Worst NFL Game of the Week – This is harder to spot than most weeks – the matchups mostly have at least a little interest. That means that, more than any week so far, there really isn’t a truly bad game here. That means we have to pick the worst of a decent bunch. In my mind that’s going to be Cincinnati at Dallas. The Bengals are truly, absolutely awful, and they may not have Carson Palmer in action. Even if they do he won’t be healthy. The Cowboys had an off game, and I expect them to come back hungry and angry. This one should be a dull, lopsided mess.

Best NFL Game of the Week
– As I said before, there are a lot of good games this week, but none that are true and obvious classics, so this is a tight competition. There are a couple or runner-ups. Tennessee at Baltimore is a battle of two teams that are better than they were probably expected to be, and it should be a classic defensive battle. Buffalo at Arizona is a good test of a team that has been an upstart and wants to prove that they are for real. For my winner, though, I have to go to the most consistently excellent division in the league so far this year – the NFC East. Washington and Philly are both promising teams that don’t quite have their acts completely together, but they both have obvious promise. It should be good.

Game With Teams With the Most to Prove
– Indianapolis and Houston. Coming into the season the Colts were favored to win their division, and a lot of people had Houston picked as a wild card team. They have combined to go 1-5 so far. They both have a world of problems, but both present just enough points of optimism to keep fans interested. A loss here will be a huge blow to either team.

Ridiculously Over-hyped
– Terrell Owens has assured that we are going to hear about the Cowboys way, way more than we need to. Thanks, buddy.

Continue reading “Looking Ahead – Week 4/5”

1. The polls are essentially meaningless at this point in the season. Ranked teams that played unranked teams were 6-9 ATS this week. Five of those ranked teams lost their games despite being double digit favorites. The lower ranked team won both games played between ranked teams.

Continue reading “What I Learned This Weekend”

It’s time for another look at the key games of interest this weekend from among the top 25. As always, I haven’t picked these out because they necessarily represent the best bets, and I am not representing them as picks. They are merely the ones with the storylines that I find most interesting this weekend. Without further ado:

Continue reading “Week Five College Games To Watch”

Starting today we are into the last series of the baseball season. We haven’t been talking baseball much recently, but with the playoffs around the corner we will be ding much more, and this is a good pace to start. The last series is only meaningful for a couple of teams – those trying to make it into the playoffs. The rest are either counting the seconds until their season ends, or trying hard not to get anyone hurt before the playoffs start. Teams that have clinched also spend the series trying to get their rotation into the order they want it to be in for the playoffs. For fans this weekend doesn’t mean much in most of the series either. It’s hard to care, and this is just a chance to catch our breath before the long playoffs.

Continue reading “Why Bet On The Last Weekend of Baseball?”

If there was any doubt that college football is the craziest, greatest, most heartbreaking sport there is it was all dispelled tonight in Oregon. If you live nder a rock and missed it, the Oregon State Beavers took a 21-0 lead into halftime against USC, and then held on to win 27-21. The game just ended, so here are my immediate thoughts:

Continue reading “They’ll Burn Corvallis To The Ground!!!”

The Blue Jays have extended Cito Gaston as manager through the 2010 season. Let me be the first to prematurely declare this team as one to watch next year. The tough AL East should be even tougher thanks to this move. It is no fluke that the Jays have been a much improved squad since the calming influence of Gaston has been in charge. He thinks offense, he doesn’t tolerate crap, and he has the respect of his charges. The team is 48-36 since Gaston took over, and made the AL East race more interesting. The team likely has a spot or two in the rotation to fill, and they still need a bat or two, but the core of this team is good enough to compete. A very good move.

Continue reading “Random Notes On A Thursday”

I’m always on the lookout for new and different ways to pick games. Some things work and some things don’t. Often as not it seems to be the human factor that turns a good handicapping effort into a bad one. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun, if not useful, to take the human factor out of things. Each week for the rest of the season we are going to take three high profile games and let my PlayStation 2 tell me what t do. We’ll simulate the games using the starting rosters, and using NCAA Football 09 from EA Sports. We’ll keep track to see how things go and if it has strengths and weaknesses. Standard disclaimer – this is just for fun and doesn’t represent real picks in any way. Put another way, you would have to be on drugs to bet these.

Alabama (+6.5) at Georgia
– The battle for early SEC supremacy should be a good one. It wasn’t too bad in video game form. Georgia jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead, but Alabama tied t up by the half. Georgia scored again early in the second half, but then things ground to a halt. There was just one more field goal, by Georgia, and the defenses were clearly in command. Neither team successfully established a run, and Alabama actually led in total offense, but Georgia won the game 17-7. That’s a cover.

Minnesota (+18.5) at Ohio State
– This one sets up to be more interesting than t appeared it would be at the start of the game. Minnesota has played very well, and seems to finally be rebuilding. Ohio State is reeling, though they have new life thanks to Terrelle Pryor. I played the simulation with Beanie Wells back in action. Both teams struggled early, with just a field goal by Ohio State in the first quarter. The Buckeyes had the lead 13-0 by the half, and the Gophers couldn’t get anything going. Another touchdown in the fourth gave the Buckeyes a 20-0 win, and an uninspiring cover. Minnesota showed that they still have a lot of work to do, but Ohio State again didn’t look like the dominant force many expected them to be at the start of the season. Pryor completed 60 percent of his passes, but didn’t have near the game he did last week, and looked more like a freshman than the all-world stud he did last week. Wells only ran for 79 yards, but scored both Buckeye touchdowns. Minnesota’s passing was awful.

TCU (+18.5) at Oklahoma
– The Mountain West continues it’s battle for legitimacy against potentially the second best team in the country. Both teams can score, but it is perhaps the defenses that are underappreciated and will dictate the tone of the game. At least that’s what happened in video world. Oklahoma got off to a solid start and looked like they would run away with it – they were up 14-0 by the beginning of the second quarter. TCU settled in and made a game of it, though, scoring the next 10 points. Ultimately, the Sooners were too much for the Frogs, but TCU was more than respectable, losing 23-10. That’s a cover for the underdogs. Sam Bradford’s passing yards were down, but he was still the star of the game, completing 72 percent of his passes, and tossing three touchdowns.

Continue reading “WWMPD – What Would My PS2 Do?”

Once more with a look forward to the weekend:

Worst NFL game of the week
– This is getting pretty easy. You just look at the games involving Kansas City and St. Louis and decide which one is more painful. That has worked so far, but I am actually going to do something different this time around. Kansas City hosts Denver. That won’t be exciting, and the Chiefs won’t win, but the Broncos have an explosive offense and should be able to burn up the scoreboard. Scoring is fun to watch. Buffalo visits St. Louis. That one will be interesting for a couple of reasons – we can see what Trent Edwards can do in a glorified practice, and we can see if Trent Green still has any game. That leaves me with my choice – Cleveland at Cincinnati. Two broken teams with enormous problems. The potential for true terribleness.

Continue reading “Looking Ahead – Week 4/5”

We’re going to try another new feature for the football season. Each Monday we are going to look back at some of the teams that the large majority of people weren’t backing that nonetheless managed to cover the spread. We’ll look back at their stats or their performance coming in to see what could have tipped us off to the eventual outcome. In other words, we’ll go back and make a case for betting on the eventual winners. This is my way of saying ‘I knew it all along’, even when I didn’t necessarily. This isn’t to suggest that the underdogs were always the right pick. It’s just that doing this can fulfill two important roles – it can potentially help us learn for next time, and it can be therapy to ease the pain of losses. Without further ado:

Continue reading “Hindsight Monday”

1. I think that I’m not yet convinced that Chase Daniel is the clear Heisman leader that people say he is. Sure, the stats are compelling – he’s top five in the country in completion percentage, passing yards, yards per attempt, yards per game, and touchdowns. He’s only been sacked once, and he’s thrown just one pick. On top of all that, he completed 20 in a row against Buffalo. Here’s the thing, though – he’s only played one BCS team – Illinois – and his stats in that game were significantly worse than the rest – his completion percentage was 25 points worse, his yards per attempt were much worse, and both the pick and the sack came in that game. It’s not exactly like the Illini are known for their stout defense, either. Don’t get me wrong, I like him and his team. I just want to hold judgment until he gets through his tough stretch of next four games – Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Texas, Colorado. That’s a much better test of where he is at than what we have seen so far.

Continue reading “10 Things I Learned This Weekend”

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