And the beat came to a screeching halt last week.  The National Football League gives or it takes away and last week was a taking from me.

Still managed to move to 15-1 with Leo’s Lock but went downhill in a hurry after that.  A sub-par 2-3 log with Leo’s Losers and a horrific 3-5 record with Leo’s Others  led to a $205 week in the hole.

After that deduction is taken, still playing with house money to the tune of $1,370 going into the last, and hardest, week of the NFL season when it comes to picking winners.   You don’t know which team will be resting their starters to get ready for the playoffs so it’s a crap shot on some of the contests.

Well, enjoy the last edition of Leo’s Losers until next football season and Happy New Year to all.

LEO’S LOCK

NFL

Washington (+4) loses to DALLAS

This game is a perfect example of what I have said above.  Redskins are in the playoffs with a home game no matter what the outcome.  NO reason in playing their starters past the first quarter but, more likely, the first series.  Cowboys in a walkover while the ‘Skins get ready for the Seahawks or Vikings or Packers next week at FedExField.  Any of those are a tough opponent and Washington doesn’t need anyone banged up for that contest.

 

LEO’S LOSERS

NFL

Minnesota (+3) loses to GREEN BAY

Both teams in the post-season but the winner gets at least one home game.  The Pack was flat out embarrassed in Arizona last week.  Look for Aaron Rodgers and Company to make amends on the frozen, or maybe just the cold, tundra of Lambeau Field.  The Purple People Eaters won’t just lie down. Vikes make the Packers earn it but Green Bay finds a way to score late and win a close one.

 

Baltimore (+9) loses to CINCINNATI

This one scares me.  Not because of the Bengals having to go with back-up QB A.J. McCarron but with how well the Ravens played especially last week.  Even though Baltimore has been ravaged by injuries to key components on both sides of the ball, Head Coach John Harbaugh has them competitive and playing hard.  Will make the game interesting but Cincy still has a shot at getting a first-round bye.  That will carry the day for the Stripes.

 

San Diego (+9) loses to DENVER

Here’s the skinny on this one.  Chargers have nothing to play for but pride.  Denver can get home field throughout the playoffs with a little luck.  Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates will not let the Lightning Bolts roll over and play dead.  Still, won’t be enough  to keep the Broncos from winning a closer game than most people think.

 

CHICAGO (-1) loses to Detroit

Both teams won last week and want to finish on a positive note.  Both teams are tied for last in the NFC North and the loser goes to double-digit losses for the campaign.  Neither wants that either.  Bears at home but the Stafford-to-Johnson combo will be too much for the Monsters of the Midway to defend. Lions hold on by a point or two at Soldier Field.

 

Jacksonville (+6 ½) loses to HOUSTON

I like what the Jags are putting together with QB Blake Bortles on offense.  When they get everyone healthy next year and some help on defense, Jacksonville should move to eight or more wins.  This year Houston is the team no one wants to play with J.J. Watt and Company.  The Lobe Star Guys close out the season with a win to capture the AFC South crown and host a first-round playoff game.  It won’t be easy over an improving Jaguars club but nothing is ever easy for the Texans.

 

LEO’S OTHERS

NFL

BUFFALO (+2 ½) loses to New York Jets

Tampa Bay (+10 ½) loses to CAROLINA

MIAMI (+10) loses to New England

New Orleans (+5) loses to ATLANTA

CLEVELAND (+10 ½) loses to Pittsburgh

Seattle (+6 ½) loses to ARIZONA

SAN FRANCISCO (+3 ½) loses to St. Louis

NEW YORK GIANTS (-3) loses to Philadelphia

Tennessee (NL) loses to INDIANAPOLIS

Oakland (+7) loses to KANSAS CITY

 

LEO’S SPECIALS

NCAA

For some reason, the last three games of the NCAA bowl season didn’t get posted with my “Let’s Go Bowlin’” article.  Those games have been added for you pleasure.

Kansas State (+12) vs. Arkansas

ARKANSAS-If it wasn’t for the Razorbacks unbelievable finish that allowed them to beat Ole Miss in overtime, Alabama doesn’t even get to the SEC Championship game let alone the NCAA Playoffs. Crimson Tide owes a big “Thank you “ to the Hogs for that.  Hate to go against one of my favorite coaches in Bill Snyder but Wildcats have no answer for the Arkansas rushing attack behind that mammoth offense line.

 

TCU (+7) vs. Oregon

OREGON-Heard a great answer to the question of why do teams score so many points in the Big XII. That’s because, in the Big XII, tackling is optional.  That sold me.  Lots of points scored here.  Ducks over the Horned Frogs in an offensive slugfest.

 

Arizona State (Pick) vs. West Virginia

WEST VIRGINIA-Another Big XII vs. Pac12 showdown and my thought process changes just a bit.  The Mountaineers and the Sun Devils will both light up the score board but look for West Virginia to score last and pull out a very close win.