I’m not sure if this quote from Cardinals QB Kurt Warner shows the high level of their execution, the inability of the Packers to disguise their defense, or both:
“I knew early on it was going to be a good day,” he told me as he drove home. “Sometimes I know when I’m on, when I’m going to play well, and there were specific things I knew they were going to have trouble stopping. Like the touchdown to Steve Breaston [that gave Arizona a 45-38 lead in the fourth quarter]. From watching tape, we knew how we could get a matchup of Steve isolated on a linebacker.”
That way was to line up Breaston wide left, with another receiver in the slot, then motion Breaston in toward the formation, and at the snap of the ball have him jet upfield. The corner wouldn’t follow him all the way inside, tape study told Warner, and a linebacker would pick him up. That’s exactly what happen. Nick Barnett was no match for the speed of Breaston, particularly when Barnett had to turn and run with him. Touchdown.
First of all, thanks to the referee/Shane Graham combo below in Wk 4 that hit a FG in OT versus the Browns that was the key Miracle Cover in my Browns Under 5.5 bet (Season review here). oddly, I really liked the way Mangini and Co. played and the end of the year and profited off of it as well, so it worked for both sides.
Congrats to Alabama, who somehow held on and covered the 3.5-4.5 vs Texas in the BCS Title game. Lou made a good point……did ANYONE bet on Texas except for alumni and those from the state? Maybe they major in Cummunications like the Jeron Johnson of Boise State:
BTW, make sure to get your picks into Miracle Covers before Saturday 4:30, we have about 6 people so far. Here are my picks for the week:
Bengals -2.5 vs Jets
Everyone and their mom loves the Jets, and I am with Simmons that taking a rookie QB on the road is not the best thing, I learned that last year backing up the truck on Matt Ryan in Arizona. I mean, the Jets do have the better overall team, but if they fall 10-0 on the road in a VERY cold, windy, and hostile Bengals home crowd, I just don’t see it in Sanchez to give them the throws they need to beat Cincy, even as bad as Cincy looked last week. Plus everyone loading up on the Jets in good pick’em karma, IMO.
Dallas -4 vs Philly
I really don’t want to pick the game. The thought of having to decide whether to pick a game where my choices of teams are coached by Andy Reid or Wade Phillips makes me have seizures. Dallas has dominated Philly so far but it is so hard to win 3 times in a row versus another team. But the Jackson injury at center for the Eagles I think is a huge loss because he’d been calling the protections for 7 years straight, and now it’s some rookie who also BTW has to block Jay Ratliff. I don’t like putting money anywhere near a team who is coached by a “Phillips”, it’s a heart attack waiting to happen, but Dallas has played their best ball going into the playoffs, and that’s what you look for in betting.
NE -3 vs Baltimore
I’ll be at this one, and I think the Pats can muster up some Foxboro magic despite losing Welker to eek this out at home. Flacco has played like crap since Green Bay game and the Ravens and bengals are the only two teams who can NOT take advantage of the Pats shitty secondary because of their equally-as-shitty WR corps. Belichick usually takes away what you do well, and that’s Ray Rice for the Ravens. Take him out, and the Pats should win with home cooking behind them and rally around Wes.
Green Bay +1 @ Arizona
Listen to the Bill Simmons’ Playoff preview podcast and Mike Lombardi made some real good points on how you can take away things from a preseason game and a somewhat of a preseason game in Green Bay’s 67-3 total drubbing of the Cardinals in their last 2 ballgames. Essentially, the Packers can do whatever they want on both lines of scrimmage, meaning Warner might get pressured into some turnovers. The Packers 3-4 defense scheme matches up well vs what the Cardinals do, Clay Matthews had 6 pressures last week alone. The Cardinals may not have Boldin either. Plus I love taking Aaron Rodgers versus a average defense in a dome. The only thing that worries me about Green Bay: after Minnesota, they have the worst special teams in the playoffs. That and the “Arizona is an NBA team” factor as like last year when everyone loaded up against them, they are the only team in football history who can turn the switch on and off from F-level team to SB contender.
I’ll post the final pot and ppl numbers by the weekend, lines from Pinnacle:
NYJ +2.5 @ Cincinnati
Philly +4 @ Dallas
Baltimore +3 @ New England
Green Bay +1 @ Arizona
EDIT 1/11: I’ll post the standings and the first round spreadsheet tonight. -Lou
I suggested over a few beers at the Castle a NFL Playoff Pick’em Challenge here at Miracle Covers.
Basically for 10 bucks, you pick ALL of the games’ lines and compete against the other players for the best overall record thru the Super Bowl (11 games, total) for the pot. There is also a side bet for another kitty that goes towards the pursuit of perfection, as it is VERY hard (and is the gambling Holy Grail, minus maybe winning a NCAA Bracket). If you go 11-0, you win the side pot.
If you are still mathematically alive, the SB Final Score will be tiebreaker #1. If we have more that 2 going into SB week for a chance, the Pro Bowl could also be used as a secondary tie breaker as well.
The lines we will use will be from Pinnacle, and will be posted Thursday afternoon after the injury report. I will then post everyone’s picks on the site for tracking and bragging rights. Your picks must be in BEFORE kickoff of the first game that weekend.
Just post interest below, tell Darts/Lou, or shoot me an email @ email@example.com
EDIT: Lou here, just a couple of things to clear up:
1) Sean will post the lines we will be using Thursday afternoon/evening. Picks are due by kickoff of the first game and can be emailed to either me or Sean or posted in the comments. 10 fun units each, winner take all. I’ll take care of posting a spreadsheet with everyone’s picks and the score each week.
KC +12 @ Denver
Got this in the second just after McDaniels benched Scheffler AND Marshall for a game (now @ +10), they need to win to have any sniff of the playoffs. How this team even made the 7 win under/over total a sweat after starting 6-0 makes me wanna puke. So does the idea of watching this game. “Denver is 2-7 in its past nine games! Kansas City is 9-38 over the past three seasons! Orton! Savage! It’s the NFL on CBS!”
Baltimore-10 @ Oakland
Win and in for the Ravens, AND if Oakland loses, I ship the 5.5 Season under bet. Imagine if shitty teams could rest their guys like the good teams do before the playoffs. The press conferences would be hysterical. Cable: “We are resting our guys for our 11 am tee time at Pebble Beach Monday. We are also going to not play JaMarcus because we fear the more he plays, the more confidence he loses.”
Colts @ Buffalo Under 33
Colts resting starters (and not for a bad reason like last week; you play to win the game, baby! This goes to show Bill Polian really runs the show in Indy), Buffalo sucks even in perfect conditions, AND it’s lake effect blizzard conditions in Buffalo for the entire game. I have been to one of these games in 2000 when the 4-11 Pats played the 8-7 Bills in Orchard Park under 2 feet of snow. The Pats won 6-3 in OT. I’ll take the under.
GB +9 @ Arizona
Carolina -1 vs NO
I hope everyone is having a good start to 2010. You know the alumni of South Florida and Northern Illnois who went to the International Bowl in Toronto did!
So I said we were going to keep half an eye on this freeroll game thing from last week so let’s take a looksie back to Week 16. Before we do I should note that on Monday Night Football the Giants crushed the underdog Redskins putting the total for Week 15 at 6 Underdog wins, 2 double the spreads by favorites, and 8 Nothin’ Doin’s. As for Week 16…
San Diego/Tennessee – Underdog San Diego wins
Buffalo/Atlanta – Atlanta doubles spread
Kansas City/Cincinnati – Nothing
Oakland/Cleveland – Cleveland doubles spread
Seattle/Green Bay – Green Bay doubles spread
Houston/Miami – Underdog Houston wins
Jacksonville/New England – New England doubles spread
Tampa Bay/New Orleans – Underdog Tampa Bay wins
Carolina/Giants – Underdog Carolina wins
Baltimore/Pittsburgh – Nothing
St Louis/Arizona – Nothing
Detroit/San Francisco – Nothing
Jets/Indianapolis – Underdog Jets win
Denver/Philadelphia – Nothing
Dallas/Washington – Dallas doubles spread
Minnesota/Chicago – Underdog Chicago wins
WWWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!! what in the name of bill parcells in going on here? 16 games were on the board. 6 underdog outright wins? 5 favorites double the spread? and the people making these lines are professionals! imagine the results if they didn’t know precisely what they were doing! lets see what i like this week.
Chicago (-3) @ Detroit
When has Detroit shown at any point during the season that they should be getting this level of respect? In my mind this line should be 7.
Giants (+9) @ Minnesota
I think the Giants will come to play and give the Vikings a decent fight. I think they would like to end the season with guns drawn.
As a side note, three games this weekend will have a solid chance of being playoff previews during the wild card. In order of sexiness
Another side note is that the last week is obviusly gut check time for season total bets. I’m looking at you, Atlanta.
Arizona -14 vs St.L
Oakland @ Cleveland Under 37
Atlanta 1.5 vs Buffalo
Baltimore +10 @ Pittsburgh
So recently I have been giving Van Tran some freeroll bets on sports. I am living rent free at 55 Montfern, so I’m giving the young man an opportunity to make some cash on the side. But I can’t just say “Alright, the Jets are minus 5.5, who do you like?” That would be a little too generous.
The result is The Freeroll Game. The player gets two picks from the slate of games. For those two picks, they get two selections; that an underdog will win outright in a game, or that a favored team will win by double the spread. As case in point, the San Diego/Cincinnati game yesterday had San Diego as a 6.5 favorite. If you go for this game, you are either choosing that the Bengals will win or that San Diego will win by 13 or more. Note 13 here is not a push, 13 is a win. For his two selections, Van played the roll of fan, choosing the underdog Dolphins to win, and charity case, selecting the favored Giants to double the spread tonight in Washington.
Here is how the pay works for The Freeroll Game. I offered Van two selections on his two picks. He could do separate picks at 30 dollar payouts, 0 for 0 right, 30 for 1 right, 60 for 2 right, or he could parlay the picks, 0 for 0 right, 0 for 1 right, 100 for 2 right. Van opted for the first plan picking the games separately and it is good he did since the Dolphins lost in overtime. Let’s take a look at the games and see how things shaked out in regards to The Freeroll Game.
Indy/Jax – Nothing
Saints/Dallas – Underdog Dallas wins
Atlanta/Jets – Underdog Atlanta wins
Houston/St Louis – Nothing
Cleveland/Kansas City – Underdog Cleveland wins
Miami/Tennessee – Nothing
Arizona/Detroit – Nothing
New England/Buffalo – Nothing
Cincinnati/San Diego – Nothing
Oakland/Denver – Underdog Oakland wins
Chicago/Baltimore – Baltimore doubles spread
Tampa Bay/Seattle – Underdog Seattle wins
Green Bay/Pittsburgh – Nothing
San Francisco/Philadelphia – Nothing
Minnesota/Carolina – Underdog Carolina wins
That is 6 underdogs winning outright and only one team doubling the spread as the favorite. Is this an indication of something? Is this a fluke? Is this normal? I have no idea, but it is something to keep half an eye on, and it is, The Freeroll Game.
Lots of action this weekend…
San Francisco @ Philadelphia (-7.5)
Atlanta @ NY Jets (-5.5)
Tampa Bay (+7) @ Seattle
NY Giants @ Washington (+3)
Minnesota @ Carolina (+9)