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  • Gary Porpora



WEEK SIXTEEN = 4 – 12 WEEKLY OVERALL = 117 – 117 - 6

0/U = 3 – 2 O/U CUMULATIVE 57 – 51 – 1 = .527

SPECIALS 1 – 3 SPECIALS CUMULATIVE 34 – 29 – 1 = .540






Buffalo Bills (-1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals 49.5 [O] GW

I believe one these two clubs will be playing February football and this may be a preview of the AFC Championship game.

Any of the thirty other NFL teams would take either Joe Burrow or Josh Allen in a blink; they are in the top three in the game—and this contest has barn burner written all over it.

Joe Burrow has been to the mountain top—that advantage is significant. It wouldn’t surprise me if he out-dueled Josh Allen and the Bengals made another run for a Lombardi.

However, a quick look at the matchup stats, says Buffalo, is the clearly better team:

· In nearly every offensive category, the Bills are a legit top four squad—leading the league on 3rd down success and yards per rush.

· Allen and Burrows stats are eerily close. Burrow has a better completion percentage—2nd in the league--and throws fewer picks…

· The Bills allow fewer sacks, and Cincy is only 29th in Sack pct. Allen, should have more time to throw than Burrow…

· Buffalo leads the league in yards per rush and is 7th in YPP

· Cincy is 28th in YPR and12th in YPP

· The Bills field a superior defense and are 4th in taking the ball away—but 30th in giveaways/game.

· BUT, Cincy has the most speed at wide receiver—and that could be all they need.

We think this is Allen’s and the Bills game to lose; we’ll lay the point and call the Over as one of our premium plays.

Bills 38

Bengals 33

LOCK OF THE WEEK 5 – 10 – 1

Indianapolis Colts (+3) vs. New York Giants 40.5 LW [U]

As you can discern from my record of handicapping this Special, I have no idea what the fack I’m talking about.

I do know this; Jeff Saturday has no more business being a head football coach than I do of being an auctioneer.

If the New York Giants, who haven’t tasted any post-season elixir since 2016, and who are Daniel Jonesing for a playoff birth, can’t soundly thrash an Indy squad pock-marked with injuries to their premiere running back, bewildering ownership decisions, and Nick Foles—the NFL’s greatest living mirage—then the G-Men should just not show up and start preparing for the 2023 draft.

Add to that stew of stink, the Giants hosting a dome team in cold weather; Indianapolis being without it’s best talent on the defensive line, at linebacker, in the secondary…

Did I mention Nick Foles? Play the Under...

Giants 23

Colts 17


Dolphins (-2.5) vs. New England Patriots 41.5 US [U]

Last week we did an historical analysis of Bill Belichick’s record after a loss, and as an Underdog. Top three in the NFL’s on both counts. The Pats promptly went out and failed to Cover, albeit by one point, against a superior Bengals squad vying for their second straight trip to the Super Bowl.

This week their opponents are the division rival Dolphins with franchise QB, Tua Tagovailoa, dealing with increasingly worrisome concussion issues.

We respect Teddy Bridgewater’s history and talent as a back-up QB but that was when his prior teams—Minnesota and New Orleans--were able to run the ball. This Miami group rushes for barely 95 YPG, averaging only 22 rushes a game. Cheating aside, whenever Belichick faces a one-dimensional team, he’s going to take away its best weapon.

Don’t get me wrong. Miami’s passing dimension has served them well all year—and teams have had trouble figuring out if Jalen Waddle or Tyreek Hill is the Dolphin’s best weapon.

But the Dolphin defense has regressed; they’ve lost four straight, giving up 29 PPG during that span. The saving grace is all four losses were to quality teams—three have already clinched a post-season berth. They lost last week at home to the desperate Packers,

The Fish did spank New England 20-7, but that was in week one; football teams evolve. We just don’t know if either of these two clubs can evolve into a playoff force. The Patriots have lost four of their last five and QB, Matt Jones, just hasn’t upped his game since he was drafted out of Alabama last year.

We think Bridgewater is a level down from Joe Burrow and the top five New England defense will keep the game close.

We’ll still hope Belichick loses, barely Under the Number.

Miami 21

Patriots 19


Pittsburgh Steelers (+3.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens 34 O/U

Since Mike Tomlin took over for Bill Cowher in 2007 no team performs better as an Underdog than the Pittsburgh Steelers.

· ATS Pittsburgh wins at a .625 clip…

· SU the Steelers winning percentage, (WP), drops to .482—both marks set the league standard

· As ATS Road Dogs, Pittsburgh’s WP = .583 (6TH)

· As SU Road Dogs = .452 (1ST)

Since John Harbaugh took over for Brian Billick in 2008:

· Only NE, (.757)—cheating duly noted—and GB, (.738) best Baltimore’s winning percentage as Favorites…

· and as Home Favorites

In Division Games:

· Only NE, (.729)—cheating again duly noted—and GB, (.692), top Pittsburgh at .674

· Baltimore cracks the top ten at .567

Of this rivalry’s 32 matchups since 2008:

· The Black and Gold is 17-15 head to head with the Magpies

· Only six have been decided by 10 or more points…

· 21 have been decided by five, (5), or less points

· 16 have been decided by a field goal or less…

Over/Under/Push = 16/14/2

In any 15 year span of any team sport, you would be hard pressed to find a closer, more fiercely contested rivalry than the current incarnation of Steelers/Ravens.

2022 has seen the Steelers moving on from HOFer, QB Ben Roethlisberger, and seemingly settling on rookie, Kenny Pickett, as his successor.

Baltimore has been slammed with injuries to key players, including to lightning fast Lamar Jackson, who has redefined the QB position.

Both defenses and offensive lines have been rebuilt on the fly.

Cincinnati’s resurgence and the Browns landing DeShaun Watson just about guarantee the AFC North will continue to be one of the most competitive divisions in league history.

Tonight’s matchup will prove most of the above to be true.

The Steelers defense has clawed its way back to an elite level; Tyler Huntley has proven to be a solid back up to Jackson. The Special teams edge will always favor Harbaugh’s Crows, but, this year, Pittsburgh has also made a mark in that phase of the game.

Flip a coin. I’m from Pittsburgh—guess who I’m picking…

Correct—and the Over…

Steelers 22

Ravens 17

As usual, my picks are below in bold italic with Specials and Totals annotated:

NFL Week 17 point spreads

Dallas Cowboys (-14) vs. Tennessee Titans 42 [O]

Arizona Cardinals (+3.5) vs. Atlanta Falcons 40

Chicago Bears (+6) vs. Detroit Lions 52

Jacksonville Jaguars (-4) vs. Houston Texans 43.5

Denver Broncos (+13) vs. Kansas City Chiefs 43.5

Miami Dolphins (-2.5) vs. New England Patriots 41.5 US [U]

Indianapolis Colts (+3) vs. New York Giants 40.5 LW [U]

New Orleans Saints (+5.5) vs. Philadelphia Eagles 43.5

Carolina Panthers (+4) vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 40

Cleveland Browns (+2.5) vs. Washington Commanders 39.5

San Francisco 49ers (-6) vs. Las Vegas Raiders 45

New York Jets (-1.5) vs. Seattle Seahawks 43

Minnesota Vikings (+3.5) vs. Green Bay Packers 47

Los Angeles Rams (+6.5) vs. Los Angeles Chargers 41

Pittsburgh Steelers (+3.5) vs. Baltimore Ravens 34 O/U

Buffalo Bills (-1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals 49.5 [O] GW

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