You’ll recall last weekend I picked all four winners but only went 2-2 against the spread. A commenter pointed out that with the “vig”, the amount the bookie charges for taking your bet, people betting money with my picks would have lost a smallish amount even though I was right half the time.
So let me issue this disclaimer: Don’t bet on my picks. Save your money, this is an intellectual exercise, designed to demonstrate (I hope) that I have a profound, intuitive understanding of The Game, or at least a better understanding than my blog friend and rival Gil Roth at Virtual Memories.(who, by the way–did I mention this?–went 1-3 last week).
So here goes for this weekend (point spread based on Friday morning’s line):
Baltimore Ravens (formerly Cleveland Browns) vs. Indianapolis (formerly Baltimore) Colts. I’m still confused about how they’ve decided to keep the record books. Like, do stats for best QB continue from Baltimore’s Johnny Unitas to the Indy Colts’ Peyton Manning or to Baltimore’s current QB Steve McNair. I’ve always been a McNair admirer, and yeah, yeah, Ravens D rules, but I think that when you get Peyton Manning as an underdog and he’s got something to prove (i.e. that he can win in the post-season) you’ve got to go with the dog.
Take Indy plus the 4 points.
New Orleans Saints vs Philly Eagles. I know the Saints have the stars, but as one commenter pointed out last week the Eagles have heart. Usually in this fallen world, stars beat heart, and the Saints are favored. But I like the Eagles despite this.
Take Philly plus the 5 points.
The Bears are 8 1/2 point faves over the Seahawks. I’ve noticed people are down on Seattle. I’ve heard them called “the Seachickens” on sports radio, and “the Seahags” in the press. And I have to agree, based on last week’s performance I wouldn’t bet on them no matter what the line. I don’t have a lot of confidence Chicago QB Grossman can run up the score, but a touchdown and a field goal margin doesn’t seem out of line.
Take the Bears giving 8 1/2 points.
The Chargers are 5 point faves over the Patriots. Again the line makes sense about who will win, but when do you ever get Tom Brady and Bill Belichick as an underdogs with 5 points?
Take the Patriots plus 5.
I feel good about these picks. I’m going for 4 and 0. But I felt that way last week too.
p.s. I rashly promised in my last football post to predict what Philip Roth’s picks would be (long story, see post). Okay here’s one that’s obvious: Chicago! With a quarterback whose name–Rex Grossman–could make him a Roth charactrer.
Phil’s down for five large on the Bears. I just know it.