8.07.2006

bobby the gook season 3, preseason action part 4

well, here it is the final installment of the preseason preview. today, we go over the east divisions

AFC east
new england - 10.5: over(-115) under(-115)
vegas is right to be wary of this team. on the one hand, last year, the pats were good but very mortal, unlike the two previous years, and they've lost a ton of players this year to free agency. on the other hand, they're still the the patriots with belichick and tom brady. it's kinda like betting against walsh and montana or spouting anti-semitic rants during your DUI arrest...not a good idea. however, they didn't beat the number last year, and vegas has reduced it accordingly. add to the mix a 'phins team that is supposed to be better. however, they get the bills and jets twice plus houston, detroit, green bay, and tennesee. that means that they need 3 more wins from the rest of the schedule to get there. i hate doing this, but i'll take the over here.

miami - 9: over(-155) under(+125)
everyone's trendy preseason pick, including vegas'. this is the biggest spread on the money lines and it makes sense. last year, saban showed everyone that he is in fact, that good. the defense will be fine as it always is and the skill positions have underrated talent in ronnie brown and chris chambers. as usual, the big question mark is whether or not daunte culpepper can regain his touch. remember folks, he was having a piss-poor year before he went down, leading many, including yours truly to believe that his numbers were inflated by the presence of randy moss. add that a major leg injury and i feel that pencilling in these guys as contenders is not that easy. however, they're playing the same patsy schedule as the patriots, and instead of needing only 3 wins, they only need 2. this is a no brainer i think but horrible value on your bet. over.

buffalo - 6.5: over(even) under(-130)
new york jets - 6: over(-130) under(even)
let me save everyone some time and just say that these teams have mediocre defenses, and horrible offenses. the jets' money line preplexes me a bit, but i suspect a push there. buffalo might win only 3 games this year. under on both of these "football teams".

NFC east
new york giants - 9: over(+105) under(-135)
the defense will always be solid with their studs up front and adding lavar arrington, and eli looked like he might take the next step this year, but i hear a lot of things about players getting fed up with coughlin. i guess you hear this every year with a hardass like coughlin, but i feel like there's more talk than i've heard in recent years. and vegas seems to think there's something up here as well...under.

washington - 9: over(-145) under(+115)
second biggest spread on the board. ughh...i hate saying this but there is quite a bit of talent and even more importantly, i was completely wrong about clinton portis. i love that guy this year and i think he'll have a big big year. no i still don't like the qb situation and i definitely don't like any defense that loses someone like lavar arrington, but on paper this team is worth at least 10 wins. over.

philadelphia - 8.5: over(-135) under(+105)
this number offends me. how is this team worth 9 wins? i absolutely do not see it. i mean their defense is pretty good, but not on the same level as carolina or chicago. offense...don't get me started. i'm obviously biased, but who cares. eff the eagles, and give me the under here. if you're in vegas, bet this hard.

dallas - 9.5: over(-140) under(+110)
the one we've all been waiting for, bobby the gook's dallas cowboys prediction. let's see, sixteen games in a season...16 > 9.5, therefore i'll take the over. but seriously, i know the baggage that comes with T.O. but come on, he took the eagles to the super bowl in his first year. he got paid, and he's got a quarterback with a strong arm. the thing is that the bledsoe needs lots of time to be effective and the offensive line is a major question mark. however, what i think is going to happen is that you're going to see the defense really come together, especially those young guys: canty, ware, and spears. i envision a team that was similar to the chicago bears last season that wins on defense except instead of a solid running game keeping the offense going, it will be a wide receiver. guess which one i'm talking about? T.O. will be great, if for no other reason, he's going to be the first option on most plays. don't let bill parcells fool you, he'll try to run alot in the beginning but after watching game film, he's going to realize that T.O. is open a lot and that he's matched up against inferior talent. i do worry about the running game as julius jones took a step back last year, and with no sign of the o-line being any better, this could be the thing to sink the cowboys. if this sounds like a cowboy homer...well duh. it's super bowl or bust this year. o. v. e. r.

ok kids, that's it. i'm off on a three-week, five-stop tour of texas, canada and the east coast. i will not have any access to a computer for an extended period of time, so there's a greater than zero chance that there won't be any blogging at all during this time. everyone enjoy their august and stay cool. i know fredo is going to weigh in, but seriously, anybody else who wants to please weigh in.

8.03.2006

bobby the gook season 3, preseason action part 3

north divisions ho!

AFC north
cincinnati - 9: over (-105) under(-125)
this is a real interesting one. we'll use fredo's SI litmus test for this one. what's more likely to appear in sports illustrated, a story about how carson palmer has defied history and all medical science to come back from a major major injury to lead the bengals to another hot start, or a story about how the bengals fans are tortured and cursed and palmer's injury is causing problems. give me the latter. as much as i love chad johnson and rudi, i just don't see how carson palmer can come back from an ACL tear and kick as much ass. under, big time.

pittsburgh - 10: over(-125) under (-105)
again, i think vegas has it all wrong. do the steelers have the look or feel of a team on the beginning of its dynasty run, or do they look like a pretty good team that maybe won because of some questionable calls in the super bowl. again, give me scenario #2, and i'll take the under here as well. on a side note, i think it'd be a pretty good gag for ben rothlisberger to play the first series of the first game without his helmet.

cleveland - 6.5: over(-150) under(+120)
i'm not sure why vegas likes the browns so much. seriously, what about them scares you, i don't even know who any of the skill position starters are. jesus h. christ does this division stink so far. i'm going to take the under here as well.

baltimore - 8: over(-150) under(+120)
i'm not real high on the ravens truth be told. mcnair may be better than boller, but come on, is there any doubt that he'll only play 9-11 games? but geez, someone has to win this horrible division, by default, i will take the over here.

NFC north
chicago - 9.5: over(-130) under(even)
vegas has such little faith in the bears. it seems like they always encourage the under for the monsters of the midway. i still hate their offense (i'm predicting grossman to get injured in the third quarter of week 1), but i think the running game is pretty sound, which is perfect for their defense. factor in a rather weak division and you've got the looks of 10 wins and a wild card loss. over.

minnesota - 8: over(-125) under(-105)
i can't get behind brad johnson for another year, but i can get behind chester taylor runnign behind a pretty good line. i'm not sure where taylor is going in fantasy drafts but i'm guessing a season similar to lamont jordan's season last year. in that this is his first year at the man, so he'll get yards by default, but not consistently from week to week. i think i'm going to angle for him in my drafts. in terms of wins, the schedule looks fairly easy, so i'll side with vegas and take the over.

detroit - 7: over(even) under(-130)
with the harrington era finally over, detroit can finally begin the process of rebuilding. that's right erik, rebuilding. and that means another losing season. i actually like john kitna and josh mccown. but here's the deal, detroit sucks. what are the odds that a city has winners in basketball, baseball, and football in the same year. the schedule looks pretty easy, but i just can't bring myself to do it. this team doesn't have a single proven starter on offense. not a one. this team has 4-6 wins written all over it. vegas hit this one on the head, under all the way.

green bay - 6.5: over(-110) under(-120)
it sure is nice of brett favre to treat us all like idiots and proclaim that this team is the most talented he's ever been on. ridiculous. ahman green coming off an injury, no javon walker, and a qb who has abso-effing-lutely nothing left in the tank. i'll go ahead and also set the over/under on favre ints at 19...give me the over on that one and the under on the season.

of all the divisions in the NFL, i think that the north division is my least favorite.

8.02.2006

bobby the gook season 3, preseason action part 2

today we're going to go over the south divisions.

AFC south
indianapolis - 11.5: over(-120) under(-110)
this is the biggest number on the board and after peyton's numbers last year, it's hard to see this team dropping off much. but 12 wins is a whole lot. the biggest question mark is how losing edgerrin james affects the colts. for some reason, i still feel that people are underrating how good james is. we talked about this alot last season, but the colts offensive line is vastly overrated and james made them look a hell of a lot better than they actually are. the odds of dominick rhodes or that rookie putting up the same numbers are pretty much impossible. the colts won 14 games last year and without james, i think they lose 3 of those games. however, if there's one rule that's worked really well for me the past few years is that once you figure out a gravy train, no sense getting off that train until it stops. all though the colts did eff me in the a last time i was in vegas. ehhh...pretty middling schedule...over.

jacksonville - 9: over(-120) under(-110)
another team that i haven't really paid much attention to in the offseason. i don't know why but i've never really liked this team. maybe it's because i really don't think that there should be an NFL franchise in jacksonville. or maybe it's because i think jack del rio gets a free pass as a coach because he's white. i like leftwich, but the running backs and the wide receiving corps are uninspiring to say the least. the schedule is interesting, they start out tough for the first four games home against dallas and pittsburgh and then at indy and at washington, then they have an easy stretch, and then the last three games get hard again. i'd be much more comfortable taking the over if the number was 8, but given the easy schedule, i'll still go ahead and take the over here.

tennessee - 5: over(-130) under(even)
everyone get ready for vince young to take over at about game 6 and then get ready for him to throw 30 interceptions. seriously, right now, the only player on this team that i think might put up decent numbers is lendale white. and that's a big might. i'll go ahead and predict that jeff fischer loses the players this year and will be coaching somewhere else next season. this line makes me nervous though, but give me the under.

houston - 5.5: over(-140) under(+110)
wow, vegas likes the texans more than it hates the titans. i do think that andre johnson will be much better this year and i think he'll have a breakout fantasy year and dominick davis is gonna rush for the most useuless 1200 yds ever. how's this for a first five games on the schedule - philly, at indy, washington, miami, bye, at dallas. the philly game is the only one they have a remote chance of winning. the texans dig themselves a deep hole early and never get out and david carr ends his tenure as the franchise qb. under.

NFC south
tampa bay - 8: over(-115) under(-115)
this number kinda surprises me. the defense is still pretty solid and cadillac williams looks to be the real deal as well. but then again, chris simms, chris simms, chris simms. to me it's amazing that people thought he looked good at times last year, cuz i thought he looked pretty bad every time i say him. your name really can carry you far in this league. but a wildly inaccurate arm won't. most of the division has gotten better, while tampa bay didn't do a whole lot in the offseason. eight's a good number so we'll probably push here, but i'll take the under.

atlanta - 8.5: over(-110) under(-120)
i'm sure you've all heard by now that brian finneran is out for the season leaving ron mexico with alge crumpler as his only reliable target. warrick dunn has proven me wrong year after year, but i just don't trust little guys carrying the ball. when the break down, they do so very suddenly...actually all running backs do, but it seems to be more often the case with little ones. on the plus side mike vick has to be good this year. i just don't think the NFL will let one of it's most marketable and famous properties fail, so expect to see some fishy officiating in falcon's games this year. ahhh, what the hell, give me the over.

new orleans - 6.5: over(-140) under(+110)
that's a big discrepancy between the over and under and i can't quite figure it out. brees and bush are gonna help out a lot, sure, but the city is still a mess, and it doesn't sound like they're going to resolve the future home of the saints any time soon. from what i can tell the plans are still go to have games in the superdome, but as always, i suspect this sentimental factor is being overestimated. for the fantasy people, brees + shoulder injury = bad. remember everyone, it's only a feel good story if the team is any good, and this team isn't. not that i think vegas gets caught up in this crap, but i can't see drew brees putting this team over the top, so i don't know how else to explain the money lines. under.

sorry to put these out so close together, but i want to get them done before i take off in a few days.

8.01.2006

bobby the gook season 3, preseason action part 1

yes, folks, NFL training camps have opened across the nation. fans everywhere have begun obsessing over the battle for the fifth wide receiver spot as if a super bowl victory depended on it. i myself will be headed down to oxnard soon to watch t.o. begin his march towards super bowl immortality. i know, it's kinda goofy to watch guys run non-contact drills, but for many fans, it's as close as we'll ever get to the real thing. anyways, even more importantly, vegas has released it's season over/unders for each NFL teams. if you remember, last year, me and fredo went through and gave a team by team analysis of how the their season would turn out. well i finally went through and counted the number of teams that we got right and both fredo and i went 17 for 31, with one push (fredo, click here, for a complete breakdown). we're over .500, but would have very likely lost money had we actually bet money on these things...oh wait a minute...we did lose money. for those of you who follow us, click here, here, here, and here for some very prescient predictions
looks like vegas thinks that philly can't recover from the T.O. debacle. i know he looked good in the first pre-season game he played, but it there any question that he's going to blow up at some point in the season? and won't that cost the team dearly in terms of wins? also doesn't losing corey simon really really hurt. i already have 7 teams winning ten games which already sounds like too many to me. i definitely can't see 8 teams winning ten games. under.
some not so good predictions
i think that pittsburgh disappoints in a big way this year. give me the under.
and a very entertaining trip down memory lane, highlighted by this masterful bon mot from fredo:
dallas (8.5) - over all the way, and take it to the bank. i know drew bledsoe seems old, but he's only 33. do you know who else was 33 when he won the super bowl against sin and death? jesus h. christ, that's who.
man that still cracks me up. anyways, as i've said before, these bets have always intrigued me because you have to take into account so many things like scheduling, off-season moves, injury recovery, long term trends, etc., etc. plus it's a good way to get ready for my fantasy drafts. anyways, we'll start with the west divisions and then over the next four posts, we'll work our way to the east divisions. anyways, let's pass out the x and the roofies and get this party started.

AFC west
denver - 10: over (-130) under (even)
first off their non-division schedule is brutal. pittsburgh and seattle, indy, cinnci, and the pats. i know that schedules mean less than they used to, but day-umn. anyways, the real problem in denver is two fold. first the running back situation. seriously, should ron dayne be inthe mix for any real contender? my guess is that this is a psychological ploy by shanahan to motivate tatum bell. but more pressing, as always, is one former ASU sundevil lining up at QB (i was going to say a former bone-headed ASU sundevil, but that would be redundant). if i were samuel l. jackson, i'd call up shanahan and scream, "i'm so tired of this motherf*ing jake on this motherf*ing team!" fortunately for the snake, the addition of javon walker will help out a bunch. of course the caveat is that guys are never ever almost as fast after major leg injuries, so as donald rumsfeld would say, this is a known unknown. what really helps is having oakland and san diego in this division. i think that denver will be decent this year, vegas seems to be predicting a flip flop with KC and 9 wins, and i concur. under.

kansas city - 9.5: over(-115) under(-115)
as much as i like old white coaches who can cry in public, herm edwards is a definite upgrade at this position (although i'm inclined to think that he's still overrated). but there's a lot of known unknowns for the chiefs as well. with willie roaf retiring, can LJ have the same kind of season he did last year. seriously, they ran that stretch play to perfection last year, for 12 yards just over and over. but the more important question - how old is trent green and tony gonzalez. gonzalez definitely lost his best-at-his-position title last year. and trent green seems like he's been in the league forever. the schedule however, is a little bit easier than denver's in that they don't have to face indy and new england. defense reigns supreme with edwards in charge and i think the change in philosophy is good enough to get the chiefs over the top. over.

san diego - 8.5: over(-140) under(+110)
this is the first number that i'm suspicious of. is there no dropoff between drew brees and philip rivers? i know they have LT and gates, but seriously, does rivers to mccardell, rashaun rogers, and eric parker do anything for you? me neither. and my prediction for philip rivers is complete and utter failure. rivers reminds me more of the prototypical NFL bust - chris redman, tim couch, kyle boller, and jp losman, guys with really good skills but never seem to catch up to the level of NFL play. i don't have any feelings about the schedule either way. this is a very good value pick though, so give me the under.

oakland - 6.5: over(-105) under(-115)
with aaron brooks now calling the plays, it's easy to see why vegas thinks that the raiders are going to suck this year. and vegas is right, they are going to suck. but, what the raiders have going for them is that i think lamont jordan is going to have a much better year this year, after having a halfway decent one during his first stint as feature back. and i just can't see randy moss having this many bad seasons in a row. this is a really good number, because i think 7 is about the top-end of their potential talent wise. and with houston, cleveland, and the jets on the schedule, i think they can reach it. i have very little confidence in this pick. over.

NFC west
seattle - 10.5: over(-110) under(-120)
one of the biggest numbers on the board. to me, there's a lot not to like about the seahawks this year. i think the loss of that lineman is going to hurt more than people think. i also think that matt hasselback still doesn't have any good receivers to throw to. and as good as lofa tatupu was last year, those undersized linebackers always seem to wear down in year two a la brian ulracher. but that doesn't mean they're still not the favorite to win their division (and one of the favorites to make it to the super bowl at 10-1). the division sucks, shaun alexander is real real good and they have a pretty easy schedule. i'm not sure what to make of the money lines, but i'll take the over.

st louis - 7: over(-110) under (-120)
again, with these weird money lines...anyways, i really haven't kept up with the rams much in the offseason. all i know is that they underperformed last year. steve jackson had a somewhat inconsistent season in his first as the man, but i think that this is the year that he makes some real noise. in fact, i think that he'll go in about the 4th to 5th round in most fantasy drafts and be a steal there. bulger is a decent qb and torry holt is simply a stud. he's still underrated. so knowing little to nothing about this team, the schedule seems a bit tough to me. ummm...i guess i'll go with the under here.

arizona - 8: over(-115) under(-115)
i'm a little surprised at the money lines here. it seems pretty clear to me that with edgerrin james, the cardinals are a much much better team. great receivers, a stud back, etc. of course, there's kurt warner who is about as good as maybe half the quarterbacks out there, but as we all know is quite prone to injury, despite his intense faith in the lord jesus christ. apparently, jesus wants kurt to be injured. however, i actually think that him getting hurt will be a good thing for the cards. seriously, leinart was ready for the pro's two years ago. he basically has played not only in a pro-style offense at USC, he basically played with pro caliber players. there's a lot of reasons to think that he'll not pan out in the NFL, but i think when he ineveitably gets the starting nod this year, he'll be fine. did i mention edgerrin james is real good? i think the cards are going to vie for a playoff spot this year. give me the over.

san francisco -5: over (-115) under(-115)
let's see here...lost their best wide receiver, check. lost their best defensive player, check. 2nd year QB that wasn't any good in college, check. i'm almost starting to feel bad for niners fans. they've been in football hell for a while now. under all the way.