With my bankroll imploding and my mind on more important things (namely the loss of a close friend), I’ve decided to let my picks speak for themselves this week. Which, in itself, is scary enough. We’ll be back with another podcast to kick off the playoffs next week.

Lately, I’ve been getting calls from friends and relatives I lost contact with years ago. They chat me up with small talk about the weather, what I’m doing these days, whether I’m still depressed…you know, small talk.

Then, casually, they ask who I like this week. And I know why. I have become a Negative Indicator, that fungal disgrace I have always dreaded.

And, playing the role for its greatest effect, I respond by not just passing, as I should, but by actually betting more games. Yes, I know better, but I lack the incentive to edit. My picks are wilting before me and I have declined heroic efforts to save them.

So here, without much explanation, are the picks. Some of these lines are better or worse for me than they were when I emailed them to my podcast comrades and disclosed them on Bob Sansevere’s podcast on Friday. I doubt it will matter.

“Top” pick

KC-Oakland over 52 1/2. Both teams are trying, KC’s offense, while compromised, is still scary, just as its defense has more holes than that Christmas sweater I purchased five years ago.

The pick: I’m looking at Chiefs 40, Raiders 28 — Over for $70.

Now a desperation parlay

The pick: Baltimore minus-5 1/2 and under 41 — wagering $20 to make $52. Ravens 23, Browns 12.

The pick: Jets plus-13 1/2 for $30. Because despite my admiration of Belichick, I’m just not that into him. Call it Patriots 26, Jets 20.

The pick: Houston minus-7 vs. Jacksonville for $30.  DeShaun Watson is finally healthy after declining to take on 280-pound lineman for three months. Not that it matters, but I’ll say Texans 27, Jaguars 10.

Bonus pick: And, just for a lark, a future bet on Baltimore to win the Super Bowl: risking $20 to make $400. This will give me something to root for after I tap out.

And, despite all odds, happy New Year and play it safe.


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