Archive for the ‘Football’ Category

NFL Week 12 picks

- November 22nd, 2014

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

Kansas City -7 over OAKLAND

I really should have known better than to make this my survivor pool pick. The Raiders win for the first time in more than a year, breaking a 16-game losing streak, Matt Schaub’s 24-game losing streak and even score the first rushing TD of the season against the Chiefs. Goddamnit, Andy Reid.

Cleveland +3 over ATLANTA

This line actually seems low considering the return of Josh Gordon to the Browns lineup.

Tennessee +12.5 over PHILADELPHIA

Do you really want to be giving this many points with Mark Sanchez at QB? Of course, Philly’s defence will probably score 21 points in this one.

NEW ENGLAND -7.5 over Detroit

When the Pats are hot, they get real hot. I’ll ride them until I have a reason not to.

MINNESOTA +10 over Green Bay

Simply, the Packers are a much better team at home and you can’t give this many points to a home dog in a division game.

INDIANAPOLIS -15 over Jacksonville

Why wouldn’t the Colts be able to rough up the Jags again? They did it on the road already this season.

Cincinnati +1 over HOUSTON

If Arian Foster plays, flip this pick. I don’t think the Bengals could stop him, even he is limited.

CHICAGO -6 over TampaBay

I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears go on a hot streak to end the season and just barely miss the playoffs.

Arizona +7.5 over SEATTLE

We know the Seahawks will snap to life at some point, but can you really give the best team in the league more than a TD?

SAN DIEGO -5 over St. Louis

Just because the Rams upset the Broncos last week, doesn’t mean they’ll turn it on again. Especially on the road against another top QB.

Miami +7.5 over DENVER

The Broncos’ long list of injuries could be a problem against Miami’s strong defence.

Washington +10 over SAN FRANCISCO

Can you really trust the 49ers with this many points? They haven’t impressed at home this season either.

NEW YORK GIANTS +3 over Dallas

The Giants always find a way to spoil things for the Cowboys.

BUFFALO -2.5 over New York Jets

The Bills are the home team in name only, hosting the Jets in Buffalo. Kyle Orton may have fallen off a cliff, but he and Buffalo have already beaten the Jets badly this season.

NEW ORLEANS -3 over Baltimore

If the Saints put up three stinkers at home in a row, it might be time to start discussing Sean Payton’s job security and Drew Brees’ future prospects.

Last week: 7-7

This season: 85-74-1

Rethinking the playoffs + Week 11 picks

- November 14th, 2014

It seems to happen every year, sparking debate about reform that ultimately never comes: One team beats out another with a better record to either make the playoffs or get a home game.

At the rate New Orleans and the NFC South is going, we could see a team with a losing record make the playoffs while a strong team like Dallas, Philly, Seattle, Arizona, Green Bay or San Francisco is sent packing when the regular season ends.

How is that right?

While it’s a bit questionable to not allow division champs an automatic berth, I can see some upside towards it. Winning a contest among the weak shouldn’t be a reward. In fact, if you can’t score enough wins against your fellow chumps, that should be damning enough.

Perhaps we keep divisions and use them for scheduling purposes only.

I could be swayed either way in this debate.

The one unalienable point that should be changed is how the playoffs are seeded.

Wild cards should be forced to play road games against a team that has a worse record than it.

What sense does it make that a team like Green Bay or Detroit could finish 12-4, finish a behind their rival in a tiebreaker and be forced to play on the road in the playoffs while New Orleans gets its comforts of ‘dome?’

The playoffs should be seeded by record, regardless of division.

Best of all, it’s the right move: Some that the NFL would receive some actual kudos for making.

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

Buffalo +6 over MIAMI

In the most “Bills” sequence ever, Kyle Orton was called for intentional grounding and a safety after a good two-minute debate by the refs, the Bills recovered a fumble on the ensuring punt and then ended up missing a long field goal. Talking proud, Buffalo.

CLEVELAND -3.5 over Houston

Ryan Mallet’s first start probably isn’t going to go so well in the Dawg Pound.

CHICAGO -3 over Minnesota

The Bears have to turn it around at home after two massive losses in a row, right?

Philadelphia +5.5 over GREEN BAY

I get the fear that it is Mark Sanchez on the road against an offensive juggernaut like the Packers, but man was that Bears defence awful last week to inflate Green Bay’s ego.

KANSAS CITY (pk) over Seattle

Losing Brandon Mebane will hurt the Seahawks rush defence, which falls right into the hands of the Chiefs.

CAROLINA +1 over Atlanta

The Panthers couldn’t possibly look as bad as they did against Philly. Two of the Falcons wins have come against the lowly Bucs this season.

Cincinnati +7 over NEW ORLEANS

I don’t think that Andy Dalton can have as terrible of a game as he did last week because, well, that would be nearly statistically impossible.

Tampa Bay +7 over WASHINGTON

With the Bucs going back to Josh McCown, I actually think they have a chance in this one.

Denver -9.5 over ST. LOUIS

Sorry Rams fans, but Shaun Hill just isn’t going to be the answer against Peyton Manning.

NEW YORK GIANTS +4 over San Francisco

Just when you count the Giants out, they’ll unexpectedly turn things around. But man, that run defence was awful against Seattle.

Oakland +11.5 over SAN DIEGO

The Raiders kept it close when these two teams last met and, honestly, I would be surprised if Oakland picked up its first win in a year.

ARIZONA -1 over Detroit

If coach Bruce Arians believes he can win the Super Bowl with Drew Stanton, who am I to say otherwise? This defensive battle will definitely go UNDER.

New England +2.5 over INDIANAPOLIS

You just can’t bet against a red-hot Tom Brady coming off a bye week in a prime-time game.

Pittsburgh -5.5 over TENNESSEE

Big Ben will easily win the battle of the longest-named QBs in the game.

Last week: 7-6

This season: 79-67-1

NFL Week 10 picks

- November 8th, 2014

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

CINCINNATI -6 over Cleveland

It takes a lot to have the fourth-worst quarterbacking day in NFL history. Andy Dalton looked absolutely awful and I’m not sure why the Bengals even continued to call enough passes for him to get 10-for-33. Ugly.

JACKSONVILLE +6.5 over Dallas

With Tony Romo likely playing and the Cowboys needing a win, I see them pulling out a close one, but not covering.

DETROIT -2.5 over Miami

Getting Megatron back and motivated should push the Lions over the top of the frisky Dolphins.

Kansas City (pk) over BUFFALO

The Chiefs are picking up steam and the Bills running game should suffer in this one.

San Francisco +5 over NEW ORLEANS

The Niners have a decent record in the Big Easy and will be fired up after that tough loss to the Rams.

BALTIMORE -10 over Tennessee

The Titans are a wreck and the Ravens are dynamite at home.

Pittsburgh -4.5 over NEW YORK JETS

I wouldn’t bet against Big Ben throwing for six touchdowns for the third week in a row with this matchup.

Atlanta -1 over TAMPA BAY

The Falcons completely destroyed the Bucs earlier this season and the Bucs seem to think that going back to Josh McCown will be the answer here – I don’t.

OAKLAND +12.5 over Denver

The Raiders did OK in Seattle last week, enough to think that this line is too high for a home dog, even if this is a mismatch.

ARIZONA -8 over St. Louis

The Cardinals are starting to look like a good, consistent Super Bowl contender. Could we actually see a host team in the big game?

New York Giants +10.5 over SEATTLE

The Seahawks just aren’t the same this season. If the Raiders can cover in Seattle, so can the Giants.

Chicago +8 over GREEN BAY

Can you really give eight points to a desperate team in a division matchup coming off of a bye week?

PHILADELPHIA -7 over Carolina

Is it completely wrong to think that Mark Sanchez might actually be an upgrade over the turnover-prone Nick Foles?

Last week: 9-4

This season: 72-61-1

We need more all-day football + Week 8 picks

- November 1st, 2014

How great was all-day football?

Thanks to last week’s afternoon start in London, England, we in the Eastern time zone of North America were lucky enough to get a quadruple header of NFL football at a reasonable hour.

Well, you do feel a little sorry for those on the west coast considering the game started at 6:30 a.m. local time for them, and for owners of Megatron that couldn’t get him out of their lineup in time.

But there’s nothing that trumps that all-day experience, when even your morning is chock full of gridiron excitement.

And with five games reportedly taking place in London next season, you have to wonder if the NFL will have one of these early starts again.

While the quadruple-header is fun and all, why not take it one game further?

The NFL has had a late Sunday nighter for the west coast before, why not try it again? Could you imagine NFL football from 9:30 a.m. until 2 a.m.? That’s what I’m talking about. Sure, the wives won’t like it one bit, but if you try it for one week a year, it could be something really special.

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

New Orleans -2.5 over CAROLINA

Either the Saints have got their offence working or the Panthers are basically done for.

San Diego (pk) over MIAMI

It’s tough to take a west coast time in an early game against a good team, but Phil Rivers and Co. need to turn this skid around.

CINCINNATI -12 over Jacksonville

Getting A.J. Green back could turn the Bengals back into a juggernaut. It also doesn’t hurt that they haven’t lost at home since December 2012.

Tampa Bay +7 over CLEVELAND

When are we going to see Johnny Football? If Brian Hoyer continues to struggle, the calls for Manziel could be deafening.

MINNESOTA +1 over Washington

RG3 returns, but we should remember that he hasn’t been that good in a long while.

Philadelphia -1 over HOUSTON

The Eagles’ offensive line is getting healthy, which should mean LeSean McCoy is poised for a breakout.

KANSAS CITY -10.5 over New York Jets

If Mike Vick was really the answer, the Jets would have turned to him sooner. At least Percy Harvin makes this team somewhat watchable.

Arizona +3.5 over DALLAS

Can you really trust the Cowboys when Tony Romo is a game-time decision after re-injuring his back? Also, the Cards are equipped to slow down Dallas’ running game.

St. Louis +11 over SAN FRANCISCO

The Rams notoriously always play the 49ers really close, even when wildly overmatched.

Denver -3 over NEW ENGLAND

We all love a good Manning-Brady matchup, but the defences make the difference and the Pats are ailing right now.

SEATTLE -16.5 over Oakland

The Seahawks defence looked great last week in Carolina and should dominate the sad-sack Raiders at home.

PITTSBURGH (pk) over Baltimore

A tough rivalry game that is always close. The Ravens have some serious injury issues in their defensive backfield.

Indianapolis -3 over NEW YORK GIANTS

That blowout loss might scare you off the Colts, but everyone has a bad game once in a while, right?

Last week: 7-8

This season: 63-57-1

Why does nobody mention Favre? + Week 8 picks

- October 25th, 2014

Joe Montana, John Elway, Dan Marino, Joe Namath, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning.

That’s pretty much the list of the greatest QBs of all time. But isn’t there a name missing on there? What happened to Brett Favre?

Manning has received a lot of attention in the past few weeks in his pursuit of the record for the most passing TDs all-time. The man who previously held that record: Favre.

So why does Favre never get brought up in the conversation of best QBs ever? He’s a Super Bowl champion, an 11-time all-star, a three-time MVP and was on the 1990s all-decade team.

Not to mention that up until a week ago he had the most passing touchdowns in the NFL history and also has the most passing yards.

Is it because he’s a “gunslinger” and not a thinking-man’s QB like Manning? Is it because he also holds the record for most interceptions in his career? Perhaps it’s because he stabbed Packers fans in the back by signing with rival Minnesota and led them to the playoffs.

Maybe it’s because he texted a dick pic that went public and we’d rather not be reminded of L’il Brett.

Either way, there’s no getting around how great of a QB Favre was and he should get his due in the conversation of best of all-time. His career may not have ended the way we all wanted it to, but it was still one of the best we’ve ever seen.

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

San Diego +8 over Denver

The Chargers won in Denver last year, so what was the harm in taking eight points? Oh yeah, Peyton Manning is playing at another level right now and is basically unstoppable.

Detroit -3.5 over ATLANTA in London

I hope you like waking up early! In a bid to cause even more divorces, this 9:30 a.m. EST start will create a quadruple header and much marital tension. The Lions shouldn’t have much trouble against that terrible Falcons defence, even without Calvin Johnson.

Minnesota +2.5 over TAMPA BAY

Just because the Bucs were off for a week, doesn’t mean you should forget how bad they’ve been this season.

Chicago +6 over NEW ENGLAND

Somehow, Jay Cutler always performs better on the road. The Patriots also have a lot of injuries piling up on defence.

KANSAS CITY -7 over St. Louis

This game would’ve been infinitely more interesting if we had a Cards-Royals World Series. The Chiefs looked good coming off their bye and the entire city of K.C. is riding a high.

Seattle -5 over CAROLINA

At some point, the Seahawks have to start playing like the champs, right?

Buffalo +3 over NEW YORK JETS

Shockingly, getting Kyle Orton to throw the ball more with Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller out may actually be a recipe for success.

Miami -6 over JACKSONVILLE

It’s this simple: The Dolphins are good and the Jaguars aren’t.

Houston -3 over TENNESSEE

The Titans are on their third QB of the season and I’m not sure how good I’d feel about backing Zach Mettenberger against J.J. Watt.

Baltimore 1 over CINCINNATI

With A.J. Green sitting out once again, how can you back the Bengals against a good Ravens team?

ARIZONA -3 over Philadelphia

This looks like the game of the week. With Carson Palmer back, the Cardinals look like they can win the NFC West.

Indianapolis -3 over PITTSBURGH

The Steelers are on a short week and, really, needed some luck with that incredible three-TDs-in-two-minutes stretch to really handle the Texans on Monday.

Oakland +7 over CLEVELAND

The Raiders aren’t actually that terrible since Tony Sparano took over as head coach. Covering with more than a TD against this Browns team might not be too hard.

Green Bay +1.5 over NEW ORLEANS

The Pack are flying high and the Saints can’t stop anybody on defence. This could be a high-scoring game if Drew Brees can answer the bell at home.

Washington +10 over DALLAS

If you don’t think that Washington is licking its chops about trying to stop the Cowboys winning streak, you don’t know this rivalry.

This week: 8-7

This season: 56-49-1