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Browns Browns Archive NFL Outsider - Week Twelve Picks
Written by Chris Hutchison

Chris Hutchison

ThoreauINT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

Sheila, Trevor, and Mark sit on the couch.  It's 10 minutes until game time, Steelers at Browns.  Trevor munches on some pretzel, Mark is furiously texting someone, and Sheila sips from a bottle of Jaegermeister with a sour look on her face.

Mark (reading his phone):  Ha!  What rhymes with sheep?

Trevor:  Deep.  Sleep.  Heap.  Creep.  Beep.

Sheila:  How the hell can you not think of a rhyme for sheep?

Trevor:  Don't you usually wait until the game actually starts to get all bitchy?

Sheila:  I sense impending doom.  You sure there's not another game on that we can watch?

Trevor:  We're not missing Browns-Steelers.  I want to see Mingo decapitate Piece of Shit.

Sheila:  If only I remotely felt that was what was coming...

Mark (reading his phone):  What rhymes with toothless?

Trevor:  Ruthless.  (to Sheila)  I think they win this game.  Campbell regains his form and the Defense has a huge game.

Sheila:  Regains his form?  He's Jason freakin' Campbell!  Mediocre-to-shit IS his form.

Trevor:  You do realize that if the Browns win and the Jets and Dolphins both lose - which is likely - that we could be tied for the last Wild Card spot with 5 to play and Jacksonville coming to town next week?  They finish 4-2, that's an 8-8 record, that might get it done, sneak in the playoffs, start a dynasty just like the '85 Browns.

Sheila:  OK, A, that team had a franchise QB with Kosar when they started that run in '85 and this team has jack shit and, B, I loved that team as much as anyone, but how do you call a squad that never even made it to the Super Bowl a "dynasty"?

Mark (reading his phone):  What rhymes with crotchburn?

Trevor:  Nothing.  Nothing rhymes with crotchburn.

Sheila:  Stop texting your stupid bandwagon Steelers fan co-workers.  Dumbass.

Trevor:  You gonna be like this the whole game?

Sheila:  Yep.  Until I pass out at Halftime. (she raises her bottle in salute)

Trevor:  Lovely.  Maybe you shouldn't watch.

Sheila:  I just need to stop caring.  One less thing I need to worry about in life.  As Thoreau said, "Life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify!"

Mark (finally looking up from his phone):  If he wanted to simplify, why'd he say it 3 times?

Silence.

*************

And now for the rankings, which have seen the Steelers creep out of their deep, dark hole and actually overtake the hapless Browns, 21 vs. 22.  I suppose that's why the Browns are only a 2 point home favorite this week.

Team Wins Losses Ties WP Avg_PF Avg_PA Diff Rank_PF Rank_PA Rank_Final
Seattle 10 1 0 .909 27.82 16.27 127 4 3 1
New Orleans 8 2 0 .818 28.80 18.30 105 2 5 2
Carolina 7 3 0 .700 23.80 13.50 103 15 1 3
Kansas City 9 1 0 .900 23.20 13.80 94 16 2 4
Denver 9 1 0 .900 39.80 25.50 143 1 23 5
New England 7 3 0 .700 25.40 19.90 55 8 7 6
San Francisco 6 4 0 .600 24.70 17.80 69 12 4 7
Cincinnati 7 4 0 .636 25.00 18.73 69 11 6 8
Indianapolis 7 3 0 .700 25.20 22.00 32 9 10 9
Green Bay 5 5 0 .500 25.80 23.90 19 7 18 10
Chicago 6 4 0 .600 28.20 26.70 15 3 26 11
Philadelphia 6 5 0 .545 25.09 23.64 16 10 15 12
Detroit 6 4 0 .600 26.50 25.30 12 6 22 13
Arizona 6 4 0 .600 21.40 21.20 2 22 8 14
Dallas 5 5 0 .500 27.40 25.80 16 5 25 15
San Diego 4 6 0 .400 22.80 22.20 6 17 11 16
Tennessee 4 6 0 .400 22.70 22.60 1 18 13 17
Baltimore 4 6 0 .400 20.80 21.20 -4 25 8 18
St. Louis 4 6 0 .400 22.40 23.40 -10 19 14 19
Miami 5 5 0 .500 21.30 22.50 -12 24 12 20
Pittsburgh 4 6 0 .400 21.60 24.50 -29 20 19 21
Cleveland 4 6 0 .400 19.20 23.80 -46 28 17 22
Oakland 4 6 0 .400 19.40 24.60 -52 26 20 23
Buffalo 4 7 0 .364 21.45 24.82 -37 21 21 24
N.Y. Giants 4 6 0 .400 19.20 25.60 -64 28 24 25
Washington 3 7 0 .300 24.60 31.10 -65 13 30 26
Tampa Bay 2 8 0 .200 18.70 23.70 -50 30 16 27
Minnesota 2 8 0 .200 24.00 32.00 -80 14 32 28
N.Y. Jets 5 5 0 .500 18.30 26.80 -85 31 27 29
Atlanta 2 8 0 .182 21.40 29.20 -78 22 29 30
Houston 2 8 0 .200 19.30 27.60 -83 27 28 31
Jacksonville 1 9 0 .100 12.90 31.80 -189 32 31 32

************

As for the expert picks... they say the difference between your average Joe and some guy lounging by his pool in Vegas wearing a gaudy gold medallion is 5% points - 50% winning percentage betting games for Average Joe and 55% for Moneybags Smith.

Right now, we've got 2 guys (myself and BT) running at 51.5%.  Not sure what that means, but there ya go.

Last Week:

DJC: 5-1
Me: 4.5-1.5
BT: 3-3
MO: 1-5

YTD:

BT: 34-32
Me: 34-32
MO: 29.5 - 36.5
DJC: 27-39

This week's games (lines provided by VegasInsider.com):

BYU Pick at ND
Baylor -9.5 at OK St.
ASU -2.5 at UCLA
JAX +10 at HOU
MIN +4.5 at GB
SD +5 at KC
CAR -4.5 at MIA
PIT +1.5 at CLE
CHI +1 at STL
NYJ +3.5 at BAL
TEN -1 at OAK
IND +2.5 at ARI
DAL +2.5 at NYG
DEN -2.5 at NE

BT:

OK St. +9.5 vs Baylor  – Baylor looks really good but Stillwater is not a fun place to play and 9.5 is lot of points to give.  Gimme the Cowboys.  Lock of the week.

PIT +1.5 at CLE - Rothlisberger torches the Browns.  Give the points.

STL -1 vs CHI - Would the real Rams or the real Bears please stand up?  I like the Rams at home.

BAL -3.5 vs NYJ - The Ravens are making a playoff push.  The Jets are still looking for a QB.  Ravens

NYG -2.5 vs DAL -  Dallas will find a way to lose.  G-men will cover.  

LOCK - Oklahoma State

DJC:

OK St. +9.5 vs Baylor - The dream comes to an end.

CLE -1.5 vs PIT - I miss Bernie Kosar.

STL -1 vs CHI - Josh McCown. Uh, no.

NYG -2.5 vs DAL - Eli Manning is my favorite Manning (2 rings).

DEN -2.5 at NE - DENVER. LOCK IT DOWN AND STICK IT DOWN BILL B'S THROAT.

LOCK - Denver

MO:

BYU over ND - Still hating on the Irish.

OKST +9.5 vs Baylor - I like what Baylor has been doing. I might be hedging here, but it is a tough away game. 

CHI +1 at STL - Don't ask. I'm completely confused since DJC went 5-1 last week. 

MIN +4.5 at GB - Matt Flynn to the rescue! Only a 3 point rescue.

PIT +1.5 at CLE - The best for last.  To try to possibly prove that the Browns fall into my circle of pain - Cleveland is a better team at home and their only chance to win is to pick Pittsburg as my lock.  So thy will has been done. 

LOCK - Pittsburgh

Me:

MIN +4.5 at GB - Without Rodgers, the Packers just look lost.  Don't care what scrub they put back there.

PIT +1.5 at CLE - The Steelers have a QB, the Browns do not.  The Steelers have orginazational pride that helps dig even a bad team back into a bad Wild Card race, the Browns are not there yet.  Since I think PIT wins this game outright and there are no points to cover, this one's pretty easy.

NYJ +3.5 at BAL - Since they played like shit last week, they'll inexplicably win this game.  Lock on this one.

DAL +2.5 at NYG - The Giants have beat some pretty awful QB's on their "run".  Dallas easy unless the weather takes a hand.

DEN -2.5 at NE - I think this game will be closer than many feel, but the 2.5 means the Horsies only need to win by a FG, so...

LOCK - New York Jets

 

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