First, I must comment on the upcoming NBA season, which could turn out to be one of the most fun in memory. I gotta say it’s been real fun betting against Mike Brown, as I took the Raptors +3 in their first home game versus the Cavs. I really don’t gamble on NBA that much, especially not at the volume I bet on NFL and College FB, although thanks to a tip from our resident L.A. Clipper fan Van Tran last year, I was able to pay two months rent thanks to his “Bet the under in the first half; over in the second half when Clippers are at home” strategy that went 10-1 (only loss was to the Pacers). This trend was lucrative last year, mostly thanks to two things that spell NBA betting success: losing your best player to inury (Baron Davis), and Mike Dunleavy being involved in any way shape or form. I felt this was how to have betting success in the NBA: get tips from a true fan of the team, and come to a sensible conclusion thanks to those tips. Van Tran to me in a poker game: “Mike doesn’t even coach the team in the second half, they just play a game of pick up out there!” A team with shaky yet talented personnel and no coaching? Sounds like the money truck is backing up with that statement to me! Anyone know a bookie?
Granted, however, the most optimal strategy to bet on NBA games? Knowing a referee of course! Here’s an excerpt from the book-that-won’t-be-published-but-should-be-because-there-is-this-thing-called-the-1st-amendment that I will immediately buy once it is on the shelves (even though the guy is a degenerate felon, but I really am fascinated by this shit):
Allen Iverson provides a good example of a player who generated strong reaction, both positive and negative, within the corps of NBA referees. For instance, veteran referee Steve Javie hated Allen Iverson and was loathe [sic] to give him a favorable call. If Javie was on the court when Iverson was playing, I would always bet on the other team to win or at least cover the spread. No matter how many times Iverson hit the floor, he rarely saw the foul line. By contrast, referee Joe Crawford had a grandson who idolized Iverson. I once saw Crawford bring the boy out of the stands and onto the floor during warm-ups to meet the superstar. Iverson and Crawford’s grandson were standing there, shaking hands, smiling, talking about all kinds of things. If Joe Crawford was on the court, I was pretty sure Iverson’s team would win or at least cover the spread.
All this times, poker player and seasoned NBA bettor Haralabos Voulgaris was betting games based on charts and graphs, and I bet games based on an NBA knowledge I had accrued due to years of collecting basketball cards and countless hours running plays in the NBA Live series (like knowing the fact that Shaq defending the pick and roll vs Damon Stoudimire/R.Wallace in NBA Live 2001 was like watching a retard trying to learn karate). And all this time the optimal strategy was to simply know either Tim Donaghy, or the ball boy that his crew tipped, based on a prop bet the referee crew placed before the game. It’s as if Van, Darts, and Allen were in the souls of these refs, personally placing bets on the games WHILE that officiated them. “(whistle blows) Loose Ball Foul on 45! $20 on the white board at the Castle!” It’s sickening, hilarious, and shocking all at the same time. And a lot like when I read Canseco’s book, “Juiced”, I really do feel he’s not completely bullshitting on this one because me and my NBA friends (all 6 of us) have been saying the same shit about Dick Bavetta for years. The NBA, Where Rigged Happens.
NFL thoughts on last week:
Great story from Mister Irrelivant about the Synder sign lynchings:
Last night I was at my first Skins Monday Night game. I went with a couple friends, but knew I needed to take an Anti-Snyder banner with me. Problem was I couldn’t come up with anything clever until just before I left for the game. My brother texted me the perfect idea for a sign to play off on the whole Sherman Lewis bingo thing. I whipped up a quick “Snyder…B-I-N-GO F Yourself” sign on a bed sheet so everybody could see it.
In the third quarter, one of my friends and I took out the banner and were holding it up. Next thing I know, four security guys are coming up both sets of stairs and headed right for us. They take my banner and tell us we have to leave the stadium. On the way out a bunch of people in the section are taking pictures and chanting “Free Speech!”
Once we got to the concourse area they asked for my ID, which I quickly tried to pass off to a friend. One of the security guys snatched my wallet and wrote down my drivers license info in his little black book. I guess that means means I’m banned from the stadium or something. They then escorted my three friends and I all the way from the 400 level out to the front gate. I tried to talk to them about the whole situation but they weren’t having it — too busy being serious security guys, I guess.
So, long story short, I got my point across, they took my banner, I probably got banned for life and I got to leave the game early. Good thing too, it was an awful game.
The Redskins looked so lax on offense on Monday Night; Jaws said it best that the team just doesn’t have any urgency. Maybe they need some athletes, some spark, and someone ready to kick some ass and take names later, as in while doing a somersault backflip. Who do I suggest? Kurt Thomas (not the one from the NBA who has 3 DUIs), who practices the greatest form of karate known to man: GymKata (as narrated by Don LaFontaine). You know Reggie Bush walks up the steps in his mansion using just his hands!
The picks for the week:
Jax/Ten Under 45
Wait, you are telling me I get to bet an under, above 40, with games involving both David Garrard AND Vince Young!
Philadelphia +1 vs NYG
I like taking home teams in coin flips, although this happens to be my smallest play of the week.
GB +3 vs MIN
Agree with Lou, and the statement above.
6 pt teaser of the week:
ATL +16.5 @ NO
IND -7 vs SF
In case you haven’t noticed, the Redskins have become the most entertaining team in football.
The owner, Daniel Snyder, is widely reviled in Washington, and for good reason. He meddles, bullies, and trusts his own football judgment too much. John Kent Cooke, who ran the team before Snyder purchased it about a decade ago, remarked recently that Snyder had “destroyed the franchise.” Fans did not generally receive this comment as hyperbole. The issue is not the team’s performance on the field, dismal as that is. It is the culture created by the owner—one of greed, expediency, and mean-spiritedness. The general atmosphere around the team suggests Zimbabwe—a failed state, an intractable dictator, and an impotent and suffering populace.
Dictator Snyder recently banned all signage from FedEx field, with a predictable response from Redskin fans:
Mike Broderick, a longtime season ticket holder, [came] to the Chiefs game with Dumb and Dumber signs, attracting a security official who threatened to seize his season tickets. (See above.) The guard told Broderick he could either go to the security office, leave the stadium, or hand over the signs. So Broderick asked if he could put the image on a t-shirt instead.
“That would be kind of offensive,” the security official said.
“It’s offensive to come to these games,” Broderick said he replied.
Broderick made it in safely Monday night:
Gamblers who bet on the Redskins were also treated to the following:
For those who were lucky enough not to watch, the Redskins did everything below (in order) and still managed to not cover by only a couple of points:
1. Concede ridiculous 67 yard touchdown on reverse to DeSean Jackson
2. Asinine pick 6 from deep in their own territory
3. Fumble on ensuing possession allows Eagles to kick FG without picking up a 1st down
4. Muffed punt allows Eagles to kick FG without picking up a 1st down
5. Blown coverage gives Eagles a 57 yard TD on 3rd & 22
6. Center snaps ball off own leg on 4th and goal from the 4.
Most of this can be attributed to the Redskins own incompetence, but even though they blow at football, I’d bet that you’ll be hard pressed to find another game this year where they manage do so this much stupid stuff. Fuck Us.
Week 7 was also bad for Vegas. ”I can’t remember an NFL season with this many bad teams,” said Las Vegas Hilton sports book director Jay Kornegay, who has been in the business for 22 years. “No doubt, it was the worst day ever for the books.
”We can’t attract money on these poor teams. We keep losing on the same teams. They are not even close to covering.”
“We’ve had bad teams in the NFL before, but usually one or two step up and cover,” Kornegay said. He paused and issued a gallows humor laugh. “I feel like we’re in a knife fight and we’re losing.”
Fun times on Sunday in two of the few competitive games of the day. Both New Orleans and Pittsburgh clinched miracle covers in the final two minutes of their games by returning an interception for a score. Pittsburgh’s cover was thanks to Minnesota’s Chester Taylor and Brett Favre.
Favre didn’t look like he was having much fun out there when he slid at Keyaron Fox’s feet on the return without actually making contact with him. Admittedly, it was only the second worst “tackle” of the game.
Miami’s failing was even more special. Not only were the Fins (+7) winning by 10 real points to start the 4th quarter, New Orleans was kind enough to miss an extra point on their go-ahead touchdown AND kick a field goal from Miami’s 3 on their next drive to make the score 40-34 with 3:20 to play. Then Chad Henne stepped in (skip to 5:00 minute mark).
Stats of the Week
1) Sunday was only the second time in Alex Smith‘s career he has thrown 3 touchdown passes in a game, the other in 2006 versus Oakland. He replaced Shaun Hill at halftime for the 49ers and has been named the starter for next week’s game at Indy.
2) The Carolina Panthers have 21 turnovers in six games.
3) Miami’s 34 points were the most by a losing team in over a year (35 by the Cardinals losing in week 4 last season to the Jets).
4) Despite having only three penalties for 22 yards against Carolina Sunday, the Bills are still the most penalized team in the league averaging 71.57 penalty yards per game. #2? The Saints at 71.1.
5) The Arizona Cardinals have the league’s #1 run defense, allowing 3 yards/carry and 67.5 yards/game.
6) Redskins QB Jason Campbell has 10 fumbles already this season.
7) New Orleans has scored 45 points or more in four of their six games this season.
8) The Atlanta Falcons have never won a game under Mike Smith when trailing at halftime.
9) Derek Anderson’s first quarter against the Packers – 5/6 for 69 yards. His line for the day – 12/29 for 99 and an INT.
10) Road favorites were 7-1 this weekend. The one loser was Chicago (-1) at Cincy.
Week 8 Early Leans
I went 0-2-1 last week thanks to Shaun Hill and the Saints miracle cover. I sincerely hope no one is following my picks at this point. These are leans which may or may not be worse than what I end up going with on Friday/Saturday.
Houston @ Buffalo +3.5
Minnesota @ Green Bay -3
Short on time this weekend…UFC picks that you should follow if you can get a comparable price are here.
San Francisco @ Houston -3
NY Jets @ Oakland +6
New Orleans @ Miami +7
Didn’t get a chance to catch many games last week thanks to me and my buddy Greg going to that abortion of an effort the Titans put on Sunday in a 59-0 rout by my Pats. The game, by far, had to be the worst weather I have ever seen a game in. It, however, was an enjoyable experience. The highlights included:
Checking out the 3 story Pro Bass and Hunting Shop in Patriot Place before the tailgate was open. It featured a arcade shooting gallery, a 10 foot fish tank filled with cool looking trout, stripers and bass, sections for both boats AND grills/smokers, as well as a section (in the back, ironically) that sold guns. I got a chance to hold a 9mm Smith and Wesson Gloc, which weighed as much as my head, which enabled me to live out my dream, even for 5 minutes, to feel like Plaxico Burress. Except I didn’t shoot myself in the leg; I left that task to LenDale White later in the ballgame (not only did he fumble two handoffs, but also had to be carried off the field with a knee Maybe its time to get back on the Cuervo train, LenDale).
Our tailgate efforts became an epic fail after about a half hour when the rain started to pick up. Before then, however, we were talking about how cool it was the constituents of Massachusetts voted on decriminalizing marijuana, and how that could lead to it being legal completely in California. The guys next to us overheard, and just handed us a free gram of their homegrown to try!
Then we had to get in the car because the hail started to come. Then the 40 mph winds. Then it became snow, and the temperature dipped about 20 degrees in 45.9 seconds. It was like the weather in the Adrian Peterson Nike commercial. Thank god for satellite radio, beer, and weed to keep us entertained before we got inside.
Then, around 3:30, we headed in. This was also when the storm was at its worst. Winds up to 60 mph. Snow AND sleet pounding our face, as if they were sharp knives thrown by flying ninja monkeys. Walking into the stadium was an adventure, I got blown down from the wind a few times. I saw a girl slip and fall on her ass, and watched a couple of under dressed dudes (one with a hole in his shoe) stave off hypothermia by chugging a flask of whiskey on their way into Gillette. It was awesome and intimidating at the same time. The only thing left missing in our short adventure of a walk to our seats was a labyrinth, guarded by a Minotaur wearing a John Hannah jersey on throwback day, on the way into the stadium.
Once in the stadium, we felt the best thing to do in this winter wonderland was to get a beverage; nothing says, “freeze my nuts off” more like Margaritas, baby! Nine bucks a pop is steep, but they were actually quite delicious. Also delicious were the cheerleaders, dressed up in slutty outfits for Halloween day at the stadium in this horrid weather. Somewhere, feminists were angry, but seeing a 20-something, with a forced smile, getting paid 46 bucks to wear a Wonder Woman thong-outfit dancing to AC/DC’s, “Thunderstuck” while losing the nerves in her feet, makes me proud as an American. We both cheered, “Hooray, America!” and happily agreed (at this point, the smiles were frozen on our face) that this is what our fore fathers fought for.
That song is also the exact point of the game the Titans decided to mentally get back on the bus. I was happy, because this also provided a fantasy freeroll as I have Chris Johnson (who had 104 yds rushing) in my 14-man league, and didn’t have to worry about my selfish monetary conflicts affecting my fandom. This is why I don’t have Yankees on my fantasy baseball team; and also why I have never cashed in any of my fantasy baseball leagues.
There was one play where the Pats where on their 15th consecutive TD drive (they got 33 first downs!), Keith Bullock had to call timeout at the Titans 5 yard line. He just put his hands up in the air towards the Titans bench, placed his hands on his hips, and slowly tilted his head down in epic failure. And it was awesome.
Although on the way home (we left with about 10 minutes left in the 4th), I was listening to the radio call by the Pats play-by-play guys, and have never heard the following from Gil Santos: “Titans on their own 15 yard line, 1st and 10. Snap, Young hands off to Javon Ringer, and he is……oh my, the poor thing……..just swallowed up at the 13 by 7 Patriots defenders. This is awful, just horrible. They really just need to kneel on the ball and pack it in. The kid doesn’t deserve this, he’s just a rookie. Sums just the game right there, Geno.” Geno: “Yup, time for Jeff Fisher to start a drinking habit!” (OK, I made that up, but pretty much implied in that statement).
Although when I got home to thaw out my balls, I had the pleasure of catching NFL Gameday, my new favorite show. I was pleased to hear Rich Eisen, Deion Sanders, and Coach Mariucci snicker not once, but twice, when Eisen was describing Vikings’ TE Visanthe Shiancoe, “popping out on a valve route” or “dangling around the back of the end zone”. It also featured thehighlight 3-block play of Louis Murphy on Zach Miller’s TD catch, which pretty much should be shown to every want-to-be football player in America. Just awesome.
The DeSean Jackson Award of the week goes to Alabama Safety Mark Barron (video around 2:23), who (thanks to going up again inept at times Gamecocks’ coach Steve Spurrier, who should have challenged) threw the ball backwards on one of only 2 TDs in the game (hit the under!). The video doesn’t show it real well, but on ESPN’s reverse wire camera angle, it is clear he throws the ball backwards at around the 1 yard line. Why do kids do this? Is it because the SEC is so nitty on celebrations, that instead of doing a dance, they throw the ball backwards near the goalline? I’d rather take the penalty and the points!
Roger Goodell wants to not only have the Super Bowl in London, but also a team. No, no, and no. Just stupid. The Brits don’t care, they have commie roundball in form of the Barclay’s Premier League to watch. No player would want to play there, the road trips would be brutal (imagine a 10-12 hour road trip to San Diego? What would the line be for the London Tallywhackers, +20?), and the weather is shitty. If they ever have the Super Bowl in London, just call it the Super Bowel, because that is what it would be. How about the rotation of New Orleans/San Diego/Miami/Vegas? So much better destinations!
Onto the picks:
College 6pt Teaser:
LSU -2 vs Auburn
USC -14.5 vs Oregon State
Oakland +6.5 vs NY Jets
Oakland, I guess, IS a professional football team! I have to bet on Louis Murphy’s boys here getting the job done. The Jets are 1-10 in Oakland, their only win coming in the AFL era under Namath in the 1960’s. Not only that, they may start to hate their coach, who seems more and more shaky as they lose each week. Maybe if he didn’t call a team’s gameplan (one that beat him) a “gimmick”, and maybe had a sense of humor like Jeff Fisher, his players wouldn’t be so down on themselves when things start going bad in games. Plus they have no Kris Jenkins, big day for Fargas and Bush, methinks. Plus, Sanchez and J.Russell’s combined QB rating will be at around 19.5…..the under is 34.5 (lol).
Indianapolis -13.5 @ St.Louis
It’s in a dome, off a bye week with Freeney getting healthy, and Bob Sanders is back. And the Colts, unlike the Jaguars, are actually a good football team. I wonder if Mark Bulger says to Kyle Boller, “Hey, you want a few snaps? I have to check up on how Peyton is doing on my fantasy team.”
GB -7/-9 @ Cleveland
I got this at -7 before the flu hit Cleveland’s locker room. Their best player, DT Shawn Rogers, is questionable. I’d still take the 9….. Green Bay knows it needs to beat up on the creampuffs on its schedule to have any shot of making the division close with Minny, who they play in a few weeks in Lambeau.
6pt teaser of the Week:
KC +11 vs San Diego
NYG -1 vs Arizona
I think you have to like any situation right now where Minnesota is getting points, especially more than three. On the other side, before the season started I would have said there was no way the Vikings would win over 11 games (in fact I bet on that) and there was hardly a chance the Steelers would win less than 10. In fact, looking at their schedule right now, it is mind-blowing how many games the Steelers may lose this year. They have the softest schedule possible for a team defending. If Minnesota wins, though, both of those could happen.
You pretty much have to like any team getting more than a field goal against the Jets right now, and all jokes aside, Oakland is just such a team. I apparently have jumped the Oakland bandwagon. They are the only team of the group I picked last week that covered, let’s follow this ride and see what happens.
In the same vein, you have to like any team getting more than 5 against the Panthers this year, cue Buffalo. Buffalo has a solid defense, Terrell Owens, and Jake Delhomme.
And you have to like the Saints when they are anything less than a touchdown favorite, see minus six at Miami. I know Miami will probably hold the ball for 42 minutes, but the Saints look like world beaters at the moment.
So, for Week 7, Minnesota – Oakland – Buffalo – New Orleans
Extra note MNF – Have to like Philly, even at minus 7.
And a thought, why do the Chiefs always have 1 o’clock kick offs? They are in the AFC West you know? I am pretty sure looking at their schedule they have ZERO home games this year starting after 1:15 eastern.
0-4 on NFL again last week and I’m definitely blaming commie roundball, which was profitable. I’m pretty sure minor league mascots could do a better job picking games at this point.
1) Why certain teams are winning (via Lombardi). Last night was the fourth consecutive game the Denver Broncos defense has held an opponent to zero third-down conversions in the second half (23 attempts). The Broncos have allowed only two second-half third-down conversions this season.
2) After giving up over 600 yards rushing in their first three games, the Texans have allowed only 45 yards/game in their last three outings.
3) Sunday was the first time in two years the Chiefs and Raiders won on the same day.
4) Browns quarterbacks since 2004: Jeff Garcia, Kelly Holcomb, Luke McCown, Trent Dilfer, Charlie Frye, Derek Anderson, Brady Quinn, Ken Dorsey and Bruce Gradkowski.
5) Derek Anderson’s career completion percentage is 53.5. Chad Pennington is the all-time leader at 66.1%. Jamarcus Russell for his career is at 51.8.
6) The New England Patriots are 11-0 at home in snow games.
7) The Minnesota Vikings were outgained by their opponents for the 3rd straight week (448-426). Their offense (2nd in the league in scoring) has been remarkably consistent. They have had no fewer than 18 first downs and 27 points in every game this season, and have only turned the ball over four times.
8) Adrian Peterson is the only running back averaging over 100 yards/game (104). Big, bright shining star Visanthe Shiancoe is tied with Larry Fitzgerald for the league lead in receiving touchdowns with 5.
9) Aaron Rogers was sacked 5 times versus the Lions. He’s now been sacked 25 times in 5 games, 6 more than any other QB.
10) (Via TMQ) New Orleans has scored on their opening drive in every game this season.
Week 7 leans
Arizona @ New York Giants -7
San Francisco @ Houston -3
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