Saturday, November 14, 2009

You Betcha!

Hey, here's one benefit of being home on a Saturday night...actual bullshit commentary to accompany my picks! Celebrate good times, people. Celebrate the good times. Last week was a good one as I went 8-5 overall and 2-1 on the mortal locks, but because I was a little out of it last Sunday morning, I accidentally placed the same bet twice...on the Redskins, no less. Yeah, that didn't work out so well, so I actually ended up down in the $$ column. But hey, here's another benefit to being home on a Saturday night---I'm not hungover when I make my picks! Living the good life.

Last Week:

Against the Spread: 8-5
Mortal Locks: 2-1
Net Profit: $-13.75

Overall Totals:

Against the Spread: 64-48-1 (.571)
Mortal Locks: 16-8 (.667)
Net Profit: $152.42

Week 10 (road teams are always listed first):

1) Jacksonville (+7) vs. NY Jets

I always like picking teams coming off a bye who lost going into the off week, and the Jets fit that bill. Rookie QB Sanchez has been miserable of late, but there are worse teams to get right against than the mediocre Jags. With the weather expected to be wet tomorrow, the score could be kept low enough that a seven-point spread ends up being significant, but I think the Jets have enough weapons on offense and defense to open this one up in the second half and pull away. Take the Jets to cover.

2) Denver (-4) vs. Washington

I know the Broncos have lost two in a row, and I know that Ladell Betts filling in for the injured Clinton Portis might give the Skins a bit of a lift, but a four-point spread? The Redskins are playing better of late, true, but unless they have some secret plan to improve the offense, these are the same Skins who haven't scored more than 17 points in any game this facing a defense which has allowed the third fewest points per game in the NFL. Me thinks the Broncos snap their two-game losing streak in a big way.

3) Cincinnati (+7) vs. Pittsburgh

Arguably the best game of the week, the Bengals get a chance to solidify themselves as a legit contender in the AFC. I've doubted them for most of the season, however, and I'm not quite ready to jump on that bandwagon. They are definitely better than I've been giving them credit for, but Ben Roethlisberger is playing lights-out right now, and the absence of Antwan Odom significantly impacts their pass rush. At home, I like the Steelers to prevail in what could very well be a high-scoring shootout. Pittsburgh will cover.

4) Buffalo (+8.5) vs. Tennessee

With Vince Young back under center for the Titans and with Chris Johnson running wild, suddenly they've won two in a row and has becomes everyone's pick for a continued second-half surge. But do they merit an 8.5 point spread here? I don't think so. Like the Jets, the Bills are a team coming off a bye week in which they lost their last game. They also get Trent Edwards back under center and that point spread is irresistibly large for a 2-6 team. Buffalo's run defense is solid enough to keep Johnson from having more than one 60-yard TD run, and that should be enough to beat the spread.

5) Detroit (+17) vs. Minnesota

Here's the thing about point spreads this big---if you take the Lions you're almost guaranteed to be winning going into the second half. Almost. This is obviously a lopsided matchup, but the Lions have some weapons and have shown more fight than the Lions of old. I don't know if that's enough to stay within this massive point spread, but there's also the possibility of some late scores once the Vikings take their foot off the gas in the second half. I'll take those 17 points, thank you very much.

6) New Orleans (-14) vs. St. Louis

Another big spread, but for this one I'm taking the Saints. The Rams have been competitive of late, and the Saints have found themselves in some closer-than-expected games the last few weeks, but there's no comparison in the talent here. The Saints should be up by 14 points by the end of the first quarter and that's just the start. Expect a huge blowout here and, unlike the Lions, I don't think the Rams have enough offense to even mount a late garbage-time rally. Saints will cover easily.

7) Atlanta (-2) vs. Carolina

The Panthers have been playing well recently, exclusively because they haven't needed Jake Delhomme to throw the ball. They lean heavily on the legs of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, but both are a little banged up this week. There's no mystery how one beats the Panthers. Stop the run. Or at least slow it down. The Falcons struggle against the run, but with the Panthers utter inability to throw the ball, expect the Falcons to add another man to the box to dare Delhomme to throw. It'll work. The Falcons are a steal as a 2-point favorite.

8) Tampa Bay (+10) vs. Miami

The Bucs, led by rookie QB Josh Freeman, shocked the Pack last week...but I swear that says more about the Packers than it does Tampa. Miami is one of the best 3-5 teams you'll ever find and have countless ways to beat you. While Freeman did throw 3 TDs last week, he also completed just 45% of his passes and this week he's without their top WR Antonio Bryant. Expect the Dolphins to roll it up bigtime in this one.

9) Kansas City (+2) vs. Oakland

These teams may have just 3 wins between them, but both teams figure to be much better in the second half of the season. The Chiefs are downright feisty and keep getting better and better, and the Raiders are as healthy as they've been all year. My gut says the Chiefs are primed for a win now that they've jettisoned Larry Johnson, but the Raiders are, you guessed it, coming off a bye week after having lost their last game---a hard fought loss to the surging Chargers. With RB Darren McFadden back, as well as WR Chaz Schillens, expect the Raiders to win by more than two points.

10) Seattle (+9) vs. Arizona

Last time they met, four weeks ago in Seattle, the Cardinals rolled to a 27-3 victory. Now the scene shifts to Arizona, a week after Kurt Warner tossed 5 TDs against the Bears. Anybody else thinks a 9-point spread sounds a little soft? All indications point to a big win by the Cardinals who are playing a lot like the team which made it to the Super Bowl last year (how quickly we forget). The Seahawks do well against weak defenses, but Arizona is not one such defense. Take the Cardinals to cover.

11) Philadelphia (+1) vs. San Diego

The Chargers have won three in a row while the Eagles come off a home loss to the Dallas Cowboys, thus San Diego is generously considered a one-point favorite. Forget it. The Eagles get Bryan Westbrook back and the Chargers haven't faced any team in their hot streak with nearly the same talent the Eagles sport. These days the Chargers are pass-happy, but the Eagles have a secondary more than capable of making Phillip Rivers wish LaDainian Tomlinson could do more than fall forward for three yards every carry. The Eagles should prevail here.

12) Dallas (-3) vs. Green Bay

Did I miss something? Did the Packers not just get humiliated by Tampa? Are the Cowboys not riding a 4-game win streak including victories over Atlanta and Philadelphia? Look, I know the Packers know how to throw, and I know the Cowboys have trouble defending the pass, but the Cowboys should be more than a FG favorite here. Aaron Rodgers is taking sack after sack these days and that trend will continue against a very solid Cowboy defensive front. Take the Boys.

13) New England (+3) vs. Indianapolis

This is the game everyone is buzzing about and it does figure to be a good one. The Colts are undefeated but lacking any one "great" victory over a good opponent, while the Patriots and Tom Brady appear to be rounding into a championship-caliber team in recent week. So what gives? While it's hard to pick against the Colts at home, the Patriots should have no trouble carving up a Bob Sanders-less defense. I wouldn't go putting money down on this one, but this is the week where the NFL loses one of its two undefeated teams.

14) Baltimore (-11) vs. Cleveland

The Ravens are a confounding 4-4...sometimes appearing as though they have what it takes to be an elite team, then other times looking downright one-dimensional and thoroughly beatable. So which team shows up this week? It doesn't matter. They're playing the Browns. Okay, yes, the Browns are at home and they're coming off a bye week preceding a loss, and yes, they've switched back to Brady Quinn at QB who at least has a pulse compared to the thrice-deposed Derek Anderson...but it's the god damn Browns. Honestly, the Baltimore defense might account for the point spread all by themselves. Take the Ravens in the Monday spotlight.

Mortal Lock #1: Denver (-4)
Mortal Lock #2: Atlanta (-2)
Mortal Lock #3: Philadelphia (+1)

This Week's Bets:

1) Denver - $25 to win $23.81
2) Atlanta - $25 to win $22.73
3) Philadelphia - $25 to win $21.74
4) Miami - $25 to win $21.74
5) Dallas - $20 to win $18.18
6) NY Jets - $20 to win $19.05
7) New Orleans - $20 to win $17.39
8) Pittsburgh - $20 to win $18.18
9) Baltimore - $10 to win $8.70
10) 4-team parlay picking: Denver, Atlanta, Philly, New Orleans - $5 to win $60.14
11) 5-team parlay picking: Jets, Denver, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Philly - $5 to win $124.87

Update: Oh. My. God. This is not going well. Including the Thursday night game, I'm off to an 0-8-1 start. This is not a good weekend in many, many respects.


Blogger JMW said...

Sweet lord. Rough week, Kraig. Thank god for the Cardinals and the Ravens, eh? Not that I'm teasing you . . . I didn't do much better myself. Well, this week I did do much better, but normally I'm terrible.

November 18, 2009 at 12:06 AM  
Blogger Kraig Smith said...

Yeah, this week the proverbial bottom fell out. I barely have enough funds left to scratch out a small wager NEXT week! (deep breath) Football giveth, and football taketh.

November 18, 2009 at 1:14 PM  

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