Sunday, December 31, 2006


NFL Week 17 Picks

Wow. A 5-1 week raises my record to 47-42-7, which represents a miniscule profit position. I could sit on my meager laurels, but then what kind of degenerate would I be? This week is full of land mines, as playoff teams rest players in a manner not altogether predictable. Here's five attempts to stay hot heading into the postseason.

Pittsburgh +6 at Cincinnati: It is a badly-kept secret that Steelers Head Coach Bill Cowher is retiring after this game. I expect his team to go all-out to send him off with a win. Getting six points in this situation is a gift.

Minnesota +3 vs. St. Louis: The Rams seem to have figured things out, now that it's too late. I can't trust them, though, on the road in a meaningless game; I want the home underdog.

New Orleans +3 vs. Carolina: I also will take this home dog, though it is a little dangerous. The Saints have their playoff seeding locked up, they will rest their stars at some point, the Panthers want to end a disappointing season on a positive note and are getting their starting QB back, blah blah blah...take the better team getting points at home, stupid!

Seattle +3.5 at Tampa Bay: The Seahawks have no reason to risk their stars, either. No reason, that is, other than the fact that they have stunk like bait over the last month. They will put a hurting on the Bucs early, then their subs will hang on to a slim victory.

New England +3 at Tennessee: Nobody has more respect for than the magic of Vince Young than I do. But I remember the Patriots getting burned when they checked out of a late regular-season game a few years ago. You can bet your mortgage payment Pats Coach Bill Belichek hasn't forgotten either. The best road team in recent history will car-jack Cinderella's ride this week.

Friday, December 22, 2006


NFL Week 16 Picks

A solid 4-2 week brings me to 42-41-7 for the year; respectability is now within reach. I need to finish with a rush. Here's a six-pack of holiday cheer...I hope.

Carolina +6.5 at Atlanta: The betting public is pounding the Falcons; one of the resources I consult indicates 77% of of the action on this game is on their side, even as the line has risen from 5.5, to 6, to 6.5. The public has, I'm sure, good reasons, including the fact that Atlanta is still in playoff contention. Also, the Panthers are circling the drain with a terrible backup quarterback. Take Carolina anyway, because--repeat after me--the public is almost always wrong.

New Orleans +3 at New York Giants: As best as I can determine, the Giants are favored only because they are at home. That will prove to be small comfort when their fans witness Saints QB Drew Brees utterly dismantling them. It's going to get loud, drunk and surly in the Meadowlands on Sunday.

Baltimore +3 at Pittsburgh: Again, the home team is getting the love here, mainly because they are the home team. I will admit that the Steelers have looked like defending champs of late, but I would also like to point out that the Ravens have been playing all season like they did when they won the Super Bowl. I'll take the points in a low-scoring game, as usual.

Cincinnati +3 at Denver: The Bengals are not as bad as they looked against the Colts last week, and the Broncos are not world-beaters because they whipped the hapless Cardinals. Situations like this present considerable value for the underdog. I also like the under 44.5 points total.

Philadelphia +7 at Dallas: Eagles QB Jeff Garcia has been better than anyone expected. That should continue against a Cowboys secondary that frequently appears to be trying to learn how to rollerskate while drunk. Having said that, I would not be at all surprised if Dallas wins. I would be surprised if they won be more than a touchdown.

Saturday, December 16, 2006


NFL Week 15 Picks

My struggle for consistency continues. Still the poster boy for mediocrity, my picks were 3-3 last week, making my season record 38-39-7. Although it is unlikely that I will reach a profit position, I will keep on plugging along, all the way through the Super Bowl. Here's six more picks as we head down the stretch.

New York Jets +3.5 at Minnesota: The better team is getting the points here. The Jets are a legitimate playoff contender, even though they don't particularly impress on offense, defense or special teams. They just get it done. The Vikings, on the other hand, have a decent defense, but their already limited offense is now beset by injuries. Because of these factors, I also like the under 41 points total.

St. Louis +2.5 at Oakland: It is true that the Rams are not very good. It is also true that you are a fool if you depend on the Raiders to cover for you. The Rams' still-superior talent at the skill positions will lead to victory.

Philadelphia +6 at New York Giants: I think the Giants will win this game, but the mental toughness of Eagles QB Jeff Garcia will keep it close. Hell, he might win, because mental toughness is not the Giants' long suit. They are a team on a season-long brink of implosion and coach-firing.

Kansas City at San Diego over 46.5 points: I think the Chargers will win, and probably cover the 9-point spread. But a monkey wrench has been lobbed into the machinery; namely, the death of Chiefs owner Lamar Hunt. His team, which defeated the Bolts once already this year, will very likely make a maximal effort this week. The over is the safer play.

Cincinnati +3.5 at Indianapolis: Stat of the week--the Colts are last in the league at run defense, and the Bengals are last in pass defense. But there's a lie in those stats. The Bengals' pass defense has markedly improved over the last few weeks, but the Colts are still getting gutted like a fish. These teams are moving in different directions, and I want the one moving upward.

Sunday, December 10, 2006


NFL Week 14 Picks

Now that's more like it. A 4-1 week leaves me within striking distance of profitability, at 35-36-7 for the season. There are six home underdogs this week, which sounds good, but many of them are bad teams playing good teams. I will avoid most of them. Here's six more attempts to mount a late-season charge.

Jacksonville +1.5 vs. Indianapolis: The schizoid Jaguars always play well at home, and they always give the Colts fits. I love them here as a home underdog.

Minnesota at Detroit under 40 points: The Vikings' offense is in serious trouble, and Detroit has packed it in for the season. You couldn't pay me to watch this game, but I don't mind getting paid to bet the under.

Tampa +3.5 vs. Atlanta: The Bucs are not very good, but the Falcons have problems of their own. Historically, Tampa has done very well against Michael Vick. I was leery of this game, but the line went up, and my contrarian instincts kicked in.

Denver at San Diego over 41 points: I am scared of this 8-point spread, so I'm sticking to the total. New Broncos QB Jay Cutler will play better this week. He couldn't possibly play worse.

New Orleans at Dallas over 47.5 points: This 7-point spread also gives me the willies. The Cowboys' front seven is very good, but the secondary is a little dodgy. Both teams' offenses are quite strong, and they should sail past this number.

Chicago at St. Louis under 41.5 points: I have no idea why this number isn't in the low thirties. Bad QB play has made the Bears' fast offensive start a dim memory. Meanwhile, Rams QB Marc Bulger called out his teammates in public this week. I'm thinking 16-10, one way or another.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


NFL Week 13 Picks

I'm blaming it on Thanksgiving. Large meals cause more blood to be directed to your digestive tract, and less to your brain, and the end result is you absolutely suck at making picks. I went 1-4 last week to fall to 31-35-7 for the season. I've been eating right and going to the gym, so this week should be better. Riiiiight.

Tennessee +8 vs. Indianapolis: I love a home underdog. The Titans shouldn't be taken lightly by anyone after last week's comeback win, but the Colts will. They have owned the Titans for years, but Vince Young is a game-changer.

New Orleans -7 vs. San Francisco: The 49ers are a feel-good story this year. I have a feeling they're going to feel pretty bad when this one is over.

San Diego -6.5 at Buffalo: The Chargers burned me this week, sleepwalking through most of their game against the Raiders. I'm thinking they will have more focus for this road game against a slightly better team, and powder the Bills. In fact, give me the over 42.5 points total as well.

New York +4 vs Dallas: This is another one of those situations where every single thing points to a big Cowboy victory. Yet they are only favored by four over a team in disarray. The smart money is on the Giants, hard.

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