Thursday, September 10, 2009
Aiding and A'Betting: Week One
Last year, my NFL picks column was called "Betcha Bottom Dollar," which is the gayest name possible for a football post. I mean, it's pretty much an Annie reference. But now - we're all man.
"Aiding and A'Betting." Cops and robbers shit, right? "Aiding" because I'm helping you win money ... by "a'betting" on football! Get it? Man, if blog titles had dicks, "Aiding and A'Betting" would have a huge one.
And as far as the "aiding" part goes, I promise to get back to that this year. My 2008 picks proved a little lacking, as I ended 10 games under .500. The year before, 12 games under. In 2006 - well, in 2006, I was eleven games OVER. So we're steering our ship back to the olden days when The Departed ruled at the box office and James Blunt dominated the airwaves!
Journey back with me, won't you?
Tennessee @ Pittsburgh (-5). The Super Bowl champ opens the season at home, as tradition dictates. Tradition also continues to dictate the Titans being the most boring "good" team in professional football; you'll have to bet on this game to be awake in the 4th quarter. Seriously, Tennessee is a team predicted by most to be playoff-calibre, but can you name five guys on it? PICK: Pittsburgh
Miami @ Atlanta (-4). Aww yeah, bitches - the Falcons begin their Super Bowl run right here. Saturday will be spent tailgating for the UGA/South Carolina game, and after crashing in Athens that night, I'll drive straight to the Georgia Dome for this one. If I'm still alive for the post-game celebration, my liver will have become a cyborg (not sure exactly what that means, but I love the word "cyborg"). PICK: Atlanta
Kansas City @ Baltimore (-12 1/2). Ray Rice, baby! If you're unfamiliar, s'ok - but you will be reading that name a lot in this space, as he's my fantasy football team's super-duper sleeper running back. This seems as good a place as any to rehash my historic fantasy football run of 2008, in which I went undefeated in the regular and post-season (after taking insta-injured Tom Brady in the first round). It helped that I had many names who ended up being early '09 picks - Michael Turner, Steve Slaton, DeAngelo Williams, Aaron Rodgers, Reggie Wayne, Patrick Willis, etc. This year's squad lacks the starpower, as I choked a bit and ending up with a mediocre two-headed Cutler/Palmer monster at QB, and an iffy but high-ceiling RB corps (Steven Jackson, Rice, Donald Brown). The defense and WRs (Fitzgerald, Smith, Royal) should carry me to a third straight champio - wait, are you still reading this? Seriously? What's wrong with you? PICK: Kansas City
Philadelphia (-2) @ Carolina. I hate when teams play the "disrespected" card, but what the hell? The Panthers had an awful playoff game, but at least it came after a 12-win season. And now they find themselves home dogs to an Eagles team that doesn't even have Michael Vick yet? Oh, right - Delhomme. It sorta makes sense. PICK: Philadelphia
Denver @ Cincinnati (-4). I really need to start watching the backlog of "Hard Knocks" on my DVR. PICK: Denver
Minnesota (-4) @ Cleveland. And here is 2009's debut "WTF" spread. I'm not sold on Brett Favre regaining his Pro Bowl form, but there's no way the Browns should stay in this one. They'll (allegedly) be starting Brady Quinn behind a horrible O-line, be running Jamal Lewis at a stacked d-line, and have to contend with Adrian Peterson. Of course, this means bet heavy on the Browns, because Vegas knows something I don't. But it's only Week One, so I haven't learned that lesson yet. PICK: Minnesota
NY Jets @ Houston (-4 1/2). As one of my favorite pastimes is reveling in the destruction of media-anointed idols (see Romo, Tony), I'm going to enjoy any Mark Sanchez flops out of the gate. This should be Round 1 in that department. PICK: Houston
Jacksonville @ Indianapolis (-7). The Colts are looking for their eighth straight 10-win seasons, which is pretty sick in this era of parity (they're only behind San Francisco's 16 straight in the record books). I called them to get 10 wins a couple weeks ago, but I've been mentally downgrading them every day since. Manning and Co. could end up 13-3, or 6-10, and I'd actually believe any scenario in-between right now. If they can't handle a depleted Jags squad, the season will be a long one. PICK: Jacksonville
Detroit @ New Orleans (-13). Well, my three-year streak of rooting for Matthew Stafford continues here, as I'd love New Orleans to start the season in the loss column. That said ... PICK: New Orleans
Dallas (-6) @ Tampa Bay. This season is going to have its fun moments - Vick's debut, Favre in Green Bay, Roddy White's 35 touchdowns. None, though, may be more fundamentally satisfying than seeing the Cowboys struggle. Instead of spending $1 billion on a new stadium, owner Jerry Jones should have invested in a new quarterback, one that's not the Jeff George of the 21st century. How quickly will the media turn, though? (Dallas probably wins this, but it will be embarrassingly close). PICK: Tampa Bay
San Francisco @ Arizona (-6). I hate to praise a Red Sox fan, but Bill Simmons delivered one of his best columns today. It captures the absurdity of this NFL season in lengths that only a paid columnist could go to (seriously, I could make this column hella better with some Paypal donations). PICK: Arizona
Washington @ NY Giants (-6 1/2). As my opinion of the Colts are waning, the aura around the Redskins is getting a little brighter. I'm not ready to call a Super Bowl win, but if there's a big upset this weekend, look no further. PICK: Washington
St. Louis @ Seattle (-8 1/2). PICK: St. Louis
Chicago @ Green Bay (-3 1/2). My fantasy QB (Jay Cutler) vs. the fantasy QB I desperately wanted (Aaron Rodgers). I'll feel a whole lot better about this season if Cutler comes through here. PICK: Green Bay
Buffalo @ New England (-10 1/2). Smells a bit like a 42-10 schmacking. PICK: New England
San Diego (-9) @ Oakland. I'm looking at a list of top overall draft picks from the last decade. After getting over that eight drafts have passed since the Falcons took Vick, I realize JaMarcus Russell owes Alex Smith a huge debt o' grat - without Smith, Russell would take the title of "worst top pick of the 21st century." Even David Carr had the excuse of playing for an expansion team. And to think, the Raiders could have selected Calvin Johnson, Joe Thomas, LaRon Landry, Adrian Peterson, Patrick Willis - yikes. PICK: San Diego