Archives for September 2008

5 Football Games You Must Bet This Week 9-25 to 9-29

5 Games You Must Bet This Week

Another week of football is already barreling towards us and while last week’s must bet games were fairly balanced out, this week it’s 4 to 1 in favor of the NCAA.  There are five must bet games over three days this week, and pay attention to the first one since that takes place this Thursday night.

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USC -26 @ Oregon State.  I normally hate betting on 26 point favorites, but this one is easy for me.  The defense of Oregon State just isn’t there (gave up 36 points to Stanford and 45 to Penn State), and while most offensive starters came back, their quarterbacks are terrible.  Not good against USC.  I see USC scoring around 50 points, and I’d be stunned to see OSU get up to 20.  This is one of the best USC teams we’ve seen, and this is maybe the weakest Oregon State team in four seasons.  USC should cover this without too much sweat at all, with all three parts of the team (offense, defense, special teams) scoring.  Bet This Game Now


Miami (FL) -8 @ North Carolina. Without TJ Yates, North Carolina can’t stand up to Miami.  Miami isn’t as dominating as the Texas A&M game indicated, but North Carolina is a talented team that’s young with holes, but a great quarterback.  Without Yates, they have talent but are young with holes.  Miami has a solid defense, and is looking the best on offense it has in years.  8 points is good, and if you can find 7, you’d be a knucklehead not to take it.  It won’t be a blow out, but this is definitely Miami’s game. Bet This Game Now

Purdue @ Notre Dame.  Pick’em.  Wow.  One win over an incredibly crappy Michigan team and suddenly they’re back?  NO!  Purdue is the obvious pick here, no question!  First of all, Central Michigan is an extremely talented team with an incredible offense.  Purdue runs a spread offense that I just can’t see Notre Dame defending.  Notre Dame will get their points, but the Fighting Irish on this team might not even by a six win team, and Purdue is still more talented.  I’m usually down on the Big Ten, but this game goes to Purdue and QB Curtis Painter will make the Big Ten 2-1 against Notre Dame this year.  Take the pick, or any points you can get. Bet This Game Now

Wisconsin -6.5 @ Michigan. Wisconsin is still near the top of the Big Ten.  Michigan is as bad as we’ve been seeing.  If it was any other team other than storied Michigan, the point spread would be a lot wider.  That’s why I’m taking Wisconsin, who has beat far better teams than Michigan this year, and since a touchdown covers, I’m feeling really good about this spread.Bet This Game Now

Green Bay @ Tampa Bay -1. This one could be a little tricky, but I like Tampa Bay.  Now if the Bucs are idiots and use Ronde Barber to cover Donald Driver instead of Greg Jennings they’re screwed, but as is the Bucs have a better defense than Dallas, a great offense with a strong running game, and CB Al Harris is out for the season for Green Bay.  Rodgers struggled to move the chains when hit, and Tampa is going to hit him a lot more than Dallas did.  With questions at corner, and with this young team coming off a loss that was even worse than the score, this just screams of the game where the first time starting QB comes down to Earth.  For a straight pick, you should definitely roll on the Bucs.

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NFL Week 3 Review

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2008 NFL: Week 3 In Review

Week 3 of the NFL comes to a close, and there were a lot of busted bettors from those crazy 4th quarter comebacks.  It finally seems like we might be finally getting a good feel for who each of these teams really are and where they really should be in the power rankings.  So without further ado, here’s the week in review.

Atlanta 38, K.C. 14. The Chiefs are just bad.  Beyond terrible.  Chiefs QB Thigpen finally completed more than two passes, but this is a team that won’t score much until everyone gets healthy.  Atlanta once again looked great, racking up yards on the ground and through the air.  It’s beginning to look like 8-8 might not be out of the question for this young team.

Buffalo 24, Oakland 23. Oakland has looked vastly improve, but they blew a two score lead late in the fourth quarter.  Kind of ironic that the defensive coordinator and Al Davis are trying to get Head Coach Lane Kiffin fired, and it was that defensive coordinator who may have done it by blowing the lead.  Oh, yeah, Buffalo is 3-0 and the best team in the AFC East right now.

Tampa Bay 27, Chicago 24 (OT). RB Matt Forte for the Bears still looks like the real deal, but Orton was picked off twice and that helped Brian Greise to get revenge on his old team while airing it out a near record 67 times.  The Bears are still dangerous, but there are more holes than usual.  Good news is that the NFC North is absolutely wide open.

Minnesota 20, Carolina 10. QB Gus Frerotte wasn’t pretty, but he knows how to complete a pass on third down.  Even with a hobbled and generally ineffective Adrian Peterson didn’t stop the Vikings, who rallied from a 10-0 deficit to win to get back into the NFC North race, and bring up questions about Carolina.

Miami 38, New England 13. The Dolphins were the surprise of the week.  RB Ronnie Brown has won back the starting job with authority, rushing for four touchdowns and passing for another.  Without Brady helping to score 40 points a game, that defensive weakness of not being able to stop the run is suddenly a potentially mortal weakness.  New England has to gather themselves back, and the AFC East is now completely wide open.

NY Giants 26, Cincinnati 23. The Giants came in as heavy favorites, but the Bengals finally woke up.  The defense fought hard, although they were still overmatched, and the offense woke up and began to move the ball.  RB Chris Perry had his best game of the season by far, and will need to build on that for the Bengals to have any chance of salvaging the season, while the Giants continue to roll.

Tennessee 31, Houston 12. Vince who?  Kerry Collins was more than adequate leading an incredibly strong and diverse running attack and safe passing offense to 31 points over the once again hapless Texans.  Houston’s only bright spot was RB Steve Slaton, who certainly looks like he has all the makings of a future NFL star, but if the offense continues to be this bad you have to think QB Sage Rosenfels is going to get his chance to take the reigns soon.

Washington 24, Arizona 17. Arizona was the hot pick coming into this game, but Washington is a solid team with a coaching staff that is proving itself A+ students at learning on the fly.  Both teams look better than most expected, and both definitely have play-off aspirations in the wide open NFC, but it looks like Jason Campbell has it figured out, and the Redskins look good.

San Francisco 31, Detroit 13. How do you know when you’re the joke of the NFL?  When you lose to a JT O’Sulliven quarterbacked team by 18 points.  Even the joke we call the Raiders look better than the Lions, and while Mike Martz’s offense has potential, just imagine what happens when they get more wide receivers and a better QB.  The 49ers are just good enough to be dangerous, the Lions are a joke, though RB Rudi Johnson didn’t look half bad.

Seattle 37, St. Louis 13. The Seahawks looked good despite all the injuries at wide receiver, but then again it was the Rams.  So yeah, the Rams are the most inept team in the NFL, and Seattle can still put up he points when they need to.

Denver 34, New Orleans 32.  The Broncos looked good, but once again had a very questionable call go their way to help stave off a Saints comeback.  Basically this game proves what we thought about both teams: they can play offense big time and can’t stop anybody.  Big news on the injury front: TE Jeremy Shockey is out several weeks.

Philadelphia 15, Pittsburgh 6. Two powerhouses faced off, and this time the defenses ruled the day as the Eagles were just too much to deal with.  You wonder how much Big Ben’s shoulder injury affected him, but in the end the Eagles were just the more complete team.

Jacksonville 23, Indianapolis 21. Well the Jags finally kind of woke up.  Their entire off season was designed around beating the Colts, so it’s appropriate their first victory came against an injury riddled Colts team that hasn’t been playing well.  The Jags did look good in a lot of ways, but be careful on this one.  The Colts have not looked impressive and have never been good against a power running team.  Potentially the Jags are back, but this is a “caveat emptor” game.

Baltimore 28, Cleveland 10. Even with a rookie quarterback the Ravens look…well better than they have on offense since Vinny Testaverde.  The Ravens have a bright future ahead, while the Browns are in serious trouble.  If Anderson has one more bad game, expect to see Brady Quinn take over.

Dallas 27, Green Bay 16. This game wasn’t even this close.  One of Green Bay’s touchdowns came in junk time against a prevent defense.  Dallas harassed Aaron Rodgers and showed the key to stopping Green Bay is to stop yards after catch and to blitz the young QB.  Dallas’s offense basically did what it wanted, as the 27 points came despite a bad game from QB Tony Romo.  Big news on this game: CB Al Harris is out for the season with a ruptured spleen.

San Diego 48, NY Jets 29. The Chargers are back in full force.  While a lot of hammering will go on Brett Favre on this one: this is why he has been handcuffed and why GM Ted Thompson waited as long as possible to deal him.  It takes time to get into the full feeling.  And the Jets did score 29 points even with two missed 2 point conversions.  The Chargers are the Chargers everyone was expecting, and the Jets still have one of the worst defenses in the NFL without NT Kris Jenkins.  Watch that injury closely.

Jets vs. Chargers Monday Football Betting Preview

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MNF Betting: Jets vs. Chargers

This week’s game features a team that many picked as the Super Bowl favorites, but who are 0-2, and a 1-1 Jets team vastly improved by a future Hall of Famer and a legend at the QB position.  The Jets play at San Diego this Monday night and this is a pretty big game for both teams.  This is a chance for the Jets to really hit a rhythm and prove they should have higher goals than 8-8, while the Chargers desperately need a win to avoid a potentially disastrous 0-3 start.

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The Chargers are strong favorites for this game, as well they should be.  The Jets are vastly improved from last season, but Favre continues to learn the play book and there is a definite dearth of play makers on that team.  The offensive line has a ton of talent, but needs to continue to gel and get even stronger.  The defense has looked good so far, but at least in this season it’s hard to see them jumping from good to great, and if NT Kris Jenkins goes down, this 3-4 is in serious trouble.

That said, Jets fans should be optimistic.  This is a team going in the right direction, and you couldn’t ask for a better mentor for young QB Kellen Clemons.  The Jets are a team that now has the potential to upset some opponents.

The Chargers lost to a very good Carolina Panthers team in week one by losing on the very last play of the game.  The next week the Chargers recovered a fumble and had Denver beat, but an atrocious officiating call cost them that game, as well.  Now they’re at home, and a third loss would be disastrous.

The Chargers have injury issues with LDT and Antonio Gates, while the Jets come in relatively healthy.  San Diego is the stronger team, and home field will make a major difference here.  The Chargers need this game more, and the Chargers have a talented secondary.  While this game will be closer than it would have been a year ago, it’s hard for me to see the Jets playing well enough to keep up with the Chargers.

Watch CB Antonio Cromartie.  This guy is a freakish athlete, and might cause some turnovers from Favre throws that usually wouldn’t be considered mistakes, and the Chargers better 3-4 defense makes the difference.

Prediction: a fairly good game in which the Chargers pull away.  Chargers win 34-23.

5 Football Games You Must Bet This Week 9-18 to 9-22

5 Games You Must Bet This Week!

Another great week of football is upon us, even including college games on Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday as great appetizers for the full meal this weekend.  This week has a great mix of both college and NFL games that should be entertaining for any normal football fan – and there are plenty of great opportunities for gamblers this week, as well.

Baylor (+12.5) @ UCONN. So this one might be a big upset pick, but here’s the thing: anyone who has watched Baylor knows that QB Robert Griffith is an amazing athlete and something special.  While Baylor did get beat up by Wake Forest, the Demon Deacons are an elite team now, and Baylor destroyed Northwestern State and Washington State.  This team is a long way from Big 12 competitive, but the Big East has looked bad in general, and UCONN is known for playing very sound and solid ball, not for lighting up the world.  Baylor has a good chance of making a statement early, and even if they lose, it’s not out of the question for them to keep it under a touchdown.  I like the points here as a vastly improved Baylor takes the Huskies down to the wire.

Notre Dame @ Michigan State (-8.5). Man, have the Spartans looked good this year.  They can run for 300 yards and play lights out defense on miserable rainy flooding days, or they can throw with a run and shoot team.  An early one touchdown loss to Cal (who is much better than the Maryland fiasco indicates) has overshadowed two very good wins over Florida Atlantic and Eastern Michigan, and that the Spartans can win playing the run and shoot or the 90% run offense.  Notre Dame beat an absolutely atrocious Michigan team, but is 18 points really a great win over a team that terrible after 6 turnovers (with other fumbles stopping drives cold) averaging less than 20 points a game?  Michigan State is Notre Dame’s first true test, and they are going to flat out embarrass the Irish.  A three touchdown victory would not surprise me.  If you’re an Irish hater, enjoy the Spartans this week!  MSU is a top tier Big Ten team this year, can anyone say statement game?

Arizona @ UCLA (+2.5). This might be the pick I’m least sure about, but if there is any such thing as a pattern in betting mid level football teams, this is the one that has found a lot of “surprise” teams for me: if one team gets absolutely and utterly humiliated on the road (and 59-0 loss is as bad as it gets) on national TV, then returns home for a more winnable game where they (the home team) is the dog, bet on the home team.  This is revenge at its finest.  Let’s not forget, UCLA beat #18 Tennessee at home, and BYU might be one of the best teams in the country.  Arizona beat Idaho (la de freaking da), Toledo (dreg of the mighty MAC), and then lost to an 0-2 New Mexico team who couldn’t beat Texas A&M.  Arizona is way overrated right now, and UCLA is badly underrated.  Arizona is stunned, UCLA is furious.  Buy the half a point if you can to get to 3, but UCLA is a prime candidate to be the “where did that come from?” team by Monday morning.


Kansas City Chiefs @ Atlanta Falcons (-5.5). I know most bookies can’t stand the thought of making the Falcons a touchdown favorite, but that’s all the more reason to take advantage!  Kansas City has nowhere near the defense (or offense) that Tampa Bay does, and with Thigpen, the third stringer who struggled badly to complete 43% of his passes against Oakland’s defense, as their defense gave up 300 rushing yards to the Raiders.  Thigpen is a rookie who didn’t even play division one football: he played for Coastal Carolina.  Atlanta is going to bring an entirely new level of pain to the Chiefs.  In my opinion (for the two pennies it’s worth) I’d still be willing to pay a 13 point spread.  Atlanta covers easily.

San Diego Chargers (-9.5) @ New York Jets. The Jets weren’t just 4-12 because of Chad Pennington.  Name one game breaker on either side of the ball other than Favre.  Exactly.  As solid as he still is, when a 38 year old declining QB is your best playmaker, you’re not an elite team.  San Diego got screwed over on the road with a terrible officiating call.  Now they’re at home on Monday night.  Remember the revenge concept I mentioned earlier?  I would not want to be a Jet on Monday, as an entire off season and preseason and early season filled with frustration will get unleashed all on Monday.  The Chargers will more than cover, even at 9.5.

2008 NFL Week 2 in Review

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2008 NFL: Week Two in Review

by Shane Dayton ( Senior Writer)

Week two in the NFL definitely delivered on the excitement, with some upsets, some teams proving they’re the real deal, and a very controversial call that has San Diego buried in the basement at 0-2.  So without any more delay, here is the recap on week two’s action.

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Tennessee 24, Cincinnati 7.  The Bengals looked awful yet again.  How can a team this loaded with offensive talent be that bad?  How long before Marvin Lewis gets heat for letting Rudi Johnson go for Chris Perry?  How long before we start asking if QB Carson Palmer was really that good?  The Titans roll to a win that was much easier than it should have been, especially with statue Kerry Collins at QB.

Green Bay 48, Detroit 25. The odd part is, after grabbing a three touchdown lead, the Packers almost blew this game in the fourth quarter.  Still, the Pack certainly looks for real, though I’m really curious to see what they do against real competition in Dallas.  Detroit is a mess, though WR Calvin Johnson is a star in the making, and the owner needs to fire Millen and Marinelli and start over from scratch.  QB Aaron Rodgers has earned his kudos.  If he can beat Dallas next week, he’ll cement his place in the hearts of Packers fans.

Oakland 23, Kansas City 8. Oakland shows that RB Darren McFadden alone should be enough to make them dangerous against any team.  Kansas City proves they suck royally.  So you have a third string quarterback and you throw 20 times and don’t hand it off to RB Larry Johnson again?  Chiefs might compete with the Dolphins and Rams for the #1 overall pick.

NY Giants 41, St. Louis 13. How can a team with as many talented players as St. Louis be this bad?  The Giants roll and look better than they did during last year’s Super Bowl run.  The Rams are like the LA Rams of old.  P-A-T-H-E-T-I-C.  If you’re in a survivor league, picking against the Rams each week will get you far, and the Giants are for real.

Indianapolis 18, Minnesota 15. Well we know that K Ryan Longwell is looking like the best kicker in any fantasy football league, and that Brad Childress and his play calling will keep the Vikings from accomplishing any of their goals.  The Colts still look rusty, and Peyton Manning is included.  This is a team that has some serious questions and injury issues, and neither of these teams is much better than average right now.

Washington 29, New Orleans 24.  It is true to say the Saints blew it, but this game showed that QB Jason Campbell is ready to break out, that the offense is going to get better and better, and that Head Coach Jim Zorn has made incredible strides from one game to the next.  The Saints need a power runner back like Deuce McAlister back, and the Redskins, if the coaching continues to improve, the ‘Skins could make a late push for the play-offs.

Carolina 20, Chicago 17. This was Chicago’s game all the way until the last half of the fourth quarter (when it matters most).  An injury to Devin Hester shows why the Bears need to find real receivers and only keep him on returns.  The defense was solid, and this was an ugly game that ended with some Carolina magic.  Despite the loss, the Bears are a good team for real, and the Panthers are going to be very dangerous with WR Steve Smith returning.

Buffalo 20, Jacksonville 16. Buffalo is the real deal on defense, and QB Trent Edwards looks far better than anyone could have expected.  Jacksonville looks like a mess right now.  They can’t pass, they can’t run, and QB David Gerrard can’t hold on to the football.  The Jags aren’t nearly as bad as they’ve been playing, but until they play better, there’s not much more to say.  Buffalo looks solid and faces a very winnable game against Oakland this week.

San Francisco 33, Seattle 30.  Seattle has been hammered by injuries at the WR position, and it’s showing.  Mistakes lead to turnovers and three and outs that result in a very tired defense and more points showing.  The 49ers showed their first flashes of what a Mike Martz offense can look like in San Francisco, but don’t read too much into it: this is not a healthy Seattle team.  The Seahawks can still play quality ball, but they need their receivers back and quickly.

Tampa Bay 24, Atlanta 9. Matt Ryan, welcome to the NFL.  This was an extremely rough game for the rookie, but the good news is that he won’t face many defenses like this in the NFL.  Tampa Bay is still the team to beat in the NFC South until Carolina can prove otherwise, but don’t worry Falcons fans: the future is bright with Ryan.  Just don’t expect too much this year.

New England 19, NY Jets 10. Until another team in the division steps up, the Pats are still the team to beat.  The offense for the Jets is definitely better with Favre, but the lack of surrounding talent is really obvious.  No other player on offense can just take over, and the offensive line still needs to improve.  The Pats are a very good team and the best coached in the NFL, they will make the play-offs.

Arizona 31, Miami 10. Parcells is the right person to rebuild the Dolphins, but they are a long way from being competitive as this game proves.  The Cardinals are better than most people think, and might even have a chance to sneak into a wild card spot, but they’re not 21 point victory good.  The offense is the real deal, and sorry for Dolphins fans, but this is what you can expect most of the year.

Denver 39, San Diego 38. The game that the Chargers won.  An absolutely atrocious call by officials gave Denver the ball back inside the 10 when it should have been a fumble recovered by the Chargers.  The resulting touchdown and gutsy 2 point conversion led to a Broncos win.  The Chargers start 0-2, but this could be the angry kick in the back that gets the juggernaut going.  Feel sorry for the Jets next week, because the Chargers are going to want to break them.

Pittsburgh 10, Cleveland 6. The Browns put up a surprisingly strong fight against the Steelers, but the better team held on to win.  While Browns fans can not be happy about the 0-2 start, the good news is the defense has shown up.  Problem is QB Derek Anderson is not looking good at all.  Until he does, things are going to go badly.  If he can bounce back and get the offense moving, the Browns still have a chance.

(Baltimore @ Houston was postponed due to Hurricane Ike.)

Monday Night
Dallas 41, Philadelphia 37.  This was one of the wildest games in recent memory, as two of the better defenses in the NFL didn’t bother to show up.  This looked more like an arena football game, and proves that both of these teams can score 35 on anyone in the NFC.  This was a highly entertaining game that simply confirms these two teams as likely #1 and #2 in the NFC, and makes a good argument for this being the toughest division in football this season.

Cowboys vs. Eagles Monday Night Preview

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Can the Cowboys Clip the Eagles?

by Shane Dayton

For week two the NFL has saved one of the best match ups of the week for the Monday night game.  After week one’s showing, is there any doubt that these are the two best teams in the NFC?  Philadelphia decimated the Rams, and with CB Asante Samuel this team has one of the best trio of corners in NFL history.  As long as QB Donovan McNabb stays healthy, there are few teams that are going to be able to match up well with this Philly team, especially as receivers begin stepping up.

The Cowboys opened strong, and show no signs of falling from their perch on top of the NFC any time soon.  Romo has the offense clicking on all cylinders and the defense looks even stronger than last year.  CB Adam Jones is a nice addition, and this team loaded up with the intention of going over that last hump in their attempt to reach the Super Bowl.

This match up could go a long way in determining the best team in the NFC, and may even be a preview of a possible NFC championship game.

Match ups to watch for:

• Lito Sheppard, Shelton Brown, & Asante Samuel vs. Dallas passing game.  This is where Romo proves he’s one of the best, or the Eagles prove that their defense can handle anybody.
• Eagles blitzing vs. Dallas run game.  Dallas has a very strong running game, and Barber has more power and pop than Jones did.  Establishing a strong running game and getting passes to Witten can help them counter a scary Eagles secondary.
• Poise under pressure.  Traditionally McNabb and Romo have both been knocked for this one.  When you have two great defenses, two solid running games, and two great offenses then it comes down to the better quarterback.  Whoever can prove they’re better in crunch time wins this game.

This game should reveal a lot as to what we can expect from these two teams.  There’s a lot at stake even though it’s early in the season, and in my eye this game is too close to call.  However, since a prediction has to be made, I’m going to take the defense.  I don’t see how Romo can take on this secondary (don’t forget SS Brian Dawkins back there, as well) mistake free.  Eagles win in a squeaker.

Week 2 NFL Game Predictions

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Week 2 NFL Game Predictions
2008 Week 2 NFL Picks by Shane Dayton

Week one of the NFL season was wild, bringing a bunch of surprises (hello Chicago, Carolina) and also confirming some suspicions about teams ready to take a leap (hello Pittsburgh, Denver).  While it will still take another couple weeks to get a full sense of where each team is really at, week two should be very telling, and some very good teams match up this week.

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Tennessee @ Cincinnati (-1.5). The Vince Young drama is overshadowing a lot, and I’m always hesitant to bet on a Kerry Collins team, but I’m leaning that way.  The Titans have a very good defense and are experts at getting opponents to play sloppy dirty football.  The Bengals have looked absolutely terrible on both sides of the ball, and the defense should be enough to keep the Bengals in check, while Cincinnati doesn’t have the defense to stop the Titans’ running game.  It’ll be ugly, but Titans squeak it out 23-20.

Green Bay (-3) @ Detroit. The Packers looked impressive on Monday night, but the Vikings also looked bad, so who knows?  The Lions looked absolutely terrible, though, and there’s no position on the Lions where they grade better than the Pack.  Rodgers makes it two in a row.  Packers 27-13.

Oakland @ Kansas City (-3.5). Kansas City played a strong New England team and kept it close, while the Raiders got spanked by a strong Denver team.  Oakland’s offense didn’t look bad, but any time you get a dozen penalties, you’re going to lose.  It’s hard to see Oakland as that bad, but the Chiefs looked good even though they lost, and as the offensive line gets better Kansas City will be a solid team.  Chiefs thrill the home crowd, 27-17.

NY Giants (-8.5) @ St. Louis. The Giants looked fairly good, while the Rams looked unbelievably bad.  The Rams probably are just that bad, and I’ll be amazed if Linehan makes it through the season as head coach.  The Giants still have some questions, but they’re a strong aggressive team and will be more than enough to handle the Rams.  Giants 30-16.

Indianapolis (-2) @ Minnesota.  The season didn’t start the way either team wanted.  The Colts were man handled by the Bears, and the Vikings couldn’t muster any passing game to take advantage of a sloppy Packers team.  They couldn’t muster a pass rush, either.  This is an ugly game to try and pick, and it could swing wildly either way, but an angry Minnesota team unleashes hell on a still rusty Peyton Manning, and Peterson gets the carries he should have had in week one.  Minnesota 27-24

New Orleans (-1) @ Washington. It took a late 4th quarter surge and inexplicable decision by Jon Gruden keeping the ball out of Earnest Graham’s hands to complete the comeback, but the Saints pulled it off, though at a high cost.  WR Marques Colston is injured, but the Saints have plenty of firepower coming into Washington, who did not look particularly good in week one.  The Saints need to get pressure on QB Jason Campbell, but if they can do that they should be good.  Saints 23-20

Chicago (-3) @ Carolina. The Bears pulled one of the stunners of week one and absolutely rolled over the Colts.  The Panthers pulled the other by beating the Chargers on the very last play of the game.  One of these teams is going to be a very strong 2-0.  Chicago showed surprising strength on offense and defense, and QB Kyle Orton is solid: which is enough to make this team scary good.  The Panthers are a lot more physical, and this game could be a true toss up.  Since the Bears win was more convincing, they get the nod.  Bears 26-23

Buffalo @ Jacksonville (-5.5). This line kind of baffles me.  Everyone expects Jacksonville to be a lot better (myself included), but they looked god-awful in a game against the Titans, and the Bills have a better defense and an offense that looks far stronger than the Titans, as well.  The big question on this one: will Jacksonville bounce back?  I’m betting against.  Buffalo 31-17

San Francisco @ Seattle (-7.5). Seattle has been pulverized with the injury bug, and it showed as Buffalo rolled over them.  San Francisco didn’t look very good in week one, either, and although this has “ugly game” written all over it, Seattle has more experience and talent.  Seattle 26-20

Atlanta @ Tampa Bay (-7.5). The Bucs fumbled away a chance to make a statement by losing late to the Saints.  Atlanta made their statement by running roughshod over the Lions.  Tampa’s defense is going to give Matt Ryan a delayed rookie’s welcome to the NFL.  Tampa 27-13

Baltimore @ Houston (-4.5). Baltimore opened up the season with a solid win over the Bengals, and fans have to be happy with rookie QB Joe Flacco.  Houston was whipped by Pittsburgh, who might be the most complete team in the NFL right now.  Baltimore has a bright future, but Houston is good enough to give the rookie problems.  Texans get this one, 20-13

New England @ NY Jets (-1.5). The Jets started off well, notching a win in a game that was pretty close due to a kicker’s injury.  As Favre gets to know the playbook better and the offensive line gels, this team has potential to win 10-11 games and grab a wild card spot.  New England loses Brady, but don’t be deceived: this is still an excellent team and I think this is the game where Favre still learning the playbook might bite them.  New England edges the Jets, 27-23

Miami @ Arizona (-6.5). The Cardinals looked fairly good with Kurt Warner at the helm, and Miami definitely looks better than last year.  While both teams want to generate some success, the Cardinals are the better team and Miami won’t have any answer for Arizona’s offense.  Cardinals win 27-19

San Diego (-1.5) @ Denver. The Chargers lost a stunning game to Carolina on the last play of the game week one and will be looking for revenge and to get back on track.  Denver showed in week one that Jay Cutler has arrived as one of the elite NFL quarterbacks and they’re not rolling over for anybody.  This is going to be a close game, but I like the Chargers’ experience in a squeaker.  Chargers win 23-22

Pittsburgh (-6) @ Cleveland. The Browns looked like the Browns of old, and not the Browns of promise from last season.  The Steelers looked like the best team in football.  Cleveland hasn’t beat the Steelers in years, and that trend isn’t going to change this time.  Steelers rock the browns, 41-20

Philadelphia @ Dallas (-7). Both of these NFC East teams looked exceptional, absolutely dismantling their opponents, and might be two of the three strongest teams in the NFC.  The Eagles have a trio of corners that can match even the Cowboy’s impressive passing attack, and Dallas is the most balanced team in the NFC.  This is going to be a hard fought game, and I see a split based on home field.  So since this is in Dallas: Cowboys win 27-24 on Monday night.

Week 1 Monday Night Football Preview

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Monday Night Preview

Week 1 MNF Preview: 2 for the Price of One

The first night of Monday night football offers a rare treat of a double header.  On the opening week we get an interesting set of match ups with the Minnesota Vikings at the Green Bay Packers and Denver at Oakland. It was a crazy opening Sunday with Tom Brady going down for the season and the Chicago Bears taking care of the rusty Peyton Manning and the Colts. The fireworks are sure to continue Monday night!

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Minnesota @ Green Bay The Aaron Rodgers era begins in Green Bay as Ted Thompson continues his obsessive quest to get rid of every player on the roster that he did not personally hand pick.  Now that Favre was showed the door, the Pack sinks or swims with Rodgers.

After a season of falsely leaked stories (remember the “Favre called the Vikings on a Packers cell phone” lie?), bitter feelings, and a tampering charge, Minnesota has every reason to see this as a revenge game.  Rodgers looked okay in preseason, but never have I seen a quarterback with so many obvious weaknesses overwhelmingly praised for being average in the preseason (and only average because of a lot of dropped INTs).

Green Bay is in trouble.  Their defensive line is a complete wreck, and they’re not going to be able to stop anyone from running or get a pass rush.  The offensive line is not good, and the 49ers showed you can destroy the Packers offense with pressure.  A mediocre former 6th round pick will be blocking either DT Pat Williams or DT Kevin Williams one on one, while the other is blocked by a back up tackle moved to guard.  Not good.

On top of that, Minnesota looks like a team designed to beat Green Bay.  For all the hype around “A-Rod,” Tavaris Jackson looked better in his starts.  Everyone thinks this will be a close game or that the Packers will row, but call me a doubter.  With no pass rush and a terrible run defense, who’s going to stop Adrian Peterson?

In addition, the Vikings are angry as hell.  They’re angry at the Packers, at the GM, and this is a rivalry game anyway.  They believe it’s their time to win the division once again, and what better way to do it than to crush the old division champs?

In my opinion, Thompson will lose his job by season’s end because the Packers won’t reach .500.  Vikings win, and possibly win big to make a statement.

Denver @ Oakland Many people see this game as an afterthought, but they shouldn’t.  Denver’s Jay Cutler looks to be on the edge of becoming a big time NFL quarterback while Oakland has become competitive under Lane Kiffin and has enough interesting talent added to this roster to become a surprise team.

QB Jamarcus Russell has looked great in preseason, and with a three WR tandem of Ronald Curry, Javon Walker, and Ashley Lelie, this team will be able to throw.  Add in RB Darren McFadden who teams up with returning 1,000 yard rusher Justin Fargas, and this is an offense that has potential to really move.

The Raiders took a little bit of a step back last season, but the talent is there and adding CB DeAngelo Williams and S Gabriel Wilson is only going to help.  The biggest question for this team is how well they actually play as a team under Coach Kiffin.

An opening game against bitter rival Denver is a great testing ground.  Jay Cutler has matured as a quarterback and is ready to lead this team.  The biggest question: can an absolutely horrific defense get its stuff together and deliver far more than they did last season?  This question won’t only determine the Broncos season, but will determine if they can take advantage of a young quarterback and win.

Whoever wins in the “young Oakland players” vs. Denver defense, that will be your winner on the second Monday night game, one that could be closer than the much more anticipated Minnesota-Green Bay match up.

5 Football Games You Need to Bet Now

5 Games You Need to Bet!

The first weekend of major NCAA & NFL action is here!

The first weekend of college football might be done, but that’s more of an exhibition week, anyway.  Now that the NFL is starting, giving us pro and college games to bet each week, now the season has really began in my mind.  Every week there are always some great games that slip through the bookies and offer great potential deals for bettors.  This week is no exception.  This week we have 2 from the NFL, and 3 from the NCAA.

#1: Notre Dame (-21) over San Diego State. Do I believe Notre Dame is back?  Absolutely not.  This is still a very mediocre team that was terrible last year.  These guys could be twice as good as last year and still only be a 6 win team.  That said, San Diego State lost to a 1-AA team that was hardly a powerhouse, and which ran for over 200 yards against the Aztecs.  Notre Dame will run the ball, and they will want revenge for last year’s humiliations.  That means they will run up the score as much as possible, and this is the only time all season I’ll tell you to bet on Notre Dame when they’re favored, but this one is looking good.

Have you ever received cash back on a losing bet?

#2: West Virginia (-8) over ECU. ECU is a very good team, and they have been amazing since mid last year.  They’re still buzzing over a win over Virginia Tech, but here’s the thing: Virginia Tech is not very good at all, even by lousy ACC standards.  West Virginia is the real thing, making those 8 points a steal, because even though ECU is good, they’re not that good, but WVU is.  Don’t be surprised when the Mountaineers win by three touchdowns.

#3: Texas Tech (-8.5) over Nevada. Don’t let the first week scare you off.  Texas Tech is just fine, and their defense will be out for blood, and the offense will work out the kinks.  Tech won’t have a problem covering this one, so take advantageous of the overly cautious line.


#4: Philadelphia (-9.5) over St. Louis. Stephen Jackson is coming back after a long and bitter hold out.  Running backs who traditionally do this start slow, and this Rams team is not very talented.  Bulger has long been overrated at QB, and with Philadelphia’s absolutely killer secondary, they will easily cover the spread against the Rams, possibly giving the NFL its biggest blow out of the first week.

Have you ever received cash back on a losing bet?

#5: Kansas City (+17.5) over New England. This is my gutsy pick for the week.  New England should win the game (assuming Tom Brady is healthy – a big if right now).  The thing is, New England’s defense wasn’t great last year and that was before losing CB Asante Samuel and CB Randall Gay.  New England’s linebackers are old and slow, and between WR Dwayne Bowe, TE Tony Gonzalez, and RB Larry Johnson, the Chiefs could quite possibly score 30 points on the Pats, who with an injured quarterback and a defense who won’t force the Chiefs off the field quickly, will score a lot of points, but not 50.  Kansas City covers.  Bet it now before everyone else catches on.