I was prepared to write a 1500 word column with the week seven picks integrated, but then I witnessed a Joe Bugel-esque coaching performance by my kid’s soccer coach. I have been stewing about it all day long and thus, I only have time to explain what happened.
So, here goes. First off, Joe Bugel was a hell of a nice guy, a real charming man that the players adored. As you can imagine he was a “player’s coach”, but not just that, he was more like a buddy to his players. There was no separation between coach and player, they were essentially drinking buddies. Now no one likes to lose friends and have people dislike them, especially coach Bugel, so he went to extremes to make sure everyone loved him.
I give the Bugel background for context, if I merely wanted to point out shitty coaches, I have a plethora of choices, from Romeo Crennel to Bo Pelini to Norv Turner to Jason Garrett to Andy Reid to Scott Linehan to Mike Martz to, well, you get the picture. Bugel is different than these coaches because he didn’t want to hurt anyones feelings, he wanted his players to like him and if they like him, he thought, then they would produce for him. Trouble with that is you don’t put players in a position to fail because you want them to like you.
For the benefit of the reader here is some context around the specific soccer team, this “alleged coach” coaches. First off, they’re one of the more talented teams in the state, possibly the most talented. The team’s has one extraordinary athlete, who is a top five player in the state and two other high-end players. The remaining eight players are more than adequate “role” players. So, it is a good team, but that has not translated into wins. In fact, “the coach” has seen merely a single win on the young season.
But the team has had success this year. They lost in the finals of a very tough tournament earlier in the year. Problem is they weren’t coached by “the coach” but rather a couple non-soccer pedigreed, yet soccer knowledgeable parents. . .
Yeah, you guessed it, one of them is me. And no I never played soccer which means that I cannot be part of this exclusive “soccer guy” club. Which infuriates me, because you can be a successful football coach without ever playing the game, but soccer, if you haven’t played its like, “Oh, my, you never played? Really? Wow! He can’t be in our queer club then.” First off, “soccer coach”, the game isn’t that complicated. I mean, “oooo, wow, soccer coach did you just tell your players to execute an over-lapping run. BRILLANT!” And secondly, in my book if you’re a Gen Xer and you actually played soccer beyond like pee-wee age, it was because either a. you were too big of a pussy to play football; b. you sucked at football and couldn’t make the team or c. both. So, I guess you can say “soccer guy” has been re-born with the onset of the sport’s popularity in this country and he is pulling a Ronald McDonald Miller “now I’m popular” scam. Not buying it!
. . .Anyway, so “the coach” resents the success the parent coaches had and refuses to ask them what went well. But with another tournament looming with similar teams, this gives “the coach” a chance to prove themselves.
This, finally, brings us to the point of this over-stated rant – the Joe Bugel move. After dropping the first game of the tournament to, oh by the way a team that we have beaten soundly three times in a row, “the coach” asks a parent, “why can’t we get a win?” Not sure the parent is qualified to answer the question because they never played a minute of soccer. But nonetheless the question is asked by “the coach.” Now wouldn’t you think that if “the coach” was given the chance to win a game that they would pull out all the stops? Yeah, me too!
Well, maybe not at the expense of a player being upset with her. Fast forward to today, with a spot in the finals depending on a 3-0 win (don’t ask, it’s a screwy points system that awards a point for seemingly every time you head a ball, have a corner, etc.), “the coach” performs well leading the team to a 2-0 halftime lead.
Now raise your hand if you think a 2-0 lead is insurmountable? Hmm, no hands. That is correct, in fact, a 2-0 lead in soccer at halftime is probably the football equivalent of 14-0. We just witnessed, less than a week ago, a team come back from 24-0 at halftime. So clearly a 2-0 lead at halftime of a soccer is not insurmountable!
But let’s say it was, the team still needed to win 3-0, therefore, they still needed to push for that third goal, while tighten down the defense to allow nothing.
Since this is technically a football column, I am going to describe what happened in football terms and I will use the 2012 St. Louis Rams as my example only if they were coached by Joe Bugel:
Kicker Greg Zuerlein: “Coach Bugel, remember when you said I could get some reps at quarterback in a game? Well, please, pretty please can I go in at quarterback to start the second half?”
Coach Bugel: “Sure Gregor, not a problem!”
Missouri Running Back Marcus Murphy (requested to come up by Bugel for depth): “Coach, I haven’t played in this game yet. I am seriously considering not coming out with you for beers after this game.”
Coach Bugel: “Marcus, come on, you’re simply not ready for this level. But if it means your friendship, you start at running back in the second half.”
Coach Bugel: “OK, guys let’s keep up the good work. Here are a couple more changes – (OT) Wayne Hunter, I’ve seen you tackle on Bradford’s interception, very impressive, now let’s see if you can cover, you go to cornerback. (WR) Brandon Gibson, you go to linebacker, remember, plug the middle and make all the calls. (WR) Chris Givens, head to nose tackle, stay low, man, stay low, you’ll be fine. Sam Bradford, Steven Jackson and Chris Long, to the bench. Let’s go get’em guys!”
Yep, that’s effectively what “the coach” did today – put the three best players on the bench, started two players at forward that couldn’t score a goal if the net was empty and placed two players back on defense that had never played the position before. When I saw the lineup, I pissed myself, but before I finished the score was already tied 2-2. Then, and only then, did “the coach” decide to put the best player back in the game at their normal position (Center Mid) but no other subs.
I am sure you can guess what happened next, the best player has a run towards the potential tie-breaking goal, but one of the out of position players gets in the way, actually stealing the ball from the player and then weakly kicking it to nowheresville, which leads directly to a goal for the opposition. 3-2, bye-bye finals! Only now is everyone is back in their normal positions.
The final? 3-3, the best player, only the normal starters on the field, broke through and scored a goal to tie, but such little time remained, that is how it ended in a tie, which essentially ended all hopes of a championship this weekend!
In a life full of bad beats related to sports, I have never been more pissed off than I was today. And that my friends is the reason why you didn’t 1500 words of “why we should put David Wilson in the Hall of Fame right now.”
The “SuperContest” picks:
Dallas (-2.5) over Carolina – There aren’t many times when you can actually get value on “America’s Team”, this is one of those times.
Minnesota (-6.5) over Arizona – On Thursday, I dubbed this weekend, “Favorite’s Revenge”, though I might be tempted to change that to “Shitty Soccer Coaches Revenge.” I cannot call this Arizona team correct, but for some reason this feels like a terrible match-up for the Cards.
Cincinnati (+2.5) over Pittsburgh – I cannot pick the Bengals correctly, either, so it makes sense to make them one of my top five picks this week, right? Look, next time you go 10-4 in a week you can question my methods!
St. Louis (+5.5) over Green Bay – This is based solely on the idea that Greg Zuerlein take exactly zero snaps at quarterback.
Tampa Bay (+2.0) over New Orleans – Please, why are the Saints favored? Because they beat a team that just blew a 24 point halftime lead? Plus, they won’t have Jimmy Graham to trot out as a decoy this week because of a badly sprained vagina, ankle.
The “Rest of the Winners” picks:
Tennessee (+3.5) over Buffalo – Two bad teams, give me the points.
Indianapolis (-2.5) over Cleveland – Yeah, Cleveland is better than Indianapolis. And that second lineup “the coach” put out there today gave us the best chance to win.
NY Giants (-5.5) over Washington – If I didn’t already “survive” with the 49ers this week, this would be my survivor pick. There is way, way too much being made of the Skins owning the Giants last season.
Baltimore(+7.0) over Houston – Unless Ray Lewis’ pre-game cheer is worth four points, I don’t see how the Ravens are getting seven here. Bottom line is most defensive players are Plug and Play ready.
New England (-10.5) over NY Jets – It’s either a Jets out-right win or a Patriots swift ass-kicking. I will go with the latter.
Oakland (-6) over Jacksonville – Dumbest line of the week, but since I know “Sharps” move the line and this line moved, I am left no choice but to jump of the bandwagon.
Chicago (-6.5) over Detroit – “Favorite’s Revenge” finishes the week with a win and manages to clear .500 for the first time this year.
Colin Wynner does, in fact, call winners!
4-10? How does a great handicapper like Colin Wynner manage to go 4-10? Well, by catching a lucky Willis McGahee fumble as the Broncos were about to close to within three points of the Patriots last week, that’s how!
It was a bad, bad week. It has left me well below the Mendoza line overall, I dropped 150 places in the SuperContest and my confidence has taken a beating. That’s right my confidence is not busting out of my head with a harmonica, it’s sheepishly peering out to see if the “bad man” is still around.
And I started out this week 0-1, because I let myself get talked out of the Titans Thursday. When it is going bad, it is going bad. But just as easily I can be back over the Mendoza line with an eye on the penthouse suite at the Bellagio by the end of this week.
The “SuperContest” picks:
Indianapolis @ NY Jets (-3.0) – The hype on the Colts is a little much. So what, they rallied to beat the Packers, who are much more like the 2009 Packers than the 2011 Packers. They’ve also beaten the Vikings at home. But this is a road game after an emotional comeback win. Call it the “come out flat after you leave everything on the field for your coach, who was just diagnosed with Leukemia” angle. Pick: NY Jets -3.0
Oakland @ Atlanta (-9.0) – Three straight weeks the Falcons have flirted with a loss. As my wife tells me, there is no such thing as innocent flirtation. This might be the week the Falcons give into the temptation and just lose. Plus, that will take down roughly 80% of the remaining entries in Survivor pools, good times, this NFL is. Pick: Oakland +9.0
Green Bay @ Houston (-3.5) – The 2012 Packers might be closer to the 2009 version than the 2011 version but I like them getting points in any situation. Do you realize the Packers haven’t lost a game as an underdog since December 12th, 2010? Pick: Green Bay +3.5
Minnesota (-2.5) @ Washington (-1.5) – Yeah, the contest line is Washington +2.5, while the actual betting line is Washington -1.5. I am predicting a Washington one point victory! Not really, it the Vikings time, come on this team is not going to be 5-1. Pick: Washington +2.5
Dallas @ Baltimore (-3.5) – Love the Cowboys in this spot because the Ravens seem to be so concerned with making sure the world knows that Joe Flacco is an elite quarterback that they have gotten away from what they do best – run the ball to setup the pass. Well, the Cowboys strength on defense happens to be the secondary, therefore, when those stubborn Ravens have Flacco throwing all over the place like they’re coached by Mike Martz, they probably will struggle to win. Pick: Dallas +3.5
The “Free Money” pick:
Cincinnati (-2.5) @ Cleveland – Sucker bet, I know, but you know what suckers win sometimes. Pick: Cincinnati -2.5
The “Movable Object vs. Resistible Force” pick:
St. Louis @ Miami (-4.5) – I cannot see this Rams team moving to 4-2, but I cannot see the Dolphins winning two in a row, especially when one of those games is at home. Uh, uh, give me the points. . . Pick: St. Louis +4.5
The “Suicide Watch” pick:
Detroit @ Philadelphia (-3.5) – One of my buddies is a diehard Eagles fan, who when I saw him after loss to the Steelers, I asked him what he thought. His reply, “I won’t watch another Eagles game until Michael Vick is no longer the quarterback and Andy Reid is no longer the coach.” Wow, that’s harsh, even for the most pessimistic Philly fan, goodness this team is 3-2 after all. But what he knows, and what all Eagles fans know, is that the Eagles are three plays away from being 0-5. And that the Eagles simply aren’t very good. But the football gods need to have some mercy on these Philly fans, I am not saying Super Bowl necessarily, but give them a week reprieve, allow Vick to play well and the Iggles to win big. Done and done! Pick: Philadelphia -3.5
The “In Over their Head” pick:
New England (-3.5) @ Seattle – The Seahawks have a legit defense, great special teams, but their rookie quarterback is limiting what they can do, and thus truncating how far they can go this season. In other words, he is killing them! I get it, Petey, you effed up by naming Wilson the starter in the first place. And now you’re screwed, if you go to Flynn, Wilson’s confidence will be a little like mine right now, constantly looking over his shoulder and afraid to bend over. Then if Flynn sucks, you are trapped, you’ve got no options! Dammit, why, oh why, did the Seahawks trade Tavaris Jackson! That aside the Seabags need to figure out a way to win at least one of their next three games: Pats, @49ers and @Lions. No way, Russell Wilson wins in SF and Detroit may have things figured out by then. Therefore, this is the game. Look for craziness to ensue, maybe along the lines of an onside kick to open the game, a couple extra long field goals, a return TD and an amazing goal line stand to end the game. Pick: Seattle +3.5
The “Sunday Night Hangover” pick:
Denver @ San Diego (-1.5) – I am sure it sucks to lose any time in the NFL, but to have the game literally stolen away because of Goodell’s hidden agenda, must really, really suck. It is obvious that Goodell wanted to soften the blow of the bounty suspensions by giving the Saints a win last week. It was painfully obvious to some of us. Now the question is – will he repay the Chargers this week or sometime later in the season? It would be far too obvious if were to happen this week. Pick: Denver +1.5
The “Ass Kickin” pick:
Buffalo @ Arizona (-4.5) – Since 1989 three teams have given up more than 96 points in consecutive weeks. Last week the 2012 Bills joined the 1989 Bucs, 2004 Browns and 2004 Titans in that illustrious group. The combined ATS record of those teams the following week is 0-3. Uh, make that 0-4 after this week. Oh, if the Cardinals lay 44 points on the Bills, the Bills will have the record for most points given up in a three game stretch. Imagine, if they didn’t throw all that money Mario Williams way. Pick: Arizona -4.5
The “Brady Quinn Era Begins” pick:
Kansas City @ Tampa Bay (-4.0) – Here is something incredibly bizarre about the psychology of point spreads – if this line is 3.5, I love the Chiefs, but at 4.0 I will take the Bucs. I know it’s nuts, but the best I can explain it is like this, at 3.5, I feel like the teams are equal but I get the gift hook; at 4.0 I feel like the favored team is superior, therefore, give me the better team. Oh, that AND BRADY EFFING QUINN is starting on the road in a hostile environment. Pick: Tampa Bay -4.0
The “Sure, I will cheer for the house” pick:
NY Giants @ San Francisco (-6.5) – The road warriors are getting 6.5 points? Ok, here is the deal, if this was the posted number, I take the 49ers because that would be out of line by the odds-makers therefore, I would assume they know something and have posted a number to attract as much Giants action as possible. But this game was bet up to 6.5 by the public. And spare me the line about, “Only Sharp money moves lines.” You’re right unless everyone from San Francisco to Manhattan is playing the 49ers. That’s the case here, as the books are heavily exposed on the 49ers. And guess what it’s never a bad idea to jump in bed with the house. Well, unless the house has syphilis of course. Pick: NY Giants +6.5
Colin Wynner makes prank calls!
Most years about this time, I start to whisper, “Wow, it’s already week six, this year is going by too fast!” This year, however, it’s more like, “Is it over yet?” Translation – it is getting tougher with each passing year to enjoy the NFL. The several reasons for this, but at the forefront is the reality that the league is watered down with essentially random results week in and week out. That makes it tough to be successful handicapper, fantasy player or pool participant.
Sunday afternoon I texted a buddy this message, “If I go 0-5 this week, I think I’m be done with football.” Turns out, I went 1-4, but the fact remains, I almost called it a career before finding some fire to help me move forward this week. Still, I was close. Someday, I envision myself running a rehab center for addicted fans of football – the name of the center “One Game At A Time.”
And by “calling it a career”, I mean freaking going “cold turkey” without any peripheral football – no Sunday Ticket, no NFL rewind, no football related subscriptions, no picks columns, no picks, no bets, no pools and no fantasy. Well to be honest I have about 278 reasons why fantasy football is gone after this year regardless of whether I retire or not, but you get the idea, I would watch occasionally, but watch for the purity of the game, which would put all the power back in my hands.
I no longer sit through a crappy performance by my team just because they are the final play on a three team teaser. It wouldn’t take me nince hours to vacuum a house that normally takes 1.5 hours (humble brag, right! Yeah, I live in a mansion that normally takes 90 minutes to vacuum), I wouldn’t have to watch an otherwise unwatchable Monday night game because I have fantasy player X going against fantasy player Y. And I wouldn’t have to spend the time I spend on this freaking sport!
Some day very soon, you might show up on this site to see what teams you want to fade for the week and see the following:
I’M OUT THIS BITCH!
OK, enough about me, on to the game:
Pittsburgh (-6.0) @ Tennessee – The NFL changed the Rashard Mendenhall rushing touchdown to a receiving touchdown this week. Real nice, thanks, NFL. The effects of this monumental change will be felt for years to come as all fantasy league commissioners scurry to update the week 5 stat changes. In one of my leagues a two games will be affected where both winning teams will see a win snatched from their helpless hands. Great, I already had to sweat the Sunday and Monday night games, now I have to wait out the NFL until Thursday to make sure I get the win.
The ridiculous part of this change is that it was obvious that it was a touchdown pass in live action and even more apparent on the replay, how did it get by the officials? I thought the “real” refs were back. Honestly, the real ref vs. scab ref is a little like trying to tell the difference between New Coke and Classic Coke. If I am a ardent Classic Coke drinker and you put a can of New Coke in front of me, I would rather go thirsty than drink that crap. But if you blindfold me and give it to me, I couldn’t tell the difference. That’s pretty much how I feel about the scabs and the regular refs, don’t tell me and, for goodness sake, don’t let them speak and I probably couldn’t tell the difference.
- Rashard Mendenhall looked fantastic last weekend, so much that I actually might recommend suffering a torn ACL in week 16 of the previous season. Kidding, kidding, but he looks faster and shifter than ever. Of course, that might be the Jonathon Dwyer and Isaac Redman effect as well.
- We know the weapons the Steelers have on the outside, but don’t forget about Heath Miller tonight. In fact if you have a chance to play a few props, I would strongly recommend Miller for 1st touchdown, over 45 yards and “Yes” he will score a touchdown. The Titans can’t cover anyone, but they are atrocious against the tight end.
The Titans might be the worst team in the NFL, but their emotionally leader, Chris Johnson, commented this week:
“We need somebody in this locker room to make plays and give us a spark.”
Uh, you mean somebody like you? I mean CJ_K the Titans have all that money tied up in you, I think they expect you to make plays and give them a spark. Wow, totally clueless. If I am Titans ownership, I would be willing to give Titans coach Mike Munchak another year sans CJ_K. I have to believe CJ_K is impacting the morale and chemistry of a very young team. In fact, the Titans would be better off just cutting his lousy ass right now.
- Matt Hasselbeck has been a solid quarterback to back as the starter for a home team underdog over his career, but this is not the Seattle Hasselbeck, this is the “I am hanging on for a paycheck while trying to mentor a young guy into a great quarterback, so I can someday land a head coaching job and continue to be the favorite son over my d-bag brother who is a self proclaimed fantasy football expert, yet somehow pops is favoring him because he gave him Alfred Morris as a sleeper this year” Hasselbeck. Remember, when Michael Jordan went to the Wizards? Albeit smaller scale, but just as big of a drop-off.
- The only way the Steelers don’t cover this number is if they come out flat. I don’t see that happening. Why? Well, while it might be might be thin, I checked out Roethlisberger’s biorhythm chart for 10/12/2012. Here it is:
The above shows Roethlisberger is ready to peak physically, which is good news. He is also very high emotionally, which will allow him to withstand the numerous “you’re a raper” taunts. Unfortunately, Big Ben’s intellect is so far down that if given the Wonderlich test before the game tonight, Vince Young might look like a genius. I have a solution for that – don’t let Ben call the plays or audible. Ben never calls the plays, so that part is a non factor. In terms of audibling, the Titans won’t present anything overly complicated nor present much resistance, therefore, even poor decisions by Big Ben likely won’t cost the Steelers.
Pick: Pittsburgh -6.0
Disclaimer: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week. In cases where I’ve made a contest pick, I will use that line, as opposed to the current line. Yeah, it’s a bit of a cheat and you wouldn’t be able to get that line once you’ve printed out my picks to head to the betting window but in the rare event that I win a contest bet but caught in the middle on a live play, rest assured I will adjust my record.
I have spent the last two days at the soccer fields, so you get quick picks for NFL week #5. Mind you though, I put the same effort into each and every pick. But I must inform you that I feel this is the week where the odds-makers have caught on – very, very tough! Upon making my picks, I just about pulled out the UNO
Reverse card and reversed every one of them.
The “SuperContest” picks:
Arizona (-1.0) @ St. Louis – I feel like the Cardinals are who I thought they were. Shame me for thinking otherwise and making them a top 5 play this week. Pick: Arizona -1.0
San Diego @ New Orleans (-3.5) – Why are the Saints favored in this game? And by 3.5, no less, wow!! – “Free Money”. Pick: San Diego +3.5
Tennessee @ Minnesota (-5.5) – Game was a pick’em in the pre-season, now it’s 5.5. So this Vikings team is good because they’ve beaten the Jags, a sleep-walking 49ers team and the Lions? Uh, ok. They might win but the line of 5.5 is way, way too many points. Pick: Minnesota -5.5
Seattle @ Carolina (-3.0) – I don’t completely trust Panthers safety Haruki Nakamura and his band of incompetent brothers roaming the defensive backfield, but I trust Russell Wilson on the road less. In fact, Russell might be the only quarterback capable of making Haruki look like a competent NFL safety. The Hawks really, really need to go to Matt Flynn, Wilson will be the guy long term but he is killing an otherwise very good team. Pick: Carolina -3.0
Baltimore (-5.5) @ Kansas City – How is this not a repeat of the 2010 playoff game between these teams? Oh and the Ravens just had their early season “mail it in” game against the Browns last week. It’s going to be a long day for the Chiefs. Pick: Baltimore -5.5
The “Good Bad Team” pick:
Miami @ Cincinnati (-3.0) – The Bengals beat bad teams badly, though Miami is pesky, I wouldn’t consider them good. Pick: Cincinnati -3.0
The “Final Destination” pick:
Atlanta (-3.0) @ Washington – The Falcons should have lost last week. You can only cheat death so long. . . Pick: Washington +3.0
The “Look Ahead” picks:
Green Bay (-6.5) @ Indianapolis – With a showdown against the Texans on deck, look for the Packers to get caught sleeping against the Colts. Pick: Indianapolis +6.5
Cleveland @ NY Giants (-8.5) – Come on, it’s the Giants, they’re giving more than a touchdown at home. I think we’ve seen how this ends multiple times over the last five seasons? And the G-Men have the 49ers on deck. Pick: Cleveland +8.5
The “Livin a lie” pick:
Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh (-3.5) – The Eagles are 3-1, yet have been out-scored by 17 points. Look for the “regression” to begin this week. Also, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t lose back-to-back games. Pick: Pittsburgh -3.5
The “Monday Night Hangover” pick:
Chicago (-5.5) @ Jacksonville – This feels way too easy. And I’ve already taken advantage of the “Free Money” offer from the books with the Chargers. This feels like a late Bears rally to win by a field goal. Pick: Jacksonville +5.5
The “Ass Kickin” picks:
Denver @ New England (-6.5) – Sorry, Peyton, still not buying. . . Pick: New England -6.5
Buffalo @ San Francisco (-9.5) – The 49ers are back home, re-focused and ready to take control of the NFC West. How do the Bills cover this game if the 49ers go up 17-0? Answer: they don’t! Pick: San Francisco -9.5
Houston (-8.0) @ NY Jets – How do the Jets cover this game if the Texans go up 17-0? Same answer from above. Pick: Houston -8.0
Colin Wynner calls the winners. “Rever. . .Revers. . .!”
Week 05 NFL Thursday Night Football pick from the world renowned handicapper, Colin Wynner.
Arizona (-1.0) @ St. Louis – The odds-makers still aren’t buying the Cardinals. It’s as if they don’t think the Cardinals can continue the 15 consecutive fumble recovery streak. Still, just a single point? (Grown to 2.5 since Wednesday [insert your personal favorite lewd joke here]) One lousy point for a 4-0 team that has beaten the best team in the AFC (Patriots) and the current leader of the toughest division, allegedly, in the NFL (NFC East). As Cris Carter would say, “Come on, Man! You gotta give this Cardinals team some love.”
If you’re looking for further confirmation that the odds-makers believe that this Cardinals team is a desert mirage, look no further than the Super Bowl odds – still +2200. Anyone who follows futures knows that the days of being to hammer out a bet with reasonably high odds on a fringe, under the radar team are long gone. In fact, the bookies are more skittish about the futures than Jesse Pinkman on the day long “buried cash digging” adventure with Mike, the one where he had to stay clean for an entire day. A mere sign of life from a team will cause an immediate unprovoked reaction to drop the odds like Lindsay Lohan at the end of a Hollywood party.
But what doesn’t make sense here is that at the highest, odds for playoff teams would be around 15-1, but more like 8-1. And take a look at what these criminals do to the NFL division odds where there are 4 teams, and the worst of the worst, the no shot in hell teams are roughly 18-1 at the beginning of the season. In the interest of a fair comparison, let’s say the Browns were 22-1 to the AFC North prior to the year. For the same price, would you want the Browns in AFC North prior to the season or the Cardinals now at 4-0?
The point here is that in the futures world bookies don’t have to be accountable. They can make every team 2-1 and call it a day. Of course, the counter to that is “well, if every team was 2-1, their handle would go way down.” Puh-lease! Most gamblers are going to gamble regardless of how high the odds are stacked against them. Don’t believe me! Remember when Indian Casinos only offered Blackjack Machines? There were packed even though they only paid out at 97%. Wait, those machines are paying out 97%, wow that means I will only lose 3% of the time. I need to get over there. See what I mean.
How ridiculous is the normal protocol for lowering odds? Well, for example, the “American League Wild Card Play-In Game” participants (Can we get some shirts made up for this major accomplishment?), the Orioles were 150-1 to win the World Series prior to the season. After starting out a very mediocre 9-7, the Orioles dropped to 100-1, like, oh shit this team actually team has a pulse and the corresponding immediate drop.
With roughly a third of the season in the books, the O’s that sat atop the AL East with a 29-20 record. Every team in the division was within 4.5 games of first place. Now mind you, this isn’t the AL Central, it’s the AL East, where you have, with special thanks to Super Punch Out, King Hippo or the Toronto Blue Jays, Bald Bull, better known as the Tampa Bay Rays, what we thought was going to be Mr. Sandman in the Boston Red Sox, of course they turned out to be Glass Joe and Mike Tyson, pre-Miss America rape, jail sentence, losing contract with Nintendo. Translation, no one was scared of the Orioles, well nobody was scared of the O’s except for the books who over-reacted by lowering them to 30-1.
The interesting thing is one would think that if the Orioles odds dropped, another team, specifically one within the division would rise. Not the case. As when the O’s were 150-1, the Yanks were 13-2, Sox 10-1, Rays 18-1 and Jays 40-1. The drop to 100-1, saw the Yanks at 7-1 (slight increase), Red Sox 18-1 (on the heels of another wretched start), Rays at 18-1 and the Jays at 22-1. When the O’s went to 30-1, the rest of the division look like this: Yanks 9-1, Sox 20-1, Rays 9-1 and Jays 20-1. The ultimate squeeze!
Now if the books had to offer the opposite side of every future bet, that would make a big difference. For example, I might have no problem laughing my ass off at the books while betting the Red Sox not to win the WS at, let’s say -3000. You see once they started getting pounded in the ass like the future lifer, Jerry Sandusky, they might consider setting a more reasonable line or give up a major pay day to all those “nots”. Of course, they also have your money for 4 months of interest earning and the heavy juice between the “yea” and “nay” bets. But there is a reason they don’t offer that, its value for bettor!
Now consider that over-reaction to the O’s, doesn’t it make sense that the books should be reacting to the Cardinals the same way? There are even similarities between the O’s and the Cardinals, (a). Both teams have a dominate team in the division that one would likely see as very difficult to over-come; and (b). Both teams have been, at least according to basic stats, lucky to be where they are. The O’s were almost out-scored by their opponents on the year, despite posting 93 wins. The Cardinals are literally three plays away from being a very Cardinal-esque 1-3. Yet, the odds-makers completely over-reacted to the O’s and not so much the Cards.
So, why the long odds? Very simply it appears that the odds-makers aren’t worried about this team winning the Super Bowl or even coming close for that matter. Fair enough, but if the Cardinals take care of business in the next three games, all games they figure to be favored in, they will be 7-0 and heading to the playoffs even if they experience a 2011 Buffalo Bill collapse. Hmm, the time might be right to throw down some “future” coin on this team. Just saying, you heard it here first!
As for tonight’s game, the Rams have been extremely fortunate to win their two home games. Therefore, I believe they have created a false illusion that they are a good home team, one that is capable of continuing to beat better teams at home, despite not being favored to do so. The biggest question I have for this game is what happens when “luck” meets “luck”? Well, then you have to go to talent. The Cardinals have a big advantage in overall talent.
My guess is not all that close, something like Arizona 31 St. Louis 13. I am making it a Contest pick.
Pick: Arizona -1.0 (-2.5)
Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week. In cases where I’ve made a contest pick, I will use that line, as opposed to the current line. Yeah, it’s a bit of a cheat and you wouldn’t be able to get that line once you’ve printed out my picks to head to the betting window but in the rare event that I win a contest bet but caught in the middle on a live play, rest assured I will adjust my record.
“Slow and steady wins the race” – A 9-7 week three gives me a second consecutive winning week and pushes my overall record one game below the Mendoza line.
The “SuperContest” picks:
San Francisco (-4.0) @ NY Jets – Nothing screams “Five wide” more than hearing Joe McKnight will begin take snaps at corner back. It would be like hitting the lottery for one lucky 49er receiver.
Yeah, this is a sucker bet of the week, but come on the 49ers aren’t going to lose back-to-back games to mediocre teams. . . Cue the “win but fail to cover” game. . .
Pick: San Francisco -4.0
Seattle (-2.5) @ St. Louis – The big question is will the real refs restore justice to the NFL by erasing that gift victory the Seahawks received last week. Because that is entirely possible, and the Seahawks are on a short travel week, give those pesky Rams.
Pick: St. Louis +2.5
New England (-4.0) @ Buffalo – So far in 2012 home team underdogs have been crazy good, like 13-6 ATS crazy good. We most likely owe that to the replacement refs, who clearly favored the home teams. We should start to see a regression to the normal home team dog ATS record now that the real refs are back. There are four home dogs this week I cannot see more than two of them covering. And New England can’t possible lose three in a row, can they?
Pick: New England -4.0
Tennessee @ Houston (-12.0) – The Titans are 4-1 ATS when they’re double digit dog the week after being an underdog of any amount. Prior to this season the Texans had been double digit favorites just five times. Five times in the franchise history! This will be close game that will cause a sweat for anyone still alive in a survivor pool.
Pick: Tennessee +12.0
Miami @ Arizona (-6.5) – Wow, I could only get 6.5 points on my “once and for all retirement score” bet. I guess the Vegas odds-makers aren’t buying into the Cardinals just yet. And as of press time this number was falling faster than Mitt Romney presidential chances – down to 4.5 in a few places.
Pick: Miami +6.5
The “Home Team Dogs” picks:
San Diego (-1.5) @ Kansas City – I get it now, the Chiefs don’t start playing until week three, it must be for religious reasons. Norv Turner wouldn’t be Norv Turner if he won games like this.
Pick: Kansas City +1.5
The “I didn’t check the parachute before jumping” pick:
New Orleans @ Green Bay (-7.5) – I wouldn’t be surprised one bit if the Saints came away from Green Bay with a win. Despite the impressive performance by the Packers defense over the last couple of weeks, I am not a believer. After all it was Jay Cutler and Russell Wilson. Points a plenty in this game, therefore give me the touchdown with a hook.
Pick: New Orleans +7.5
The “Fool me once, your bad, fool twice, my bad, fool me numerous times, me retarded” pick:
Chicago @ Dallas (-3.5) – I cannot believe I am going to do this, but yes I am going to back Jay Cutler on the road again. In related news, I just stuck a fork in an electrical outlet for the fourth time in my life.
At the end of the day, I don’t trust either team offensively; the defenses should dominate in a low scoring tight battle, give me the hook in that case every day and twice on Monday night.
Pick: Chicago +3.5
The “Trending” pick:
NY Giants @ Philadelphia (-2.5) – The Giants are 12-2 ATS in the last 14 games when playing the second of back-to-back road games.
The Eagles will fall to 0-4 after this game, is it finally time to admit that the Eagles are garbage. This chant will begin around “the Linc” with two minutes left in the third quarter Sunday night, “NICK FOR VICK, NICK FOR VICK”
Pick: NY Giants +2.5
The “She’s really hot, no really, she’s hot” pick:
Washington @ Tampa Bay (-2.5) – Follow me here – let’s go back to high school and let’s say that at a random party you meet a girl from another school and she looks great. And by great, I mean like super duper hot. Now the next few times you see her she doesn’t look anywhere near as hot. But you cannot get that original image out of your head. That’s the Skins. That opening weekend performance had us all believing the Redskins were legit, when they really aren’t.
Pick: Tampa Bay -2.5
Cincinnati @ Jacksonville (-1.0) – Wow surprisingly the Jaguars are favored in this game. That Cincinnati defense is going to ruin this team.
Pick: Jacksonville -1.0
The “Did you know” pick:
Minnesota @ Detroit (-4.0) – Did you know the Lions are 0-3 ATS this season? And the Lions are really in a must-win situation today, as they are treading water at 1-2 and have four of their next five on the road. OK, I will take a desperate team over one that is feeling pretty good about their situation.
Pick: Detroit -4.0
The “I didn’t save and Microsoft Word EFF’d me” picks:
Oakland @ Denver (-7.0) – To me this game is a toss-up, but I will slightly lean against “noodle arm” Manning and take the touchdown.
Pick: Oakland +7.0
Carolina @ Atlanta (-7.0) – Another coin flip game. This game could be part of the “No really, she’s hot” section due to the Panthers looking like garbage so far this season after they had us enamored with their beauty coming into the season. I still don’t completely trust the Falcons when laying a big number like this, but what the heck, the flip cam up heads – home team.
Pick: Atlanta -7.0
Colin Wynner calls the winners. Good Luck to all, but mostly to me!
Colin is baby stepping his way back to .500. Woohoo! The week 3 winners:
The “SuperContest” picks:
Buffalo (-3.0) @ Cleveland – I get it, the Bills bust up those that tough Chiefs team and now they get the right to be favored on the road. The pre-season line on this game was Bills -1, so what have the Bills done in the first two weeks to force that line to move up two points? Honestly, I think the Browns have been more impressive so far this season.
Picks: Cleveland +3.0
Green Bay (-3.0) @ Seattle – I might just throw Seattle in this spot every week. Is it just me or does feel like a spot where public bettors will hammer the Packers? Three measly points! Of course, if you look at the way the 49ers took it to the Packers in week one and realize the Seahawks are a similar defense, that might provoke some thought on behalf of the public. Nah, that’s too much work!
In my mind, the Packers have only beaten teams with gutless quarterbacks. Russell Wilson is not gutless.
Picks: Seattle +3.0
Philadelphia (-4.0) @ Arizona – I love me some of these home dogs. So, this is a bridge game for the Cardinals where if they win this game everyone, including the odds-makers, will buy into them, meaning I can play the Dolphins next week at plus double digits. In related news, next week’s picks column will be my last column every as I will take my winnings from the Dolphins and retire to Costa Rica. I might setup shop down with a new online gambling website called “NoahWynners.com”, like sign up, deposit money and bet but there are “No a winners, here.”
Picks: Arizona +4.0
Atlanta @ San Diego (-3.5) – This is a really, really tough spot for the Falcons. Think about the what is going against them – short week, cross country trip and sub-standard coaching staff that allowed the Broncos to stay in the game last week. Plus, I still don’t believe Matty Ice is a legit big time quarterback and that is especially true once a team makes some adjustments on him.
Let’s also throw that the Falcons are probably already planning the “Clinched the NFC South Division” party, given the fact the rest of the division looks horrible. Give the Chargers with the hook against me.
Picks: San Diego -3.5
Houston (-2.5) @ Denver – Yeah, Manning isn’t Manning but at least the Broncos have played somebody this year. Houston would have been better off canceling their first two games with replacements being Alabama and LSU. Those two SEC teams would have given the Texans a better test than the Dolphins and Jags.
Picks: Denver +2.5
The “Contrarian Move” picks:
NY Jets (-1.0) @ Miami – I don’t want to do this, but when 72% of the action is on the Jets, yet has the line moved down 1.5 points, I have to interpret that as someone who does this for living, better known as a “Sharp”, has some information that they used to their advantage to pick a side that lowered the line, despite the overwhelming numbers on that side. The “Sharp” gets down on the game at the best number, in this case +2.5. But unless the number moves below a key number (3 or 7), we can jump on the Sharp information for free.
Picks: Miami +1.0
Pittsburgh (-3.5) @ Oakland – Pittsburgh has 84% of the action, the number has moved from 4.5 to 3.5. Plus, this feels a lot like an Oakland rout to me. Pittsburgh has been to the west for a week one primetime game, back home and now back west, that’s a lot for a team.
Picks: Oakland +3.5
The “Bad Matchup”:
Tampa Bay @ Dallas (-8.0) – Now I like Tom Coughlin, but his bitching last week about the way the Bucs played the kneel-down was weak. It would’ve been awesome if Schiano would have just clocked Coughlin and then walked away as though nothing happened.
This line is way too high at 8 points, but this is bad matchup for a Bucs team that has already over-achieved early this season.
The “Right the Ship” picks:
Kansas City @ New Orleans (-8.5) – The Romeo watch has begun. Look, in 2011 the Chiefs hated Todd Haley that they rallied around Romeo to win two of their last three games. They loved Romeo, partly because he wasn’t Todd Haley and partly because he was like a giant teddy bear. These 2012 NFL players are fickle though and now they clearly don’t like Romeo and Romeo clearly isn’t a very good NFL head coach.
My dream of seeing the Saints winless this season is over . . .
Picks: New Orleans -8.5
St. Louis @ Chicago (-7.0) – The Bears might be one of those “defining mediocrity” teams that whips the bad teams but gets whipped by the better NFL teams. The Rams are playing tougher, but we should expect a group hug between Cutler and his offensive in the post-game locker room celebration.
Picks: Chicago -7.0
The “On Second Thought” pick:
Cincinnati @ Washington (-3.0) – So, that opening week win for the Redskins doesn’t look so good now that the Saints are pretty much a train wreck. And losing Brian Orakpo isn’t going to help the Redskins already porous defense, though it will give him more time to figure out Shaq-ism’s in order to defeat the Geico Caveman. Is there a more uncomfortable actor than Orakpo? Like what is Geico thinking, “Hey, can we get Tom Brady? Oh, that’s too much money, what do you have for about 10% of that? Who, Orangutan? Uh, ok.”
Picks: Cincinnati +3.0
The “Free Money” pick:
San Francisco (-6.5) @ Minnesota – You want to know what my feelings on this game? Of course you do, you hang on my every word. Here is the deal, how in the hell are the Vikings going to cover this spread if the 49ers go up 14. The only way is if the 49ers come out flat. Given that they have played two nationally televised high profile games back-to-back and have the Jets on tap, this appears to have that potential especially considering those crafty odds-makers are making the 49ers ever so enticing.
Picks: Minnesota +6.5
The “Even Horrible Teams Cover Spreads” picks:
Detroit (-3.5) @ Tennessee – I guess we can safely say that Chris Johnson is a fantasy football bust and I cannot see it getting any better this week after he threw his O-Line under the bus. What a gutless move. The Titans O-Line should agree to block their asses off for Jamie Harper and pull a Longest Yard move when CJDBAGK runs the ball. That aside, this Lions team is very mediocre.
Picks: Tennessee +3.5
Jacksonville @ Indianapolis (-3.0) – This game looks way too easy, like the Jaguars are garbage and the Colts are on the move, easy winner, right? Well, this feels like a “big brother v. little brother” game to me, with the Jags playing the part of the big brother. And no matter what the situation or how good little brother is, big brother simply will not let little brother beat him.
Picks: Jacksonville +3.0
The “Toss Up” picks:
New England @ Baltimore (-3.0) – The case for the Patriots – a. In the Belichick era, the Pats 11-2 after a loss as an underdog; and b. Their goal last week was to only pull out what they needed, sure it burned them, but they accomplished that goal by showing very little to the Ravens.
The case for the Ravens – a. They seem to have the Pats number; b. They’re home; and c. This game means more to them than the Pats.
Picks: Baltimore -3.0
Colin Wynner calls the winners. Good Luck to all, but mostly to me!
After a brutal week one, I came back strong with the Bears on Thursday night. Oh wait, the Bears didn’t cover? Really? And you say, Cutler looked like a little bitch out there by not only sucking donkey scrotum, but he also pulled a total bitch move by blaming his offensive line, coaches, receivers, defense, clubhouse attendants, God (for his diabetes), equipment managers, uh, I think you get the point. And how the hell do you give up a 4th and 26 fake field goal for a touchdown?
Argh! Seventeen games in to the 2012 season, I am sitting at a welfareesque 6-11. I was this was a singing competition, like X-Factor, Simon Cowell would tell me, “Colin, seriously you should never sing again. You’re just not good at it.” Or translated, while there is a ton of entertainment in reading Colin’s selections, that’s not the point, if Colin isn’t calling winners, then Colin is out of business. It’s that simple. Excluding a nice 7-4 playoff run last year, Colin has been pretty miserable with all picks over the last 13 months. These next couple of weeks will determine whether Colin sent out to stud (actually, what do they do with horses that suck in the first place, oh yeah, the glue factory. Let’s hear it Animal Rights Activists) or whether he is allowed to continue racing.
The “SuperContest” picks:
Dallas (-3.0) @ Seattle – The pre-season line on this game was Seattle -1.5. So, we have a 4.5 point movement because of the Cowboys impressive win and the Seahawks surprising loss in Arizona. My big question is what would this line be if the Giants VictorCruz hadn’t dropped a bushel full of balls and if Doug Baldwin or Braylon Edwards hang onto a ball in the end zone. I think we the answer – Seattle -1.5. I am still on the “Seahawks are winning the NFC West” bandwagon.
Picks: Seattle +3.0
Cleveland @ Cincinnati (-7.0) – This game is the opposite of the Dallas/Seattle, as the pre-season line was 7 and the actual line is 7, despite the obvious differences in these two teams performances in week one. Cleveland took the Eagles to the wire and if L. J. Fort doesn’t drop a ball that hit him square in the hands, the Browns upset the Eagles. Meanwhile, a day later the Bengals get hammered by the suddenly Super Bowl bound, Ravens. So, following the logic above shouldn’t this line be closer to Bengals -4.5?
Now, I might be in the minority, but I came away from the Bengals/Ravens thinking it was much closer than 31 points. I would have like to see that game played out if the Bengals had a competent head coach. You know the kind of coach that has the balls to go for a 4th and 1 on opponent’s one yard line. Oh, that Marvin Lewis, so in over his head, yet this is his 10th year as the head man in Cincinnati. The reasons go to for it in that situation have been statistically proven but there is also the situation, which would can throw in a very subjective category we will call “common sense”. So, let’s look closer at the situation – the Bengals were down by seven, but had momentum. Kicking a field goal there stops the momentum because you still need a touchdown. Plus, by kicking a field goal there, you send a message to your team that you don’t trust the offense or the defense; the Ravens offense had not seen the field for roughly an hour of real-time, would you rather have their first play on the field from their own 30 or their own 1?
Marvin opted for the field goal, the Ravens promptly marched the length of the field for a touchdown, effectively ending the game.
So, it wasn’t that bad of an effort for the Bengals and the odds-makers know all about Marvin Lewis, so that is already built into the line.
This looks like a rebound, whoop-some-ass game for the Bengals
Picks: Cincinnati -7.0
NY Jets @ Pittsburgh (-5.0) – No Revis, an overly impressive opening week win and a desperate Steelers team. Add it up . . .
Picks: Pittsburgh -5.0
Kansas City @ Buffalo (-3.0) – Both these teams were extremely disappointing in week one. For the Chiefs they simply ran into a buzzsaw with the Falcons, but they also were without key defensive players, Hali and Flowers. They get those guys back this week. The Bills just look bad. Much like the Chiefs, the Bills problems last week are due to missing key players, namely their quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Seriously, if you have seen Ryan Fitzpatrick, please contact the Bills. Actually, I think Ryan Fitzpatrick is pretty much what everyone but the Bills thought he was – a serviceable backup. Unfortunately for the Bills they’re stuck Fitz, at least in the foreseeable future.
Oh, and don’t forget this is a payback game for last year’s season opening 41-7 drubbing the Bills gave the Chiefs in Arrowhead.
Picks: Kansas City +3.0
Washington (-3.5) @ St. Louis – There is way, way too much hype on this Redskins team. The pre-season line was a pick’em in this game and the Rams looked impressive in their loss to the Lions last week, so this is a 3.5 point movement all on the RG III hype.
Picks: St. Louis +3.5
The “Contrarian Hype” picks:
Detroit +7.0, Miami +2.5 and Philadelphia +2.5
The “I just flipped a coin” picks:
Minnesota -3.0, Carolina +2.5, New England -13.5, Atlanta -3.5, Tennessee +6.5, Houston -7.0
Last Week: 6-10-0
This Week: 0-1-0
2012 Season Record: 6-11-0
2012 SuperContest Record: 2-3 (Tied for 279th place)
Colin Wynner calls the winners, picks games, a skill that virtually everyone possesses. Good Luck to all, but mostly to me!
Football is back. My over/under on weeks before I utter the words, “I hate this league” has settled at 2.5. I am leaning toward the under.
Here are week one picks. Remember, the NFL is my specialty.
The “SuperContest” picks:
Seattle (-2.5) @ Arizona – I find it ironic that immediately after Marshawn Lynch gets a huge contract, he is all of sudden down with “back spasms” so bad that it might prevent him from playing in the opener. Wasn’t that the whole issue with Lynch to begin with? It’s like Marshawn plays in “beast” mode when he needs a contract but once he has a deal he plays in “bitch” mode. Nevertheless, this game won’t be close, as this Cardinals team is complete garbage.
Picks: Seattle -2.5
Atlanta (-2.5) @ Kansas City – Remember last year the week one matchup between the Faclons and Besrs in Chicago? Well, the “sharps” were all over the Falcons in that, so much that the line moved from Bears -1.0 for Falcons -3.0. Well, those crazy “sharps” are back at – all over the Falcons again this year in the opener, in arguable a more difficult place to play, Arrowhead. In five weeks, we will look a back on this game with amazement that Falcons were favored. And that’s more because the Chiefs will be that impressive.
Picks: Kansas City +2.5
Carolina (-2.5) @ Tampa Bay – Have you noticed the pattern here? My first three games are all road favorites of exactly -2.5. In these cases, history tells us that one of those will cover, Seattle, and two will not. . .
Side note – enough is enough, it’s time to stop laughing at the “NFL is my specialty” comment above, focus man, focus!
Picks: Tampa Bay +2.5
Buffalo @ NY Jets (-3.0) – The Bills are getting a little too much love here. Yeah, I like them to win 10 games this season but this line and line movement is disrespectful to the Jets, who were 5 point favorites when the week one lines were released back in August. Look the Jets can still play great defense and they have a secret weapon, the Bills are clueless about the Jets “wildcat” package. This might be is the lock of the week!
Picks: NY Jets -3.0
San Diego @ Oakland (-1.0) – What is there to like about the Charger this season? They look like a mess to me. Their quarterback, Phillip Rivers, was forced to play the final pre-season game because he looked so pathetic in the first three pre-season games. The defense is weak, their receivers are a collection of #2’s (and no I don’t mean turds, though that fits) and their coach is over-matched is just about every game. It seems like they’re depending on an oft-injured Antonio Gates to stay healthy and be the Gates of 2007. That’s pretty risky.
Plus, this Oakland team is for real on offense, at home and hungry!
Pick: Oakland -1.0
The “how many Rams does it take to change a flat tire? Just one, unless it’s a blowout, then they all show up.” picks
Indianapolis @ Chicago (-10.0) – The Bears play the Packers week two on a Thursday night. In other words, they have a short week coming up against their arch-rival and primary competition in the NFC North. Now, I really believe the Bears can go into Lambeau and come away with a win. They’d have the entire offseason to prepare for this game, you have to think they will come up with a few new wrinkles to make Aaron Rodgers uncomfortable, plus the Packers are coming off a physical game with the 49ers on a short week, as well.
You see how I did that? I completely discounted this week’s game against the Colts. Don’t think the Bears aren’t doing the exact same thing.
Pick: Indianapolis +10.0
Philadelphia (-9.5) @ Cleveland – Poor Cleveland! I cannot imagine growing up in a city where perpetual losing is a way of life. There are 9.5 point underdogs, at home on week one! And if you gave the bookies the chance to re-post this line immediately after the final gun, they would post a 13.5. Yeah, it’s going to be that bad.
Pick: Philadelphia -9.5
Washington @ New Orleans (-8.0) – Buyer beware – I hate the Saints, so I cannot make logical decisions with regard to their games. However, even with that I fully expect to hit at least 8 of their games correctly this season. I think New Orleans got their big victory on Friday when some liberal judge ruled in the favor of the Saints players in the bounty-gate case. Therefore, this game is meaningless to them – like “They (Saints) won because Smith and Vilma were able to play.”
Pick: Washington +8.0
Miami @ Houston (-12.5) – I will let you in on a little secret, I bet the Texans at -7.5 way back at the beginning of August. I know what you’re thinking, “where the eff was that inside information, Colin?” There are some things I just have to keep to myself. Look if this game isn’t a 34-7 blowout by the Texans, I will chop off lefty, self stitch my sack and send the teste to the “Center for Research on Abnormally Large Body Parts”. Fair enough?
Pick: Houston -12.5
St. Louis @ Detroit (-8.5) – Am I crazy to think that the Rams actually have a chance in this game? I enter the follow exhibits as to why – 1. The Lions are one dimensional and despite the reality that the Rams have no one that can keep Calvin Johnson from going all “Flipper Anderson v the Saints, circa 1989” on them, I think they find a way to exploit the Lions inability to run the ball; 2. We don’t really know what we have with Sam Bradford, right? I mean this guy was the number one overall pick. He has two years under his belt, meaning the game has to be slowing down for him. He has a coach that wants to and will be able to protect him. Why can’t this guy lead the Rams to an upset?; 3. The lack of a Lions running game means the Rams front four, which believe it or not is a strength, can pin their ears back and attack Stafford; 4, The lions best defender, Ndomakong Suh, is mourning the reality that his mentor and butt buddy, Bo Pelini, is on his out at Nebraska. Don’t get me started!; and 5. Jeff Fisher > Jim Schwartz; remember Schwartz worked under Fisher for quite some time in Tennessee, now it’s time for Obi-Wan to leave Anakin legless in a smoldering pile of lava.
Uh, on second thought, yeah, I am crazy, the Rams have no shot!
Pick: Detroit -8.5
Cincinnati @ Baltimore (-7.0) – I’m down on both teams this season, however, seven points seems a bit too much for a couple of good defensive teams with spotty offenses. Give me the points on Monday night!
Pick: Cincinnati +7.0
The “Toss-up” picks:
New England (-5.5) @ Tennessee – I cannot wait to see Chris Johnson this season, who somehow despite killing a majority of the fantasy teams last season was still highly regarded this season to be taken in the top 10 in most fantasy drafts. My hatred of him is well documented, so it is difficult for me to be objective, but I watched him in the pre-season and I see nothing different from last year. He doesn’t want to get hit, period! He plays a position where one gets hit and hit often, so there is a huge conflict and unless he can find huge chunks of yardage around the end without getting touched he is going to be useless.
As for this game, something tells me the Pats aren’t going to be the Pats for a few weeks.
Pick: Tennessee +5.5
San Francisco @ Green Bay (-5.0) – This will be the first in a series of “payback” games for the 49ers. What’s a 49er “payback” game? A game where the 49ers lose because of either a combination of or one of the following: a. bad turnover; b. missed assignment that leads to a big play; c. a key dropped pass; d. a bad call that goes against the them; e. missed field goal in a big spot; or f. A boneheaded coaching decision that when called out in the post-game causes Harbaugh to blow a gasket and attack the reporter leading to a suspension. Too much went right for that team last season, to not have it turn against them this year.
That aside the 49ers will keep this game close.
Pick: San Francisco +5.0
Jacksonville @ Minnesota (-3.5) – I wish DirecTV would provide subscribers to the NFL Sunday Ticket a count of TV’s tuned to each game. My guess is, if you excluded Minnesota fans and the handful of Jaguars fans, this game might never top out at more than 100. This game won’t be make DirecTV’s “game mix” channel. And even the “Red Zone” channel will likely delay any scoring in this game for maybe a quarter or so – like, “OK, it’s halftime now in Minnesota, but we want to take you back to early first quarter action to show you this score by the Vikings. . . ”
For the pick – it’s simple – the Vikings have some promise, the Jags are garbage.
Pick: Minnesota -3.5
Pittsburgh @ Denver (-1.5) – Dumbest line of the week! Why? Well, the 2011 season ended for the Steelers right there in Denver. Anyone remember what the line was in that game? Steelers by 7.5! So, essentially with everything else being the same, you’re telling me that a 35-year old quarterback, coming off one year layoff due to major neck surgery is worth 9 points? Did I mention that Manning has a fused neck? And one blind-side, whiplash hit could easily un-fuse his neck. I will take the value on Pittsburgh.
Pick: Pittsburgh +1.5
2012 Season Record: 1-0-0
Colin Wynner calls the winners! Good Luck to all!