Sunday, December 30, 2012

I Ching NFL Picks: Week 17

Read the introduction to my Week One Picks for more information on what the I Ching is, how it works and how I use it:
My picks in bold. Lines taken from ESPN Pigskin Pick’em Game
Sunday, December 30th, 2012
1:00 PM EST
Buccaneers @ Falcons -3.5
Hexagram 32: Duration
The Falcons have showed great resilience in each game and over the course of the season. Meanwhile, their division mates have folded in the second half after a promising run.
Jets @ Bills -3.5
Hexagram 11: Peace
Jets are one game ahead of Buffalo, but I think the Bills are the better team, especially when they’re playing at home.
Ravens @ Bengals -2.5
Hexagram 62: Emphasis on the Small
Neither team has much of anything to play for, but I think the Bengals will want to put out a strong effort going into the playoffs.
Bears @ Lions +3.5
Hexagram 36: Darkening
In losing five out of their last seven, the bright outlook of the Bears’ season has quickly faded to black. The Lions have the talent to be the ultimate spoiler team.
Jaguars @ Titans -4.5
Hexagram 5: Need
Both of these teams have plenty of dire needs, but I was impressed by the performance of the Jaguars defense against New England last week. Coupled with Jake Locker’s struggles, I like Jacksonville to end on a high note.
Texans @ Colts +3.5
Hexagram 35: Progress
Beating the Colts in Indy will be a first for Houston, and they need to get it done to lock up a first round bye. This is just another step for them toward the NFL elite.
Panthers @ Saints -4.5
Hexagram 17: Following
Cam Newton has produced some memorable plays, but Carolina’s improved play in the second half is largely due to their defense. If their offense can keep pace with Brees and crew, their superior defense will give them the slight edge.
Eagles @ Giants -7.5
Hexagram 24: Turning Point
The way they have played lately, the Giants don’t deserve to be favored by a touchdown plus against anyone. This is even true against Philly, who gets Mike Vick back and have looked better in recent weeks.
Browns @ Steelers -6.5
Hexagram 2: The Receptive
The Steelers are old, banged up and eliminated from the postseason. The Browns have played tough and been pesky opponents all year despite never really having a shot at the playoffs. I think they will have one more unlikely good effort in Pittsburgh.
4:25 PM EST
Chiefs @ Broncos -15.5
Hexagram 37: The Family
Always take the Chiefs when they are huge underdogs. They usually make it interesting.
Packers @ Vikings +3.5
Hexagram 49: Revolution
With the playoffs in sight and hosting a division rival at home, I like Adrian Peterson and the Vikings to make the folks in Green Bay a little nervous about the future of the NFC North.
Dolphins @ Patriots -10.5
Hexagram 53: Gradual Progress
The Patriots will round into form just in time for when the games start to matter, just as they always manage to do. I think a tune up at home against Miami is just the start.
Raiders @ Chargers -4.5
Hexagram 59: Dispersal
This Oakland team, just like many of the previous editions, will be scattered to the wind in the off season and they will begin to rebuild. The Bolts need an overhaul as well, but have much more talent in place to be successful in the near future.
Cardinals @ 49ers -14.5
Hexagram 33: Retreat
San Francisco can sew up their division with a win here. I think they will do exactly that. A new face is in at quarterback for the Cardinals, but against the Niners’ d, I expect the results to be similar.
Rams @ Seahawks -10.5
Hexagram 29: Abysmal
Seattle is perfect at home and coming off their best game to date. The Rams have been better than expected too and will play hard, but I can’t imagine the Seahawks not finishing their home slate undefeated given the advantage they have their and their recent form.
8:20 PM EST
Cowboys @ Redskins -3.5
Hexagram 6: Conflict
The Redskins face their biggest rival, with the highest stakes possible at this time. Ultimately, after watching almost a full season of Robert Griffin III and the energy and chemistry he has infected this team with, I don’t expect for him to come up short in the biggest game yet in his young career.

Last Week: 13-3
Season: 131-108

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