14 September 2006

Weekly NFL Related Humiliation (Week TWO)

aka My Weekly Football Picks.

I'm going to limit the number of picks I make to just the four I have the greatest confidence in. Picking all the games is a chore, and as the schedule drags on, many games each week just aren't that interesting. This week especially, 7 of the 16 games have spreads of a touchdown or more, which suggests an expectation of blowout after blowout this week.

Now to the four games that would draw my interest for gaming purposes (odds taken from Vegas.com, the MGM/Mirage line, current as of 11:26 on 09/14/06)

Oakland at Baltimore (-12.5)
Take Baltimore and don't worry about giving up all those points. You have an immovable object (the Baltimore defense) being confronted by a listless, barely motile, highly resistable force. This could get ugly by the 3rd quarter, and the Raiders biggest hope to score would be that a 35 to 0 score by halftime leads to Baltimore benching all its starters on offense and defense. Garbage time points could screw up the almost 2 touchdown spread, but given last week's performance by both these teams, that seems highly unlikely. Not a game worth watching, but definitely one worth betting on.

Tampa Bay at Atlanta (-6)
Take Tampa Bay and the points. The spread on this is based on last week's performances by both teams. They expect many bettors to forget one thing, though. Tampa Bay's defensive schemes have continually baffled Michael Vick and the Bucs contain him better than any other team. I expect an upset here with Tampa Bay rebounding after getting blown out last week, and Atlanta having a letdown after destroying a good Carolina team.

Arizona at Seattle (-7)
Take Arizona and the points. Am I crazy? A team that made the Superbowl last year v. the Cardinals, and I'm taking the Cardinals on the road? Yes, yes I am (so long as I don't actually put up real money, it's easy). Arizona can score points in bunches, right now Seattle can't. Detroit's defense isn't that good to keep any team out of the end zone. The fault, last week lied with a Seattle offense that has troubles. Seattle still has an excellent defense, but Arizona, so long as Warner remains healthy, has one of the best offenses in football. I think the Cardinals offense will overwhelm the Seahawks defense, and the Seattle offense will stall out against a weak Arizona defense. It will be a fairly high scoring game, but it will remain close, so even though the Cardinals will probably still lose on the road, they will do so by less than a touchdown.

Washington at Dallas (-6)
Take Dallas at home, even though you have to give up six points. The Cowboys' home opener, should be a good one. DC is also coming off of a tought loss on Monday so are dealing with a short week. Dallas didn't look good in defeat last week, but the Redskins aren't the Jaguars, and Dallas has one more week of practice to get the timing between Bledsoe and Owens down. One thing that is definitely predictable about this game, you will be sick of all the mentions of TO and Tuna by sometime midway through the 3rd quarter. One of these teams is going to be 0-2 after this game and will have their rabid local media declaring the season a lost cause. I can't say that I'd be shocked if DC pulls this off, but I think the Cowboys have a more cohesive team right now and will prevail in this contest, and do so by at least 10 points.

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