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Wednesday's List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud.........
13) Maryland had four QB’s at start of season; all four are now hurt, which means a freshman linebacker, who played QB in high school LY but wasn’t recruited as a QB will now start for the Terps against Georgia Tech Saturday. Kind of hope that game is on TV.
12) Saturday is November 3, and Virginia Cavaliers (0-7-1) still haven’t covered a game this year; Colorado is a dismal 1-7 vs spread. On plus side, are Northwestern (8-1) and Ole Miss (7-1).
11) If/when Nick Foles plays for the Eagles, he’ll became the first Arizona Wildcat alum to play QB in an NFL game since the immortal Bill Demory went 12-39 passing for the Jets in 1973-74.
10) NFL pushed the trading deadline back from Tuesday til Thursday afternoon, because NFL offices are closed Tuesday due to the hurricane. It might have to be pushed back further.
9) Over last five games, Giants have outsacked opponents 15-2; they have 13 takeaways (+9) in their last three games.
8) Dallas is 3-4; they’ve allowed a TD on offense/special teams in all four losses, and haven’t allowed one in any of the wins.
7) Do what you will with this information: Tony Romo’s career record in November: 19-2, with six straight wins.
6) Eagles haven’t started a drive in enemy territory since Week 2 vs Ravens; since then, opponents have started seven drives in Philly territory.
5) Carolina Panthers lost their last five games, last four all by 5 or less points; they’ve lost average field position by average of 7.4 yards a game, a decent amount. Only game they won field position, they won the game, too.
4) David Letterman taped his show Monday night without a studio audience, in deference to the hurricane; was odd hearing jokes told with no laughter. Denzel Washington was a guest, braving the elements to make it to the CBS studio in Manhattan.
3) Jim Leyland and all his coaches got a 1-year extension from the Tigers; Detroit gets Victor Martinez back next year, figures to be a strong team again, maybe even a little stronger.
2) Manu Ginobili missed half the Spurs’ games LY and is hurt again at start of this year; he makes $14M+ a year. Good thing he was healthy enough to play in the Olympics this past summer.
1) Nine youth football coaches or associates in South Florida are facing felony charges in connection with gambling on youth football.
As much as $20,000 was bet in one rivalry game a few weeks ago, and up to $100,000 has been wagered on the youth leagues' final championship games of the season. These are kids 15 years old and younger.
Those arrested could face as much as five years in prison.
Eat shit, haters, because the NBA tipped off last night! Before I get into my season predictions, allow me a minute to talk about that shocking and huge trade of James Harden on Saturday. First of all, the timing is more than just a tad odd. Second, I’m glad that Houston shit on their fans to restock the cupboards with Omer Asik, Zipperhead McGee, and The Beard. Third, I LOVE this trade for OKC. Don’t get me wrong, Harden is a very good player. But he isn’t great and he isn’t worth max money to them (or anyone really). He is a wonderful complimentary player but he is not a superstar. OKC already has two of those and the potential third was going to be a grouch all season. So flip him for Kevin Martin (an underrated player), Jeremy Lamb (future stud), and a GUARANTEED lottery pick next year (with another first and second also in the mix). That sounds like a winning trade for the Thunder to me. Sure, they may not be as good in the regular season this year but who cares? It’s not like they are going to miss the playoffs without Harden. In fact, they might even be better now if Lamb can contribute in the spring. Anyway, here are some picks for the 2012-13 season :
Most Overrated Team
East - Boston Celtics - This team is older than Grumpy's saggy, wrinkly nut skin. I don't think the rookies they drafted can contribute right away or period, Paul Pierce is a faggot and Jeff Green will probably have 10 heart attacks by the All-Star break.
West - Los Angeles Lakers - Kobe's already hurt, Nash is a billion years old, Gasol is a raging gash and Howard is a whiny twat. But sure...there's NO WAY this won't work. Especially with Mike Brown and his hot dog neck coaching in LA.
Most Underrated Team
East – Atlanta Hawks – I like the way that this team was torn down and then built back up seemingly overnight. As long as Horford and SMIFF stay healthy, they are going to turn some heads this year (in front of 3000 fans per night).
West – San Antonio Spurs – Every year we all expect them to break down for good. Every year they prove us wrong. It may feel like a cop out to put the Spurs as my underrated team but I don’t think that anyone else in the West really fits this criteria.
Lou Williams – Now that he is out from the Jrue, Iggy, and Turner shadow and with the Hawks, I expect a MONSTER year from one of the most underrated players in the league. You know what; he’s going to be an All-Star this year. COUNT IT.
3 Bold Predictions
1. Jeremy Lin will end the season as the worst statistical player in the league. He never was any good. There, I said it.
2. The Boston Celtics miss the playoffs. This team is fucking toast. The East is getting better and the Celtics are getting more silver in the bush.
3. Anderson Varejao realizes the "no flopping rule" makes him a bottom 200 player in the league and he goes back to doing photo shoots while being the sparkle of affection in the eye of all homosexual Brazilian men.
LeBron James – The smart money is on Luke Harangody but I’m going to go out on a limb and give the award to the best player in the league.
Rookie of the Year (not named Anthony Davis)
Damian Lillard - Portland. Lillard doesn't have Ray Felton's chubby thighs looming in his rearview mirror after Portland shipped his tubby ass to New York. Plus all reports I've seen from the preseason suggest Lillard's already playing like a 3 year vet. I like the potential here on a team with a lot of talent.
The Worst Teams in the League (other than Charlotte)
Orlando Magic - EASILY Orlando. Listen. When Jameer Nelson is your best player 82 games will feel like 482 games. They're starting 4 guys that would get 20 minutes off the bench on just about any other team in the NBA. This roster is muddy shit from top to bottom. Really makes you realize just how valuable Smiles McElbows was.
Phoenix Suns – When your best player is Jared Dudley or Marcin Gortat (probably), you are fucking terrible.
Sleeper Fantasy Player (different than Breakout Player)
Goran Dragic - PG is absurdly deep in fantasy this year. And I felt first hand the anal destruction Dragic is capable of when he grabbed Houston's starting PG spot by the haunches last year. Dragic is in Phoenix now with I think Brady and Ide as his only competition for minutes. There's first round production here that you can snag in the 3rd or 4th round.
Ersan Ilyasova – This communist bastard might be my favorite player in the league and I hope that his new contract doesn’t change the way he plays. He does EVERYTHING that you would want a fantasy basketball player to do. He’ll get you a double/double, can pass, and shoots efficiently. Ilyasova is a stud.
Miami Heat (What can I say - I will not be watching the NBA until the playoffs anyway)
Well, I like the Heat to repeat. That should come as no surprise. Before I go and leave you to talk pro hoops all day, here is a funny story that I never knew until I started reading a book about Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game: he shot his free throws granny-style. HILARIOUS.
Chiefs (1-6) @ Chargers (4-3)—San Diego lost three in row since waxing Chiefs 37-20 (-2.5) at Arrowhead Sept 30, game where Chiefs turned ball over six times (-5), leading to Bolts’ 10-yard edge in average field position. KC has severe QB problems, with Quinn getting knocked goofy Sunday, and Cassel coming back from injury, was tossed around like piñata by Raiders Sunday; Chiefs have yet to lead any game in regulation this year- they trailed 24-6 in only game they won, at Saints. KC lost seven of last nine series games and last four visits here, by 1-29-31-3 points; long travel on short week makes this a tough task, even under normal circumstances. Chargers have only two 2nd half TD’s in last five games; since 2003, they’re 12-8-1 vs spread as divisional home favorite. AFC West home teams are 1-4 vs spread in divisional games. Five of Chiefs’ seven games went over the total.
Broncos (4-3) @ Bengals (3-4)—Denver survived gauntlet of early season primetime games vs quality foes, now head into softer part of schedule after hanging 35/34 points on Chargers/Saints; they’ve won 12 of last 14 games vs Bengals, winning last three, all by 5 or less points. Broncos scored 14 TD’s on last 40 drives; they’re 0-2 on artificial turf, losing to Falcons/Patriots, maybe two best teams in NFL. Bengals lost last three games before their bye, turning ball over eight times (-3); they’re 9-5-1 as home dogs since ’08, but covered just one of last four in that role- they’ve lost two of three at home this year, with only win against the Browns. Cincy is 3-8-1 vs spread in last 12 games as a post-bye underdog (4-11-1 SU in last 16 post-bye games). AFC North teams are 6-13 vs spread in non-divisional games, 2-1 as home dogs. Three of last four Bengal games stayed under the total.
Cardinals (4-4) @ Packers (5-3)—Arizona is only third team to be 4-4 after starting season 4-0; they head east on short week after dismal showing in 24-3 home loss to 49ers Monday night. Redbirds lost last eight games in Dairyland, with six of eight losses by 17+ points, but they did win last series meeting, 51-45 in OT in ’09 playoffs, when Warner was their QB-- their last win in Green Bay was in 1947. Packers are 4-1-1 vs spread in last six games as a pre-bye favorite; they sleepwalked past Jaguars last week 24-15, getting outgained by 103 yards- they’re 1-3 as home favorites this year, after being 15-7 from 2009-11. Cardinals scored 91 points in first four games, 36 points in last four (3 TD’s on last 48 drives); opponents are taking Fitzgerald away, and no other viable options have emerged. NFC North faves are 7-10 vs spread in non-divisional games. Seven of eight Arizona games stayed under total.
Dolphins (4-3) @ Colts (4-3)—Back in May, no one figured winner of this game would hit halfway mark over .500. Miami won last its three games, allowing 12 ppg (3 TD’s on last 35 drives); they allowed 30-23-24 points in losses, 14 or less in wins- they’re 2-2 on road, and have been killing teams on special teams, with blocked punt/onside kick at Jets last week, just in first quarter. Colts won three of last four games; five of their last six were decided by 5 or less points, or in OT. Indy is 3-1 at home, with only loss when Jaguars hit 75-yard TD pass in last 2:00 after Colts had taken lead. Indy won last three series games, by 6-5-4 points, but that was in Manning era. Miami won five of last six visits here, mostly back when teams were AFC East rivals. AFC South home teams are 7-3 vs spread in non-divisional games. Last three Miami games and four of last six Colt contests stayed under total.
Ravens (4-3) @ Browns (2-6)—Baltimore lost 43-13 at Houston in last pre-bye game, outgained 420-176; they’re 1-2 on road, with only win 9-6 over woeful Chiefs, but Ravens won/covered nine of last ten post-bye games, so interesting to see if week off helped at all. Browns (+2.5) snuck past Chargers 7-6 in rain last week, their second straight home win; they’re 7-20 vs hated Ravens (former Browns), losing last nine series games, with six of nine by 10+ points. Ravens won first meeting 23-16 (-11), a Week 4 Thursday game, when Baltimore outrushed Browns 101-43 and threw ball for 337 yards, but now with Webb/ Lewis out for year, who steps up for their defense? Since ’08, Baltimore is 5-2 vs spread as an AFC North road favorite; Browns are 8-5 in last 13 games as divisional home underdog. Home teams covered three of first four AFC North divisional games. Five of seven Baltimore games went over the total.
Bills (3-4) @ Texans (6-1)—Mario Williams returns to Houston as expensive flop for Buffalo, which allowed 35+ points in all four losses, including last game before bye, when Titans scored on last play to win weird 35-34 game. Bills allowed 17 or less points in its three wins, but Texans are 3-1 as home favorites this year, scoring 33.8 ppg at Reliant (11 TDs on 43 home drives)- they’re 18-12-3 in last 33 games as home faves. Buffalo is scoring 18.5 ppg on road, 32.3 at home; they’re 3-6-1 in last 10 games as road dogs- their last two games overall were decided by total of four points. Bills are 6-2-1 vs spread in last nine games as post-bye underdog (5-2 last seven SU), Texans are 3-1 as post-bye favorites, but lost five of last seven post-bye games SU. AFC East underdogs are 6-4 vs spread in non-divisional games. Four of last five Houston games, five of seven Buffalo games went over total.
Panthers (1-6) @ Redskins (3-5)—This year’s most exciting rookie QB meets LY’s most exciting rookie QB; both teams are struggling, with Carolina losing last five games (last four by 5 or less points), Redskins losing three of last four. Panthers outgained Chicago 416-210 last week, but were poor in red zone (one TD, three FGs on four trips) and had 11-yard disadvantage in field position. Washington hasn’t held an opponent under 22 points this year- they’re 1-2 at home, with average total in three games, 58.0. Home side won last seven series games, with Carolina winning last two (20-17/33-20) after losing seven of first eight series meetings. Panthers are 0-5 at Washington, but all five losses were by 4 or less points. Five of last six series totals were 37 or less. NFC East favorites are 3-9 vs spread in non-divisional games. NFC South road underdogs are 7-1. Six of eight Washington games went over the total.
Lions (3-4) @ Jaguars (1-6)—Detroit’s three wins this year are all by 4 or less points, with winning points all coming in last 0:30 or in OT; Lions are 1-3 on road, with underdog covering three of four games. Over last decade, Detroit is 1-5-2 vs spread as a road favorite (0-1 in ’12), but they’re 5-2-2 vs spread in last nine games vas AFC teams. Jags have been awful at home, losing by 20-17-38 points (average score, 32-7); they’re 3-8 in last 11 games as home underdog- they’ve scored five offensive TDs in last four games, with two of five drives on short field (16-13 yards). Jax ran ball for just 61.3 ypg in last four games. Home side lost three of four series games, only one of which was decided by less than 15 points; Detroit lost both visits here, 37-22 in ’98, 23-17ot in ’04. NFC North non-divisional favorites are 7-10 against the spread. Four of last six Jaguar games stayed under total.
Bears (6-1) @ Titans (3-5)— Cutler played college ball in Nashville (Vanderbilt) so this is homecoming for him, after Chicago escaped with 23-22 home win over gritty Panthers last week (Bears were outgained 416-210); Bears have 23 takeaways in seven games (+12), and scored six TD’s on defense/special teams in last five games, hiding an offense that struggled in two games since bye (3.4/3.9 ypa last two games, allowing 11 sacks). Last three Titan games were decided by 3 or less points, or in OT; last week’s OT loss to Colts was first close game Tennessee lost this year- four of its five losses are by 23+ points. Expect Bears to try and run ball vs Titan defense that allowed 166-171 rushing yards the last two weeks. AFC South underdogs are 8-6 vs spread in non-divisional games. Three of last four Chicago games, four of last six Titan games went over total.
Vikings (5-3) @ Seahawks (4-4)—Seattle been much better at home; they’re 3-0 there, allowing 14 ppg while upsetting Packers/Patriots (giving up only four TDs on 30 drives)- they allow 20.4 ppg on road (8 TDs/50 drives). Seahawks are 0-2 as favorites this year (both games were on road); underdogs are 7-1 vs spread in their games this year- since ’05, they’re 22-12-1 vs spread as home favorites. Vikings are running ball for 105 ypg on road this year, 130 ypg at home- they had three extra days to prepare after bad home loss to Bucs. Minnesota is 1-3 when it allows 23+ points; they’ve given up 13-13-14 points in its their other wins. Teams haven’t met since ’09; Vikings won last two meetings, but lost four of six visits here. Six of last seven series games were decided by 17+ points. NFC North teams are 9-12 vs spread in non-divisional games. Six of eight Seattle games stayed under the total, as did five of Vikings’ last seven.
Buccaneers (3-4) @ Raiders (3-4)— Oakland won six of eight series games; last loss was to Gruden in SB XXXVII ten years ago; Bucs are 0-4 in Black Hole, losing by average score of 35-13. This year’s Raiders are showing signs of life after 1-4 start, beating pair of stiff teams after encouraging 23-20 loss at unbeaten Falcons- they’re 2-1 at home, but both wins (Pitt/Jax) were by a FG- since losing that Super Bowl, Oakland is 8-21 vs spread when favored at home. Bucs had extra time here after encouraging Thursday win at Minnesota; they’re 3-0 as road underdogs this year, as Vincent Jackson has proven to be valuable downfield target for Freeman. Bucs also ran ball for 134 yards/game in three weeks since their bye, so they’re getting better balance. NFC South road teams are 9-1 vs spread in non-divisional games. Last four Tampa Bay games, four of last six Raider games went over the total.
Steelers (4-3) @ Giants (6-2)—Real life intrudes; anyone who lives in New Jersey has had a rough week. Giants’ prep here has to have been disrupted. That said, if Archie Manning hadn’t strong-armed Chargers into trading his youngest son to Swamp, Giants would’ve drafted Big Ben, and NFL history would be different. Home teams lost four of last five series games, with Giants winning last meeting at Heinz in ’08. Pitt won three of last five visits here, but haven’t faced Big Blue here since ’04. Giants are 1-3 as home favorites this year, winning last three games in Swamp by 7-14-4 points; they’re coming off pair of wins over division rivals Redskins/Cowboys- underdogs covered seven of their eight games. Pitt is 1-3 on road this year, allowing 31-34-26 points in losses; they’ve allowed only one opponent (Raiders) to rush for 100+ yards. Giants are 1-3 vs spread when running ball for less than 100 yards. Since ’06, Steelers are 11-20-1 vs spread as road underdogs. Three of last four Steeler games stayed under; three of last four Giant games went over.
Cowboys (3-4) @ Falcons (7-0)—All three Dallas games since its bye went down to last minute, with Pokes losing two of three; loss to Giants last week was heartbreaker, rallying back from 23-0 deficit to take lead, before coming up just short. Cowboys are 2-2 on road; they’ve allowed 17 or less points in all three wins, 27+ in its four losses. Atlanta is NFL’s last unbeaten team; they’re 3-0 at home, 1-2 as home favorites, winning home games by 6-2-3 points- since ’07, they’re 20-9-1 as home favorites. Atlanta scored 23+ points in every game this year, 27-30-23 in three home games. Dallas is 16-8 vs Falcons, winning last two meetings, last of which was in ’09; they’re 7-5 on Peachtree Street, winning last two visits- their last loss here was in ’93. NFC South home favorites are 3-6 vs spread in non-divisional games. Three of last four Dallas games went over the total.
Eagles (3-4) @ Saints (2-5)— Two desperate, struggling teams; could be Vick’s last chance to keep starting job- if he can’t move ball against defense that allowed 513-530 yards in two games since its bye, then rookie Foles could see action. Philly also had disruptions this week after hurricane; they’re 1-2 on road, with only win in last 2:00 in Cleveland, hardly a green flag. Saints are putrid on defense but had scored 24+ points in every game until last week’s debacle in Denver, when they were outgained 530-252, with much of the 252 in garbage time. NO is 0-4 when it scores less than 31 points, but scary to back struggling visitor that recently canned its DC against Brees’ offense. Teams haven’t met since Saints won 40-22 in last meeting at Linc, three years ago; Eagles are 8-4 in last 12 visits here, 8-8 overall. NFC East road underdogs are 6-1 vs spread in non-divisional games.
Friday's List of 13: 13 Things I’m looking for this weekend since I will not be around on Friday……..
13) Panthers at Redskins; RGIII vs Cam. This year’s next big thing vs last year’s next big thing. Hope they compare notes after the game.
12) Alabama @ LSU—Lot of pressure on LSU’s QB Zach Mettenberger, who isn’t expected to do much against Bama’s great defense.
For what its worth, someone who knows figured out that NFL’s worst team (Jaguars) would be a 24-point favorite over Alabama on a neutral field.
11) Jay Cutler went to college at Vanderbilt, now returns to Nashville with Bears’ squad being carried by its defense (six TDs on defense/special teams in last five games). Titans play lot of close games, if they don’t turn ball over, this is a FG game.
10) West Virginia gave up 104 points in losing its last two games, but TCU brings a freshman backup QB to Morgantown, and they’ve lost three of their last four games. We’ll see if last week’s bye helped Mountaineers.
9) New Jersey has been ravaged by Hurricane Sandy; how much did it disrupt the Giants’ preparation this week?
Steelers are flying into play on Sunday, which never happens. Hotel they were supposed to stay at has no power, as of Thursday night.
8) Maryland is out of QB’s, so they’re starting a freshman LB at QB—he played in high school LY. Georgia Tech’s defense is reeling, good chance for them to get healthier.
7) Did the bye week help Baltimore’s defense, which is now without Webb/ Lewis for rest of season? Ravens won’t get any sympathy in Cleveland, where franchise used to be located.
6) Counting preseason games, Lakers are 0-10 this season, losing badly in two games that really count, which makes Friday’s game with the Clippers at least a little more interesting than usual. Steve Nash banged up his leg in Portland Wednesday, not sure if he’ll play. Lakers are not a young team.
5) Winner of Dolphin-Colt game will be 5-3 at the halfway mark, and no one, not even their families, had that happening.
4) Texas struggled but won last two games, beating Baylor/Kansas by less than a TD each; they’ve allowed 260 rushing yards/game over last five games, now visit dangerous Texas Tech squad that is more comfortable throwing ball. Interesting game for Mack Brown’s crew.
3) 3-4 Cowboys @ 7-0 Falcons—Game management has escaped Dallas this year- their last two losses were nailbiters to Ravens/Giants that easily could’ve been wins. Atlanta is off to best start in franchise history; ’72 Dolphins have champagne ready, should Dallas post the upset.
2) Oregon at USC—There was a shooting at a Halloween party on USC campus Wednesday night; hope everyone is OK and college can get back to being fun again.
1) Eagles at Saints Monday night. Michael Vick has to put points on board here, against a horrible Saint defense, or he’s going to get benched. NO was dreadful in all aspects of game in Denver last week. Game between two struggling, desperate teams.