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Friday, November 12, 2010

NFL Week 10 Picks: A Season's Worth of Sundays


I don't about you, but Sunday Night has quickly become my favorite night of the week.  Well, at least for TV watching purposes...

As a kid, I always felt hosed by Sundays.  You call that a weekend day?!  You can't even stay up late!  And half the time, people spend it going to church?!  What a letdown...

Now, as an "adult", Sundays have seemingly made it up to me by offering me both delicious sports and entertainment on a weekly basis.  Football all day long, and then a tasty smattering of comedy and drama to fill the  rest of the night....and more often than not, my DVR for the next 2-3 days.  And that's probably my favorite part.  It's like, you're watching one thing and getting so engrossed in it, that you forget that there are still countless hours of delicious TV still to watch.  And then by the time you actually are finished watching everything, the cycle is basically already primed to repeat itself...

That's how my life is right now, at least from a sports perspective.  More accurately, my life is actually more like a few weeks back when Mad Men was still apart of my Sunday night lineup.  That's because right now, literally right now as I type, 3 of my favorite "seasons" are getting into full swing.  The NFL and NCAA football seasons are really starting to get good, the NCAA basketball season is about to tip off, and Major League Baseball has lit the fuse on what promises to be yet another exciting off season full of wheeling and dealing.  For me, it just doesn't get any better.  I'll get all wrapped up in one thing, and then BAM!, I'll be hit with a news item or highlight that reminds me that those two other delicious worlds exist.  And it's great...

Now for those of you that aren't as big into college basketball or MLB free agency, I can see how you might not share my enthusiasm for this time of year.  Unfortunately, that's your problem.  If you think the "NBA regular season" and "EuroTrash on Ice" are "acceptable forms of entertainment", then that's on you.  I've tried my best, through the years, to steer you in the right direction, but if you haven't got the picture by now, I'm not sure there's too much more I can do for ya.  Especially since it's my Nation.  Now if this were Ted Nation, I'm sure we could chat about that stuff all the live long day.  But Ted Nation is a cancelled radio show with an hilarious title, and this is Rooch Nation, where we talk about sports that are actually fun and interesting...


So, what does all this random Sunday TV talk mean?  Well it more just serves as a heads up for what you can look for in the non Ted Nation over the next few weeks.  Naturally I'll continue to keep it real with my NFL & NCAA picks to click, but I'll also be keeping close tabs on MLB free agency and the infancy of the 2010-2011 NCAA basketball season.  My focus will be mainly on my Syracuse Orange and Boston Red Sox, but you know I'll be keeping a watchful eye on the big picture as well.  It's an exciting time, kids, and the fact that it converges with the holidays just makes it all the more magical.  So get on board, and make sure you keep it locked right here to stay up to speed...

For now, it's time to focus on the sport that started this grand Sunday tradition, and time to continue lining your coffers with my increasingly dependable picks.  It's the second half of the season and, per usual, I'm starting to hit my stride.  Get in now while the gettin's good, and you'll have more than enough delicious cake to shower you and yours with only the finest gifts for the holiday season.  And last time I checked, if you give a tip to your mailman and milkman, a currency filled envelope wouldn't be out of line for your neighborhood handicapper, either.  Ha!  Just kidding, you don't need to send me any money.  Delicious pastries, high end steaks, and booze would be great gifts, too...

But enough about what you should be doing for the holidays, let's just get to the picks.  And again, I'm actually winning now, so you should actually be taking my advice...

Weeeeeeeeeeeeeek 10. GO!                  

Week 10 Picks

Indianapolis Colts (-7) vs Cincinnati Bengals

Maybe it was because it was at the top of my Week 10 list of games, but this game jumped out at me right away as one I'd want to be in on...

On one hand, you have the Colts, who dinged up as they are, are still 5-3 with a mind towards a deep run in the playoffs.  On the other hand, you have the Bengals, who are as big a mess as ever, losers of 5 straight, and headed for another season of typically disastrous Bengal-like stuff.  Namely infighting and substance abuse...

Now the Bengals, as bad as they are, don't tend to get blown out, which makes this somewhat of a risky play.  Matter of fact, in their 6 losses they've only fallen by 7 or more in 2 them.  But I'm not letting that discourage me.  When things fall apart in the NFL, they usually fall apart fast.  I think the Bengals put in their last real great effort last weekend when they were narrowly unable to comeback against Pittsburgh, and it's all downhill from here.  Matter of fact, I like the Colts soo much in this match up, that I'm installing them as this week's LOCK OF THE WEEK.

Indy will be primed at home, and ready to get the 2nd half of the season started on the right foot, and like I said, Cincy's beat.  So take the Colts, OK?  OK...  



Tennessee Titans (-1) @ Miami Dolphins

Randy Moss may be making his debut with his 3rd team of the season this week, but it's a few key trends that don't involve the mercurial wide out that have me siding with his new club.  Namely Tennessee's prowess on the road (3-1) and Miami's ineptness at home (0-4).  Miami did screw me last week when they lost on the road for the 1st time this year, and while I wouldn't put it past them to do the same this week with their first home win, there's one thing that I gotta think has to be working in my favor.  Chad Pennington.  Yep, not only is he NOT dead, but he's getting the start this week.  I understand Miami probably thinks Chad can bring some much needed consistency to their offense (and maybe a little street cred?), but switching QBs halfway through the season doesn't usually bode well.  At least not in the short term...(says the kid who just picked a team that has yet to name a week 10 starter)...#syh    


St. Louis Rams (+6) @ San Fransisco 49ers

I was halfway to making this my second LOCK OF THE WEEK, when I had a change of heart.  That 6 point line just doesn't look right.  Then I got to thinkin' that San Fran might actually and finally be playing up to their promise, and could very easily lay the wood to a young St. Louis team that actually might be a little rusty coming off their bye.  Sounds odd, but few teams have had as surprising 1st halves as the Rams, and something tells me they would have rather played right through their bye week than stop their positive momentum...

Either way, I like the Rams too much not to take them here with the 6 points.  Even if they are 0-3 on the road...



New York Giants (-14) vs Dallas Cowboys

I didn't think it would happen this year, but Wade Phillips is OUT in Dallas, and Jason Garrett is IN.  I suppose a move did have to be made, but this is just a band aid for a problem that's going to requite an entire surgical team to fix...

PAGING Dr. Cowher....

The Giants have a tendency for failing to show up for game's like this, but as long as they're focused in this one, even 14 points shouldn't be a problem.  Oh, and if they do cover the 14, you'd be hard pressed to convince me that they aren't the best team in the NFL...


Chicago Bears (+1) vs Minnesota Vikings

I had the Vikings in this one all week, but today I made the switch.  I figure, if anyone is going to "finish off" Brett Favre, it's going to be Julius Peppers.  Plus, the Vikes are still a mess, despite their heroic effort against Arizona...

That's another thing, too.  If Minnesota needed every second and every yard to beat Arizona at home, how are you supposed to pick them with confidence as a road favorite against...well...against pretty much anybody?  Yeah.  I can't do it, either...


Jacksonville Jaguars (-1.5) vs Houston Texans + OVER 49

See that?  Bet you didn't know David Garrard had a white wife, did ya?  I didn't think so.  Makes you wonder what else you may not know about the Jacksonville Jaguars, doesn't it?

OK, maybe not, but you don't know, might actually help you in this one.  The Texans are strictly good on paper, and as Kenny Mayne has famously told us, "games aren't played on paper, they're played inside TV sets".  Well inside my TV set, the Texans usually lose games I think they should win.  This is one of those games.  A lot like last week's tilt with SD, actually, which is why I'm again choosing to pair this game with the OVER 49...


New England Patriots (+4.5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers

You were probably a little surprised not to find this game towards the top of the slate, but I have a good reason for that.  Consistency.  Yep, this is always where I put my Sunday Night pick, and I'm not about to let the Patriots force me to stray from that formula...

As for the game, I gotta put the full disclaimer out there.  I hate the Steelers.  It's a "New York Yankee type-I hate you because I admire you", type deal, but it's still hate nonetheless.  And seeing as I don't happen to be one of the Red Sox fans that "hate" the Yankees in the way I described, the feeling of disdain I have for the Steelers and their fans is one that gets my blood up like no other.  I want the Patriots to beat them more than I want them to beat anyone else.  More than the Colts, more than the Jets, more than anybody.  So when it comes to following my advice on this one, consider yourself forewarned...

But just because I've got my Pink Hat on for this one doesn't mean that my pick is without reason.  The Pats may be coming off a tough loss @ Cleveland, but Pittsburgh is dealing with the short week after playing in a very physical game on Monday Night.  More important than the short week, though, is that this year's Steeler team is particularly bad against the pass.  24th in the league, to be precise.  IT's mostly for that reason why I like the Pats to, at the very least, hang around in this one.  I know Tom Terrific and the Patriots offense haven't been their precise selves lately, but a verbal lashing from Bill B. Hoodsworth and a tough week of practice should no doubt have them in top form for their biggest game of the season to date...

Patriots 20 Steelers 17      


Now on to the rest of the slate, featuring an hilarious photo of Rex Ryan doing an imitation of his brother Rob,  and me picking an 0-9 team that's favored by 3 points.  Personally, I wouldn't recommend doing either one of  those things if I were you...




Cleveland Browns (+3) vs New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals OVER 41.5

Buffalo Bills (-3) vs Detroit Lions

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-6.5) vs Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos (+1) vs Kansas City Chiefs


Monday Night


Philadelphia Eagles (-3) @ Washington Redskins

Earlier in the season I correctly predicted McNabb's triumphant return to Philadelphia.  This time around, things won't be so easy for his Redskins against his former club...

Mike Shannahan has a way of making his players fear for their job in an attempt to get the best out of them.  A tactic I don't think was wisely employed when he benched McNabb for the end of the game against the Lions, and one that could eventually serve as the reason as to why this season became a lost cause.  Look, there are really only two ways Donovan McNabb can react from his recent benching and criticism.  He can either come out on fire, guns blazing, or pout his way to the off season where he can take his gripes to the media.  I'm betting on the former happening, which is why I'll take the Eagles as 3 point favorites against a team they lost to by 5 in their own building just over a month ago...


Oh, and did I mention how I've been on fire, lately?  Yeah.  Look at those records, baby.  Nary a single sub .500 one to be found.  Let the paper chasing begin!...


Last Week: 10-4-1 (Top Picks: 4-2-1)

Overall: 65-57-4 (.532)

Top Picks: 33-32-3 (.507)


Lock of the Week: 7-6-0


Auburn's Cameron Newton, or as I've dubbed him "Big Fig", has taken center stage this season with both his play on the field, and his alleged actions off of it.  And while the entire country is left wondering if he took money, or if it will effect his team's eligibility or his Heisman Trophy candidacy, I'm left wondering why people are still making a big deal over this stuff...

Look, you can call me naive, and you can call me blissfully ignorant, but this is how I look at it.  I like my college sports like I like my Taco Bell: Dirty in the kitchen, but delicious on the plate.  I don't wanna know how you make the Double Decker taco behind the scenes, I just want to sit back and enjoy the delectable results.  And I understand the argument that schools that "pay for play" make the game "unfair", but in league where the powers that me have made it blatantly obvious with their handling of the post season that they too are "all about the money", players receiving payoffs seems more like a common business practice than some unacceptable violation...

Hey, maybe it's just the Blue Chips fan in me that enjoys the shady dealings of college recruiting, I don't know.  But to me, this has been, and always will be a part of the game as long as there are disproportional dollars to be made.  IT's just the way the sport has always operated, and Hell, it's just the way of the freakin' world.  The NCAA is one shippin' that dog meat to the Bell, and if there's any action to be taken, it's in regulating in their practices, not doing background checks on every employee...

But hey, you won't hear me complainin', I love that delicious dog meat exactly the way it is...  

NCAA Top 25 Picks
California (+19.5) vs (1) Oregon

(2) Auburn (-8) vs Georgia

Arizona St. (+5.5) vs (7) Stanford

(8) Ohio St. (-18) vs Penn St.

(17) Mississippi St. (+13.5) vs (11) Alabama

(12) Oklahoma St. (-5.5) @ Texas

(15) Utah (-5.5) @ Notre Dame

North Carolina (+3.5) vs (16) Virginia Tech

(19) Oklahoma (-15) vs Texas Tech

(20) Missouri (-13) vs Kansas St.

(22) South Carolina (+6.5) @ (24) Florida

(23) Texas A&M (-3) @ Baylor



Last Week: 6-5-0

Overall: 65-45-3 (.589)



Have a good weekend, friends...


Teddy Williams...
100...


#$>

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