Few thoughts on last week:
I went 1-4 on SEC plays last week (ended up taking the under 44 in LSU/FLA as I was on tilt after near misses early in the day). I ended up breaking even on Saturday thanks to that and the Dodgers sweeping St. Louis, who I had @ +125 WITH home field advantage (Don’t the bookies have ESPN? Where every night/morning SportsCenter would lead off with highlights of Andre Either celebrating with his teammates at home plate with weekly walk-offs at Dodger Stadium? Am I missing something here?).
I however KILLED it on NFL this Sunday, going 5-0 and hitting all of my teasers, mostly thanks to Cincy (now known by Gus Johnson as the “Cardiac Cats!”, and yes, with the exclamation point) helping me complete not only the teasers I mentioned last week, but I also gambled it up with a 4 team teaser at +350 and hit that too. Hopefully I can keep the roll going. Here are some random thoughts on the week:
The Browns winning a game with only 2 completions has to now place the Bills as a lead nominee for “The Darwin Awards”. How can you only score 3 points, at home (granted with some of that swirling, crazy wind in Northern NY) against a team who not only is lacking in talent, but also smarts. Just take a look at this quote from Defensive Captain D’Qwell Jackson:
Browns linebacker and co-captain D’Qwell Jackson was among the most stunned by the Browns 0-3 start. “Every year I think we’re going to go 16-0, so I’m shocked that we’re 0-3.”
I’m not, D’Qwell. Granted maybe you have more faith in your teammates than I do, but seriously, 16-0? At least say something somewhat attainable, like 10-6 or something. The fact you can’t recognize your team blows maybe proves that the dementia that esteemed journalist Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in The New Yorker this week maybe is more of a problem than we thought. I certainly can, and plan to profit off of it!
Dre, this is how it is done (or maybe not….maybe this is where the “Hunter Smith: whitest player” beef came from?).
Poor form, Donnie Avery. Not only do you celebrate with a gay-ish dance after scoring a TD late in the 4th (which is OK I guess, the Rams will be lucky to score 10 TDs this year), down 31-3….you then push away your teammate (former Cowboys Hard Knocker) Danny Amendola, which can’t look good to your teammates, coaches, and the fans of the Rams. And Yes, I will blatantly admit I was giddy to type in the phrase, “Hard Knocker”, all week. Avery gets the Double Facepalm Player of the Week award.
Onto the picks:
Alabama/South Carolina Under 45
Big game in the SEC between two really good defensive teams, and two very vanilla offenses. Only offensive scare will be outstanding Alabama return man Javier Arenas versus a piss poor South Carolina special teams unit.
Jackonsville, -9.5, vs St. Louis.
Mo-Jones-Drew is pissed, St.Louis blows, is 0-5, and has no road TDs, they have the bad karma of Donnie Avery working against them, and Jacksonville is coming off a 41-0 loss @ Seattle. I always remember my dad saying, “Beware of the team that gets blown out a week before and is playing at home. They will play harder the week after, not only for pride, but if anything, to shut the coaches up from yelling at them in the meetings”.
Philly -14 @ Oakland
The aforementioned quote from my dad applies to professional, and even college, teams. Oakland is neither.
Bears @ Atlanta Over 46
This probably gets smashed around the 3rd quarter.
Teasers of the Week (6 point):
KC @ WAS +12
GB -7.5 vs DET
HOU +11 @ CIN
NYJ -4 vs BUF
To start off the week, I give Johnny Knox the DeSean Jackson Award for the most stupid pre-touchdown celebration. He was lucky Detroit, as Lou pointed out, was in the middle of their “worst 2nd half, ever” and didn’t challenge the play (by rule, if Detroit recovers and the whistle is blown, they get the ball at the 1).
The Lions may want to work on their kickoff coverage, maybe they should hire the Bears ball boy.
I have become accustomed to betting (and winning) on SEC division football games over the last year. I usually take SEC home dogs, and also the under. These games are usually intense, full of defenses with players who will play on Sundays, middle-of-the-road teams with an offensive star who usually also gets drafted, and full of football coaches who can recruit, but have no idea how to manage the game or even do simple A-B-C playcalling.
For example, like when Les Miles, on the road in a tough place in Athens and up 6-0, not only decided to go for it on 4th and 1 from the 21 with the most vanilla QB sneak play formation, ever, versus a Georgia team with a strong D-Line (memo to coaches on the road; this means you, Jim Zorn: TAKE THE FUCKING FIELD GOAL), but also decided to kneel on the ball with 11 seconds left and 1 timeout, from the Georgia 33. Instead of trying a TD pass or at least try to steal a long field goal before the half ends, he kneels on it. Instead of it potentially being 12-0, it’s 6-0. This type of coaching is what helps you hit the under.
You must be careful of the referees, however, in college football. They have a way of calling the most ticky-tac unsportsmanlike penalties at the worst times to give bettors a sweat. The unintentional comedy moment of the week was when SEC on CBS analyst Gary Danielson was critiquing the TD “celebration” of an LSU running back in slow motion replay. “Oh, there he is, going to the mouth with his finger, yup, you gotta call that. I guess. He maybe should of went with the Running Man, Verne. It’s more subtle but yet captures the emotion of the moment.”
OK, I made that last part up, but you know what I mean. His main quote that really put the point home was, “the only thing I see excessive is the flags”. Last week, there was not one but two 15 yard unsportsmanlike calls at the end of touchdowns late in the forth quarter that almost resulted in a 6-0 game with 7 minutes to go, turn into a 20-20 game that heads into overtime, killing my under bet of 50. Thankfully, I was betting against Georgia QB Joe Cox, who not only is terrible, but also looks like Fire Marshall Bill from In Living Color. The Tigers held on, 20-13.
One of my SEC plays is Ole Miss +5 at home, versus Alabama. Ole Miss doesn’t play 60 minutes all the time, and Houston Nutt can give bettors a heart attack as evidenced by his “timeout with season on the line, let’s call a screen” debacle. But the Ole Miss Rebels usually pull off one big upset per year in the SEC (most of the middle tier teams do), and Alabama, a team who has limited personnel on offense minus WR Julio Jones, is a prime candidate to put up an offensive stinker on the road. The only worry is Nick Saban is one of the few coaches in the SEC who manages the game properly, but that just means Alabama, if they win, will take it down in a nail biter. I like the Rebels with the points here.
I also have a juicy teaser with South Carolina -4 at home versus Kentucky (by far the worst team in the SEC) and LSU +13.5 at home versus Florida (who may or may not have Tim Tebow). This will be, by far, Florida’s biggest test minus the SEC championship on their title run. LSU has a mediocre offense, but their defense is full of playmakers, including outstanding CB Jordan Jefferson. The under is at 44, which may be a bit low. If Tebow doesn’t play, then I might consider taking that too.
Speaking of South Carolina, if you are ever golfing and hit your ball into the water hazard (I’m talking to you, Allen Gowin), do not, I repeat, DO NOT put your hand in the hazard to get your ball. Although if this does ever happen to you, Allen, I am legally changing your name to Chubbs Peterson.
If you need a reason to dislike the Yankees, this article will give you plenty of reasons to. An article which also touches on the subject of sports slowly creeping away from our culture consciousness thanks to rising ticket prices across the board, and tickets even being used as bribes for business deals, here’s an example of the type of Yankee fan that attends the games today in the best of seats in the Stadium:
Inevitably, one group of equity traders — they worked at Fidelity — got caught. The thing that finally brought the whole thing to a close was a 2003 bachelor party for one of the traders. Everyone heard about it: private jets to Miami, a yacht, a bag of Ecstasy, a warren of rooms at the uber-exclusive Delano Hotel, some hookers, some strippers, some red meat, medium-rare. Oh, and one midget, named Danny Black, to toss off the boat. All told, $160,000 for a weekend at the beach.
“It wasn’t like a three-ring circus,” groused the father-in-law of the groom, disgraced Tyco executive Dennis Kozlowski, to the tabloids at the time. “It was a nice party. There was only one dwarf.”
Now onto the picks for the week:
Cincinnati/Baltimore under 42
Miami +110 Money Line
Seattle Pk versus Jacksonville (if you can find it)
Two 6 point Teasers of the week:
ATL +8 @ SF
NYG -9 vs OAK
CIN +14.5 @ BAL
MIN -4 @ StL
We almost had a miracle cover last week, but it was Jake Delhomme and the Panthers trying to cover the 6.5 as they drove down the field, trying for a meaningless touchdown late in their 21-7 loss to the Cowboys. This was maybe one of the worst games, if not only the year, but also the century, and I was not a better man for watching it (although I somehow faded F.Jones, S.Smith, and D.Williams in my fantasy games. Thank you, shitty football teams).
Speaking of mediocrity, Lou suggested this week during a Kelly’s Roast Beef run, wouldn’t it be fun if Sports Illustrated, as they do for champion teams, offered a video package for losing teams as well? Imagine the hilarity that would ensue! You are watching the MNF on ESPN, and suddenly a commercial comes on: “Mets fans! Subscribe or renew your SI package now, and get for free, “Epic Fail: The Story of the 2009 New York Mets! Call within the next 30 minutes, and get an autographed picture of Mets’ 2B Luis Castillo dropping a fly ball 3rd out at second base versus the Yankees!”
Some other suggestions include:
“Oh Butters!: The Story of the 2009 Cleveland Indians. Call within 25 minutes, and get a glove signed by Jhonny Peralta that has a large hole in it.”
“What the Fuck is Going On?: The Story of the 2009 Kansas City Chiefs/Oakland Raiders. Two crappy teams for one low price (although video is the same length due to lack of highlights)! Call now and get a ticket to attend sensitivity training with Raiders’ coach Tom Cable and Chiefs’ coach Todd Haley!”
“Different Coach, Same Ole’ Shit: The Story of the 2009 Cleveland Browns. Call within 30 minutes, and not only will you get an autographed picture of Braylon Edwards welcoming you to the locker room, one lucky caller will get a chance to coach the Browns for the final game of the season after Eric Mangini gets fired! Call today!”
We did have a miracle cover in football land, however it wasn’t in Pro or College football. In an epic high school football tilt in Vermont between Mt.Mansfield and Otter Valley (+3) ended in a last second touchdown for Mt.Mansfield, securing the win and the miracle cover. Somewhere out there, DeSean Jackson feels a little better about himself. So does Jake Delhomme; at least when he throws the ball away, he’s throwing it forward.
Finally before the picks, me, Lou, and the Degen Boys headed out for some Friday Night Football in Cambridge to see the Brown Bears (+3, as set by our own crew, although Darts argued that it should of been +4. We also had the over/under line move 2 and half points in 1.5 seconds; that’s what happens when degens are riding dirty (#6) to a college football game) take on the Harvard Crimson.
Harvard ended up holding on at the end of the game, 24-21, as Brown, who (I guess) had a shitty field goal kicker, decided to throw a Hail Mary instead of kicking a 42 yard field goal in the waning seconds. Brown’s main problem was they could only run it with consistency, not throw it, with their “White Cat” attack: a WildCat formation that featured all 11 players being white. A Rams fan at the bar suggested we call this personnel package: “The Snow Leopard”. Done and done.
Here are my picks for the week:
Indianapolis +10.5 vs Seattle
The Colts will destroy this team at home. Their offense is playing great, and Seattle is led by Seneca Wallace and Jim Mora Jr. After reading Lou’s blurb on the Seahawks, that’s all you need to know to put money down.
Oakland @ Houston Over 42
Oakland has a shitty offense, but both teams have shittier defenses. I see the Texans winning, 40-17.
6 point Tease of the Week:
Miami +8 vs Buffalo
NYG -3 @ KC Chiefs