The holiday parties are wrapped and a long winter weekend looms. There’s no escape this time, dread season it is. The American Atomization is in full swing on a long Christmas weekend, and should you spot someone on the street it’s probably Buddha with a meat cleaver. Everyone’s got afterlifes to get to, Jack. Just keep your cool, play it steady and don’t do anything that will require us to appear before the Supreme Court.
The good people of Toledo, my rank hometown, fought this well the past week with the advent of the Christmas Weed. It’s a good and proper thing, but decidedly puts Toledo in its place as a Small Town. That’s fine. Different strokes. Personally I was thinking of something else when I was told there was a Christmas weed.
Spirit abounds, and Vegas is full of cheer and daggers. Let’s pick games.
LA Chargers -4 vs. Baltimore
I went to the Coliseum last Sunday and I saw more Chargers jerseys than Rams jerseys, and I am genuinely confused about a great deal of things.
Dallas -7 vs. Tampa Bay
The Cowboys, I’m sorry to report dear reader, are good. But that’s just that. It’s almost heartening to watch spirits rise for the shibboleth America’s Team right before they get tarred and feathered by any number of playoff-lurking beasts. Jason Garrett will take it with a smile on his face. Some traditions need never die.
Carolina vs. Atlanta UNDER 44.5
At long last, the NFC South returns to its rightful place. The Saints may remain an aberration but the Falcons and Panthers, once both Super Bowl contenders, have been reduced to fighting in the mud and filth. Hogs should know where they go. But you see, Atlanta has a title in soccer now. Handegg is now on notice.
Minnesota -6 @ Detroit
Some people think I don’t pick Lions games, but I do. Reader, I do. Big yikes this one.
Kansas City -1.5 @ Seattle
The Los Angeles crowd are freaking out over the Rams seemingly trailing off this time of year, which should surprise no one. The LA sports scene has been made properly harsh in that long desert of crappy Lakers teams and years of mismanagement of the Dodgers. The Rams, when they were here prior, were a savage disappointment that whimpered off to Anaheim, then the Midwest. Something similar happened last year too. You’d think such terrible pessimism shouldn’t befit a team that is still one of the best, but it’s there and it’s real and honest.
But it does mean we can stop pretending “Kansas City doesn’t have a defense” is an acceptable line of questioning. Don’t argue my logic. I’m right.
Oakland +3 vs. Denver
The Raiders are talking about moving into AT&T Park in San Francisco to play football in 2019, and you have to really admire the hatred the Davis clan has shown here for their long-time roomates in O.co. The baseball Giants have long been working to shiv the Athletics from every way possible, in proper Bay Area fashion. This seems like a great betrayal by the Raiders, but they also have the bonus of keeping pace with their long-standing fetish of playing on baseball diamonds.
Pittsburgh +6.5 @ New Orleans
I’m feeling frisky now.
All the rest
Tennessee vs. Washington UNDER 37.5
San Francisco vs. Chicago UNDER 43
Cleveland vs. Cincinnati UNDER 44
Green Bay -3 @ NY Jets
Houston +1.5 @ Philadelphia
Miami -3.5 vs. Jacksonville
Indianapolis -9.5 vs. NY Giants
New England vs. Buffalo OVER 44.5
Arizona vs LA Rams OVER 44