Welcome to another edition of DICK PICKS: The only online NFL gambling column that could make H.P. Lovecraft himself shake with fear if he weren’t dead like some chump.
Only three weeks remain before we can tell 20 shitty teams to fuck off while watching 12 slightly less shitty teams struggle to drag themselves to a giant stadium named after jeans for a chance to be handed the sport’s greatest prize by a big red clown in his daddy’s suit.
Pretty much every playoff spot is locked up, with the exception of the two divisions that nobody wants to win, and the last wildcard in the AFC, which nobody wanted to win until like two weeks ago. Two lucky teams will get to be road favorites at Houston/Indy/Jacksonville or NY/Washington/Philly and fall into the unenviable position of either trying to win on the road in the playoffs or getting laughed at for not winning on the road in the playoffs. Keep in mind that the league’s last four embarrassments to win their division and host a playoff game at 8-8 or worse WON THEIR FIRST PLAYOFF GAME. People use this as an argument for why we should keep letting these teams host a game. “They proved it when it mattered most!” the idiots (mostly NFL owners and fans of bad Panthers/Seahawks/Chargers/Tim Tebow teams) will say. They won’t tell you that not a single one of those teams hung within ten points of a decent team in the next round.
A home playoff game is a goddamned luxury because winning on the road in the playoffs is FUCKING HARD. Tom Brady is 3-3 on the road in the playoffs. Aaron Rodgers is 3-3. Peyton Manning is 2-5. Joe Montana is 2-5. Brett Favre is 3-7. And to prove the rule, Eli Manning is 5-1 in road playoff games because he is a backwards simpleton who exists in a bizarre opposite world that nobody understands. Eli could get killed by a Great White in a freshwater lake, but if he wandered blindly into oncoming traffic the Brinks truck that was about to hit him would swerve and crash and its doors would fly open and a sack of money would land in his flabby idiot arms. I feel like if you offered Eli Manning the Lombardi Trophy or a bag of marshmallows it would take his dad and both of his brothers to restrain him from grabbing the Marshmallows.
So once again, at least one undeserving team is going to beat a better team in the playoffs because they got to sleep in their own beds and play on their own field and get a speech from Ray Lewis in their own locker room and the idiots will say “That’s why winning the division matters!” And they’ll all pat each other on the backs for a week before that team gets fucking rolled elsewhere. ON TO THE PICKS! Last week’s picks went 10-6. As always, home team is in caps.
LOUIS -2.5 vs. Tampa Bay
Next year they are going to stream Thursday Night Football ON THE INTERNET! That means you can not only watch garbage, mistake-filled, faux-football from your own home, but it means this terrible product will also be subject to all of the problems of an overburdened website! It’s like they took your least favorite child, and they filled it with bees!
NY Jets -3 vs. DALLAS
The Jets have already gone on record as saying they want to bring Ryan Fitzpatrick back next year and the saddest fucking thing about that is the Cowboys are wishing they had picked up a guy like Fitzpatrick in the offseason. That could be the NFL’s new internet-savvy tagline: The NFL: Where even Ryan Fitzpatrick is bae.
Chicago +5.5 vs. MINNESOTA
I have a lot of friends who are Vikings fans, and the “We control our own destiny” talk started up this week. If I know anything about Minnesota sports (AND UNFORTUNATELY I DO) it’s that the Vikings will give all that talk a swift kick in the asshole this week. See, winning their next two and losing to the Packers won’t be painful enough. These fans need two weeks of drastic swings between “hopeful” and “bitter” before losing to the Packers is enough to really hurt them, which is all the Vikings have ever wanted to do.
JACKSONVILLE -3 vs. Atlanta
What is this the Dick-fil-A Bowl? Thank you, thank you. Hold your applause. There’s more.
INDIANAPOLIS vs. Houston OFF
Even Vegas doesn’t want any part of this game. The starting quarterbacks might be TJ Yates and Charlie Whitehurst. If you told me these two were starting against each other in a Clemson vs. UNC alumni football game I would assume Ronald Curry and Tajh Boyd were busy.
Kansas City -7 vs. BALTIMORE
KC has the easiest path to the playoffs out of the potential AFC wild card teams, so they are the prime candidate to blow their spot and let Pittsburgh sneak in to steamroll the rest of the AFC. Not this week though. This week Andy Reid is going to gorge himself on crab legs to the point where all he can mutter from under his shell-encrusted mustache is “crab… crab… crab” at which point Alex Smith will crab-walk through the Ravens’ dollar-store defense into the end zone. This will prompt Jim Harbaugh to throw a fit and petition the NFL to put in a rule where the ball carrier always has to move forward, like a human, and not sideways like an untrustworthy crustacean. “HOW ARE MY GUYS SUPPOSED TO KNOW WHICH DIRECTION HE’S GOING IN WHEN HE ISN’T FACING THAT DIRECTION??? YOU EVER SEE A CRAB WALK??? I STOOD FROZEN IN FEAR FOR HOURS THINKING A CRAB WAS COMING STRAIGHT AT ME UNTIL I REALIZED HE WAS THREE MILES AWAY!!!” Jesus what the fuck is wrong with me?
WASHINGTON +1 vs. Buffalo
Hahahahahahahahaha a division “leader” is getting points at home against a third-place team from a weak division. I’m sure the Make Your Own Dildos would use this as bulletin board material if Dan Snyder hadn’t banned bulletin boards from the facilities and replaced them with those weird red digital tickers that just say “EVERYTHING IS GREAT. WE ARE ALL DOING GREAT. IT IS THEY WHO ARE WRONG.”
NEW ENGLAND -14 vs. Tennessee
Everyone is mad because Tom Brady won’t come out and call Donald Trump a cocksucker in a press conference, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Brady has been sheltered so long that he doesn’t even know who the current president is. Or what a Muslim is. Or that the current president is a Muslim.
Arizona -3 vs. PHILADELPHIA
Carson Palmer has made some sort of deal with the devil to stay healthy and deliver an impossibly great season. I approve. I think more athletes should make deals with the devil. I hope the Achilles tendon they used to repair his knee came from a convicted murderer and he wakes up at night sweaty and covered in blood, wondering where he has been and what he has done. That would make a pretty good X-Files episode.
NY Giants +5 vs. CAROLINA
Here it is, the only chance Carolina will have of losing a game this season. I don’t think it happens, but I think the Giants play them well enough to make everybody believe it’s going to happen until they get the ball on the 1, down 3 points, with 9 seconds left, and Eli takes a sack because usually when he’s watching a clock run down it means he’s going to get some pizza rolls and he wants his pizza rolls NOW.
SEATTLE -14.5 vs. Cleveland
Well this is just cruel.
Green Bay -3 vs. OAKLAND
It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Derek Carr, and it’s kind of remarkable to watch him, Blake Bortles, Marcus Mariota, and Jameis Winston all try to convince us they’re good quarterbacks when we know that at most one of them is actually good and the rest are garbage-time superstars. It’s like being put in a room with four delicious burritos and being told that three of the burritos have e. coli, and the fourth burrito might have e. coli because maybe the guy that made them touched the non-e. coli burrito last with his e. coli fingers, BUT there’s still a good chance one doesn’t have e. coli and hey maybe you won’t even get sick from any of them! This sounds a little risky until you realize all other available food sources (quarterbacks) are unwrapped Saltines lying on the floor of a men’s room. Did I mention that up to four of those Saltines could be in the playoffs this year?
Miami +2 vs. SAN DIEGO
I just did the jerk-off motion for so long that Philip Rivers is going to spend the next 90 days praying for my soul so he won’t really be able to focus on football.
PITTSBURGH -6.5 vs. Denver
The AFC is so bad this year that a team currently outside the playoffs with three weeks to go is my hands down favorite to win the conference. Vegas has them second in the AFC behind the Patriots, but if they secure a playoff spot I think that turns to a 50/50 proposition. Remember when I spent all that time complaining about the Texans or Colts or (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA) Jaguars hosting a playoff game? If the Steelers get left out this year I will personally deliver a box of dildos to Roger Goodell’s house (he loves dildos. He likes to think of them as alien dicks and then he watches Mars Attacks and goes to town.)
SAN FRANCISCO +4.5 vs. Cincinnati
If I were Jim Tomsula I would show up to this game drunk and in a kilt and just flash my pecker at A.J. McCarron like it was Braveheart. Is that a foolproof plan to win the game? No. But Braveheart didn’t win because he knew the outcome beforehand. He just had faith in his strategy and then his pecker did the rest.
NEW ORLEANS -3 vs. Detroit
NOTE TO DETROIT: If your city is going to be very dirty and dangerous, make it someplace warm and let people drink outside.
LAST WEEK: 10-6 * two dogs go to grab one of my sun-bleached femurs at the same time and they fall in love*
SEASON TOTAL: 94-107-7