Friday, January 20, 2012
Friday, January 13, 2012
Monday, November 21, 2011
Can somebody please give me a rational explanation as to how Justin Verlander can be named 2011 AL MVP but 1999 Pedro Martinez was only good for second? For all you wise guys, I'm not looking for "He had more voting points."
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Last week, I did something different with my picks, trusting my gut feelings for each game and betting the lines accordingly. And guess what... I went 9-for-14. I'm back!
Unfortunately, I won't be doing the same thing this week. Gonna implement a different strategy. A good friend of mine and Brandon's, Colin, is visiting and I ran this week's games by him last night. We agreed on most and the few we didn't see eye to eye on, went his way. So with that said, here we go...
Oakland vs SAN DIEGO (-6.5)
If one of Jason Campbell or Darren McFadden were playing in this game, I'd have the Raiders covering. If both were playing, they'd win outright (like they did in both games against the Chargers last season). But with McFadden out and Carson Palmer (who's making Tim Tebow look like a Hall of Famer) in, this game shouldn't, and won't, be close.
Also, because it's my blog and I feel like it, I'm going to predict exact scores. That way, if I ever hit one on the nose, I can gloat about it. And ignore those who tell me about the ones I don't just miss, but butcher.
Chargers 33, Raiders 17.
New Orleans vs ATLANTA (+0.5)
I've said it before, I'll say it again and I said it on the Leader Sports Report (shameless plug): the Saints are mediocre. The offense is really good, but can be stopped (by the Rams) and isn't close to the same level of the Green Bay offense. The defense is awful. And this game probably means more to the Falcons because it's in their backyard and they need it more to stay in the NFC South race than the Saints do.
Falcons 31, Saints 24.
Buffalo (+5.5) vs DALLAS
No, Bills!!!! You're my AFC horse! You can't lose home games like that to the J-E-T-S JETS! JETS! JETS! But you did and it was close for a while only because you were playing Mark Sanchez.
This is a great chance to move to 6-3, however. The Cowboys are struggling, looking inept against the lowly Seattle Seahawks. That was a game in which everyone expected them to bounce back after their embarrassing loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Dallas makes a habit of playing close games against teams who aren't renting the cellar of the NFC West, so either way, it won't be a blowout. Come on, Buffalo!
Bills 30, Cowboys 28.
Pittsburgh vs CINCINNATI (+3.5)
I have several friends who are diehard Steelers fans. If you're one of those reading this, do yourself a favor and skip to the next game because I have nothing nice to say about the black and yellow.
I hate the Steelers now. I rode an 8-game win streak on ESPN's Streak for the Cash into last Sunday night's Ravens-Steelers tilt. I know the Ravens destroyed Pittsburgh in Week 1, but it was Week 1, so discount it a bit, especially since these teams always play close games.
Pittsburgh had every chance to win that game, despite not being able to do anything on 3rd down defense. Even after Ben Roethlisberger tried throwing a touchdown pass to Terrell Suggs, the Steelers still had the lead and the ball late.
But that "vaunted defense" rolled over like a cute puppy and snatched defeat from the jaws of victory (love that saying, it's so insulting). Thrown out the window was my streak, my faith in the Steelers and, later that night, Roethlisberger's date. Unforgivable.
Oh, the Bengals might actually be good too, but this is their first of four tests against the AFC North juggernauts. It's at home, which should help their chances, but I don't know yet if they can win outright. I hope they do.
Steelers 16, Bengals 9.
St. Louis vs CLEVELAND (-2.5)
Trying to figure out whether there will be more points scored in this game or more people watching the game. Really, it's a coinflip. For the record, I liked the Rams here, Colin didn't. But home field advantage can sway me.
Browns 17, Rams 13.
Denver vs KANSAS CITY (-3.5)
Two things you can be sure of: The Broncos (and
Chiefs 37, Broncos 19.
Sidenote: Chargers up 3-0 five minutes in. Only 3.5 more points to go!
Tennessee (+2.5) vs CAROLINA
Another game Colin and I disagreed on, though he was quite adamant Tennessee wins this game. Their best chance will be to put the ball in Chris Johnson's hands (yes, I said it!). I don't know necessarily about their run defense, but I do know that they allow the most fantasy football points to opposing running backs, so that can't be good. The Titans can't really stop the run either and are middle of the pack against the pass, so expect a big game from Cam Newton.
This might be the most surprising score I predict, but I think we're looking at a shootout here. I might as well prepare for the onslaught of fun that will be made at my expense in a few days.
Titans 38, Panthers 34
Jacksonville (-2.5) vs INDIANAPOLIS
Whenever you see the Colts in a game for the rest of the season, take the other team, regardless of the line, unless Indy's playing their practice squad.
Jaguars 27, Colts 13
Washington (+3.5) vs MIAMI
Colin and I didn't agree here either. Maybe I should take it easy with Miami a bit, but I think they're flat out better than the Redskins. I know the Fins are shaky at home, but the Skins are shaky everywhere.
Dolphins 21, Redskins 20
Arizona (+13.5) vs PHILADELPHIA
I think it's safe to say the Eagles are not good. They can play offense, but that offense can be stopped by a good defense (which Arizona doesn't have). The defense is so bad, however, that Kevin Kolb might throw for 200 yards on Sunday. The game won't be very close for the first three quarters, but the Cards can score a bit late to cover. By a half a point.
Eagles 36, Cardinals 23.
Sidenote: Just had dinner, so we're later into this Thursday Night game. Michael Bush rumbled in for the Raiders, 7-3 silver and black.
Houston (-3.5) vs TAMPA BAY
I know Tampa Bay isn't exactly Green Bay, but I think this is the tough task Houston needs to prove they're legit. A road test against an NFC South contender will be a good indicator of where Houston stands. Good teams win these games. OK teams lose them by a possession. Bad teams get rocked by 20. We'll know after this game which of the first two categories the Texans fall under.
Texans 23, Bucs 16.
Baltimore (-7.5) vs SEATTLE
Speaking of bad teams, how's it going, Seahawks?! Hey, you hung in there with the Cowboys, I'll give you that much. And for some reason, you play well at home (maybe it's all that fake stadium noise they pump in there to draw false start flags).
But I wouldn't get any ideas of doing what Arizona almost did a couple weeks ago. Or what Jacksonville did earlier this season. You're going down, hard.
Ravens 27, Seahawks 6.
Detroit (+2.5) vs CHICAGO
You think Vegas is making a big deal of the Bears beating the Eagles on the road this Monday? Uh, absolutely they are. And that's weird, because the Bears' opponent's combined record in Chicago's five wins is 16-24. In their three losses, their opponent's records are a combined 20-5. So you're telling me they can beat bad teams, but can't beat good teams? But I don't understand...
Also, Detroit's had two weeks to get ready for this game and I love bye week teams.
Lions 31, Bears 20.
Sidenote: Field goal Oakland, 10-3. This is going exactly how I planned it. I just need San Diego to outscore the Raiders 30-7 from this point on. Sigh...
NY Giants vs SAN FRANCISCO (-3.5)
I know people seem to think this will be a hangover game for the G-Men after their big win against the Patriots, but I'd be shocked if they weren't amped for a 7-1 team. That being said, the 49ers are just better than the Giants. Their coaching is better, the defense is better. Hell, even the offenses are pretty much a wash, considering the Niners have a better rushing attack and don't turn the ball over, while New York can put up big plays more often. It's another big test for the 49ers, let's see what they're made of.
49ers 23, Giants 17.
New England vs NY JETS (-1.5)
The Patriots aren't great at anything anymore. Like with any quarterback, if you can pressure Tom Brady, you can force him into bad throws. The defense can't really make plays and the Law Offices of BenJarvus Green-Ellis (sorry, Bill Simmons, it's too good) might be closed this Sunday.
Meanwhile, you know what you're getting from the Jets more often than not. They can't really move the ball a whole lot, but they'll make sure you don't either.
I have a feeling the Jets are going to come out hungrier. Especially Rex Ryan, because he...well...you know...
Jets 24, Patriots 20
Minnesota (+13.5) vs GREEN BAY
The method of thinking is that home field is "worth three points." Well in Minnesota, the Packers won by six. Take away the Vikings' three points from their first meeting and give them to Green Bay and the Pack should win by 12. Thanks for the one-point safety net!
Packers 36, Vikings 24
Sidenote: Touchdown Raiders, 17-3. Might have to go back to the way I did things last week. I had San Diego -5.5, thus would have taken the Raiders. Dang it.
One more thing: I know not many people read this, but if you ever want to contribute or have your picks posted or whatever, let me know. That way, four people can read two sets of picks.
Thursday, November 3, 2011
So during the last two weeks of NFL picks when I've struggled mightily, I had to look in the mirror and examine what I could do differently to turn my failures into successes, so that my four readers don't abandon my blog.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
As always, I like to have a drink or two when I sit down to do this. As you get later in the picks, you'll see my St. Louis/Dallas and Indy/New Orleans gems. Thanks, Kokanee. Two down, seven to go.
Pardon me for the reigning Super Bowl champions not being able to beat a 1-5 team starting a rookie QB by more than nine and the Ravens laying a stinkbomb on Monday Night Football against a 1-5 team starting a rookie QB. Four down, five to go.
I didn't know Bears-Bucs were playing in London. That's completely on me, but had I known, who knows? Five down, four to go.
The Redskins weren't starting Rex Grossman. What was I supposed to do? Six down, three to go.
A 5-1 team at home against a 3-3 team. I'm not taking it back. Seven down, two to go.
As for the other two games (KC/Oakland, Houston/Tennessee) well, those are entirely on me.
This week, I'm currently on beer one, nobody is playing on another continent and I'm another week wiser, with the fullest of intentions to redeem myself. Here we go.
Home team in caps.
Indianapolis vs TENNESSEE (-9.5)
The battle of the two most underwhelming performances of Week 7! Indy needs to lose out to have a shot at Andrew Luck, a great successor to Peyton Manning with conceivable Favre/Rodgers parallels. The Titans can't lose if they want to stay in the AFC South race. Plus, the Colts' run defense is notoriously bad and Chris Johnson is so past due, he's getting collection notices. Also, Indy gave up 62 points last week, making Tennessee's 41 allowed look stingy.
New Orleans (-10.5) vs ST. LOUIS
To be honest, I still don't think the Saints are that good. I just think Indy's that bad, as evidenced by me taking 9.5 from a team that lost by 34 at home last week. Meanwhile, the Rams are also co-front runners for Mr. Luck. Now, I don't think they'll get him (or even want him... Sam Bradford is still decent), but I still don't see them being competitive here. Worst-case scenario, Saints-Cowboys are virtually a push. Dallas beat the Rams by about 91 last week, so take 3.5 on each side of the home-and-home tradeoff for St. Louis and New Orleans could still lay about 84 to the Rams and cover.
Miami (+9.5) vs NY GIANTS
I'm not falling for it again, Eli Manning. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. You screwed over my survivor pool against Seattle, I won't let you make me look bad again.
I'm probably about four days from regretting this, but we'll see. The Giants are like the Montreal Canadiens. If I pick them, they'll lose and vice versa. But here's the deal.
New York's next six weeks after Miami: at New England, at San Francisco, Philadelphia, at New Orleans, Green Bay, at Dallas. Wow. Pretty easy to overlook Miami with that on deck.
Minnesota vs CAROLINA (-3.5)
The Panthers are better than the Vikings. The only thing they have to do (obviously easier said than done) is slow down Adrian Peterson. And maybe Jared Allen.
Minnesota's job is to slow down Cam Newton, something that hasn't really been done yet. Oh, and the Viking secondary could use a few more guys with their ability to stop teams from passing on them.
Arizona vs BALTIMORE (-12.5)
Don't screw me over again, Ravens. This is your chance to make a New Orleans/Indy type statement.
Because of my logic hanging me out to dry, I'm retiring my Stone Cold Lock of the Week after back-to-back losses. But the logic still works here:
Kevin Kolb isn't getting Arizona to more than, say, 13 points, but it'll probably be closer to six.
Can Baltimore put up about 26 on Arizona's defense. Yes, the Orioles can.
Jacksonville (+9.5) vs HOUSTON
Like New Orleans, the Texans aren't that good. I don't know how their game against the Titans happened.
But Jacksonville might not be awful. And that's a lot of points to give to a not-awful team. The team played inspired ball against Pittsburgh and Baltimore and doing so against Houston easily puts them in line to cover, if not win outright. I'm counting on an inspired Jags team.
Washington vs BUFFALO (-5.5)
It's a good thing the Redskins can't play offense, because the Bills can't play defense. John Beck, Rex Grossman, Chris Weinke, it doesn't matter this week. No Santana Moss, no Tim Hightower. Oh, and Buffalo's offense is pretty good. I think you could double this line and I'd still jump on it. I'd call it the SCLotW, but Washington would win 33-24, so... I won't.
Detroit (-3.5) vs DENVER
OK, America, you can put away your Tebowners anytime now. Why is everyone going crazy for Tim Tebow? Sure, he's fun to watch and it's interesting to see 11 guys huddle to pray instead of call plays, but you realize he had 24 passing yards at one point in the third quarter against the same team that gave up 500 something to Tom Brady, right? And it took his team 57 minutes to score against one of the three worst teams in the NFL? And you'd be hard pressed to name two other starting Denver Bronco offensive players without looking it up? And Detroit was undefeated before two tough losses to pretty good teams?
Cincinnati vs SEATTLE (+2.5)
My favorite part of last week might have been picking the Seahawks to cover 3.5 points (which they did) and still losing (which they also did) in what can only be described as "The Worst Game of the 2011 Season." Cleveland's 6-3 win was highlighted by something, but I don't remember what it was. It may have been a nine-yard rush, I'm not sure.
That being said, Seattle is always better at home. Their fans are amazing (yeah, I'll admit it). They're like a bobo doll. Keep knocking it down, it's getting back up. Sonics, see ya. Mariners, awful since 2001. Seahawks, lost their only Super Bowl appearance since their inception in 1976.
Cincy is good, but definitely a one score, if not one point, game. Come on, Bengals, 14-13!!!!
Cleveland vs SAN FRANCISCO (-9.5)
I'm done betting against my 49ers until they give me a reason to. Jim Harbaugh has had two weeks to get ready for the Browns, who put up six points at home against the Seahawks. I really hope the Niners do what really good teams do in situations like this: win 34-6 or something.
New England (-2.5) vs PITTSBURGH
Two weeks to prepare for a 5-2 Steelers team that has played like it should be 3-4. I like it.
Pittsburgh has struggled with the Pats recently, including a 39-26 loss at home last season (when they went to the Super Bowl). The Patriots are better than they were last season, Pittsburgh isn't. The end.
Dallas (+3.5) vs PHILADELPHIA
Make or break week for the Eagles. They've already lost to the Giants at home, they're a game behind Dallas and two behind New York. Philadelphia has had two weeks to get ready for Rob Ryan's blitzes and aggressive defense, but an always-fragile Michael Vick is just one hit away from leaving the game.
Meanwhile, the Cowboy offense is thriving on momentum gained from throttling the Rams and shouldn't really take a step back against a mediocre Eagle defense. If it's a shootout, Philly might escape with a W, but a few stops against Vick and it could turn into a bit of a rout for Dallas.
San Diego vs KANSAS CITY (+3.5)
I got sucked into the Chiefs being awful thanks to getting annihilated against the Bills and Lions in the first two weeks, then scraping by against the Colts. They've been better recently, evidenced by a shellacking of a Raiders team missing Jason Campbell (oooooh). These teams already met (Week 3, following those aforementioned blowouts) and San Diego escaped with a three-point home victory. Granted the Chargers play poorly in September, but remember: The Chiefs won the AFC West last season. And despite their rough start, KC is only a game out of first place. If they win this game, it's a new season halfway through.
If nothing else, it's gonna be close. But I think the Chiefs want it more. Plus, I'm still not sold on Philip Rivers. Chiefs 30, Chargers 24.