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Friday, October 10, 2008

NFL Week 6 Picks

What it is, what it is , what it is?!?

The NLCS is underway, the ALCS kicks off tonite, and we have a full weekend of NFL action still to look forward too. Lucky for you, I have it all broken down and ready for you to digest. So get your forks out, people, and don't forget your A1. Everything's better with A1 on it, and my delicious words of wisdom are no exception. Check 'em out...

First stop, the MLB...


American League Championship Series
The cat and mouse game is officially over, and now it's time to play for all the marbles. Defying all the experts, Tampa Bay held on to capture the AL East, and now will have to prove once and for all that they actually were the best team in the division. So the questions are these:

1) Can they do it?...

AND

2) If I really, down deep in my un bias guy think that they can, do I have the balls to pick them?


Well. At the risk of seemingly taking the easiest way out possible, I'm going to answer both of those self posed questions with what else but a resounding, NO!

The Baby Rays have been a great story, this is a given. And they have without a doubt the best collection of young talent from the top of their rotation to the bottom of their bench. We know this. But what they lack, and what I look for most in a team when it comes to a big time post season series, is experience. Yeah, I know how cliche that sounds. And don't even bother trying to tell me I'm playing that card because it's the only one the Sox have in their favor. As far as talent goes, I'd say the playing field is pretty equal. Hence, my reasoning...

Whether it's lineup, rotation, bull pen or bench. The beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the whole match up essentially becomes a wash. That's why I'm using experience as my tie breaker, and lucky for me, that edge goes squarely to the Sox...

And as cliche as it may sound, game 1 is going to be extremely vital for Joe Madden and his Rays. Right now, they have no pressure on them. They aren't supposed to be here, they aren't supposed to win, and they're basically playing with house money. Should they come out and lose game 1, they'll lose home field advantage and could even begin to question whether or not they even belong...

That being said, I like the Sox to take game 1, and I like them to take the ALCS in 6-7 games. Not too bold a prediction, I know, but fan or not, it's the way I see it breaking down...

I'll take Kevin Youkilis as my series MVP, and to lead my Sox to the World Series. Thus completing one half of my pre season World Series prediction...

As for the other half? Well I'm still alive there too...


National League Championship Series
So while the Major's two best teams, John Lackey, battle it out to claim the American League crown, the boys on the Senior Circuit have decided that they too will attempt to put on a show. And seeing as I'm taking the Sox in the ALCS, it's only appropriate that I stick to my pre season prediction and take the Phillies to take the NLCS. Believe me, I'd love to see Manny back in Boston as much as the next guy, but when I break this one down, I just see the Phillies coming out on top...

Let's start with Manny. His RBI in game 1 aside, he batted .212 this year against the Phillies and is only 3 for 22 this year at Philadelphia's Citizens Bank Park. I know he's the man and whatnot, but in a game that's based around match ups, that's just not a good sign...

AND

Like the Red Sox, the Phillies have all the post season experience. LA may have seasoned vets on their team, but this Phillies squad is the same one that has now in two straight seasons made uber-clutch runs to take down the NL East. They came close last year, and they'll be damned if they let these Manny-come-latelys take what they feel is their spot in the World Series...

I just feel the Phillies are more prepared to take the next step, and combined with home field advantage, that should be enough to propel them to the National League title. Phillies in 6, baby. Phillies in 6...

And yes. This was going to be my pick before the Phillies came out on top in game 1. Had they lost game 1, the only thing I would have changed is to have picked the Phillies in 7. So get off me!...


Now, it's on to the gridiron...


Week 6 Picks
New England Patriots (+5) @ San Diego Chargers

What better place to start this week than with this heavyweight match up. Sure it may not be the showdown we were all expecting when the season began, but it's still a big game for those of us remaining Pats fans. Don't worry, kids. Once the Sox are out they'll come back in droves. Pink hats in hand, and Matt Cassel jersey decals hanging in the window of their Range Rover. Well, that is until they lose again. Then it becomes a Ray Allen jersey decal. But I digress...

I look at this Sunday Night match up, and I can't help but think that either Sammy Morris, or Lauernce Maroney is gonna have a big time performance. I always look for that one player that's gonna break out in a prime time game, and with the now 18th ranked San Diego rush defense missing some key components, I've pegged that it's gonna come from the Patriots backfield. Had he been healthy, I would have picked LaMont Jordan to break out in this spot, but his absence gives Morris and Maroney all that much more motivation. Maroney's disgruntled and will be looking to prove his worth, while Morris has gotta be looking to pick up where he left off when an injury cost him most of his debut season with the Pats...

New England should be able to control the clock, control the line of scrimmage, and thus control the game. Besides, it's not like I have a choice, here. As one of the last remaining Patriots fans in all of New England, I pretty much have to take the Pats. I mean, when was the last time they were even given any points anyway?...


Chicago Bears (-3) @ Atlanta Falcons

Kyle Orton and Matty Ryan. There probably aren't two more pleasant surprises in the world of NFL QB's this season, and this week they square off in the Dirtiest of the South. I can't say I love Ryan's chances, though. You gotta think the Bears run defense is gonna shut down Michael "the Burner" Turner, and be able to pin their ears back and give the rookie all sorts of pressure. Maybe Ryan will rise to the occasion in front of the home fans, but I just don't see it happening...

Besides. Never has someone not named Serena Williams looked more like they are wearing a huge diaper than Michael freaking Turner. That's weird, and that's more than enough reason for me to against them right there...


New York Jets (-6) vs Cincinnati Bengals

Last time we saw Brett Favre, he was tossing 6 touchdown passes in leading his Jets to a 56-35 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Now, after a bye week, Favre and friends get the Cincinnati Bengals served up to them on a silver platter. The Bungles are 0-5, 19th in overall defense, and 31st in overall offense. Not good. And while they might be 6th in overall pass defense, that's due mostly to the fact that teams are building big leads, and just running the bean right down their throat...

If I were the Man Genius, A) I would have never double crossed Belichick, and B) I'd run the ball early to open up the play action, and blow Marvin Lewis and his hapless bunch right out of the water. Maybe asking that pudgy bastard to follow my game plan two games in a row is asking a little too much, but considering the opponent, I'm doubting that it will even matter...



Dallas Cowboys @ Arizona Cardinals OVER 50.5

I've always stood hard and fast to one simple rule when it comes to betting on football. DON'T PICK A GAME WHERE YOU THINK BOTH THE TEAMS SUCK! I'm not saying the Cowboys suck, mind you, but I think the saying still holds some water. In this game, it just so happens that both pass defenses suck, which allows me to utilize the rule that I just mentioned. Logic says: If both teams have prolific passing attacks, and both pass defenses are suspect, then there should be a lot of points scored. Right? So as long as Wade Phillips doesn't randomly decide that this is the week he's gonna pound it out with Marion Barber, then that over should fall by the start of the 2nd half...

Unfortunately, it would be just like the "Son of Bum" to try and run the pill against a team like the Cardinals, so let's just all keep our fingers crossed, and I'm sure we can dodge that multi-chinned bullet together...

Oh, and as for PacMan being PacMan, and getting into a fight with one of his own bodyguards? I heard Michael Wilbon say it best yesterday on PTI. To paraphrase..."this is a guy who has 4! interceptions since he's entered the league!" Couldn't have said it better myself, Mike. Give him the boot, Goodell. Let him kick strippers on his own time...



San Fransisco 49ers (+7.5) vs Philadelphia Eagles

This pick might seem the strangest of the bunch considering my pre season predictions, but I've never been one to resist the occasional mind change now and again. And when I did pick the Eagles to go 12-4 when the season began, I'm fairly sure that one of their 4 predicted losses was to come in week 6 when they go to visit the 49ers. I have the Niners finishing 8-8, so it's believe able, and from what I've seen from both teams so far this season, I don't see why I shouldn't just ride with my original pick...

Philly chokes in close games, too. So that's another factor. Perhaps it's one I should have examined a little more closely before the season began, but unfortunately for me, that ship has sailed...


Denver Broncos (-3) vs Jacksonville Jaguars

In this game, I'm banking on a simple theory: That the Bronco coaching staff watched the film from the Jacksonville/Pittsburgh game last Sunday night. If they did, they'll realize they can essentially pass at will on the Jaguar defense. Might be bad news for my fantasy team, but it should be good news for Jay Cutler and the Bronco offense...


Washington Redskins (-12.5) vs St. Louis Rams

St. Louis sucks. And seeing as my two horses, Buffalo and Oakland, have recently let me down, my new trend is to just pick against the St. Louis Rams. Ride 'em till they buck ya, baby...


Here are the rest of the picks. And no, I'm not sure why I'm picking the Lions either...


New Orleans Saints (-7.5) vs Oakland Raiders

Indianapolis Colts (-4) vs Baltimore Ravens

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-1) vs Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions (+13.5) @ Minnesota Vikings

Houston Texans (pick) vs Miami Dolphins

Green Bay Packers (+3.5) @ Seattle Seahawks



Monday Night
Cleveland Browns (+9.5) vs New York Giants

Hearkening back to what I said about the Cowboys and Cardinals, there's another rule I like to follow whenever I feel it fits. Always try to take a home team that's getting points, especially when it's a prime time game. That's the only reason I'm taking the Browns in this one, and I'll just be hoping and praying that they're somehow able to keep this one close. And let's put it this way. Either I'm right, or next week we see Brady Quinn at the helm. Not to mention, my fantasy squad will have Kellen Winslow going on MNF, and he'll be looking to keep up my new found reputation as "Mr. Monday Night". So I got that goin' for me, which is nice...


Last Week: 7-5-2

Overall: 40-30-2 (.577)

Top Picks: 17-8-1 (.673)


There are two sure fire signs that the college football season is truly heating up. One, is when the Heisman Trophy talk begins to start in earnest. Two, is when the big rivalry games begin to take on more meaning than just some bragging rites. This week, not only do Oklahoma and Texas square off in the "Red River Rivalry", but LSU and Florida will do battle in The Swamp in a game that could very well have both SEC and National Championship ramifications in the months to come...

Aside from liking the Longhorns to keep it close, I haven't got too many other upsets. Tricky line when it comes to Vandy (5-0) and Mississippi St. (1-4), though so buyer beware. Vandy is a 2 1/2 point favorite @ Mississippi St., mostly based on the fact that the two had virtually the same out come against Auburn, their lone shared opponent to this point. Vandy beat 'em by 1, and the Bulldogs lost to 'em by 1. So you do the math. And also, to shove another adage down your throat, a few more words of wisdom. When a line looks sketchy, take the team that seems to be getting the benefit of that sketchiness. In this case, it's the 1-4 team being put at a virtual coin flip, at home, against a 5-0 team. Somethin' doesn't smell right, so I'm goin' with the Bulldogs...

I'm also taking Wisconsin at home against the Nitany Lions. The Badgers? Getting points at Camp Randall? You can sign me up for that...


NCAA Top 25 Picks
(5) Texas (+6.5) @ (1) Oklahoma

(3) Missouri (-14) vs (17) Oklahoma St.

(4) LSU (+6) @ (11) Florida

Wisconsin (+5.5) vs (6) Penn St.

(7) Texas Tech (-20) vs Nebraska

(8) USC (-28) vs Arizona St.

(9) BYU (-23) vs New Mexico

(10) Georgia (-12) vs Tennessee

(12) Ohio St. (-19) vs Purdue

Mississippi St. (+2.5) vs (13) Vanderbilt

(14) Utah (-23.5) @ Wyoming

(15) Boise St. (-10.5) @ Southern Miss

(16) Kansas (-14) vs Colorado

(20) Auburn (-18.5) vs Arkansas

Notre Dame (+8) @ (22) North Carolina

(23) Michigan St. (-1.5) @ Northwestern

(25) Ball St. (-15.5) @ Western Kentucky


Last Week: 8-8-0

Overall: 64-40-2 (.613)


Done and done. That's it for this week, pimps. I'm off to enjoy my weekend, but not before I make a pit stop at good ole Attleboro High School. That's right. Your favorite burgeoning media mogul (AKA, me) is kicking off his 3rd season as the voice of AHS football tonight, and I couldn't be more excited. OK, that was a lie...or at least an exaggeration, but I'm always a fan of being able to work on my craft...

After that, it will be just another weekend full of work, football, baseball, and booze. And as long as I don't mix up the order in which I'm supposed to do those 4 things, I think I'm in for one Hell of a time...

So until next time, peace in the middle...

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