GLS Picks: Week 16

GLS has the Seahawks beating the Niners in one of five upsets this week.

Would ya look at that — we’re winning again! So was last week a fluke or the beginning of another late-season run of success? In defense of the latter, we got off to one hell of a start to Week 16 with a correct prediction that the Colts would upset the Texans last night. Let’s see if we can keep it rolling over the holiday weekend.

Before you delve into our picks, click play below to listen to what Cam Stewart and his genius cohorts have to say in their Week 16 preview:

Here’s how things have been going for us…

Last week: 12-4 (11-4-1 against the spread)
2011 season: 144-80 (105-102-17 against the spread)
2010 season: 155-101 (117-119-20 against the spread)
2009 season: 175-81 (122-101-33 against the spread)
2008 season: 161-94-1 (114-112-30 against the spread)
2007 season: 174-82 (118-105-33 against the spread)

And for whatever reason, we’re heavy on the upsets this week…

HIGH CONFIDENCE

The Dolphins have been outscored 65-24 in their last two games at Gillette Stadium. Part of that has to do with how strong the Pats are both at home and in the month of December. Miami’s hot right now, but New England is 42-7 at home in the month of December in the Bill Belichick era. All that said, did you see what Denver did to the Pats defense in the first quarter last week? If not for a few big mistakes, that was probably a Denver victory. Reggie Bush is red hot and the Dolphins defense has really stepped it up in the second half of the season — enough so that they should keep it close in Foxboro. Patriots 27, Dolphins 20

This is not a situation in which Baltimore lays an egg. Sorry, Browns fans. You have one of the worst teams in the league, despite the four lucky victories. Making matters worse, the Ravens will be motivated to bounce back after a rough outing in San Diego. Baltimore has won 12 straight following losses. At home, there’s no way they slip up against the terrible Browns. Ravens 31, Browns 7

The Bills don’t have the personnel on defense to control Tim Tebow and Willis McGahee. McGahee should have a huge day, just as Reggie Bush did against Buffalo last week. Plus, the Bills can’t get to the quarterback, so Tebow should have an opportunity to make plays through the air. Buffalo has averaged just 14.3 points in its last seven games, and I see no reason why they’ll be any better than that against a scary Denver defense. Broncos 24, Bills 14 

I don’t care who’s at quarterback for the Steelers, they’re going to hammer the Rams. Take advantage of a point spread that might drop under 14, because I can’t see the Rams scoring much, if at all, and even a Charlie Batch-led Pittsburgh offense is good enough to score a couple touchdowns and set up a few field goals against a depleted St. Louis secondary. Steelers 21, Rams 6

MEDIUM CONFIDENCE

The Lions have given up at least 27 points in six straight games, and now that banged-up defense runs into the hottest offense in the league. Of late, Detroit has looked like a so-so team, while the Chargers have looked like a Super Bowl contender. I want to take the Bolts in semi-blowout fashion, but I still think the Lions rack up enough points in an important home game, and I’m a bit worried about Vincent Jackson’s status for San Diego. Chargers 30, Lions 28

That might be it for the Raiders. Three straight losses now after a complete collapse at home against Detroit. Too many injuries, no momentum, and now on the road to play a Chiefs team with all the momentum in the world after beating the perfect Packers. Kansas City’s defense has been superb against the pass, and the Raiders are still without Darren McFadden and Jacoby Ford. With Kyle Orton at quarterback, the Chiefs might simply be the better team. At Arrowhead, I don’t have much of a doubt. Chiefs 23, Raiders 17

The Bucs might be the worst team in football, and Carolina is coming off its biggest win of the season. I mean, Tampa doesn’t even appear to be trying, while the Panthers have won three out of four and are trying to send a message as the 2011 season winds down. Even if Cam Newton struggles (always a possibility with a rookie quarterback, especially in December), Carolina has been making an effort to run more often of late, so expect DeAngelo Williams and/or Jonathan Stewart to have a big day against one of the league’s worst run defenses. LeGarrette Blount might be able to do enough against Carolina’s weak front seven to keep things respectable, but I can’t see Tampa keeping it close enough to have a chance. Panthers 27, Buccaneers 14

The Bears might be down to Josh McCown at quarterback and Kahlil Bell at running back. No way they win in Green Bay under those circumstances. It’s hard to tell if last week’s result will help or hurt the Packers. They could take it easy Saturday, but they still haven’t locked up the NFC’s top seed and might want to come back firing after the debacle in Kansas City. Still, Chicago’s defense should be able to keep it quasi-competitive against an offense that has been hit hard by injuries in recent weeks. A 12-point spread might be a little too high. Packers 24, Bears 16

The Saints are arguably the hottest team in the league. But the Falcons have always played them well in New Orleans (or for that matter, anywhere). But this year, the Saints have been just too good at home (winning by an average of 22 points per game at the Superdome), and with Atlanta probably locked into a wild-card spot and the Saints fighting for a first-round bye, New Orleans probably has more to play for. I expect another close game, especially if the Falcons get top corner Brent Grimes back, but I can’t see Atlanta pulling off the upset this time. Saints 31, Falcons 27

LOW CONFIDENCE

Watch out for the Seahawks. San Francisco is coming off an extra short week after what some will call an “emotional” victory against Pittsburgh. With the Seahawks still alive in the playoff race and at home, this is dangerous. Seattle’s defense isn’t quite as good as Pittsburgh’s, but they should still be able to limit Frank Gore — and Alex Smith is limited naturally. Plus, the Seahawks probably won’t turn the ball over like Pittsburgh did Monday night — Tarvaris Jackson and Marshawn Lynch have been very careful of late. I don’t expect either offense to do much at all, but I’m surprised that the Seahawks (who have won three straight and five out of six) are an underdog at home against a clearly flawed Niners team that has lost two of three. Seahawks 13, 49ers 10

Both the Bengals and Cardinals are desperate. They’re trying to stay alive in the playoff race. But right now, the Cards have all the momentum. The defense has flown under the radar, and should be able to limit an injured A.J. Green, especially with Andy Dalton hitting a wall of late. Arizona will also be starting John Skelton, who they keep winning with. With Skelton playing relatively well and Leon Hall out for the Bengals, who in Cincinnati’s secondary will be able to keep Larry Fitzgerald at bay? Cincy has lost four of six, with their only wins coming against four-win Cleveland and two-win St. Louis. The Cards have won six out of seven, and right now they’re healthier and have more playmakers. Cardinals 23, Bengals 20

I can’t see Tennessee pulling away against the Jaguars. I realize that Jacksonville has been murdered in two of its last three games, but the Titans don’t match up particularly well with the Jags. Matt Hasselbeck, who Mike Munchak continues to stubbornly start, is less than 100 percent and struggling, and I don’t like Chris Johnson’s chances against an underrated Jacksonville run defense. Plus, the Titans have proven to be beatable on the ground, so Maurice Jones-Drew could be in for a big day. I don’t have a strong feeling about who wins this game, but I don’t think Tennessee is covering a 7.5-point spread. I’ll take the home team by a field goal. Titans 20, Jaguars 17

CLUELESS

Have fun trying to pick any game involving an NFC East team this week. Eagles-Cowboys? Redskins-Vikings? Giants-Jets? Does anyone have a strong feeling in any of these games? At what will essentially be a neutral site, I’m taking the healthier Jets at MetLife. The Jets match up well with the Giants, and while both teams are coming off terrible performances, I get the feeling Gang Green’s bad outing in Philly was more of a one-week fluke, while the G-men struggling against Washington was indicative of a team that just doesn’t have it in them. Remember, if not for a somewhat lucky comeback in Dallas, the Giants would be on a six-game losing streak right now. Jets 27, Giants 20

The Redskins could be shorthanded against Minnesota. Roy Helu is questionable, which is a concern because he’s been the best offensive player on that team down the stretch. These teams are actually quite similar: they turn it over a lot, they struggle to force turnovers and they get a lot of sacks. Neither quarterback is trustworthy, and while I’d take Rex Grossman over Christian Ponder, I’d take Adrian Peterson over whoever starts for at running back for the ‘Skins. Washington’s been much better of late, and so I’ll stick with them in a close game at home. Redskins 23, Vikings 20

The Cowboys might not have Felix Jones, which means they might have to throw a lot with Sammy Morris in the backfield. Against an Eagles defense that has been getting better each week, that’s daunting. Philadelphia has dominated quality teams the last two weeks, while Dallas has failed to do so against the likes of Washington, Miami, Arizona and the Giants. I don’t trust either team here, but I’ll take Andy Reid’s Eagles in December over Tony Romo’s Cowboys in December. Plus, Philly has had Dallas’ number lately. Eagles 31, Cowboys 30

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