The Weekly Gambling Debacle
NFL: 59-54-2 NCAA: 2-7-0 Last week: 4-2 Season total: 61-61-2
$ Wagered: 2330 $ Won: 1130.5 $ Lost: -1185.5 $Net: -55
A great weekend is finally upon us.
First, after a grueling 17 week season the NFL playoffs are finally upon us. And what a playoffs it is going to be. The NFC has two juggernauts (Pack and Saints), two predictables (Falcons and the consistently inconsistent Giants) and two unprovens (Lions and Niners). The AFC is wide open. We have three rookies (I gonna go ahead and count Tebow as a rookie for this purpose) starting playoff games, which the unpredictable is likely to unfold. Young starters, only one or less seasons under their belt, win or go home pressure, legitimate NFL playoff defenses, who knows how these young kids will react. Will they rise to the pressure? Will they crumble under it? No one really knows for sure. All we do know is each game is as compelling as the other three in this first week of the playoffs.
The second weekend your sports weekend will be great is the fact that (wait for it, wait for it) the Debacle is BACK! After a long, turkey-induced coma/break, the Debacle is back and ready to go for perfection... 11-0 ATS in the playoffs. That's what we're shooting for. I've never known anyone to do it. But I'm gonna give it my best shot. My season has been up and down, but still steadily improving. I am at exactly .500 now and went 4-2 with one upset outright win on the final regular season of the Debacle. So we are looking good heading into the win or go home portion of the NFL schedule. Four games on tap for the weekend and the first chance to go undefeated. As always home team in bold, lines courtesy of Las Vegas Hilton Sportsbook. And since it's the playoffs were throwing down $110 on every game.
Cincinnati (+4) over Houston
Sorry Texan fans, but I simply cannot trust a quarterback who has 5 starts under his belt and as of his Junior year at North Carolina wasn't even predicted to be an NFL prospect. He has filled in about as well as can be expected but the playoffs bring a magnifying glass to your shortcomings, especially at the QB position. Solid defense and a great zone running attack with Tate and Foster has kept the Texan in all games started by Yates. But simply stated, this is not the team that clinched a division titled relatively early in the season. They're on a three game losing streak with one of those defeats at the hands of the hapless Colts.
Cincy has been one of the surprise teams of this NFL season. With stellar season from rookies Andy Dalton and AJ Green the Bengals franchise has been revitalized. It seems like everything came together for the Bengals this season. Andre Smith cam back form season ending injury and has been a stud. That's three draft picks in two years that are bonefied legitimate NFL starters. Not bad for a franchise with a less than stellar draft record. This season they've been able to run the ball with Cedric Benson. They have legitimate talents on the receiving corp with Jermaine Gresham, Jerome Simpson and the aforementioned AJ Green. Their defense has been stellar. Their losses have all been to teams better than the Texans (even when they lost to the Texans a few weeks ago, who were a different team back then).
I like the Bengals in this matchup. They have a better quarterback, better wide receivers (with Andre Johnson injured) and have a defense nearly as good as the Texans. Homefiled advantage should keep this close for the Texans but I'd rather count on Andy Dalton than TJ Yates in a tight playoff game. Even if the Texans squeak out a three point victory, your still winning. Take the four points and the better QB.
Detroit (+10.5) over New Orleans
I know they world thinks that will crush the Lions. Here's a reason why it will be closer than the talking heads say it will be. The Lions, due to stupid and unnecessary penalties gave back over 200 yards in called back plays and defensive penalties. The way to beat the Saints is through a dominate pass rush, running the ball picking up third downs and staying on the field. The Lions will do none of that. And I'm not counting on a back door cover either. I like the game to stay close. I expect the Lions to rise to the occasion and take advantage of the weak back end of the Saint's secondary. That half point we got in last few days is huge. The Lions can lose by ten points and still cover. I know the Saints have covered every game at home this year. But ten and half to a motivated and viscous Lions team, I can't see them covering that.
New York (-3) over Atlanta
I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna place my faith in the Giants. You know the team that once you start believing in loses four straight games. The team that once you start believing in loses at home to the Seahawks. The team that once you start believing in lost to the Redskins with the chance to lock up the NFC East. Yes, I am going to believe once again. Why? The Falcons haven't beaten a good team all year... and they are consistent about that. They beat up on bad teams, play average against average teams and lose to good teams. Period. The game is outdoors, in the cold, where the Falcons haven't fared well this season either. Eli has the stronger arm and should be able to move the ball more through the air. Possibly a shootout, but one that the Giants win through their consistently inconsistent play.
Pittsburgh (-8.5) over Denver
What can Tebow do to finish up this epic season? Well he's not gonna win. Sorry, I know that a lot of people have been jumping on the Broncos ban wagon for this particular matchup. Big Ben is severely hobbled with a high ankle sprain. Rashard Mendenhall is out for the postseason. Maurice Pouncey is limited at Center. This is the only thing that is keeping this game close is the injuries. Denver's pass rush has been lethargic as of late, Tebow has become fumble prone and their offense has been embarassing to watch for three weeks straight. Without the Big ben injury the Steelers would probably chuck around the fiel on the back of Rothlesberger's amazing play extending abilities. Now, the game is close, but not close enough for a Tebow comeback. This is by far the best defense that the Denver run game has faced. Without their ability to run, Pittsburgh could get up early. I like a low scoring affair with a comfortable Pittsburgh win. One that could get away from Denver if their running game is stalled early.