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.

2012 NFL Season Predictions

The long awaited 2012 NFL season predictions, with one game already in, Colin is pushing the deadline, but no worries fearless fans you can still get down on some of the juicer season wins and future bets.

I follow the “NFL Season Prediction Rules to live by” found here.

Step 1:

Determine the teams with the potential to fall into a +/- 4 victories category. (Greyed cells indicate a team cannot fall into that bucket)

Team

Div

2011 WINS

Plus 4

Minus 4

Team

Div

2011 WINS

Plus 4

Minus 4

Bills AFCE

6

    Bears NFCN

8

   
Dolphins AFCE

6

    Cowboys NFCE

8

   
Jets AFCE

8

    Eagles NFCE

8

   
Patriots AFCE

13

    Giants NFCE

9

   
Bengals AFCN

9

    Lions NFCN

10

   
Browns AFCN

4

    Packers NFCN

15

   
Ravens AFCN

12

    Redskins NFCE

5

   
Steelers AFCN

12

    Vikings NFCN

3

   
Colts AFCS

2

    Buccaneers NFCS

4

   
Jaguars AFCS

5

    Falcons NFCS

10

   
Texans AFCS

10

    Panthers NFCS

6

   
Titans AFCS

9

    Saints NFCS

13

   
Broncos AFCW

8

    49ers NFCW

13

   
Chargers AFCW

8

    Cardinals NFCW

8

   
Chiefs AFCW

7

    Rams NFCW

2

   
Raiders AFCW

8

    Seahawks NFCW

7

   

The above thins the available teams from 64 options to a more reasonable 42. Using the above, we can see that they are eight teams that finished 8-8 last year, so based on that I am going to estimate the number of overall +/- 4 teams will be slightly lower than normal years. The reason, it’s pretty hard to go 4-12 and 12-4, those records seem like the lower and upper boundaries that are difficult to achieve. Now in a year where 6 of those 8 teams were either 7-9 or 9-7, it’s a bit more reasonable to expect 11-5 or 5-11. So, I am settling on 11 teams in this group. And here they are, in order of confidence:

  1. Buffalo – 10-6, up 4 wins; the hype machine is on over-load and I don’t trust their QB, especially late in the year. But the division is easier (NYJ likely down, Dolphins likely horrible), the schedule is easier (NFC West and AFC South) and the defense added a pro bowler in Mario Williams, so you have to figure that the Bills are candidates to post 10 wins and earn a playoff berth.
  2. Indianapolis – 6-10 up 4 wins; Things could not have gone worse last year for the Colts. And just when you thought they were going to screw the entire season by winning their last three, thus avoiding the number 1 overall, they rallied to a resounding defeat in week 17, giving them the rights to Andrew Luck. Imagine the renewed energy Reggie Wayne will have this season; he has to be so thankful to have a moderately competent quarterback that he might put up numbers like it was 2007 again. That should be enough to get the Colts four additional wins.
  3. San Francisco – 8-8, down 5 wins; this is purely based on facts. Fact 1 – the 49ers Pythagorean formula of expected wins last season was a little of 12, so they outperformed their expect by a game. But upon closer examination of their schedule we see they caught the Buccaneers at the beginning of the “mailing it in” tour in a 48-3 win and they also got the Steelers, 20-3, with a very gimpy Big Ben. Normalized those two games and it brings us down to 11 wins. Fact 2 – the 49ers had three ridiculously lucky wins last season, the Eagles, Lions and 2nd Seahawks games. Fact 3 – perhaps the biggest reason I see this taking a step back is the turnover margin from a year ago. Not only the 49ers protect the ball giving up just 10 turnovers, they forced 38 turnovers, for a mind-blowing +28. How much is a turnover worth in points? Well, it obviously varies based upon where the turnover occurs, but in general, turnovers are worth around 4 points. Meaning that if the 49ers post a very nice +12 turnover margin this season, they will lose roughly 64 net points, which translates, in Pythagorean terms, to about 3 wins. Good enough for me!
  4. Kansas City – 11-5, up 4 wins; The Chiefs lost their 2nd best receiver, best defensive player and best offensive player in a three week span, starting with the pre-season finale and ending with the second regular season game. And despite the fact they hated Todd Haley about as much as Red Sox players hate Bobby Valentine and you have to wonder how the Chiefs managed to win 7 games last season. Well, they’re extremely young and talented, that’s how. And as much grief as I have given Romeo Crennel over the years, “clueless, stares at the play-sheet like it’s a menu, deer in the headlights, his dog ate the card listing the times a coach should go for two, etc.”, the last time a former Browns head coach was given a second chance it worked out fairly well. The point? We simply don’t know about Romeo, because all we have to go on is his failure in Cleveland. The moral of the story? Nobody can be held responsible for failing in Cleveland!
  5. Tampa Bay – 8-8, up 4 wins; Honestly, I had to hold back in picking them to win the division with 11 wins. New coach, new Josh Freeman, new receivers, renewed receivers and a focus that generally translates into a positive upswing. The downside? The schedule is rough (NFC East and AFC West), the division is rough, even if the Saints fall back and there are still a ton of questions on defense. But this team won 10 games two years ago. They are closer to that team, than the poster boys for “mailing it in” like last year.
  6. Minnesota – 7-9, up 4 wins; since 1989 they have been 24 teams that won 3 games in a season, the next year 10 of those teams won seven or more games. Yeah, 42% success rate is a recipe to end up on welfare, but consider this subset of three win teams since 2000 – seven of nine have won seven or more games the next year. And one of teams that failed was the Rams, so really it’s like 7/8. Plus, the Vikings started 0-4 last year by a combined 19 points, with each game being decided by a touchdown or less. They also had an excruciating loss to the Broncos, where one of their DBs got red-carded early in the game, forcing the Vikings to play a man down. That had to be the reason they forgot to cover D. Thomas for almost the entire second half, right? So, flip a play or two in those first four, give then the Broncos game and turn one more close loss into a win and viola – a seven win team.
  7. Green Bay – 11-5, down 4 wins; Easy call here. Even coach Mike McCarthy admitted halfway through the 2011 season that the Packers were four plays away from being 4-4 last year, as opposed to 8-0. Let’s add that the Packers have now experienced both ends of capricious nature of the NFL playoffs – in 2010 barely made it in, ran the table; in 2011 dominated the regular season, laid an egg in the playoff opener. Based on their experience last season, my guess is the Pack realize home field advantage is slightly over-rated in the playoffs, and therefore, they will have a few of those games where they’re lackadaisical and flat out bored.
  8. New Orleans – 8-8, down 5 wins; I know my personal bias is getting in the way of making a logical decision on the Saints, but screw it, I hate this Saints team with the white hot intensity of a googol suns. Why? Well, for starters, I am not fond of their, now estranged, head coach Sean Payton. He strikes me as a sissy version of Jim Harbaugh, translation, he invokes the same “I want to plant one right on your kisser” feelings except without the fear that he might fight back. I hate the way the Saints ran up the scores at the end of last season and kept their starters in far too long, just to make sure Brees broke Marino’s passing records. In a similar situation back in 09 with little or nothing to play for, the Saints rested their starters in the final regular season game, last year the Saints kept Brees in virtually the entire game despite the facts that – 1. The 49ers were cruising against the Rams, thus rendering the Saints game meaningless; and 2. The Saints has a comfortable lead late in the game. But they left Brees in to throw, throw, and throw some more. Add in the bounty-gate crap, the reality that the Saints are coached by Gomer Pyle, with Sean Payton out for the year and it feels a lot like it is about to come around on this team. I won’t be a bit surprised if in successive weeks a blitzing safety drives Brees throwing shoulder into the Superdome turf so hard that when Brees gets up it appears as though his arm is attached to his shoulder by a single, thin line of dental floss, then the following Jimmy Graham goes down with an ACL tear and finally Darren Sproles blows out his achilles in week three. “The New Orleans Saints are on the clock. . .”
  9. Chicago – 12-4, up 4 wins; This is where it gets tough. Man, I really wish the Bears didn’t rise up last January 1st, by knocking off the Vikings, thus securing a .500 record. This would have been much more palatable to select the Bears at 11-5, but the “Rules” are the rules and I have to play by them. Look the Bears were 7-3 last season, headed for the playoffs when injuries Forte and Cutler derailed their season. Their defense will be good enough, it always is. But they have significantly upgraded their offense by adding two new toys for Cutler in WR Brandon Marshall and WR Alshon Jeffrey. Plus, I think they sweep the Packers this season. They get them in week two, on a short week and after the Packers play a physical game against the 49ers, the Bears meanwhile have a glorified scrimmage against the Colts in week one. That week two game is the difference in the division!
  10. Detroit – 6-10, down 4 wins; Zero, and I mean zero, running game means that Matthew Stafford and company will have to throw, throw and throw. So what, right? We all know that the NFL has become a passing league, but such a reliance on the passing means the quarterback is vulnerable to injury, as are the receivers. The defense is nothing to get excited about. And the division figures to be better with Chicago and Minnesota improved. And with all that, I still can only slot then in my 10th confidence spot because overall they have more talent than a 6 win team and they also get the worst divisions in each conference as their opponents (NFC West and AFC South). But call it a “Tampa Bay 2011” hunch, I this team catches the wrong end of some breaks early, which leads to the proverbial “circling of the drain” late.
  11. Washington – 9-7 up 4 wins; I love me some of RG III. Isn’t RG III a freakishly great nickname? I mean that just rolls off the tongue, it so natural, hell I wanted to draft him way too high in fantasy just to announce his name. And, yeah, RG III is a rookie, but come on he is certainly better than the bag of diarrhea the ‘Skins were throwing out there last year. I figure they get off to a hot start (4-2) and then play .500 the rest of the way, sneak into the playoffs as the #6 seed and then we all retire after betting against them in the Wildcard round.

Determine 2011 playoff teams that will not return, in order of confidence:

  1. Denver – It doesn’t get much easier than going opposite of the “hype” pick in any given season. Let’s also add the Broncos should’ve been, at best, 6-10 last season and you have the makings for gross under-achievement. Did I mention that the Broncos schedule is brutal the first two months? Odds are 50/50 that Peyton Manning makes it out of that stretch with his neck still fused.
  2. Cincinnati – One very good reason – the Bengals have made the playoffs five times in the last 24 years, the year after they failed to make the playoffs. Head Marvin Lewis has been around for three of those five seasons, meaning Marvin isn’t the perpetual disappointment just when expectations reach anything above the “just don’t embarrass yourself” level.
  3. San Francisco – See above. And throw in this – isn’t Jim Harbaugh due for some bad karma? Think about the piles of crap this guy has left for someone else to clean – whether it’s blatantly running up the score or going all “crazy handshake” on another coach or simply his arrogant approach to his profession. At some point this has to come around, my guess is the stars are aligning for it to come around in a big way this year.
  4. Detroit – See above. And I am much more confident the Lions miss the playoffs than I am that they win 6 or less. So you got that going for you.
  5. New Orleans – See above, but one more thing about the Saints. Their backup quarterback is a known booger eater, yep that’s right Chase Daniel eats boogers. I ask you, football fans, would you trust a team that is one injury away from having a booger eating, butt-plug taking first team snaps at QB? Me neither!
  6. New York Giants – It’s amazing that this team has triumphantly hoisted the Lombardi twice in the past 4 seasons when you consider that they were two plays away from not making the playoffs in either year. The schedule is brutal, the division is brutal and, most importantly, this team won’t be hungry this year. In addition, I get the sense they think they can turn it on whenever they want. This year, as opposed to last year, Romo completes that easy pitch and catch to Miles Austin and viola, the Giants are missing from the 2012 playoffs.

That means the six new teams to the post-season party in 2012 will be: Buffalo, Kansas City, Chicago, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington.

In summary, I followed the “rules” to the letter on selecting six new playoff teams. I limited the +/- 4 games teams to eleven based on the number of returning 8-8 teams. I selected the Kansas City Chiefs as my “worst to first” team for 2012. And finally, I used 145 as my total of home team wins.

Without further ado, here are Colin’s official 2012 NFL Standings complete with record, division/conference/Super Bowl odds, season win total:

2012 AFC Predictions

AFC East
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 NewEngland 14 2 (500) 250 700 12.0 100 (120)
2 Buffalo 10 6 600 2,000 5,000 7.5 (200) 170
3 NY Jets 8 8 550 2,000 2,000 8.5 150 (180)
4 Miami 4 12 3,000 5,000 5,000 6.5 120 (140)
AFC North
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Pittsburgh 11 5 100 600 1,200 10.0 (145) 125
2 Baltimore 9 7 125 700 1,200 10.0 145 (170)
3 Cincinnati 7 9 450 2,300 4,000 8.0 150 (180)
4 Cleveland 4 12 2,500 5,000 10,000 5.0 100 (120)
AFC South
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Houston 10 6 (600) 500 1,200 10.0 (170) 145
2 Tennessee 7 9 500 2,500 5,000 7.5 115 (135)
3 Indianapolis 6 10 1,200 4,500 4,000 5.5 (110) (110)
4 Jacksonville 3 13 1,200 5,000 10,000 6.5 100 (120)
AFC West
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Kansas City 11 5 350 2,000 5,000 8.0 140 (160)
2 Oakland 8 8 450 2,000 5,000 7.5 130 (150)
3 San Diego 7 9 200 1,200 1,500 9.0 140 (160)
4 Denver 6 10 125 450 1,000 8.5 (170) 145

A couple interesting notes on the AFC futures

  • The Colts are 45-1 to win the AFC but 40-1 to win the Super Bowl. I think that is a strong indicator that the book has received too many SB bets on the Colts.
  • There is zero value on the AFC West champion – 4.5-1 on the Raiders. The book is clueless when it comes to this division, so they simply bury the odds so they can’t get burnt. That’s easy to do on future bets where you don’t have to offer the opposite side. Think about it if I had to lay -145 that the Broncos won’t win the West, I would drain a retirement account to make that bet.
  • I love the Bills over 7.5 but not at that -200 number way too heavy.

AFC Future Bets:

  • Kansas City Over 8.0 wins – 2.0 units at +140
  • Jacksonville Under 6.5 wins – 3.0 units at -120
  • Miami Under 6.5 wins – 2.0 units at -140
  • New England to win AFC East – 5.0 units at -500

AFC Playoff predictions:

Wildcard RoundBaltimore over Kansas City and Houston over Buffalo

Divisional RoundNew England over Baltimore and Houston over Pittsburgh

AFC ChampionshipNew England over Houston

2012 NFC Predictions

NFC East
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Philadelphia 10 6 120 600 1,200 10.0 115 (135)
2 Washington 9 7 1,000 4,000 10,000 6.0 (150) 130
3 NY Giants 8 8 180 700 2,000 9.0 (125) 105
4 Dallas 7 9 200 1,200 2,000 8.5 (185) 155
NFC North
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Chicago 12 4 250 700 3,000 9.5 100 (120)
2 Green Bay 11 5 (230) 300 500 11.5 (110) (110)
3 Minnesota 7 9 2,500 5,000 10,000 6.0 100 (120)
4 Detroit 6 10 450 1,200 2,000 9.0 100 (120)
NFC South
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Atlanta 10 6 140 1,200 2,000 9.0 (140) 120
2 New Orleans 8 8 120 1,000 600 9.5 (120) 100
3 Tampa Bay 8 8 1000 5,000 10,000 6.0 (130) 110
4 Carolina 7 9 350 2,000 5,000 7.5 (140) 120
NFC West
Colin’s Prediction

sportsbook.com odds

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1 Seattle 10 6 200 1,800 6,000 7.5 (160) 140
2 San Francisco 8 8 (240) 400 2,000 9.5 (160) 140
3 Arizona 6 10 1,200 5,000 3,000 6.5 100 (120)
4 St. Louis 4 12 1,000 5,000 10,000 6.0 (110) (110)

Interesting notes on the NFC futures

  • The Saints are 6-1 to win the Super Bowl, which is a total joke; again books wouldn’t post crap numbers like this if they had to take it on the other side. Give me -1000 on the Saints not to win the Super Bowl and I will put those pricks out of business.
  • I am shocked that the Cardinals are actually the least likely team to win the NFC West; also shocked that I can’t get better than 2-1 on the Seahawks to win the division. At 5-1, I would hammer them, but 2-1 feels a little bit like I would be better waiting for a couple key games and playing a normal money line bet.
  • The 49ers are sitting at 9.5 wins after opening at 10.5, proving that sometimes, especially when you know what to expect from a team, you have to play it early.
  • The best value on the board in terms of division winner is Tampa Bay, who could very well sneak in and surprise in the South.

NFC Future Bets:

  • Seattle Over 7.5 wins – 3.0 units at -160
  • Detroit Under 9.0 wins – 2.0 units at -120
  • Washington Over 6.0 wins – 3.0 units at -150
  • Chicago Over 9.5 wins – 3.0 units at even
  • Chicago to WIN Super Bowl – .5 unit at +3000

NFC Playoff predictions:

Wildcard Round Philadelphia over Washington and Green Bay over Atlanta

Divisional Round Philadelphia over Seattle and Green Bay over Chicago

NFC ChampionshipGreen Bay over Philadelphia

And Colin Wynner calls the Super Bowl XLVII winner: Green Bay over New England

Enjoy the season!

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!

NFL 2011 – Week Two Picks

Oh man, was it great to have football back or what? I ask you on any other day of the week would it take a person 8.5 hours to take out the garbage or vacuum the house? Nope, but that is the case on an NFL Sunday? So, if you happen to have a significant other who loves football as much as you do, then you’re very, very lucky. They understand how hard it is to walk away from a game and accomplish the task. They even share in the procrastination with comments like “we can vacuum tomorrow” and “until the garbage starts to smell, I’m ok with compressing it with a boot”.

But if you’re on the other end of that stick and you have a significant other who is either indifferent to football or completely hates it, well then you have quite a problem on your hands when Sunday rolls around. The easiest choice is send significant other shopping for the day. That works for a single week, but that can become pricey for more than a few weeks. It really adds up when you’re getting tag-teamed by the inept quarterback play of Orton and Hasselbeck, or getting rammed by the St. Louis receivers dropping the ball.

The solution – pick your spots, man. For example, this week offers very few great games, especially early. So, my suggestion would be get up and take your SO out for a late breakfast, with full attention devoted to them, leave your phone at home. By the time the late games roll around SO will be such great mood that they will be willing to sit down and watch the Pats/Chargers with you.

Ugly, ugly start for the “professional” handicapper in the “Super Wynner” contest, as Colin picks up a mere 7.5 wins which puts him in two-way tie for last place (with G-DUB), while Juana had an amazing week at 11.5 and Megan eked out a one win victory over Colin.

Contestant 

Record 

Juana Wynner 

11-4-1 (.719) 

Megan Wynner 

8-7-1 (.531) 

Colin Wynner 

7-8-1 (.469) 

G-DUB 

7-8-1 (.469) 

 

SuperContest Week 1 Recap

Easy money calls on Chicago and Washington. A minor sweat on the Pats, when they decided to throw to a copy of a copy of a copy of Mike Vrabel (meaning #50 will have a tough time catching a touchdown pass if he is on the move or in other words he is a three-toed sloth) from the 1. Really, Belichick? Why try that pass in a game that the outcome was not in doubt. Isn’t a bit more important to try to establish that you can get a tough yard by running the football? I know how dare I question the great Belichick, who undoubtedly has forgotten more about football than I have ever known, but come Billy boy, you haven’t won a playoff game since 2007, which is exactly when you decided you didn’t need to worry about running the football between tackles. Coincidence? I think not.

My two losers – Denver and Tennessee. To me both those games were bad beats, not inside straight on “the river” bad beats, but “river” flush draw bad.

The Titans need a field goal to win and they’re roughly 15 yards away from reasonable field goal range, but instead of playing for the field goal Matthew Hasselbeck decides to go for the win by throwing a ball deep that ironically looked at lot most of Survivor’s Semhar’s coconut shots, weak, wobbly and off-target. Off-target is a bit harsh since Hasselbeck’s ball happen to find a target, a Jacksonville DB. Game over on what was a terrible, terrible decision by Hasselbeck. Jake Locker’s going to get his shot sooner than expected.

As for Denver, just a bad call, the Raiders have more talent or maybe the reality is the Broncos are void of talent. I have like to see what would have happened if Kyle Orton didn’t drop the ball, but rather hit the wide open receiver for an easy touchdown.

LHSC: 3-2-0 (Tied for 75th)

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.

Kansas City @ Detroit (-7.5) – Detroit -7.5? Wow, this is an over-reaction perfect storm. The proof – the Chiefs look like they would have a tough time beating Kansas State, the Lions are now the favorite to win the Super Bowl after beating the Bucs on the road (ok, that is an exaggeration), the Stafford to Megatron combo is set to supplant Young to Rice, the Chiefs lost their best defender on a defense that was already leaky. Further, ingrained in the minds of all bettors is the gang-rape the Bills gave Chiefs last week. Believe me that is a tough image wipe from your memory. All signs point to the Lions huge in this game, right?

 

At this point, everyone is waiting for the resounding WRONG, but when I tried to make a case for the Chiefs keeping the game close, I ended strengthening the argument for the Lions. Here’s a list of reasons to back the Chiefs:

 

  • Point: Play conservatively by running Jamaal Charles – Counter: the Lions run defense is the strength of their defense
  • Point: Burn clock and wait for the Lions to make a mistake – Counter: The Chiefs lost their difference maker on defense in Berry, the Lions would utterly have to implode for this strategy to work.
  • Point: The Lions will let down and the Chiefs will be hungry – Counter: The Chiefs won the AFC West last season, I can’t see the Lions letting down or coming in overconfident.

 

Uh, yeah, this has Lions cover all over of it.

 

Pick: Detroit -7.5

 

Oakland @ Buffalo (-3.0) – There are several compelling reasons to take the Bills in this game. The most compelling is that the Raiders play the late Monday game and have to travel across the country to an play early Sunday game in a hostile environment. That is reason enough to play this game, but here are three more compelling reasons:

  • I whole heartedly believe the Broncos suck, therefore the Raiders narrow win over them is virtually worthless. Granted the Chiefs are horrible as well, but the Bills pounded them. Big difference.
  • The Bills run defense is much better than the Broncos; meaning the Raiders will be forced to throw. Not good for a team that relies heavily on the run.
  • Jason Campbell is the starting quarterback for the Raiders – see note above about Raiders needing to throw.

Pick: Buffalo -3.0

Juana Wynner’s Week Two Picks

Chicago @ New Orleans (-7.0) – The Bears will win this one because Ditka, when he was coaching, gave them inspiration to win. I think they still have the inspiration even though he retired.

Pick: Chicago +7.0

Oakland @ Buffalo (-3.0) – On Thursdays Bold and the Beautiful soap opera, Bill Spencer got mad at his son because he didn’t have his work done on time. He then fell behind schedule. I think the Bill S will fall behind schedule as well.

Pick: Oakland +3.0

Seattle @ Pittsburgh (-14.0) – It’s so hard to win by more than 15 points unless you just get really lucky.

Pick: Seattle +14.0

San Diego @ New England (-6.5) – I really want to live in California some day! I would also love to go to SDSU so therefore the Chargers will win.

Pick: San Diego +6.5

St. Louis @ New York Giants (-6.0) – Even though I’ve grown up liking the Rams because my dad likes them, I have a feeling that they are going to get crushed like a juice box.

Pick: New York Giants -6.0

The Rest:

Kansas City +8.5, Jacksonville +9.0, Arizona +4.0, Baltimore -5.5, Carolina +10, Minnesota -3.0, Cleveland -2.0, San Francisco +3.0, Houston -3.0, Denver -3.0, Philadelphia -2.0

 

Chicago @ New Orleans (-7.0) – Despite what they did to the Falcons last week, I still think Bears are headed towards mediocrity-ville. And the Saints have had 10 days to prepare. You just can’t give Sean Payton 10 days to prepare for anyone.

Yeah, that’s a little tongue-in-check poke at Payton, who for some reason I do not consider him to be an upper echelon coach. But the fact remains the Bears caught the attention of the Saints by whipping the Falcons last week. With this the home opener for New Orleans, I see them rolling the Bears.

Pick: New Orleans -7.0

 

Jacksonville @ NY Jets (-9.0) – Remember in my NFL 2011 Season wins column how I stated that the Jets “good fortune couldn’t possibly continue”, yeah, I was pretty much dead wrong as again the Jets came up from a fresh, steaming pile smelling like roses last week against Dallas. Think back to Sunday night, do the Cowboys win that game if Jason Garret runs Felix Jones into the line three times from the three instead of running the following plays:

 

  • 1-3-NYJ3; F.Jones right tackle to NYJ 2 for 1 yard (57-B.Scott)
    • Solid play call; with the Cowboys needing a field goal to push the lead to two possessions, no need to get cute
  • 2-2-NYJ2; T.Romo pass incomplete short right to 19-M.Austin
    • This play was a mess, Austin couldn’t get off the corner, Romo’s throw was almost picked. Again run Jones into the middle and play for a field goal
  • 3-2-NYJ 2; T.Romo sacked at NYJ 3 for -1 yards FUMBLES, RECOVERED by NYJ
    • Ugh! Still a one possession game.

 

It was at that point, I knew the Jets were heading for victory, despite their anemic offense. The Jets offense managed to gain a massive 62 yards after that Romo fumble, but scored 10 points to win the game. A field goal right there was all the Cowboys needed to secure a very big week one win!

 

And that’s just how it goes for the Jets, to the point that I am starting to believe, somehow, this isn’t about good fortune, it’s about incompetent opposing coaches, who consistently leave the back door open. And when you leave your back door open the next thing you know money is missing, your daughter is knocked up and your son is addicted to meth! In other words, a lot of bad things!

 

Pick: NY Jets -9.0

 

Megan Wynner’s Week Two Picks

Chicago @ New Orleans (-7.0)- I think that the Chicago Bears will win because I like the team colors. Also I think they play faster as a team. Therefore, that might affect how the team plays.

Pick: Chicago +7

Kansas @ Detroit (-7.5) – I think that the Detroit Lions will win because I like their colors. Also I think that lions are really strong. Therefore, they will outplay the other team.

Pick: Detroit -7.5

Jacksonville @ N.Y. Jets (-9.0) – I think that the Jacksonville Jaguars will win because I like their team colors. I also like their mascot. Therefore, I think that they can beat the Jets by communicating more.

Pick: Jacksonville +9

Arizona @ Washington – I think that Arizona Cardinals will win because they are my states team! Also they made it to the super bowl in 2008. I also like their team colors.

Pick: Arizona +3.5

Seattle @ Pittsburgh (-14) – I think that the Pittsburgh Steelers will win because they won the super bowl in 2008. Also because I like their team colors! In addition, I think they will be able to outplay san Francisco.

Pick: Pittsburgh -14

Green Bay @ Carolina (-10) – I think the Green Bay Packers will win because they won the super bowl this past year. Therefore the Packers will be able to out play the Panthers! Also the Packers team colors and uniforms are cool.

Pick: Green Bay -10

Tampa bay @ Minnesota (-3)- I think that the Minnesota Vikings will win I like their colors. Also I think that they can outplay and communicate more than Tampa Bay! Lastly they have cool uniforms.

Pick: Minnesota -3

The rest:

Buffalo +3, Baltimore -5.5, Indianapolis +2.0, Dallas -3, Miami +3, New England +6.5, Denver -3.5, Philadelphia -2.0, St. Louis +6

 

Houston (-3.0) @ Miami – Dolphins WR Brandon Marshall called QB Chad Henne the “White Vick” this week, which is surprising since at the end of last season Marshall called out Henne for being unwilling to improvise, essentially throwing him under the bus. Marshall was also quoted as saying, “Tyler Thigpen is a better fit for this offense.” Now, after one game Henne is the “White Vick”. Hmm, something is smells fishy here. Maybe what Marshall was really trying to say is that since white is the opposite of black, that Henne is the opposite of Vick, as in, he really, really sucks.

 

The Dolphins have lost 10 of their last 11 home games, so they’re due. Ahh, one week in and we have the first “due” theory play.

 

Pick: Miami +3.0

 

The NFC WORST:

Arizona @ Washington (-3.5)

Seattle @ Pittsburgh (-14.0)

Dallas (-3.0) @ San Francisco

St. Louis @ NY Giants (-6.0)

 

OK, last season we had a 7-9 team win a division (NFC West), host and win a playoff game. That was awesome! But this year, we can do better; we can get a 10-10 Super Bowl champion! For that to happen, we first need a division winner to finish 6-10. Sound impossible? Not with the NFC West’s collection of craptastic teams. Here are the pararmeters:

 

  • All teams beat each other once within the division (3 wins for each)
  • Each NFC West team is allotted two wins against the NFC East/AFC North opponents (2 wins)
  • The max an NFC west team can win against the other NFC opponents is 1 game

 

Unfortunately, the Cardinals are already pushing the bounds of these parameters by holding on to clip the Panthers. We absolutely need them to rise the occasion this week against the Redskins by getting behind early and mailing in the rest of the game.

 

If St. Louis or Seattle were to break through on the road this week that would certainly throw a wrench in this tight plan as well. However, the Seahawks are standing on the train tracks with a train quickly approaching (the Steelers). While the Rams are still suffering from the pre-season championship hangover, which is 100% of the reason they lacked focus against the Eagles. Raising the pre-season championship banner in the pre-game ceremony never works out well for the home team.

 

That leaves us with the 49ers against a very beatable Cowboys team. At this point, we really cannot trust the Cowboys in any game where Romo is taking snaps. Of course, on the other side is Alex Smith, who is not exactly “retirement score” material. The Boys can’t possible go to 0-2, can they?

 

Picks:

Washington -3.5

Pittsburgh -14.0

Dallas -3.0

NY Giants -6.0

 

Cincinnati @ Denver (-3.5) – Donkey fans are clamoring for a quarterback change, they want Tebow! So much so that eight huge Bronco fans decided to pull together 10K to rent two billboards imploring coach John Fox and the Broncos to bench Kyle Orton in favor of Tim Tebow. I have to admit, I think this will work. When Fox realizes that these guys essentially are giving up a down payment on a tractor with an air conditioned cab, he will be forced to acknowledge their passion, not to mention their obvious high football acumen and give Tebow the starting job.

My guess is 10K for a billboard is just a start, if Tebow doesn’t the start soon, the next step will be one of these guys telling Fox, “that’s a beautiful wife you have there, it be shame for something to happen to her.” If that doesn’t work, we will graduate to full-fledged kidnapping with a ransom demand of Tebow starts ever game from now until he retires.

I will translate for Broncos fan – “We would rather go 4-12 with a Christian quarterback than 8-8 with that devil worshiping, sinner Kyle Orton.”

As for the game, this is week two “pair” games, where we logically place the paired sides of week one opponents. For example, maybe Oakland is really good this season, therefore, the Broncos are maybe a slightly above average team. Of course, I still have very little respect for the Raiders. Meaning the Broncos are terrible.

The is no reason to believe that Cincinnati, who is practically a mirror image of the Raiders, with a slightly better defense, won’t be able to do exactly what the Raiders did to the Broncos, only without the 900 penalties and special teams breakdown.

Pick: Cincinnati +3.5

 

Green Bay (-10) @ Carolina – Here is a little known fact for you – the defending Super Bowl champion never cover a 10 point spread on the road, against a rookie quarterback with the first name Cam. That trend is 1-0 for the home team underdog, as of Sunday night.

 

Pick: Carolina +10

 

Tampa Bay @ Minnesota (-3.0) – Do you think Mike Shanahan watched the replay of the Vikings/Chargers game and simply smiled every time McNabb threw a pass like the rules of the game dictate that the ball has to bounce once? Me too. And by the end of that game he was probably in hysterical laughing, like “damn, I nailed that.”

 

Tampa Bay has the feel to me of a team that we will keep saying every, “This is the week they get it together” and then at the end of the season they’re 6-10. They’re so young that they can afford a season where they just failed to meet expectations. But watch out for this team in 2012!

 

Pick: Minnesota -3.0

 

Cleveland (-2.0) @ Indianapolis – Pre-season line had the Colts favored by 7.5 points but that was under the assumption that the Browns would handle the Bengals, so we can safely adjust that number to 9.0, which means that if Manning is worth 9.5 points (established last week) and Kerry Collins is worth -1.5 points. It’s never a good thing if a starting quarterback is considered a liability.

 

The Colts can’t be this bad, can they? I believe this is all a pre-planned ploy to be able to draft Andrew Luck and allow with Payton a couple seasons to groom him. But according to Robert Mathis that is not true. Mathis tweeted this week – “Luck is not our quarterback and we’re not tanking to get him”. Quick, someone let Robert in on the plan!

 

Pick: Indianapolis +2.0

 

Baltimore (-5.5) @ Tennessee – Chris Johnson told reporters this week that in the Titans playoff loss to the Ravens in 2008 the Ravens tried to hurt him. Wow, really, CJ, they tried to take out the best player on the opposing team in a playoff game. No way! We have to remember, that was CJ2K, not the 2011 version better known as CJ200, so it makes total sense that the Ravens wanted him out of the game. However, after watching film this week, the Ravens allegedly agreed to try to NOT hurt CJ200.

 

Anyway, I would think CJ would come out pissed off and ready for vengeance in this. We certainly shouldn’t see any of the week one, “Franco Harris”-esque, two yards and fall down crap, right CJ? We shall see. Fantasy owners need to be very cautious of this guy.

 

Another interesting point on this game is that the Ravens are currently drawing 89% of the side action, with the second highest number of overall bets (numbers courtesy of pregame.com).

 

Now, I am no advanced mathematician, but my guess is the Book’s might have trouble making their “quota” if they lose too many games where 89% of the money is backing one side. And back in the old days, I would’ve blindly taken the Titans just for that reason alone, ignoring obvious facts like – a. Already established, but I like to harp, CJ is not CJ, and it’s not close; b. Matt Hasselbeck is not 2006 Super Bowl Matt Hasselbeck. That’s true with every one as they age, but generally while the physical skills deteriorate, the mental skills sharpen. Uh, not with hASSelbeck, as evidenced by the decision to throw that game ending wobbly, inaccurate pass. In addition, Hasselbeck spent most of the day doing his best John Lackey impersonation, screaming at his receivers because they couldn’t catch balls thrown at their feet; c. Mike Munchak looks to be a poor-mans, Mike Tice. That’s not a compliment; d. Much to my surprise the Ravens under Harbaugh don’t suffer the post-Steelers week hang-over; e. MJD ran wild against the Titans, imagine what a guy with healthy knees, like Ray Rice will do to them; and f. Flacco is no Luke McCown. And that is a compliment.

 

Add it all up and this is a no-brainer. Damn be the action. Plus, my theory on the books is they will get theirs, just not this one.

 

Further, let’s imagine the following scenario; you’re heading the Vegas, with a pre-defined “loss” limit of $500. Once there you sit down a Blackjack table and proceed to lose the entire $500. You’re more likely to stop gambling, because you tasted no success whatsoever.

 

Now, imagine that instead of losing $500, you win $500. You just doubled your money, your riding high, feeling invincible, ready to go for “the kill”. But then you start to lose, albeit slowly, first a $100, then $200 more, you keep trying to right the ship, but now you’ve given back all of your winnings plus $200. Frustrated you keep going, but to no avail and you lose $300 more. Now you’re down the original $500.

 

Now, tell me, which scenario is more likely to see the individual described above dig for beyond the $500? I say it’s a no-brainer, the second scenario. Homey had success, so they know it can be done, just a $200 more can get me back to even. Just $200 more, I can limit my losses. Just $200 more, I know I can win.

 

The odds-makers have no problem giving away a few freebies early in the season, just to lock in people beyond their “limit”. They don’t want the $500, they want the $1500 and they know you have to spend money to make money. Therefore. . .

 

Pick: Baltimore -5.5

 

San Diego @ New England (-6.5) – Here’s a meaningless, but coincidental fact – the Patriots blew out the Bengals last year 38-24 in week one, then laid an egg, at the hands of the Jets, in week two. Last week the Pats blew out the Dolphins, 38-24. Coincidence? I think not!

 

I am not afraid of a mere 6.5 points with Norv Turner coaching. Repeat I am not afraid . . .

 

Pick: San Diego +6.5

 

Philadelphia (-2.0) @ Atlanta – This is my five star NFL game of the century! In fact, I am so confident that this game is a winner that if it loses I will give you the rest of the season for free!

 

Quick hitting facts about this game:

 

  • The Eagles should be 0-1, but thanks to the Rams utter incompetence they escaped with the narrowest 18 point win in NFL history
  • The Falcons are much better than what we witnessed last week
  • The Eagles are still getting a ton of action from the betting public; we don’t have to look far for proof of this – they’re favored in Atlanta
  • The crowd will be wild, there is nothing like rabid Atlanta fans on a Sunday night; hang on scratch that, I just made a point for the Eagles.
  • This will be the game where Julio Jones becomes Wholio instead of Jewelio; i.e. this is his breakout game.
  • Those playing fantasy football against Michael Turner this week will get a call Monday morning from their opponent, who will state, “Man, I am sorry, but Michael Turner just scored again!”
  • Sunday nights are always tough on Andy Reid, who by the middle of the third quarter the is so famished that the play sheet looks like a menu.

 

Unfortunately, I couldn’t talk my alter ego into making this one of my SuperContest picks of the week.

 

Pick: Atlanta +2.0

 

Colin Wynner calls the winners, no really this week, Colin really calls the winners!

 

Good Luck to all!