Friday, October 13, 2006

Betcha Bottom Dollar: NFL Week 6

I'm not betting on football this year.

Trust me, that's a huge statement. Last year, I had wagers going every Saturday, Sunday and Monday (and the occasional Thursday), often multiple ones going at the same time, often multiple props on the same game. I was never a degenerate; not once did I gamble more than I had to lose. Still, though, when I lost - and I did - it nudged my blood pressure up a few notches.

So it's over. Not only is the reality of a elementary school teacher paycheck finally hitting me, but I just don't need the stress. My only semi-wagering is limited to a $10 parlay each Saturday with my tailgate brethren. And no, that doesn't go against my "I'm not betting on football this year" lead. It's not the same. At all.

That said, I still devour point spreads, and it somehow dulls my gamblin' hunger to at least know what I would have taken. And that brings us to here, my picks for this weekend's NFL games. (Pasqua and Stanicek already do a good job covering college, and plus I just know more about the pro game). Let's see how I would have done with $50 on each game throughout the season. Since I'm not actually betting, I'm sure that means I am going to bat .800 or something absurd, so take advantage.

Buffalo @ Detroit (-1). What better way to lead off than to talk about the least interesting game of the day. Nope, Jon Kitna vs. J.P. Losman won't exactly lead off Sportscenter. Buffalo is 2-3, Detroit is 0-5. Even though it's being played in Detroit, Vegas seems to be begging you to take the Bills. Which, of course, means you should go with the Lions. Nobody short of Oakland is going to go 0-16. PICK: Detroit

Houston @ Dallas (-13). That number is crazy. Last time I looked, Dallas was still being quarterbacked by Drew Bledsoe, and Terrell Owens was being his usual mediahog self, only this time without the stats to back it up. Houston is definitely not a good team, but they always seem to step up a little bit against their in-state rivals (at least in my mind; I ain't doin' research), and David Carr is finally starting to show signs of, well, something. PICK: Houston

Carolina @ Baltimore (-3). Book recommendation: Next Man Up, by John Feinstein. It's an insanely indepth look into the 2004 Baltimore Ravens. Feinstein's access was to the team was sick: it seemed every player trusted him, every coach allowed him into their meetings, and he was even welcomed into the war room on draft day. Fascinating stuff. And oh yeah, as good as the Raven defense is this year, the offense hasn't clicked (trust me, I have Derrick Mason on my fantasy squad). Carolina's defense may just eat them alive. PICK: Carolina, but take the under (it's sitting at 33 right now).

NY Giants @ Atlanta (-3). The return of John Abraham, a team rested from the bye week, and an absurdly loud crowd in the Georgia Dome. I'm not saying the Falcons will manhandle the Giants like Seattle did, but it's not gonna be a nailbiter at the end. The Falcons rush for 250. PICK: Atlanta

Tennessee @ Washington (-10). Tennessee took the Colts down to the wire last week, but it's doubtful they have anything like that in them two weeks in a row. That said, the Redskins ain't that good either, and they don't deserve 10 points against anybody (well, yeah, except Oakland). Vince Young could have his first big day at RFK. PICK: Tennessee

Cincinnati (-5 1/2) @ Tampa Bay. Trap! Trap! Trap! Picking the Bengals over the Bucs would seem to be a no-brainer. Carson Palmer vs. Bruce Gradowski. 3-1 against 0-4. Obvious, right? There's this feeling, though, deep down - just a'gnawin' at me. It's in Florida, for one, and that spread - 5 1/2 - means Vegas has no idea either. And as I have no brain - no real gambling brain, at least - I'm going against the easy take. PICK: Tampa Bay

Seattle (-3) @ St. Louis. Torry Holt is a proud new member of my fantasy team, 9 Dollar Beer Night. I sent Maurice Jones-Drew and Mike Furrey to a rival squad for the rights to Holt, and we're looking forward to a very fruitful relationship together. If it can become fruitful as soon as this Sunday, I'll be a happy man. And while I think it will - Holt has TDs in four straight games - St. Louis won't win this game. Seattle is coming off a bye week, which means they've had 14 days to stew over the humiliation they suffered in Chicago. And while, yes, St. Louis is 4-1, only one of those wins comes against a decent team (Denver). PICK: Seattle

Philadelphia (-3 1/2) @ New Orleans. Alright, my obvious disdain for New Orleans - and especially the Saints - aside for a moment ... the Saints are not 4-1 good. They're not even .500 good. They've beat the 1-4 Browns, the 0-4 Buccaneers and the 1-4 Packers, with the Falcons game being an absurd circumstantial aberration (or fix, whatever) . This won't keep up against the Eagles, Baltimore, @Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, @Atlanta, @Dallas, Washington, @New York and Carolina. They end at .500, not a game better. PICK: Philadelphia

San Diego (-10) @ San Francisco. The Chargers' three wins all came by 10 points or more. The 49ers lost their last non-Raiders game by 41. Which makes the choice obvious. Well, in my world at least. PICK: San Francisco

Kansas City @ Pittsburgh (-7). Pittsburgh has to win this game. Has to. The defending Super Bowl champs will not start the season 1-4, and they certainly won't let QB Damon Huard put them there. Ben Roethlisberger finally returns to form and somehow leads Pittsburgh to a victory. A 3-point victory. PICK: Kansas City

Miami @ NY Jets (-3). "And with the 3rd pick of the 4th round, Josh Massey's 9 Dollar Beer Night selects - Daunte Culpepper, quarterback." Oh yeah, I did that. One round after taking Randy Moss. It's a miracle I'm 2-3. (To rub the salt in would, Donovan f'in McNabb and Tom Brady were still on the board. I must have been drunk. Thank God my 15th round pick - Michael Vick - has started well). Anyway, fuck Daunte Culpepper, fuck Miami running back Ronnie Brown (my first round pick), and fuck the Dolphins. J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets. PICK: NY Jets

Oakland @ Denver (-15). Jake Plummer should never be favored by 15 over anybody. That said, an Art Shell-coached team should never be within 15 points of the favorite. Paradox! Gosh,
Denver is going to run wild in this game, but Oakland will probably pick up a garbage-time TD to just cover. Because they are, in fact, garbage. PICK: Oakland

Chicago (-10 1/2) @ Arizona. I think Chicago could be favored by 10 over any team in the NFL, and I would have a hard time not picking them. I mean, they should move up to a higher division. Like NFLL, or something. The Bears could be the best pro team since their 1985 counterpart, and they're led by Sexy Rexy Grossman, for goodness' sake. The Bears defense is going to tear Matt Leinart apart, and probably cover the spread by themselves. PICK: Chicago.


Pasqua said...

You're doing pretty well this week. If the Bears win, that'll put you at $100 Tovrog-bucks in my eyes.

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