First and foremost, allow me to apologize for not getting a blog up last weekend. I was in Buffalo and drunk about 90% of the time I was there. Can’t say enough how awesome of a city it was. $3.00 beers? Are you kidding me? There were no shortage of bars that had jukeboxes that had only the best tunes – I didn’t hear Cardi B one time my entire weekend there. We went to a Sabres game and got to see Jack Eichel play – he’s as good as advertised. It’s a shame Buffalo can’t seem to get any talent around him. Didn’t make it out to the last Bills home game of the season, but had plenty of videos to check out thanks to twitter. Would’ve liked to have made it there but it just wasn’t in the cards. Maybe next year?

THE GAMES!

Bucs at Panthers (Carolina -10)
This one’s pretty straight forward. Kind of surprised at the line, but I don’t think it matters. Carolina has everything to play for. They should win today.
Droop’s pick: Panthers

Browns at Bears (Chicago -6.5)
Could be a closer game than 6 points, but this is Cleveland’s second to last chance to avoid 0-16. Don’t think it happens this week. Sorry Cleveland.
Droop’s pick: Bears

Lions at Bengals (Detroit +4.5)
I like Detroit in this game because they’d had some extra rest and the Bengals have mailed it in in a couple of their more recent games. I like a desperate Detroit team on the road.
Droop’s pick: Lions

Dolphins at Chiefs (Chiefs -10.5)
If this season has taught me anything, it’s not to take the Chiefs when they’re double digit favorites. However, I know for a fact that if I don’t pick them today, they’ll do just that. Miami’s defense came alive against New England a few weeks ago, but I think the Chiefs will be able to successfully move the ball this week.
Droop’s pick: Chiefs

Bills at Pats (NE -13)
Another huge line in a game that I think will be closer than double digit points. The Pats are not going to be sending Gronk over the middle and risking injury to him when his health is integral to their postseason aspirations. However, this game is very important to both teams. I almost feel inclined to pick the Bills to cover, but I’m going to go with the Pats because they’re at home.
Droop’s pick: Pats

Falcons at Saints (Saints -6)
New Orleans has been one of the most fun teams to watch this year offensively behind my pick for offensive rookie of the year, Alvin Kamara. The kid is electric and going to give Atlanta some headaches today. I like New Orleans at home.
Droop’s pick: Saints

Chargers at Jets (Chargers +7)
The Jets have succeeded in playing themselves out of meaningful draft position, falling in around 10 (I think?) in the draft order now? How they play the rest of the way is irrelevant to them, but they are a feisty team and could certainly play spoiler to the remaining teams on their schedule. I don’t see that happening this weekend though.
Droop’s pick: Chargers

Rams at Titans (Rams -7)
The Rams are my lock of the day. Their balance will prove too much for Tennessee, who seem to be in free fall at the worst possible time.
Droop’s pick: Rams

Broncos at Redskins (Redskins -3.5)
Kirk Cousins has played well this year. The Denver defense? Eh. I think Washington will make enough plays to scrape out a win here.
Droop’s pick: R words

Jaguars at 49ers (Jags +4.5)
Earlier in the season (prior to the Jimmy G trade) this line probably would have been double digits. Jimmy G has shined so far in his starts with the 49ers, and has seemed to have lit a fire under the team. SF’s offensive line woes make me hesitant to take the 49ers against one of the league’s best defenses, but you know what? It’s Christmas time and I’m feeling ambitious. I’m going to take Jimmy GQ 49ers with the upset here.
Droop’s pick: 49ers

Giants at Cardinals (Cardinals -3.5)
(puking noises)
Droop’s pick: Cardinals

Seahawks at Cowboys (Cowboys -5)
Dallas is locked in and get Zeke Elliot back just in time against a team that is probably still hearing voices in their heads after getting absolutely demolished by the Rams last week.
Droop’s pick: Cowboys

Steelers at Texans (Steelers +10)
Steelers seem like the sensible pick here, but after reading that Pittsburgh is 0-3 ATS as a road favorite of 10 points or more and 3-5 since 2012 in the same situation (only wins coming against Cleveland 2x and Colts when they started Scott Tolzien) I’m not terribly sure. Pittsburgh has been known to play down to opponents, especially on the road. Nothing about the Texans offense scares me, but Pittsburgh’s defense is suspect. I’m feeling froggy and like the Texans to cover this.
Droop’s pick: Texans

Raiders at Eagles (Eagles -9)
Cover your eyes, Raiders fans.
Droop’s pick: Eagles

For more sports and other senseless commentary, follow me on twitter @Natale732
Wishing you all safe travels, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!