Thursday, October 28, 2010

NFL -- Week 8 Picks

Man, the look on Cliff Lee's face last night as he struggled through inning after inning, laboring hard for the first time in what seems like weeks in one of his starts, that was just priceless. Nonetheless, he'll still be a Yankee next year, and he'll still probably sign for I would guess around 6 years / $160 million or so, but seeing a guy with a robotic arm like that pitch like a mere mortal for a few innings is nice to keep me grounded and remind us all that everybody is human, we can't always do perfect in everything we do, and nobody is above variance.

Other than the World Series which is only just starting, we are now entering that period of time where for a sports fan like me, it's basically all football, all the time. It would be hard for me to imagine the circumstances that would lead to me getting really in to the NHL or NBA seasons, as those sports have flat-out lost me in recent years (and this despite the Flyers' surprising run to the Stanley Cup Finals last year while I was out in Vegas). But the NFL is the great stalwart, and it continues to grow on a weekly basis as the people in charge of the league have really done an amazing job over the past decade or so while those at the head of the other major U.S. sports have generally watched their sports go in the opposite direction. During a time when television ratings are splintering more and more every day with the proliferation of cable television, movie channels, DVRs, etc., I heard this morning on Mike and Mike that just five years ago, not one of the top 15 most-watched programs of the year was a football game in 2005, or any sporting event for that matter. Whereas, after last week's Vikings - Packers matchup on Sunday night became the most-watched regular season football game of all time, garnering the attention of more people in this country than even the final episode of Mash back in nineteen-diggity-ought, it was reported that of the top 15 most-watched television programs so far in 2010, the top 12 are all NFL football games, and 13 of the top 15. That's all you need to know right there about the state of football and its relative place compared to the other major sports in this country today.

Anyways, as I turn my focus to football I note that I have some picks still to get up for Week 8. And seeing how well my picks worked out last week -- 3-0 for my first undefeated day picking games of the 2010 season -- why not return to make the picks on a Thursday again and see if I can't capture some of that same magic for the second straight week. It's funny because I can always tell when I've had a good week in my football predictions, because the losers out on the interwebs always notice and typically become infuriated at my public outperformance of them, so invariably there is always a spike in Hoy Haterism on blogs, in blog comments, etc. whenever I've done a good job, almost like clockwork. I had no idea I had gone 3-0 last week until I saw a negative comment on a couple of other blogs out there about my picks, and then I knew I had killed it without even needing to look. Those were three awesome picks that you couldn't find basically anywhere else last week, what can I say.

So let's see if we can throw a wrench into things this week with...wait for it...not one, not two, but three road dogs for you to chew on this week! I had another big week with picks on road dogs back in Week 4, and I know this goes against conventional wisdom, but the conventional wisdom people have gotten utterly obliterated so far this year in NFL picks so I say what the hell, I gotta do what feels right, and this week that is a bunch of road dogs. So, in no particular order:

1. Jacksonville Jaguars +7 at Dallas Cowboys. I have no idea how Dallas is favored by 7 points over anybody right now, but with Tony Romo out and Jon Kitna in, I think 7 points is too much to give even to a mediocre-at-best team like the Jags. The Cowboys' season is over, and the team is ripe for the picking at this moment, and even a team like the Jags ought to be able to stay within a touchdown of the 1-5 'Boys on Sunday.

2. Washington Redskins +3 at Detroit Lions. The Redskins have shown that they have some mettle so far in this young season, and even though I secretly don't think they're a very good team, I just can't resist getting a field goal with any team against the Lions. Detroit might be a bit better this year, and the quarterback is coming back one of these days as well, but I just can't turn down the better team plus the points on this one. McNabb's going to ruin one of these games soon enough with his inaccuracies, but Albert Haynesworth is coming off his first good game of the season, and I just like the value of the Skins plus the points too much to pass up here.

3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers +3 at Arizona Cardinals. I lost once already picking against the Cardinals at home, but they're still starting this undrafted buttdink at quarterback, he's getting his ass bounced all over the football field on a weekly basis, and this week the fewest-losses-in-the-NFC Buccaneers are coming to town, who I am finally starting to warm up to. Without the 3 points I would not take the Bucs here, but with the Cardinals laying a field goal this seems like more good value to me as a road underdog for the Bucs.

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Blogger DuggleBogey said...

How are you 3-0 when you said pick Dallas and "Bank it" on the Dallas/Giants Monday night game?

2:57 AM  
Blogger Josie said...

Congrats on winning your FTOPS seat. Just watched you take out 2 peeps ftw. well done.

10:40 AM  
Blogger GnightMoon said...

Your reasoning is sound on picks #1 and #3 and I tend to agree with you there, but I don't know if Washington actually is a better team than Detroit.

2:57 PM  

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