Archive

Archive for October, 2011

Week 8 NFL Picks

 

The only thing scarier than this guy are my weekly picks

This for entertainment purposes only. Take my advice at your own risk as this writer does not have a great track record picking NFL games against the spread.

Last Week 5-7-1

Season 36-47-4

5-star 4-2

Jacksonville Jaguars +10 at Houston Texans: I don’t really like this game at all. Both teams played their best games last week and will be hard pressed to repeat their performances. Because of this, I’m taking the 10 points and crossing my fingers that Blaine Gabbert doesn’t turn the ball over four times.

Baltimore Ravens -13 vs. Arizona Cardinals: The Ravens continue to play to their opponent’s level, as evidenced by last week’s clunker in Jacksonville. But that loss should wake them up for this week’s snoozer against the hapless Cards. Last week on this blog, I called the Cardinals sneaky bad. They’re no longer running under the radar in the “Suck for Luck” sweepstakes. At 1-5 and two games with the 0-6 Rams, the Cards might be able to find a way to out-lose the Dolphins and Colts en route to securing the Lucky pick in April. This one should be over by halftime as Joe Flacco will have a huge game and Ray Rice will put this one on ice(literally; it’s snowing on the East Coast) in the second half.  

St. Louis Rams +14 vs. New Orleans Saints: The Rams got crushed in Dallas last week and the Saints annihilated the Colts at home. This one should be much of the same, right? Not so fast my friend; as Lee Corso would articulate. The Saints defense isn’t that great and Stephen Jackson should have a very good day running the ball. It probably won’t be enough for the Rams to win their first game, but they only have to lose by less than two touchdowns.

New York Giants -10 vs. Miami Dolphins: Tony Sparano put his house up for sale in South Florida and his players appear to have sold him out this season. I’d be surprised if the Dolphins put forth a decent effort on Sunday. Hopefully CBS will switch me from this awful matchup no later than the third quarter.

Tennessee Titans -9 vs. Indianapolis Colts: The normal pick would be to take the Colts coming off of a historically lopsided loss like last week, but the Titans got crushed as well. The Titans should be able to bounce back and win comfortably as CJ2K finally breaks out for another 100 yard rushing game.

Minnesota Vikings +3.5 at Carolina Panthers: Flip a coin here. The reason for the Vikings pick is that they’re getting more than a field goal and will probably lose by 3.

*****Buffalo Bills -5 vs. Washington Redskins: This should be an exciting matchup as neither team is great defensively and both coaches are offensive “gurus”. Well, maybe Chan is the only offensive guru now as Mike Shanahan is becoming increasingly offensive. The Bills will win this one comfortably as they continue to drive toward a playoff spot.

Detroit Lions -3 at Denver Broncos: The Lions should snap their two-game losing streak by getting well in Denver. This one shouldn’t be that close, but you never know with Tebow. Look for another two TD connection game for Stafford and Megatron.

Pittsburgh Steelers +3 vs. New England Patriots: The Steelers are tough to pass up getting a field goal at the big ketchup bottle. The Patriots do well against the Steelers, but it’s usually when they meet in January. This one should be close, but in a coin-flip matchup, take the field goal.

San Francisco 49ers -9 vs. Cleveland Browns: The 49ers are still not getting the proper love from the national media. This is a very good team and Alex Smith has finally broken through and could actually be the 49ers quarterback of the future. Smith and the offense have gotten some attention but the 49ers defense is a legit unit. They’re #2 in the NFL against the run and their pass defense stats are a little skewed due to their weekly double-digit leads. If Peyton Hillis doesn’t get going early, this could get ugly fast.

Seattle Seahawks +1 vs. Cincinnati Bengals: This is a matchup only family members would enjoy. The Bengals aren’t as good as their record and they’re on the road. Hold your nose, get jacked up, and take Pete Carroll’s team.

Dallas Cowboys +3.5 at Philadelphia Eagles: It’s America’s Team against the Dream Team. The Eagles offensive line will be tested and their ability to keep DeMarcus Ware and company away from Mike Vick will be the key here. But given each team’s track record this season, the Cowboys front seven should be able to dominate. In addition, last year’s whipping boy, former quitter Mike Jenkins, has returned to his 2009 Pro Bowl form. Opponents are rarely throwing his way and when they do, they haven’t been successful. Look for the Eagles to pick on 48 year old Terrence Newman if they are to have success throwing the ball. On the other side of the ball, the Eagles defense has been mediocre stopping the run. Rookie Demarco Murray broke 250 yards last week and should go for at least 125 in this one. The Cowboys WILL win outright and it might not be close.

Kansas City Chiefs +3.5 vs. San Diego Chargers: The Chiefs were left for dead after starting 0-3 with two bad losses, but they’ve regrouped and can move into first place with a win. Arrowhead is a tough place to win anytime, but especially at night as the cool weather arrives in KC. The Chiefs are another dog who could win outright and Matt Cassell’s accuracy will determine that. With a possible cover with a 3 point loss, the Chiefs are the easy pick.

Advertisements

Week 7 NFL Picks

Like a few NFL teams, I'm looking to get "Lucky" with my picks this week.

 

This for entertainment purposes only. Take my advice at your own risk as this writer does not have a great track record picking NFL games against the spread.

Last Week 6-6-1

Season 31-40-3

5-star 3-2

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +1.5 vs. Chicago Bears: The Bucs are the home team in London by virtue of the Glazer family busing down hundreds of hooligans from Manchester for this game. That’s one of the three reasons to pick the Bucs on Sunday. The other two reasons are Josh Freeman and Jay Cutler.

Washington Redskins +2.5 at Carolina Panthers: The wise guys continue to give the Panthers way too much respect after their fast start. This game should be at least a pick ’em, if not reversed. The Cam Newton era has been more exciting, but still yielding no success. John Beck gets a shot this week for the Skins, but it will be the running game that leads them to the win. As for Newton, London Fletcher will hound him like Fletcher was asked to hound Josey Wales.

San Diego Chargers PK at New York Jets: The Jets don’t seem right so far this season and the Chargers will rally around their coach after Rex Ryan’s inflammatory comments earlier in the week. The Chargers defense could hold the Jets to 10 points or fewer and their offense should easily move the ball against a Jets defense that has problems rushing the passer.

Cleveland Browns -3 vs. Seattle Seahawks: Don’t let the win over the Giants fool you. The Seahawks are a bad football team that will be picking in the top 10, if not top 5 in next April’s draft. The Browns are running under the radar a bit with their two wins coming against the winless Dolphins and Colts, but the Browns have lost to good teams in the Raiders, Bengals and Titans. Look for a well balanced attack and a double digit win in the dog pound.

Tennessee Titans -3 vs. Houston Texans: The Texans started fast again, but have already started their fade. Mario Williams is out for the season and Matt Schaub has been beat up in recent weeks. In addition, Andre Johnson is still out and the Texans continue to come up empty searching for another wide receiver target. Look for the Texans passing attack to struggle again and for Matt Hasselbeck to continue his renaissance on Sunday.

Denver Broncos PK at Miami Dolphins: Tim Tebow returns to the Sunshine State as the starter and all he does is win, right? Well, even losers win against this Dolphins team. Take the Broncos to win their second game and get virtually eliminated from the Andrew Luck sweepstakes.

Detroit Lions -3.5 vs. Atlanta Falcons: I wouldn’t have dreamed of picking the Lions in this game getting over a field goal four weeks ago. It’s amazing how things can change and this Lions team appears to be a legitimate contender. The Falcons offensive line has had some issues at times this year and the combination of the crowd noise, along with Ndamukong Suh and company will make it a long day for that line and Matt Ryan. Oh, and who is covering Megatron? Five foot two Brent Grimes or five foot three Dunta Robinson? Yeah, right.

Kansas City Chiefs +4 at Oakland Raiders: Let’s reel in the Raiders this week. They appear to be the AFC’s “it” team and this will be the week where they come back to Earth. The Chiefs are grabbing four, probably facing Kyle Bollar for at least a quarter or two and have played much better since their ugly two game start to the season. Remember, they cover if they lose by a field goal and that’s enough for me.

*****Pittsburgh Steelers -4 at Arizona Cardinals: This isn’t quite like their last matchup in February 2009. The Cardinals are sneaky bad. What I mean by that is that they are legitimately in the running for Andrew Luck, despite all of the attention that the Colts and Dolphins are getting. There’s no reason to think that they won’t move closer to that prize on Sunday, either.

Dallas Cowboys -14 vs. St. Louis Rams: This SHOULD be a blowout, led by a dominating defensive performance and a stellar passing day by Tony Romo. But we know that things don’t usually come that easily to this Cowboys team. If you’re looking for a breakout performance on the Cowboys side; rookie undrafted free agent Phillip Tanner at running back. With Felix Jones out and neither Tashard Choice or Demarco Murray standing out, the hard running Tanner might get a few carries and not give the ball back.

Green Bay Packers -10 at Minnesota Vikings: That line indicates a lot of respect for this rivalry and the history of this series. Remove the names of the teams and this could be justified as a two touchdown minimum line. The Packers are a certified juggernaut and the Vikings are packing for LA. That combination equals another embarrassing defeat for the Purple since the beginning of last season.

Indianapolis Colts +14 at New Orleans Saints: Does the World Series have a small chance of beating the Sunday night game in the ratings? Probably not and the Colts don’t have a chance of winning either. But they’ve been very competitive in their primetime TV games and the Saints defense is anything but dominating.

Jacksonville Jaguars +8.5 vs. Baltimore Ravens: The Jags typically show up and play well at home on Monday nights and the Ravens are notorious for playing down to their opponents. The Ravens should win, but they won’t win by more than a touchdown.

Rangers vs. Cardinals World Series Predictions

 

This writer agrees with Nolan. Rangers in 6.

The Rangers lineup hammers mediocre pitching and the Cardinals have plenty of that. The bullpens of both teams have been outstanding and are the key reason that each team is in the World Series, but the Rangers bullpen appears to be more able to sustain their success than their counterparts on the Cardinals. With AL all star Alexi Ogando, Mike Adams, and Neftali Feliz, the Rangers are in a position to shut the Cardinals down after the first six innings. The lack of a DH won’t hurt the Rangers either as they will start Michael Young at first base in the games at Busch Stadium.

The prediction is the Rangers in six due to a certain Cardinals win in one of Chris Carpenter’s starts and another win when Albert Pujols goes off for four hits, including a homer and a few doubles. Otherwise, the Rangers offense will bully the Cardinals starters on their way to winning their first World Series title in six games. Ian Kinsler will lead the way as he ascends into superstardom.

Prediction: Rangers in Six

MVP: Ian Kinsler

Week 6 NFL Picks

 

Here's to some "Winning" picks!

This for entertainment purposes only. Take my advice at your own risk as this writer does not have a great track record picking NFL games against the spread. As last week should illustrate, my picks should not be trusted.

Last Week 6-7

Season 25-34-2

5-star 2-2

St. Louis Rams +14 at Green Bay Packers: Just a hunch here that the Rams play as well as they have all season. The Packers are due for a down game, especially after that dominating comeback effort in Atlanta last week. The Packers pass defense has been susceptible to lapses in performance all season and Sam Bradford should have a pretty good game, opening up the running game for Stephen Jackson.

Pittsburgh Steelers -12.5 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jags are just outmatched in this one. The formula to attack the Steelers defense is to spread the field and throw it as their run defense is typically in the top 5 in the league. Blaine Gabbert doesn’t have the experience or receivers to take advantage of the Steelers secondary and that’s why the Steelers should win this one running away.

Washington Redskins +3 vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Why are the Eagles favored again? Take the points with the team with the better record playing at home against the Eagles until they can prove that they can live up to their hype. Look for a huge game on the ground for the Redskins as they will run for over 150 yards against the mediocre Eagles defense on the way to another win. Andy Reid might know his fate before December.

San Francisco 49ers +4 at Detroit Lions: The short week for the Lions and the ability to win if the Lions win by a field goal are the primary reasons for this pick. Alex Smith has been playing well and the Niners could spring the upset if he’s able to limit his turnovers to no more than one and find Vernon Davis often. Also look for Michael Crabtree to break out as he’s getting healthier.

Atlanta Falcons -3.5 vs. Carolina Panthers: The Panthers are so tempting to take with how close they’ve been each week. But the Falcons laid an egg last week after jumping out to the early lead over the Packers. They made a lot of mental errors which is uncharacteristic of a Mike Smith coached team. Look for a crisper performance out of the Falcons and they’ll win by at least a touchdown.

Indianapolis Colts +6 at Cincinnati Bengals: The Colts are still hanging onto hope for the season, but have to start winning now. The Colts probably won’t win, but they’ll keep it close enough to matter.

Buffalo Bills +3.5 at New York Giants: The Bills don’t even have to win and can lose by a field goal? We’ll take that. The Giants have a questionable secondary and if their pass rushers don’t get to Fitzpatrick, it could be another long day in the Jersey swamps for the G-Men. The good news is that Eli should have a very good game against a Bills defense that will be without Shawne Merriman. This one should be close and could end up in OT. A Bills win will get extra notice by the other New York team.

*****Baltimore Ravens -7 vs. Houston Texans: The Ravens are going to win this game by two touchdowns and the heat will get turned up on Gary Kubiak. The perennially cursed Texans lost Mario Williams for the season last week and now the AFC South is beginning to look a lot like last year’s NFC West. The first team to win 8 games might win their division, especially if the Texans fall to 3-3 on Sunday. The Ravens should be too much on both sides of the ball against the Texans, especially at home.

Oakland Raiders -7 vs. Cleveland Browns: This is the week where the Raiders break out and blow out a team. The Raiders have played a very challenging early season schedule with three road games, including playing at Buffalo after a road Monday night game and playing both the Jets and Patriots at home already. The Browns appear to be on the rise, but the Peyton Hillis situation could be turning into a distraction. But the Browns subpar run defense (125 yds/gm) will get abused by Darren McFadden and company as the Raiders evolve into a playoff team.

Dallas Cowboys +6 at New England Patriots: The Cowboys will likely lose this game, but this will be much lower scoring game than most anticipate. This will be the first game that the Patriots fail to eclipse 30 points this season, but they should win. This feels like a 27-24 or 24-20 win for the Pats. The Cowboys should be looking to establish their running game to help them keep Brady off the field. The Cowboys could pull off the upset if Tony Romo (chuckle, chuckle) can avoid committing more than one turnover.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers +6.5 vs. New Orleans Saints: The Bucs can’t be as bad as last week, right? The Saints are the better team, but the Bucs have shown themselves to be a pretty resilient team over the past two seasons. Look for a solid game out of Josh Freeman and a close, high scoring game.

Minnesota Vikings -2 vs. Chicago Bears: The Bears are facing a must-win game on Sunday and the Lovie Smith watch will be elevated to “Jeff Fisher is coming next year” status with a loss. The Vikings season is on life support and a loss for them might get them closer to LA for next season. This should be close and ugly, with either McNabb or Cutler blowing it at the end. How’s that? Hold your nose and take the points.

Miami Dolphins +7 at New York Jets: The Jets should win this one, but it will be close unless Mark Sanchez finally starts to shine.  The Jets offensive issues, specifically “captain” Santonio Holmes “leadership” will be under the microscope and any mistake will be magnified. The Dolphins are essentially facing their last stand of the Tony Sparano era. Sparano could be done with a loss. Look for a spirited effort from the Fins because of this.

Week 5 NFL Picks

 

After last week's beating, it's time to take another whack at it

This for entertainment purposes only. Take my advice at your own risk as this writer does not have a great track record picking NFL games against the spread. As last week should illustrate, my picks should not be trusted.

Last Week 4-12

Season 19-27-2

5-star 1-2

 

Indianapolis Colts -1.5 vs. Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs woke up last week and the Colts have been close in their past two games. Both teams will be picking in the top 10, but it will be the Colts pride that will drive them to their first win this season against the Chiefs.

Minnesota Vikings -3 vs. Arizona Cardinals: The Vikings have endured a nightmare start to this season. Blown leads and a no-show performance last week have left them at 0-4. Another loss should lead to the beginning of the Christian Ponder era and potentially move the Vikings closer to Los Angeles. The good news is that the Cardinals haven’t put it together yet and face an early (10:00 PDT) start. The Donovan McNabb error, er, era will last another week.

Buffalo Bills +3 vs. Philadelphia Eagles: Why are the Eagles favored? This isn’t a Madden fantasy draft. The Eagles problems run deep as their high profile offseason additions didn’t address the underlying weaknesses of this team. They can’t impose themselves on the defense with a between the tackles running game, their linebackers are atrocious, and Mike Vick remains undisciplined in regards to becoming a passing quarterback in addition to his traditionally brittle body. The Bills have been very good with the exception of late last week. They’re at home and will win outright.

Oakland Raiders +5 at Houston Texans: The Raiders lost their iconic owner, Al Davis, on Saturday and should be “playing for Al” on Sunday. The Davis legacy is a great one and this Raiders team appears poised to take the next step towards becoming a classic Raiders team once again. There’s no motto more identifiable with Davis than “Just Win Baby”. On Sunday, the Raiders will honor Davis by just winning.

Carolina Panthers +6.5 vs. New Orleans Saints: Time to jump on the Cam Newton bandwagon with two feet. Now it’s up to his teammates to keep my ankles safe.

Jacksonville Jaguars +2 vs. Cincinnati Bengals: The Jags are probably the worst team in the league, but the young Bengals have to prove that they can win a road game after last week’s comeback win at home against the Bills. Lots of MJD will make that difficult for the Bengals.

Tennessee Titans +3 at Pittsburgh Steelers: Nobody saw this coming, did they? The Titans are 3-1 with a balanced offense led by the spry Matt Hasselbeck. The Steelers are showing their age with substandard performance and early season injuries. The Steelers might win, but it won’t be by more than a field goal.

New York Giants -10 vs. Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks are this writer’s choice for the worst team in the NFL this year. The Giants should explode for a fairly easy win.

San Francisco 49ers -3 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs are coming off a Monday night win and travelling across the country. That and Jim Harbaugh are the only reasons to take the Niners over the Bucs.

New York Jets +7 at New England Patriots: The Jets seem to play their best when they are facing the most adversity. They need to be the underdog and counted out before turning in their best performances. The Patriots have some injury issues and the Jets don’t have to win, just keep it within a touchdown. That’s enough for me to stick my toes in the water and take the Gang Green.

*****San Diego Chargers -3.5 at Denver Broncos: The Chargers have escaped the first quarter of the season with a 3-1 record and are running under the national radar. The Broncos stink and the Chargers should be able to easily beat the number on Sunday.

Atlanta Falcons +6 vs. Green Bay Packers: The Packers won the playoff matchup in a big way last season, but the Falcons won the regular season matchup. This game will be much closer than their last game in January and the Falcons should be able to cover, if not win outright against a Packers defense that is still trying to find themselves.

Chicago Bears +5 at Detroit Lions: This is a tough matchup to figure out. The Lions are on the cusp of a 5-0 start and have a chance to put the Bears at 2-3 and 3 games out of first place. The Bears will have to rough up Matthew Stafford a bit and that will be the primary responsibility of Julius Peppers. The Lions might win, but it won’t be by more than a field goal.

Week 4 NFL Picks

I'm going to make a right pick eventually...

 

This for entertainment purposes only. Take my advice at your own risk as this writer does not have a great track record picking NFL games against the spread.

Last Week 6-9-1

Season 15-15-2

5-star 1-1

 

Dallas Cowboys -2.5 vs. Detroit Lions: The Lions arrive in Dallas as the darlings of the NFL at 3-0. Matthew Stafford comes home and leads his team to 4-0, right? Not so fast. Yes, the Cowboys are banged up at receiver and Tony Romo’s still hurt, but this has been the most resilient Cowboys team in years. The Cowboys defense will be tested this week, but they have been surprisingly effective in the first three games and DeMarcus Ware should have a field day against Lions left tackle Jeff Backus. This will be close, but another Dan Bailey field goal will win it.

Jacksonville Jaguars +7 vs. New Orleans Saints: This pick is based on the Saints playing to their opponent, a trait that has been evident since the beginning of last season.

*****Philadelphia Eagles -9.5 vs. San Francisco 49ers: The Eagles should break out this week with a blowout win over the undermanned 49ers. The Niners travel across the country for the second straight week for an early start time and they are due for a humbling defeat. Look for the Eagles defense to put points on the board and outscore the 49ers on their own.

St. Louis Rams +3 vs. Washington Redskins: This is one of those games where the line appears to be just right. The Rams are the pick only because they are 0-3 and seem to be overdue for a victory.

Cleveland Browns +1 vs. Tennessee Titans: This is a game that should be decided by the home field advantage. Both teams are probably over their heads with their 2-1 records, but somebody has to win.

Buffalo Bills -3 at Cincinnati Bengals: This would normally be a good place for the traditional let-down week for the Bills. But there seems to be something a little bit different about this Bills team that they haven’t seen since the Flutie days. The Bills offense will continue to put up prolific numbers this week and the Bengals don’t have the personnel to stop them.

Minnesota Vikings -3 at Kansas City Chiefs: Um. Take the Vikings. The Chiefs might be (could be) the worst team in the league. The good news for Chiefs fans? They might be more Lucky than bad.

Chicago Bears -6.5 vs. Carolina Panthers: Last week Cam Newton’s numbers came down to earth but he earned his first win. This will be the first time that he plays poorly and his team loses. Julius Peppers will be in Newton’s face all day and Matt Forte will have another 150+ all purpose yard day for the Bears.

Houston Texans -3.5 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers: Here’s a hunch pick that the Steelers will be a little sluggish this week and play like they did in Indy last week. The Texans have a high-powered passing attack that typically gives the Steelers fits and the Texans secondary receivers should have big games.

Atlanta Falcons -5 at Seattle Seahawks: The Falcons are flying under the NFL radar, mostly due to their early flameout in the playoffs last season. But they are still one of the best teams in the NFC and the Seahawks, um, are not. This should be a two touchdown win for the Falcons.

New York Giants -1 at Arizona Cardinals: It’s still the first half of the season, which means that Tom Coughlin’s boys will be playing well. The Cards haven’t found their game yet and probably won’t this week. This will be close, but the Giants win.

Miami Dolphins +6.5 at San Diego Chargers: This will be close, mostly due to Norv’s Chargers typical early season struggles more than anything. If the Fins can win the turnover battle by two, they should upset the Chargers. Either way, the Dolphins keep it close enough to matter.

Green Bay Packers -12 vs. Denver Broncos: The Packers have a prolific, Super Bowl winning offense and the Broncos don’t. The Packers might win two quarters by 12 points.

Oakland Raiders +6.5 vs. New England Patriots: The Pats defense is listed as questionable with lack of discipline and commitment to excellence. Speaking of “Commitment to Excellence”, the Raiders are looking to go to 3-1 and will win this game if the Pats can’t stop the run. Time of possession could be 40-20 in favor of the Raiders in this one.

New York Jets +5 at Baltimore Ravens: The Jets are becoming a national TV darling and they seem to raise their level of play in primetime. They can lose by a field goal and be alright, but don’t be surprised with the outright win in an ugly game.

Indianapolis Colts +10 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This could be the point in the season where the Colts “give up” on the season with a loss. But the Monday Night lights should motivate them to be competitive throughout and keep it close enough to win with the points.