Friday, October 12, 2007

It's Cowboys and Indians Week!

If you're a fan of Boston area sports, then this is Cowboys and Indians week for you, with Boston facing Cleveland in the ALCS, and the undefeated Pats headed for the "Duel in Dallas" on Sunday afternoon with the likewise 5-0 Cowboys. Greetings to time killers, friends, sports enthusiasts, true pimps huge frauds and gambling degenerates alike. I'm sorry if I ruined your week by not posting on Tuesday, but when the papers are on the loose, you need to chase 'em, or be chased, you get me? I know my hiatus has caused me to fall behind on some of the top news stories, but never fear, I got a few notes for ya to chew on, and maybe even a few one-liners you can use on your friends. Just make sure it doesn't get back to me that you're stealing my material. There's nothing I deplore more than plagiarism, and I will hunt you down and give you a verbal lashing that will make you wish you were born deaf! But enough of that, it's on to the picks that are sure to make you A) look like a genius B) make you straight cash money, or C) make us both look about as prophetic as your local weatherman...

The first pick of the week follows this season's #1 rule of thumb. Until they steer you wrong, take the Pats and the points, and start counting your money. New England covered for the 5th week in a row, and are now facing the lowest spread of the season since their match up with the Chargers. Also, I have heard personally, from the head of the sports book at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, that the bookies are taking a beating with the Pats this year, and if they do stomp the 'Boys this week in Big D, then Lord knows what the spread could be for any NFC team in this year's Super Bowl, whether the Pats are in it or not (hahaha yea that's about as likely as Charlie Weis passing on his ninth helping of whatever the hell he's inhaling these days) I know Dallas is good, and I know they're at home, but like I said, you have to ride the Pats until they buck you, and even then, you jump back on that mother humper and ride it some mo! The real question in this game, is how good are the Dallas Cowboys. Should be a good measuring stick for them if they can show any sort of fight against the current league juggernaut...

Next up, there's the Philadelphia Eagles visiting the suddenly punchless J-E-T-S. Philly gets Westbrook back this week, and should be well rested and prepared for a Jet team coming off back to back road losses and currently entrenched in a nice little QB controversy. The fact is, the Eagles hold a distinct advantage in every aspect of this match up, except home field, and should have no trouble pushing the Jets even deeper into the AFC basement. Hey, Jets fans, tell me when your down in the basement if the Patriots laundry is done yet, you rat fink bastards. Ha! Seriously though, teams coming off byes went 3-1 last week, and I think the Eagles are the one team this week that will be able to truly optimize their bye week, and come away with a big road win...

My third game, is the last game of the week where I will be truly "shocked" if I lose, and oddly enough, involves two teams that before the season, I thought I would only be picking to lose, and lose big. Instead, I'm showing some respect and picking the Cleveland Browns to win at home by 5 or more against the hapless Miami Dolphins. Cleveland wasn't given a chance in hell against the dynamic New England Patriots, and while they still lost by 17, they by far were the Pats stiffest competition in the '07 campaign. Add to that, Miami is without the newly concussed Trent Green, and will be going to battle with Miss Cleo Lemon. I know Joey Porter hates the Browns, but the fact is, his team is garbage, on the road, and starting their backup QB. Browns, Browns, like on it!...

OK, now that I've really put myself out there, predicting, if not damn near guaranteeing a Browns 20 point victory, it's time to go out on that ledge a little further, and pick the St. Louis Rams to cover on the road. That's right, the 0-5 Rams are 10 point underdogs to the 3-2 Ravens, but something is telling me, that Gus Frerotte and friends are due! Baltimore may be the better team, but they've been outscored by 9 this year, and still have a winning record, and that's just shady to me. I like the chances of the Rams, with Brian Leonard getting more experienced my the week, to run up and down at least a few times against an overrated Baltimore defense (14th overall in points allowed per game at 19.4), and at the very least keep the game close. Granted, St. Louis has been awful to start the season, but they still have the offensive weapons to make a game interesting. Now that they have a QB that isn't dinged up, their learning to play with the various holes in the backfield and along the offensive line, and should start to gel together, and become an improved team. I like the Rams to win this game as the big "upset" of the week...

The last pick on the docket for week 6, is Vince Young and the Titans to cover, and most likely win on the road against the Tampa Bay Bucs. Jeff Garcia has been solid, but I think Tampa will struggle running the ball, which will lead to lots of pressure on Jeff. And while we all like to assume how much he loves those guys rubbing all over him, it's not gonna make for a pretty picture offensively. The reason I think the Bucs won't be able to run, however, has nothing to do with the health of their backfield and more to do with the Titan defense. Whoever Tampa has back there won't be able to do much against the stingy Titan run defense, which is 3rd in the NFL allowing only 72 yards per game. On the flip side of that coin, Vince Young teams with LenDale White and Chris Browns to form the league's 4th best running game, at over 153 yards a contest. If you stop the run on defense, and run the ball well on offense, you can control the clock. If you can control the clock, you're gonna be tough to beat.

Week 6 Picks
New England Patriots (-5) @ Dallas Cowboys
Philadelphia Eagles (-3) @ New York Jets
Cleveland Browns (-4) vs Miami Dolphins
St. Louis Rams (+10) @ Baltimore Ravens
Tennessee Titans (+3) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Monday Night
New York Giants (-3.5) @ Atlanta Falcons

*If I had followed my guy last week, and chosen the Bills to cover, (aka: if I had any stones) then my first "7 pick" week would have not only been a winning one, but a resounding success. Lucky for me, I have no conflict when it comes to this Monday Night match up. The Giant defense has been much improved of late, and despite giving up 24 points last week to the Jets, has only given up an average of 14 points in their last 3 games. On the offensive side, Manning to Burress is quickly become one of the deadliest combinations in the league, as they've now connected for over 400 yards and 7 scores. The Atlanta Dogfighters might be the home team here, but they really haven't shown anything this season that would indicate they have what it takes to keep this one all that close.

Last Week: 4-3-0

Overall: 14-15-2 (.484)

NCAA Top 25 Picks
(1) LSU (-9) @ (17) Kentucky

(2) California (-14) vs Oregon St.

(3) Ohio St. (-30) vs Kent St.

(4) Boston College (-13.5) @ Notre Dame

(5) South Florida (-12) vs UCF

(11) Missouri (+11) @ (6) Oklahoma

(7) South Carolina (-7) @ North Carolina

(9) Oregon (-18) vs Washington St.

(10) USC (-21) vs Arizona

(12) Virginia Tech (-13.5) @ Duke

Washington (+12) @ (14) Arizona St.

(15) Cincinnati (-10) vs Louisville

San Jose St. (+19) vs (16) Hawaii

(18) Illinois (-3.5) @ Iowa

(19) Wisconsin (+6.5) @ Penn St.

(20) Kansas (-20.5) vs Baylor

Arkansas (-3) vs (22) Auburn

(23) Texas (-16) @ Iowa St.

(24) Georgia (-7) @ Vanderbilt

(25) Tennessee (-7) @ Mississippi St.

Last Week: 7-7-1

Overall: 65-51-2 (.560)

*Not gonna lie, I'm "this close" to yanking this picks due to all the bad luck I've encountered since I started doing it. I've slipped from 1st, all the way to 5th in my picks league! Ahhhhhhh! Karma, you bastard! I knew this was gonna happen! In all honesty though, I really think it's just a coincidence. I nailed a lot of the out of conference games early on, but I just don't know enough about conference match ups and dynamics to pick up on certain trends. Maybe the more I pick, the better I'll get, but I won't be surprised if this trend continues for the rest of the season. Hey, it takes a proud man to admit when he's beat, and while I'm not throwing in the towel quite yet, I do have the ring doctor on standby.

News and Notes Quick Hitters

*The Sox swept the Angels...again...and are now headed for a showdown with the Cleveland Indians, with a berth in the World Series at stake. Now, you know I love the Sox in this series, but rooting interest aside, I do think the Indians are going to put up a good fight. Granted, this is the same guy who correctly predicted exactly 1 correct Division Series winner (the Sox, at that), but I think the Tribe has what it takes both in pitching and in hitting, to make this a series. The bad news for them, is they have their best pitchers, 700-pounder CC Sabathia and Fausto Carmona, going on the road in Boston against post season legends Josh Beckett and Curt Schilling. If they can scrap out a win in one of those two games, then this thing is bound to get real interesting, real quick. Both team have the ability to hit the long ball, run the bases and score in bunches, so if the pitching happens to fail, then look the hell out. For now, I'll take the Sox in 6, and sit back and enjoy.

*In the NLCS, all signs point to 50 guys you've never heard of putting on quite a show. Arizona specializes in winning tight games, while the Rockies are the NL's ultimate comeback kids. Somethings gotta give right? Well, in game 1, Colorado pretty much put to rest any real doubts I had about this series. I mean look, The D-Backs can't hit worth a lick, and that's not gonna cut it anymore. The only good starter Arizona has on it's whole staff, is Brandon Webb, and we all saw how well that went last night, didn't we? / I'm probably the only one that watched that minor league fest. Whatever. Here's to watching the Red Sox wear sweaters and turtle necks, while dodging hail and sleet at Coors Field. Rocks in 5...

*The Yankees lost, I'm not sure if you heard, and it's now possible the dynasty could be facing a mass exodus. With Joe Torre halfway out the door, and Mariano Rivera saying he will only return if Torre does, it almost makes people forget that arguably the team's two best players, A-Rod and Posada, are going to be the biggest targets in the off season market. Wow-za. To describe all this drama as interesting, would be the understatement of the millennium...

*If there's breaking news in the "Reggie Bush taking money at USC" story, you know it's gotta be from Yahoo! Sports. The only media outlet to actively pursue this story is now saying they have a guy willing to testify that Bush received about $280 K while winning titles for the Trojans. I still don't know why the folks at Yahoo! Sports are the only ones on this story, like 24/7, but I guess now it's finally gaining some steam. Ohhhhhh, wait a minute. The reason nobody else is on this, is because it can only retroactively hurt both Bush and USC (if it hurts the school at all), and people will only remember the titles and the records, not the "scandal" that followed. We know these guys take money to play! Stop wasting you're time on Reggie Bush, Yahoo!, and start focusing your energy on ways to improve your fantasy football leagues!

*I decided to end this week with an admission. Yes, I have watched a little bit of both Celtic pre season games in Italy. And yes, I enjoyed what I saw. I know I've ripped Danny Ainge and crew a lot over the past few years, and while I'm not totally jumping off the mistake prone Mormon, I have to admit I've loved what I've seen on the court thus far. Allen, Pierce and Garnett are obviously as good as advertised, and watching the improved play of guys like Kendrick Perkins, Eddie House and the healthy Tony Allen has been rather encouraging. Now, I still stand by my statement that Glen Rivers MD won't be able to coach this team to anything more than an Eastern Conference appearance, but from what I've seen, the team might be determined to win even in spite of their hapless leader. Go get 'em, Green! And go get 'em a new coach, Danny! You're dream is almost complete! (No, not the one where your people get to have like 20 wives, man. That's still only chill in Utah.)


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