2011 NFL Weekly Picks – Super Bowl Edition

I am sitting at a profitable 6-4 in the playoffs meaning the Super Bowl represents the cherry on top of the end of the NFL season cake, but, hey, that doesn’t mean I am resting my players because I’ve already clinched a winning record. Heck no, I learned my lesson from the likes of Dungy, Caldwell and McCarthy. You play every game like it’s your last! So, here we go, Colin’s official “Calling the Winner” for the Super Bowl.

Stay tuned for my Super Bowl prop bets column coming Saturday.

NY Giants v. New England (-3.0)

Interesting Sub-Plot: It’s the Super Bowl there are a hundreds of sub-plots but here are three of the more interesting to me –

(I). The once dominate, masterfully coached, seemingly un-beatable Patriots have now gone eight seasons without a Super Bowl. Believe me, I understand how hard it is to win a Super Bowl and it’s exponentially more difficult to win multiple Super Bowls, but when you have, allegedly, the best playoff quarterback of all time and the best playoff coach of all time, one would figure they would have more Lombardi’s, especially with the number of chances they have had. Can they capture their fourth Lombo? Or will this season extend the drought? High drama, man!

(II). The reality that the NFL’s second season is a lot closer to March Madness than a true representation of the best the NFL has to offer. Maybe I am nostalgic for the 80s/90s version of the NFL, where the dominate teams actually dominated in the playoffs. Back then, I couldn’t imagine the 15-1 49ers Super Bowl team getting rolled at home by the 9-7 Giants, who backed into the playoffs in the first place. Of course, those seasons the Super Bowl featured all of the drama of 400 meter hurdle race with Edwin Moses in his prime. And I have admit I am bitter, I really wanted the a Packers, Patriots and their 31st/32nd ranked defenses to drive “over” bettors crazy by making unfathomable defense stops. Still maybe this is the best the NFL has to offer. And maybe I just need to get used teams taking games off during the year, getting healthy and peaking at the right time.

(III). But the most interesting sub-plot might be the Peyton Manning saga. Don’t you get the feeling that Manning and Colts owner Jim Irsay, who have politely traded barbs the past few weeks, are about ready to let loose with a barrage that would make the opening segment on TMZ? I do. And I can see it all coming down during the Super Bowl, with a heated back and forth between Irsay on one sideline with Michelle Tafoya and Manning on the other with Alex Flanigan. On money is on the final roundhouse coming from Manning, “What kind of owner would turn his back on a quarterback worth 10 wins? An incontinent, jerk that’s who. Look, I’ve carried this franchise for 13 years, brought in a Lombardi trophy. All that while being surrounded by sub-standard talent. Need proof – I play, we win 10 games, I don’t we win 2. But, yeah, let’s re-tool with a quarterback who hasn’t thrown an NFL pass instead of a first ballot hall-of-famer. Did I mention that the Colts owner has a problem with incontinence?” I can see Irsay’s response being something like that of Ron Burgundy when Veronica told him he had bad hair, “Do he really say I was incontinent? Why would he say that?”

Teenage girl logic: Who is Madonna? It’s rhetorical, but I’ll answer anyway – she’s some washed up singer from the dark ages, who gets to perform at the Super Bowl. There has to some rule that the Super Bowl halftime show performer songs are only played oldies stations? I have to listen to that crap when my dad drives me to school, ugh, I can’t wait to get my license! Anyway, someone please tell me why Bruno Mars or Katy Perry or Lady Gaga wouldn’t be a huge upgrade for a halftime show? You can’t because as always I am right. In fact, if I was planning the halftime show I would have those three performing their songs as a trio, with the cast of Jersey Shore as the accompanying dancers. Yeah, I know we would have to keep Snooki and Dena away from the booze, so they wouldn’t piss themselves or fall down trying to dance. But as long as Pauly D is shirtless, I would consider the Super Bowl halftime a huge success. Someone needs to make me the coordinator the Super Bowl halftime show!

OK, enough about me and the crappy Super Bowl halftime show – on to my official pick. I’ve done some research and found that if the Patriots win, Tom Brady will join Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw as the only starting quarterbacks to win four Super Bowls. Nobody wants their record broken or in this case tied. Montana and Bradshaw already have to split the record 50/50, they certainly don’t want to add a third to their exclusive club. Plus, since Brady is still an active player he might have chance to beat the record with his fifth. Luckily for Bradshaw and Montana, Bradshaw’s son, Ahmad, plays for the Giants, there is no way Ahmad is going to let his old man down! Giants 27-20!

Gambling Over-Thought: To truly over-think this, I have to get into character. I am a bookie with a huge clientele and I make my own lines, which I post on a blog site (yeah, EFF U DOJ). He also disseminates information through that same blog site. Ok, with that as the backdrop, here is the over-thought for this game. I initially open my line at Pats by 3.5, but before I hit “post” the Giants get hammered like Josh Hamilton during a relapse (too soon?). So, I react and move the line to 3, but I still get plastered with Giants action. And even though roughly 10% of my potential customers have made a bet, I have virtually a 100% position on the Giants. So, I take to my blog and start posting columns about the wave of Giants action, how everybody loves the Giants. I continue this theme regardless of the subsequent action. That’s the key, even if I get an over-correction on the Pats I am ok, why, keep reading.

The net effect? The 90% waiting to pick a side are now petrified of the Giants for the obvious reason – I live in a Manhattan penthouse and they don’t. Of course, no matter what the situation I am going to get 50/50 action from roughly 40% of the bettors, therefore, I only need to turn 30% of the undecided bettors to the Patriots to succeed in my campaign of letting the bettors know that everyone loves the Giants! And if I get the over-correction, it’s all good, because I love the Giants!

The Giants will cover if: “they bring at least their B game”, because, yeah, I think it’s just about that simple. By “B” game I mean they need to protect the ball (no more than two turnovers and zero devastating, game-changers), mix in a couple spectacular catches with all routine ones and keep Manning upright. The match-ups completely favor them and Eli has gone from playoff buffoon to playoff terminator, where he it is officially terrifying to bet against. It’s just that simple.

The Patriots will cover if: the following plays out – (a). Gronkowski is at least 80%, to say he is critical to their success is an obvious understatement, but they aren’t close to the same offense without him. He is one of their three key, and only, weapons; (b). The Pats can protect Brady, again a no-brainer, but I haven’t seen Brady take the beating like he did in Super Bowl XLII and this Giants D-line might be better than that one; (c). The Pats can stretch the field for big play early in the game. The Pats best deep threat is probably Ocho and he played a single snap against the Ravens. It might be worth a play-action deep ball to Ocho early in the game, just to put it in the back of the Giants players mind. In fact, the Pats might need to use “one of those plays” early, a play that a team would normally save for a tight spot late in the game. A deep completion or even a deep near completion would have a significant impact on the remainder of the game; and (d). They need to exorcise the demons of the past. There are more players on the current roster that were barely out of high school during the “Patriot Dynasty” era than being blinded by the bling from the ring. Most of those players are more familiar with the home playoff losses to Baltimore and the Jets. And even this year, it seems like the Pats backed into the Super Bowl.

Colin Wynner calls the Super Bowl winner: I will admit that I bought into the odds-makers plan detailed above. But I’ve brought myself back to this point – if I pick the Pats because of the insane amount of Giants hype and proceed to watch the G-Men manhandle the Pats, it will put me in a funk worse than what Maverick went through after Goose died. Yeah, next season, I will begin the year wavering on every game, whispering to myself, “No, it’s just not right” and yelling at people behind me at the betting window, “I will make a pick when I am effing ready to make a pick.”

But if I take the Giants because I believe they are a better team and they lose, then they lose, I called the game wrong, throw in the pile of bad picks, call Hoarders Anonymous and get help removing the collection of bad picks that stands inches from a vaulted ceiling.

So why the Giants? Well, for starters, they have three high-end wide receivers, all of whom could be the #1 guy on several NFL teams – Nicks is a legit #1 virtually anywhere, as is Cruz, and Manningham, well, my guess is I would get no arguments from Rams, Browns, Bears, 49ers, Redskins or Buccaneers fans. And since Julian Edelman will be covering at least one of those receivers a fair portion of the game, I am thinking the Giants might have a slight advantage. I am also thinking that if offensive coordinator Kevin Gillbride sees Edelman, he will attack it, unlike Ravens OC Cam Cameron, who decided to save the Boldin v. Edelman matchup mostly for an overtime that never happened.

I also think the Giants are supremely confident. So much so that they are talking openly and honestly about topics that most teams would shy away from during Super Bowl week. Jason Pierre-Paul told the media that the “Giants are in Brady’s head”, Antrel Rolle essentially told the media that the “Giants would inflict their will on the Pats” and Chris Canty told Giants fans to “prepare for a parade”. Back in the “Patriot Dynasty” years that type of talk would bring about “Giant” trouble for a team, but I think it speaks to a confident team, a team that is in the head of the Pats, the current Pats, which as stated above is not the dynasty team.

Then there are the miscellaneous tidbits that give me comfort backing the Giants – 1. The Pats have beaten teams with a winning regular season record once this season and that was the infamous Lee Evans drop/Billy Cundiff missed field goal game, whereas the Giants blew up the Falcons, Packers and 49ers in the playoffs, as well as the Patriots in the regular season. So, I think the Giants have beaten a better class of teams; 2. The Giants won in New England this season without Nicks, Bradshaw, Bass (their center, yeah that’s somewhat important, just ask the 2002 Raiders) and Henry Hynoski (ok so no Hynoski isn’t a huge deal, but as a sneak peek to the “props” column, I like Hynoski to go over 4.5 combined yards). And that included a terrible Eli Manning interception in the Pats end zone, a turnover that likely will not occur in this game; 3. The Gronk injury. The absolute best case for the Pats is they get 100% Gronk, which is fine because we expected that anyway, but worst case Gronk is hobbling around the field like Big Ben in San Francisco with the big difference being Big Ben didn’t have to make any sharps cuts to downfield. Plus, with Gronk’s Herculean size the natural way to tackle him is by steer wrestling him to the ground. Guess what – that often will roll the ankle under the thigh of the defender. And, I am no doctor, but my guess is that might cause a setback; and 4. Without a viable deep threat, the Pats will be forced to go 10-12 plays for touchdowns. That’s a lot of plays, and passing plays to boot, where something can go wrong – like a tipped pass, sack, or fumble. The Giants have three deep threats and a running back with breakaway speed. In a nutshell, they are more explosive and less reliant on performing multiple plays successfully in a row!

There you have it!

Pick: NY Giants 28 Patriots 24

Complete with an under pick as a hidden bonus!

NFL 2011 Week 17 Picks

Happy New Year!

It’s all downhill from here for NFL fans. Week 17 in the NFL represents a passing of the season and the realization that after today there are only 11 games left.

Here are the Super Wynner standings after week 16. I give myself a chance to notch G-Dub by winning 14,15 or 16 games this weekend, so note I am taking the opposite of G-Dub in just about every game or vice-versa. Hey, I created the contest, I can change the rules if I see an injustice. And the fact is G-Dub should be .500, but has inexplicably torn it up, so we are going to manually attempt a “regression to the mean”:

The Super Wynner Contest Standings Week 16

Contestant Last Week Record
G-Dub 5-11 129-104-7 (.569)
Juana Wynner 7-9 121-112-7 (.525)
Colin Wynner 8-8 115-118-7 (.493)
Megan Wynner 10-6 115-118-7 (.484)

LVHSC: 2-3, 35-42-3 (Tied for 421st)

Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

G-Dub’s Week 17 Picks

Tennessee, Green Bay, New England, New Orleans, St. Louis, Jacksonville, NY Jets, Dallas, Tampa Bay, Arizona, Oakland, Kansas City, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Philadelphia

“Are the bookies effing with me?”

Tennessee (-1.5) @ Houston

Detroit (-3.5) @ Green Bay

Wouldn’t it be funny if one week the odds-makers went all bizarro on us by posting crazy lines like the ones above? My guess it would make a handicappers head explode trying to figure out what inside information the bookie. Think about – nobody trusts the “easy money” games, in fact I believe more people would fall on the side of the odds-makers, trusting them blindly, not wanting to be suckers. Think about it – let’s take the Packers at the Giants in week 13. Let’s say the odds-makers made the game Giants -3, my initial thought would be “wait I get points and the better team, sign me up”. That thought would be followed by “hang on, last time I went into a casino that had a homeless guy holding up a sign that read Free Money – inquire inside, I couldn’t sit down comfortably for a month”. Eventually, I would talk myself into the Giants minus the points – yeah, that’s a telling sign about my below average handicapping skills!

The fact that the Packers are resting their starters essentially gifting the Lions a win deprives NFL fans of the dream Schwartz/Harbaugh reunion during next weekend’s wildcard round.

Juana Wynner’s Week 17 Picks

Carolina @ New Orleans (-8.5) Some peoples New Year’s resolution is to stop jacking off. Drew Brees, who has the most passing yards for the 2011 season, definitely doesn’t jack off when it comes to football. He gets the job done if he wants to win.

New Orleans -8.5

Colin’s Comment – To clarify, by “jacking off” she means wasting time or procrastination. At least, I hope that’s what she means.

Buffalo @ New England (-11) – One of my personal New Year’s resolution is to get in better shape and be a major factor on my soccer team. Wes Welker is a major factor on the Patriots. He works his butt off to receive that ball and get a touchdown.

New England -11.0

Chicago @ Minnesota (-1.5) – Some peoples resolution is to run more and more often. Jared Allen, from Minnesota, obviously works on running a lot. He finds ways to get around the defense and sack the quarterback. This is an important skill to have on any football team but that’s not the only factor that you have to have.

Chicago +1.5

Washington @ Philadelphia (-8.0) – Some people have the resolution to quit smoking. This takes will power to not smoke again. London Fletcher has the top tackles in the NFL for 2011 and he most definitely has the will power to shut down Philadelphia.

Washington +8.0

The Rest: Tampa Bay +10, San Francisco -10.5, Green Bay +3.5, N.Y. Giants -3, Houston +1.5, Baltimore -2, Pittsburgh -6.5, Jacksonville -3.5, N.Y. Jets +3, Oakland +3, Denver -3, Seattle +3

Picks: Houston +1.5 and Detroit -3.5

“Records are meant to be broken, just not within a week”

Buffalo @ New England (-11.0)

Carolina @ New Orleans (-8.5)

One of the more interesting sub-plots of week 17 is the potential of NFL passing yardage record being broken for a second time in a week. If the 49ers can take of business early against that glorified FCS team, the Saints will have nothing to play for. The Patriots on the other hand are playing for the number one seed in the AFC. Brady trails Brees by 190 yards or roughly a little over a half of football for Brady, which is likely exactly what Brady will get over Brees, if the Saints are smart.

The big question is – would the Saints bring Brees back into the game if they got word that Brady was close or passed him? I think they would. I based on that on watching the Saints this season and seeing them a. blitzing like crazy when they were up 50 points on Colts; b. Piling on the points via the passing game against the Giants when they owned comfortable, insurmountable lead; and c. watching them put Brees in a vulnerable situation last week against the Falcons, with the sole purpose of breaking the record. So, yeah I think it’s that important to the Saints, that they would bring Brees back into the game. If they do, then that is screwing with the football karma god a little too much. There isn’t enough “Voodoo” in the Bayou to overcome the wrath of the angered football karma god. True dat!

The other factor that might be at play here is that Patriots might play a base defense to a. not show anything more than they need for potential playoff opponents; and b. give Brady a reason to throw for 800 yards.

Picks: Buffalo +11.0 and Carolina +8.5

“If we lose, we win”

San Francisco (-10.5) @ St. Louis

Megan Wynner’s Week 17 Picks

Seattle @ Arizona (-3) – My new year’s resolution is to be nicer to my sisters. So I pick Seattle because Arizona has Alex field that is mean!

Pick: Seattle +3

Pittsburgh (-6.5) @ Cleveland – My new year’s resolution is to get better in soccer. Since Cleveland has Lebron, I pick Pittsburgh!

Pick: Pittsburgh +6.5

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville (-3.5) – My new years resolution is to think before I say something hurtful. Therefore I pick Jacksonville because Indianapolis has Cameron who says hurtful things to people!

Pick: Jacksonville -3.5

N.Y. jets @ Miami (-3) – My new year’s resolution is to eat better. Since the N.Y. Jets has Mark Sanchez who tries to stay away from bad food I pick Miami.

Pick: Miami +3

Colin’s Comment – With one game to go, Megan is throwing a perfect game of incoherent thoughts.

Buffalo @ New England (-11) – My new year’s resolution is to obey. Therefore I pick Buffalo because Tom Brady and Bill O’Brien fight and don’t obey!

Pick: Buffalo +11.0

Colin’s Comment – Just when you think it’s a lock that the next comment is going to make absolutely no sense, she shows up with 1. A factual statement, albeit three weeks old; and 2. A back handed slap at Belichick, the dictator.

The Rest: Denver -3, San Diego +3, Cincinnati +2, Tennessee +2, Carolina +8.5, Dallas +3, Detroit -3.5, Chicago +1.5, San Francisco +10.5, Atlanta -10, Philadelphia -8.0

Indianapolis @ Jacksonville (-3.5)

I think the Rams should play the Colts/Jaguars game live on the big screen; they could even pipe in the audio in from the broadcast over the PA. That would be way more entertaining than watching Kellen Clemens try to maneuver the Rams pathetic offense through the 49ers defense.

Sure, the Rams don’t need Andrew Luck but they need what other teams would be willing to pay for Luck. If somehow the Colts players rally around Peyton Manning and blow the number one pick, the Rams could end up with a couple young players with reasonable upsides – like a linebacker and an interior offensive lineman, draft picks – 1st in 2013, 3rd and 4th in 2012 and Justin Blackmon, that would be a step in the right direction. And all of a sudden the division is getting better in a hurry – the 49ers are a legit contender, the Seahawks and Cardinals have some on strong, the Rams need this pick, period!

Picks: San Francisco -10.5 and Indianapolis +3.5

“We’ll be on the beach in 24 hours.”

Chicago @ Minnesota (-1.5)

Washington @ Philadelphia (-8.0)

Seattle @ Arizona (-3.0)

With nothing on the line, these games figure to have little defense and a tons of excitement, that way each team can build fans hope for next year. Imagine Bears fan talking himself into Kahlil Bell as a viable replacement to Forte or the Vikings fan base telling each other, “even if AP doesn’t make it back, this Toby Gerhart can play”. Eagles fans will leave “the Linc” telling themselves that “Mike Vick finally gets it, he has to play smarter and keep himself healthy”, while Redskins fans will be asking themselves, “What if the John Beck phase never happened?” because Grossman could lead us to the playoffs.

And in Arizona, the rabid Cardinals fans will leave the 2011 season thinking quarterback is not an area of concern for 2012. Lastly the Seahawks fans will talk themselves into Tavaris Jackson, provided that the front office does whatever it takes to re-sign Marshawn Lynch.

Picks: Minnesota -1.5, Washington +8.0 and Seattle +3.0

“If you don’t lock the back door, you leave yourself vulnerable”

San Diego @ Oakland (-3.0)

Kansas City @ Denver (-3.0)

Back in October, about the time the St. Louis Cardinals were going from playoff spectator to WS champs, I took when the Broncos were 1-4 I took note of their inflated odds to win the AFC West and thought of all the long-shots left on the board, they were the most interesting. They were interesting because it seemed like they could win a division that had a perennial under-achiever; a dysfunctional head coach and a team that hasn’t been good for nine years standing in their way. After staring at the number for a few minutes I concluded that even with the divisional advantages, the Broncos could never get the eight wins necessary to have a chance. So, I passed. Now I am rooting for the Raiders and Chiefs, so it doesn’t seem like a loss for me.

Picks: Denver -3.0 and San Diego +3.0

“So, you’re saying there’s a chance?”

NY Jets @ Miami (-3.0)

Yup, the Jets have a chance they only need the Raiders, Titans and Bengals to lose for them to back into the playoffs for the third straight year. Oh, and they also need to win their game against the Dolphins. So add it all up and the Jets have about a 10% chance of sneaking in into the post-season party. The problem with that is that I give them 0% chance of winning today, and you know what you get when you multiply anything times 0, right?

Pick: Miami -3.0

“Complete indifference”

Tampa Bay @ Atlanta (-10.0)

The big question here is will the Falcons value the five seed? If not, they show up, rest their starters and barely cover the double digits. If they do, and based on the ass whipping they got last week in New Orleans they should do whatever it takes to avoid the Saints, they crush the Bucs. So, either way, it’s a Falcons cover.

Pick: Atlanta -10.0

“Free Money”

Pittsburgh (-6.5) @ Cleveland

Baltimore (-2.0) @ Cincinnati

How can the mighty Ravens be less than a field goal favorite at Cincinnati, in game that means everything to them? I get that it means everything to the Bengals, but for the Ravens to put themselves in position to, finally, win the division and get a home playoff game, but blow it to a team that is running on fumes, starts a rookie quarterback and needed break after break to eke by the Cardinals at home last week doesn’t seem fathomable. Yet the odds-makers want are willing to accept essentially pick’em money on the Ravens.

Or maybe the line is representative of the fact the Ravens and Steelers agreed to both rest their starters today, so the NFC North could get three teams in the playoffs. It also might be representative of the fact that this Ravens team is garbage on the road or that their banged up all over the board.

Picks: Cincinnati +2.0 and Cleveland +6.5

“Winner takes it all”

Dallas @ NY Giants (-3.0)

This is the marquee match-up on the Sunday card as the only game where both teams have something to play for. Sadly, the NFC East has gone from NFC Beast to NFC Least this season. The division will send a single playoff team for the second time in as many seasons.

On one hand, you have the Giants at home, which is not an advantage in fact it’s a disadvantage. On the other hand you have the Cowboys, who have no ability to run the ball and therefore no ability to protect Romo. Eli Manning is wretched in home games while the Cowboys are not a good road team. You see where I am going with this? Yup, it’s a coin flip – and it’s a perfect flip, a 3600, triple axel and it bounces and settles on the . . .

Pick: NY Giants -3.0

Happy New Year from Colin Wynner, who calls roughly 1 out of every 2 winners!


NFL 2011 Week 16 Picks, Christmas Edition

Week 15 was one of the first times this season where I was able to watch the early games from start to finish. Why, you ask? Well, believe it or not I have a real job, which requires me to be on-call once every four months or so. On-call weekends are effectively “house arrest”, but who am I to complain when I can use that as the excuse to watch nine hours of football, while hoping not to get paged with a problem that would divert my attention.

Depending on the situation it is not uncommon to receive a dozen or pages titled, “JOB XXX FINISHED NOT OK” with additional details on the actual problem. I thought about what it would be like if this blog actually was paying the bills. I figured that I would essentially be on-call 24×7. I would receive similar pages titled “GAME XXX FINISHED NOT OK”, with details like “Hey F***Face, nice call on the Texans last night. Thanks to you, my daughter and I have cancelled our trip to Harvard and will be visiting the local community college this weekend. I feel like dunking you in a vat of sulfuric acid, allowing your outer skin to burn off exposing your flesh. And oh no, I would be far from finished with you. Next I would wash off the acid, roll you in sugar, strap you down and release a billion, yes a billion, fire ants! I am done with you.”  Maybe it’s a good thing that this blog hasn’t exploded!

And for the record, I agree with the above – only switch me with T.J. Yates, Gary Kubiak and the rest of the Texans who clearly had no desire to (a). Earn a bye in the playoffs; (b). snap the 0-fer Indianapolis streak; and (c). resemble a playoff team in any way, shape or form. The playoffs cannot get here fast enough for me to bet against them in the playoff opener. I hope the NFL makes them the early Saturday game on wildcard weekend, that way the playoff experience for them will last roughly three hours, after which they will return to the under-achieving, mediocre bunch of losers that we all know and love year after year.

T.J. Yates reminds me little of a soft Jim Everett (early 90s quarterback for the Rams, google: Jim Everett and Phantom Sack) because dude has very little courage in the pocket.  At least three times last night, he tucked and ducked with mild pressure.  And the Texans are going to the playoffs with him as their starter or Jeff Garcia or Jake Delhomme.  Cha ching!  But let’s keep it quiet, we don’t want the odds makers to figure out that the Texans are going to get killed or they will suck the value out of the line.  

Before I get to the  week 16 picks, I thought I would share running log documenting my thoughts for the early games last week, enjoy:

11:04 AM – Rams out in throwbacks – now they just need to throwback to ’99 Warner, Holt and Bruce to give them a chance. Based on the first three plays of the game – the Rams are easy winners today – they look fired up to end this season on a positive note. And they have the original beast Steven Jackson.

11:05 AM – Two early turnovers for Minnesota and Carolina– both teams are touchdown underdogs – both need to score a quick easy touchdown, which would be a good sign for the cover.

11:07 AM – Can we please get Joe Webb in the game – Ponder is horrible! remember that great field position for the Vikings? It ends with a single yard gained and disappointing field goal. Field goals for the underdog is finding out your gas gauge is broken halfway between gas stations 100 miles apart. You know it’s not going to be enough – especially against the Saints!

11:09 AM – Touchdown, Panthers! I loved them today, you know because it just felt like the spot where the Texans would be flat and the fact the Panthers never quit coming at you.

11:10 AM – Ahh, that’s the Rams I know and love – drive stalls at mid-field.

11:11 AM – Kansas City is on the 1, opening drive of the game. Is this the day? Quick question for you aspiring coaches out there, leaving aside the fact that going for the touchdown on 4th and goal from the 1 is always the correct decision, let’s focus on the other variables – huge underdog at home, virtually nothing to play for, interim coach with nothing to lose and you won’t win this game with field goals – given those, you absolutely go for this, right? Not Romeo Crennell, he kicks the field goal.

11:13 AM – The Redskins are in the red zone looking to go up early on the Giants; while the Bears Johnny Knox does his best Marion Barber impersonation by fumbling deep in Bears territory, oh wow, he also did his best Gumby impersonation, dude’s spine was curved backward like the letter C. I am not sure this Bears team wants to make the playoffs. Field Goal for Washington, 3-0.

11:15 AM – The Bengals look like crap on their first possession, but they get bailed out by a rougher the passer call. Then the Bengals hit s deep pass to Aj Green, forget about this game – easy money, if you’re on the Bengals! Wow, Green just made two great catches in the end zone but both were out of bounds – that dude is the real deal!

11:19 AM – Mid way through most of the early games and the touchdown to field goal ratio looks like Ryan Leaf career TD-to-INT ratio – 1 to 4.

11:21 AM – Hakeem Nicks just dropped a sure touchdown, that won’t make Nicks fantasy owners very happy. I can’t tell you how great it is to not have anything on the line fantasy wise this week. I don’t have to worry about the Bengals covering the spread but needing AJ Green to not score. Fantasy clouds so much that it is nice to not have to worry about it for a weekend.

11:24 AM – The Bears hold the Seahawks to a field goal after the Hawks had a first and goal at the one, no Skittles for you Marshawn!

11:25 AM – I see the Vikings haven’t shored up that secondary problem of letting WR run free down the field – Brees to Meachem for a long Saints TD. You know because daring a quarterback to throw deep to a wide open receiver works really well in Pop Warner but not so much in the NFL.

Megan Wynner’s Week 16 Picks

Oakland @ Kansas City (-2.5) – I think that Kansas City will win because they have won many games this season.
Pick: Kansas +2.5
Denver @ Buffalo (-2.5) – I think that the Buffalo Bills will win because they have done well in this season so far. Also, I think that buffalo are stronger than broncos so they can destroy Denver!

Pick: Buffalo-2.5

Miami @ New England (-9.5) – I think that the Miami Dolphins will win because I like dolphins. Also because they have done better than New England this season!

Pick: Miami -9.5

Atlanta @ New Orleans (-7.0) – I think that the New Orleans Saints will win because they have a strong team!

Pick: New Orleans -7.0

Jacksonville @ Tennessee (-7.5) – I think that the Jacksonville Jaguars will win because they have done much better than Tennessee this season! So basically the Tennessee Titans will be destroyed!

Pick: Jacksonville +7.5

Colin’s Comment: And you thought the Bucs had mailed in the season! I am always a little skeptical when Megan has the exact same games as Juana. Something stinks in Wynner-ville!

The rest:

Cincinnati -4.5, Cleveland +13.0, N.Y. Jets -3, Washington -7, Carolina +8, Pittsburgh -12.5, Detroit -2.0, Seattle +1.0, Dallas -1.5, Chicago +12

11:28 AM – The Bears commit a personal foul on the successful field goal attempt, the Hawks take the points off the board and now Marshawn is feeding his gold grill with a handful of Skittles. I think most Bears fans would consider it a net gain if Janikowski kicked them in the balls but they got to call this season done right now!

11:31 AM – A penalty nullifies that previous Saints touchdown, for roughly six minutes real time – 7-3, Saints – Brees to Lance Moore.

11:32 AM – Bizzarro day in the NFL – Colts lead Titans, Packers look like absolute crap and are down 3-0. Right now this Packers team couldn’t beat a high school team. If the Chiefs beat the Pack, I am going to claim at least a little bit of it after boldly predicting the Raiders would beat them last week. Many of the same reasons apply – out of conference, lack of focus, wanting to lose a game so they can rest players – especially with the injury to Jennings last week – now 6-0 Chiefs. The thing is the Pack is one play away from leading a game they have no business leading.

11:36 AM – No teams in the Red Zone right now, so here is something I need from DirecTV’s Sunday ticket – they have the GameMix channel which displays up to seven games along with the Red Zone channel in eight equal grids for the early games. However, the late games usually have less than five games do DTV will split the screen four ways, thus making the grid big enough to actually watch without going blind. My idea is for DTV to give the viewer the ability to control the split screen anyway they want and place any game in the empty grids. For example, I could make a primary grid of half the screen and four mini grids in the other half. Then I could switch out the games as I see fit. Come on DirecTV, make it happen!

11:38 AM – Oh wow, the Bears just recovered a fumble for a touchdown – 7-7! The play itself was one of the better examples of lack of field awareness I have ever seen. It featured captain oblivious, Tavaris Jackson, sitting in his end zone surveying the field like he had his red “don’t touch me” jersey on, then BAM, sack-fumble bye-bye lead!

11:40 AM – Watching Rodgers today is like watching paint dry – wow, buddy you have no idea the wrath coming your way from the fantasy community, you’re killing a million fantasy geeks today Aaron!

11:42 AM – Wow, what a surprise Eli Manning and the Giants struggling at home – down 10-0, though I don’t think Moss got two feet in bounds! Let’s see if Coughlin challenges! Nope good catch! Let’s see if Coughlin challenges!!

11:45 AM – 14-0 Panthers over Texans, I guess clinching a playoff berth made their season – bye weeks in the playoffs are over-rated anyway!

11:46 AM – I’ve watched about three Packer pass plays in the Packers/Chiefs game and two of them have featured Jermichael Finley drops – he has been horrible lately!

11:47 AM – CJ Spiller sighting in the Bills/Dolphins game – I would love to see Spiller come out with 200-3TD type of game and the eight fantasy owners who are playing against him can whine all off season. While I can openly admit I am a fantasy whiner, I delight hearing other people whine about their fantasy teams – I know that’s mean, very mean.

11:49 AM – The Packers have dropped eight passes in a little over a quarter – Finley the leader with three, though one of them would have been a great catch but count me among the people who believe that if you make millions to play a game and you’re considered the best in the world, you should make tough catches look routine. The play to Finley would have been made by Joe Blow in a Sunday morning pick-up game one out of five times, therefore a freak like Finley should make that catch every time!

11:52 AM – Man, Kyle Orton is taking it to the Packers, he must still harbor some of that Chicago Bearian hatred for the Pack! And Jimmhy Graham with a touchdown that puts the Saints up by .5.

11:53 AM – This first half is shaping up to be the mother lode of second half bets on alleged better teams needing to only win the game to cover a 2nd half – Texans, Packers and Giants.

11:59 AM –When did the Vikings sign Hank Baskett? The Saints try a surprise on-side. Joe Webb is in the game, Joe Webb is in the game! Finally, we can salvage a cover for the Vikings now. Oh, and the Redskins now lead the Giants 17-0. Toby Gerhart scores a touchdown to bring the Vikings within a point. Cue the Adrian Peterson fantasy owners whining about his fantasy performance today.

12:04 PM – I see Romeo Crennell hasn’t changed much – now he goes for a fourth and goal at the 1, up 6-0, when a field goal would give you a two score lead! Look I hate the call to kick the field goal, but if you have already established that you’re a pussy, why change now? Predictably, they don’t convert, just watch the Packers will lead this game 7-6 at half.

12:10 PM – I played the Bengals primarily because the Rams are so wretched. I should have thought about how bad the Bengals have been over the past month.

12:13 PM – Nice job, Pierre – Garcon fumbles at the Colts 40, the Titans will now go into halftime with the lead.

12:15 PM – The Panthers go up 21-0 on the Brockel TD run. Brockel? Dammit, I was going to pick that guy up and play him this week. Cue the fantasy queer complaining about Brockel getting a touchdown and not Cam Newton.

12:20 PM – 6-3 Rams at half – it’s the throwbacks.

12:22 PM – 6-0 Chiefs at halftime – it could be 21-0, but then that wouldn’t be the Chiefs, would it. This game is meaningless to the Packers and they’re playing like it.

12:36 PM – Back after my halftime. I made a couple adjustments that really hurt me in the first half, most notably I will not use the “Q” word when referring to fantasy owners. Packers first play of the second half looks like they got lit up at halftime by McCarthy. T-Minus five minutes until the Packers lead 7-6.

12:39 PM – Uh, check that last comment, now it’s more like I need to McCarthy get off his knees because he’s blowing the game! McCarthy is re-writing the book on “how to lose but make it look like we are trying, so we can get valuable rest and avoid any injuries”. The Packers are already giving a half-ass effort while the Chiefs, at least defensively, are gambling to win. Facing a third and one, why not play-action and go deep? I mean when Kuhn is lined up in the backfield it was obvious what they are going to do. Even Rodgers was disgusted with that play call. Wow, there is very little doubt in my mind that McCarthy feels like a loss here is a benefit to his team.

12:42 PM – Eli Manning is worthless today! A pick to start the second half.

12:44 PM – Really bad play calling by the Redskins bails out Eli – maybe the Redskins hate the Cowboys more than the Giants! Three straight runs and a field goal after the pick!

12:51 PM – So, it was 15 minutes until the Pack took the lead 7-6. Remember that bit about the Pack losing today, yeah you can’t forget about that. Rodgers to Driver. And that erases Brett Favre’s green Bay TD pass record. Oh don’t worry Favre you still hold the interception record.

12:53 PM – Uh no, Saints score, 2 yard touchdown to John Gilmore, who was one of three Saints wide open in the end zone. Wasn’t Leslie Frazier a defensive coach?

12:54 PM – The Colts take the lead over the Titans – you know what the Colts and the Chiefs should be playing each other today, as should the Titans and Packers. At least we could avoid the Titans and Packers game!

12:56 PM – Brandon Marshall with a 65 yard touchdown in the snow. Man, the Bills started out like a slightly above average Wonderlic and have now fallen into the Vince Young territory. This Dolphins team might one of the top teams in the AFC, sadly will not get to see them in the post-season because of three ridiculous losses.

12:58 PM – Ugh, I see the Bears have caught Vikingitis, as they fail to cover Ben Obanmananobi-wan. First and goal at the two. Anyone want to bet that Marshawn Lynch gets the touchdown here. Isn’t it funny how certain teams are so predictable inside the 10, like the Saints never run inside the 10 on first down. I am not sure if that is because Payton thinks it is more efficient to pass or if he owns Brees in a dynasty league. Yep, Marshawn in the end zone. You know what Marshawn Lynch is like the poster child for NFL Fantasy Football 2011. No one thought this guy would do much, and if they claim they did they’re a damn liar, but now he is dominating the last few weeks and might make the All-Fitzgerald fantasy team.

1:01 PM – Kyle Orton just stood in the pocket for seemingly an eternity on third down no less and finally found an open receiver for a first down. The tackle responsible for blocking Matthews should mock him by doing his dance every time he completely stifles him like he just did.

1:03 PM – Hey, there is something you don’t see everyday a Marion Barber rush without a fumble.

1:04 PM – Seattle 21-14 after Caleb Hanie throws the ball right to the belly of Red Bryant, a 900 pound defensive linemen, who scampers into the end zone. Yeah, the playoffs are not in the cards for the Bears this season.

1:06 PM – Fitzpatrick just overthrew Steve Johnson, who was 10 yards behind the defense, by 10 yards. After the play Fitzpatrick stuck up his middle finger and mouthed the words, “FU Colin Wynner! How do you like that arm?” Seconds later Drew Brees under throws a wide open Robert Meachem. In fairness to Drew he had to think that the invisible man was deep for the Vikings, because I am sure he could not believe that Meachem was that open. Honest mistake, but watch some film Drew, it happens to the Vikings every week at least a dozen times.

1:09 PM – I think we have a little Favre thing going on in Tennessee with Hasselbeck. He just threw a pick-6 to give the Colts an 11 point lead, but somehow he won’t come even though Locker has been impressive. I have always thought that Hasselbeck was a selfish prick, now I think it’s confirmed.

1:11 PM – Chiefs go up 9-7, Saints go up 35-13, as the Vikings match their covering incompetence with equally incompetent tackling while Lance Moore scoots 40 yards for a touchdown. Lance Moore = Marshawn Lynch.

1:15 PM – Underdogs are ruling the day – eight games, seven dogs covering. Including three outright winners of spreads over 6 – Washington, Carolina, Kansas City and Indianapolis.

1:19 PM – Redskins go up 23-3. I am wondering how Eli plays next week when the Giants travel to New York to play the Jets.

1:22 PM – For the first time in 20 games the Packers are trailing heading into the 4th quarter. Wow that is impressive. And the team they choose to trail is – the Chiefs. That’s like a girl saving her virginity through the captain of the football team in high school, then losing it to some band geek first year in college. Horrible!

1:28 PM – You know what else pisses me off? The fact that the Saints can be such an effective screen team – like shouldn’t that be a point of emphasis for the opposing defensive coordinator. I am sure it is, but being an NFL head coach is like being a baby-sitter since most of those defensive players are ignorant Neanderthals.

1:31 PM – Ok, now there is no doubt at all that McCarthy wants to lose this game. The Chiefs just completed a pass to the two yard line, but at the end of the play the receiver fumbled the ball out of the end zone, which should be a safety. Somehow the officials missed the play, yeah I know, what a surprise. Anyway McCarthy with a full complement of challenges and timeouts doesn’t challenge a game changing play. He wants to lose. And now I am off on a rant – look I don’t really care if the Packers win or lose, in fact I picked the Chiefs so I would prefer they cover. But quoting the cook from Vision Quest, “you only get a few chances at greatness”. You know what, most people can’t tell you who won the 2002 Super Bowl, because it wasn’t memorable, but those same people can tell you that the 1972 Dolphins went undefeated! When you have the chance, you owe to yourself to go for it. If you don’t, well then God help you, because the football gods will not be happy. Today is the day, I know for sure that the 2011 Packers will not win the Super Bowl! Well, unless they come back to win this game and actually do “go for it”.

1:35 PM – The Giants are threaten to pull with 13 points of the Redskins. Being a Giants fan must be like living with a alcoholic, sober they’re great, but when drinking they can get a little mean.

1:36 PM – The Colts are up 20-6, can we please see Jake Locker. I will repeat the same thing for the Colts, when you have a chance do to something memorable, you do it.

1:38 PM – It might just be me, but I seem to remember Reggie Bush riding the bench early in the year for the Dolphins. Right? I mean if that little girl, Daniel Thomas, didn’t have to nurse that tender nipple (hamstring) for roughly five weeks does the Reggie Bush era ever happen? The guy is killing it right now, but beware next fantsy qu, uh, dude.

1:41 PM – Nice job, Pierre! Thomas that is – touchdown for him as the Saints go up 42-13. I said that game is over. Meanwhile the Bengals go up 20-6 over the Rams. Please, Rams, hire Jeff Fisher and draft Justin Blackmon!

1:43 PM – I really think that Joe Webb covers that spread for the Vikings, but Ponder sucks! Yeah, that didn’t make sense but Ponder sucks. Pretty much, Ponder sucks!

1:45 PM – Did Solomon Wilcotts just say the Bills need three scores to catch the Dolphins? Yep, he sure did. I guess the ability to solve simple math problems isn’t a requirement to work as a color guy for CBS. Solomon, it’s 23-7 Miami, which is difference of 16 points. Now if Buffalo can get 8 points per touchdown and successfully two point conversion, how many scores do they need?

1:48 PM – Let’s catch up on some scores – Seattle 31 Chicago 14, bye-bye Bears! Kansas City is now up 19-7, I guarantee the Packers come right back and score a touchdown to make it close. McCarthy has to try and make it look good. Doom on you McCarthy!

1:50 PM – I just noticed the Texans are back in the game against Carolinal, 20-13 now! And the Titans score a touchdown – Nate Washington from, yeah, Jake Locker. Eff U Tennessee letting that jackass Hasselbeck stay in the game long enough to lose to the Colts. Enjoy the playoffs from home, losers.

1:53 PM – Maybe Solomon is clairvoyant and he knew that the Bills would score and miss the two point conversion because that is exactly what happened and now the Bills will, as it turns out, need three scores.

1:57 PM – Surest sign that apocalypse will be here today – Reggie Bush has over 200 yards rushing today. And sure enough the Packers drive down to score a touchdown – 19-14 with the two minute warning and all three timeouts left.

1:59 PM – Toby Gerhart pours salt in the AP owners wound as he scores his second touchdown of the day. But the Saints cover easily – loss for me.

2:02 PM – The Packers can kick deep, which is the smart move by a coach that wants to win, but a coach that wants to lose will onside here. Yep, onside attempt and it fails. Good luck trying to repeat effing McCarthy. The best future bet available right now is the AFC +4.5 in the Super Bowl, because that is solely based on the Packers being the representative in the Super Bowl. So, we know that the Packers are not winning the Super Bowl this season, so if they win the NFC, it’s a cover for the AFC regardless of the actual SB spread. But let’s say they lose in the NFC playoffs – well, the Patriots would be a slight favorite over the Saints and a fairly substantial favorite over the 49ers, which opens up a huge middle opp.

2:05 PM – Game over – Packers lose the Super Bowl. Seriously Green Bay get together a lynch mob and beat the piss out of McCarthy tonight!

2:07 PM – Holy crap, the Seahawks are up 38-14 over the Bears.

2:15 PM – Early gams over – here are some highlights:

  • The four team money line parlay of Chiefs, Panthers, Redskins and Colts had to pay some astronomical odds.
  • Guys who better watch out for crazed fantasy quee, uh guy, Eli Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Hakeem Nicks and Caleb Hanie.
  • Houston is one and done in the playoffs, they are now looking at the Jets in the first round, which is a terrible match-up for them.
  • Seattle might sneak into the playoffs, which would give the much maligned NFC West two playoff teams.

I went 2-0 in the Super Contest – Bengals and Panthers winning. Pats, Jets and Cardinals can make it a perfect day.

Here are the Super Wynner standings after week 15:

The Super Wynner Contest Standings Week 15
Contestant Last Week Record
G-Dub 9-5-2 124-93-7 (.569)
Juana Wynner 8-6-2 114-103-7 (.525)
Colin Wynner 7-7-2 107-110-7 (.493)
Megan Wynner 5-9-2 105-112-7 (.484)

Much thanks to Ken Whisenhunt and the Jets for costing me two games in the Super Contest.

LVHSC: 3-2, 33-39-3 (Tied for 408th)

Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

Oakland @ Kansas City (-2.5) – My buddy Randy, who is a huge Raider fan, has been telling for weeks that the Raiders will crush the Chiefs in this spot. He is the biggest, and quite possibly the most knowledgeable, Raider fan I know so I am inclined to trust him here. But you know what I don’t think the Raiders have the horses here, it’s just not going to happen for them this year.

G-Dub’s Week 16 Picks

Denver, Detroit, Kansas City, Arizona, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Tennessee,
NY Giants, Minnesota, St. Louis, New England,
Dallas, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta

Pick: Kansas City -2.5

Denver (-2.5) @ Buffalo – Look this Bills team is dead. Couple that with the fact the nasty Buffalo weather isn’t going to affect Tebow’s accuracy one bit but it will have a major impact on the candy-ass armed Ryan Fitzpatrick and this game won’t be close.

Pick: Denver -2.5

Jacksonville @ Tennessee (-7.5) – Yeah, I trust a hobbling, worn out, candy-ass armed Matt Hasselbeck to cover a 7.5 point spread. Plus, I think Blaine Gabbert will play a great game this weekend, since ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck essentially called Gabbert a pussy this week.

Pick: Jacksonville +7.5

Arizona @ Cincinnati (-4.5) – This is the “it’s just the spot” game of the week. The Cardinals have played back-to-back-to-back emotional games – two in overtime, therefore, it’s just the spot for them to lose and lose big.

Pick: Cincinnati -4.5

Miami @ New England (-9.5) – So, I was watching the replay of the Pats game and on the touchdown pass to Ocho-Cinco the Denver safety sold out for the flat route to Welker, even though Welker was covered. My theory is that during film study the defensive coaches told the Broncos defense that “when 85 is in the game they don’t throw to him, but use him as a decoy for the flat route to Welker”. The safety seeing 85 in the game remembered what coach told him and jumped the flat. Now the funny part of that is just two years ago Ocho Cinco was a premeire receiver now he is simply known as 85, which I guess was hi goal all along.

Pick: Miami +9.5

Cleveland @ Baltimore (-13.0) – You know what – “F*** the F***ing Harbaugh brothers! F*** ’em all! I’ll bury those cockroaches.” Thanks as always to Tony Montana. Give me the feisty Browns.

Juana Wynner’s Week 16 Picks

Oakland @ Kansas City (-2.5) – Kansas City has a pretty strong offensive line. They can hold people off and then have their running back run the ball or complete a pass. They are not good under intense pressure though. This is just like Ozzy in the last challenge of Survivor. He was under pressure to win the challenge to get immunity and he totally choked. This is how I feel Kansas City will be when they play this week.
Oakland +2.5
Denver @ Buffalo (-2.5) – The Bills do not have a strong team at all. They have a few decent players who can run the ball but nothing compared to other teams. This team is like the Savaii tribe on survivor. They had one person on the tribe, Coach, who led the whole team. He would win the challenges for his team and control them. If he didn’t like something it wasn’t going to happen. This is exactly how the Bills are; they only have a few players who can make something happen.

Denver -2.5

Miami @ New England (-9.5) – Tom Brady is ranked #1 in the NFL. He is a very strong quarterback who starts a lot of the plays and gets the ball up field. Coach, in survivor, was just like him. He would make his team successful because of what he would do. He was always coming up with a strategy and leading his teams to victories.

New England -9.5

Atlanta @ New Orleans (-7.0) – The Falcons have Mike Smith as their head coach. He’s not bad but he’s not the brightest tool in the shed. When the Falcons played the Saints he totally cost them all of their chances of winning. When they were on their own 29 yard-line with inches to go he told them to go for it. They lost by a field goal. This coach is like Cochran from survivor. He made a choice to switch over to the Savaii tribe and then he got voted off a few days later. Stupid decisions like that cost him his whole game.

New Orleans -7.0

Jacksonville @ Tennessee (-7.5) – Starter Chris Johnson is not a very good player. He has very little yards this season and I’m pretty sure that he won’t put up any more in this game. Chris is just like Rick in Survivior. Rick did nothing the whole game and he still made it to the final 5. Chris Johnson still puts up some numbers but nothing like other running backs.

Jacksonville +7.5

The rest:

Cincinnati -4.5, Cleveland +13.0, N.Y. Jets -3, Washington -7, Tampa Bay +8, Pittsburgh -12.5, Detroit -2.5, San Francisco -1, Dallas -1.5, Chicago +12

Pick: Cleveland +13.0

NY Giants @ NY Jets (-3.0) – My favorite fact about this game is that it is technically a road game for Eli, so maybe, just maybe he will overcome those Meadowlands demons. Though I doubt it because this seems par for the course for the Jets – back into the playoffs, get a gift-wrapped matchup in the first round, play a great game against a rival and lose in the AFC Championship game. Goodness, I hate reruns!

Pick: NY Jets -3.0

Minnesota @ Washington (-7.0) – No Joe Webb, no chance!

Pick: Washington -7.0

Tampa Bay @ Carolina (-8.0) – I don’t want to do this, but I simply cannot allow myself to be fooled by the Raheem Morris Bucs any longer. But I have to admit those eight points are very tempting, until it’s 21-0 at the end of the first quarter. At that point I am pulling an Albert Brooks in Lost in America with my book, “Uh, listen as a marketing ploy, just give me my money back!”

Pick: Carolina -8.0

St. Louis @ Pittsburgh (-12.5) – No Ben, no problem! Listen this Rams team has a chance at the number one overall pick, which can bring in the type of haul that the talent depleted Rams need to turn that franchise around. Trust me, they won’t take any chances in this game that Kellen Clemens catches fire late, they will mail this thing early and often. You get the picture!

Pick: Pittsburgh -12.5

San Diego @ Detroit (-2.0) – This season’s wild card round is setting up to be one of the most lucrative weekends of Colin’s young life. I cannot wait to bet against teams like the Texans and Lions. Yeah. I think they suck!

Pick: San Diego +2.0

San Francisco (-1.0) @ Seattle – Frisco is coming off a Monday night physical battle with the Steelers, the Seahawks are coming off practice against the Bears. Plus, this Seahawk team is secretly pretty good! Bonus: Marshawn Lynch scores a rushing TD this weekend.

Pick: Seattle +1.0

Philadelphia @ Dallas (-1.5) – Factors working against the Cowboys include, 1. It’s December; 2, Sammy Morris, who wasbn;t good enough to be part of the 15-head monster in New England, is now the starting running back; and 3. Jerry Jones is scared of the Eagles. Screw that, the Cowboys find a way!

Pick: Dallas -1.5

Chicago @ Green Bay (-12.0) – I am taking the Bears for one reason and one reason only – the fact that the 49ers are going to lose on Saturday which means the Packers will have home field wrapped up. And that means that the McCarthy led Packers will pack it in. I cannot wait to bet against the Packers in the playoffs.

Pick: Chicago +12.0

Atlanta @ New Orleans (-7.0) – I would love to see the Falcons go into New Orleans and smack the Saints around, but my guess is it won’t happen. Yeah, the Saints are the play here and I will give you the lock of the century – New Orleans second half! Take them no matter, the Falcons are exceptionall early in games, but once Matt Ryan has to make adjustments they go to hell.

Pick: New Orleans -7.0

Colin Wynner calls the winners! Good Luck to all! And Happy Holidays to all!

2011 NFL – Week 16 Picks, Thursday Edition

Houston (-6.0) @ Indianapolis – I am still perfect (5-0) on Thursday night NFL games played on a non-holiday in a state other than Pennsylvania. And tonight is the bottom of the ninth, the last Thursday night game of the NFL season, the last chance for my perfecto to be ruined. How big is this game? Over the last few hours, no one will sit next to me and I seen several Tweets directing people to the “interesting situation” happening on this blog site.

Juana’s Pick – Houston -6.0

Megan’s Pick – Houston -6.0

G-Dub – Indianapolis +6.0

Believe me Jim Caldwell would love to be the coach who breaks up the perfecto, after all I have more than a few times wondered on this very blog if Caldwell was an cardboard cutout as opposed to a human. I’ve questioned if a cardboard cutout could do a better job of coaching the Colts than Caldwell. I’ve ripped his thoughtless, incoherent post-game speeches. And I’ve won rather large sums of money betting on game props involving Caldwell, for example, I took under 48 on the number Caldwell heart beats per minute before a 4th down, game deciding play. Note some people may considered that a admirable quality that he can stay “calm under pressure”, but I think it is more indicative of a “comatose under the sky” personality.

So, yeah there is no love lost between the two of us, but it’s my destiny to call this game correct tonight and Jim Caldwell cannot and will not intervene. The pick – Houston, Not. Even. Close.

Here are six logical points backing up my pick:

  • Andrew Luck – The Colts want him, therefore they can’t get carried away trying to win more games. I realize the Colts players do not seriously consider next April’s draft position when preparing for a game, so it’s hard to imagine that they will tank or Suck for Luck. At the very least I see their motivation lacking in this game because they desperately wanted to win a game – check, goal accomplished.
  • Rivals – The Texans hate the Colts. They relish the opportunity to beat them with or without Peyton Manning. It takes a few years to undo the damage the Colts have inflicted on the Texans.
  • Value – If I gave you a free three points that you could use on any game this weekend wouldn’t tell me that “you can’t lose” on that game. Well, this game features a three point line movement because the Titans Muchak’d their pants last weekend and the Texans slept-walked through their game against Carolina. For the Texans that is excusable considering they were coming off the playoff clinching week; oh by the way their first playoff berth in franchise history. Yup, last week I would’ve had to lay 9 points to take the Texans. Tonight it’s six! “I can’t lose!”
  • X’s and O’s – The Texans defense struggled last week against Cam Newton. I know Can Newton and Dan Orlovsky is no Cam Newton. On the flip side, Arian Foster should have a field day against the Colts porous run defense. Run the ball and play defense, hmm, interesting concept.
  • Playoff Seeding – What would a first round bye do for the Texans? Well, it would give Andre Johnson one more week of rest. More importantly, it would take them out of a potentially bad matchup against the Jets in the first round. Don’t think Kubiak won’t push hard to win the last two games and get out of that #3 position.
  • Wade Phillips – Win one this one for Wade! Phillips, who has been out after having a procedure (initially we only knew that, according to Wade, we could rule out a vasectomy; I dumped a fair amount on “breast reduction surgery” at even money procedure. &*%$!) on his gall bladder. Interim DC Reggie Herring called plays last week and was, to say the least, a bit over-matched. But rumor has it that he plans on giving the players the “We’re not sure Wade’s going to make it through this, but his last words were – Win (by more than a touchdown)!”

Pick: Houston -6.0


 

NFL 2011 Week 15 Picks

I promised myself that when the handicapping tide turned in my favor that I would remain humble. I am going stick to that promise, meaning you’re not going to read about the 40-21-1 four week run I’ve been on. Nor will you have to plow through 100 or words stating that I haven’t had a losing week in over a month. And finally, I certainly will not mention that the “Super Wynner” has someone on the cusp of taking over the “human” lead.

The Super Wynner Contest Standings Week 14

Contestant

Last Week

Record

G-Dub

12-4

115-88-5 (.565)

Juana Wynner

7-9

106-97-5 (.529)

Megan Wynner

6-10

100-103-5 (.503)

Colin Wynner

11-5

100-103-5 (.477)

 

  • With a 36-12 finish “G-Dub” would accomplish the “50 games over .500” football bucket list item, which I have not accomplished. G-Dub is a short for George Washington. Washington’s image dons the quarter and a quarter is what is used to make the picks. That’s right through week 14 blindly flipping a coin is running a very profitable 56.5%.

Week 15 picks:

Contestant

Colin

Juana

Megan

G-Dub

Jacksonville @ Atlanta(-13.5)

Atlanta

Jacksonville

Jacksonville

Atlanta

Dallas(-7) @ Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay

Dallas

Dallas

Dallas

New Orleans(-7.5) @ Minnesota

Minnesota

New Orleans

New Orleans

Minnesota

Green Bay(-13.5) @ Kansas City

Kansas City

Kansas City

Green Bay

Green Bay

Cincinnati(-7) @ St. Louis

Cincinnati

Cincinnati

Cincinnati

St. Louis

Seattle @ Chicago(-3.5)

Chicago

Chicago

Chicago

Seattle

Carolina @ Houston(-6)

Carolina

Carolina

Carolina

Carolina

Tennessee(-6.5) @ Indianapolis

Tennessee

Tennessee

Tennessee

Indianapolis

Miami @ Buffalo(-1.5)

Miami

Miami

Buffalo

Buffalo

Washington @ NY Giants(-6.5)

Washington

NY Giants

NY Giants

Washington

Detroit(-1) @ Oakland

Detroit

Oakland

Detroit

Detroit

New England(-7.5) @ Denver

Denver

New England

Denver

New England

NY Jets @ Philadelphia(-2.5)

Philadelphia

Philadelphia

Philadelphia

NY Jets

Cleveland @ Arizona(-6.5)

Arizona

Cleveland

Arizona

Cleveland

Baltimore(-2.5) @ San Diego

Baltimore

Baltimore

San Diego

Baltimore

Pittsburgh @ San Francisco(-3)

San Francisco

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh

San Francisco

 

Survivor finale pick: Ozzie takes out Brandon at Redemption, rejoins the tribe with five members. Coach previously promised Ozzie that he would take him to the final three, now they just need to decide who to take with them. My guess is they will choose worthless Cowboy Rick. Rick will go along with the plan for a couple reasons – 1. He hates Albert; and 2. Realistically, that is his only chance – hoping that both Coach and Ozzie have burnt too much goodwill, allowing him to sneak in the backdoor with the Jury. Plus, his speech to the jury will be priceless so I am rooting hard for that to happen.

Provided that neither Albert nor Sophie can secure immunity, Albert will be first out as the he is the bigger threat, then Sophie at #4.

It comes down to the jury vote and the winner is – Ozzie. Coach played with integrity by taking Ozzie to the end, but in the end it was his worst move of the game. The majority of the jury is made up of former Savaii members, who don’t like Coach and still have allegiance to Ozzie.

Good Luck to all this week!

NFL 2011 – Week 15 Picks, Thursday Edition

Jacksonville @ Atlanta (-13.5) – I put my undefeated non-holiday, game played anywhere but Pennsylvania Thursday night record (4-0) on the line tonight!

I got burned last week playing the heavy favorite, so I refuse make the same mistake twice. But then I play the game out in my mind and I see the Falcons stout run defense shutting down MJD, which leaves the game in the hands of Blaine Gabbert. Knowing that, about the most I can see the Jaguars putting on the scoreboard is 14 points.

So, I need 28 points by the Falcons, in a game they cannot afford to lose. They’re a different team at home with the turf and the energy in the dome.

Still, I felt like this game was a toss-up, so I went “next level” with the pick. Thanks to the Sportsbook Spy provided by one of the best sites on the web, Pregame.Com, I was able to glean the following –the current split on the game is exactly 50-50. So, you ask, what could you possible discern from those numbers that would be a clue as to the outcome of the game. That’s true, the Books have a dream match-up, they watch and regardless of the outcome they collect max juice. I agree, but my question is – why has the number moved from 10.5 to 13.5? The opens a very real middle at 11 or 13 points, which if the game fell in middle that would be the equivalent of getting what happen to Derek Vinyard in the prison shower. That won’t happen – sharp money moved the line. And I will take my chances on the sharp side.

Pick: Atlanta -13.5

Juana’s Pick – Jacksonville +13.5

Megan’s Pick – Jacksonville +13.5

G-Dub – Atlanta -13.5


 

NFL 2011 Week 14 Picks

The Super Wynner Contest Standings Week 13

Contestant

Last Week

Record

G-Dub

5-11

103-84-5 (.549)

Juana Wynner

12-4

99-88-5 (.529)

Megan Wynner

10-6

94-93-5 (.503)

Colin Wynner

11-5

78-93-5 (.477)

 

Juana has been on fire the last two weeks – 28-8. Trust me that will not last, in fact you can fade her big time this week.

Overall, with four weeks to play the contest is up for grabs.

With some help from Hollywood, here is a look at the week 14 picks:

American Pie, the Chuck Sherman “It was just my time, boys, just my time!”- Oakland +11.0 and Arizona +4.0, I am calling both teams as outright, upset winners this weekend. Yep, I am predicting the Packers lose their first game this weekend. It just feels like the spot to me for them to go down – non-conference game, they clinched the division, the Raiders are desperate and McCarthy secretly wants to lose a game so he doesn’t have to worry about pissing off the “investors” by benching Rodgers when the Pack are 15-0. As for the 49ers, the clinched the division last weekend and I fully expect them to come out flat this weekend. Plus, they have beaten the Cardinals like a drum recently, so the Cards are “due”.

Scarface, Tony Montana, “Who you think you f***ing with? I’m Tony Montana! You f*** with me, you f***ing with the best! I’m still standing. Come on! I take your f***ing bullet! Come on! I take your f***ing bullet! – Houston +3.0 and Chicago +3.5, the Texans and Bears have seemingly taken more bullets, via injuries, than Tony Montana at the end of Scarface, yet they are still standing. But I fully expect the Texans and T.J. Yates to end up face down in the “The World is Yours” wishing well once the playoffs begin. The Bears, well, they aren’t likely to make the playoffs, but the fact is I am now completely irrational when it comes to Broncos, so plan on me picking against every week until they are finally exposed as the frauds I believe them to be.

Juana Wynner’s Week 14 Picks

Indianapolis @ Baltimore (-16.5) – It is very hard to win by 17 points in the NFL. Baltimore’s offense is much more solid than Indianapolis’. Baltimore has Joe Flacco, which has a pretty good amount of passing yards and Ray Rice, with 926 rushing yards. Indianapolis had a better defense though. The only way to win games is by scoring and I think that the colts can cover the spread. Indianapolis +16.5

San Francisco @ Arizona (-4) – Arizona is like my sister’s soccer team. You think they might have a real chance to win and then they act like morons and give up a goal or let the ball go through their legs. Arizona does this a lot. They are ahead and then they drop the ball. San Francisco -4

Chicago @ Denver (-3.5) – Chicago does not have a very good offense. There is this girl on my sister’s soccer team who will not pass the ball to save her life. She tries to carry the ball all the way down the field and then she loses it. Just like this girl the Bears cannot carry the ball down the field at all! They can go for about 0.4 yards and then they get tackled. It’s pathetic. Denver -3.5

New England (-8.5) @ Washington– Washington doesn’t have a bad defensive line but they aren’t the best. A good team would be to run right through them. Legacy 99 White Futbol Club doesn’t necessarily have a really horrible back line but they aren’t strong at all. When they played Sereno they literally ran right past everyone in the back line and scored. New England in this case is Sereno. New England -8.0

St. Louis @ Seattle (-10) – The components of a good team, no matter what the sport is, is having a good offense and a strong defense. I like the Rams but they don’t have either of these. The only way to win a game is to score and don’t let them gain back points on you. Seattle has a pretty good offense that could most likely kill the Rams defense, and then the Rams don’t have the skills in their offense to gain those points back. Seattle -10

The Rest:

Houston +3, Oakland +12, N.Y. Jets -10.5, Detroit -9.5, Tennessee +3.5, Miami -3, Atlanta -2.5, Tampa Bay -3, N.Y. Giants +4.5, Buffalo +7

 

Top Gun, Iceman to Maverick, “You’re everyone’s problem. Every time you fly, you’re unsafe. I don’t like you. You’re dangerous.” Detroit -9.5 and Atlanta -2.5. The Lions are a collection of loose cannons, led by an insecure head coach who promotes their dysfunctional behavior. But despite that I love them to stomp the Vikings this weekend, who are still trying to figure out how to cover Demaryius Thomas. You know who else is dangerous? Cam Newton. But he is only getting 2.5 points, meaning he pretty much has to win the game this weekend and I simply cannot see the Falcons crapping their pants in back-to-back weeks.

Tommy Boy, Tommy Callahan, “Forget it. I quit. I can’t do this anymore man. My head’s about to explode. My whole life sucks. I don’t know what I’m doing.” NY Giants +4.5, Tommy couldn’t close a sale and neither can the Cowboys in December. On the flip side, Big Tom, Tommy’s dad could, according to Richard Hayden, “. . .sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves.” San Diego -7.0, the Chargers come alive in December.

Anchorman, Ron Burgundy to Wes Mantooth, “Besides, I’m sure Wes here is just upset over finishing second in the ratings again.” NY Jets -10.5 and Baltimore -16.5, seemingly always the bridesmaid to the Patriots, the Jets are beginning their typical late season push for the post-season. Tell me this scenario doesn’t sound like the Ravens: beat Pittsburgh twice but find a way to finish second in the AFC North, then win two road games in the playoffs, one in Pittsburgh, but lose to a team like the Jets in the AFC Championship game. That’s so Ravens! But that scenario won’t play out this year because they are going to take care of the Bengals, Colts, Browns and Chargers.

 

Pulp Fiction, Winston Wolf to Jules Winnfield, “Let’s not start sucking each other d***s quite yet.” Titans +3.5 and Eagles +3.0. This classic movie quote fits the Dolphins and Saints perfectly. The Saints have drubbed the Giants and Lions in the past two weeks, now they go on the road and only have to give up 3.5 points? Really? That’s the exact type of situation that will lead to this kind of explanation when the significant other asks what happen to the college fund, “Honey, the guy in front of the Sports Book had a sign that read Free Money!” And the Dolphins are being anointed as the greatest 4-8 to ever play any sport in the history of the world.

Casino, Nicky Santoro, “Got a lot of holes in the desert and a lot of problems are buried in those holes. Except you gotta do it right. I mean, you gotta have the hole already dug before you show up wiith a package in the trunk. Otherwise, you’re talking about a half hour or 45 minutes of diggin’. And who knows who’s gonna be comin’ along in that time? Before you know it, you gotta dig a few more holes. You could be there all f***in’ night.” Jacksonville +3.0, Bucs coach Raheem Morris seems like the kind of coach isn’t prepared and “flys by the seat of his pants”. He is exactly the type of guy who would end up turning a routine single murder into a binge murdering spree to attempt to cover bases that he should have been covered. Right?

Stripes, Captain Stillman to the majority of the platoon after the strip club raid, “Tomorrow you’ll be on parade in front of General Barnicke. And when he sees what total f***-ups you really are, I will personally recommend that your whole platoon repeat the entire course of basic training.” Seattle -10. And allow me to change the context – standing in front me is Sam Bradford, Spags, Goldberg and Josh McDaniels, “Tomorrow you’ll be on display in front of a national audience. And the world sees what total f***-ups you really are, they will puke until they’re so dehydrated they won’t be able to pick up the remote to turn off the abortion of a game.” Yeah, that pretty much sums up my feelings on the Rams.

Megan Wynner’s Week 14 Picks

Colin’s Note: Megan was given the week off to address the issues Juana identified with her soccer team from above. If I were to compare her soccer team to an NFL team it would be the Rams. They both have two wins on the season. One was a game where the opponent hit four posts and they survived by a goal and the other was tied until the assistant referee (AR for those in the know) over-ruled the center referee on an off-sides call that disallowed the tying goal.

 

Picks:

Cincinnati -3.0, Detroit -9.5, Jacksonville +3.0, Tennessee +3.5, Miami -3.0,

Carolina +2.5, Baltimore -16.5, NY Jets -10.5, New England -8.0, Green Bay-12,

Arizona +4.0, Chicago +3.5, Buffalo +7.0, Dallas -4.5, Seattle-10

Raging Bull, Jake La Motta to Ray Robinson, “Hey, Ray. I never went down. You never got me down, Ray.” Washington +8.0. Did you know that Mike Shanahan owns Bill Belichick? Yup, Shanahan holds a career mark of 5-3 against the greatest coach in the history of coaching. And in the playoffs, Shanny is a perfect 1-0 against Billy boy. You can almost hear Shanahan telling Belichick, “Hey, Billy, you never beat in the playoffs. You couldn’t beat me in the playoffs, Bill!”

Colin Wynner calls the winners! Good luck!

NFL 2011 Week 14 Picks, Thursday Night Edition

Cleveland @ Pittsburgh (-14.0) – My NFL non-holiday Thursday undefeated record (4-0) on the line tonight in a game that I would consider pretty much a toss-up, in terms of the spread. Yep, 14 is a lot of points to cover, especially considering that less than sterling performance the Steelers produced two weeks ago against the Chiefs in a similar situation. In addition, I never like being against the “house” and nobody thinks the Browns have a chance to cover tonight. Both of those reasons are enough to sway me to the Browns.

But, damn those factors, damn the division game, I simply cannot see the Browns being competitive in this game. Their defense is uninspiring (Google “Ray Rice” and “200 Yards”) and the offense is painful to watch – last week at the bitter end of the Ravens game, when Suggs and company were simply trying to not get hurt, they took seemingly 20+ plays to drive for a touchdown, yeah it was ugly.

Colt McCoy has regressed huge – which gets me thinking, maybe it’s something about the BIG12 that causes promising rookie quarterbacks one season to stink up the field in year two. In fairness to McCoy, one of his primary targets is “Kid Drop 2.0” (Greg Little). His other targets are a past his prime Ben Watson, who at one time had me thinking he might re-define the way the tight end position was played but now I think his career is more like Britney Spears (look for Watson to hold a free receivers clinic in Mexico in the near future), and Mohamed Massaquoi, who now in his third season of starting for the Browns has amassed career numbers that would be a “ho-hum” year for Larry Fitzgerald (91-1372-7).

Juana’s Pick – Cleveland +14.0

Megan’s Pick – Pittsburgh -14.0

G-Dub – Cleveland +14.0

Sure, I can see the Steelers going “Uncle Milty” (Google – Milton Berle and pulling out only what I needed to win), but here are four reasons that it won’t matter:

  • The game is in Pittsburgh, much different than traveling to Kansas City and having to endure the haunting aroma of B-B-Q. It’s a division game, against probably the Steelers biggest geographical rival, Steelers fan wants blood, Steelers player knows this and will deliver accordingly.
  • I admit I do like these miserable teams like the Browns to step-up and cover a few spreads down the stretch, but there is no way the Browns will cover both games against the Steelers in 2011, so I will go with the week 17 match-up as the Browns potential cover. That makes sense, right. The Steelers, with nothing to play for will mail that game in or the Browns will get up to face the Steelers, who have everything to play for. I dug this stat up – the Browns have covered the spread in both games against the Steelers exactly one time in the last 22 seasons (FWIW, the Steelers have covered twice in a season four times).
  • Peyton Hillis. Yep, he is hurt again, but he will play tonight. Which means we get 100% (at least early) touches for a player who is roughly 75% healthy and 96.1% sure he would rather be anywhere else but Pittsburgh at kickoff. If I workout the math, it adds up to a huge advantage for Pittsburgh. My guess would be Peyton will have one of those 120-3 type games coming up in the fantasy football playoffs though. That way he can lure a team like the Eagles or Redskins into giving him a long term contract.
  • The short week affects the road team more than the home team. Since 1989, the home teams favored by double digits at home are 9-2-1 ATS, road teams on a Thursday 45-63 ATS. Two reasonable trends back me up.

Pick: Pittsburgh -14.0


 

NFL 2011 Week 13 Picks

In general my picks are making me feel like I am running in cement with my picks – not getting far and on the verge of the cement setting with me ankle deep. Time is running out, only 80 games remain on the season. For me to have any realistic chance of winning the Wynner contest, I need to go at least 53-27, which would put me 11 games over .500 for the season. That is certainly good enough to take down the other Wynner’s, who won’t be over .500. But my main concern is that G-Dub has defied odds to amass a remarkable 25 games over .500. That is perplexing considering that he weights every game with an equal chance. I might have to launch an investigation into G-Dub’s possible use of performance enhancing drugs.

 

Las Vegas Hilton Super Contest Week 12 Recap

  • Picks: Panthers (Win), Bears (Push), Giants (Loss), Steelers (Loss), Cowboys (Loss)
  • Without a doubt this was the worst week of the season! There was some good news though, I got back 1.5 points of the 9.5 worth of bad beats on two reverse bad beats – Carolina, whose defense really is that bad and Chicago, who somehow managed a push. Take those away and I would have taken the collar or golden sombrero.
  • The Cowboys and Steelers were like watching paint dry and neither seemed destined to cover the spread from the onset of the game. That always makes it painful, kind of like having a fantasy team out of contention. Not that I would know about that or anything.
  • That leaves the Giants. The Giants were my top play last week except I overlooked one major detail– the Saints are like 85-1 ATS at home, in primetime (actually 17-15 since 1989 but 7-3 in the Sean Payton era). Simply put it was a bad call. In hindsight I would have removed that game for the Texans.

LVHSC: 1-3-1, 25-32-3 (Tied for 430th)

Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from vegasinsider.com. The Super Contest lines are not live, but instead are set and held the entire week.

The “Thursday Looming” look ahead game theory:

 

Teams that play a Thursday night game in the following week are just 4-7-1 ATS this season or 62.5% or “Wow, 62.5%. Anyone who achieves that rate is a genius.” Sure it’s a small sample size, but it’s 100% of the available plays and it is enough for me to hang my sterling 45.7% winning percentage on.

 

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (-7.0)

Baltimore (-6.5) @ Cleveland

 

I would have preferred to not have both games be division battles as that actually bucks the trend slightly (13-11 ATS since 2009), but I have to play the hand dealt to me. My gut tells me with the conflicting trends that the “Thursday looming” goes 1-1 this week, so with that in mind I have to come up with a single winner. Here is the logic to determine that winner:

 

  • Pittsburgh was a three point favorite in Cincinnati two weeks ago – translating to a 9 point favorite in Pittsburgh. Two points of value on Pittsburgh, me like.
  • The Super Wynner Contest Standings Week 12

    Contestant 

    Last Week 

    Record 

    G-Dub 

    8-8

    98-73-5 (.571)

    Juana Wynner

    12-4

    87-84-5 (.509)

    Megan Wynner

    5-11

    84-87-5 (.491)

    Colin Wynner

    8-8

    78-93-5 (.457)

  • The sandwich game for the Steelers was the Chiefs or a glorified pillow fight. The sandie for the Bengals was the Browns. Sure the Browns suck, but it was more like a fight against a younger brother, who is woefully over-matched on most days but on this day landed a couple lucky punches and turned it into a reasonably competitive fight. Again, advantage Pittsburgh.
  • The Ravens are coming off back-to-back physical games against the Bengals and 49ers. We’ve seen the Ravens twice this season coming off emotional wins lay an egg. My feeling is the game against the 49ers will leave the Ravens closer to a post-Steelers performance than not. Advantage Cleveland.
  • Uh, this is the Browns Super Bowl and Josh Cribbs is sick of losing. Advantage Cleveland, but memo to Josh, you might want to avoid signing a long term deal in C-Land because it’s not going to get any better.
  • While God may not hate Cleveland (though Clevelanders would disagree), the NFL schedule maker certainly does as the Browns play the Ravens or Steelers four times in their last five games. Translation – the Browns have no choice but to show up with their best effort of the year. Advantage Cleveland
  • Lastly, I need a win in one of fantasy leagues to make the playoffs and the team I am playing is starting Colt McCoy against me. I know, I know but stop laughing and read on. Cue the four touchdowns, 300+ yard game from Colt! Huge advantage Cleveland.

Picks: Pittsburgh -7.0, Cleveland +6.5

 

The “all good things must come to an end” theory:

 

Denver @ Minnesota (-1.5)

Oakland @ Miami (-3.0)

 

The Broncos and the Dolphins both have ATS streaks of 4+ games. Since 2005, teams riding a streak of 4 or more ATS are 75-75-3. Perfectly symmetrical, which means I fully expect that strong trend to continue this weekend with one of those teams covering and one not based on the following logic:

 

  • Look, I think Tim Tebow is a great guy; he definitely walks the walk in terms of his faith, so I fully respect him. But let’s be honest this run by the Broncos has been more fueled by external factors rather than the play of the defense or quarterback. Let’s look closer at those factors:
    • Week 9 the Broncos played the Raiders with Carson Palmer starting his first game, in that game the Raiders inexplicably threw the ball 35 times. Well, it seemed inexplicably at the time, but upon further review they needed to get Palmer acclimated to the offense, so they lost the battle to win the war – they felt like they could beat the Broncos with a out of character game plan.
    • Week 10 the Broncos played the Chiefs. Enough said, right? The Chiefs are challenged offensively, defensively and on the coaching staff.
    • Week 11 they caught the Jets after the Patriots loss on a short week in Denver.
    • Week 12 they played against a team coached by Norv Turner, again enough said!
  • Plus, isn’t it about time for Tebow to experience “he who wants to finish first, must be last. . .“?
  • No Von Miller is a gigantic deal for the Broncos. And even if he plays, he will be nowhere near as effective.
  • This is a tough spot for the Raiders, traveling across the country to play a team that is well rested.
  • I mention it every week but the Dolphins are a good team, much better than their record indicates.
  • It’s a been good week for Miami – the Marlins signed a free agent closer, which is huge for that fan base because they Marlins actually signed a big name free agent, translating – they finally have money to spend; and the Heat are back and the favorites to win the NBA title. Why not cap it with a victory by the Dolphins at home, no less?

 

Picks: Minnesota -1.5, Miami -3.0

 


The “backup quarterback in their 2nd start” theory:

 

Atlanta (-2.5) @ Houston

Kansas City @ Chicago (-7.0)

 

I mentioned this above but I believe when a team is faced with playing a backup quarterback due to injury, they will follow a pattern of acclimating the new quarterback to the offense that first start. Then they will return to a normal game-plan the following week. I mean what other reason could there be for the Bears game-plan last week, right?

 

So with that being the case, I can see the Bears returning to the physical, punishing running game this week against the Chiefs. Oh and it helps that the Bears are playing the Chiefs and the Chiefs are starting Tyler Palko, who is his second start covered the spread last week. I guess if you consider covering the spread “playing like crap”, while your opponent craps their pants.

 

I can see the Bears getting two touchdowns via special teams or defense. Conservatively let’s assume the Bears can post 13 offensive points that means the Chiefs have to score 20 points to push. Uh, that’s not going to happen.

 

So, Atlanta is good enough to give Houston points in Houston? I don’t care if Dave Ragone is the starter in Houston, they still play great defense and run the ball effectively. Therefore, they shouldn’t be getting points at home. And I will let you in on a little secret T.J. Yates is going to be better than expected.

 

I will admit that one of my “investing” rules is to check the backup quarterback, if the first name Billy Joe or the last name McCown or Delhomme, you might want to think twice about your investment. Well, I am one fluke injury to Yates away from seeing the human interception machine, Jake Delhomme, taking the field to lead the Texans. Oh, the horror!

 

Picks: Houston +2.5, Chicago -7.0

 

The “double digit road underdog” theory:

 

Indianapolis @ New England (-20.0)

St. Louis @ San Francisco (-13.5)

 

Since 2006 double digit road underdogs are 88-89-2 ATS or 50%. We have two of those spreads this weekend, and since I expect the trend to continue I am tasked with figuring out one road team that will cover the spread.

 

  • The Patriots are more likely to pull an “Uncle Milty” in this game by pulling only what they need to win.
  • I realize that the Colts/Pats are rivals and Belichick is prone to running up the score on his good friends, but to me Belichick can humiliate the Colts more by coming out with a conservative approach, almost as if to tell the Colts “we feel sorry for you”.

Juana Wynner’s Week 13 Picks

Tennessee @ Buffalo (-2.0) – I don’t like Buffalo. I have no idea what the heck a Bill is. Why would you name a team that; it is so dumb.

Pick: Tennessee +2.0

Kansas City @ Chicago (-7.0) – Chicago has been doing pretty good in all of their games. I don’t think that they can win by 7 or more though.

Pick: Kansas City +7.0

Oakland @ Miami (-3) – I love Dolphins. I’ve always wanted to go to California or Hawaii and go swimming with them.

Pick: Miami -3.0

Cincinnati @ Pittsburgh (-7.0) – The Steelers are a very good football team. They win most of their games and they give a good fight every game.

Pick: Pittsburgh -7.0

Baltimore @ Cleveland (-6.5) – I don’t think that Cleveland or Baltimore is any good. At least Baltimore has a reasonable team name.

Pick: Baltimore -6.5

The Rest:

NY Jets -3.0, Atlanta -2.5, Carolina +2.0, Detroit +9.0, Denver +1.5, San Francisco -13.5, Dallas -4.5, NY Giants +6.0, Indianapolis +20, San Diego -3

  • I trust Orlovsky to post garbage, covering touchdowns more than Painter. Oh, and I heard there was an alleged Reggie Wayne sighting last week.
  • The Rams are historically bad this season. If they fall behind 14-0, do you feel comfortable that they can come back and cover? Me neither.
  • This is still a rivalry. And with Harbaugh coaching the 49ers, there strong possibility that the 49ers will run up the score just because they can. That will lead to a great mid-field exchange after the game between Spags and Jimbo. Actually, that might be the only reason to watch this game.

 

Picks: Indianapolis +20.0, San Francisco -13.5

 

The “history will prevail” theory:

 

Green Bay (-6.0) @ NY Giants

Dallas (-4.5) @ Arizona

 

Historical facts surrounding these games:

 

  • The Giants have ended the last two perfect season bids that were in double digits – Denver (at 11) and New England (at 18). The Packers are 11-0 just in case you didn’t know.
  • The Giants have looked ridiculous on Monday. But did you know that the Giants were facing a similar situation in 2009, coming off an embarrassing loss to the Broncos 26-6, the Giants were underdogs at home to the Cowboys. The G-Men beat the Cowboys 31-24.
  • Since 2001, these teams have alternated wins and losses – the last team to win, yup, the Packers last season in a game that essentially ended the Giants season.
  • In the past two years the Cardinals have beaten Cowboys in Phoenix. UOP is secretly a tough place to play for visitors, and even though the stadium will be at least half filled with Cowboys fans it’s still been a nightmare for them.
  • The Cowboys lead the NFL in a very important stat – “wins without covering”, with four. They have seven wins, so 57% of the time the Cowboys fail to cover if they win. I like it!
  • It feels like the Cowboys are due for stinker here. This is a road game is sandwiched between Thanksgiving and a home date with the Giants. Talk from ‘Boys fans this week was all about “if the Packers beat the Giants, next week is for the division”. As if winning in Arizona is a foregone conclusion.

 

Picks: NY Giants +6.0, Arizona +4.5

The “we’re champs of September” theory:

 

Tennessee @ Buffalo (-2.0)

Detroit @ New Orleans (-9.0)

 

Ah, back at the end of September, Lions fans were taunting Bills fans about their potential Super Bowl matchup. What a difference two months make, both teams are in the middle of epic collapses and my prediction would be neither will make the post-season.

 

Tennessee gets the pick by default, but the Saints, well the Saints look good, like “if you can’t pressure Brees, you can’t stop them” good.

 

Picks: Tennessee +2.0, New Orleans -9.0

 

The “when in doubt, check who G-Dub picked” theory:

 

NY Jets (-3.0) @ Washington

Carolina @ Tampa Bay (-2.0)

 

Yeah, these are the two games where I am essentially flipping a coin. However, I will use some logic courtesy of the transitive property:

 

Washington beat the Giants by 14, the Giants beat the Patriots by 4 and the Patriots beat the Jets by 21, therefore the Redskins will beat the Jets 49-10.

 

Megan Wynner’s Week 13 Picks

Carolina @ Tampa Bay (-2.0) – I think that Carolina will win because they have been doing good so far.

Pick: Carolina +2.5

Detroit @ New Orleans (-9.0) – I think that the Detroit Lions will win because I like lions!

Pick: Detroit +9.0

Dallas (-4.5) @ Arizona– I think that the Arizona Cardinals will win because they are my states team!

Pick: Arizona -4.5

Green Bay (-6.0) @ N.Y. Giants
– I think that the Green Bay Packers will win because they won the super bowl last year!

Pick: Green Bay -6.0

San Diego (-3.0) @ Jacksonville– I think that the Jacksonville Jaguars will win because jaguars are strong! And chargers aren’t!

Pick: Jacksonville +3.0

The Rest:

Buffalo +2.0, Chicago +7.0, Miami -3.0, Pittsburgh -7.0, Baltimore -6.5, N.Y. Jets -3.0, Atlanta -2.5, Denver +1.5, San Francisco -13.5, Indianapolis +20

Carolina beat the Redskins by 13, Washington beat the Seahawks by 6, Seattle beat the Ravens by 5, Baltimore beat the 49ers by 10 and San Francisco beat the Buccaneers by 45, therefore the Panthers will beat the Buccaneers 81-2.

 


Picks: Washington +3.0, Carolina +2.0

 

And finally the “Kentucky Fired Coaches” bowl:

 

San Diego (-3.0) @ Jacksonville – Jack Del Rio became the first coach fired this week, but on the heels of that firing comes the report that Norv Turner will be fired at season’s end. When asked about the report, Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers commented, “Finally! I mean do you think my worst season ever is because I suck or because I want this guy out of here? FYI, it’s the latter.” When told that the Chargers could win out, win the division and host a playoff game, Rivers responded, “That’s not going to happen, I guarantee it.” He then ran toward the tunnel waving his hand with his index finger extended!

 

Pick: Jacksonville +3.0
Colin Wynner calls the winners! Good Luck to all!

NFL 2011 – Week 13 Picks, Thursday Night Edition

Philadelphia (-3.0) at Seattle – Here is a quick breakdown of the Eagles and Seahawks. First here are the reasons to pick the Seahawks:

  • The Eagles are coming off the season killing loss to the Patriots, meaning the Eagles are not going to the playoffs and further proves that they are closer to the bottom of the NFL than the elite.
  • The Eagles are traveling across the country on a short week to play a team with a rabid home crowd and Vince Young is their starter.
  • DeSean Jackson hated playing in Washington when he was a member of the California Golden Bears. Look it up, it’s true.
  • The Redskins played in Seattle last week as 4 point underdogs; Philadelphia is a 3 point favorite. So, the difference between Philadelphia and Washington is 7 points! Really? The difference wasn’t that much when the Eagles had Vick and were still known as the about to turn it on “dream team”. Translation – Great Value.
  • Did I mention the rabid 12th man? Did I mention the rabid 12th man after a day of drinking Starbuck’s spiked with Bailey’s and Frangelico?
  • The Seahawks are a pesky team, with a decent defense and a beast of a running back.

Now for the reasons to pick the Eagles:

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Exactly! Remember I am 3-0 on non-holiday Thursdays.

Pick: Seattle +3.0

Juana Wynner’s pick: Philadelphia -3.0

Megan Wynner’s pick: Seattle +3.0

G-Dub’s pick: Philadelphia -3.0