Tuesday, October 25, 2011


NFL Week Eight Picks

My teaser just missed (thanks, Redskins), but my straight picks were 4-0, lifting me to 23-20, up 2.7 units for the season. Just one pick Tuesday night to take advantage of a rogue line, others to follow.

San Diego +3.5 at Kansas City:  Most places have this game lined exactly opposite, but South Point has this line right now, so I'm jumping on it before it gets hammered back into shape.

Edited Thursday night to add the other picks.

Tennessee -8 vs. Indianapolis

Carolina -3 vs. Minnesota

New England -2.5 at Pittsburgh

Philadelphia -3 vs. Dallas

Saturday, October 22, 2011


NFL Week Seven Picks

After a 3-2 week, my picks are now 19-19 for the year, down 0.3 units. Perhaps this is the week I get to the plus side of the ledger. There was not a great deal out there that looked favorable, so I picked four, plus a four-team, six-point teaser that would pay 3-1. Let's get the money!

Chicago at Tampa Bay under 43.5 points:  Tampa is the "home" team, but this game is being played in London. The only game played there that has gone over featured the Saints and Chargers, two offensive powerhouses. The Bears and Bucs are not up to that standard. Also, though the weather forecast is not the typical "dreary and pissy" at this time of year, conditions may still be difficult. The surface at Wembley Stadium stands up well to the stringy-haired Euros that normally scamper across it, but the industrial-sized Americans are another story.

Denver +1 at Miami:  This line is moving fast Denver's way, but seriously? Miami is pitiful, so they decide to honor a Florida Gator championship game at halftime? With favorite son Tim Tebow starting for the other team? Someone in Dolphins management needs to put down the cocaine, get off South Beach, and start making some football decisions. Soon.

St. Louis at Dallas under 44 points:  This is kind of a technical play. The Rams have been pretty reliable on the under, due to two things. One, their defense is mediocre, not horrible as many believe. Two, their offense has been horrible. Both teams would like to run the ball, which also keeps scoring down. The Rams run because Steven Jackson is far and away their best option. The Cowboys have a new toy (DeMarco Murray) they would like to try out; also, running the ball prevents inexplicable Tony Romo interceptions.

New Orleans -13.5 vs. Indianapolis:  Yes, it is a lot of points. But the Colts are in a bad spot, in prime time against a Saints team angry with itself after losing last week. They will take it out on this week's opponent, and this could get ugly indeed.

Here is the four-teamer. If they all work, it's three wins, otherwise it's one loss.

Tampa Bay +7.5

Washington +8.5 at Carolina

Dallas -7.5

New Orleans -7.5

Saturday, October 15, 2011


NFL Week Six Picks

That's better. My straight picks went 4-1 last week. I also hit on four of my five teaser legs. That means I went 4-6 on the ten teasers, but since they pay 1.8 to 1, I was up 1.2 units there. So for the season, we'll call it 16-17, down 1.1 units. Let's get over the hump here.

Green Bay -14 vs. St. Louis:  Sounds nuts, right? The Rams are coming off a bye week determined to right their ship. The Packers could easily overlook this team and fail to cover the enormous spread. But the defending champs look unstoppable right now, and the defense could get well thanks to the Ram's relative lack of weaponry.

Buffalo +3.5 at New York Giants:  This is a nervous pick, because there is just no telling which Giants team will show up. They can look like legit Super Bowl contenders one week, and just awful the next. I'm thinking a little bit of both, which should keep the Bills close.

Dallas at New England over 55 points:  I was going to take the Patriots, but a bunch of money has come in late on the Cowboys, making me think I might have the wrong side. I can't really trust the Pokes either, so even though the number is huge, I think the over is actually the safe play.

New Orleans -4.5 at Tampa Bay:  The Bucs were exposed last week as a team you can trust only against bad teams. The Saints most assuredly do not qualify. Since losing the season opener in Green Bay, they have been brutally efficient. I expect them to win by a touchdown or more.

New York Jets -6.5 vs. Miami:  The Jets have been in a funk, but a Monday night game at home against the Dolphins is the prescription that cures all ills. The bye week will not help the Fins enough...or at all, to be honest. They are terrible, and this should be a blowout.

Saturday, October 08, 2011


NFL Week Five Picks

Merde. It appears I cannot stand success. A 1-4 week lowers me to 8-12, -5.2 units for the season. Last season, a late, desperate, exotic wager saved my bacon. I'm not going to wait as long this year. I'll make my regular picks, then lay out an approach used by the pros to increase their consistency. Let's get started.

Buffalo +3 vs. Philadelphia:  The conventional wisdom is that this is the week the Eagles break out of their funk. I don't think so. The Bills are playing better football, are at home, and are getting points. Sign me up for that combination every time; I'll be all right.

Cincinnati +2.5 at Jacksonville:  The Jaguars showed signs of life last week, but the better team is still getting points here. Not a ton better, mind you. But they run the ball and stop the run, and you can win on the road like that.

Tampa Bay +3 at San Francisco:  The 49ers seem to have found, in Jim Harbaugh, a coach who can bring them all the way back. It is decidedly not an overnight process, though. The spread would indicate these teams would be an even proposition at a neutral site, and I'm not buying that. Win this game, Frisco, and I might start believing in you.

New York Jets at New England over 49 points:  I don't know how I feel about the outcome of this game, given the touchdown-plus spread the Patriots have to cover. Every scenario I imagine, however, has lots of points scored. The Pats have figured out a way to light up everybody, and their defense has real issues. They are on over watch until further notice.

San Diego -4 vs. Denver:  The Chargers have established a nasty habit of sluggish early-season play. Though not completely cured, they have fared slightly better this year. It should also be noted that the Broncos stink on ice. I might be nervous about this one early, but I expect the Bolts to walk away in the second half.

OK, here's where things get degenerate. I'm going to play a bunch of "teasers" or adjusted-line bets. In each case, the spread has been teased six points one way or the other. These bets are played in bunches, and the payoffs are also adjusted. In short, I will be playing every three-team combo of the following five games. There are ten possible combinations, so there will be ten wagers that each pay 1.8 to 1. Don't worry, I'll keep all the math straight. Here's the teaser legs.

Kansas City +8 at Indianapolis

Arizona +8.5 at Minnesota

Buffalo +8.5 vs. Philadelphia

Cincinnati +8.5 at Jacksonville

New England -2 vs. New York Jets

Saturday, October 01, 2011


NFL Week Four Picks

A 3-1-1 week moves me to 7-8 for the season. One more good week, and I can dial back the self-loathing a bit. Let's see what we can get done.

Detroit +2.5 at Dallas:  The Lions have been a cover machine for some time now. The betting market cannot seem to catch up to their improvement on both sides of the ball. While we're at it...Tony Romo's ribcage, meet Ndamukong Suh. I can't look.

St. Louis +3 vs. Washington:  There isn't a lot of rational thought behind this one; the Redskins are, in fact, the better team. My gut is telling me the Rams know their season is over if they lose this and fall to 0-4, whereas the Skins will just be 2-2. My gut knows things.

Tennessee at Cleveland under 39 points:  The Browns have moved the ball but have had troubles punching it in, while the Titans will struggle to be as efficient as before their best receiver blew up his knee. I think both of these squads getting to 20 points is a little too much.

Chicago -6.5 vs.. Carolina:  This Bears team is not happy about losing at home to the hated Packers, and will take it out on the Panthers, who are clearly improved, but not yet ready to beat good teams on the road. They may hang early, but should lose by a touchdown or more.

New York Jets at Baltimore under 44 points:  These teams' defenses have not completely lived up to their advance billing. Their offenses have been erratic as well, making this number too generous by half. I think 16-13 or so is likely.

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