NFL 2012 – Divisional Playoff Predictions, “Sunday” Edition

I knew I was in trouble in that Packers/49ers game when I ran into one of my kids soccer teammates dad who is a huge Packers fan. Dude was decked out in high end Packers gear and when asked, “How are you feeling about tonight?” His reply, “Totally confident! Kaepernick is very beatable and it’s his first real test.” Uh, how that turn out for you?
So I suck at calling primetime playoff games. Good thing neither of these games are in primetime. On to the Sunday picks.

Here is the back of the Colin Wynner, Handicapper player card update with 2012 stats:
Career Playoff Record (1995-2012): 103-83-5
Wildcard Round: 40-31-1
Divisional Round: 36-30-2
Championship Round: 19-15
Super Bowl: 8-7-2

Playoff Best: 7-3-1 (2001)

Please note that these picks are made based on several years of experience in handicapping the playoff games, in fact I have developed a list of playoff rules to live by that you can read here.


Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from vegasinsider.com

Seattle @ Atlanta (-2.5)

Interesting Sub-Plot: Matty “Ice” Ryan with his 0-3 playoff record facing a team with a monster defense. Guess what Super Bowl winning quarterback was once 0-3 in his playoff career? Yup, you got it, Saturday’s playoff goat, Peyton Manning! Ok, so maybe it’s not the best comparison when attempting to build up Ryan, but still Manning has won a Super Bowl, Matty has a chance this year. Slim, slim chance but nonetheless a chance.

Teenage girl logic: Seahawks are like a evolutionary freak, a sea creature that can fly. That’s weird. While the Falcons are a normal bird in the sense that they fly and live in the normal atmosphere not underwater. The Seahawks are creepers, I hate creepers that stare at you and your privates – oooohhhh, gross, go Falcons!

Trending:  1. Home playoffs teams favored by 3 or less points are just 8-13* ATS since 2002 (updated as of 1/12/2013); and 2. The Seahawks are 4-11 ATS since 2002 after a game where they covered the spread by a touchdown after trailing at the end of the first quarter; just 1-4 ATS in the Pete Carroll era.

The Seahawks will cover if: They can weather the Falcons crowd and storm early in the game. Believe me, it won’t take much to take this Atlanta crowd out of the game, in fact at the first sign of trouble the Georgia Dome will sound like a library.

The Falcons will cover if: The Falcons defense can keep Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch in check. It would be easy to put this game on Matty Ice, but the Falcons defense is really the key here, they have to be able to get off the field on third downs.

Colin Wynner, Handicapper! Calls the winner: Here is an interesting fact about falcons – they are able to fly at heights well above their prey but when ready to pursue they go into an amazing dive. Hmmm, interesting that the falcon and the Falcons seem to be the same. Both are able to fly high above their prey (regular season), but when they are ready to pursue (the Lombardi) they go into an amazing dive. Very interesting!

Up until this week, I fully expected them to take a dive again, in fact, I stated more than a few times that “I couldn’t wait to bet against this team in the playoffs,” but for this week, this one game, this specific moment in time I believe the Falcons will find a way to win this game. I cannot deny that on paper the Seahawks are a significantly better team, that they present matchup problems for the Falcons, in a league all about matchups and have a significant special teams advantage.

But here is my logic on the Falcons – 1. It feels like the spot for them and if they have any pride at all, they have to be ready to explode after hearing about how they cannot win a playoff game, they are the weakest 13 win team since their 2010 team and that the Seahawks are that much better than them; 2. On the flip side, it feels like the spot for the Seahawks to be a little flat, they have had an amazing run of domination mixed in with highly emotional performances. At some point doesn’t that have to catch up with a team and they lay a stinker?; and 3. It’s a 10AM PDT kickoff for the Seahawks on back-to-back east coast trips. Uh, that’s not good.

Bottom line – The best bet in this game is the Falcons -0.5 in the first quarter. Really that first quarter is going to tell us all we need to know about this game, if the Falcons don’t jump the Seahawks early, get a lead and get the crowd fully engaged, then they will allow ghosts of playoff past to creep into the building. If that happens, we can hang a nice “0-4” on Matty Ice’s resume. Not. Going. To. Happen. Not. Today. Not. This. Time.

Atlanta 31 Seattle 14 (4 Stars)

Houston @ New England (-9.5)

Interesting Sub-Plot: If you happen to be born into a Patriots family and by default you are a Patriots fan but your year of birth was, let’s say, 2002 or later, you most likely have known nothing but football heartache. I mean unless at the age of one you were some child prodigy who was banging out musical compositions that would make Mozart look like he was playing on a PlaySkool mini-piano, then you have no recollection of the Pats winning their last Super Bowl in 2004. Actually, it’s quite the contrary for those poor souls, who have a yearly ritual of asking pops, while sobbing profusely, “when dad, when will the Patriots finally win a Super Bowl?”

Teenage girl logic: I really despise the Texans because I hate Cowboys and I hate people who have that ridiculous “Don’t mess with Texas” bumper sticker. What does that even mean – “Don’t mess with Texas?” You can’t mess with a state anyway. That is so stupid. Screw the “don’t mess with the Texans,” the Patriots are going to mess with you big time!

Trending: Teams that covered a regular season matchup by 10 or more points are just 4-10* ATS in the playoff matchup (updated as of 1/12/2013).

The Texans will cover if: Matt Schaub can avoid the back breaking mistakes that he seems so adept at making. Think about how the game looks last week if Schaub doesn’t keep the Bengals around with that horrible pick-6 or if he can find a way to convert in the red zone. Blowout city, right? And let’s flash back to the 1st Patriots game when the Texans were driving, down at the time just 7-0, and Schaub is baited into a horrible end zone interception. Five plays after that pick, game ovah!

The Patriots will cover if: They don’t miss kickoff! Right, I mean this is team has really, really shown the world that not only can they put up big numbers but they can play great defense as well. Well, with the exception of that total statistical anomaly in the San Francisco game, where the 49ers hung 41 on them. But that doesn’t count when evaluating this juggernaut. Their mere presence should be enough to cover this spread.


Colin Wynner, Handicapper! Calls the winner: There is a great temptation on my part to bang the Pats given that we have already seen the “major divisional round” upset with the Ravens taking out the Broncos. But let’s try to make a case for the Texans – 1. The Patriots were probably looking ahead to the matchup with the Broncos, but now with Denver soiling themselves, they will be fully focused on — New Orleans and a rematch with the 49ers. Yup, I think they’re looking ahead and preparing themselves for another painful Super Bowl loss; 2. Think about the playoff games the Patriots have played in since the game that I say officially ended their run (2006 Colts game where they blew the 21-3 lead). Since that point, the Pats are just 4-4, with only the 2011 game against Broncos game being a dominate performance and honestly who didn’t see that coming. They have either struggled mightily or been beaten in the other seven games. This Texans team is not 2011 Broncos; and 3. This is eerily similar to the 2010 season. In each season, we had the late season Monday night Patriots ass whipping, that was followed by the whipped team playing the rest of the season in a funk and both the 2010 Jets and 2012 Texans rallied to win ugly playoff games. Sure we have heard from the Pats that they remember that game and are taking the Texans seriously, but are they? Come on, the Pats didn’t have the amazing Gronkowski for that game and still laid down the smack on Bum’s Son’s defense.

Yeah, that’s too thin to put hard earned money on. Plus, the biggest difference between the 2010 Jets and the 2012 Texans is the secondary, that was a strength of the Jets while the Texans are quite mediocre in the back seven. The Jets could matchup with the Patriots on the outside, the Texans cannot, meaning there will be an intense amount of pressure on the Texans D-Line to disrupt Brady up the middle. Too much pressure for them to live up to.

Bottom line – Believe me I have 10,125 reasons to back the Texans in this game, but smart money is sticking with my most important playoff rule – “Don’t back a shaky quarterback, especially on the road.” Matt Schaub is about as shaky as you get.

New England 34 Houston 17 (4 Stars)
Good luck!


NFL 2012 – Playoff Predictions, “Wildcard Weekend” Edition

Despite a losing record, Colin somehow managed to sneak into the playoffs and is ready for a “Giants-esque” type of run. The Giants of 2007/2011, not the Giants of 2012.  The goal is always the same – 11-0!  Let’s be honest though, an 11-0 romp through the playoffs would be less about my knowledge and almost entirely a function luck.  Look at this week’s lines, they’re tight, offering very little value on any team this weekend.  In situations like that, one should pass, but since I pick every game, every week here, I don’t know the meaning of pass.  But to help reflect my overall feelings about a game, I will give my confidence on each game; I will use the a  “tout trick” and give you a “stars” scale, like “my 100* Game of the Universe”, except I will keep it to 1 to 5 stars, with 5 stars representing a solid play and one star meaning John Anthony just flipped a coin to determine the winner.

Bottom line – I can’t get to 11-0, without a 4-0 start.  Let’s get it started with WILDCARD WEEKEND!

Here is the back of the Colin Wynner, Handicapper player card:

Career Playoff Record (1995-2011): 100-82-5
Wildcard Round: 37-30-1
Divisional Round: 36-30-2
Championship Round: 19-15

Super Bowl: 8-7-2

Playoff Best: 7-3-1 (2001)

Please note that these picks are made based on several years of experience in handicapping the playoff games, in fact I have developed a list of playoff rules to live by that you can read here.

Note: I use the Las Vegas Hilton Lines from vegasinsider.com.

Cincinnati @ Houston (-4.5)

Public Perception: Houston is limping into the playoffs by losing three of their last four games, including the dismantling at the hands of the Patriots four weeks.  Plus, the Texans let the #1 overall seed out of their grasp and are now forced to play Wildcard Weekend.

The Bengals, meanwhile, made playoffs with strong 7-1 2nd half of the season.  It’s a no brainer, right?  The Bengals will march into Houston and lay down the smack.

Teenage girl logic:  OMG, have you seen a Bengal shred a Zebra for their dinner.  Savages, which makes me think the Bengals will shred the Texans the same way.  But what is with the women Bengal having to do all the hunting for the man?  That makes me sick to think about that poor lady having to go on a murdering spree just to keep her family fed, while that deadbeat lays around doing nothing.  No way I can back a team named for such a chauvinistic species.

Trending: Playoff teams playing at home with a losing streak of more than two are 7-3 ATS since 2002.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Bengals and unmasked them, they would be: The 1995 Detroit Lions, who finished 7-0 to make the playoffs and were unceremoniously bounced by the Eagles in Philadelphia.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Texans and unmasked them, they would be: The 2006 Indianapolis Colts, who limped to the finish line after a 10-1 start had Colts fans talking about home field advantage throughout the playoffs.  The Colts found themselves in the same position as the Texans, having to play on Wildcard weekend.  The Colts survived the injury riddled Chiefs which catapulted them to the Super Bowl title, albeit probably the weakest champ in the history of the NFL.

The Bengals will cover if: They play smart football.  Look after watching this team the last month, they are a dumb team, led by a shaky head coach who seems to lack the ability to reel these guys in.  Whether it’s a bad turnover, a stupid, meaningless penalty or the butchering of clock, the Bengals cannot afford to make mistakes if they have designs on delivery Marvin Lewis a playoff victory.

The Texans will cover if: They show up with the past month in the past.  Or simply if the 10-1 Texans teams shows up.  They need a big play early to get the crowd fully engaged;  the longer they keep the Bengals in the game, the more likely the crowd will begin to expect “bad things” to happen.

Colin Wynner, calls the winner: Here is what I wrote about the Texans prior to the playoff matchup with the Bengals in 2011:

“Initially I loved the Bengals. But that was solely based on the Texans finish to the season; you know the way they lost to the Panthers (somewhat acceptable), Colts (totally unacceptable) and Titans (totally indifferent). But then I thought about the following – a. the Bengals struggled with the hopeless Rams, needed a wide-open receiver to fall down to beat the Cardinals and lost a must-win game at home against the Ravens. And based sheer incompetence of the other teams fighting for a playoff spot the Bengals backed into the playoffs. That’s not exactly a stellar finish to the season; b. The Texans remind me of the 2008 Cardinals, a team that went to the Super Bowl despite losing two of their last three games by a combined 69 points.”

Evoking the “remember history” playoff rule,  I pretty much feel the same way this season.  The late season swoon is more a product of circumstance of the schedule as opposed to exposing this team as a fraud.  The Patriots loss was acceptable, though I will admit the manner in which they lost was really, really bad.  Still that’s what the Pats do, pile it on and embarrass teams.  The Vikings loss came a week after clinching the division, when the Vikings were in full on desperation mode.  The Colts loss in week 17 was Colts coach Chuck Pagano’s first game back from cancer treatment, I think the Colts were slightly motivated. Yeah, they lost three of four but it is fairly easy to see that those were somewhat “acceptable” loses.  Now they “clean the slate” and start over.

Flipping to the Bengals, who exactly did they beat in their 7-1 stretch?  Their best win was probably over the Steelers in Pittsburgh, a game where the Steelers handed the Bengals a pick-6 along with a bad decision to go for the win with less than a minute left in game, rather than head to overtime.  The rest of the wins – Giants (who didn’t beat them this year), Chiefs, Chargers, Raiders, Eagles and Ravens (week 17, when the Ravens rested their starters).  Not exactly running through the heart of the 1927 Yankees lineup, more like the 2004 Arizona Diamondbacks.

Bottom line – if this game were played a month ago, the Texans would be 7 point favorites, 2.5 points is too much of an adjustment considering the facts detailed above.  Houston 27 Cincinnati 17 (3 Stars)

Minnesota @ Green Bay (-7.5)


Public Perception: This will be third meeting in six weeks between these NFC North division rivals, and despite the almost weekly universal public backing of the Packers, it appears as though the Vikings are getting the majority of the early public action.  It might be as simple as the public has fallen in love with Adrian Peterson and the 7.5 feels like stealing money.

Teenage girl logic: When I was a little girl the Packers played in the Super Bowl and my parents drug me to this party where there was a ton of food but nothing good to eat.  Anyway, the highlight of my day was this Packer fan who brought his cheesehead with him to support the Packers.  My parents asked him if I could play with it and when he handed it to me, I was mesmerized by it.  It was very bright orangish/yellowish  color, I tried to pull off a piece because I was hungry.  Hey, I was a toddler, it’s what I did – eat and destroy things !  Well, it created quite a stir with this jack-off Packer fan who went nuts and ripped it out of my hands.  And he scolded me to boot.  Well guess what, Mr. Packer CheeseHead Freak, now I have the power and your beloved team is going to lose this week to my favorite player, Adrian Peterson.  #Packers = #EpicFail

Trending: Playoff teams playing at home laying 7.5 points are just 1-3 ATS since 2003.  Home teams in the third meeting of the season are just 5-9 ATS since 2001.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Vikings and unmasked them, they would be: The 2002 NY Giants.  Both teams were left for dead after falling to 6-6 in week 12, both won out to make the playoffs, both were shaky at quarterback (Kerry Collins), both rely heavily on their running game (Tiki Barber), neither had a premier receiver (Amani Toomer) and both lost a key offensive cog in the middle of the year (Ike Hilliard/Percy Harvin).  The 2002 Giants out-played the 49ers in the Wildcard game that year, but botched a snap on the game winning field goal attempt that cost them game.  This was despite the fact that an eligible receiver was literally tackled when releasing on the “FIRE” play.  I think the refs were confused because the eligible receiver had a number like 68 or something, therefore they thought – 1. He was ineligible; 2. he would have caught maybe one out of a hundred passes in practice, so it really did not matter; and 3. the defender was merely playing the ball.  Either way I expect the Vikings to play this game extremely close.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Packers and unmasked them, they would be: The 2006 New England Patriots.  The ’06 Pats were maybe the worst Pats team in the Belichick/Brady era, but they came within a Troy Brown dropped pass of playing in the Super Bowl against an over-matched Bears team.  This Packers team is the worst since Aaron Rodgers first season as the starting quarterback.  The defense is average at best, the offense had no real threat of the running game, the receivers are banged up and somewhat ineffective and the offensive line is a liability.  Yet, if they get hot, they could wind up in the Super Bowl.

The Packers will cover if: They render Christian Ponder completely ineffective.  We know the Packers will score some points; we also know that Peterson will get his share of yards, but if Ponder plays like he did in the Vikings first visit to Lambeau, the Packers are easy ATS winners.

The Vikings will cover if: Christian Ponder plays like he did in the season finale against the Packers.

Colin Wynner, calls the winner: I like the Vikings to possibly steal this game.  And yeah, I realize that picking the Vikings violates the “never back a shaky quarterback on the road” rule.  However, let’s be honest, for this game the rule can easily be modified to “never back a shaky quarterback on the road unless over half of the offensive plays involve handing off to Adrian Peterson.”  Plus, it’s a night game, it’s Green Bay, it’s at night – any inclement weather will be an advantage for the team that has Adrian Peterson.

Bottom line – I think the Vikings can win this game (“Don’t pick the dog unless you think they can win”), but I feel very confident that if they don’t they will be within the number.  Green Bay 27 Minnesota 21 (3 Stars)

Indianapolis @ Baltimore (-7.5)

Public Perception: The Ravens certainly haven’t won bettors over this season, in fact most likely the public jumped off them right about the time they hammered the Giants, I know I did (%^$&).  Regardless, my general feeling is that the public (a). loves Andrew Luck , Chuck Pagano and this Colts Cinderella story; and (b). believes seven points is too many for the Ravens to lay against virtually anyone.

Teenage girl logic: The Colts quarterback, Andrew Luck, looks a little bit like a descendent of sasquatch, but it’s kind of hot!  His jaw line seems a little too large to be completely human and the neck beard is downright creepy.  Nevertheless, I would totally go out on a date with him.  And I totally see him winning this game.

Trending: Small sample size be damned, but the Colts are 0-2 ATS this season when facing a winning team on the road.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Colts and unmasked them, they would be: The 2011 Cincinnati Bengals.  The Bengals came from nowhere last season to make the playoffs with a rookie quarterback and young group of receivers.  They were the media darling upset pick last year during wildcard weekend, yet they shrunk in the  bright  lights of the playoffs.  That’s the 2012 Colts story.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Ravens and unmasked them, they would be: The 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers.  I am not going as far as suggesting that the Ravens will run the table and win the Super Bowl, but a guy like Ray Lewis retiring can spark some serious emotion; enough emotion that when coupled with a break or two that can carry a team to the title.  Think back to that Steelers team with the beloved, spiritual leader, Jerome Bettis set to retire, they went on an amazing run that featured huge breaks. They would not have been beaten by the Bengals, if Kimo doesn’t launch himself into Carson Palmer’s knee. They caught two huge breaks against the Colts the following week when Nick Harper ran into the Ben Roethlisberger tackle and then that idiot kicker missed a relative easy field goal at the end of the game.  You just never know we might see the Ravens, probably the worst team of the Ravens during the Harbaugh era, in the Super Bowl.

The Colts will cover if: They jump out to an early lead.  The Colts are built to play from ahead, and though they have had several amazing comebacks this season, most of those came against mentally weak teams like the Lions, Dolphins and Titans.  When the Colts stepped up the competition on the road, they were over-matched and out of the game early.  That cannot happen against the Ravens.

The Ravens will cover if: They utilize their best offensive player, Ray Rice.  For whatever reason the Ravens were hell bent the season on allowing Joe Flacco to throw the ball all over the place, even when it was apparent he was off his game or when the game situation dictated doing otherwise.  This team is built to pick their spots to throw..  Run to setup the pass, play defense and feed off the crowd.  Easy cover if they keep it simple.

Colin Wynner, calls the winner: I don’t believe the Colts can win this game outright, therefore, I would have to ignore the “don’t back an underdog unless you believe they can win the game outright” rule to play and hope that they keep it close or get a backdoor cover at the end of the game.  No thanks!

Bottom line – The Ravens get a huge emotional lift from the return of Ray Lewis, not to mention the emotion they will have knowing this is Lewis’ final season and possibly his final game at home, therefore, there is no way they want him to go out a loser with a disappointing loss at home.  Plus, when the Colts have ventured out against playoff caliber competition, they have been destroyed this season.  Finally, Andrew Luck has been un-impressive over the final month of the season, completing under 50% of pass attempts.  Baltimore 31 Indianapolis 10 (4 Stars)

Seattle (-3.0) @ Washington

Public Perception: The public appears to be slightly favoring the Redskins, which makes sense based on them being a home team underdog.  The public will over-value that fact without giving any thought to the matchup of the two teams.

Teenage girl logic: Wait a second, isn’t Seattle in Washington, how can they be playing Washington?  Does Washington have two teams, one in Seattle and one somewhere else in Washington?  Maybe one is a college team?  If so, then I think they will win because a pro team can beat a college team any day.

Trending: Road favorites in the wildcard round of the playoffs are 5-4-1 ATS.  Not sure that adds a lot of value, other than to dismiss the notion that home underdogs are some golden play.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Seahawks and unmasked them, they would be: The 2008 Baltimore Ravens.  The 2008 went on the road as a wildcard team, beating back-to-back division champs on their way to the AFC championship game.  The similarities between the two teams – rookie quarterback, stifling defense, a pounding running game and above average special teams.  Though I can see this Seattle team finishing the season by hoisting the Lombardi.

If the gang from Scooby-Doo captured the 2012 Redskins and unmasked them, they would be: The 2000 Philadelphia Eagles.  Remember nobody gave the Eagles any chance to beat the favored Tampa Bay Buccaneers in that 2000 wildcard game.  It certainly would not shock me if the Redskins won this game.

The Seahawks will cover if: Russell Wilson doesn’t revert to early season Russell Wilson.  As good as Wilson has been, he is still a rookie making a playoff start on the road in a hostile environment  that will likely be ratcheted up ten notches due to the drought of home playoff games for the Redskins.  Trust me, this place will be rocking given the Redskins fans are football crazed with 10 years pent-up frustration and it’s the late Sunday game.  Not that there is ever much productivity in Washington, but don’t expect any on Monday.  The Seahawks need to reduce that crowd to on the verge of passed out drunks early in that game or it’s going to be a long day for them.

The Redskins will cover if: Robert Griffin III is running less like Peter Griffin and  more like the RG III we have grown to love this season.  It was apparent last week that RG III’s leg  was hurting, even though he was able to out-run most of the defenders even with that defective limb.  If he is back close to mid-season, “take off from 76 yards” RG III, he is capable of putting this Redskins team on his back, neutralizing that Seahawks defense and leading the Redskins to an upset.

Colin Wynner, calls the winner: The Seahawks have been the best team in the NFL over the last month.  In terms of “true” power point differential, this is the biggest mis-match of the weekend at 6 points differential (subtracting out the 3 points for home field on the home favorites and adding three to Seattle).

Bottom line – RG III scares me to death, but Seattle isn’t going to let Alfred Morris run for two bills against them, therefore, the game will be on Griffin’s shoulders and I simply don’t see that knee improving that much this week.  Again, he is still faster than most of the NFL, but with the discomfort in the leg, he isn’t as willing to take off running, which enhances Seattle’s dominate defensive advantage. Seattle 23 Washington 14 (2 Stars)

Good luck and enjoy the playoffs!

NFL 2012 – Week 14, “Yay Fantasy” edition

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

The “Super Contest” Picks

Buffalo (-3.0) over St. Louis – I love the 2012 Rams! I love that in a year where my favorite teams have crapped the bed across the board, the Rams have provided me with a loss-less year against the hated, rot-in-hell 49ers. To quote Jesse Pinkman, “1-0-1, bitch!”

Everything comes with a price though, right? It sure does and the price of the Rams taking care of their divisional rivals (4-0-1 in division play) is that they barely show up to play non-divisional opponents and against the non-conference games, fuhgeddaboudit! However, it’s a smart move by Jeff Fisher, who probably realized about hour two of taking over the job that the Rams were talent depleted and had little to no chance of completely turning this thing around this year. So Fisher did the next best thing in year one, take care of the division. Every division game has become the Rams “Super Bowl” this season. And this in a markedly improved division.

You can pencil this in for next year – the Rams will be in the playoffs with at least nine wins. And Chris Givens will be a top 10 WR in fantasy football. Yay fantasy.

But as for this game, it’s the week after the Rams sold out in the five quarter performance against the 49ers. We’ve been here before, three weeks ago after a knockdown, drag out five quarter fight against the 49ers the clearly superior Rams came home to play the over-matched Jets. The result, Jets 27-13. Look for a similar result this weekend in Buffalo.

Cleveland (-6.5) over Kansas City – Get this – the Browns have been a 6.5 point favorite or more in just 21 games since 1989. Since 2003 they have been in this situation just four times. Four! But, guess what, I don’t care this Browns team is a young, feisty version of those once great Baltimore Ravens teams that could D-UP and run the ball. You have to love the Browns defense this week in a sneaky play that might make the difference in the fantasy playoffs. Yay fantasy.

Let’s also not forget that the Chiefs had a tremendous tragedy last week and while they were emotional prepared to play against the Panthers, it feels a little bit like this week the weight of the tragedy will hit them and with the, on the road this has the makings of a mail in game for them.

And I have mention the Bob Costas commentary on “guns arrrrre bad” last Sunday night. Essentially Costas took to the stage to tell America that in the wake of this tragedy we need stricter gun control laws. I agree that guns, in general, can have a net effect that is largely undesirable, especially when the gun is easily accessible in the heat of the moment. But when I heard that Javon Belcher shot his girlfriend nine times, I think that goes past the “I lost my mind and pulled the trigger” area and falls straight into “he was going to kill her even if he had to strangle the life out of her with his bare hands” It’s pretty simple, dude was deeply disturbed and, in this case the absence of a gun, would have meant the results would have involved a knife, rope and sturdy beam. This is a very sad tale indeed.

Still, I don’t watch Sunday night football to hear political agendas and my guess neither do you. Save it Costas!

Chicago (-3.0) over Minnesota – Vikings QB Christian Ponder got engaged this past week. Oh, that’s sweet! Let’s hope his bride to be isn’t marrying him for because he is the quarterback of the Vikings. I am thinking that is about to end very soon as he is horrible.

I have to admit this line feels very much like a trap to me. First off, outside of AP, the Vikings have zero offense. Zero! When Percy Harvin went down with an injury apparently the Vikings lost the ability to throw the ball. Now there offense is “hope AP breaks a long TD run” or “hope we can ride AP into the red zone for a field goal.” Moreover, the Bears defense even minus Urlacher is tough, so how exactly are the Vikings going to be in this game.

Throw in the reality that their rookie kicker is in the tank and quite literally, the Vikings only offense is AP. I don’t think that will be enough for the Vikings to win the game but several billion fantasy owners will be rejoicing when AP has the “no effing way” game for them – 200 combined yards and 2 TDs. Yay fantasy.

Cincinnati (-3.0) over Dallas – Just three weeks remain until I am officially fatnasy foorball free. I cannot wait. A game like this one is a big part of why I have grown to hate fantasy. Ask any fantasy player about who they like in this game and the likely answer will be the Cowboys, because they are playing “really good football right now.” Um, ok, so two weeks ago the Redskins strolled into Cowboys stadium and laid the smack down on the Cowboys, but in the process of trying to rally back, Romo and Bryant put up huge fantasy numbers.

Last week the Cowboys barely pulled one out against, quite possibly, the worst team in the NFL, but again Romo and Bryant put up huge fantasy numbers. Translation – the Cowboys suck, but the fantasy disease has infected so much that a majority of people actually think the Boys are playing well just based on fantasy numbers. Ugh!

In terms of this game, here is how it will go – after a pick-6 the Bengals take a 34-10 lead heading into the 4th quarter, DUH-DUH-DUH-TA-DA, here comes “Super Fantasy Man” and his sidekick, “Super Fantasy Boy” to save the day for some poor fantasy chump, who is the process of negotiating with themselves about “just give me one touchdown to Dez.” Done. Cowboys rally comes up short, but Romo and Bryant once again are positional high scorers for the week, and the fantasy community praises the “really playing great football” Cowboys. Yay fantasy!

Detroit (+7.0) over Green Bay – This game is the classic matchup of “the moveable object versus the resistible force.” The Lions are having trouble finishing a dump, while the Packers consistently leave the backdoor open in hopes that no one wanders in to steal their brand new Panasonic VT30 65 inch 3D TV.

It’s hard to make a case that the Packers cover this spread considering they will be without their two best defenders Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson, their best running back (Starks) and one of their top receivers (Nelson).

The case for the Lions is much more palatable – (a). after getting called out by an anonymous teammate this week, Suh will likely play his best game of the year in hopes that said teammate will apologize so Suh can stomp him; (b). The Lions are getting seven points, remember they can’t finish, but they can keep it close; and (c). It’s Calvin Johnson and it’s Sunday night, just imagine the number fantasy games that will flip when Calvin catches that garbage time TD that also happens to cover the spread for the Lions. Yay, fantasy!

The “Rest of the Picks” Picks

Philadelphia (+7.5) over Tampa Bay – This Eagles team has something going with Foles and Bryce Brown. Ten years from now Bryce Brown’s finish to the season will be known as the 2012 version of Maurice Jones-Drew’s 2006 season. Yay fantasy.

Baltimore (+2.5) over Washington – That was truly a gutless performance by the Ravens last week, but out of something bad comes, hopefully, something good and maybe the Ravens will begin utilizing their best player – Ray Rice. Just in time for the fantasy playoffs. Yay fantasy.

Carolina (+3.5) over Atlanta – It’ great to see Cam Newton finally piling up fantasy points like his rookie season. He’s also piling up the losses but who cares fantasy shmuck thinks Cam is “playing great football.” Yay fantasy.

NY Jets (-3.0) over Jacksonville – I have it on good authority that there “is no way the Jets lose this game.” Plus, I they’re my fantasy defense, so I have to pick them. Yay fantasy.

Tennessee (+5.0) over Indianapolis – It’s just time for the Colts, their number is up. Look you can’t be 8-4 ATS, have a soft number this week (should be 6+) and expect them to cover, plus Andrew Luck is hitting the rookie wall. Too bad for those trusting him as their only fantasy quarterback in the fantasy playoffs. Yay fantasy.

San Diego (+8.0) over Pittsburgh – I know Roethlisberger is back this week, but after watching Charlie Batch crying after beating the Ravens last week it makes me think this team will be spent and be lucky to survive the abysmal Chargers this week. Look, I get it Charlie, the Ravens cost me an entry in a 24K survivor pool, I was crying as well, but at the end of the day it was just one game you cannot bawl like an newborn who just became disconnected from the mama boob. Oh, and don’t even think of starting Roethlisberger this weekend. Yay fantasy.

San Francisco (-11.0) over Miami – Seriously, this the 49ers “flex their muscles” game. One of these weeks I am going to be right on them. Oh, by the way Colin, catchy name, Kaepernick should be in all fantasy starting lineups this week. Yay fantasy.

Arizona (+10) over Seattle – John Skelton is back and no, he shouldn’t be anywhere near a fantasy starting lineup this week. Yay fantasy.

NY Giants (-4.5) over New Orleans – I am closing out the picks with the two games that will likely impact the most fantasy matchups this weekend. This game is a late afternoon Sunday game with probably at least ten fantasy starters – Manning, Brees, Graham, Colston, Moore, Sproles, Cruz, Tynes, Bennett and Bradshaw. I am sure a few fantasy games will swing on the outcome of this game, which probably means it will end up being a 17-10 dud with Henry Hynoski scoring both touchdowns on short runs for the Giants and the Saints getting a defensive touchdown. Hey wait, I forgot to list Hakeem Nicks. No, actually it is a purposeful omission as Nicks is nicked up again. Seriously fantasy freaks, when will you learn that you cannot trust that guy to stay healthy? Yay fantasy.

New England (-3.5) over Houston – Statement game for the Patriots. No way I see them losing this game, so I merely have to hope that they really want to whack the Texans to send a strong pre-playoff message to them.

As for the fantasy starters, several leagues will come down to the wire to see which team advance in the playoffs on the backs of the following: Brady, Schuab (should be starting), Ridley, Foster, Welker, Hernandez, A. Johnson, O. Daniels, Lloyd, Graham, Gostkowski, Pats D, Texans D, Walter, Vereen and Tate. Yup, I can see now – Ben Tate stealing the show on Monday night, throwing up a nice little 80 and 2 TDs in a 17 point loss and swinging all of a handful of games to a guy who hasn’t changed his lineup in over two months. Yay fantasy.

Best of luck this week.

2012 NFL Predictions – Week 05 Picks, “Soccer Induced Quick Picks” Edition

I have spent the last two days at the soccer fields, so you get quick picks for NFL week #5. Mind you though, I put the same effort into each and every pick. But I must inform you that I feel this is the week where the odds-makers have caught on – very, very tough! Upon making my picks, I just about pulled out the UNO
Reverse card and reversed every one of them.

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

The “SuperContest” picks:

Arizona (-1.0) @ St. Louis – I feel like the Cardinals are who I thought they were. Shame me for thinking otherwise and making them a top 5 play this week. Pick: Arizona -1.0

San Diego @ New Orleans (-3.5) – Why are the Saints favored in this game? And by 3.5, no less, wow!! – “Free Money”. Pick: San Diego +3.5

Tennessee @ Minnesota (-5.5) – Game was a pick’em in the pre-season, now it’s 5.5. So this Vikings team is good because they’ve beaten the Jags, a sleep-walking 49ers team and the Lions? Uh, ok. They might win but the line of 5.5 is way, way too many points. Pick: Minnesota -5.5

Seattle @ Carolina (-3.0) – I don’t completely trust Panthers safety Haruki Nakamura and his band of incompetent brothers roaming the defensive backfield, but I trust Russell Wilson on the road less. In fact, Russell might be the only quarterback capable of making Haruki look like a competent NFL safety. The Hawks really, really need to go to Matt Flynn, Wilson will be the guy long term but he is killing an otherwise very good team. Pick: Carolina -3.0

Baltimore (-5.5) @ Kansas City – How is this not a repeat of the 2010 playoff game between these teams? Oh and the Ravens just had their early season “mail it in” game against the Browns last week. It’s going to be a long day for the Chiefs. Pick: Baltimore -5.5

The “Good Bad Team” pick:

Miami @ Cincinnati (-3.0) – The Bengals beat bad teams badly, though Miami is pesky, I wouldn’t consider them good. Pick: Cincinnati -3.0

The “Final Destination” pick:

Atlanta (-3.0) @ Washington – The Falcons should have lost last week. You can only cheat death so long. . . Pick: Washington +3.0


The “Look Ahead” picks:

Green Bay (-6.5) @ Indianapolis – With a showdown against the Texans on deck, look for the Packers to get caught sleeping against the Colts. Pick: Indianapolis +6.5

Cleveland @ NY Giants (-8.5) – Come on, it’s the Giants, they’re giving more than a touchdown at home. I think we’ve seen how this ends multiple times over the last five seasons? And the G-Men have the 49ers on deck. Pick: Cleveland +8.5

The “Livin a lie” pick:

Philadelphia @ Pittsburgh (-3.5) – The Eagles are 3-1, yet have been out-scored by 17 points. Look for the “regression” to begin this week. Also, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t lose back-to-back games. Pick: Pittsburgh -3.5

The “Monday Night Hangover” pick:

Chicago (-5.5) @ Jacksonville – This feels way too easy. And I’ve already taken advantage of the “Free Money” offer from the books with the Chargers. This feels like a late Bears rally to win by a field goal. Pick: Jacksonville +5.5

The “Ass Kickin” picks:

Denver @ New England (-6.5) – Sorry, Peyton, still not buying. . . Pick: New England -6.5

Buffalo @ San Francisco (-9.5) – The 49ers are back home, re-focused and ready to take control of the NFC West. How do the Bills cover this game if the 49ers go up 17-0? Answer: they don’t! Pick: San Francisco -9.5

Houston (-8.0) @ NY Jets – How do the Jets cover this game if the Texans go up 17-0? Same answer from above. Pick: Houston -8.0

Colin Wynner calls the winners. “Rever. . .Revers. . .!”


 

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!

Calling the 2011 NFL Season Wins!!

The great thing about the NFL is that it is a league that is completely predictable. That’s right despite what you might think, the NFL is predictable, in fact so much so that it is almost eerie. Need proof, take the following numbers into consideration:

Season

Home Wins

Playoff Teams

+/- 4 Wins

2010

143

8

13

2009

146

6

13

2008

146

7

12

2007

147

6

10

 

Based on the data above we can be fairly certain of a few things for the 2011 season – 1. The home teams will win somewhere between 144-146 games; 2. We will have at least 6 new playoff teams; and 3. There will be at least 12 teams that have a difference of wins from 2010 of four or more.

Now based on the above data one would agree that the NFL is predictable, however, the big catch is that while being predictable at the summary level, it is capriciously un-predictable at the detail level. Yup, that’s the problem. Unfortunately, I cannot make a wager that there will be six new playoff teams; I actually have to figure out the specific teams and make the wagers accordingly!

Armed with a wealth of data at my finger tips, I set out to do a more thorough job of predicting the season win totals for every single team using the following parameters:

  1. Six 2010 teams will not be back in the playoffs in 2011. That might be a bit low but that should be safe.
  2. 12 2010 teams will have a difference of wins equal to +/- 4. That seems like the right number. In addition, my numbers tell me that at least two teams will have +/- 6 wins category, 3-4 teams will be in the +/- 5 wins range. Also, based on the data, more teams that fall into the plus range than the minus range. Therefore, I decided that I will have 7 “plus” teams and 5 “minus” teams. Of the 7 plus teams, 4 will be +4, 2 at +5 and 1 at +6. On the minus side, I have 2 at -4, 2 at -5 and 1 at -6.
  3. Home teams will win 146 games.

Steps to essentially back into the predictions:

  1. Predict the six teams that will not return to the playoffs
  2. Determine the win difference teams on both the plus and minus sides. This is much easier than one would think. First off, you can throw out any record that would cause a team to go over 16 wins or under 0 wins. Next, since the likelihood of 0, 1, 15 or 16 wins is about once every third season, I will eliminate those records as well. Then 14 win seasons happen about once a season, so I will allow one 14-2 team, but no 2-14 teams. After applying that logic, the list of candidates is reduced dramatically.
  3. Apply wins and losses to the teams identified in step 2.
  4. Apply wins and losses to the remaining teams.
  5. Normalize home wins to 146
  6. Final sweep to make sure I have followed the rules and fix teams that are seem slightly “off”. We call this step “Colin’s personal touch”. Yup, this is where the whole thing goes up in smoke!

Step 1:

Determine2010 playoff teams that will not return, in order of confidence:

  1. Seattle (99.99% they are out of the 2011 playoffs) – Pete Carroll thinks he is still in college with roster turnover representing graduation. And two words – Tavaris. Jackson.
  2. Indianapolis (95%) – This is the equivalent of the one foot tap-in, a gimmie! But Colin, you respond, the Pats without Tom Brady almost made the playoffs in 2008. True, but the Colts aren’t the Patriots as they have more holes than Tony Montana at the end of Scarface. Further, Caldwell has a deer in the headlights look when Peyton is whispering in his ear, “Don’t worry, I got this”, I imagine this year the Colts might want to employee someone whose only job is to make sure Caldwell is still breathing on the sideline.
  3. Kansas City (75%) – Still in the gimmie range, but tougher because you just never know about San Diego, however, I expect Denver will be tougher to offset a Charger implosion, Kansas City is one of those teams that benefitted from a weak schedule, playing teams at the right time and a lucky breaks that turned losses into wins. You know what – that almost never happens in back-to-back seasons. And the schedule is much, much tougher this season.
  4. Chicago (70%) – A more of a three-foot, knee knocker for 5 skins, but no team was luckier than the Bears last season. Change two plays last year – 1. Give Calvin Johnson what was rightfully his, a touchdown in week one; and 2. Remove James Jones fumble in week three – and the Bears would have been 9-7. Throw in they got Buffalo in Toronto, eh, and caught the Dolphins in the middle of a quarterback crisis and those NFC Championship participants are sitting out the playoffs out last season.
  5. Atlanta (35%) – Now it gets tough. And leaving the Falcons out is blasphemy to most ardent football fans. Someone has to go, we know that, so it might as well be the Falcons, who are not as good as the Saints or Eagles. Plus, look at their 2010 season, they had a considerable amount of good fortune – a. The first New Orleans game where the Saints missed a game-winning 35 yard field goal; b. the improbable win against the 49ers; and c. both wins against the Bucs were crazy lucky. They will be good, but reverse fortunes in four games and that is enough to keep them home.
  6. New York Jets (20%) – If we flashback to week 16 of the 2009 season, and instead of forgoing an undefeated season by resting their starters, the Colts play to win the game, the Jets don’t make the playoffs. Good fortune, right? It’s almost unprecedented, but last season the Jets continued their run of luck, especially true in four games of extreme good fortune – 1. Denver, the game ending pass interference call; 2. Detroit, when Julian Peterson commits the personal foul that allows the Jets to kick a game tying field goal; 3. The Cleveland game when Chansi Stuckey (possible imbedded Jet?) fumbles when the Browns would have had a first down in field goal range; and 4. The Houston game where the Texans inexplicably failed to cover Braylon Edwards deep down the sideline, despite that being the only way the Jets could win the game. That’s a lot of good fortune that has gone their way over the last two seasons. I expect it to end this season. The JETS are out.

Step 2:

Determine the 12 2010 teams that will have +/- 4 wins this season:

On the “plus” side (7 teams):

  1. Houston (12-4, +6) – Gulp! My plus 6 team is the Texans, gulp! Yes, the aforementioned team that blew a game by allowing a receiver to run free deep down the sideline. No worries though, Wade Phillips is here to save the day. Gulp! OK, here is the deal – it’s no secret that the Texans have 12-win talent, the Colts are without Peyton, the Jaguars ready to move to LA and draft Andrew Luck and the Titans are, well, meh! This is the most logical team to make that this type of leap. That’s it – logic!
  2. Detroit (11-5, +5) – The bandwagon teams never seem to pan out; you know the ones with all the hype in the pre-season as “the surprise team” and “the this is their year team”. Think about it, last season it was the 49ers and we know how that ended. The season before it was the 49ers and they failed to meet those expectations. In 2008 it was the 49ers, hang on, forget all that, maybe it’s the 49ers. Plus, in the middle of last season, I called the 2011 NFC championship would be the Lions @ St. Louis, so I have to stick with my original prediction.
  3. Dallas (11-5, +5) – Loads of talent, better coaching and more favorable schedule. Add it all up, throw it some better fortune and the Pokes are +5.
  4. St. Louis (11-5, +4) – There are six very losable games in the first seven weeks, but I have a good feeling about this team. Nothing more than that, it just feels like they are ready to make that move from mediocre to playoff factor. You know kind of like the “due” theory, uh oh!
  5. San Diego (13-3, +4) – This list is filled with perennial under-achievers. San Diego is the president of that club, but if they can get off to a decent start they will roll to an easy 13 wins in a very weak division.
  6. Cleveland (9-4, +4) – I love Colt McCoy, well the post-Texas version at least. This is a very solid team and good compete for a division if the Steelers falter. By my count they lost four games last season that teams normally win.
  7. Denver (8-8, +4) – This is all about John Fox, a great coach who basically needed a change from Carolina. If San Diego falters in any way, this is the team in the NFC West that will be a surprise division champ.

On the “minus” side (5 teams):

  1. Kansas City (4-12, -6) – We already know they’re not going back to the playoffs, so we know they won’t finish any better than 8-8. Throw in the tougher schedule which knocks them down another two losses. They won’t sweep Denver (one more loss) and they won’t beat San Diego (one). Of course, they will get one of the games back against Oakland, but still I need a -6, they’re it.
  2. Chicago (6-10, -5) – Six wins seems about right for them, though if Lovie gets the hook at mid-year and Martz takes over, flip them with KC and make both teams 5-11. Yeah Martz sucks that bad!
  3. Jacksonville (3-13, -5) – And I had to struggle to find three wins. The Los Angeles Jaguars are now on the clock.
  4. Atlanta (9-7, -4) – Mentioned above. The defense is terrible. They added Julio Jones, but unless he can play corner the Falcons are going to be a lot of shootouts this season.
  5. Oakland (4-12, -4) – I flip-flopped on this one. First I had them lucky to win two games, then I talked with my buddy, who I would consider a very realistic Raider fan, and he told me that no doubt the Raiders would be “at least 9-7”. That forced me to go back to the numbers. When I did, I eventually came back to my original assessment – losing Nnamdi doesn’t improve this team (a no brainer, right?), in fact, I think it makes them significantly worse (look at me, turning into Eric Dickerson as you read this, how about this for information – “Arizona in August is very hot , back to you Al”). There are very few corners that have earned 9th level wizard status, aka lockdown corner, i.e., a team will ignore said corners half of the field. So, losing Nnamdi opens up the entire field to opponents. That isn’t good. And they lost Zach Miller, they’re most reliable pass catching threat and replaced him with Kevin Boss, who isn’t a pass catching threat. And finally, they didn’t re-up Tom Cable, right when Cable had something working in Oak-town. Makes sense, right? You haven’t sniffed .500 since 2002, so instead of rewarding the coach, you let him walk for a guy named Hue. Don’t get me wrong, I love that move, not for football reasons but because it brings “eff-Hue” into play on a weekly basis.

Here are the 2011 official NFL Standings complete with record, division/conference/Super Bowl odds, season win total:

AFC East

Colin’s Prediction

Las Vegas Hilton

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1

New England

13

3

-180

225

450

11.5

100

-120

2

NY Jets

9

7

175

500

1200

10

100

-120

3

Miami

6

10

800

3000

6000

7.5

100

-120

4

Buffalo

5

11

2500

10000

20000

5.5

-135

115

 

AFC North

Colin’s Prediction

Las Vegas Hilton

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1

Pittsburgh

12

4

-150

350

800

10.5

-115

-105

2

Cleveland

9

7

1000

3000

6000

7

-110

-110

3

Baltimore

9

7

130

700

1500

10

-120

100

4

Cincinnati

5

11

2800

10000

20000

5.5

130

-150

 

AFC South

Colin’s Prediction

Las Vegas Hilton

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1

Houston

12

4

OFF

1100

2500

9

-150

130

2

Tennessee

8

8

OFF

5000

10000

6.5

-120

100

3

Indianapolis

5

11

OFF

1100

2500

OFF

OFF

OFF

4

Jacksonville

3

13

OFF

5000

10000

6.5

100

-120

 

AFC West

Colin’s Prediction

Las Vegas Hilton

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1

San Diego

13

3

-400

450

1000

10.5

-130

110

2

Denver

8

8

800

3500

7500

6

-120

100

3

Oakland

4

12

700

3500

7500

6.5

110

-130

4

Kansas City

4

12

700

2500

5000

OFF

OFF

OFF

 

NFC East

Colin’s Prediction

Las Vegas Hilton

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1

Dallas

11

5

300

900

2000

9

115

-135

2

Philadelphia

10

6

-175

350

800

10.5

-150

130

3

Washington

8

8

2200

5000

10000

6

-120

100

4

NY Giants

7

9

350

1500

3000

9

100

-120

 

NFC North

Colin’s Prediction

Las Vegas Hilton

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1

Green Bay

12

4

-325

225

500

11.5

135

-155

2

Detroit

11

5

400

1200

2500

8

-160

140

3

Chicago

6

10

800

2500

5000

8

120

-140

4

Minnesota

6

10

1200

2000

4000

7

-120

100

 

NFC South

Colin’s Prediction

Las Vegas Hilton

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1

New Orleans

12

4

-120

500

2000

10

-160

140

2

Atlanta

9

7

130

700

800

10

-110

-110

3

Tampa Bay

8

8

600

1500

3000

8

120

-140

4

Carolina

3

13

3000

15000

30000

4.5

-110

-110

 

NFC West

Colin’s Prediction

Las Vegas Hilton

Rank

Team

W

L

Div

Conf

SB

Wins

Ov

Un

1

St. Louis

11

5

160

2000

4000

7.5

-110

-110

2

Arizona

7

9

200

2500

5000

7.5

-110

-110

3

Seattle

5

11

900

5000

10000

6

135

-155

4

San Francisco

5

11

200

3000

6000

7.5

130

-150

 

A couple interesting notes on the futures

  • Chicago is 8-1 to win division, but 25-1 and 50-1 for conference and Super Bowl, while Minnesota is 12-1 to win division but 20-1 and 40-1 for NFC and Super Bowl. Does that mean that the books think it is more likely that Donovan McNabb can lead a team to the conference championship via the road than Jay Cutler? I imagine Culter’s family started the warm bath water and pulled blade out of the razor at reading that comment.
  • Tampa Bay is 15-1, 30-1 as the projected third best team in the NFC South, yet the projected winner of the NFC West is 20-1, 40-1. While the NFC West may be a joke, they get a home playoff game in a (outside of San Francisco) tough place to play. Oh, by the way, the last three seasons the NFC West winner has knocked off the best wildcard team in the playoffs.

Playoff predictions:

AFC:

Wildcard RoundPittsburgh over Baltimore and Houston over Cleveland

Divisional RoundNew England over Houston and San Diego over Pittsburgh (hey at least New England can finally win a playoff game, possibly putting the curse of Asante Samuel to rest)

AFC ChampionshipSan Diego over New England

 

NFC:

 

Wildcard Round Detroit over St. Louis (the streak is over, see the bookies know what they’re doing) and Philadelphia over Dallas

Divisional Round Green Bay over Philadelphia and New Orleans over Detroit

NFC ChampionshipGreen Bay over New Orleans

 

Super Bowl XLVI – San Diego over Green Bay

And the big question is – can Norv Turner lift the Lombardi trophy without help?

Finally, I am taking 20% ($2000) of my bankroll to place on futures, here are those bets:

  • Houston over 9 wins – $300 to win $200, I hate laying that kind of juice but there doesn’t seem to be any possible way the Texans don’t win at least 9 games (look at those last four lines – San Diego to win a Super Bowl and a Houston prediction that states they cannot win less than 9 games, I am crazy!)
  • Jacksonville under 6.5 – $240 to win $200 – They are on the clock. . .
  • San Diego over 10.5 – $260 to win $200
  • San Diego to win AFC and Super Bowl, $100 on each
  • Dallas to win NFC East, $100 to win $300
  • Detroit over 8 wins – $320 to win $200
  • Detroit to win NFC North – $100 to win $400, to win NFC and Super Bowl, $100 each
  • St. Louis over 7.5 wins – $220 to win $200, to win NFC and Super Bowl, $100 each

Enjoy football and remember Colin Wynner calls the winners!