Let’s review how Vinnie’s picks have panned out in 2009:
beat the odds in 11-of-20 (55%)
beat the odds in 18-of-33 (54.5%)
But enough about the past. Vinnie likes a handful of AFC teams favored this week, even some with seemingly not much to play for at this point.
Washington Redskins @ San Diego Chargers (-4): While
true San Diego has a golden opportunity to play maybe a half of competitive football and then rest some key starters, having locked up a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs, the Redskins are in disarray and would probably struggle against some of the teams playing in BCS bowls this week. Winners of 10 straight up to this point, Norv Turner and the Chargers will want to carry that momentum into the postseason. And hey, one good half out of the likes of Philip Rivers, LaDainian Tomlinson, Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates should be enough to crush the visiting Redskins. Vinnie has a hard time imagining Jason Campbell and company mounting much of a comeback.
Gimme the Chargers minus the points.
Tennessee Titans @ Seattle Seahawks (+4.5): Since its bye week, Tennessee has won 7-of-9 games and carries several interesting storylines into its season finale. After losing badly to the Chargers in Week 16,
there’s no chance
at a postseason bid. But Chris Johnson has a reasonable shot at 2,000 rushing yards, something he and his coach and the offensive linemen who have opened holes for him all season would love to see happen. Heck, breaking Eric Dickerson’s long-standing single season rushing record
out of the realm of possibilities. And Vince Young certainly still has something to play for, getting back into the good graces of the powers that be within the Titans organization, yet not necessarily cementing a place for himself on next year’s roster. Meanwhile the Seattle Seahawks have regressed terribly, scoring 24 points and allowing 106 points in the midst of losing three consecutive games.
Gimme the Titans minus the points.
Baltimore Ravens @ Oakland Raiders (+10): On the one hand, Oakland occasionally makes its mark in a big way, playing at home against a better opponent but coming up with the win. You just never know when this will occur, something Vinnie has learned the hard way. But in this case, Baltimore is in the fortunate position of: 1.) busting its way into the playoffs for the second year in a row, if only it can defeat the Raiders, 2.) having some of the better front seven personnel in the NFL, a proven quanity in run defense (its running backs are about all the Raiders offense usually has going for it), and 3.) facing Charlie Frye. Vinnie has little doubt the Ravens will win in a very, very lopsided game.
Gimme the Ravens minus the points.