Saturday, November 03, 2012

Weekly Picks

Bounced back a little with an above .500 performance but I still can't buy a best bet. And the past two weeks especially I was choosing between two games and chose the wrong one.

denver -3 1/2 CINCINNATI
I love the way Peyton Manning is playing right now and I hate the Bengals.

ATLANTA -3 1/2 dallas
This is the game this week that I eliminated as my best bet. I think the Cowboys stink, but they're not going to lose every week. I like the Falcons, but they're not going 16-0. And they often win close. That half a point scared me away from making this my best bet.

NEW ORLEANS -3 philadelphia
I think the Saints are bubbling up, even though they lost last week. Drew Brees is starting to play like the Brees of old and Michael Vick just plain stinks. There will be a breaking point when he gets benched for Nick Foles. It could come this week.

minnesota +4 SEATTLE
Wanted to find an underdog this week so I will just pick against Seattle like I always do, to mixed results.

baltimore -4 CLEVELAND

I know there are some suspicions about the Ravens defense because of all the injuries but the Browns are still bad and a 2-game winning streak doesn't seem within their capabilities.

Last Week: 3-2 (2 points)
Season: 15-25 (9 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (1-7)
Home Favorites: 1-1 (3-15)
Home Underdogs: 0-0 (3-2)
Road Favorites: 1-1 (5-6)
Road Underdogs: 1-0 (4-2)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Song of the Week

"Mind Playing Tricks on Me" - Geto Boys
"This year Halloween fell on a weekend, me and Geto Boys are trick or treatin..."

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Stormy Weather

The storm of the century wasn't as bad as expected, thankfully. Because even in a diminished capacity Hurricane Sandy was a bitch. Almost the entire coast from North Carolina to New England got demolished, and many areas were completely destroyed, including Seaside Heights. Maybe God really did just catch up on Jersey Shore on his DVR and decided to wipe the place out.
Personally, I'm angry at New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. I think he is an authoritarian dictator who think he knows better how you should live your life. He shut down the NYC mass transit system at 7pm on Sunday, a full 24 hours before the storm was expected to make landfall.
As a result the entire city was shut down all day Monday for no good reason. The New York Stock Exchange could have been open until 1pm. I realize he didn't want people to come to work and get stuck in the city if trains and tunnels and bridges had to be shut down. But his job is not to protect us from ourselves. Not when it comes to hurricanes and not when it comes large-size soft drinks.
If I were a teacher, or a stock broker, I might have enjoyed this government-granted mini-vacation. But the news never rests, so I had to come to work. I was offered a hotel for Sunday night but decided to forgo it and take my chances coming into the city Monday morning. I made a wise decision. Not only was the weather not bad, there were no cars on the road.
Leaving after work would have been possible, but getting back in would not have been, so I was forced to stay at a hotel, the Westin in Times Square. It is directly adjacent to Cheetah's, which was closed. So the strippers get the day off, but I have to work.
I went up to my room, read for a while, watched my guilty pleasure TV show (Dan LeBatard is Highly Questionable) as well as PTI, and then went to the hotel bar for dinner with a couple co-workers.
Now if you run a hotel bar in Times Square it's unlikely the guests often eat there, they'd rather adventure out into the city. But in this case, the hotel bar was the only game in town, so everyone was there. They set up tables outside the restaurant in the lobby. The service was terrible, but it helped kill an hour and a half. At 7:30 I ran across to Duane Reade to get snacks. It was barely drizzling.

I went back to my room to watch the Final Table of the World Series of Poker Main Event, live and unedited on ESPN2. And to eat the Skittles I had just purchase. I really enjoy these rare opportunities I get to watch poker like this and I am beyond furious that because of the power outage which happened at about 7pm, my DVR couldn't record the entire thing while I slept.
Mrs. Poop was watching a movie with the kids at the time and Julian didn't understand why Cars 2 turned off in the middle and his mommy refused to put it back on. Luckily she fed and bathed the monsters earlier, so all she had to do was put them to bed. In the morning she went to work and took the kids to a friend's house where the power was still on.

When I woke up in the morning, it wasn't raining, it wasn't windy. But no one was out. Not a car or a pedestrian in sight as I walked to work through Times Square.

The NFL is Poop - Week 8

The Luckiest Team Ever
The Giants literally won this game by a fingernail. Even after it was handed to them (6 times!), the Giants still almost blew it. Let’s do some quick-hitters on this game:
1) Tony Romo is a more fun Jay Cutler. Enough talent to win some games. But makes so many mistakes he’ll never have sustained post-season success. And it’s even more of a curse because he’s good enough so that the team won’t dump him in search of a better QB.
2) Dallas had 415 passing yards and 19 rushing yards. Three receivers had 100 yards (Witten 167, Austin 133 and Bryant 110).
3) The Giants offense was terrible. They had two decent drives, the field goal to make it 3-0, and the one to make it 26-24. Everything else was set up by a Cowboys turnover.
4) Dez Bryant was out of bounds. It was a fact. His fingertips came down out of bounds. It was the right call, it was clear on video and it had to be made. But if he just could have come down on his ass, instead of bracing himself, the Cowboys would have won.

This Guy is Good
I really wasn’t sure about Peyton Manning entering this season. I wasn’t sure what to expect when the season started off poorly for the Broncos. But now I am sure, Peyton is almost all the way back and the Broncos are pretty good. He surgically dissected the Saints to get to a 4-3 record. As I have mentioned several times, the Broncos record may actually seem worse than it is because their three losses were to very good teams. Looking at their schedule I could easily see them going 7-2 or 6-3 down the stretch which I believe would be good enough to win in a very weak division. Then we get to see what Manning can do in the playoffs.

The Goal Line Extends Around the World
Amazing touchdown by Colts running back Vick Ballard to win the game in overtime. He jumped, hit the pylon with his head and was ruled to have scored. I believe the rule is that the goal line extends around the world. So if you leap from in bounds and break the plane, even outside of the pylon, it's still a touchdown. I haven't seen a good explanation anywhere of why this was a TD, but it was, and it was cool.

Perennial Disappointment
I thought this year would be different. I thought this year, without the burden of expectations the San Diego Chargers would sneak up on people. But that doesn’t seem to be happening. I can give you two good reasons: Philip Rivers and Norv Turner. Rivers is like the aforementioned quarterbacks who are good but not good enough. Turner is just a horrible coach. Two weeks off after a disaster on Monday Night Football and they lay another egg against the worst team in the league. I know the weather was bad which made passing difficult but that’s the problem with the Chargers. There’s always an excuse. Always something goes wrong. They’re like the anti-Giants. I say fire Norv Turner and see what happens.

Another Coach on the Hot Seat
When are the Eagles going to get rid of Andy Reid? The past two years the expectations have been incredibly high, and the Eagles have consistently come up short. Maybe you can add Michael Vick to my list of good but not good enough quarterbacks. The Eagles are 3-4, should be 2-5, and could easily be 0-7. Vick actually avoided turnovers this week, for once, but they Eagles still got blown out. I just can’t see sticking with Andy Reid and expecting him to be the guy to turn this mess around. Don’t get me wrong I always think the impact of coaches (good or bad) can be drastically overrated. But Andy Reid has had enough chances to do something with this team and he hasn’t gotten it done. And it’s not getting better, it’s getting worse.

Game of the Week
Chicago Bears 23 Carolina Panthers 22

Good teams win games like this, bad teams lose games like this. The Bears are quietly emerging as a real Super Bowl contender for those unimpressed by the Falcons. Cutler once again made a number of “boneheaded plays”, according to the radio reporter I heard while driving. He threw an interception and fumbled twice, yet he still won, thanks to his defense – and Cam Newton. The Bears who are always good at forcing turnovers, picked off Newton and returned it for a touchdown to take a 20-19 lead. So who is Newton going to blame this week? The guy has a lot of talent, but his play so far this season has been poor and his behavior has been worse.

Game of Next Week
Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants

It's always interesting when these two teams get together because of the Manning-Roethlisberger angle. Both have won two Super Bowls. And the Giants easily could have picked Big Ben had they not been able to work out a trade for Manning. Plus, the Giants lately have a way of making games very exciting. And the way the AFC is the Steelers emerge as a real contender with a win here, or back to .500 with a loss.

Picture of the Week
Pia Toscano sings the National Anthem at the Patriots-Rams game in London.

A Brief Rant About the Redskins
Mike Shanahan is a moron for sending RGIII out on a passing route where he could get his clock cleaned, which is what happened. DeAngelo Hall is a moron for always putting his own ego ahead of what is best for the team.
RGIII had a bad game, it happens. He completed only 47% of his passes when his previous low had been 62%. He also had his worst game rushing, 6 carries for 8 yards. The Steelers play good defense. The Redskins don't.

If the Super Bowl Were Played Today
Atlanta Falcons 27 Houston Texans 24

Where is the team that can unseat either of these two? I hate seasons like this where this section of the column never changes.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Weekly Picks

I won't ever give up, but man am I frustrated. 10-10 through 4 weeks, not bad, 2-13 since. This is the week I turn it around. But just in case I don't, you might want to bet against these picks.

atlanta +2 1/2 PHILADELPHIA
The Eagles haven't won a game by more than 2 points all season and now they're expected to do it against the best team in the league. The Falcons have a knack for winning games like this. But if Michael Vick can stop turning it over, Eagles will win.

DETROIT -2 1/2 seattle
I really hate the Seahawks and think they are incredibly lucky and overrated and their luck has to run out. Detroit's defense is horrible but they should be able to put up enough points to win this game at home.

NEW YORK JETS -1 miami
A few weeks ago the Jets got blown out by the 49ers and everyone was writing them off. I said of the Jets at that point "it's never as bad as it seems." The Jets are 3-0 ATS since then (Houston, Indianapolis, New England). Unfortunately I picked against them the past two weeks, hoping they would revert. Now I hope they don't.

new york giants -2 1/2 DALLAS
No way the Giants lose twice to the Cowboys this season.

san diego -3 CLEVELAND

I think the Chargers are going to bounce back after one of the worst collapses ever in the second half against the Broncos. But if I were you I would find some place where you could bet on the Chargers winning by exactly 3 points.

Last Week: 1-4 (0 points)
Season: 12-23 (7 points)
Best Bets: 0-1 (1-6)
Home Favorites: 1-3 (2-14)
Home Underdogs: 0-1 (3-2)
Road Favorites: 0-0 (4-5)
Road Underdogs: 0-0 (3-2)