Dubs' Pigskin Picks & Rams Preview - Week 16

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Two weeks left in the regular season! The NFL season sure goes by fast. The Rams face a resurgent Tampa Bay team this weekend, and conclude their schedule with a visit to Seattle. Finishing 8-8 would give the Rams something to build on for next season. Can Dubs' stay ahead of the experts in the weekly picks race?

Week 15 is now in the history books. The Rams are coming off a resounding thumping of the New Orleans Saints last weekend. This weekend they host a Tampa Bay team that - after beginning the season 0-8 - has come on to win 4 of their last 6 games. This game will be a tough match up for the Rams, but a game that's eminently winnable. The remaining 2 games on the Rams' schedule are important for this young team. Every play and minute on the football field gives these young players invaluable experience. Finishing the season on a high note will serve as a springboard to better results in 2014.

Week 15 Results

The accompanying chart presents the results of my picks for Week 15, and the season totals to-date:

Week Wins Straight Up Wins vs Spread Hot Picks vs. Spread Rams Straight Up
Last Week 8  8 8  8 2  1 0  1
Season 154  70 139  85 34  11 8  6
Percentage 68.8 62.1 75.6 57.1

How are my results faring against the 93 experts Pickwatch is tracking? (link). My .500 record last week was enough to remain in 1st place overall in the standings, 2 wins ahead of John Halpin from Fox Sports. Last week was a terrible one for picking winners, as 5 divisional leaders lost. A week of upsets, proof positive of the football adage "on any given Sunday".

The chart below identifies the top 25 in the overall standings:

Rank Expert Affiliation Wk1 Wk2 Wk3 Wk4 Wk5 Wk6 Wk7 Wk8 Wk9 Wk10 Wk11 Wk12 Wk13 Wk14 Wk15 Wins Losses Win %
1 John Halpin FOX 9 11 11 10 7 12 10 11 9 8 12 10 11 12 9 152 71 68.16%
2 Gregg Rosenthal NFL 11 13 8 11 7 14 9 10 9 8 9 10 12 11 9 151 72 67.71%
3 Prediction Machine CBS 11 13 11 9 7 12 11 11 9 6 12 5 12 14 8 151 72 67.71%
4 Ron Jaworski ESPN 11 12 12 12 11 9 9 11 7 9 9 6 12 10 10 150 73 67.26%
5 Pete O'Brien USA Today 12 11 10 9 8 10 10 11 7 8 10 8 13 13 9 149 74 66.82%
6 Accuscore Accuscore 11 11 7 9 9 10 10 11 10 9 12 6 12 13 9 149 74 66.82%
7 Steve Mariucci NFL 12 13 8 8 8 11 10 10 8 9 11 7 10 14 9 148 75 66.37%
8 Chris Brockman NFL 10 14 11 9 8 10 11 9 8 9 10 8 12 12 7 148 75 66.37%
9 Nate Davis USA Today 11 14 8 8 9 11 9 11 8 9 10 8 11 11 9 147 76 65.92%
10 K.C. Joyner ESPN 12 12 9 7 9 11 9 10 8 7 12 6 12 15 8 147 76 65.92%
11 Sam Monson ProFootballFocus 8 14 9 11 7 10 9 11 7 7 12 7 10 14 10 146 77 65.47%
12 Chris Wesseling NFL 10 9 11 8 8 11 11 11 7 6 11 8 12 13 10 146 77 65.47%
13 Don Banks Sports Illustrated 11 14 10 9 8 10 9 12 7 6 11 6 11 14 8 146 77 65.47%
14 Simon Samano USA Today 10 12 10 10 10 9 9 12 6 7 9 10 12 12 8 146 77 65.47%
15 Dave Richard CBS 10 12 8 7 9 9 12 11 7 9 9 8 12 10 12 145 78 65.02%
16 Khaled Elsayed ProFootballFocus 11 11 9 9 8 12 10 10 9 8 11 5 11 11 10 145 78 65.02%
17 Michael David Smith PFT 12 12 10 9 8 11 8 10 8 6 12 5 13 12 9 145 78 65.02%
18 Nathan Jahnke ProFootballFocus 11 13 10 8 7 10 10 11 9 5 11 6 12 14 8 145 78 65.02%
19 Andrea Hangst Bleacher Report 10 11 12 9 9 9 11 11 9 9 9 5 11 13 7 145 78 65.02%
20 Brad Gagnon Bleacher Report 12 11 11 5 8 10 11 10 6 10 9 8 12 11 10 144 79 64.57%
21 Rick Drummond ProFootballFocus 8 12 10 10 9 11 9 12 7 8 10 7 10 12 9 144 79 64.57%
22 Black Tie NFL 13 11 6 11 10 9 11 10 8 9 9 7 11 10 9 144 79 64.57%
23 Chris Law NFL 13 11 7 11 8 11 8 11 8 10 8 5 12 13 8 144 79 64.57%
24 Cris Carter ESPN 12 13 10 8 9 10 8 10 6 7 8 7 12 13 10 143 80 64.13%
25 Dave Damashek NFL 9 11 7 9 9 11 10 10 10 10 7 7 11 13 9 143 80 64.13%

How did my "Hot Picks Versus The Spread" fare last week? Both Kansas City and San Francisco won and covered the spread. Philadelphia lost and didn't cover the spread. My record for the week: 2-1. Overall, my "hot picks" record is 34-11 for the season.

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Week 16 Picks

For reference, the accompanying chart presents the straight-up, against the spread, and over/under records for all 32 NFL teams, after Week 15:

NFL RANKINGS
Straight-Up Against The Spread Over/Under
Team Total Home Away Total Home Away Total Home Away
Arizona Cardinals 9-5-0 6-1-0 3-4-0 9-4-1 5-2-0 4-2-1 7-7-0 3-4-0 4-3-0
Atlanta Falcons 4-10-0 3-4-0 1-6-0 5-9-0 3-4-0 2-5-0 8-6-0 5-2-0 3-4-0
Baltimore Ravens 8-6-0 6-1-0 2-5-0 7-6-1 5-2-0 2-4-1 5-8-1 2-5-0 3-3-1
Buffalo Bills 5-9-0 3-4-0 2-5-0 7-7-0 5-2-0 2-5-0 8-5-1 4-3-0 4-2-1
Carolina Panthers 10-4-0 6-1-0 4-3-0 8-5-1 5-1-1 3-4-0 4-9-1 2-5-0 2-4-1
Chicago Bears 8-6-0 5-2-0 3-4-0 4-8-2 1-4-2 3-4-0 10-4-0 5-2-0 5-2-0
Cincinnati Bengals 9-5-0 6-0-0 3-5-0 8-5-1 6-0-0 2-5-1 8-6-0 4-2-0 4-4-0
Cleveland Browns 4-10-0 3-5-0 1-5-0 6-8-0 3-5-0 3-3-0 8-5-1 4-3-1 4-2-0
Dallas Cowboys 7-7-0 5-2-0 2-5-0 8-6-0 4-3-0 4-3-0 9-5-0 4-3-0 5-2-0
Denver Broncos 11-3-0 7-1-0 4-2-0 8-6-0 5-3-0 3-3-0 11-3-0 6-2-0 5-1-0
Detroit Lions 7-7-0 4-3-0 3-4-0 6-8-0 3-4-0 3-4-0 8-6-0 5-2-0 3-4-0
Green Bay Packers 7-6-1 4-2-1 3-4-0 5-9-0 3-4-0 2-5-0 7-7-0 2-5-0 5-2-0
Houston Texans 2-12-0 1-6-0 1-6-0 3-11-0 1-6-0 2-5-0 9-5-0 6-1-0 3-4-0
Indianapolis Colts 9-5-0 5-2-0 4-3-0 7-6-1 4-3-0 3-3-1 8-6-0 4-3-0 4-3-0
Jacksonville Jaguars 4-10-0 1-6-0 3-4-0 5-9-0 1-6-0 4-3-0 9-5-0 4-3-0 5-2-0
Kansas City Chiefs 11-3-0 5-2-0 6-1-0 8-6-0 2-5-0 6-1-0 6-8-0 3-4-0 3-4-0
Miami Dolphins 8-6-0 4-3-0 4-3-0 9-5-0 5-2-0 4-3-0 6-7-1 2-4-1 4-3-0
Minnesota Vikings 4-9-1 4-3-0 0-6-1 8-6-0 4-3-0 4-3-0 10-3-1 5-1-1 5-2-0
New England Patriots 10-4-0 7-0-0 3-4-0 6-8-0 5-2-0 1-6-0 7-7-0 4-3-0 3-4-0
New Orleans Saints 10-4-0 7-0-0 3-4-0 7-6-1 6-0-1 1-6-0 4-10-0 3-4-0 1-6-0
New York Giants 5-9-0 3-4-0 2-5-0 5-9-0 2-5-0 3-4-0 7-7-0 4-3-0 3-4-0
New York Jets 6-8-0 5-2-0 1-6-0 7-6-1 5-2-0 2-4-1 8-6-0 3-4-0 5-2-0
Oakland Raiders 4-10-0 3-4-0 1-6-0 8-6-0 3-4-0 5-2-0 7-6-1 2-4-1 5-2-0
Philadelphia Eagles 8-6-0 3-4-0 5-2-0 7-7-0 2-5-0 5-2-0 8-6-0 2-5-0 6-1-0
Pittsburgh Steelers 6-8-0 4-3-0 2-5-0 7-7-0 4-3-0 3-4-0 7-7-0 4-3-0 3-4-0
San Diego Chargers 7-7-0 3-3-0 4-4-0 8-5-1 4-2-0 4-3-1 6-8-0 3-3-0 3-5-0
San Francisco 49ers 10-4-0 5-2-0 5-2-0 9-4-1 4-3-0 5-1-1 6-8-0 2-5-0 4-3-0
Seattle Seahawks 12-2-0 6-0-0 6-2-0 10-4-0 4-2-0 6-2-0 6-8-0 3-3-0 3-5-0
St. Louis Rams 6-8-0 4-3-0 2-5-0 6-8-0 4-3-0 2-5-0 9-5-0 5-2-0 4-3-0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 4-10-0 3-5-0 1-5-0 6-8-0 4-4-0 2-4-0 7-7-0 5-3-0 2-4-0
Tennessee Titans 5-9-0 2-5-0 3-4-0 6-5-3 1-3-3 5-2-0 9-4-1 6-1-0 3-3-1
Washington Redskins 3-11-0 2-5-0 1-6-0 4-10-0 2-5-0 2-5-0 8-6-0 4-3-0 4-3-0

The accompanying chart presents the format - and my selections - for each game this week: home team - away team - the spread - my straight-up winner - which team covers/beats the spread - and the outcome of the game:

Home Away Spread Straight Up Vs. Spread Score
Buffalo Miami Mia 2 1/2 Miami Miami 23  20
Carolina New Orleans Car 3 Carolina Carolina 24  20
Cincinnati Minnesota Cin 7 Cincinnati Cincinnati 27  17
Houston Denver Den 10 1/2 Denver Denver 31  17
Jacksonville Tennessee Ten 5 1/2 Tennessee Tennessee 23  17
Kansas City Indianapolis KC 6 1/2 Kansas City Kansas City 27  20
NY Jets Cleveland NY 2 1/2 NY Jets NY Jets 23  20
St. Louis Tampa Bay StL 4 St. Louis St. Louis 23  17
Washington Dallas Dal 2 1/2 Dallas Dallas 23  20
Detroit NY Giants Det 9 Detroit Detroit 31  20
Seattle Arizona Sea 10 1/2 Seattle Arizona 23  17
Green Bay Pittsburgh Pick Green Bay Green Bay 21  17
San Diego Oakland SD 10 San Diego Oakland 28  20
Baltimore New England Bal 2 1/2 Baltimore Baltimore 24  20
Philadelphia Chicago Phi 3 Philadelphia Philadelphia 24  20
San Francisco Atlanta SF 13 San Francisco San Francisco 28  14

Hot Picks Versus The Spread

Denver over Houston - Denver is in a battle for home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Houston has now lost 12 straight games.

Cincinnati over Minnesota - Cincinnati needs a victory to stay one step ahead of the Baltimore Ravens, in a close battle for the NFC North divisional crown.

Miami over Buffalo - Miami is fighting for a wild card spot. They are coming off a big win against the New England Patriots, and have won three straight games.

Rams-vs-bucs_medium

Keys For The Rams Versus Tampa Bay

  • In three wins as the Rams' starting quarterback in 2013, Kellen Clemens has thrown five touchdown passes and zero interceptions to go along with a 119.3 passer rating. In four losses as the starter, Clemens has two touchdowns passes and five interceptions to go with a 60.6 passer rating.
  • Winning the turnover battle will be key for the Rams. The Rams had a positive turnover differential in all six of their victories this season.
  • Tampa Bay QB Mike Glennon has been sacked 14 times in the last 4 games. Pressuring Glennon will make the game difficult for Tampa Bay, a team that is ranked last in the NFL in total offense.
  • The Rams must get off to a fast start in Sunday's game. In each of their six victories this year, the Rams have either been tied or leading at the half.
  • Minimizing penalties will allow the Rams better field position and momentum on drives.
  • The Rams must establish the running game with Zac Stacy, against a Tampa Bay defense that ranks 15th in the NFL against the run.
  • The Rams must contain running back Bobby Rainey and wide receiver Vincent Jackson.
  • Prediction: Rams 23 - Tampa Bay 17

    20130510_gav_af5_348

    Perspective On The Rams Versus Tampa Bay

    Advanced NFL Stats takes an in-depth, statistical look at the match up between the Rams and Tampa Bay (link).

    CBS Sports' Pat Kirwan and Pete Prisco preview the game between the Rams and the Buccaneer's (link).

    ESPN's Mike Sando presents his "Inside Edge" on the Rams-Tampa Bay match up (link).

    Bleacher Report breaks down St. Louis' game plan for Sunday's game against Tampa Bay (link).

    Ramblin' Fans' prediction for Sunday's game:

    Prediction: Rams 24 Buccaneers 13

    "The Rams play well at home and the Buccaneers have not played well on the road. The Rams have been inconsistent this season, but I think Robert Quinn and the Rams defense gives Mike Glennon and the Bucs offense trouble and help get the Rams a win."

    Pro Football Focus presents its 3 keys to focus on for Sunday's game (link).

    ESPN's Nick Wagoner and Pat Yasinskas share their analysis of the Rams game vs. Tampa Bay (link).

    MATCHUP ANALYSIS
    Pat Yasinskas: Over the last six weeks, the Bucs have played well against mediocre teams while struggling against Carolina and San Francisco. I'm thinking that trend will continue and the Bucs will win this game.
    Bucs 20, Rams 14
    Nick Wagoner: The Rams have made a habit of being hard to peg from week to week and a letdown after a big win last week is certainly possible. However, I just don't see the Bucs being able to move the ball consistently enough to pull off a win against a Rams defense that seems to be coalescing.
    Rams 24, Bucs 13
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