the return of bobby the gook, preseason part 2

last time out, we went over the AFC and NFC west. today we'll hit up the north divisions. for some reason, bodog.com doesn't have all of the season over/under lines up anymore so we're gonna go with betonsports.com for the numbers this week. the numbers seem to be a little bit different, and the odds don't seem as generous, but i think that they're only a half game off at the most. what are you gonna do with these unreliable online sports book? anyways, on with the picks.

AFC north
BAL - 10: over(-120), under(-120)
i just can't get behind kyle boller kids. he looks like the next coming of joey harrington or jeff fiedler. not bad players in terms of wins and losses, but don't count on them to win you games when you need them to. however, word on the street is that the defense is supposed to be even better than it was last year. schedule wise, they have the early bye and the tough part of their schedule comes at the end of the year. i just don't know on this one. but because i'm down on pittsburgh this year, i think i like the ravens to win the division, give me the over.

CIN - 8: over(-140), under(even)
i can't remember the last time everyone just assumed that the bengals would just be the doormat. it seems like every year people want them to be the surprise team of the season. i blame chris berman. in any case, carson palmer looked good at the end of last year. he played like you really want a franchise quarterback to play. inconsistent, only because he's young, but flashes of brilliance to show that he can win with a little more practice. that and i love the johnson brothers, rudi and chad. this is the year. add in the fact that gamblor likes the over...i will obey my master, give me the over.

CLE - 4.5: over(-140) under(even)
the browns on the other hand, still look like a doormat to me. trent dilfer at qb heh? good luck with all of that. lee suggs is the only thing that's going, yet vegas likes the over. like the niners, it is only because that winning only four games in a 16 game schedule is tough to do. however, i count only six winnable games on their schedule, and do i think they'll win 5 out of those six. nope, give me the under.

PIT - 9.5: over(-160) under(+120)
hmmmm....is it possible for vegas to set a trap this early in the season? surely like i have, vegas sees that big ben can't possibly have as good as a season as last year (which in reality wasn't that good). surely vegas also sees that the bus is too old to have two great seasons in a row. surely vegas sees that plaxico burress was a big part of that arsenal and while antwaan randle el may be pretty good, he's a gimmick player at best. i think that pittsburgh disappoints in a big way this year. give me the under.

NFC north
CHI - 6.5: over(-160) under(+120)
one word: chutch. the good news is that chad hutchinson will only be at the reins for a week. and it's pretty clear that last year was a disaster for their defense injury wise. two of their three best players played three games between them. i expect that their defense is going to be pretty damn good again this year. however, it won't be enough to make up for a month of chutch though, but it'll be good enough for 7-9. give me the over here.

DET - 8.5: over(-145) under(+105)
my roomate will undoubtedly be happy to see that vegas likes the over for his hometown heroes. just barely though. sorry i just don't see it. kevin jones will help, but he's no julius jones. also, they brought in jeff garcia, to no doubt take over the hopeless harrington (don't let the preseason fool you kids, it doesn't mean anything!) but come on man, do you see jeff garcia hitting the lottery twice and having another good season? the problem in detroit is the front office. matt millen sucks and it's amazing to me that he's kept his job for as long as he has. he seems to have no clue in how to build a team. this year's draft pick of mike williams is one of the loonier picks of all time on a club that already basically has 2 rookie wide recievers who are starting. get an o-lineman to pave the way for jones. under! under! under!

GB - 8: over(even) under(-140)
as i mentioned in the last post, vegas doesn't like the packers' chances this year. here's my thinking though, davenport will take over for green this year, and javon walker will continue to develop as a top receiver. favre still seems to have something left in the tank, and the defense is always pretty decent. the lambeau mystique is gone, but i dunno, i like the pack this year. i'll take the over.

MIN - 9.5: over(-140) under(even)
this is a case where i think vegas and i agree but for different reasons. unlike virtually everyone else, i think that minnesota's offense is emphatically not better without randy moss. their offense won't be as explosive, especially since they have a gaggle of slightly below average running backs. i don't think anyone will step up. but....someone has to win the division and that daunte culpepper is really good. so good, i'm tempted to take him above manning. give me the over.

again, please leave your picks in the comments section, no doubt erik will have something to say about the detroit pick.


Erik said...

OK, first of all, outstanding posts here, man. You seriously are better than 95% of the ass-clown sports writers out there, and I have no idea why you're not working for ESPN or at least the f-ing News-Press.

Still, while you might be the most eloquent sports observer to come out of Texas since George Bush, like our President you're all wrong.

The NFC North is wide open this year with the Vikings more even more inconsistent than usual, the Packers clearly too old to do anything, and Chicago without an offense. Detroit has one hell of an offense, and on paper their defense is at least as good as Chicago's.

Joey Harrington is no Brett Favre, but his problem isn't himself but rather his receivers (who dropped 567 passes last year) and his line, which last year couldn't block me coming in on a blitz. The Lions receivers have a new coach who is literally throwing bricks at them to improve their hands, and the O-Line has to do better than it did last year because it can't do much worse.

And before you start talking about Detroit's ridiculous preseason (with no touchdowns so far, and this is halftime in the Rams game) -- remember that our starting fullback is hurt, and he's a big part of our passing game. The Rams read that situation perfectly -- we've gone with singleback or shotgun formations all night, leaving Harrington extremely vulnerable, so the Rams are blitzing like the Germans.

Anyway, this is getting long. Lions defense -- when our asskicking DT Rogers is back from injury -- will be effective enough to support the Lions offense (AKA the Colts of 05).

Harrington is good enough, and with Kevin Jones the offense is perhaps the most dangerous in the NFC if not the NFL -- and don't forget that those black jerseys are HOT, so we're looking at the NFC North champion, ladies and gentlemen.

Give me the over. And let's recall that the Lions haven't won a playoff game in something like 47 years. We're the Red Sox of the NFL, and it's time to rally the nation, son!

(Oh, and KJ will run for at least 250 yards more than Julius Jones, Bob, because J Jones' team has no passing game whatsoever. Me and everyone else in the world is taking the under on those dirty boys from Dallas, man.)

Bob said...

your loyalty is admirable if a bit misguided. but i'm sure you'll say the same for me oncei unveil my cowboys prediction.

anyways, let's go over some of your assertions. just because the o-line hit rock bottom last year doesn't mean that they're going to be great this year. they may be better, but judging from the rams' game, it really isn't going to be enough. harrington will still be vulnerable, which will lead to the garcia switch, and well...good luck with all that.

your analysis of the formations and the lack of starting fullback is indicative of too much time playing madden. if they wanted, they could a o-lineman in there to block. the biggest problem they have is at center. i don't know his name, but that guy really sucks. no center means no inside running game, which is bad bad news for the lions.

in terms of the fullback being an integral part of the passing game, well...you let me know the last time a fullback led a team to the superbowl.

shaun rogers is pretty damn good. the rest of the defense is not.

second place in the nfc north is wide open, first place is not. the vikes are better in all facets of the game, mostly because defenses don't know what to do against culpepper. believe me, they know exactly what to do against harrington.

hottest offense in the NFC heh? hyperbole doesn't make something true erik. they may be better, but i can rattle off at least three teams that i know for a fact that will have offenses that will easily be better. rams, seahawks, philadelphia...see how easy that was.

kevin jones is good, but mariucci is not gonna give him the rock 25 times a game like they're gonna in big d.

i like the black jerseys too.

if things fall right for the lions i can see them finishing 8-8, but 9-6? forget it.

alfredo said...

Baltimore (10) - under.

Cincinnati (8) - over, i guess. anything can happen in the nfl and in the queen city. (mackey.)

Cleveland (4.5) - under.

Pittsburgh (9.5) - i'll go over even though roethlisberger is on trial for selling drugs to minors while exposing himself to nuns. i can't believe you missed that one on the blog.

Chicago (6.5) - i wanted to bet the under before the season, but i'm starting to get sucked into the chad orton hype, but they still suck, so under. i feel like ebert giving a reluctant thumbs down.

Detroit (8.5) - under. this one is all too easy. 8.5 is ridiculously high for these perennial losers from that wasteland of a city that we true americans would all too quickly cede to canada for nothing. why did poseidon have to take new orleans? why couldn't lake shithole have swallowed the motor city instead? why, jesus, why?

Green Bay (8) - under and fuck favre.

Minnesota (9.5) - over. i guess someone in this dickhead division has to beat the number. fuck all these teams. if any of these teams show up on my television this year, i am going to start killing puppies.