Friday, October 07, 2011

Week 5 Picks: The Bruins are Back & There's Gonna be Trouble...

I can't believe I didn't see this coming.  No, not the Lions at 4-0 and the Redskins at 3-1.  I actually saw that coming (thank you shady Rex Grossman prediction that I decided was too outrageous not to believe).  I'm not the Yankees losing in the ALDS, either, even though I predicted before the season that they would win the World Series by beating the Phillies in 7 games (Detroit is just pitching too well right now).  And I'm definitely not talking about the turmoil with the Red Sox front office.  Granted, I didn't predict their collapse or that Tito would be fired, but as with any sports fan, I've ceased to be surprised by any moves made by the guys in suits and ties.  Nope, what I can't believe, is that I wasn't prepared.  For what, you ask?  Well, for the fact that all the sports media outlets in this state were going to actually attempt to cover the Bruins for an entire season this year...

Yep, I feel like a dope.  I mean, who knew the NHL season started in October, anyway?  Certainly not this guy, and I've been glued to the Boston sports scene for the majority of my life.  Guess I just figured, that if the Bruins  fans are as loyal and dedicated as I've been led to believe, then there should be no reason why the coverage of the team this year is any different than the coverage of the team from last year.  Ya know, only talk about them for the last month of the playoffs, and otherwise, completely ignore them?  Yeah, I guess that's not the way they're going to be doing things anymore.  Weird.  And here I was thinking that was such a good strategy...

So, yeah.  Needless to say, my sports radio trigger finger is going to have to be at the ready earlier than usual this year, lest I wanna hear QB's and middle infielders talk about a sport that just one year ago they were laughing right off of their daily agenda.  And I know this is a rant that you've all heard from me before, but seriously, I think an entire season of this bull shit may border on unbearable...

Thankfully, I'm not too worried, because I think the "fans" interest will wane considerably even without the NBA to distract them, but it's still something I'd rather not have to deal with.  Luckily, we still have a good 3 months where the NFL should dominate most of the discussion.  By then, with any luck, the B's will have shot themselves in the foot, and without the NBA, the local sports guys will find it in their best interest to start talking some college hoops.  Sure, they don't know any more about that up here than they do about hockey, but at least it would be a topic that I'd be able to intelligently insult them on...

Ahh, but I'm livin' in a dream world.  This town's all in with the Bruins for at least the next 3 years (and drawing dead, I might add), and for the life of me I don't know why I didn't see this comin'.  Oh well, at least I can keep Rooch Nation a hockey free zone, and that's exactly what I intend to do.  Ya know, except for the occasional dig, such as this.  So enjoy this Eurotrash free experience, my friends, and take a look at my picks for this week's games involving players whose last name's you can actually pronounce...

Oh, and did I mention it's Jets Week?  Yeah, because that's happening...

Here are the picks, kids.  So get your pens out, and enjoy...

Week 5 Picks
New York Jets (+9) @ New England Patriots

Pats/Jets.  Probably not the best rivalry in football right now, but it's damn close.  And while part of me think this could go the way of another top rivalry game this year, when the Ravens trounced the Steelers, I just think this game means too much to the Jets for them to come in and get blown out.  Which is what a 9 point cover would essentially be.  So, I like the Pats to win, just by fewer than 10 points.  Even though the Jets offense is sputtering and their playing their 3rd road game in 3 weeks.  After all, it's not like Gillette is a hard place to play, and if theirs any defense that can cure your offensive woes, it's the one in New England...

27-20, or something in that range.  Not a "back door cover", either.  Just a close game, in which either Sanchez hands it over in the end, or the Pats come up with the much needed late game score to give them their first really big win on the season.  Either way, I'm thinking hard fought and entertaining...

...or that blowout I mentioned before.  And believe me, I'd be perfectly fine with that, too...  

Denver Broncos (+4) vs San Diego Chargers

I'm still waiting on that "Tim Tebow game", where he enters in relief and lights the world on fire, and while I'm guessing that won't be this week, I'm still taking the Broncos for the home cover.  San Diego is playing good football, but nearly as good as their 3-1 record would suggest.  Case in point, Philip Rivers' 6 interceptions.  Not to mention the fact that one of their best offensive weapons, Antonio Gates, is still sidelined and won't be available for a 3rd straight week...

I'm also riding the fact that the Chargers just aren't blowing people out.  They've won their 3 games by an average of 6 points, and those have all been at home.  Combine that with the facts that the Broncos are at home, it's a divisional game (usually closer than they should be) and they really need this game to salvage their season, and that's why this makes for an unlikely cover...

San Francisco 49ers (-3) vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Speaking of unlikely, in true NFL fashion, the Niners have arrived a year later than schedule and are now showing fans why so many of us thought they had a shot at being good in 2010.  They get the Bucs on a short week, after Tampa's Monday Night win, and combined with that fact that this is an East Coast team traveling West, and you've got yourself a good enough reason to side with the home team and the standard 3 points.  Standard, meaning the spread is usually right around 3 points when the teams appear to be more or less equal...

Can an angry white man catch a break here, or what???
New York Giants (-10) vs Seattle Seahawks

If the Giants don't cover this number, I'd immediately fire Tom Coughlin and replace him with Terry Francona.  OK, perhaps that's a little extreme, considering the size of the number, but just as I always pick Seattle to cover at home, I also usually pick them not to cover on the road.  So there it is.  That, and the G-Men have gotta have some confidence brewing after that clutch win last week in the desert...

Words...should have sent...a poet!
Carolina Panthers (+6.5) vs New Orleans Saints + OVER 51

Another adage I try to stick by, is expect the unexpected in the NFC South.  It hasn't been as sound a strategy the past few years, but it's one that I expect will serve me well in this one.  This is as close to a Super Bowl match up the peeps in Carolina have seen since Deshaun Foster posed for one of my favorite sports pictures of all time (made better by the fact the Pats still won), and I expect "Big Fig" in the boys to come out blazin'.  The Saints are still an elite team, and I like their chances to win, but I like Carolina's chances of keeping it close, and perhaps pulling off the upset, better...  

Green Bay Packers (-5.5) @ Atlanta Falcons + OVER 53

Much like the Panthers, I expect the Falcons to be geared up for this one, especially seeing as it's on Sunday Night.  But unlike Carolina, who are dealing with the "elite" Saints, the Falcons have to play host to the Green Bay Packers.  Hands down the best team in football.  The Pack give up a lot of points, which is why I like the over, but their defense should be able to harass Matt Ryan to the point where this one should be a 2 score gap before they even signal for the end of the 1st quarter...

Again, I don't like Green Bay to go undefeated this year, so I guess this would be as good a time to drop a game as any (to a great home team in prime time).  I just don't see it happening.  Green Bay is just too fast for the Falcons to keep up for an entire game, and seeing as they don't specialize in harassing the QB, that should mean another big performance from MVP front runner, Aaron Rodgers.  It's a lot of points to be laying, I'll give you that, but I guess that just speaks to how much I think of the Packers right now.  That, and I can't very well jump back on the Falcon train after I so ceremoniously wrote them off.  Especially since I was right in picking them NOT to cover last week against the Seahawks...

These are the dog days...
Here's my take on the rest of the slate.  I'm not giving up on the Steelers, and for some reason I have an abnormal amount of faith in the Colts, Vikings and Bengals.  Oh, and I just really want the Eagles to keep on losing, so make of that pick what you will...

Pittsburgh Steelers (-3) vs Tennessee Titans

Buffalo Bills (+2.5) vs Philadelphia Eagles + OVER 50

Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) vs Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings (-2.5) vs Arizona Cardinals

Cincinnati Bengals (+2.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars

Oakland Raiders (+6) @ Houston Texans

Monday Night
Detroit Lions (-5.5) vs Chicago Bears + OVER 47

Wrestled with this one for a long time, which is never a good sign, but I eventually decided that taking the Lions in their first real opportunity to show the whole country what they've become.  And for Calvin Johnson to tell everyone that doesn't play fantasy sports what the rest of us already know.  That he's the best receiver in football.  That alone isn't the reason why I'm picking the Lions to cover...OK, maybe it is.  I mean, they're a good team, but if this game is tied and they have the ball, he'll make sure they get 6 and cover, as opposed to settling for 3 and just the outright win.  I'm thinking it won't even come to that, though.  Matt Forte has been great, but I can already see Ndamukong Suh standing over a limp Jay Cutler.  And limp QBs just don't get the job done.  Not in today's NFL they don't...

Last Week: 11-8-0

Overall: 46-32-2 (.588)

School spirit.  Such a beautiful thing...
Hard to believe that in all the years I've been doing this, and all the time LSU has been ill, I've never had the pleasure of searching for scantily clad LSU fans on the Interweb.  And what a pleasure it was.  It was like shootin' skanks in a strip club, and I was William Tell.  You know, the apple guy that almost killed his kid?  Well he'd probably wanna take another shot if any of these young ladies tried to leave his house wearing what they've got on, but old Willy's loss will today serve as our gain.  I mean, dear GOD.  I'm not sure what they're putting in the water down in Baton Rogue, but I'm pretty sure it's silicon.  Or maybe it's just straight up HGH.  That would help explain the football players, too...

NCAA Top 25 Picks
(1) LSU (-13.5) vs (17) Florida

(3) Oklahoma (-10) vs (11) Texas (Dallas, TX)

(6) Oklahoma St. (-26.5) vs Kansas

(8) Clemson (-20.5) vs Boston College

(10) Arkansas (-10) vs (15) Auburn

Northwestern (+8) vs (12) Michigan

(14) Nebraska (-11) vs Ohio St.

Kentucky (+21) @ (18) South Carolina

(20) Kansas St. (+3.5) vs Missouri

(22) Arizona St. (-4) @ Utah

Wake Forest (+10.5) vs (23) Florida St.

Texas Tech (+9) vs (24) Texas A&M

Last Week: 5-5-0

Overall: 30-16-1 (.650)

Too soon???
That's it for me, friends.  Hopefully you stuck it out through that hockey rant so you got the chance to view those LSU fun bags, but if not, that's your loss.  Then again, you could have just scrolled down, but I'm hoping that wasn't the case...

Here's to hoping you all have a great Columbus Day weekend, and that much like Columbus, you're able to rape and pillage your way to glory.  Nah, just kidding.  I'm not trying to get even remotely political up in here....

...although the chances are pretty much nil that big CC up there didn't have his way with an Indian or two.  Hey, just sayin'.  He was one Hell of a stubborn explorer, though.  And for that, I am eternally grateful...

On that note, it's definitely time to say goodbye.  So have a good one, friends.  And I'll catch you on the flipman...

Teddy Williams...



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