Your NFL picks for 12/30/12

We need the 49ers to win tonight ( they will) and also hope that Green Bay slip up in Minnesota , which is also very possible, as the Vikings still hold playoff hopes of their own, that scenario would see, San Francisco clinch the number two spot in the NFC which would suit us nicely.
The general concensus is that an in form Aaron Rodgers, who is coming off a game in which he threw for 342 yards and and scored four touchdowns against the Tennessee Titans, will pick apart Minnesota’s secondary, but I am not so sure. The two met in Wisconsin earlier this month and it was close until very late, with two Morgan Burnett interceptions being key. The Vikings should have had one of their own, which would have kept them in front in the 4th quarter and the Packers had no answer to Adrian Peterson who ran for 210 yards, if they could not stop him in Green Bay in December, I suspect they are going to struggle on the fast track turf in Minnesota with Peterson having one eye on Erik Dickerson’s all time single season rushing record and a playoff spot up for grabs. I made this game a pick, so have to take the Vikings getting more than a field goal start. Peterson needs 102 yards for 2,000 in the regular season and 208 to pass Dickerson btw.
SF need a win, but they will have one eye on the post season and do not need to smash the Cardinals into the ground, lines tend to get artificially inflated at this time of year, with bettors keen to oppose the underdogs, the oddsmakers know this and that punters will side with the favourites almost irrespective of what line they put out. I made the Niners a sub two touchdown favourite and taking into account the injury to Justin Smith, the desire not to pick up any more injuries and with several others carrying knocks, to say nothing of the Cardinals hatred of  San Francisco, I have to say that the visitors getting a 16.5 point handicap start makes plenty of appeal.
They are also highlighted by several “trends”, with these plays especially popular in December. Losing teams on the road, that were underdogs in their last four games, are 60% against the spread and road underdogs in December, that were dog’s in their last two games are 63% ATS. I do not overly entertain these kind of trends usually, but they are OK if you like the team anyway, or are dithering over a play and also understand why the line is inflated.
1.25 units Vikings +3.5 points 1.877 Pinnacle Sports/ Vegas Line
1.25 units Arizona Cardinals +16.5 points 1.99 Pinnacle Sports/ Vegas Line
Another poor season for the Jets and the Bills, both can salvage at least some divisional and local bragging rights with a “meaningless” victory tonight. Jets have dominated recent meetings and won the last six by an average of 17 points, including a 48-28 win in the reverse fixture, backing New York with the 3.5 point edge would have won nine straight times h2h and I have to look for number ten tonight, with what looks a generous and hard to justify handicap start. Buffalo have lost seven of nine, including their last three and their coach and general manager are both said to be on their way out, as is the way with these things, it is always easier to sack someone after a loss, so maybe the owners might not mind a defeat so much this time round.
Jets get Mark Sanchez back as quarterback and he has a final ( ?) chance to impress, he has a 102.1 QB ranking against the Bills, his best against any team he has regularly faced and I expect him to lead his team to the win.
1.5 units New York Jets + 3.5 points 1.952 Pinnacle Sports/ Vegas Line
Huge match up in the always ultra competitive NFC East, sees the Washington Redskins host the Dallas Cowboys. The scenario is clear, if the Cowboys win they clinch the division and make the post season, lose and they will be watching the playoffs on television. The Redskins could aready have made the playoffs by the time this one starts, if Minnesota and Chicago mess up earlier in the day, that is unlikely to make them any less “up ” for this one, the two are intense rivals and the incentive to send the Cowboys back to Texas with their tail between their legs is immense.Both are in good shape, Redskins are as hot as anybody with six straight wins and Dallas have won 4 from 6. Hard to know how the Cowboys will react if they lose this, it is the third time in five season they have gone into the final game of the season in a “win and you are in” situation and they blew out each time, suffering heavy defeats to the Eagles and the Giants, for it to happen a third time and again to a big divisional rival, would be too much to bear and simply cannot be allowed to happen. At the very least they have to take this one right down to the wire.
The Cowboys remain beat up and cannot move the ball on the ground against the Skins ( 5th ranked rush defense) at least not to any great extend, but quarterback Tony Romo has been hot, hot , hot this month with a 66.4 completion percentage, 1,328 yards with 10 touchdowns and one interception , his “go to” man Dez Bryant has been on fire with 10 touchdowns in the past seven games, including nine for 224 yard sand two touchdowns against the Saints last week . Bryant also had eight catches for 145 yards and two touchdowns in the Thanksgiving game against the Redskins, the Cowboys lost that 38-31. But were terrible on the ground and will definitely pick up more yards running tonight and gave up an incredible four touchdowns in the second quarter alone, which was a Texas Massacre without a chainsaw, Robert Griffin III was 8 for 8 for 178 yards and 3 TD’s in a 15 minute Cowboy horror show which every Dallas player will be using for motivation this week. I like Dallas, they were 25 points down in the first game and nearly stole it, that will play on mind of the Redskins, the home team will feel that no lead is big enough and the Cowboys that none is insurmountable.
1.75 units Dallas cowboys to win 2.50 + ….2.59 Pinnacle Sports/ Vegas Line

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