Chad Ochocino and Shawne Merriman's verbal war is reaching the boiling point, Chargers have an opportunity to guarantee a playoff berth, wrap up a division title and gain the AFC's #2 seed all in one weekend, and more...
CHAD OCHOCINCO INSISTS HIS BEEF WITH MERRIMAN IS REAL
Chad Ochocino and Shawne Merriman have some how escalated a Twitter war into what could be a brawl, be it on the field or in the ring. Merriman contends that Chad Ochocino mocked his 'Lights Outs' dance the last time the Bengals and Chargers played, and Merriman took that as a sign of "disrespect."
While Merriman might outweigh Ochocino by nearly 100 lbs, Chad isn't backing down, insisting that the beef is real and not in jest:
"I will beat Shawne's head in, right now," Chad Johnson says. "It's not even fun. This is not in fun. This is personal. Bring it on. It is what it is. I think he might be one of the only people I don't really get along with. I want to fight. I'm not sure how to get the fight on without him suing me."
PLAYOFF PICTURE COMING TO FOCUS
The San Diego Chargers are looking to make their 4th consecutive playoff appearance, and it looks like they'll have the opportunity this week to keep that streak alive. With a win on Sunday, the Chargers will secure a playoff berth, and with a Denver loss to the Oakland Raiders, the Bolts will also clinch the division.
"The first goal that you have, obviously, is to win your division, which we still have some work to do to get that done," Chargers QB Philip Rivers said. "But you want to just get in. This game this weekend will allow that to happen if we go out and play well and win the game. ... We win this game and we can be assured of playing past Jan. 3."
In addition to vying for a playoff berth and an AFC West division title, the Chargers also have an opportunity to become the #2 seed in the AFC: The Chargers will have a first-round bye if they beat the Bengals, and both Denver and New England lose or tie.
ODDS AND ENDS
San Diego charging through another December
All those football handicappers who try to find some connection between warm-weather teams and cold December weather always stumble when it comes to San Diego games. No climate is more temperate and perfect than San Diego’s perfect seaside air and no team is more perfect in December than the Chargers. San Diego hosts the Bengals this week riding a 15-game December winning streak. And just in case any naysayers argue ‘Well, what about covering the spread?’ they are also 9-2 ATS in the past 11 games.
Good enough for ya? We just made our biggest bet of the season on the Chargers, who are strangely only 6.5-point favorites. They have been cruising and the Bengals have failed to cover in four straight, lost to Oakland and barely beat Cleveland and Detroit before getting wacked by the Vikings last week. Mike Pickett of OddsShark.com predicts a 51-16 score.
Thursday Night Trends
Indianapolis has struggled against the Jaguars ATS (3-7 past 10) but has been dominant on the road lately, going 10-1 SU and 9-2 ATS. So when the Colts are favored by just three points on the road, they are a tempting pick. The Jaguars have not played a tough schedule of late and are just 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS. Winner teams win, loser teams lose and Mike Pickett has the Colts winning 28-13. See the matchup report and decide for yourself.
Saturday Night NFL Trends
The other ‘perfect team’ goes Saturday and all the trends point to a Saints cover and OVER play. New Orleans has played six straight home overs in December and also is 6-0 ATS vs Dallas. The Cowboys are just 2-9 ATS past 11 December road games and are in the middle of their annual late-season swoon. This is another blowout, with the Saints winning 45-21. [ See the matchup report here ]
More Week 15 trends
Arizona is 13-3 favoring the OVER on road in December (they visit Detroit, total 47). Patriots are 7-2 ATS past 9 games at Buffalo and they have destroyed them five in a row here (they are favored by just 7) Giants are 7-1 ATS past 8 December road games and also 6-1 SU past 7 vs Washington. Jets are just 1-6 ATS past 7 December home games (they face Atlanta in a game that remains off the board). Raiders traditionally an awful road team in December, but their past two games, they won outright as double-digit dog (they are double-digit dogs in Denver). Bears struggled to 3-12 SU mark past 15 on road in December (for bad measure, they 3-11-1 ATS). Miami is 9-2 ATS past 11 December road games and they travel to Tennessee to try to stop Chris Johnson’s titanic march to 2,000 yards (if you think he can eclipse 2,000 yards, there is a +120 bet to be made here). Remember that some trends are trends and some trends are just numerical flukes with no apparent basis in logic or reality. Buyer beware...
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