Saturday, January 14, 2012


NFL Divisional Picks

Welcome, brothers and sisters, to the High Holy Days in the Church of Football. Doubleheaders Saturday and Sunday, pretenders need not apply. The top seeds enter the fray at home after a week off, and they are almost a 75% proposition to win in this round. But will they cover? I'm going to try to follow the trend, by taking the visiting team most likely to win, and taking all the other top seeds. This will be another parlay, so I have to win all of them for a 10-1 payday, and it's minus one unit if I lose.

New Orleans -3.5 at San Francisco:  Seems like Vegas knows something too, as a 13-3 team is an underdog at home. It's not disrespect of the 49ers, it's recognition of the roll the Saints are on. As good as the Niners have been, they have done a lot of their damage in their weak division. They have little playoff experience, and it will show. Saints by at least a touchdown.

New England -13.5 vs. Denver:  Congrats to Denver for hanging around long enough to outlast a Pittsburgh team decimated by injury. Cinderella wakes up this week, with her dress over her head and the faint smell of pumpkin in the air. Perfect Tommy and the Patriots--early, often and repeatedly.

Baltimore -7.5 vs. Houston:  The Texans have done very well to win their division, and a playoff game, with a third-string quarterback. Reality will bitch-slap them, hard, on Sunday. Although Ravens QB Joe Flacco is little better than a third-stringer himself, he has more team around him. Ravens pull away in the second half.

Green Bay -7.5 vs. New York Giants:  The East Coast-dominated media outlets have had a field day comparing this Giants team to the 2007 team. Two things they have missed:  First, that Giants team was better on defense, and ran the ball more reliably. Second, that Packers team featured an aging Brett Favre, who would throw the ball on pure hope 2-3 times a game. This Packers team features Aaron Rodgers, who has been supernatural on demand this season. Packers 38-23.

Saturday, January 07, 2012


NFL Wild Card Picks

Last week's parlay was not successful, so I stand at 67-79, +6.9 units for the season. In previous seasons, I would have felt it necessary to pick all the playoff games. I now know that's as foolish as trying to pick all the regular-season games. I'm going to parlay the two dumb, obvious, square plays that half the morons in the sportsbook are playing. It's not a solid long-term strategy, but after poring over the numbers, I can't find anything else I like. Remember, this will pay 2.6 units if they both hit, and cost me one unit if either loses.

Detroit at New Orleans over 59 points:  This appears to be the highest total ever posted for a playoff game in the NFL. It's still too low. Both of these teams feature explosive offenses and defenses that gamble quite a bit to cover their deficiencies. This is a prescription for a track meet. I'm seeing something like 41-31 here.

Pittsburgh at Denver under 34 points:  Let's see. Both teams' defenses are solid. The Steelers have a quarterback with a gamey leg; his center and best running back are out. The Broncos have a quarterback from 1927. Because of the light air, the baseball team in Denver often has games that end in 16-9 or so. I think that might be the ceiling for these football teams.

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