oh man am i horrible at handicapping football. my guaranteed victory statements at the beginning of the season look pretty awful right about now. i'm beginning to think that i'm the daunte culpepper of football handicapping. for those first three years i was nails, but now i've been floundering for the past two years. i wish i had an explanation, but is there ever a good explanation for unfulfilled potential other than just simple tragedy? i went 2-12-1 last week, which you would be hard pressed to do even if you tried. i also whiffed on the big bet. for the season that brings me 16-32-1 (.327) and 1-2 on the big bet (.333). the worst part is that i missed an opportunity as fredo only went 7-6-1 last week. apparently, he forgot to pick a game as his fifty dollar bet, but it's not a problem as i am eliminating the big bet from this part of the game and i'll explain in a bit.. anyways, that last week brings fredo's season total to 30-17-1 (.625) . taking out the big bets from the frist two weeks, fredo is 29-16-1 (.630), while without the big bets, i am 15-30-1 (.326)
erik got around to joining our little gang bang here and in a incomprehensible twist of complete and sheer luck, he bested both me and fredo, going 8-5-1. what can i say, every a-hole from detroit has his day. anyways, the two week standings between erik and i are me: 9-18-1 (.321) and erik: 14-14-1 (.483).
bonus wise, fredo and i missed all of our parlays, with me losing 12 bucks and fredo losing 10. our current accounts check in at $178 and $130. anyways, after some discussion we've decided to change the way the bonus round works. instead of only doing parlays, we're going to let fred and me bet on pretty much any pro-football game against the spread or over unders. we're not going to do any straight up betting since i'm just too lazy to track down money lines, but we'll pretend that our imaginary casino just gives you straight up odds and doesn't charge a transaction fee. that is if you bet 50 bucks, you win 50 bucks. again, the whole point of this exercise is to simulate vegas as much as possible and we'd never go to vegas and just bet on parlays. so instead of 10 bucks a week, we're going to be required to bet 100 bucks a week. of course we're going to add 90 dollars per week for all of the remaining weeks in the pro-football season (14 weeks x $90 = $1260). and we can still do parlays if we want and those will pay out as they did before. we're not going to do college because the lines are going to change from day to day and i'm not going to post all of the college games' lines. besides, college football sucks. anyways, with our additional funds i now have $1438 and fredo has $1390. this is going to take the place of the fifty dollar bet, since now we actually will be able to make fifty dollar bets. man that's a long intro to read before getting to the picks. as always, point spreads from caesar's and home team in caps.
NYJ (+9.5) over ind (o/u - 46)
i hope that i'm wrong and that i'm jinxing this because i have all sorts of colts starting this week for my fantasy teams. plus that's just a whole lot of points to give up on the road.
BAL (+2.5) over sd (o/u - 33.5)
what's it going to take for me to give the chargers any respect? well i can't do anything after a bye week. if the chargers win this week then i will be more than happy to admit that i was wrong. but i forsee bad times for philip rivers in this game. he's a little better than i thought he'd be, but i'm pretty sure he's never faced a defense like this.
BUF (-1) over min (o/u -34.5)
did everyone see jp losman after the bills lost last week? he was all indignant and whining about being tired of people calling the bills losers or some crap like that. and inexplicably i saw at least 2 or 3 sports talking heads saying that they like to see that from a quarterback. puh-leeze, this guy really hasn't shown me much at all. he had 300 yards last week, but that is the first time he's ever shown a bit of anything. plus he couldn't find anyone in the end zone. the sooner that buffalo cuts ties with this assclown the better. that said, i still like buffalo's defense. the vikes seem to still not be able to do much with the running game. 3 ypc just ain't gonna get it done.
dal (-9.5) over TEN (o/u -37)
remember that thing about nine and a half points being too much for a road team. that rule doesn't apply when you have suicidal wide receivers on america's greatest sports franchise ever playing against kerry collins. this is where dallas is going to start blowing people out of the water with their defense. i know i'm jinxing it, but dammit, i think we all see it coming.
KC (-7) over sfo (o/u -40.5)
something about teams after the bye week at home...
no (+7) over CAR (o/u -42)
you know, both teams really showed something out there last week. i mean carolina finally put together something that resembled a decent offensive plan and the saints, well, aside from having the NFL on their side actually didn't look that bad. i think that emotion will carry over a little bit this week, but only enough to keep it close. by the way, i'm working on a little piece about how the NFL has unabashedly exploited the katrina mess for their own personal gain and profit, while screwing black people and poor people at the same time! look for it in the next couple of days.
ATL (-7.5) over ari (o/u -41)
you can't tell me that the falcoms aren't super pissed off that the NFL did everything they could to make sure that the saints won that game last week. and you can't tell me that the cards are better off with kurt warner fumbling away the football twice in the last five minutes. take the under too.
HOU (+3.5) over mia (o/u -40.5)
why would anyone ever take miami again? when in doubt, take the points.
STL (-6) over det (o/u -44)
lesson learned part 1: after taking detroit for three straight weeks, i've learned my lesson. that teams is not only bad, but it stinks to high hell. they just cut cory bradford because mike furrey has outplayed him. detroit is looking at another high draft pick this year and hopefully someone will mercifully put matt millen out of his misery and het him out of there.
CIN (-6) over ne (o/u -46)
the only thing that worries me about this game is that every year there always seems to be a point where a lot of people are talking about how the pats are done and that they had a great run, and then they go out and reel off four straight or something. it seems like a lot of people are saying that kinda stuff right now. i'm taking the bengals and i expect big things from carson in his last week of having a healthy knee, but i'd stay away from this one.
WAS (+3) over jax (o/u -34)
i thought that the jags actually didn't look that bad in the first half of last week's game. and as mentioned before in this column, clinton portis is what makes the redskins offense go. you could go either way on this one as well, so i'm going to take the points.
cle (-3) over OAK (o/u -34)
lesson learned part 2: i realize now the folly of putting any kind of faith in the raiders. from here on out unless the raiders are getting a ridiculous amount of points, i'm always going to pick against the raiders. this team embarrasses me.
CHI (-3) over sea (o/u -35)
the seahawks blew out the giants last week, but this week they face a real defense. like what i saw out of grossman last week as well. this is going to be a good football game for sure. i'm glad it's the sunday night game.
PHI (-11) over gb (o/u -48)
philly rolls in a big way, which is troublesome for me since the team that one of the teams that i am playing in fantasy this week has mcnabb going. green bay is going to get destroyed, if for no other reason than it will set up things perfectly for next weeks death match of the eagles vs. t.o. the nfl is smart and will not do anything to that might hurt the build up to what will be easily the most hyped game of the season.
bonus time - gimme fifty bucks on the browns, that's right, i'm putting my biggest bet on a team that's 0-3. gimme another twenty on the eagles to cover and ten on the sd/bal under. 5 dollar parlay on chi/cle/philly. and another 5 on cle/atl & ari under/dal/was. i already like this new format alot better.