Friday, November 24, 2006


NFL Week 12 Picks

It is Black Friday as I write this, but I can't help thinking about Black Sunday. Last Sunday, to be precise, when I was crushed by the cruel, sneering mistress that is NFL pointspreads. What disturbs me the most is that I ignored my gut, which told me to play a large number of unders. They wound up going 7-1. My picks went 2-5-2, making my season record 30-31-7. Now drowning in my own mediocrity, can I claw my way back to the surface? Here's five attempts to save face.

Arizona at Minnesota under 39 points: Both of these offenses have struggled mightily, and the Vikings' defense is quite good. I don't think either of these teams can put up 20 points on the other.

New Orleans +3 at Atlanta: The Falcons are reeling almost as much as I am. Yet the Saints are getting the points, and their offense is nigh invincible lately. Take it and run.

Houston +5 at New York Jets: I have been burned by the Texans before, but the Jets are not the kind of team to be laying this many points, due to their offensive limitations. Now watch them put up 42 or something.

San Diego -13.5 vs Oakland: I am aware of the Raiders' cover on the road last week. I am also aware they suck, and the Chargers are an unstoppable cover machine. I will be on them until further notice.

Philadelphia +9 at Indianapolis: This one sounds more than a little crazy, but contrarian thinking often does. Eagles QB Jeff Garcia has had a week to get used to the idea that he is supposed to make plays in this league again. This Colts team doesn't blow people out like they did last year, either.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


NFL Week 11 Addendum

OK, I'm getting slaughtered here, so I'm going to chase a little.

San Diego at Denver over 42.5 points

New York Giants at Jacksonville under 39 points

Saturday, November 18, 2006


NFL Week 11 Picks

I went 3-3 last week, running my season record to 28-26-5. Not good enough to start looking for a house in Vegas, but much better than last year. Here's seven more for this weekend.

New York Jets +7 vs. Chicago: I'm not denying that the Bears are the better team. But if you can beat the Patriots in Foxboro, you can stay within a touchdown of the Bears at home.

Washington +3 at Tampa Bay: A quarterback making his first career start on the road? Well, it worked for the Cowboys, and Little Danny Snyder is sure he can do anything Jerry Jones can do. Being out of the playoff chase will actually help the Redskins.

Houston -2.5 vs Buffalo: The Texans are favored? In football, right? Surely, clocks will run backward, and lions will whelp in the streets. Take them anyway.

St. Louis +7 at Carolina: The Panthers have two All-World players in Steve Smith and Julius Peppers, but surprisingly little else. They should not be a touchdown favorite over a team with as many weapons as the Rams.

Cleveland +4 vs. Pittsburgh: I don't think all is suddenly well with the champs, just because they outscored the Saints last week. I also think the masses of people who DO think the Steelers are 'fixed' have inflated the line, creating value with the lowly Browns.

Detroit +2 at Arizona: The wrong team is getting the points here. The Cardinals should not be favored in a game until they, I don't know, win one.

Indianapolis at Dallas over 49 points: I cannot bring myself to pick a side on this one, so let's just go with the total, which could sail past sixty.

Saturday, November 11, 2006


NFL Week 10 Picks

I finally finished my long-delayed tennis tournament on Wednesday, crushing a younger and fitter opponent 6-0, 6-1 to win the consolation for the second tournament in a row. I am now officially the king of the first-round losers.

I wish my picks were doing as well. I went 2-3-1 last week, which would have been 3-3 if Terrell Owens caught footballs as well as he whines. Now 25-23-5 for the season, I would actually be $3 behind in a Vegas sportsbook, due to the house edge. But I am not (yet) discouraged. Here's six more picks to get me back on track.

Philadelphia -7 vs. Washington: The pass-happy Eagles have had a bye week to get healthy and prepare for one the worst pass defenses in the league. Check out the numerous shots of Redskins owner Dan Snyder in his suite. If things go the way I think they will, his head may explode by halftime.

Jacksonville -10.5 vs. Houston: The Jaguars were embarrassed by their loss in Houston a few weeks ago. They are laying a lot of points, especially for a team that is offensively challenged. I think there will be a hangover effect for the Texans after their tough loss to the Giants last week. Oh, and it's their third straight road game too. A perfect storm of beat-down is brewing here.

Green Bay +5.5 at Minnesota: All signs point to a low-scoring game here, so I want the points. It certainly has little, if anything, to do with the Packers' history in the Metrodome, which has been a house of horrors for them. It's mainly about the Vikings' bad offense, which makes them a poor favorite.

Detroit -6 vs. San Francisco: I was smart enough to take the 49ers last week at home. I am also smart enough to run from them on the road as if they were a refinery on fire. The Lions' offense is starting to perform as potently as it looks, and they should run away with this one.

Cleveland +8 at Atlanta: I believe Atlanta will rebound from their poor showing last week, but they are laying too many points here. If the Browns can stay within seven points of the Chargers, they can do the same with the Falcons.

New Orleans +4.5 at Pittsburgh: When will the Saints get the respect they deserve? When they eliminate the last shred of hope for the defending champs, that's when. Last year, the Steelers were a good team that got white-hot at the end of the season. This year, they are a below-average team going the wrong direction.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


NFL Week 9 Picks

I went 4-4 last week to make my season record 23-20-4. It would seem that the more picks I make, the worse I do, which makes perfect sense. Let's cut it back to six picks this week.

Chicago -14 vs. Miami: Someone explain this to me. Last week, the Bears were favored by 16.5 points on the road. They blew out to a 41-0 halftime lead, and won a laugher. Now this week, they're favored by only 14 at home. Are the Dolphins really better than the 49ers? Of course not. Another laugher, coming right up.

Tampa Bay +2 vs. New Orleans: The Bucs are playing much better than their record would indicate. They would already have a victory over the Saints except for a Reggie Bush punt return. I think they finish the job this time.

Green Bay +3.5 at Buffalo: Both teams have good running backs and suspect defenses. At quarterback, the Bills have J. P. Losman, a mediocre journeyman. The Packers have Jesus in cleats. Not really a tough call.

Detroit +6 vs. Atlanta: Michael Vick and the Falcons have been very good lately, which makes this maddeningly inconsistent team a good candidate to lay an egg on the road. The Lions' defense is horrid, but their offense is good enough to hang around in this game, and possibly even win.

Dallas -3 at Washington: Every contrarian bone in my body says to pick the Redskins in this one. However, my eyes tell me the Cowboys are a lot better than they are. I'm going to trust my lying eyes this one time.

San Francisco +5.5 vs. Minnesota: Hey, aren't these the same 49ers who made the Bears look like Sherman marching through Georgia? Yes, but these are also the same Vikings who looked like the Polish cavalry charging the Patriots' Panzer division. OK, enough tortured military metaphors. The Vikes are not a blow-out type of squad, and the Niners are not going to get embarrassed at home two weeks in a row.

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