I have mentioned before that I used to gamble a lot and I ended up getting pretty good at the NFL picks game that I used to play at a bar run by my old man’s bookie. I liked this because the entry fee was only like $10 and the payout, depending on the week, was about $800 for first and a few hundred for second and third. I got first once and second a couple of other times so I would say that I was remarkable good at it, especially since I didn’t even get in every week and was still floating around the top of the leader board. So I figure my investment was something like $100 and I got back around $1000, maybe more, which isn’t all that bad in the seedy world of underground illegal gambling. The way we did it was we picked all 14-16 games and attributed a total number of points to that team based on how sure we were that that team would win, so if we thought Pittsburg was a lock to win over Cinci, we would give them 16 points, but if we just couldn’t really decide or if we were iffy we would give them a score of 1 point, and so on and so forth down thru 16 to 1. So these are my picks for this week.
16. Pittsburg over Cincinnati- A shoe in. Pittsburg almost always finds a way to win, especially against division rivals, and even more so against the Bengals, who aren’t very good.
15. Denver over Oakland- Denver has an impressive offence and their D looks good at times. Oakland, however, is a joke and never really looks all that great. This is a lock.
14. Tampa Bay over Detroit- Garcia is another one of those guys who I think doesn’t really get a fair shake, he is a winner and he is as tough as they come. I can’t say the same for Culpepper or anyone for Detroit for that matter.
13. Dallas over San Fran- Romo is back and so is Dallas, the bastards, and there is something about Singletary I don’t like as a coach, maybe it was throwing an assistant under bus or calling out individual players (that I have less of a problem with) but something, whatever it is, doesn’t sit right and I think the SF locker-room gets the same vibe.
12. Chicago over St. Louis- Jeeze, talk about a toilet bowl. Chicago got killed last week but I still they bounce back against the awful Rams.
11. Baltimore over Philadelphia- Philly is unpredictable but I think the Ravens defense is just too damn good for the Eagles to move the ball and I like that rookie quarterback they have behind center.
10. Washington over Seattle- If Portis doesn’t play, I would drop this to 4 but still take Washington
9. Buffalo over Kansas City- I don’t really know too much about these two teams, but what little I have seen would suggest that KC is horrible and going to be rebuilding next year. I like Herman Edwards but for some reason he doesn’t seem to be able to win games. I think it is time for a change.
8. Indianapolis over San Diego- A rematch from last year’s AFC semi-finals, I think the Colts, who are having a disappointing year, get their payback as Manning and his crew really saw things coming together last week, though they did play Houston.
7. Minnesota over Jacksonville- Internal problems for the Jags and their season I think is over. Plus the Vikings have found some success in ancient gun slinger Gus Ferrot who doesn’t always look so bad. And then the Vikings do have a guy named Adrian Peterson. That guy is pretty good.
6. New Orleans over Green Bay- Green Bay is playing super well right now but I think Brees is going to torch them since all those defensive touchdowns means they are doing a lot of gambling and that can cost them and Brees is the type of player to make them pay for let it all ride.
5. Cleveland over Houston- Another toilet bowl, but I think Cleveland has underachieved this year with all their offensive weapons. So playing the perennially crap defense of the Titans I think they will get some huge numbers and another win.
4. Miami over New England- Miami is a much improved team from last year and I like Pennington who I have always thought was a much better QB than he is given credit for. Plus I like the one two punch of Brown and Williams. But they are playing the Pats and they are a team of winners but I don’t really think that is necessarily true of the guy they have behind center who has until recently seen hardly any action for nearly a decade.
3. Jets over Titans- The Titans are undefeated, I thought they would go maybe 500 this year, and they have done it with the suprising play of veteran quarterback Carrey Collins. They are having an unreal season but there is no way they can run the tables. I think this is the week they go down considering the Jets have their own veteran in Favre whose play is improving as of late. But I am keeping this one low because the Titans are very good and beating teams with relative ease.
2. Atlanta over Carolina- Two teams that have somehow found ways to win, this one is a tough one to call but my gut says that Delhoume will blow it in the end.
1. Arizona over the Giants- This is a super tough call, hence the 1, but I am going to take the Cardinals against the reigning Super Bowl Champs because I like Kurt Warner who is finally back to his St. Louis greatness, St. Louis I am sure is thrilled that they went with Bulger instead of their former MVP.