2009 NFL Week 3 Picks

One of the next items to add to this site is author record. My roommate just asked me if I had any NFL picks so he could take the other side. Yes, it’s been that bad the last few weeks. At least my Aussie Rules bet covered yesterday. Taking all home underdogs this week, a couple of whom are not getting much love from the betting public.

Pittsburgh @ Cincinnati +4

This line originally opened at +6 and quickly got bet down to +4 where it’s been all week. This should be a slugfest as Cincy’s defense has been excellent this season and neither team will be able to run the ball with any effectiveness. Happy to take the points here.

NY Giants @ Tampa +6

Only 20% of the money is on Tampa today at home to a somewhat beat up Giants team. OUT DT Chris Canty (calf), WR Hakeem Nicks (foot), S Kenny Phillips (knee), CB Aaron Ross (hamstring), LB Clint Sintim (groin), RB Danny Ware (elbow)

QUESTIONABLE CB Kevin Dockery (hamstring), WR Domenik Hixon (knee), C Adam Koets (ankle), DE Justin Tuck (shoulder)

Chicago @ Seattle +125

Taking the moneyline here as we like Seattle to win outright. Just like with Tampa, only 20% of the money is on the home side.

2009 Aussie Rules Grand Final Live Blog

Just back from a night of drinking and gambling, just in time for our first ever live blog. Saints! Cats! Feel the excitement. Live on ESPN Classic from The Castle. Lou & Sean here to guide you through this historic event.

AFL Rules wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_rules_football

http://www.superfooty.com.au

00:21 “Who decides who does the opening bounce from the umpires?” I have no idea what this means. The St. Kilda Saints are 9.5 point underdogs versus the Geelong Cats (pronounced Guh-LONG). I have 5 dollars on Guhlong.

00:23 Prior to signing on here, there was a man with the trophy being dropped into the stadium on wire cables, several incomprehensible songs by little kids and a flyover by a Quantas jumbo jet that seemed to have problems turning.

00:25 We’re also getting the best of bad commercials here on post-midnight ESPN Classic. We just had all three Mannings pimping Lifelock with Archie Manning creepily hovering over Peyton & Eli.

00:28 The St. Kilda Saints team song is predictably, “When the Saints go Marching In.” They also apparently beat Geelong in their previous meeting this season, whatever that’s worth. We’re fairly confused here as to whether 9.5 points is a big spread or not. Also these guys play 60 minute halves which makes our sports seems pussy & leisurely by comparison.

00:32 They are predicting hailstorms as well for this game. Again the theme: America = pussy

00:34 We’re underway. The announcers are using the word footy liberally. Apparently they start with something that resembles dropping the puck except they bounce the ball as high as possible and both teams immediately fight over it.

00:35 We’ve seen about 5 personal fouls already in the first 3 minutes. 6-0 Cats.

00:37 When the ball (shaped like a football) goes out of bounds on the sides of the oval, the referee throws it backwards over his head back into play. To move the ball forward, the players can either punch or punt or bounce it and can run around somewhat, but we’re not exactly sure how far. The referees apparently blow whistles a lot for no apparent reason. They do have loose ball fouls as Sean just noted.

00:40 Last year when the Cats won some player had 30 disposals. I wonder if that includes the clothesline someone just dished out.

00:41 Punting the ball through the field goal posts = six points. Geelong up 12-0 now.

00:43 Saints miss a sitter for a behind. That’s missing wide for 1 point instead of 6.

00:44 Lenny Hayes 4 disposals so far.

00:47 Saints are basically punting the ball around to themselves now, but they’ve got a chance to score 6 now…It’s good 12-7

00:49 I have to say the field looks like a circle and not an oval.

00:51 St. Kilda not giving Geelong an easy disposal. That doesn’t stop a Geelong player from running over two opponents and kicking through for an 18-7 lead. It’s started raining and we’re looking forward to this game getting dirtier and sloppier. Can hail be used as a weapon?

00:53 Punching an opponent in the face is not allowed. 18-13. These teams have coordinators in the booth just like our football teams do.

00:59 Saints miss another chance 18-14.

1:01 Saints hit a 6 pointer at the buzzer to make it 20-18.

1:02 Sean steps in for the 2nd quarter of this epic matchup of the whitest athletes this side of curling.

1:03 I guess there’s embellishment in Australian Rules Football as well. On a player trying to get a free kick feigning a blow to the back, “His acting is not as good as his play”.

1:03 Every time the announcer says the word, “footy”, I giggle.

1:04 “He’s sniffing around the packs.” Sounds like Vlade Divac trying to bum cigarettes in between flights.

1:05 How in the fuck do these guys play 120 hours of this shit? Oh wait, that’s right, alcohol. http://www.mja.com.au/public/issues/189_09_031108/die11464_fm.html

1:08 People are setting up tents outside the stadium. They are probably the only people drunker than the players on the field.

1:10 Yep, just saw a guy double fisting.

1:12 They call turnovers in this sport, “disposals”. I guess that makes Jake Delhomme a disposal machine?

1:13 Saints captain, “We don’t want to be second-best, we want to be first-best.” I guess he’s read the Herm Edwards terms of success encyclopedia.

1:13 A quick Saints 6 pointer and a single make it 27-18.

1:14 Nice deflection by the Saints to make it 1 points instead of 6 on a Geelong try. 27-19.

1:15 Is there any better thing than hearing an Australian person saying the word, “lumber”?

1:16 Missed opportunity on a “scrubber” try by the Saints.

1:18 I think Rhys Darby, the manager from from “Flight of the Conchords” is the play-by-play guy for this game.

1:20 Saints are moving the ball, but no 6 pointers, they are settling for single point kicks. Sounds like watching Oakland Raiders football. Up 29-19.

1:22 Geelong sets up a nice try for a 6 point goal, cutting the Saints lead to 29-25.

1:23 I love how there is a HD ad in the middle of the field. Soon enough, you will see this in football. Right below Tony Gonzalez you’ll see the graphic, “it’s 3rd and 10 from the Bud Light 50 yard line.”

1:24 I wish NBA referees would throw jump balls like the Aussie Rules refs do. Just throw it behind your back and let it rip.

1:27 30-25, Saints. Should be 40-25. I bet the over/under in this game was set at 10,557.

1:28 Number 33 for Geelong is a beast. And he can kick. I think the Vikings finally found themselves a punter.

1:29 After a the 50th penalty of the game that sets up a Cats’ try, Cats retake the lead, 31-30.

1:30 Tied at 31. I am officially bored and both Louis and Allen are asleep.

1:31 It is pouring there. Maybe the O/U is now at 10,556.

1:32 Saints commit a turnover in their own end, resulting in a Cats’ 6 point try, and throw an equivalent of a pick-6. In America, we call that, “pulling a Kevin Kolb.” Darts, “That willlllllll happen.” 37-31.

1:34 Long range Cats’ kick makes it 43-31. BTW, if a kick hits the post, it’s just one point, not 6.

1:35 Pat Darts’ drunken Aussie accent sounds like South Park’s Mr.Garrison combined with Mr.Bean.

1:37 On the ticker, Roy Jones Jr. is going to fight Bernard Hopkins in 2010 for the WBA Heavyweight Over-The-Hill, Over-hyped, and Overpaid Boxing Championship of the World.

1:38 Saints get a 6 pointer, 43-37.

1:40 I love how Ford is sponsoring the Cats on their jersey. Nice to see my tax dollars hard at work.

1:42 49-43 at the half, Saints.

Louis is going to bed.

NEXT DAY EDIT: This post should be an everlasting reminder American = Pussy. At least we made it to half. Geelong won and covered 80-68.

Week 3 Rambling Rant Drill

Some thoughts on Week 2, College and Pro:

Hey, Houston Texans, here’s a tip: it might be a good idea to cover that Chris Johnson guy (clip starts at around 00:38).  Looks like they need someone who can point this out to them: they need to hire Gus Johnson as their defensive coordinator to yell at their malaise personnel.  “Chris Johnson motions out of the backfield…….NOBODY IS COVERING HIM!  NOBODY IS COVERING CHRIS JOHNSON!”

I am more and more impressed by the Ravens and Joe Flacco, who may have found an offense this year to go with that defense, as proved in their 31-26 shootout win over San Diego.  A completely healthy Todd Heap makes that offense so much better, especially if Willis McGahee also stays healthy.  I think they are going to have to start making a beer with Joe Flacco’s face on the label called, “UniBrau”.

Tony Sporano, who by far has probably coached the worst 4th quarter so far this year, somehow found a way to possess the ball for 45 minutes and still lose, 27-23, to the Colts on Monday Night Football.  How? Well, first, by mostly blitzing Manning 5 out of 6 plays during the Colts’ last drive (on the TD play, he audibled into a bubble screen to WR Pierre Garcon, video starts at around 3:28, on a blitz everyone and their mother knew was coming).  Then after that disaster, he has his team run a 2 minute drill that would make Andy Reid, Herm Edwards, and Brad Childress all collectively jealous.  I don’t know who looks more organized, the Dolphins trying to run a 2 minute drill, or the cast of retards from the Johnny Knoxville film, “The Ringer”.

Mike Lombardi’s blog covers the epic fail very well.  I think a perfect title for NFL Films’ Miami Dolphins 2009 Season Highlights would be: “Back to Earth”.

(Yes, I bet the under in a game where one team holds the ball for 45 minutes.  Yes, I am still bitter).

Notre Dame had 14 guys on the field last week.  This LOL moment brought to you by Pepto Bismol: “Pepto Bismol, the official indigestion drink that’s caused by high anxiety of probably losing your job at the end of the year of Charlie Weis!”

At least I didn’t bet on Houston Nutt’s Ole Miss Rebels yesterday (had South Carolina, +5, and the under, 52.5, in a 16-10 win) .  My god, talk about poor coaching, and never mind the illegal shift AND illegal substitution penalties they had on 4th and 19 during their drive at the end of the game.  The Rebels, on 4th and 6 with about 5:52 to go in the 4th, almost get a delay of game penalty, so they have to waste one of their 3 timeouts.  But that can be good at times, right?  Get a chance to diagram your best play in a key point of the game, right?  I just wonder whose idea it was in the huddle to go, “Well, you know we need 6 yards, so……let’s call a bubble screen to the halfback 3 yards in the backfield.  Shit, if we think he can get 6, he can certainly get 9 against a top SEC defense!”.

BTW, according to Pat Darts, whenever South Carolina scores a touchdown, you have to finish your beer.  Trust me, I watch the games with my buddy Allen almost every week…………….you won’t be drinking much.

In the Lombardi blog as well, Lou pointed out to me that the Redskins, up 9-7 in the 4th quarter, actually went for it on 4th and 2 from the Rams’ 2 yard-line in their 9-7 win on Sunday.  Just take the 3 points, Jim Zorn!  Doesn’t he know the Redskins only get offense when they’re an underdog that needs to cover the spread?  As Lombardi mentions, “My man Ray Gustini never makes this mistake on Madden. How can you not remember this and just kick the field goal and make it a five- point game?” (This also proves my point that I could be just a good, or better, professional head football coach, using my extensive Madden 2010 experience and 45-15 record on XBOX360 live as reference).

All this points to me loading up on Detroit this week.  Get em in a teaser, take the points (+6), take the money line (+220).  I mean, if Jim Schwartz can’t put on the film of the scene above during preparation, and go to his guys and say, “Look, fellas, if we can’t beat a team this flawed this week, we’re probably going 0-16 again”, and that doesn’t motivate them, I don’t know what will.

Here are the picks:

Detroit +6/+220 Money Line (I’m taking the ML, but I like to gambol).

Miami/San Diego Over 44

Teaser of the Week (6pt):

Indianapolis +8 @ Arizona

Baltimore -7.5 vs Cleveland

Thursday Links

“We only get one chance at this, with no do-overs. Life is, in effect, a non-repeatable experiment with no control.” – Tim Kreider

The NFL and Nature

The NFL has become so fast and efficient that last season, teams each scored 22.03 points per game, the highest since 1967, while all the league’s 32 teams combined for 11,279 points—the most in NFL history.

The game has become less cluttered. Offenses averaged just 3.09 turnovers (interceptions and fumbles) per game, the lowest of all time by more than 10%, and offensive lines allowed just 4.04 sacks per game—also the lowest ever. Even place kickers set a new mark: They made a record-high 84.5% of their field-goal attempts.

Some football thinkers believe these numbers speak to a temporary period of offensive dominance in the NFL—just one more high point in an endlessly fluctuating historical curve. But if you venture a bit beyond the particulars of football, to the principles of science, there’s another argument to be made: that the NFL’s high-speed, high-scoring offenses are a reflection of one of the laws of nature—the tendency of all things to evolve toward efficiency.

From this week’s TMQ: “Stats of the Week No. 7: Cleveland has one offensive touchdown in its past eight games.” I wonder if the Cleveland announcers will be like Oakland’s last year? Touchdown Raiders Offense!

Gus Johnson again had the best game of the day in week two. Last year I changed my fantasy team name to “Going with Gus” for a week, but it was because I was starting this guy. I could be convinced to put the stopwatch away. Gus & Steve Tasker have Cleveland (+13) at Baltimore this week. Just saying…

49ers fans are wondering about Mike’s stopwatch too.

Nice to see Tom Brady back on the Patriots injury report.

If this is a sport, how can we set lines and bet on it?

Note to all coaches: If your team is underperforming, paying off disgruntled fans is always an option.

Lastly, this is the coolest bookstore ever.

2009 NFL Week 3 Early Leans

So I’m 2 for 2 in losing weeks to open the season, not unlike last year. Maybe I should just start my NFL season in October. This week’s lines are terrible. I don’t like anything other than New Orleans when they opened at -4 in Buffalo and New England, who actually is -4 at home to Atlanta. The Pats moved the ball up and down the field on Buffalo, and I think they’ll do the same against the Falcons. The New Orleans line is up to 6 so that’s a pass too, at least right now. Should have bet it early.

Links coming tomorrow per usual as is some more analysis as I try to figure out how to lose more money this week.

EDIT: Also now thinking about betting on Detroit to win at home to Washington. They’re getting 6 and +230 to win outright.

Awesome Mad Men parody

If you are a fan of the show Mad Men, or a fan of the Sox,you’ll love this video parody via The Bostonist.

The language used is the same I used towards the TV on Sunday as Tom Brady was on his ass….again.  How about some two tight end shotgun, or a halfback/middle screen, Bill!

http://bostonist.com/2009/09/14/masshole_men_mad_men_parody.php

2009 NFL Week 2 Picks

First, apologies for not getting Eric Foster’s UFC 103 picks linked up. 3 for 3 and more than making up for last month’s disappointing card.

Quickly with the NFL picks. All 2 units unless noted.

Cleveland/Denver Over 37 4u

Big bet of the week as mentioned earlier. This is 38 or 38.5 everywhere I’ve looked this morning.

New Orleans Minny @ Detroit +10

New York Giants +3 @ Dallas

Managed to get this at -112 as opposed to the -120/125 that’s commonly available.

Pittsburgh @ Chicago +3

Happy to take the home underdog here.

Carolina +6.5 @ Atlanta 1u

Simmons talked me into it.

Good luck out there today.

NFL 2 Minute Ramble Drill

Few thoughts about last week’s games:

We had 2 miracle covers on Sunday.  First was by the Baltimore Ravens (-13), who decided to run it in from 4th an inches from the goal line versus Kansas City on Sunday.  The meaningless TD helped them cover, 38-24.  Thanks John Harbaugh (who had to know the line!), I owe you a beer.

The second was bad for the site, as the Washington Redskins, who seem to only find offense when they need to cover the spread, amazingly covered versus the New York Giants (+6.5).  Down 17-3, they decide their first TD of the year needs to be scored by the punter, Hunter Smith, on a fake FG attempt.  Deion Sanders called Hunter Smith the whitest guy to ever score  a TD in the NFL; Cap Boso must be pissed. Then, down 23-10, the Redskins drive down the field versus a prevent Giants defense and Chris Cooley scores a semi-meaningless TD with 1.34 left, covering the 6.5 points.  What a cooler, sorry Lou.

I also owe a beer to both the Bills’ Dick Jauron and Leodis McKelvin, who some how found a way to give the Patriots that game on Monday night.  Where was Dick Jauron on the sidelines telling him NOT to run right into the Patriots defense, especially when the Bills have their hands team up awaiting an onsides kick?  Having Leodis just down the ball in the endzone wasn’t the optimal play, either (although better than what happened).  The Pats had 3 timeouts and a 2 minute warning stoppage as there was 2:06 left on the clock.  The smart football play would be to catch the ball, run around for 6 seconds, and get down.  That way, the Bills only need 10 yards to win the game, even if they have the ball on their own 10 yard line.  The Pats will use the 3 timeouts, and at worst, the Pats at best get the ball back with about :57 seconds left.  How do professionals getting paid millions not know this?  I know this from my extensive Madden experience; and I’m high most of the time doing it!

Either way, I feel that if the Bills lose another close game, Dick Jauron is going to react like Cathy Pondexter of the Phoenix Mercury (video on the right).

I really hope the Brandon Stokely miracle TD versus the Bengals on Sunday doesn’t affect my season under bet.  At least I got another fantastic Gus Johnson call out of it. Gus, btw, is in the works to be calling The 1st Annual Wii Golf tournament, The Castle Open at Everett St, later this year.

Drinking game of the week: Watch this Sunday’s game between the Eagles and the Saints.  What you do is every time Eagles QB Kevin Kobb throws an incompletion, you drink.  If it’s an interception, then 2 drinks.  A TAINT (INT returned for a TD)?  6 drinks.  You can also do a pool where you get 4 buddies and everyone picks a quarter, and the quarter that Kobb gets taken out of, everyone who didn’t pick that quarter has to drink a beer.  If he actually by the miracle of God finishes the game, every one has a social beer.  Fun for the entire family!

Onto the Picks:

San Francisco (Pick’em) at home versus Seattle

Home opener, coming off a big win versus the Cardinals in Week 1.  Mike Singletary and his stopwatch know it’s time to take a hold of the division.   Plus Seattle, coming off a preseason win in Week 1 versus the Rams (who are that bad), is banged up even more with Seattle WRs T.J. Houshmanzadeh (back spasms) and Deion Branch (vagina) questionable.  I see the Niners playing mistake free football again and winning a tight one at home.  I mean, you better run your ass off if you are on the 49ers……Mike Singletary IS timing you.

NYG +2.5/+120 Money Line

Take the points or the spread, either way, the Giants are going to win.  They have played well there under Coughlin during his tenure, and the Cowboys have a bandwagon following again after destroying a weak Buccanneers team in Week 1.

Cleveland/Denver Over 37

Both teams’ QBs did not play as bad, or as good, as their stats indicated last week.  Both teams have enough offensive talent to score 24 a piece on each other.  Do not let the Broncos’ defense fool you; they are still terrible when they don’t play Cincinnati, just look at Jay Culter, who sucked in Week 1 versus Green Bay, tearing them up in the preseason game 3 weeks ago.  The Browns have a long way to go, and are still tired after Adrian Peterson stiff-armed their entire team last Sunday.

Teaser of the Week:

Green Bay -3.5 vs Cincinnati/ Detroit +16 vs Minnesota


Thursday/Friday Links

Even my soccer lock of the week whiffed…Onto the links because at least they don’t cause me to set money on fire. I should just roll something smokable with a $20 and get it over with.

Bengals LT and Hard Knocks Man-Boob [NSFW] star Andre Smith apparently should have hired a better agent.

That shot by Federer explained.

Jake Long did not have a good day Sunday.

The Pats cheerleaders did.

Spend the five minutes to watch this. “If we’re all at peace with ourselves as much as he is, that’s pretty good.”

Best story of the week: Kid Cannabis

The only thing the drug kingpin formerly known as the Keebler Elf needed was a girlfriend. He found her, of course, at a strip club.

Per usual, the week two injury report from profootballtalk.com

Lastly, in case you thought crazy owners/fans were limited to Oakland, the Atlético Madrid owner’s call for ‘peace and tolerance’ has backfired spectacularly as fans revolt.

CONCACAF Champions League Wednesday

If this post title doesn’t have you fired up I don’t know what to say. For those of you wondering what exactly the CONCACAF Champions League is, I’m happy to tell you it’s the North American version of the Champions League in Europe that’s contested by teams you’ve heard of, such as Milan, Barcelona and Liverpool. Unfortunately, anyone reading this won’t be able to name any teams in this competition, but I’m happy to help out with a tip for one of tonight’s games.

MLS team Columbus Crew are in Costa Rica tonight to face Costa Rican champions Deportivo Saprissa. Don’t let the fact that the entire country of Costa Rica could fit inside Lake Michigan lead you to believe that Columbus is favored tonight. They aren’t. In fact, Columbus is missing their entire back line and only dressing 16 players for the game tonight.

We are only bringing 16 of 23 players down, so I don’t know if it will be worth watching for a neutral. Chicago on Sunday is a big match, and we [Columbus] could almost put them to sleep in terms of the #1 seed out east with an away win.

Here’s who is out for us:
1. D Eric Brunner (starting CB) is suspended.
2. D Chad Marshall (starting CB) got hurt in practice Monday (knee sprain), could miss Chicago game or possibly more depending on severity.
3. D Gino Padula (starting LB) was ill Sunday but played through it. He won’t make the trip.
4. D Frankie Hejduk (starting RB) will be rested.
5. F Alejandro Moreno (starting F) will be rested (played midweek and Sunday).
6. F Emelio Renteria (visa issues) won’t make the trip.
7. GK Andy Gruenebaum (hip) won’t make the trip.

So, 5 starters out, including the entire backline. Ouch.

Include the fact that Columbus is away from home and playing on what’s described as 1980s astroturf, and it’s almost assured that Columbus will be “playing for the draw” which in soccer terms means they’ll be trying not to get their ass kicked.

A hard place to go? Estadio Saprissa, near the Costa Rican capital of San Jose, is a soccer apocalypse, said Crew captain Frankie Hejduk, who did not make the trip in order to rest.

“It’s a little bit like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome,” said Hejduk, recalling the bottle-chucking hostility he has faced on previous visits with the U.S. national team.

Costa Rica has beaten the United States six consecutive times in “the Monster’s Cave,” a venue former U.S. coach Bruce Arena referred to as “borderline dangerous.”

“I don’t think (tonight) will be quite what it’s like when the U.S. plays there, but it is one of the most hostile environments I’ve ever been in,” Hejduk said.

Unconfirmed reports also have Saprissa resting players in their domestic league in preparation for tonight’s game. -200 on Bookmaker. Max play on the Costa Ricans.