Saturday, September 24, 2011


NFL Week Three Picks

Ouch...that's gonna leave a mark. Specifically, a 1-5-1 mark last week, which makes my season record 4-7. It will probably take a couple of good weeks to make up for that. Time to shrug it off and make some picks.

Buffalo +9 vs. New England:  The Patriots have beaten the Bills 15 straight times. Not a typo, fifteen straight times. Truth be told, they will probably do it again, but this Buffalo team is different. Despite poor management and coaching, a bunch of late-round picks and undrafted free agents have turned out to be pretty good NFL players. This means they will hang with the Pats and only lose by three or four. Because of this, I also like the over 53.5 points total, though I could have done better earlier in the week.

Detroit -3 at Minnesota:  Another long streak here--the Lions haven't been a road favorite in a division game since the first Clinton administration. But the fact is that they should be an even bigger favorite. Adrian Peterson is a superlative player, but he cannot do it alone. Donovan McNabb is starting to remember how to play quarterback, but a visit by the Lions' ferocious pass rush is a prescription for regression.

San Diego -14 vs Kansas City:  Seems foolhardy to lay this many points in any NFL game. However, the important consideration is that the Chiefs are an NFL team in name only. The reality is they are a smoking hole where, just last season, a division champion stood. The Chargers are steamed after getting worked by the Patriots (yet again) last week. This should get quite ugly.

Washington +6.5 at Dallas:  Even if their injured players are fine...even at home on a Monday night...I just don't think these Cowboys are a touchdown better than the Redskins. These games are often rough, bare-knuckled affairs that tend to be close. I would take the points in this situation without even knowing which one is favored. Plus, Dallas is one Tony Romo hard landing from having to put the 206-year-old Jon Kitna back out there. That would end badly indeed.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


NFL Week Two Picks

My picks went 3-2 last week, which is unimpressive in isolation, but would make you rich over the long haul. I will gather my cojones in both hands and pick seven this week, and will be perfectly satisfied if I'm right on four of them. Let's get the money!

Buffalo -3.5 vs. Oakland:  The Bills are a real, grown-up team this year. Their division is still too tough for them, but the Raiders? Coming off a short week? Traveling to the Eastern Time Zone for an early kickoff? Gimme some of that.

Baltimore -6 at Tennessee:  It's a little scary to pick a road team laying this many points. On the other hand, have you seen Ray Lewis on game day? Now that's scary. He and Ed Reed are defying the march of time, somehow, for one more year.

Green Bay -10 at Carolina:  See above. Something is definitely wrong with me here. If this turns out to be homerism on my part, hopefully I'll be cured by this pick. Seriously, though, the Packers are much, much better, and have had ten days to prepare for their initial road trip.

Tampa Bay +3 at Minnesota:  The wrong team is favored. I'm sure the Vikings are the best team in football that will finish in last place in their division, but being the tallest midget does not count for much around here.

Indianapolis +3 vs. Cleveland:  I am counting on the traditional "overreaction to Week One" syndrome here. Make no mistake, the Colts are hosed without Peyton Manning. But the rest of the roster are prideful men who do not want to get punked in front of their home crowd. Given the offensive issues on both teams, I also want the under 39.5 points total.

St. Louis at New York Giants under 44 points total:  The Rams have injuries all over their offense. The Giants' best receiver is less than 100%, and QB Eli Manning has that hangdog look already. Both teams may struggle to reach 20 points.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


NFL Week One Picks

A palpable sense of relief is felt across Football Nation as the NFL resumes operations. The labor dispute really could have gone either way, so football fans (and degenerate gamblers) are counting their blessings today. One problem: the shortened offseason makes picking winners in Week One even trickier than usual. I'm going to throw some out there like I know what I'm doing. Fake it until you make it.

St. Louis +4.5 vs. Philadelphia: I am already sick of the Eagles hype train. This young, resurgent Rams team might win this game outright. But as a bit of a hedge, and because I am expecting a track meet, I will also take the over 43.5 points total.

San Diego -8 vs. Minnesota: I think the Chargers have finally figured out the season begins in September, not November. They are loaded for bear, and should stomp the mediocre Vikes.

New England -4 at Miami: This game is lined everywhere at -7, and I was OK with laying those points. Then, this morning, the South Point casino moved to -4. I am perfectly willing to take advantage of this.

Oakland at Denver over 40 points: The Broncos' defense should be a little better than last year, and the Raiders' should be worse. That doesn't mean that either one of them is particularly good.

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