Friday, January 05, 2007

Betcha Bottom Playoffs: Week 1

What a long, strange, stupid trip it's been.

For the first time in five years, I didn't place a bet on a football game. Oh, sure, I was in the random pool here and there for $10 at a time, but there were no phone calls, no Internet wagers, and no ripping out my hair because of something that happened in the all-exciting Buffalo/Houston matchup. All things considered, I'm a much happier person than I have been in previous Januarys.

To fill the void, as many of you know, I started this NFL picks column. It gave me the chance to pick the games and care about covering, without actually losing nearly $1,000 in the process. Apparently it worked, even though the upcoming playoffs are going to make me feel like Ewan McGregor in his Trainspotting bed at times. With no dead babies on the ceiling, hopefully.

Next year, I plan on doing the same thing - and if you are a gambling man, jump on board. I had a winning record this year, but I feel something big a'brewin' in 2007. I've learned a few lessons, and the biggest thing is to go with my gut. I remember looking at the Jets team in the preseason, and thinking they were going to be much better than anticipated. Same with the Chargers. And the opposite was true with the Dolphins: I mean, I still don't understand where the hype came from, but I went with it because I was young and foolish. Now, three months later, I'm a hardened vet.

I mean, ahem, I did call the outright upsets of San Fran over Denver and Pittsburgh over Cincinnati last week. Oh yeah, I did. Of course, I also repeatedly told you Atlanta was going to win 12 games, but that was early in the season. Like I said, I'm a learned man.

So anyway, welcome to the playoffs.

Kansas City @ Indianapolis (-6 1/2). Ok, let's review what we know: Indianapolis can't stop the run. The Chiefs can run the hell out of the ball with Larry Johnson. Peyton chokes in big games. Chiefs coach Herm Edwards has very wisely filled his players' heads with the "disrespect" bug, and they'll come out firing. The most important thing we know, though, is what the 6 1/2 point spread means: take the underdog, no matter what. When Vegas wants you to take the favorite - and that's what they're saying here with the all-Indy-has-to-do-is-win-by-one-touchdown line - go the other way. PICK: Kansas City

Dallas @ Seattle (-3). If I were Bill Parcells, I would padlock Tony Romo to a chair with his eyes pinned open Clockwork Orange-style. He'd be shown game tape 24/7, and subliminal messages telling him to hate blonde girls. I mean, I can't imagine how pissed I'd be if I had a vested interest in the 'Boys - they're in the middle of a playoff hunt, and their untested QB is gallavanting around like he's Burt Reynolds in 1977. Dating "American Idol" chicks or Jessica Simpson or who-the-fuck-ever is for the offseason. I can't believe people aren't making a bigger deal about this, especially since his production has plummeted in recent weeks. (If Seattle is smart, they'll play video of Paris Hilton or Scarlett Johansson during Dallas possessions). PICK: Seattle

NY Jets @ New England (-9). Thanks Jets, it was cute. This will be the Laurence Maroney show, however. PICK: New England

NY Giants @ Philadelphia (-6 1/2). A very knowledgable sports guy just told me, without a shred of kidding in him, that Philly should trade Donovan McNabb if the Eagles go to the Super Bowl with Jeff Garcia. To which I saw, pshaw. Look, Garcia has been very surprising with the Eagles this year - hell, I would vote him third in the MVP race behind Brees and Tomlinson (in that order). There are a couple of huge details, though. First, it's not like McNabb is David Carr or something - the guy is damn good when healthy (I know that's a big "when," but still). But most importantly, McNabb just turned 30 in November. Garcia will be 37 next month. You can't trade a guy that will be your leader for five-plus years for a guy that might be around two more seasons. Might. Of course, if we were talking about Eli Manning instead of McNabb, I wouldn't have an argument. (Tiki will carry the Giants to a close loss, however). PICK: NY Giants

Last week: 9-7
Overall: 94-85-3
Fake wagering total ($50 on every game, 10% juice on losses): up $15

1 comment:

Doug said...

. . . Aaaand just like that, Romo bobbles the snap for a chip-shot FG -- not even the snap, the act of putting the ball onto the field -- and costs his team a playoff win.

Anyway, as all this was transpiring Saturday night and I was laughing my ass off, I kept having this mental image of Romo mumbling to himself, "Mmmm . . . Jessica Simpson's sweater monkeys" as the ball trickled out of his hands and onto the turf, and for being the man responsible for that, I thank you.