Monthly Archives: September 2013

Week 4 NFL Picks – Below Replacement Level

I’m in debt like a recently retired athlete. Week 4 NFL Picks. Home teams in CAPS.

Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Games:

RAIDERS (+3) over Redskins
You know what’s crazy? Terrelle Pryor looked remarkably competent last week. Put him up against the 31st ranked pass, run, and scoring defense, and he might keep it close enough to cover this spread.

Jets (+4) over TITANS
We often forget to include Jake Locker in the “athletic quarterback” group. I lump him in there because he definitely should not fall under the “good passing quarterback” heading.

SAINTS (-6.5) over Dolphins
No, this pick has nothing to do with the Dolphins ruining my Cook Out Drive-Thru Lock o’ the Week last week.

Eagles (+10.5) over BRONCOS
We’ve got the top-ranked rushing team up against the top-ranked rush defense. Chip Kelly’s high-paced offense will likely give Peyton Manning the ball for at least 60 percent of the game, which will make it tough to win, but Denver’s weak secondary should keep the Eagles within 11 points. I mean the Raiders only lost by 16. The Raiders!

Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Games:

VIKINGS (+2) over Steelers
It sure is a good thing we sent our Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That Game of the Week overseas.

Bengals (-4.5) over BROWNS
Forget Brian Hoyer passing for 321 yards, he needed 54 attempts to do it, and it was on a 55.6% completion rate with three touchdowns. The Browns are in perfect position to tank, even if they beat the 0-3 Vikings.

Cowboys (-2) over CHARGERS
Hasn’t everyone been burned at least once by having Philip Rivers or Tony Romo as a fantasy quarterback?

Any guesses who these guys are? It's Brady and his top two receivers. Yep, he's got a worse receiving core than his

Any guesses who these guys are? It’s Brady and his top two receivers. Yep, he’s got a worse receiving core than his ’03 team of Deion Branch and David Givens.

Cardinals (+2.5) over BUCCANEERS
I’ve seen Mike Glennon play once, and he looked absolutely terrible against Vanderbilt in the Music City Bowl. Small sample sizes for the win!

Patriots (+2) over FALCONS
Look, I’m not one to pass up an opportunity to take the Patriots (in primetime) and get points.

KFC Double Down Games:

Niners (-3) over RAMS
Did you know that last week was the first time a Jim Harbaugh Niners team lost two games in a row? Something tells me Sam Bradford, Isaiah Pead, and Chris Givens won’t be making that three in a row.

Ravens (-3.5) over BILLS
It’s very hard to recover from losing to the Jets. The last three teams to do so lost again the next week. Also, c’mon it’s the Bills.

Bears (+3) over LIONS
Three weeks ago, I’m guessing most of you thought that Joique Bell was either a) a French artist b) an R&B singer or c) someone from the new Key & Peele East/West Bowl. Well now he’s the Lions’ leading rusher.

CHIEFS (-4) over Giants
And I thought the Panthers were in trouble last week. The Giants’ offensive line was like an accident you just can’t seem to take your eyes off, and Eli Manning was the brutal victim.

Seahawks (-3) over TEXANS
The Texans topped the 7-point mark in the first half for the first time this season, but then they forgot to score in the second half against the Ravens. Good luck against Seattle’s defense.

Cook Out Drive-Thru Lock o’ the Week:

Colts (-8.5) over JAGUARS
Here is a running list of things better than the Jaguars:
1. Rashad Johnson’s ability to flick someone off
2. Mark Richt’s ability to not be creepy and gross
3. Movies about European Gigolos
4. White girls twerking on a door
5. Miami Marlins hitters
6. Philip Rivers’ ability to throw the football forward
7. Philip Rivers’ ability to handle a snap
8. Philip Rivers’ ability to smile
9. Philip Rivers’ ability to frown
10. Philip Rivers’ ability to remember that he’s playing American football, not European football

Overall record: 21-25-2

Last week: 7-8-1

Apple Total: -145

Apple Total Last Week: -45

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Week 3 NFL Picks – Business Casual Racism

I’m back like an outfielder’s first step. Week 3 NFL Picks. Home teams in CAPS.

Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Games:

Bills (+2.5) over JETS
This game is tough because I have to go against one of my two biggest axioms: “Always bet against the Jets” and “Always bet against the Bills.”

Lions (+2) over REDSKINS
Washington is giving up 511.5 yards per game and 7.0 yards per play. Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson might leave their defense in a Trail of Tears.

Raiders (+15) over BRONCOS
A 15-point spread gives the Raiders a huge opportunity for a back-door cover at the end. And okay how am I the offensive one for making a Redskins joke? Their name is literally a racial slur.

Colts (+10.5) over NINERS
I have no idea how to judge the Niners right now. I picked them to go to the Super Bowl, but they could not have looked worse against the Seahawks last week. And no, I still don’t regret making that joke. I just think it’s ironic that the Commish is cracking down on players using profanity during games, yet has a team named after a… you know… racial slur.

SAINTS (-7.5) over Cardinals
I almost picked the Cardinals because the line was so big, but then I forgot just how bad they are. Oh and you really don’t think “Redskins” is offensive? It’s been labeled as “often offensive” in dictionaries since before the Civil Rights Movement.

Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Games:

What a rough start to Eddie Lacy's NFL career. First he

What a rough start to Eddie Lacy’s NFL career. First he gets an unfortunate picture that makes looks like he put on 70  pounds and now he’s going to be eating out of a tube at age 40 because Brandon Meriweather speared him in the head.

COWBOYS (-3.5) over Rams
Your Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That Game of the Week, ladies and gentlemen.

Packers (-2) over BENGALS
No, this pick has nothing to do with Gio Bernard dropping 18.5 points last week and screwing over my fantasy team.

Chargers (+3) over TITANS
We have a fun matchup here of the 32nd-ranked pass defense (San Diego) going up against the 32nd-ranked pass attack (Good Ol’ Jake Locker). Who knows how that matchup will turn out, but the one thing we know for sure this week is that Ryan Mathews will fumble and/or get injured.

EAGLES (-3) over Chiefs
Apparently there’s some history between the coaches and these teams. Why doesn’t anyone cover that?

Texans (-2.5) over RAVENS
Maybe the Texans wouldn’t have so much trouble covering their spreads if they scored more than 7 points in the first halves of their games. They’re putting up a whopping 23.5 points per second half.

KFC Double Down Games:

SEAHAWKS (-17) over Jaguars
Here is a running list of things better than the Jaguars:
1. Jonathan Villar’s sliding ability
2. Chad Qualls’ fist pumping ability
3. People who tweet about Justin Bieber haters
4. My defense in my slow-pitch softball debut
5. Joseph Bernstein’s social life
6. Brian Wilson’s ability to correctly identify bongo drums
7. Brian Wilson’s ability to hide his fetishes
8. Brian Wilson’s ability to play catch
9. Brian Wilson’s ability to root for the correct team
10. Brian Wilson’s ability to do anything other than rage moments after he won the World Series for the first time

VIKINGS (-5.5) over Browns
I was going to make fun of the Browns for starting Brian Hoyer (and drafting Brandon Weeden), but holy shit they just dumped Trent Richardson for a late first-round pick 17 months after trading up from 4th to 3rd to snag him. They do understand that rebuilding entails amassing young talent, not trading it, right?

Bears (-2.5) over STEELERS
Turns out having Felix Jones as your feature back doesn’t usually work out well.

Giants (+2.5) over PANTHERS
Eli Manning has a seven interceptions. The next worst quarterbacks (Christian Ponder and Geno Smith) have four each. Then again, the Panthers secondary and offensive line are in worse shape than Ron Rivera deciding whether or not to go for it on 4th and short.

PATRIOTS (-7.5) over Buccaneers
If Gronk comes back this week, which I assume he will, he’s going for 200 yards and three touchdowns. And seriously, just think about the Redskins name for like a half second. That’s offensive, not my Trail of Tears joke. You know you laughed. I regret nothing.

Cook Out Drive-Thru Lock o’ the Week:

Falcons (+2) over DOLPHINS
I lost my Cook Out Drive-Thru Lock o’ the Week by 1.5 points last week. If the Falcons blow this to a far inferior team because of a field goal, I will actually drive down to Atlanta and burn down the Georgia Dome before they fly back from Miami.

Overall record: 14-17-1

Last week: 9-7

Apple Total: -100

Apple Total Last Week: -45

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Week 2 NFL Picks – Hooray For Cognitive Dissonance

I’m back like a hefty Ndamukong Suh fine. Week 2 NFL Picks. Home teams in CAPS.

Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Games:

BENGALS (-7) over Steelers
I’m hopping on the “Steelers Are Actually A Bad Team But We’re Not Going To Fully Recognize It Until About Week 7” Bandwagon early.

Vikings (+6) over Bears
This game reminds me of something very important. Back when The Other Adrian Peterson was still playing, the best way to piss someone off was to join a mock fantasy football auction and bring up TOAP with the first bid. Some dope will inevitably blow $20 on a guy who averaged 160 yards per season over his eight-year career. Yep, that’s the kind of fun I have. Call me.

PACKERS (-7.5) over Redskins
Hearing Redskins fans boo Riley Cooper made me laugh last week.

TEXANS (-9) over Titans
Where exactly are the Titans headed? Jake Locker and his nifty 55.5% completion rate probably isn’t a long-term answer, and Chris Johnson and Kenny Britt just aren’t very good anymore. What a disaster of a team. And they beat the Steelers by 7.

Jets (+11.5) over PATRIOTS
I want with all my heart to pick the Pats, and I so desperately do not want to have to root for the Jets, but this line is too big. Rex Ryan plays New England close, who is missing Danny Amendola (get used to that) and Shane Vereen.

Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Games:

RAVENS (-6.5) over Browns
What inspires this line to be so low? Was it the confidence inspired by Cleveland only losing to Miami by 13? Or their rookie head coach having formerly led the Panthers juggernaut offense? Or their blue chip running back only rushing for 47 yards?

Niners (+3) over SEAHAWKS
Anquan Boldin might be the 2007 Randy Moss of this fantasy football year. They were both formerly top-tier receivers coming off “meh” seasons who were joining new teams. Both became the #1 receiver for very good quarterbacks. Obviously Moss and Tom Brady are better than Boldin and Colin Kaepernick, but how on Earth did so many people whiff on Boldin in fantasy?

RAIDERS (-5.5) over Jaguars
Here is a running list of things better than the Jaguars:
1. Songs about days of the week
2. Dane Cook jokes just in general
3. Drinking milk outside during the summer
4. That goddamn Hump Day commercial
5. Carlos Gomez’s ability to run in from center field
6. Miguel Cabrera’s ability to stand on third base
7. Miguel Cabrera’s ability to lay off inside pitches
8. Miguel Cabrera’s ability to dance like Shakira
9. Miguel Cabrera’s ability to play nicely with little people
10. Miguel Cabrera’s ability to not drink whiskey after being pulled over by cops, ask them to “kill me,” and then spill his plans to blow up a steakhouse

EAGLES (-6.5) over Chargers
You can take the Norv off the Chargers, but you can’t take the Norv out of the Chargers. Or something like that.

FALCONS (-6.5) over Rams
Sam Bradford didn’t look bad at all last week, but he’s not going to be in charge of stopping Matt Ryan. If Steven Jackson hung onto that last-second touchdown pass against the Saints, this line is at least three points higher.

KFC Double Down Games:

Panthers (-3) over BILLS
The Panthers are so frustrating because they’re incredibly talented and terribly coached. If Mike Shula doesn’t let Cam Newton loose (he had 23 passes for 125 yards last week) against a Bills team that is probably without Jairus Byrd and Stephon Gilmore, they just won’t get anywhere this year.

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Who’s good at predicting things and has two thumbs? Call me Nostrabenmus.

COLTS (-3) over Dolphins
I guess people are impressed with beating the Browns these days. Thanks for the nice line.

Broncos (-4.5) over GIANTS
I’m just going to repost my Giants writeup from last week: Admittedly, I’ve never been a fan of the Giants, but isn’t it at least a tiny bit concerning that David Wilson is their only feature back. Dude fumbled on his second NFL carry and was promptly benched for most of the season.

Cowboys (+3) over CHIEFS
I guess people are impressed with beating the Jaguars these days. Thanks for the nice line.

Lions (-1.5) over CARDINALS
As much as Carson Palmer is an upgrade over Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, and Ryan Lindley, he’s still Carson Palmer.

Cook Out Drive-Thru Lock o’ the Week:

Saints (-3.5) over BUCCANEERS
Not only did the Bucs lose to the Jets, they let Geno Smith score with 34 seconds left in the game thanks to a late hit out of bounds. Oh, and they gave up a safety and lost by one. Drew Brees is a little better than Jets QBs.

Overall record: 5-10-1

Last week: 5-10-1

Apple Total: -55

Apple Total Last Week: -55

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Week 1 NFL Picks – Return of the Apples

We had a nice appetizer last week with college football, but now it’s time for real football. The NFL is making its glorious return Thursday night, which means the glorious return of my weekly NFL picks. Don’t everybody get excited at once!

As you remember, last year I switched up my system for making picks by making four categories of games. Each game is worth a different amount of apples, because, of course, betting money on sports is illegal in the United States.

We have the Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Games, which are worth 5 apples.

We have the Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Games, which are worth 10 apples.

We have the KFC Double Down (May They Rest in Peace) Games, which are worth 20 apples.

And finally, we have the Cook Out Drive-Thru Lock o’ the Week, which is worth 50 apples.

The math is tough, but you’ll have to hang in here. Basically, the more confident I am, the more apples I’ll wager. Although my record against the spread last year was just 133-124-5, I made 365 apples. Basically, I have the clutch gene and am better and picking the more valuable games.

Without further ado, let’s get this season going strong. Home teams in CAPS.

Ben & Jerry’s Half Baked Game:

STEELERS (-7) over Titans
What ever happened to the Steelers offense? Their starting running back is Isaac Redman, and their starting receivers are Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. The good news is they don’t have Jake Locker starting for them at quarterback.

BROWNS (-1) over Dolphins
Brandon Weeden and Ryan Tannehill: It’s our Ain’t Nobody Got Time For That Game of the Week.

Vikings (+5.5) over LIONS
The Lions aren’t as bad as their 4-12 record last year, and the Vikings aren’t as good as their 10-6 record this year, but I’m scratching my head over this line. Adrian Peterson racked up 273 yards in his two games against Detroit last year, and he should do even better now with Greg Jennings stealing attention.

COWBOYS (-3.5) over Giants
Admitedly, I’ve never been a fan of the Giants, but isn’t it at least a tiny bit concerning that David Wilson is their only feature back. Dude fumbled on his second NFL carry and was promptly benched for most of the season.

Eagles (+3.5) over REDSKINS
The Eagles are supremely underrated this season. They were Super Bowl contenders last year, and they still have the same team, although now they have a coach who can really take advantage of their speedy offensive personnel. Chip Kelly and Michael Vick may just set this league on fire. Or crash and burn, who knows?

Dunkin’ Donuts Plain Cake Game:

NINERS (-4.5) over Packers
Losing Michael Crabtree really hurts the Niners, but losing Brian Bulaga just kills the Packers. With San Fran’s front seven looming, Aaron Rodgers will have approximately 0.617 seconds to throw each pass. And yes, I calculated that down the thousandths of a second. It’s very advanced math.

Seahawks (-3.5) over PANTHERS
It’s a 10 a.m. West Coast game. The Seahawks don’t have Percy Harvin. They do have Sidney Rice. I so want to pick the Panthers. But then again, the Panthers offensive line is a certified mess, and the Seahawks do have a fairly solid defense.

RAMS (-4.5) over Cardinals
The Cardinals swapped Beanie Wells for Rashard Mendenhall as “That Guy Who Really Sucks At Football But Ends Up Drafted Way Too High In My Fantasy League Because Yeah He Is a Starting Running Back And You Really Can’t Have Enough Running Backs, Especially Starting Running Backs.”

    Unhappy with Carson Palmer, the Raiders are opting for a platoon of suck at the quarterback position.

Unhappy with Carson Palmer, the Raiders are opting for a platoon of suck at the quarterback position.

Bengals (+3) over BEARS
CBS picking the Bengals to win the Super Bowl made me laugh, but if you want a fraction of a shot to win it, you’d better not lose to the Bears by more than a field goal.

COLTS (-9.5) over Raiders
This line seemed way too high until I remembered that Terrelle Pryor and Matt Flynn were fighting for the starting quarterback job.

KFC Double Down Game:

Texans (-4) over CHARGERS
Fun Fact: the Chargers have opened the year on Monday Night Football in four of the past five years.

Ravens (+7.5) over BRONCOS
I understand the Broncos are very good and the Ravens lost a lot of players, but this is still the Super Bowl champs we’re talking about. Champ Bailey is out for this game, and I’m not giving up more than a touchdown.

Falcons (+3) over SAINTS
The Falcons might be the best non-West team in the NFC, and I’m getting points? NOLA’s D is about to be shredded.

Patriots (-9.5) over BILLS
This line would be 15.5 points in New England. Actually.

Buccaneers (-3) over JETS
I’m trying to decide if abominable or odious better describes the Jets.

Cook Out Drive-Thru Lock o’ the Week

Chiefs (-4) over JAGUARS
Here is a running list of things better than the Jaguars:
1. Brad Paisley and LL Cool J duets
2. Adam Dunn playing defense
3. A white guy in cornrows
4. The Houston Astros
5. Columns comparing Johnny Manziel to Rosa Parks
6. Ryan Braun’s ability to round third
7. Ryan Braun’s ability to correctly identify anti-semites
8. Ryan Braun’s ability to dump a Gatorade cooler on a teammate
9. Ryan Braun’s ability to look friends in the eye and tell the truth
10. Ryan Braun’s ability to fail a drug test, get off on a technicality, and then successfully avoid being caught again

Overall record: 0-0

Last week: 0-0

Apple Total: 0

Apple Total Last Week: 0

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