The end of the regular season is well within sight. As we approach the holiday week, Dave Richard needs something of a Christmas miracle to pull off a win over Jake "The Snake" Roberts. They tied again in Week 15 (8-8 apiece), which doesn't help our senior fantasy writer much in his quest to close a 6-game deficit and beat the wrestling legend in NFL picks vs. the spread.
Two weeks left. That's 32 games. Realistically, it's far fewer than 32 games, since the odds are good that in each week, there will be a portion of games where Jake and Dave agree on picks. Those picks may be good or bad, but ultimately, they'll be irrelevant in terms of Dave erasing Jake's lead, or Jake building upon it.
There are some significant spreads in Week 16. Enough to make it far more difficult than just determining the better team and predicting its point differential.
Are the 49ers capable of beating the Falcons by a pair of touchdowns? Absolutely. But it's late in the season and the 49ers are close to a playoff berth while the Falcons are already mathematically eliminated. With so much at stake, who's to say the 49ers don't build a solid lead over the Falcons early, sit their starters late in the game, and give up points in garbage time?
That's the sort of thing that turns a smart pick into a bad pick. And it's also a turn of events that makes picking against the spread a dicey proposition.
Hats off to Jake "The Snake" Roberts for giving this a shot, and for having the guts to go head to head with an NFL analyst with something tangible at stake. It turns out he didn't have anything to worry about.
Then again, it's not quite over.
|Jake vs. Dave: Tale of the Tape|
|Stone Mountain, Ga.||Hometown||Chicago, Ill.|
|"The Snake"||Nickname||"Downtown Dave"|
|def. Andre the Giant, WrestleMania V||Biggest Win||One-time Wheel of Fortune winner|
|Randy "Macho Man" Savage||Biggest Rival||Weight loss professionals|
|"Trust me."||Catch Phrase||"Yeahhhhh!"|
What's a prediction contest without a little something on the line? Here is what Jake and Dave risk if they lose the contest.
IF JAKE WINS: Dave travels to Atlanta and visits Diamond Dallas Page's Accountability Crib for an intense DDP YOGA workout and gets a lesson in gluten- and dairy-free living.
IF DAVE WINS: Jake visits the CBSSports.com office and must work with Dave for a day.
We'll find out who prevails after Week 17. In the meantime, here are Jake's Week 16 picks against the spread (the same spreads used in our CBSSports.com NFL expert picks):
|NFL Week 16 Picks: Jake the Snake vs. Downtown Dave|
|Game and Spread||Jake's Pick||Dave's Pick|
|Dolphins (-3.5) at Bills|
|Saints at Panthers (-3.5)|
|Vikings at Bengals (-7.5)|
|Broncos (-10.5) at Texans|
|Titans (-5.5) at Jaguars|
|Colts at Chiefs (-7.5)|
|Cowboys (-3.5) at Redskins|
|Browns at Jets (-2.5)|
|Buccaneers at Rams (-5.5)|
|Cardinals at Seahawks (-10.5)|
|Giants at Lions (-9.5)|
|Patriots at Ravens (-2.5)|
|Raiders at Chargers (-10.5)|
|Steelers (-1.5) at Packers|
|Bears at Eagles (-3.5)|
|Falcons at 49ers (-12.5)|
|CURRENT RECORDS (AFTER WEEK 15)||113-111||107-117|
If you want to talk smack about these picks or cheer Jake Roberts on, you can follow him on Twitter at JakeSnakeDDT.
And in case there was any question how Jake "The Snake" feels about losing, here's recent footage of Jake and Diamond Dallas Page answering Scott Hall's challenge to a little video game grudge match.
Denny Burkholder is the producer/editor of CBSSports.com's NFL content. Follow him on Twitter: @DennyBurkholder