of those people! I want to pick the Colts.
But since I generally get these games wrong I will go against my gut and take the Broncos. The Broncos are rested, healthy and ready to roll. They have a great passing game a good running game. They should be trouble for the Colts.
The pick: Broncos -6
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