Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Feature: The Offensive Line

Every week I'll be running picks and analysis of lines for NCAA and NFL football.

This sophisticated advice comes from a casual fan, with absolutely no experience, no qualifications, and very little insight. If you actually use this as your guide, you should probably enjoy the smell of fresh garbage, because you'll be living in it soon.

Remember, betting is bad, and if you do it, you go to the hell.

On to damnation!

Maryland (+17.5) at West Virginia (-17.5): You know, the BCS is a lot like the vagina. You can learn all you want to about it, and it's probably still going to mistify you. West Virginia has to be scared of the BCS like a 13 year old-mormon is afraid of the female reproductive system. They know how it's supposed to work, but Lord knows what's actually going to happen. Western Virginia is going to go undefeated, barring a complete meltdown. They've got NO ONE on the schedule. Unfortunately, that may hurt their national title hopes. Either way, WVU is a pretty safe one here, althought I feel it's important to note that Maryland is 4-1 against the spread in last 5 times versus WVU.

Pick: WVU and the points.

Syracuse (+3.5) at Illinois (-3.5): Upset alert! I know, I know. It's Syracuse. But remember, it's also Illinois. The Illinois that got shut out by Rutgers last weekend. Syracuse is coached by Gregg Robinson. You may remember him as the architect of the Chiefs defense from 2000 to 2005. Wait! Before you run for the hills, before that he was defensive coordinator for the Broncos during their SuperBowl run, and defensive coordinator at Texas for 2004, when they were phenomenal. This guy has Syracuse holding the unders in each game. Syracuse lost a heartbreaker in OT to Iowa last week. I think the defense will hold and Syracuse will come away at least inside the spread on this one. Call me crazy.

Pick: Syracuse.

Michigan State (+3.5) at Pittsburgh(-3.5): I also like the Spartans here. Drew Stanton is maddd. Pittsburgh is eehhhh. Michigan State has more offense, and if this thing goes past the over/under, the Spartans are rolling. Also, I don't know if you've noticed, but the Big East is the football conference version of David Sedaris (there's some smart stuff there, but you wouldn't pick them in a fight), and the Big East is a multi-billion dollar form or Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots.

Pick: Michigan State straight up.

Alabama Birmington (+17) at Georgia (-17): Georgia is the only SEC powerhouse not facing a titanic game this weekend, and should be in solid form to shine while the others are beating the crap out of one another. Let me put it this way. UAB couldn't cover versus East Carolina, and Georgia whumped the Gamecocks and the spread 18-0. I know, Freshman quarterback for Georgia. However, he was expected to start eventually anyway. Points, for the love of God, pick Georgia to cover. Forget Oklahoma, it was the first game of the season and the Sooners are way overrated.

Pick: Georgia, to cover, and cover, and cover some more.

Boise State (-7.5) at Wyoming (+7.5): This looks like a bookie adjustment to get action on Wyoming. Boise State obliterated Oregon State last week, while Wyoming was edged out by Virginia. Boise State's offense is high-powered right now behind Ian Johnson. Even though they're not playing on the field that makes me think I'm at Willie Wonka's, I like the Broncos here.

Pick: Boise State to cover.

LSU (+3.5) at Auburn (-3.5): In what will be the game of the week, Auburn faces LSU in an SEC West showdown, early in the season. Both teams have been dominant, both teams know each other well, both teams foster a healthy disregard for the other's safety. That's a recipe for some SEC whoopins! I think Auburn and Iron's offense will be too much for the Tigers, especially on the road. Auburn's 8-0-1 against the spread last 9 games. If this were any other two SEC teams, I'd think a fieldgoal differential was possible, but with Auburn, they're either losing, or covering.

Pick: Auburn to cover.

Games to stay away from:
Michigan (+6.5) at Notre Dame(-6.5): I like the Irish here, but the spread is just too tight with Hart on the field.
Oklahoma (+4.5) at Oregon (-4.5): This just reeks of a trap either way. Oregon has been fantastic against the spread at home, but the Pac 10 has been getting killed outside of conference versus major conference teams this year, and Oklahoma looks like they've remembered who they are. The Ducks have got the edge statswise, but they've also never beaten Oklahoma. This is a no-go, Houston.

Gimme-Gimme's (Me First!):
USC over Nebraska to cover
Missouri over New Mexico to cover.
Texas A&M over Army, but not to cover

Prop Bets:
Over/Under for Confederate Flags in parking lot at LSU vs. Auburn game: 250
Over/Under for references to Hurricane Katrina during LSU vs. Auburn game: 7
Odds of Adrian Peterson declaring for NFL draft after Oregon game: 10 to 1

Last note: How bad is Colorado? Well, last week they were defeated by Colorado State, who this week is getting 2... from Nevada. Can the Big 12 trade Colorado for someone, please? Anybody?


So, after going 9-7 for the first week of my pre-season, things could have been worse. I'm at +.500, so I'm not Clarretting yet.

So, after reviewing what actually happened last week, let's look at the spreads a little closer on some games.

Tennessee "Oh My God, Who's Starting?!"(+12) at San Diego (Super)Chargers(-12): The over/under is 37.5, I'd take the Chargers, and Merrimann to hit the over...on sacks. If I were Jeff Fisher, after the way Merrimann dismantled the Raiders last week, I'd hide Vince Young in the locker room, under some towels, covered with netting, in a closet, with the lightbulb removed from the light. And a lock on the door.

Pick: Chargers to cover, under on points.

New Orleans Saints (-3) at Green Bay Death Rattle (+3): If the Saints manage to win and cover the 3.5, here, they will have officially turned into the 2006 NFL Team You Do Not Bet Against. Last year it was the Panthers, this year it could be the Saints. I like Brees to carve up a weak secondary, and the ever-present Reggie Bush factor convinces me all the more. Until Brett Favre has that moment where he walks in front of a mirror and goes "Wait a minute! I'm Brett Favre!" I like the over on this at 38. I think Favre will be able to get some offense going against the Saints, turning this one into a shootout.

Pick: New Orleans to cover, over on points.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+6) at Atlanta Falcons (-6): Helllo, instant history! Yes, the Falcons looked good last week. Yes, Michael Vick acted like an actual pro quarterback. And yes, the Bucs looked absolutely pathetic. However, Tampa is 9-2 in it's last 11 versus Atlanta, including 5-1 against the spread. I think Gruden will settle Simms down, and not having Ed Reed and Ray Lewis across the line will help a lot. Take the under, because this is going to be a lot of "Cadillac Williams...carries for 2 yards" and "Vick, back to pass... incomplete."

Pick: Tampa Bay to cover, under on 36.

New York Kid Es (+3) at Philadelphia Playa Haters(-3) : Hi! My name's Donte Stallworth! I enjoy fishing, the company of close friends, and having a quarterback as pissed off as I am! So, you've got the home... versus a suspect Giants defense... after beating a surprisngly not that bad Houston team last week... only giving 3. At home. Good to know Rush Limbaugh is still setting lines for the sports world.

Pick: Eagles to cover, under on 43.

Pittsburgh Official...I mean, Steelers at Jacksonville Jaguars: The Jaguars should first watch film of Superbowl XL, then of the Red Flag incident in week one. Then watch the movie 'Real Genius' with Val Kilmer. There's a line they should pay attention to. "Even if you pass, you don't pass." Steelers will win by more than the 2 they're giving. And even if they don't, they will. Savy?

Pick: Steelers by hook or by crook to cover, under on over/under 37.

Stay away from:
Bills (+7) at Miami(-7): Unless you have one of those doors like in 'Being John Malkovich' and can figure out what the hell is going on in Dante Culpepper's head.
St. Louis Rams (-3) at San Francisco 49ers(+3): 49ers are feeling frisky this year, and St. Louis loves da letdown game.
Kansas City Chiefs(+11) at Denver Broncos(-11): AFC West game. KC has no QB. Denver has no RB. Jake Plummer and Ty Law are involved. Stay away. No good for you.
Oakland Raiders (+12) at Baltimore Ravens (-12): Don't drink the KoolAid! Don't do it! It's the same Ravens team! Don't! Put the McNair down! I know it's Aaron brooks, but the points, man, think of the points!

Prop Bets:
Aaron Brooks awarded AFC Offensive Player of the Week for Week2: 150 to 1
Over/Under on times you will see Peyton or Eli Manning if you watch football all day including either the Colts or Giants game: 60.
Odds on a Week 2 TO blowup: 15 to 1.

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