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Friday, January 11, 2008

Pete's NFL Picks: Divisional Edition

It's 6:15 AM on Friday and I'm coming to you live from my Des Moines penthouse. In a week that has seen its last football gambling opportunity come on Monday (banged LSU and the over) I could hardly contain myself and am now sitting here at 6:15 AM writing up my NFL picks.

Since I just realized Brent Musburger is still calling college hoops for ESPN last night, I am honoring him and the wonderful memories of watching CBS' "NFL Today" with my grandpa in '86, '87, or '88. This pivotal moment was when I first had cognitive recognition of the dark art of the point spread. Brent (if you watch him during any game he makes at least 3 not-so-thinly-veiled references to gambling) and Jimmy the Greek would devolve any salient point that Irv Cross (the 3rd wheel) would make into a gambling discussion.

Then, my grandpa would ask me, at the tender age of 7, "Pete, do you think the Jets can beat the Dolphins today?"

Pete: "Sure, grandpa, the Dolphins suck on the road and if you stop John Offerdahl, the rest of their defense blows. Can I have some more Tang?"

Grandpa: "Thelma, get the kid some more Tang, and make it a real drink this time. Now, Pete, if the Jets had to beat the Dolphins by 5 points, do you think they could do it?"

Pete: "Anyone knows that margin of victory is seldom between 3 and 7 points, and even more rare between 4 and 6, so that means the Jets are set to cut up the Dolphins like GI Joe to Cobra."

And so on. So, for this reason alone, I am dedicating these picks to the venerable Brent Musberger and the NFL Today show of the 1980s.

First, let's recap last week. My picks were 1-2-1, but like the savvy sumbitch I am I waited and got the Steelers at 3 and covered. So I am saying 2-2 on the weekend. Whatever, not bad, not great. I wish Monte Kiffin would have called me and informed me that they would not be putting a pass rush on Eli Manning whatsoever, but he didn't. Anyway, we are 2-2, and on to the picks:

GREEN BAY (-9) over Seattle

Lots of big spreads this week. That's because the home team usually pisspounds the road team coming off of a playoff game last week. Although I believe the dogs covered every spread last year in these games (I just checked, and yes, they did). I expect Green Bay to roll this week. Seattle is a quintessential bridesmaid team, they make the playoffs every year, but never actually win the Super Bowl. I don't like their running game and I think Green Bay is running on them all day.

I think this Green Bay team is like a puppy and an electric fence. They should be scared, but they are too young and stupid to know any better and just run right through anyway. And while they might get shocked initially, they just keep on going. And Brett Favre has been awesome this year. And their D is pretty good. And they can run the ball. And they have a really good kicker. I'm thinking Super Bowl. Green Bay 27, Seattle 17

Jacksonville (+13.5) at NEW ENGLAND

I think Jax matches up well this year (oh, and thanks for the $40, rubes, you know who you are) against New England. They should run the ball with MoJo (one of my Top 3 NFL players) and Freddie Taylor.

New England should win this game, but if they win by 10, or even 13, that is a convincing win, but it won't get them the cover. In the playoffs, it's not about covering, it's about winning. If you get these kind of points and Phil Rivers isn't involved, you take them. I look for a final of about NE 35 Jax 24. Take it to the bank.

INDY (-9) vs. San Diego

I hate the Chargers. There, it's out in the open. I do not think they are a good football team. This is probably my favorite game of the weekend. You take a banged up San Diego team against an Indy team that is rested and has been ignored basically all year due to the Patriots.

Manning will come out early, and often, and light up the Chargers. The Chargers either won't have Gates or he will be a shadow of his former self. If the Colts can keep LT from single handedly destroying them, and I will bet you a Bob Sanders they can, this one won't be close. I think it'll be Indy 31, SD 13.

NY Giants (+7.5) at DALLAS

This is a ridiculous game. I don't really trust either of these teams, and no, I don't care that Tony Romo went to Mexico. Who the hell could blame him for that? Her creep dad is what concerns me. That guy is nuts. He's like a gymnastics coach only weirder.

Anyway, the Giants are a better road team than a home team and the Cowboys have been shaky. This is where we will see the value of Parcells. If he was still at the helm, this ship would be righted. Wade Phillips probably spent the last two weeks playing cribbage against Dick Vermeil. I'm just not buying that this team has the leadership to get through the playoffs. I'm thinking outright upset.

NYG 21, Dal 20

Enjoy the games, everyone. EZT: Call me for an in-depth discussion. Until next week...

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Pete, i will try to give you a ring sometime tonight around my coaching duties. Here's my thoughts...
Pete, i disagree on Seattle. I really like them getting 9 points against an inexperienced GB team. Hasselbeck is a good to great playoff QB and I like their Defense. GB may win but i will be taking the points.

I also disagree on the Pats...why do people keep pissing them off and giving them motivation??? Pats win by 3 TD's

I'm with you on Indy, i hate Phillip Rivers more every week and without Gates to throw to he'll suck. Indy also wins by 3 TD's.

And we completely agree on the last game, who the hell knows what will happen. i don't think i will touch that game with a 10 foot pole. If i had to pick I'd go with the Giants just because of their pass rush. They might bang Romo harder than his gf did the whole weekend in Mexico.
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Also, it's worth mentioning that The Sports Guy brought up the CBS pregame show in his column today. Ahhh...validation, kind of. And if you look mine was published first.

EZT: I would possibly be able to be persuaded into Seattle. Can their receivers do anything against GBs physical corners? I also like Hasselbeck but I'm not convinced of him in the cold with no running game.
I don't know near as much as you guys when it comes to the NFL or gambling, but I'm with Pete's original assessment of the Seadawgs: I think GB piss pounds them this weekend.
I see the Jags falling behind early causing them to throw the ball. They never seem to be in the game and Garrard ends up throwing 2 INT's, one of which results in MJD killing one of New Englands DB's.


(Best part about this clip? The fact that Jason Craft didn't take a knee in the endzone with 14 seconds left in the 4th in a blow out. If anyone ever got what they deserved, it's him)

HOWEVER, if the weather turns bad, I'm talking wind, rain, or snow, I like the Jags a lot, Not just to cover but to win.
i forgot to mention....first week of prop bets. God i love prop bets, here's a couple i like.

Brandon Jacobs (5:1) to have the most rushing yards on the weekend.

Wes Welker (8:1) for the most receiving yards.

And finally for 2 road teams to win (3:1)
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