NFL 2012 – Week 17, “Fantasy Teams, Part I” Edition

My final fantasy season has ended, therefore, it’s time to give out the fantasy “teams” for 2012. This year we have a nice selection of teams from the “Winston Wolf All-Stars” to the “All-Fantasy” teams.

Let get it started with the fantasy players who failed to meet the expectations of their fantasy owners, first up is the “Winston Wolf All-Stars.” These are the players who burst onto the fantasy scene early in the year and had their respective owners delightfully giddy until the curmudgeonly Winston Wolf sternly told said owners, “Let’s not start sucking each other’s %^&@$ quite yet!” Well played, Winston!

The “Eli Manning All-Stars,” aka “Fantasy Busts,” are comprised of the worst of the worst fantasy players in 2012. The criteria for this team is simply – highly drafted, highly depended upon, yet sucked worse than Nebraska’s defense in the Big Ten Championship game.

The “Tony Romo All-Stars are comprised of the fantasy who had otherwise productive fantasy years, but crapped the bed with the playoffs on the line in weeks 11-13.

The “Matty Ice All-Stars” are comprised of fantasy players who had otherwise productive fantasy years, but crapped the bed the first week of the playoffs, just like their namesake, Matt Ryan, seems to do on a annual basis.

The “Buffalo Bills All-Stars” are comprised of the fantasy who led their teams to the Fantasy championship, but then went “wide right” with the Lombardi on the line.

NFL 2012 – Week 16, “Eli Manning Sucks” Edition

Two weeks left in the regular season and yours truly needs a run to get over the Mendoza line. I stand at 107-114-3, meaning I need a 20-12 finish to thumb my nose at the odds makers, who will in turn hand me a hefty “juice” bill, still I win.

The good news is that in my “Contest” picks I am 39-33-3 for a modest profit of 2.7 units. I will take it, though I feel like it should have been a bigger year because (a.) I’ve improved in not only spotting value plays but have also moved away from trying to be consistently on the “Sharp” side. Sharps lose about as much as they win.; (b.) it seemed like an easy year; now maybe that is due to the improvement mentioned above, but most likely it’s simply the bad beats have been evened out by lucky wins. Still I can’t help but feel like I’ve more than a few “I knew better” moments this season; and (c). I spent more time on handicapping, despite a couple of weeks where I was goal to goal soccer, I still managed to do plenty of work.

Winning 20 of the last 32 games is a long shot, but it’s not over, just like it wasn’t over when CJ had Zach on the brink of elimination in Hall Brawl, it wasn’t over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor and it wasn’t over for my fantasy team when Eli Manning shit his pants in week 15. Let’s get it on.

Special for this week, I’ve added a fantasy predictions for each game called fantasy three stars – where I rank the top three fantasy performers for the game.

You might be wondering why I would bother with a game I despise so much, well I figure that next year I might be able to become a fantasy “expert” since I won’t be playing.

Huh, you ask? How can you give fantasy advice unless you are in like 500 fantasy leagues? Look, the natural tendency for humans is to be biased, either for (all-in) or against (hedge), towards your players, as well as your opponents players. Think about a week like this, championship week for most fantasy leagues, I might be inclined to rank my opponents quarterback much higher than I actual believe as a hedge against myself. If I am wrong, I win my league, at a cost of enduring a few thousand angry tweets from owners who started quarterback “X” because of my recommendation. If I am right, I might lose my fantasy game, but that is a small price to pay for becoming the “fantasy go-to guy”, trust me that will have a payday all its own.

Next year I won’t be playing, so you can be sure to get an unbiased, and more often than not, correct opinion.

Note: I use the LVH Lines from vegasinsider.com.

The “Super Contest” Picks

NY Giants (-2.5) over Baltimore – Here is a new drinking game for you and your buddies to try out during this game – every time a quarterback throws a ball off his back foot and recoils like he just got hit in the face with a dead trout, take a drink; every time a quarterback throws a pass that either is intercepted or misses its mark by roughly 10 yards AND has a bewildered look on his face like “how did that happen”, slam a full beer or drink a shot; and every time a quarterback takes a sack without being touched, take a drink. The winner of the game is the person who stays alive AND doesn’t have to have their stomach pumped at the local urgent care.

So, reason #2458 that I will never play fantasy football ever again is my tirade of intellectually challenged tweets directed at Eli Manning last week – the “EFF YOU ELI” type of tweets are not funny, it’s boring and mindless. And that’s where Eli took me last week, past the point of funny, sarcastic tweets like “Ryan Leaf thinks Eli Manning sucks at quarterback!” to the seeing red point where I was so mad that I could only muster several plain, profanity laced tweets to exhibit my clear disgust. It’s just not worth the pain and suffering.

And I am sure you’re asking yourself this question, “Colin, tell us are you not starting Eli this week in your fantasy championship?” Hell yes I am, and not because I don’t have a viable back-up (Sam Bradford would easily give me what I would be willing to accept from Eli – 250-1), but because I want to give Eli the chance to turn my white hot hatred for him around. Plus, he has generally been pretty good when his back is against the wall, oh, he also gets a garbage team in the Ravens, that can’t hurt.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Ahmad Bradshaw, 2. Victor Cruz, 3. Ray Rice

Cleveland (+13.0) over Denver – Prior to last weekend’s humbling at the hands of the Redskins, the Browns had lost by more than 13 just one time this season. So we got that going for the Browns. Plus, aren’t the Broncos due for a stinker? The answer is yes. Now I can’t see the Browns beating the Donkeys in Denver, but I do believe this game will be closer than the odds-makers are predicting.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Knowshon Moreno, 2. Peyton Manning, 3. Denver D

Seattle (+1.0) over San Francisco – Here are three possible reasons why Pete Carroll has been running up the score on his last two opponents – 1. He is practicing for running up the score on the 49ers, much like it gets easier to turn right on red at freeway after the first couple of times; 2. Pete’s a closet Bills fan and wanted to put an over-matched Chan Gailey out of his misery, plus he wasn’t too worried about Chan getting physical with him in the post-game handshake; and 3. Petey decided to start Michael Robinson at quarterback over Eli Manning and wanted to get him more points on that fake punt play.

Here is the deal, the game was still in question at 47-17, you just never know when Frank Reich and Andre Reed are going to walk through that door.

As for this game, it’s a totally different game if the 49ers lose that game in New England last weekend. This game, in terms of the division, is irrelevant to the 49ers, unless you are in the camp that believes the Cardinals can win in San Francisco with the division on the line next week. For Seattle, this game is everything, it’s at home, in prime-time, they’re all-in on this game and the results will show.

Oh, and by the way, that Russell Wilson 6-1 to win Rookie of the Year will be looking very promising after this prime time performance.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Russell Wilson, 2. Marshawn Lynch, 3. Sidney Rice

Buffalo (+4.5) over Miami – Yeah, yeah, the Dolphins cost me last week by hammering the Jaguars but trust me here, that was the closest 24-3 game in the history of the NFL. The Jaguars were within a touchdown of covering for the first 57 minutes of game, they failed on three 4th down plays inside Miami territroy and they had two touchdwons nullified by penalty. Add all that up and in my book that’s a bad beat.

And while there isn’t much the Bills do to get excited about, I like them for the following reasons – 1. it’s a division game, so it figures to be close; 2. Is there anyone from Buffalo that doesn’t enjoy a trip to Miami in late December?; 3. The Bills are a much better team wth C.J. Spiller as their full time back; and 4. the Dolphins are banged up at WR and their not exactly deep at that position, oh by the way, they also have a rookie quarterback.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. C.J. Spiller, 2. Reggie Bush, 3. Stevie Johnson

 

Washington (-5.5) over Philadelphia – I can’t believe it’s been 10 days since I watched Nick Foles throw a pass even Ryan Leaf thought sucked that completely changed the momentum of their game. The Eagles get back McCoy this week, so expect them to return to throwing the ball at a 75/25 ratio. I know it doesn’t make sense to me either.

I can’t quite tell yet if the Redskins are a serious threat to make a deep playoff run, or even if they are capable of winning a home playoff game, but they have been very impressive over the past few weeks. And this week they get back RG III, that and the mistakes the Eagles make should be enough for the Skins to cover easily.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Robert Griffin III, 2. Alfred Morris, 3. Pierre Garcon

The “Rest of the Week 16” picks

Cincinnati (+3.5) over Pittsburgh – In terms of participants, the AFC playoff scenario comes down to this game, the winner is the 6th and final team to clinch an AFC playoff berth. That cannot make the NFL happy, with all those week 17 divisional matchups on tap and nothing but seeding to play for. What happened to parity in the AFC this season? Well, the American Football Conference is a little like America the country with the Elites and the Poor, i.e. no middle class.

Of course we have the dominate teams in the Patriots, Texans and Broncos, each with a reasonable chance to post 12+ wins. But the real reason is some really, really bad football teams that have been owned by the NFC as the nine AFC teams already eliminated from the playoffs are a combined 8-26 against the NFC.

This is a tough game to call because on one hand you have the Bengals, a really dumb team, a team that makes costly mistakes, even Marvin Lewis referenced this after last week’s victory over the Eagles, “We survived ourselves tonight.” Uh, yeah, with a lot of help from the Eagles. I am not so sure the Steelers will be as accommodating.

But on the other hand, the Steelers don’t look right to me – Big Ben is a shell of himself, despite numbers that Eli Manning owners would take without hesitation, they drop too many passes, they have special teams breakdowns at the wrong time and they’re sloppy with the ball. And while it’s hard to see the Steelers losing three straight, especially at this point of the season, the Bengals are simply a better team.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. AJ Green, 2. Mike Wallace, 3. Andy Dalton

Detroit (+3.5) over Atlanta – If I am a Falcons fan I am still very nervous about the playoffs, even in the face of the giant win over the NY Giants. Why? Well, let’s look at the possible teams that might head to the Georgia dome for round two of the playoffs – Seattle, uh that’s a bad matchup for the Falcons; Redskins, better matchup for them than the Seahawks, but can’t you see RG III going in there and pulling off four to five back breaking plays to lead the Redskins to a win; Giants, sure the Falcons just whacked them 34-0 but this would be the “playoff” Giants not the “week 15, soil themselves” Giants. Falcons fan, in the words of Rocky Balboa after Apollo told him there wouldn’t be a rematch, “Don’t want one.”

The best matchup for the Falcons would be da Bears, a team essentially on fumes right now. Of course, I cannot see the Bears winning on the road in either San Francisco or Green Bay. So, the Bears are out. That’s right Falcons fans it’s time to start preparing for what has become an annual ritual in Atlanta – playoff failure.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Calvin Johnson, 2. Tony Gonzalez, 3. Jacquizz Rodgers

New England (-14.5) over Jacksonville – A casual sports investor might glance at this line and think to themselves, “That’s a tasty line, home team dogs getting double digits are golden.” That’s partially correct, home team dogs getting between 10 and 14 points are 29-16 since 2002, that’s gold. But home team dogs getting over 14 points are just 1-5 in that same period, that’s coal. This game is an prime example of what happens when a bug (Jaguars) hits a windshield (Patriots).

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Maurice Jones-Drew Tom Brady, 2. Aaron Hernandez, 3. Shane Vereen; Side note – One of my favorites things about week 16 of fantasy football is the ability to cut players that have jacked me this year, thus sending shockwaves to the league before they realize, “oh wait, we can’t pick him up next week.” MJD got cut this week for Ronnie Brown, for nothing more than the sport of cutting a guy who accumulated .4 points for me this year. And yet Eli Manning is taking all the blame.

Tennessee (+11.5) over Green Bay – I really don’t trust this Packers team to cover a double digit spread, especially with the following (a.) clinch the division last week in Chicago; (b.) needing like eight offensive pass interference calls to go their way to clinch the division last week, hardly a solid win; (c.) having very little to play for; sure they can get a bye, but what did that do for them last year; and (d.) sure, the Packers are 10-4, but their point differential is a rather weak +52, meaning they play to their competition. Translation, they cannot put teams away, thus the Titans hang around this week.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Aaron Rodgers, 2. Kenny Britt, 3. Jake Locker

Chicago (-5.5) over Arizona – I will let you in on a little secret, I played the Bears at over 9.5 wins on the season. Needless to say but the old rule of “don’t count your sheep until you’ve got the wool sweater in hand lest they pull the wool out from underneath you” applies here. Somehow this 8-3 Bears team has found a way to flounder to 8-6 and put me a “dormie” situation. That’s the bad news.

The good news is the Bears get the Cardinals and Lions to close out the year, and while making the playoffs is a secondary motivation to them winning me my over wins bet, it can’t hurt to have that as extra incentive. They have to win out to have a shot at the playoffs and probably keep Lovie smith employed. And even then, they need help, but really when you need Dallas to choke or the Giants to fall flat against the Ravens is that really that far-fetched. Blend it all together and it means Bears will sneak in with similar resume as the past two Super Bowl champions.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Brandon Marshall, 2. Matt Forte, 3. Chicago D

Carolina (-8.0) over Oakland – This is the most ridiculous line of the season – how can the Panthers be giving anybody over a touchdown, including eventual 2012 National Champion, Norte Dame. This is a team that is three weeks removed from a loss to the Chiefs, the Chiefs! That loss is about as bad as losing to that freakshow, Abi-Marie in a Survivor final three.

Survivor Tangent time – I need someone to tell me how Abi was not in the final three in place of Denise or Malcolm. And yes I am looking at you, Lisa and you, Skupin. It’s a very interesting final three with Lisa, Scoop and Abi. What’s Abi’s final tribal opening remark – “You cannot vote for these two morons, they’re morons. That is all.” After both Lisa and Scoop essentially tell the world for the 159th time that Abi is a social leper who is perhaps the most unlikeable person in the world, Abi can come back, this time in tears, with a closing remark of, “I, I didn’t realize how much people hated me, I’m just, just very direct in my comments, I speak what’s on my mind, I don’t mean to, to offend anyone. I am lovable. I guess all I am left to say is, if you vote for me, I will give you oral sex for a year. That is all.” Of course I am guessing that most if not all of the jury had already experienced oral sex from Abi, so that wouldn’t have carried much weight.

There is no way Abi had any chance to win and to be honest there was no way Scoop or Lisa had a chance to win against either Malcolm or Denise. Scoop and Lisa knew this and yet still decided that Abi had to go. The big loser in this is Scoop, as Lisa will undoubtedly parlay this into some ABC Family show alongside Molly Ringwold. But Scoop, man, you had a million reasons to keep Abi.

Whew!

You know what, I am buying what the house is selling here on the Panthers.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Cam Newton, 2. Steve Smith, 3. Darren McFadden

Tampa Bay (-3.0) over St. Louis – Have the Bucs already tuned out Sargent Schiano? That’s why these college coaches make for lousy NFL coaches, NFL players are men with massive power, college kids are under the control of “the man.” It’s that simple.

Still even with that, I believe the personal pride of the Bucs will show up for one last time in 2012, plus the Rams have had a successful season reagardless of what they do in these last two games. They mailed that game in last week and I look for more the remainder of the season. However, next year, look out NFL, here come the Rams!

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Vincent Jackson, 2. Tampa Bay D, 3. Doug Martin

San Diego (+2.5) over NY Jets – Rex Ryan must really, really hate Christians, otherwise how do you not give Tim Tebow a shot? Is the mere thought of Tebow leading the Jets to a victory and in the post-game thanking his Lord and Savior too much for the agnostic Ryan? I mean really, how much different is this Jets team than that Broncos team last season, both need to run and play defense to win, both are over-matched against talented teams, but at this point why not give Timmy a shot? Instead the Jets turn from Sanchez to McElroy. And I actually considered picking up McElroy to start over Eli Manning this week. Side note – goodness my twitter account is going to blow up Sunday if Eli sucks, but I vow to have at least 75% of the likely 100+ tweets be at least an attempt at being humorous and not the mindless display from last weekend.

One more comment on this Jets franchise – now I hear they are going to explore trading Sanchez (and his 8.5 million guaranteed) this off-season. Hmm, so that’s a little like me trying to trade a beat-up Yugo for a brand new BMW M5. Don’t get me wrong, I could definitely do that, in fact a dealer would be salivating at how they could rip me off on the trade-in and the price of the M5, yup, right up ’til the point I tell them, “oh, by the way, did I tell you that I still owe 24K on the Yugo.”

Actually, I lied, I have one more comment – do you realize that if the NFL did not allow NBC to flex games that this would have been the Sunday night game this week? We should all thank the god, that Rex Ryan thinks might exist, for that foresight by the NFL.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. San Diego D, 2. NY Jets D, 3. Ronnie Brown

New Orleans (+2.5) over Dallas – Come on, Cowboys fan you know this is a game that this team will inexplicable lose. After two back-to-back, ballsy performances, this Cowboys team will be back to the team “we’ve grown to know and love.” The only thing that could be better is if this was the ESPN game this week. Then we could get John Gruden’s take. You know classic comments like:

“Mike, this Cowboys team needs to pick it up. The playoffs are up for grabs, the Cowboys need to grab it and choke it.”

“This Drew Bress can make throws that no one else can make. I tell you what, I wouldn’t want to play corner against him, that’s for sure.”

“This Pierre Thomas is a one man wrecking ball. You see he gets to the corner, and BAM, he is like a truck running over a Carr.”

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Drew Brees, 2. Demarco Murray, 3. Jason Witten

Minnesota(+7.5) over Houston – It is funny to see the progression of chatter about Adrian Peterson’s remarkable season, it started with a few commentators asking discussing AP’s chance to join the 2K club (and thus becoming AP2K), after a 200 yard day, the talk quickly turned to “Can AP break Eric Dickerson’s record?” AP even told ED, “I can beat this, it’s mind over matter, I don’t need a blue pill . . .” Oh wait, wrong ED. Peterson told Dickerson, “You should be nervous.” Dickerson responded with, “Footballs are oval, back to you Al!” Actually, Dickerson held up a sign stating “he wasn’t nervous,” but last week Eric was spotted in Target buying new underwear and a month supply of Pepto Bismol.

After watching Vick Ballard (see Colts roster, he is the starting running back) run over the Texans last week, I think AP has a better than 5% chance of breaking the record this week.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Adrian Peterson, 2. Arian Foster, 3. Ben Tate

Indianapolis (-6.5) over Kansas City – Oh man did Jamaal Charles do a number on his fantasy owners last week. Honestly, I identified Charles as the #1 threat to me in my semi-final game last weekend, as I felt like there was no way he would do anything less than 100-1. I really, really feared the dreaded , “no effing way” game from him, like 225-3. What was that performance? Against the Raiders, no less. Surprisingly, however, the vitriol aimed at Charles was mild in comparison to Eli Manning. A simple Twitter search of “Jamaal Charles Sucks” yields merely seven tweets with my favorite being this one:

The same search using “Eli Manning Sucks”, yielded 123 tweets and that doesn’t include any of the dozen I sent out last weekend, because the tweet “Eli Manning sucks sweaty camel balls” was far too imaginative for me last weekend. Here is a sampling of my favorites:

Now there is something I need to use more often, references to Madden, but it would be better as a parody, like, “Eli Manning sucks, in fact one time in Madden 69:A gay porn parody, I caught him the locker room performing oral sex on some Massachusetts senator. Turns out he was working for Bob Kraft.” #LessThanZero

Poor thing, she should have taken the jersey off. TAKE IT OFF, TAKE IT OFF! Ba Da Bing!

Yikes, I have Carson as well, but fortunately my stick is still intact. Whew!

And my personal favorite:

That pretty much sums it up, he seems like that type of guy, which is why when he costs you, the hate is great.

Oh yeah, the Colts should cover this game easily when the Anti-Eli Manning, Andrew Luck goes wild.

Fantasy Three Stars: 1. Andrew Luck, 2. Reggie Wayne, 3. Jamaal Charles

Best of luck this week!

2011 NFL – Super Bowl Prop Edition

Super Bowl props are little like fantasy football in that they can enhance the excitement of the game and in a lot cases even make a boring game worth watching. On the flip side, just like the typical fantasy football Sunday, one might be in a situation where they want team A to win, but need player X to score a touchdown but definitely cannot have player Y get more than 20 yards on the drive. It’s the stuff that brings on early stages of dementia!

Yup, things can get out of control quickly. And with 12 pages worth of prop bets, a hard core prop bettor could easily be overwhelmed trying to calculate Michael Boley tackles, Rob Gronkowski’s receptions, LeBron James’ points+rebounds+assists and Tom Brady attempts. Whew! To help cope with the hysteria, I offer a few tips on prop betting:

  1. Play the game out in your mind; then write down every stat, for every player before you every see a prop. This is a huge help in determining if you’re figuring the stats too high or too low. I cannot tell you how many times I have seen fantasy projections, from well known fantasy sites, for a week look completely ridiculous – let’s use the Giants as an example of the “projections” I’ve seen – Nicks 25.0 FP, Cruz 21.0 FP, Manningham 18 FP and Bradshaaw 18.0 FP. Hmmm, that’s like every guy at least scoring and hitting 100 yards. With Nicks and Cruz both adding either a second touchdown or 60 yards. So, if you add up just those guys we get something like 450 yards and 5 TDs. Geesh, what do these guys think that every team is coached by Sean Payton and every opponent is Kansas? It’s okay if you think the Giants are going to throw all over the Pats just be careful not to have each receiver over 150 yards.
  2. Look at most recent meeting. Luckily the Giants and Pats played this season, which gives us a glimpse of what we might see in the Super Bowl. Though coaches will change the game plan, you can bet the things that worked in the previous meeting will be in new game plan.
  3. Do fear the juice. Odds-makers are not stupid, if they’re placing a premium on a play there is a good reason. Don’t get sucked into the “plus” money bets unless there is value.

OK, time to unveil Colin’s winning Super Bowl XLVI props:

Note: I called the game 28-24 Giants – that’s what these numbers are based on.

Longest Touchdown of the Game: Under 49.5 (-115)

The Pats don’t have a deep threat nor do they have a player who can take a short pass to the house. In fact, the previous meeting between these two teams, the longest play was just 30 yards by the Giants. The Pats longest play was a paltry 28 yards. Sure, the Giants have Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks, players who have a history of taking a short passes a long, long way. But let’s to be fair, Nicks did it against the Falcons with James Sanders taking a terrible angle and Cruz did it against the Jets, nuff said! Both of those defenses have serious speed challenges. Still I feel fairly confident that we will not see an offensive touchdown over 49.5.

However, my biggest fear – a defensive or special team touchdown. Still that is unlikely, given that neither team is overly potent in return game and both offenses will play it close to the vest trying to avoid a devastating turnover.

Number of Times the camera flashes a shot of Peyton Manning (first three quarters only): Over 1.5

I am trying to find out if this is a legit prop or not. But at 1.5, goodness, hello early retirement – this will be over by the middle of the first quarter. Especially if Peyton tries to highjack the Super Bowl, a la Alex Rodriguez, with some breaking announcement. Sure it would be classless, but hey if the Giants fall down big early it’s a great PR move by Peyton and the Manning family.

Will either team score three straight times:
No (+140)

This is.500 in the last 10 Super Bowls, so I get the value (+140 opposed to -115) on the inflated number. Plus, since I believe the game will a close game, with mostly touchdowns, I have to play the “No”. The obvious hedge would be to take the Largest Lead of the Game Over 13.5, except those sneaky odds-makers put that number at -160, meaning that while you certainly have a middle opportunity, you have to hit that middle to make money. I will stick with the “No”.

Total Field Goals by both teams:
Under 3.5 (-170)

I have pay significant juice here, but these are not grind it out, “three yards and a cloud of dust” teams. Both coaches are smart enough to know they need touchdowns to win this game, so I doubt we will see too many attempts outside of 45 yards and that obviously will help convert this prop into cash.

Total Sacks by Both Teams:
Under 4 -105

For several reasons – neither quarterback is sacked very often, both quarterbacks get rid of the ball in a hurry, the hype on the defensive line of the Giants which is virtually expected to be in the Pats backfield all day and the prediction that the running games will be what the defense gives up, so expect more running than anticipated. Oh and this nugget – the previous meeting featured two sacks.

Total Kickoff Returns by Both Teams:
Under 6.5 -160

Here is one where the juice is making the call for us. First off, even if this game goes over by a wide margin, there is no guarantee that there will be any kickoff return. But because I am only predicting eight score plus the two kickoffs to start each half, there will be 10 kickoffs, in perfect conditions – translation – there will be plenty of drives starting on the 20.

Will the game be decided by exactly three points:
No -450

This might be the biggest sucker of all sucker bets! And sure it is certainly a possibility that this game ends on three points but that juicy number of +325 is nothing more than a temptress waiting to lure you in the pit of hell, man!

Let’s look at the 2011 where roughly 14% of the games landed on three points or 1 out of every 7. And it’s widely publicized that this is the margin of victory that occurs most frequently, so I guess that gives the odds-makers free reign to gang rape the bettor.

In order to make money at +325, the Yes would have to hit a little over 19% of the time. Now I am no mathematician, but I believe 14 < 19 = “Will Work For Food, lost a bad bet”. Of course, I would hate to have my win potential on these props killed by the fact I laid -450, so it’s probably a no play.

Will Victor Cruz break every receiving record known to man if Julian Edelman is covering him the entire game?
Yes -100,000

If Edelman plays a significant role in the defensive backfield for the Patriots this game, look for Eli Manning to crack that strangle-hold Kurt Warner has on the individual game Super Bowl passing yardage rankings (currently Warner holds positions 1,2 and 3). Offensive coordinator Kevin Gillbride should have an over-ride call that is always available to Manning and is based on whomever Edelman is covering. Yeah, I don’t think Edelman can cover JC wide receiver, let alone a top thirty wide receiver in the NFL.

Total Number of Different Giants to have a rushing attempt:
Over 3.5 (-260)

Ouch, I have to pay some serious “bookie” juice here. But again the juice gives me comfort that the books are enticing the betting public with that tasty +230 and the reality that only Jacobs, Bradshaw and Manning are locks to get carries. Of course, those same bettors will shat themselves when the Giants give Henry Hynoski a third and short fullback dive carry.

Total Number of Different Patriots to have a rushing attempt:
Under 5 (-120)

OK, so it takes six different players have to have a rushing attempt for me to lose this prop – hmm, I think that’s an “OK” like what a group of sharks would think when a scientist decides to jump into open waters to do some “research” or like what Anquan Boldin was saying last week when he saw Julian Edelman covering him, like “really? OK!” Brady, BJGE, Woodhead and Hernandez re locks to get rushes. Beyond that who carries the ball? Ridley and Vereen likely will be inactive. Welker? Maybe, but that is a stretch to think both he and Hernandez get a carry. The only way this doesn’t push at the very worst is if BGJE gets hurt and one of Ridley or Vereen is active.

Player Props:

Ahmad Bradshaw, Over 62.5 Yards Rushing (-115)

I think the Pats will protect themselves against the potential passing barrage of the Giants, so there will be more running lanes for Bradshaw. As long as those running lanes don’t produce a 63 yard touchdown we’re good!

Henry Hynoski, Over 4.5 yards from scrimmage (-130)

Henry Hynoski, who the hell is Henry Hynoski? Look, I admit, I am a sucker for Polish fullbacks playing in the Super Bowl who only need to muster 5 yards to make me money! Five yards, I crap more than that! One swing pass to my main man Double H and we have a winner!

Mario Manningham,
All props – Over 3.5 Receptions (+140), Over 45.5 Yards (-115), Yes, he score a touchdown (+170) and gets a BJ offer from Madonna (-800)

I got a feeling Mr. Edelman will be on Manningham, cha-ching! And goodness sake, Mario, please decline the offer from Madonna!

Kenny PhillipsOver 5 Tackles (Even)

Hmmm, not sure why this number is this low since Phillips recorded 8 tackles in the November game between these two teams. But whatever the reason, I will take the free mon. . . uh, hang on there is no such thing as free money! Well, I am banking on a couple things here – 1. The odds-makers put this prop up to throw a bone to well liked “sharps”; and 2. That Kenny attended a James Laurinaitis, “Get Rich by jumping on the pile” seminar.

Plus, I have never had any money on a defensive player and I imagine it has to be one of the more exciting props. Imagine late in the game, with Phillips sitting on 5 tackles in a game that is already decided, the Super Bowl party lacks excitement until Brady swings a pass to Woodhead who is tackled by Phillips which leads to you erupting like you won the Lotto or you’ve been depraved sex for a month. The party would go silent trying to figure out what why you were cheering! See the fantasy parallel

Tom BradyUnder 39.5 Pass attempts (-115)

I am already on record that I believe the Pats will run more than normal, so this is a no-brainer. Throw the fact that Brady threw 40 or more passes three times in his last 13 games and we have a winner!

Danny WoodheadOver 23.5 yards rushing (-115) and Over 12.5 Yards receiving (-115)

Just a hunch but I think Woodhead is in for a big game. Side tangent – how does one get the name Woodhead? Is that ancient “trash talk”? It has to be, right? The “Woodheads” originated from England set of carpenters that were too stupid to be carpenters, thus the name Wood, as in no brain, head, came to be.

Deion BranchWill he score a touchdown? Hell, YES he will! (175)

I would have thought I could have gotten better odds from this prop, but the odds-makers must be thinking along the lines that Deion will turn back the clock to 2004, at least for a single reception in the back of the end zone. I just want to be “that” guy at the party who is wearing the Hakeem Nicks jersey who is otherwise a passionate Giants fan, but when Branch scores screams like a teenage girl when she finds out there is a sale at American Eagle.

Touchdown passesEli Manning +.5 over Tom Brady

Working within my prediction, I’ve got an extra touchdown to work with – 4-3, plus I get the hook. Let’s take a minute to remember something that we have all forgotten – Eli was the number one overall pick, while Brady was drafted during most teams piss break. Sure Brady has been great and most, if not all, male Patriots fans would fellatiate on command but take away the tuck rule game and I will post odds that Brady is bagging groceries right now at even money! Eli is a blue blood, man!

Most Rushing YardsDanny Woodhead +10.5 over Brandon Jacobs

I suppose I could hedge this bet with Jacobs over 30.5 but why throw money way when I think Woodhead is going over 23.5 and Jacobs isn’t.

Most Receiving YardsMario Manningham -5.5 over Deion Branch

So, you give me the #3 target for the Giants over the fifth option for the Patriots and I only have to lay 5.5 yards? OhhhKay! Plus, I am pretty sure that Ramses Barden won’t be covering Branch at any point during this game. Yeah, that’s another shot at the reality that the Patriots rely on a guy who is listed as a wide receiver to cover other wide receivers.

Tom Brady +63.5 Passing Yards over 2/5/2012 Big Ten Team points

Have you seen the scores of the Big Ten games? 42-41, 50-49, 55-51. . . Ugly, really ugly. There are three games on Sunday – Michigan @ Michigan State, Minnesota @ Nebraska and Northwestern @ Illinois. The sum of posted totals for those games is 379, minus the 63.5 yields 315.5. Brady’s “total passing yards” prop is 320.5, so I get an extra five yards and the bonus that these three games might barely muster 100 each (or lower), in which case I will only need 240 or so from Brady. OhhhKay!

Enjoy the game and best of luck to each of you!