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Sunday, September 26, 2004

Damn the Point Spread, Week Three

First, about last week's picks. I managed to go 9-7 straight up, an impressive performance that narrowly beat the performance of someone picking out of a hat. That might be a better method for picking against the spread, because based on the points at Stardust last week, I was only 6-10. A few of the point spread highlights:

1) The Patriots, 8-point favorites, beat Arizona 23-12.
2) Cincinnati, 4.5-point favorites, beat Miami 16-13.
4) Seattle, 2.5-point favorites, beat Tampa 10-6.
3) Oakland, 3.5-point favorites, beat Buffalo 13-10.

So, as you can see, fighting the spread seems to be a lost cause. But the battle continues.

I've noticed ESPN's NFL front page (at least before the games start, this is), has point spreads listed. I can't figure out where their lines come from exactly, as the points vary by casino. In any case, I'll bet against the generic ESPN line this week. And no, I'm not really betting, please stay away federal authorities. Kids, don't bet, it will make your teeth fall out.

On to the selections of the week.

Minnesota (-10) over Chicago

Back in the Dome Vikes are tough.

NY Giants (-3.5) over Cleveland

Winslow gone hurts Brownies, and on an on-side kick, no less. His teammates probably are happy, though, he won't be around to smack them for not being intense enough about stretching at practice.

St. Louis (-7) over New Orleans

No Deuce means no dice for the Saints.

Arizona (+10) over Atlanta (Cardinals to cover but Atlanta to win)

I still have no idea how the Cards stayed in the game with the Patriots last week.

Baltimore (-2.5) over Cincinnati

This game is going to be absolutely disgusting to watch. Of course, it will be on TV where I live.

Philadelphia (-5.5) over Detroit

Lions are 2-0, yes, but they beat Chicago and Houston. Reality arrives today.

Tennessee (-6) over Jacksonville

Jags can't score of late, Titans motivated to get back after Colts loss last week.

Houston (+7.5) over Kansas City

OK, Texans, if you don't do anything this week, I'm stopping picking you. The Chefs will have trouble cooking the meal with no Priest to give the blessing. Hopefully Larry Johnson does have diapers in case he craps his pants in advance of his first start. Or something else punny may apply.

Denver (-10) over San Diego

Speaking of crap, that's how the Chargers usually play in Denver. The Broncos must be pumped to see KC having trouble since that opens up the division for them to take.

Seattle (-10) over San Francisco

Like the Cardinals, I have no idea how the Niners are staying in games thus far, having lost by two and then three (OK, Deuce McCallister got injured for the Saints last week, so that makes some sense). Seahawks are tough at home and Ken Dorsey doesn't give me much confidence in a tough road game.

Indianapolis (-6.5) over Green Bay

Favre! Manning! Excessive hype!

Oakland (-3.5) over Tampa Bay

The cyclicality of the NFL is on full display as the Super Bowl matchup from less than two calendar years ago now has a severe lack of sizzle.

Pittsburgh (+1) over Miami

Yes, Pittsburgh wins outright too, unless there is some way the Dolphins can win the thing by a half-point. It'll be sloppy in the wake of a hurricane, which means running will be crucial, and as we all know by now, the Dolphins have no running game, whereas the Steelers can run decently.

Washington (-1.5) over Dallas

Good God, the people in DC are insane about this game. As I've suggested before, this is why Washington needs a baseball team. At least in Boston, the rabid-ness of the fandom is dispersed between both the Patriots and the Red Sox.