Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

The ties that bind + NFL Week 7 picks

- October 18th, 2014

I hate ties in the NFL.

They’re the worst. Football should be a game that is won or lost, not drawn.

Now, thanks to the highest-scoring tie in NFL history, we’re going to have to see records at the end of the season like 8-7-1 instead of a much cleaner 8-8. I’m sure you’re not going to care, but that plays hell with an editor’s layout.

There’s a very easy way to avoid these damned ties, which are cropping up more and more often with three in five years: Play NCAA-style overtime.

While many will say that the NFL should just extend overtime until a winning score is produced, that’s not a feasible way of doing things when you consider the players’ safety.

Longer games mean more chance at injury and that’s certainly something that you don’t want.

So play the shootout style like both college and the CFL use – although the CFL does have ties after a certain amount of rounds. It’s a lot more exciting than a battle of field position that overtime can become, when teams are more afraid to lose than they want to win.

Nobody likes ties and there’s plenty of ways to get rid of them. So let’s do it.

The lines are from Vegas and the home teams are in CAPS.

NEW ENGLAND -9.5 over New York Jets

I am a little shocked that this game came down to a blocked field goal with time expiring, but should’ve known better considering the Patriots injuries and the that Rex Ryan is always out to get Bill Belichick.

INDIANAPOLIS -3 over Cincinnati

Without A.J. Green, the Bengals aren’t so scary. Their defence is also slacking and they’re a much better team at home.

WASHINGTON -5.5 over Tennessee

With Robert Griffin III somehow getting close to coming back after that gruesome injury, Kirk Cousins may be playing for his job.

Miami +3 over CHICAGO

The Dolphins are a real Jekyll and Hyde team, but the Bears are too. I’ll take Miami with the points on the road.

Cleveland -5.5 over JACKSONVILLE

The Browns have been on fire in the past few weeks and the Jags aren’t exactly a top-class opponent. Brian Hoyer is making himself a lot of money in the free-agent market this off-season.

Seattle -7.5 over ST. LOUIS

The Seahawks will use this as a statement game after losing at home in their supposed fortress last week.

Carolina +7 over GREEN BAY

The Packers aren’t exactly impressing every week and the Cats can keep it close.

Atlanta +7.5 over BALTIMORE

When two good offences collide, I’d rather take the points if it’s more than a TD. And why the heck isn’t Antone Smith getting the ball more often, Mike Smith?

Minnesota +7 over BUFFALO

The Vikings seriously have to start blocking better, but the Bills are due for a big letdown game.

New Orleans +2.5 over DETROIT

The Saints have to turn it around and soon. Although the Lions defence is one of the league’s best, I have faith in Sean Payton and Drew Brees to break it down. Although if Megatron plays, I’m going with Detroit.

Kansas City +4 over SAN DIEGO

The Chiefs are coming off a bye and Andy Reid has made a career by winning with two weeks of preparation.

New York Giants +7 over DALLAS

The Giants will look to bounce back and always play well when visiting the rival Cowboys.

Arizona -3 over OAKLAND

The Raiders did look improved against the Chargers last week, but this Cardinals team is 4-1 and just got Carson Palmer back.

DENVER -7 over San Francisco

The Niners are too banged up on defence to contain Peyton Manning on his march into the record books.

PITTSBURGH -3 over Houston

The Steelers are a very average team all around, but the Texans are essentially a one-man team on defence and won’t be able to contain Antonio Brown.

Last week: 9-5-1

This season: 48-42-1

NFL Week 6 picks

- October 11th, 2014

The lines are from Vegas and the home teams are in CAPS.

Indianapolis -3 over HOUSTON

Can you believe it? We finally got a competitive Thursday night football game! The only problem with that is that the game was only close because it got incredibly sloppy at times. It’s a real shame that these things are going to continue on forever.

Denver -10 over NEW YORK JETS

It really is all falling apart for Rex Ryan and the Jets. Even their run defence – their saving grace this season – looked awful last week while being shutout. The Broncos should have an easy one in New York.

Pittsburgh +2 over CLEVELAND

A lot of bettors are backing the Browns and I’m not sure why. That big comeback last week was aided by the Titans falling apart. The Steelers held on to win in Week 1 and should do it again.

Jacksonville +4 over TENNESSEE

If you want to bet on Charlie Whitehurst, do so at your own peril.

Chicago +3.5 over ATLANTA

This has potential to be a real shootout. Jay Cutler has been better on the road this season and Matt Forte could really run wild on the Falcons vulnerable front seven.

MIAMI +3 over Green Bay

Just because the Packers dominated the Vikings last Thursday night, doesn’t mean it will carry over against the Dolphins. Both teams are well-rested, but it’s tough to pass on a home dog that’s frisky.

Minnesota (pk) over DETROIT

Without Megatron and Reggie Bush, the Lions could be in big trouble against a division rival that has their number.

Carolina +7 over CINCINNATI

While the Bengals are on a good run at home, this game should be a close one without A.J. Green playing.

New England -3 over BUFFALO

The Bills could get an emotional boost with the announcement of their new owners, but the Pats ran wild last week and looked like the contenders they’re supposed to be.

TAMPA BAY +3 over Baltimore

The Ravens have some pretty poor road record while the Bucs can be feisty at times.

OAKLAND +8 over San Diego

Home dogs coming off a by favoured by more than a TD are a solid bet, according to recent trends.

SEATTLE -8 over Dallas

The Cowboys have looked very good this season, but the Seahawks – especially at home – are a very tough matchup for them.

Washington +3.5 over ARIZONA

If it’s Logan Thomas starting for the Cards, there’s no way I can back them. If Carson Palmer is somehow good to go, that’s another story.

PHILADELPHIA -2.5 over New York Giants

This will be the LeSean McCoy break out game fantasy owners have been waiting for.  Shady always dices up the Giants in these rivalry games.

San Francisco -3 over ST. LOUIS

The Niners haven’t looked anything special this season, but the Rams have barely looked average at times. Austin Davis is also punching above his weight right now.

Last week: 12-3

This season: 39-37

NFL Week 5 picks

- October 4th, 2014

The lines are from Vegas and the home teams are in CAPS.

GREEN BAY -8 over Minnesota

In the four Thursday night games –excluding the opener – this season, the average margin of victory has been 28.25 points. That’s an average win by four touchdowns. And who said these games aren’t cash-grabs by the NFL?

Chicago +2.5 over CAROLINA

Darrin Reaves and Fozzy Whitaker: That’s who will be running the ball for Carolina against the improved Bears run defence this week.

Cleveland +1 over TENNESSEE

Surely the worst game of the week. In a toss-up, I’ll go with Brian Hoyer over Jake Locker.

PHILADELPHIA -7.5 over St. Louis

Is Austin Davis winning the QB job really a good thing? The Eagles offence will get back on track at home.

NEW YORK GIANTS -4 over Atlanta

I originally thought the Giants would blow this game with expectations being up, but they’ll be able to run the ball at will against the Falcons.

Tampa Bay +11 over NEW ORLEANS

Are we really sure that the Saints are worthy of this line? I think the safer bet is to take the points.

Houston +7 over DALLAS

When the stakes are raised, the Cowboys usually fold. Although if Arian Foster sits, I’m taking Dallas.

Buffalo +7.5 over DETROIT

Let the Kyle Orton era begin! It can’t be worse than the EJ Manuel era, right? Megatron’s injury is also concerning.

INDIANAPOLIS -3 over Baltimore

The Ravens aren’t the same team on the road and Andrew Luck is becoming a top-5 passer in this league.

Pittsburgh -7 over JACKSONVILLE

What have the Jaguars shown that proves they should be favoured by less than 10 against anyone, even with Blake Bortles starting?

DENVER -8.5 over Arizona

John Skelton starting at Mile High isn’t a recipe for success.

Kansas City +5.5 over SAN FRANCISCO

The Chiefs won’t look as dominant as they did against the Pats, but will be tough out for the Niners.

SAN DIEGO -7.5 over New York Jets

This could be Geno Smith’s last stand and I don’t see it going very well.

Cincinnati (pk) over NEW ENGLAND

It’s risky to bet against the Pats after a loss, but the Bengals are rested and really good.

Seattle -8.5 over WASHINGTON

Kirk Cousins was embarrassed by the Giants at home and now has to face a rested Seahawks squad.

Last week: 6-7

This season: 27-34

Could AP get his wish? + Week 4 picks

- September 27th, 2014

If you may recall, ESPN ran a feature near the beginning of the season about Jerry Jones.

In it, the Dallas Cowboys owner had a phone conversation with Vikings running back Adrian Peterson in which AP said that he would like to play for the Cowboys before his career over.

After all of the controversy involving child abuse and the real possibility that the Vikings will let the superstar back go once it is all cleared up, AP might get his wish sooner rather than later.

Of course, what Peterson allegedly did to his four-year-old is horrid and deplorable. He should and will be punished by the league for his actions. But after he serves his time, wouldn’t he look great running behind Dallas’ amazing offensive line?

With DeMarco Murray a free agent after this season, the Cowboys could be in the market for a new running back.

Big D has also never been shy about signing players with checkered pasts, giving them chances at rehabbing their images.

Really, it might be the only option for the Texas native and one that is mutually beneficial to the team if it can’t retain Murray.

So, AP’s dream might come true.

The lines are from Vegas and the home teams are in CAPS.

WASHINGTON -3.5 over New York Giants

Don’t mind me, I’m just continuing my terrible streak of predicting Thursday night games. And who

switched Eli Manning and Kirk Cousins before this game? RG3, I’m looking your way!

OAKLAND +3.5 over Miami in England

Year after year it never fails: The NFL sends at least one awful team to play in England. I thought it was trying to expand its brand, not kill it. Either way, can you back a team with as much behind-the-scenes turmoil as Miami right now?

CHICAGO +1.5 over Green Bay

Both of these teams should finally be able to get their running games moving. Have to take the home dog.

Buffalo +3 over HOUSTON

If Arian Foster can’t play, it’s really tough to take the Texans. Bet the under on this game too, that’s a lock.

INDIANAPOLIS -7.5 over Tennessee

If it was Jake Locker, I could handle that. But Charlie “Clipboard Jesus” Whitehurst isn’t going to get it done.

Carolina +3.5 over BALTIMORE

The Panthers have to bounce back after that embarrassing loss in prime time. Also getting to show up former receiver Steve Smith is a bonus.

Detroit -1.5 over NEW YORK JETS

This is the type of game the Jets somehow always win, but I don’t trust Geno Smith enough to pick them.

Tampa Bay +7.5 over PITTSBURGH

The Bucs are spiralling and going to Mike Glennon at QB isn’t going to help. LeVeon Bell should be able to run freely with DT Gerald McCoy hurt too.

SAN DIEGO -13 over Jacksonville

You can’t spot Blake Bortles two touchdowns! OK, maybe you can. Rookie QB getting first start on the road against a contender? Should be an easy cover.

Philadelphia +5.5 over SAN FRANCISCO

The Eagles soar in second halves while the 49ers wilt. That could be disastrous for Jim Harbaugh’s

Atlanta -3 over MINNESOTA

Teddy Bridgewater will get his first start, but it will be without the Vikes best running back and top tight end. The Falcons are well-rested after thrashing the Bucs 10 days ago.

New Orleans -3 over DALLAS

This one looks like the one where the Saints offence really comes alive against an overmatched Cowboys defence.

New England -3.5 over KANSAS CITY

This one does sound a bit dicey with Jamaal Charles likely playing, but you have to trust Tom Brady in a night game.

Last week: 9-7

This season: 21-27

Goodell has got to go + Week 3 picks

- September 20th, 2014

Roger Goodell said in his long-awaited press conference on Friday that he had no intention on resigning. The biggest question now is, of course, “Why the hell not?”

I’m not Goodell’s boss and I’m not one to go around saying that hard-working people should lose their jobs, but in Goodell’s case, the only thing that he works hard it is apparently cover-ups and he’s not very good at it either.

The negatives are far outweighing the positives from Goodell’s reign as commissioner of the NFL.

The biggest positive is the amount of money he has made the owners – his bosses – and how he has grown the game. Really though, with the position the league was in when Goodell took over from Paul Tagliabue, football was already on a rollercoaster ride to the top and the money was always going to come in.

As proven by what Goodell has done while in charge, anybody with even the slightest bit of aptitude for this position could have raked in a huge amount of money.

My favourite part of Friday’s press conference was when a TMZ reporter asked Goodell how his entire legal department couldn’t get the Rice elevator tape when all it took TMZ was a single phone call. Goodell’s answer involved something about not knowing how TMZ got said tape.

That response reeks of a dodge and just overall incompetence.

That’s exactly why Goodell has to go.

The lines are from Vegas and the home teams are in CAPS

TampaBay +6 over ATLANTA

OK, I really should have seen this one coming. The Bucs are in pretty dire straights and I’m not sure what Lovie Smith can do to turn this team around.

San Diego +2.5 over BUFFALO

The Bills are undefeated and looked good against Miami, but the Chargers are the better team here.

ST. LOUIS (pk) over Dallas

Just when you think the Cowboys have pulled it together, they fall apart against a weaker team.

Washington +6.5 over PHILADELPHIA

I really like Kirk Cousin and think he deserves to start even over a healthy RG3. The Eagles have a problem with falling behind early and Washington might be able to take advantage of it.

Houston -2 over NEW YORK GIANTS

The Giants are one of the five worst teams in the league and their offensive line will be in trouble trying to stop J.J. Watt.

NEW ORLEANS -10.5 over Minnesota

Even if this whole Adrian Peterson saga galvanizes this Vikings team like the Ray Rice saga in Baltimore, you can’t discount an angry, winless Saints team in their home-opener

CINCINNATI -7 over Tennessee

The Titans had a lot of trouble stopping the run against Dallas and should see another steady diet of power rushing by the Bengals this week with A.J. Green hobbled.

CLEVELAND +6.5 over Baltimore

The Ravens are a different team on the road and the Browns will play them tough.

DETROIT -2.5 over Green Bay

While many picked the Pack as a Super Bowl contender, I’m really not seeing it through two games. The Lions aren’t a great team, but will definitely give it their all here. And who’s covering Megatron, really?

JACKSONVILLE +7 over Indianapolis

The Jags were embarrassed at Washington last week, but are always ready to put up a fight against their division rivals.

NEW ENGLAND -14 over Oakland

If this line stayed at 16, which I saw earlier this week, then I might’ve actually talked myself into Oakland. But I see the Pats running the ball hard down the Raiders’ throats.

San Francisco -3 over ARIZONA

The Niners fell apart against Chicago and Colin Kaepernick looked very shaky. That said the Cardinals are also falling apart and starting Drew Stanton again.

SEATTLE -4.5 over Denver

The Super Bowl rematch won’t be a shellacking like the game in February, but it should be an easy win at home for the Seahawks.

Kansas City +4 over MIAMI

The Dolphins’ flaws were exposed by Buffalo last week, and with Jamaal Charles looking like he could play, the Chiefs just might be able to exploit them.

CAROLINA -3 over Pittsburgh

The Panthers didn’t slide into regression like many thought they would, while Pittsburgh hasn’t looked great in its two games so far.

Chicago +3 over NEW YORK JETS

The Bears needed a big comeback to beat the Niners on the West Coast, but shouldn’t be getting points against a Jets team that barely beat Oakland.

Last week: 6-10
This season: 12-20