Football · Sports

Flamin’ Four – Week 12

Last week was a tough week for my picks ATS (against the spread), but I’m feeling great about my picks this week. After going 2-2 last and 5-3 for the year, I’ve learned a few more things: the Titans need to address their defensive backfield quickly, Carson Palmer’s age is starting to show in his play, and Tampa Bay continues to open my eyes,  I’m excited to see how they against play Seattle.

Also, I want to clarify one thing before getting to my picks. Each week I try to guess the score of the games I pick, which is solely for fun and has no effect on if my pick wins or not. For example, Week 10 I guessed that New England would beat Seattle (28-21), but I picked Seattle ATS at (+7.5) and since Seattle won the game my pick won even if I guessed the wrong score and team to win.

If this is your first time reading the Flamin’ Four and have no idea what this about or what I just talked about, it’s okay I explain everything after my picks. I didn’t want to bore my weekly readers with lengthy explanations, so let’s get straight to the picks.

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-4)

Cincinnati is in a world of hurt this week after losing AJ Green and Giovani Bernard to injury and having to face one of the best defenses in the NFL. Baltimore is aware of how tight the AFC North race is and how big this week’s game is in the race and will pull off a convincing win.

Baltimore (24-17)

Carolina Panthers at Oakland Raiders (-3)

I know I know, I’m breaking my rule and picking a Carolina game. However, Oakland is only having to cover 3 points and that’s too juicy to pass up. Carolina is the 3rd worst team in NFL ATS and Oakland is the 4th best team ATS. With that being said, Carolina has to travel out west without their leaders Luke Kuechly and Ryan Kalil and a struggling running game. This game will be a good one to watch although Oakland will pull away with it at the end.

Oakland (30-23)

Los Angeles Rams (+7) at New Orleans Saints

Los Angeles might be the best, worst team this season. Their offense is hard to watch, although their defense is spectacular. However, Jared Goff looked good in his first start and should have a great game versus a bad Saints defense. The Saints are 1-4 this year ATS when they are favored and Los Angeles has only played in 2 games this season decided by more than a touchdown. This is my easiest pick of the week.

New Orleans (20-17)

Washington Redskins at Dallas Cowboys (-6)

I had to be festive and pick at least one Thanksgiving game. Dallas is looking more and more impressive each week and I expect that to continue on Thanksgiving. Dallas is the best team ATS at 9-1 and with the line at 6 and a touchdown victory covering the spread this is another easy pick. In addition a Thanksgiving fun fact is that Dallas is 8-8 in the 21st century on Thanksgiving and has never lost 3 in a row (They have lost the past 2 years).

Dallas (35-28)

All my betting lines are from VegasInsider.com under the VI Consensus column, which is the most frequent betting line among Las Vegas and Online sportsbooks.

Point spreads can be difficult to interpret, especially if you are not familiar with sports betting world. Therefore, let me explain how to read them in an easy way before I get into my picks. In every game there is one team that is favored and the other is the underdog. The favored team has (-#) next to their name and the underdog has (+#) next to their name. Here is an example to put it all together:

Houston Texans (-7) at Tennessee Titans (+7)

The Houston Texans have been set as seven-point favorites over the Tennessee Titans. That means, for the Texans to cover this spread, they will need to win the game by at least eight points to win a bet placed on them. On the other side, the Titans are receiving seven points. They can either lose the game by six points or less or win outright and win a bet placed on them. All the games I choose will be in this format; however there are games where neither team is the favorite or underdog, but I don’t want to complicate things and confuse you all so let’s get to the picks.

Also, I want my blog to stay connected with my readers, therefore I encourage you to comment below and share your thoughts and feelings on this topic, whether you agree or disagree. To me, it’s not about being right it’s about understanding and analyzing all perspectives. Provide a comment below or email me (hartshornthomas@gmail.com) about any sports topics you would like for me write about in the future.

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