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Monthly Archives: September 2006

NFL Picks – Week 4

Last Week: 4-8-2   Season: 20-24-2

ATLANTA (-7) over Arizona

Last week = fluke. Oh, and the Cards can’t make up their mind on who to start. That never helps.

CAROLINA (-7) over New Orleans

I’m not sure about making this team a 7-point favorite against the 3-0
Saints. But the Letdown Factor is definitely at play here, along with
the Monday Night Game Followed By a Road Game Corollary. And if you
look at it, the Panthers should have won last week more like 34-7
instead of 26-24. They turned the ball over three times in their own
territory, which isn’t likely to happen again. I think the Panthers are
going to win, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they lost. However, this is
a must-win game for the Panthers, who’d fall three games out of first
with a loss.

This is all a roundabout way of saying that Carolina almost always wins must-win games. And this one will be another one.

Minnesota (+1) over BUFFALO

Was that the real J.P. Losman last week…or the real one two weeks before?

My bet’s the former.

San Diego (-2.5) over BALTIMORE

The Sports Guy ranked the Chargers No. 1 in the league in his column
this week. I’m not sure I agree with him. But I do think the Bolts are
more than good enough to win this game against a bad offense.

Miami (-3.5) over HOUSTON

I don’t see any reason to pick the Texans until they win.

TENNESSEE (+9) over Dallas

A key rule in on the spread picking: Be leery of giving more than a
touchdown to a home underdog when the road team’s wide receiver may
have tried to kill himself last week.

San Francisco (+7) over KANSAS CITY

A month ago I picked the Chiefs to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Now I’m picking them to lose to the NFL’s worst 2005 QB at home.

Welcome to the NFL.

Indianapolis (-9) over NY JETS

Another rout. Is it just me or do the Colts never seem to play more
than two tough games in the first five games of any given season?

ST. LOUIS (-5.5) over Detroit

It’s stupid how close the Lions are to being 0-16 right now.

Jacksonville (-3) over WASHINGTON

If the Jags are for real, they’ll rebound from last week’s tough loss in Indy to beat a decent Skins team on the road.

New England (+6) over CINCINNATI

Only the Patriots can convince me to pick them on the road against a playoff team with their joke of a receiving corps.

Cleveland (-3) over OAKLAND

A fellow poster of mine on North Side Baseball said it best: “The
Raiders should never be getting less than 7 points against anyone.”

CHICAGO (-3) over Seattle

This was picked for Seattle before Alexander was struck by the Madden Curse.

Green Bay (+11) over PHILADELPHIA

Next week is T.O. This week is way too many points being given to GB.

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Yeah, I pretty much love Ellen, and I absolutely love that she came up
with this hanging out on Wednesday night plan…there is NO better way
to snap me out of a midweek funk (and I usually get into one) than to
see her, because no one makes me laugh so much.

Tcom faculty is at a planning meeting tomorrow or something, so I get
to have my first and only class of tomorrow at 3:30 pm. Outstanding…

This weekend should be awesome…HS broadcast, ND game, BSU home game
(win or lose, they’re fun), then the Panthers game, which I’ll get to
listen to on radio again. For the 2nd time this season, a national
radio network will carry the game, so that should be fun. I can’t wait
for them to be in primetime.

I can’t stop smiling!

A. Bob

I used to think I had feelings for Ellen (which led, if you feel like searching through my entries from winter of 04-05, to a very awkward phase).

Now I realize that it’s a void in my life that’s finally been filled – an honest to goodness girl friend that I’m very close with.

And in retrospect, I can’t believe I ever got by without her.

Other things from life:

I hate – HATE – Tuesdays. Outside speakers, editing labs, three classes – I never seem to get home before 8:00 on Tuesdays. And I won’t today either.

I wish I had more friends, but it’d be hard to say that I have ever in my life been doing better friends-wise than I am now, and I have a feeling I’m going up even further in that department, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Another football-packed weekend is coming, and I’m excited.

A. Bob

Disclaimer before I do this: I in no way believe
ND will make or will deserve to make the national title game at the end
of the season.

But because I’m a hopeless optimist, let’s see what the chances are
of the 11 teams in front of ND losing before January. (Of course,
losing is no guarantee that said teams would fall behind Notre Dame.)

1. Ohio State

Possible losses remaining: at Iowa next Saturday, at Michigan St 10/14, vs Michigan 11/18

Odds of losing: Probably somewhere between zero and 10 percent. I
really think O$U will be unbeaten going into the Michigan game.

2. Auburn

Possible losses remaining: at S. Carolina next Saturday, vs Florida
10/14, vs Georgia 11/11, at Alabama 11/18, SEC Title Game if they make
it there

Odds of losing: I’d say pretty darn good, between 40-55 percent.
They’re helped by the fact that they don’t have a long midseason
stretch of tough games, but it’s hard to think that the Tigers can get
through their remaining tough games, plus the SEC title game (which
would make 3 really tough games out of 4) without a blemish.

3. USC

Possible losses remaining: vs Arizona State 10/14, vs Oregon 11/11, vs Cal 11/18, vs ND 11/25

Odds of losing: Well, obviously ND controls their own destiny here.
USC probably is not going to lose before the ND game because none of
those first three teams are really all that good (except for possibly
Oregon – we’ll see about them). All those tough games are at home,
which helps their cause immensely. Oddly enough, this year’s USC team
has just as good a chance of playing in the title game as last year’s
simply because they don’t have a tough road game on the schedule. I’d
put the odds of USC losing a game at about 25 percent.

4. W. Virginia

Possible losses remaining: at Louisville 11/2, at Pittsburgh 11/16

Odds of losing: 35 percent. That Louisville game will be very
tough, especially if Brian Brohm is back for it, which it is believed
he will be. The Pitt game could be a surprise, but the Panthers would
have to play very well to win that game. It’s a crime against football
if this team goes unbeaten playing only one very good team.

5. Florida

Possible losses remaining: vs Alabama next Saturday, vs LSU 10/7,
at Auburn 10/14, vs Georgia 10/28, vs S. Carolina 11/11, at FSU 11/25,
SEC title game if they make it

Odds of losing: 75 percent. Three straight games against Top 10 teams spells real trouble for the Gators.

6. Michigan

Possible losses remaining: at Minnesota next Saturday, vs MSU 10/7, at PSU 10/14, vs Iowa 10/21, at O$U 11/25

Odds of losing: 85 percent. Four games in a row that will be at
least moderately tough could foretell a stumble, but looming at the end
are the Buckeyes, and I just don’t like Michigan’s chances in that
game.

7. Texas

Possible losses remaining: at Oklahoma 10/7, at Nebraska 10/21, Big 12 title game if they make it

Odds of losing: Tough to place. None of those three teams (the Big
12 North champ, whoever it is, won’t be nearly as good as the Horns)
looks to have the talent of Texas, but with a first-year starter, you
never know. Even so, I put the odds of another Texas loss at just 30
percent.

8. Louisville

Possible losses remaining: vs W. Virginia 11/2, vs S. Florida 11/18, at Pittsburgh 11/25

Odds of losing: I’m putting this at 40 percent. Brohm will be just
recently returned from his injury, if he is back, going into the WV
game. They will be without Michael Bush. However, their backups have
proven capable so far. They don’t play anyone else remotely capable of
beating them. I added the USF game because they lost to the Bulls last
year.

9. LSU

Possible losses remaining: at Florida 10/7, at Tennessee 11/4, vs Alabama 11/11, SEC title game if they make it

Odds of losing: I’ll put this at 50 percent, since Florida is a
very talented team. Since they’re in the same division as Auburn who
has already beaten them, the Tigers are this year’s version of the team
that could potentially make the title game without winning their own
division.

10. Georgia

Possible losses remaining: vs Tennessee 10/7, at Florida 10/28, at Auburn 11/11, vs GT 11/25, SEC title game if they make it

Odds of losing: 90 percent. The Dawgs haven’t impressed me or many
others, and they have four, possibly five, really tough games
remaining. I don’t see any way they make it through all of them.

11. Virginia Tech

Possible losses remaining: vs GT next Saturday, at BC 10/12, vs Clemson 10/26, at Miami 11/4, ACC title game if they make it

Odds of losing: The Hokies haven’t done that many impressive
things, but they’ve done what they’ve needed to, and they don’t play
anyone that appears talented enough to stop that determination. I’ll
put the odds at 30 percent.

As for ND? Well, they’ll be 10-1 heading to the Coliseum if they
even half-ass their next seven games, and if they don’t completely
embarrass themelves there, they’ll at least play in a BCS game (likely
whoever has the first pick in the rotation – Orange or Sugar). But
their chances of managing to slip by ten teams (and not get passed up
by anyone due to computer rankings)? Not great. Likely between 2-4
percent at best.

A. Bob