Wow! What an opener! This should be a real squeaker too.
This has everything I like; grudges (a bit of towel stamping after a beating) bitterness at a lost opportunity (the Ravens? Really?) an off-season full of tabloid junk (it ain't so, Ben) Pro bowlers butting heads and a couple of good teams ready to roll.
These two are practically unchanged from last season, but the one crucial change of course, is Haynesworth. The effect of his loss on the Titans, is one of those unknown knowables we sometimes don't know about. Interestingly, when Haynesworth didn't play last year, Tennessee went 1-4 ... the game they won without him? Against the Steelers. All that aside, I see the Titans pressuring Big Ben again just because they are confident they can dammit, and shackling the Steelers pretty effectively, particularly on the ground.
I really like the Titans' offense. Collins is more settled, White and Johnson are a nice one two punch and there are options downfield.
The Titans have won four of the last five matchups and the only loss was when Parker (remember him?) ran all over them.
The other reason for taking the Titans is the price. They are on offer at 3.7+ and 3.5+ generally and I can't resist that kind of value on a good side with a live chance.
Personally, I tend not to bet on the first couple of weeks of the season, but as it's the opener, I'll take a small interest to go alongside my bacon sarnies and pot of tea ...
What happens when you get an attention hungry girl and boy out of your life? Well, you may just be able to concentrate on doing what they pay you millions of dollars to do. Jones has been packed off too, as the decks are cleared in Irving.
Dallas arent going to be slinging it about like a short order cook at a San Antonio diner, but this may be Tampas Alamo.
I take Romo to have a nice season and to marshal the Cowboys offense with a more settled mind. I know that T.O. was on the end of Romos big numbers, but Williams can provide. I suspect the Cowboys will be a little
Uncle Os Game of the WeekDal @ TBWhat happens when you get an attention hungry girl and boy out of your life? Well, you may just be able to concentrate on doing what they pay you millions of dollars to do. Jones has been packed off too, as the decks
Well, having predicted that Dallas would throttle back on their passing game (Romo 16-27, 353) and that Leftwich would be sacked all day (0) Im reminded why I leave the first two weeks alone.
However, I like this matchup and, with Tennessee giving up less than a TD, its my game of the week.
Houston were poor at the Jets last week, where they had trouble moving the ball on the ground, ending the game with just 183 yards. Their only TD came 17 points down, on an interception. By the end, Schaub had the look of a man resigned to pass rushers using him as a dancefloor, as the Jets blitzed them off the park.
Tennessee on the other hand, put up a solid performance on defense against the World Champs with little sign theyre missing fat Albert, conceding a solitary TD. Presumably, the Titans will copy the Jets; key safety coverage on Johnson, rush Schaub and jump on Slaton. It aint rocket surgery.
The Texans will be wary of the Titans running game, because they know that if Chris Johnson gets free he can do real damage and the stats suggest that if he puts up big numbers, the games over (Titans are 4-0 when he reaches 100 yards). The Houston front four were weak against the Jets and I expect the Titans to find some room to run. LenDale White has scored four times in the last four encounters; proof, if it were ever needed, that you should leave the Tequila alone, kids.
With the box stacked, Collins should be able to find some receivers downfield. He was solid last week (22-35, 244, TD, interception) against a strong D and I like Gage, Washington, Britt and Cook (if he plays) to make some grabs against a weak Texans secondary.
On the negative side?
It cant be denied that the Texans have the weapons on offense, but they are spiked, at least temporarily. Walter and Davis are banged up and this shifts even more pressure over to Johnson who, as excellent as he is, will be getting all the love the Titans have got to give. Slaton is no slouch and has nice numbers against the Titans. Despite his poor showing against the Jets (17 yards on 9 carries) hes still a risk. However, Tennessee performed well against the run last week and Ill trust them to keep him bottled up. He remains my biggest fear though, next to my having to get a job or bathe regularly.
Id also like to see the special teams step up for Tennessee. Dallas gave me fits on ST last week and it looks as though the Titans werent exactly thrilling in that department either.
The Titans have had the whip hand in these encounters recently (6-1 in Tennessee all-time and have won the last four in Nashville. Fisher is 11-3 against the Texans. Kubiak is 1-5 against both Fisher and Tennessee as a head coach) and I make Tennessee at least 10 points better than Houston at home in this Divisional game, so giving up 6.5 is a no-brainer ... right? Right?
Pick: Ten -6.5 @ 1.91 Pick: First TD LenDale White @ 8.00 Pick: Anytime TD Justin Gage @ 3.00
ATS Nap Ari +3
The rest ... Atl -6.5 Min -10 Bal +3 Pit -3 GB -9.5 Oak -3 NO SU NYJ +3.5 Was -10 Buf -5 SF -1 Den -3 NYG +3 Ind -3
Acca Atl Ten Buf Ind @ 4.0+
Value Acca Bal NYJ NYG @ 13.0+
Uncle Os Game of the WeekHou @ TenWell, having predicted that Dallas would throttle back on their passing game (Romo 16-27, 353) and that Leftwich would be sacked all day (0) Im reminded why I leave the first two weeks alone.However, I like this matc
Wow, how did the fins not put away the Colts? Manning and the ball were barely acquainted all day, but Indy galloped outta town with the win. Surely Miami are due a win with the wildcat?
Well, that thinking and LTs absence (amongst other injuries) has kept the line low all week and I believe at -5.5 SD, its about 4 points too low and I shall be smashing in with the full £2. Now, Im trying to be shrewd here and, as Zeeny will confirm, Im not very smart, so I reserve the right to look a berk as the Miami run gashes San Diego!
What Im relying on here is the Chargers preying on Miamis vulnerability to the big play and holding Miami on D. Im confident Rivers, Gates and Jackson will put up some big numbers against Gibril Wilson and a secondary under construction. Rivers put up 436 yards last week, but two picks hurt the bolts badly as the Ravens took them both back for scores. Sproles has taken on a slightly different role from LT in the backfield, but still provides Rivers with options, so San Diego have the weapons in a nice matchup, because sure as eggs is eggs, Miami arent Baltimore on defense.
If the Chargers think they were unlucky last week, the Dolphins are sobbing into their**coladas; 45+ minutes of possession and still Peyton places them in the loss column. That hurts. But this is where I have a problem with Miami and believe they are getting too much respect; they cant move the ball without the wildcat and eventually, defenses will adapt, or their execution will stutter and then theyre left with Pennington and his 5.8 yard bombs. This means that blitzing the QB isnt such a priority (it wouls still be nice for Merriman to find some form ... and he might!) and defensive patterns can be adapted to cope with trick plays.
The downside? Well, the Bolts D has gaps and injuries have robbed them of key players on both sides of the ball. Miami will try to keep Rivers off the field just like they did with the Colts, and San Diego has given up yards on the ground, but Im not buying the wildcat/run two weeks in a row in a game where adaptation is everything.
Remember too, Miami are coming off a short week and long trip. So Im laying the points.
SD -5.5 @ 1.9+
First TD Antonio Gates @ 9 To score anytime Ricky Williams @ 2.6+
ATS Naps Bal -13.5 NYG -6
The rest ... Phi -8.5 Wash -6 StL +7 SF +7 Ten +3 Atl +4.5 Hou -3.5 Chi -2.5 Buf +6 Oak +2.5 Cin +3.5 Ind +3 Dal -8.5
Acca Phi NYG Min @ 3.4+
Value Acca Buf Oak Cin @ 18+
Uncle Os Game of the WeekMiami @ San DiegoWow, how did the fins not put away the Colts? Manning and the ball were barely acquainted all day, but Indy galloped outta town with the win. Surely Miami are due a win with the wildcat?Well, that thinking an
Gores gone baby, Gores gone, but I like a nice steaming cup o Coffee.
The Rams are horrible and losing Bulger and Robinson makes them look ripe for a prison yard beating. True, Jackson is a top back, but the 49ers managed to stifle the Vikes on the ground, and if they can hold Peterson, Jackson shouldnt do too much damage. Singletary is using some innovative schemes and the SF D is shaping nicely; Favres
Uncle Os Game of the WeekSt. Louis @ San FranciscoGores gone baby, Gores gone, but I like a nice steaming cup o Coffee.The Rams are horrible and losing Bulger and Robinson makes them look ripe for a prison yard beating. True, Jackson is a top back, b
I feel like Im bullying them, but St. Louis stink. Theyve been badly hit with injuries (another 6 starters may be out this weekend) but they honk. Im even taking on one of my
Uncle Os Game of the WeekMinnesota at St. LouisI feel like Im bullying them, but St. Louis stink. Theyve been badly hit with injuries (another 6 starters may be out this weekend) but they honk. Im even taking on one of my
wow. 4 out of 4 on the puter handicaps! cap fully dothed and suchlike. from this moment onwards i shall never diss HAL again! all hail the mighty HAL and all who sail in her! time to start singing...you can call me HAL
wow. 4 out of 4 on the puter handicaps! cap fully dothed and suchlike. from this moment onwards i shall never diss HAL again! all hail the mighty HAL and all who sail in her! time to start singing...you can call me HAL
It's gone 8-5 SU this week, but 10-3 ATS. It's 9-1 on it's top rated picks for the season.
If it keeps it up for a couple of seasons, I may start betting on its picks!
I'm mildly excited about Prog1, I must be honest.It's gone 8-5 SU this week, but 10-3 ATS. It's 9-1 on it's top rated picks for the season.If it keeps it up for a couple of seasons, I may start betting on its picks!
OK, I admit it, Im struggling with my overpowering man-love for Jared Allen. The guy is a G-O-D and while I wouldnt pick solely on the basis of a crush I have on a 66
Uncle Os Game of the WeekBaltimore @ MinnesotaOK, I admit it, Im struggling with my overpowering man-love for Jared Allen. The guy is a G-O-D and while I wouldnt pick solely on the basis of a crush I have on a 66
I dont get this line at all and it may be that Ill be made to look more stupid than usual with this pick, not Tom Petty is God stoopid, but pretty stupid nonetheless.
Is Romo a bust? Well, I suspect hes slipping further down Jerry Jones Christmas card list every week and although Ryan isnt Zeeny under centre (Bulgarian HOF) hes getting it rolling and if Atlanta can get Turner involved (I wish Ovie Mughelli was fit), I can see the Falcons taking this straight up. Look for some of the Falcons deep threat to finally see some love, if only because the Cowboys pass rush is not the one youd fear at the moment (tied for 23rd in the NFL with 10 sacks on the season) especially with DeMarcus Ware playing hurt and Atlanta protecting Ryan nicely (no sacks in the last 4). I expect Meg to stand in and find Gonzo, White and Jenkins downfield against a ropey Dallas secondary.
Dallas has the weapons and stopping the run will be a key for the Falcons, similarly the Atlanta secondary are a fresh faced bunch, who have given up a lot of yards. However, the Falcons D seems to transform in the redzone and has proved difficult to score on, although losing CB Brian Williams will be a big blow. Im looking for some pressure on Romo (either via the pass rush, unlikely, or from the scoreboard) to expose perhaps his greatest weakness, his poor decision making.
Pick: Atl +4
Pick: First TD Tony Gonzalez @ 11 Pick: Anytime TD Miles Austin @ 2.5
ATS Naps Ind -13 SD -4.5 NO -6 Car -7
The Rest Chi +1 TB +14.5 Min +5.5 Hou -3 GB -9 Oak +6 Ari +7 Phi -7 (Buy Sacks Supremacy Phi/Was @ 1)
Acca GB SD NO @ 2.5+
Value Acca Chi Oak Atl
Puter Picks Prog1 No bet
Prog2 No bet
Puter Totals NO/Mia Over 47 Min/Pit Over 45 Buf/Car Over 37 SF/Hou Over 44
Results so far 4/2 GOW 6/6 ATS NAPS 51/38/1 ATS 3/3 Acca 2/3 Value Acca
Uncle Os Game of the WeekAtlanta @ DallasI dont get this line at all and it may be that Ill be made to look more stupid than usual with this pick, not Tom Petty is God stoopid, but pretty stupid nonetheless.Is Romo a bust? Well, I suspect hes slippin
Hell, its live and its Favre Bowl, so why not? This is a difficult one though, so I wont be refinancing my trailer to smash in.
Well, packing the box (geddit?) all day (GEDDIT, AGAIN? Man, Im on fire) didnt work for Green Bay last time out against the Vikings and Favre had an easy gig on third down, converting 9-11 and putting Minnesota over the top. Stopping Adrian Peterson is always important, but the Pack have to bring it in the early downs if theyre going to keep Favre and the rapidly developing Rice off the board (11 receptions for 136 yards last week).
Its not particularly the Packers defense that worries me however, its their O line. Rodgers has been getting poorly protected all season and they really need to give him a chance because, if they do, he can get it done. In the last matchup between these two, Rodgers was sacked 8 times, but the knock was on the QB who held the ball for more than four seconds on 6 of those occasions. No O line is going to afford you that much time, so lets hope hes been working on his release. The possible return of Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton should help. My man-love for Jared Allen has been well documented and he has done nothing to put me off him (that restraining order has no effect in the UK) but with Winfield out, there are chances for Rodgers against a soft Minnesota secondary. My other worry would be the relative weakness of the Packs opponents (2-11 opponents), but Ill offset that with the Vikes triple
Uncle Os Game of the WeekMin @ GBHell, its live and its Favre Bowl, so why not? This is a difficult one though, so I wont be refinancing my trailer to smash in.Well, packing the box (geddit?) all day (GEDDIT, AGAIN? Man, Im on fire) didnt work for Gr
Actually, it would appear that even that cupcake victory had interesting elements for todays matchup. The Chargers seem to be pulling it together on defense, which has been a worry after having previously shown little interest.
With the defense finding some form Im taking the bolts plus the points, because the Giants offense has begun to stutter, their secondary is missing key players and Rivers can get it done.
Like Pittsburgh, New York will try to run it up the gut, but Bradshaw and Jacobs have looked off their game a little recently and the SD run D is moving forward. Plan B will fall to Manning to get it downfield and I have no confidence in him at the moment. He looks rushed and uncomfortable in the pocket.
One interesting stat is that New York ranks first in 20+ yard plays, as teams have stuffed the box to stop the run, allowing Manning to hit big plays vertically. On the other side of that stat today is San Diegos D, which ranks fourth AGAINST the 20+ yard play. The Giants usual gamebreaking plays downfield therefore, are reliant on a QB who is seriously out of form, against a team who can defend those plays.
Rivers has thrown on everyone and Jackson is an elite receiver capable of troubling any secondary, let alone the badly banged up New York secondary. The Giants reputation on D is odd: on the one hand they rank third in ypg allowed, but on the other they rank 22nd in ppg. I like Sproles to make some plays, but theres no getting away from the fact that the Chargers running game is the most God awful bust, although even here, LT began to show some signs of life last week.
This is a matchup between two fragile teams and I suspect the one that starts best and gets some momentum will come out on top. Its a big game that really requires the Giants to step up if theyve got any ambitions on the season, but there are just too many holes for my liking. Dont bet huge, but take the points.
I like the Overs here too, as I expect something of a shootout.
Pick: San Diego +4.5 Pick: Over 47.5
Pick: First TD Vincent Jackson @ 10.5 Pick: Any time TD Steve Smith @ 2.25
ATS Naps SF -4 NO -12.5 NE -10.5
The rest ... Wash +9 Ari +2 Jax -7 Ind -8 Bal -3 GB -9.5 Sea -10 Phi -3 Den +3
Acca Atl Ind Jax @ 2.14
Value Acca Ari Cin Den @ 12
Uncle Os Game of the WeekSan Diego at New YorkWell, any team that can beat the Raiders ...Actually, it would appear that even that cupcake victory had interesting elements for todays matchup. The Chargers seem to be pulling it together on defense, wh
GOW was ok and I may land the accas ... but ouch! One of those weeks where you seem to end up a score the wrong side of the spreads.
I should've known when I backed Hou IR for a lump and then they blew it. I was so confident I didn't Lay it back.
My head hurts.
I've had a severe kicking ATS :(GOW was ok and I may land the accas ... but ouch! One of those weeks where you seem to end up a score the wrong side of the spreads.I should've known when I backed Hou IR for a lump and then they blew it. I was so conf
The Redskins just cant get it done on offense. Campbell is banged up and shouldnt expect any protection from a porous O line that has given up 28 sacks of its QB so far and is so thin that it now has Levi Jones at LT. The Broncos Elvis Dumervil and his hound dogs look like having a good day and the Denver D has 26 sacks on the season, so it could be a horror story for Campbell who also has a bad ankle and bruised chest. Hes a hit away from leaving.
As Washington will have trouble throwing the ball, theyll look to the ground, but Portis is missing. Betts is likely to be the featured back therefore, but the Washington Post is reporting he is also injured and that Cartwright and Ganther will, at the very least, see reps. The Redskins have not scored more than 17 points in a game this year and they dont look like changing that trend in this matchup.
Turner tore the Washington D apart on the ground last week, but it has to be admitted that Buckhalter and Moreno arent quite as fearsome. Still, theyll see lots of touches, if for no other reason than Orton has an arm like wet spaghetti and cant get the rock downfield quickly and those of you that can trade this game in-running should bear that in mind; if Denver get behind, they will struggle to come back late. Both Denver backs laboured against Pittsburgh and if the Broncos dont get it going on the ground, this game will be uglier than Zeeny and Ron Nastys lovechild. It should be the case though, that sheer weight of carries will allow Denver to grind down a demoralised Washington D and there may be opportunities later on for Marshall to pick on the
Uncle Os Game of the WeekDenver @ WashingtonThe Redskins just cant get it done on offense. Campbell is banged up and shouldnt expect any protection from a porous O line that has given up 28 sacks of its QB so far and is so thin that it now has Levi J
Im banking here on a continuing, rejuvenated Favre (I assumed he would have blown up by now) and a Seahawks defense that is struggling with injuries and doesnt effectively rush the passer. Im hoping this all adds up to a blow out, so Ill give the 10.5 points.
Even on the other side of the ball, Seattle is struggling to protect Hasselbeck. They are giving up over 3 sacks a game and although the Seahawks have recently worked on giving Matt a chance, the Minnesota defense got after Detroit last week and will be licking its lips at the prospect of this matchup.
With Lucas out and Trufant and Wilson banged up, Seattle is very short at the corners and I like the chances of both Rice and Harvin to take advantage and score. Peterson should have a massive game too, but his price is too short, so Ill take the wides for value on the TD markets.
The rest ... Wash +11 Cle +3 SF +6.5 Pit -10.5 NO -10.5 Ind -1 StL +9.5 NE -10.5 SD -6.5 Chi +3 Ten +4.5
Acca NYG SD Phi @ 3.3
Value Acca Cle SF Ten @ 25+
Uncle Os Game of the WeekSeattle @ MinnesotaIm banking here on a continuing, rejuvenated Favre (I assumed he would have blown up by now) and a Seahawks defense that is struggling with injuries and doesnt effectively rush the passer. Im hoping this al
Smash mouth. All day. Neither team trusts its QB (I invested in one the other day and got murdered) and even if the Panthers could get it to Smith, Darrelle Revis is likely to be joined to him at the hip. Sanchez completed just 8 passes last week, so lets trust that the Jets receiving corps is hardly going to be looking for the oxygen at halftime. Both of these teams limit the receivers well, so carnival time, it aint.
So thisll come down to DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart vs Thomas Jones and how well the respective defenses handle the run. New York has given up 219 rush yards and 3 TDs to opposing RBs in its last two games and crucially is missing Kris Jenkins at nose tackle.
The Panthers run D is even worse off, with injures decimating the line. Kemoeatu went before the off and now theyve lost Thomas Davis and Landon Johnson too; the front seven is looking very threadbare and last week, even though Miami was reduced to the single option on the ground when Brown went down, Williams still gashed the Carolina defense. Peppers was only used on passing downs last week and theres beginning to be a feeling of
Uncle Os Game of the WeekCarolina @ NY JetsSmash mouth. All day. Neither team trusts its QB (I invested in one the other day and got murdered) and even if the Panthers could get it to Smith, Darrelle Revis is likely to be joined to him at the hip. Sa
Ronnie Brown is gone and the offense is not the previously scheming fins, its really a one shot deal with Williams. Henne got picked three times last week it just dont look good n tight. The Pats is**ed and this has the feel of a real get better game, with the New England D teeing off and the Brady bunch violating the Dolphins secondary that is reeling (geddit?) Expect Moss and Welker to have big games against the rookie CBs - Brady seems to particularly enjoy throwing against Miami.
The rest ... Car -3.5 Cin -13 Chi -9 Hou -1 Dal -1.5 Den -6 Pit -14.5 NO -9 SD -13.5 Sea +1.5 GB -3.5
Acca NE SD NO @ 2.15
Value Acca Jax Sea NYG @ 9.68
Uncle Os Game of the WeekNew England @ MiamiRonnie Brown is gone and the offense is not the previously scheming fins, its really a one shot deal with Williams. Henne got picked three times last week it just dont look good n tight. The Pats is**ed an
Effectively out of the post-season? Fielding a different defence every week? Your starting QB out? Playing a team thats 6-0 at home; a team that hasnt dropped three in a row since 2002?
No problem, Ill take the 13 points.
New England look poor on D, with a secondary thats hobbling around and a pass rush thats all but gone missing. On the other side of the ball, Brady is looking oddly unsure (and hes missed time this week with assorted injuries a hit away from disaster) and Gamble and Marshall are no mugs. Factor in the Panthers decent pass rush and you would hope Carolina can keep it closer than 14 points. Their big weakness is against the run, but Maroney and his friends dont fill me with dread.
With Moore under centre again, its unlikely that the Panthers are going to make it a shoot-out, but theyre a run heavy O anyway, so its not like that will tax Moore and the system unduly. While that Pats arent poor against the run, with De Angelo Williams back, Carolina bring a nice ground game to Foxboro with Stewart playing well in Williams absence and showing he is more than capable (as I traded him away for rubbish in one of my fantasy teams!) and who knows, with a such a weak pass D, maybe the Panthers will be tempted downfield.
Pick: Carolina +13
Pick: 1st TD Wes Welker @ 13 Pick: Anytime TD Jonathan Stewart @ 2.4
ATS Naps NO -10 Ind -6.5 GB -4
The rest ... Sea +7 Oak +1.5 KC +2 Min -6 Bal -13.5 Mia +2 NYJ -4 StL +13 SD +3.5 Phi -1 SF +3.5
Acca GB Ind Hou @ 2.68
Value Acca SD NYG Oak @ 11.34
Uncle Os Game of the WeekCarolina @ New EnglandEffectively out of the post-season? Fielding a different defence every week? Your starting QB out? Playing a team thats 6-0 at home; a team that hasnt dropped three in a row since 2002? No problem, Ill
Im keeping away from the weather in the East and the swine flu in St Louis, so I might as well pick one of the live games.
The key here is Cincys lack of real aerial firepower and Philip Rivers form. I think it plays out like this; if the chargers get out to an early lead and the Bengals have to go to the air to chase, theyre in trouble. If Cincinnati can get ahead though, they can hand it off to Benson against the 21st ranked rush D in the NFL. The problem is that San Diego defends the pass well and, despite having a decent receiving corps, the Bengals just havent got it going vertically. This is a combination of a rotten O line and the knock-on effect of Palmer struggling.
Cincy are strong at the corners, but the have issues at safety and with Crocker likely out, Antonio Gates will match up on the Rookie Tom Nelson, and that could get ugly. Rivers continues to be the hot hand and, even with this tough matchup vertically, I like Jackson and Floyd (so much theyre in nearly all my fantasy teams, so they must be good!) and even in tight coverage, they still make plays. Peko missing may offer LT a glimmer of a chance to get the rock moving on the ground.
For a little added piquancy, bear this in mind; Norv Turner is 11-0 in December since taking over in 2007 and San Diego has won 16-straight games during the final full month of the regular season.
The x-factor of course, is the terrible news about Chris Henry. In my experience, NFL teams play hard in this situation and Ochocinco will put it all out there for his buddy.
Not a great betting game, but once more, Ill give the points. Gates to score is the strongest bet.
The rest ... Bal -11 Det +14 Kan -2 GB +2.5 Hou -14 Den -14 Sea -6.5 Car +9 Was +3
Acca Phi NE Min @ 2.14
Value Acca Kan GB Was @ 9.16
Uncle Os Game of the WeekCincinnati @ San DiegoIm keeping away from the weather in the East and the swine flu in St Louis, so I might as well pick one of the live games. The key here is Cincys lack of real aerial firepower and Philip Rivers form. I
I thought I might as well pick the TV games, just because Im going to be wrestling with mountains of bubble and squeak and cold turkey, and itll add a little relish as I watch the games!
Jacksonville @ New England
Im regretting this already ... this is a tough pick. Ill key this on the Jags pass-rush (or lack of it) and the status of CB Rashean Mathis.
Brady struggled lasy week when the Bills brought pressure, and the Pats lacked fluency on offense, handing it off a lot and running two tight end sets to combat the stuttering receiving corps. However, they should have an easier time of it today and with Mathis very limited at best, I expect Brady, Moss and Welker to have big games.
They may need to, because Maurice Jones-Drew has the ability to take advantage of NEs run D with Wilfork missing and if his offensive line can give him the chance. Garrard can get it done against a banged up Pats D and Sims-Walker has produced mightily, but has dropped off a little of late.
This isnt a game to go crazy on and it sounds like a lot of points to give in what might be a close game, but Ill take the Pats on their home field.
Pick: New England -9 (Uncle JC)
Pick: 1st TD Randy Moss @ 8 Pick: Anytime TD Mike Sims-Walker @ 2.3
Denver @ Philadelphia
I like the Eagles here. Theyll blitz all day and if they can get to Orton (and oddly, there may be a doubt as theyve had difficulty landing the blitzes of late) they can limit the threat of Marshall with Asante Samuel and Sheldon Brown completing a nice D against the pass. DeSean Jackson is an interesting play, in as much as the Eagles use him all over the field, meaning his matchups alter from play to play and he may offer some value here as the Broncos have issues at safety and that absence of help over the top might let Jackson in for a big game.
Giving less than a score at home, Ill give the points again.
The rest ... (SD SU) Buf +8 Kan +13.5 Cle -3 Hou +2 Car +9 Chi +7 NO -14 Bal +3 StL +15 Det +14.5
Acca Atl NYG Cle @ 2.66
Value Acca Hou Bal Car @ 18.93
Uncle Os Game of the WeekI thought I might as well pick the TV games, just because Im going to be wrestling with mountains of bubble and squeak and cold turkey, and itll add a little relish as I watch the games!Jacksonville @ New EnglandIm regretting
Two teams I dont like. I dont like the thought of a rookie QB on the road in the post-season and the Bengals can be anything on any given day.
I suspect this is going to be a run heavy game as one of the reasons the Jets have surged is that they have managed to limit Sanchezs mistakes of late, so I expect Jones to see the rock a lot. Similarly, Benson should get a lot of touches as Cincinnati struggle to throw the ball at the best of times, never mind against a solid Jets defence. Neither side though, is a soft touch against the run, and with a poor weather forecast, all these factors should combine to make Unders a strong bet.
So, where to put the £2? Well, this is a time of year when I look very carefully at whos under centre and I cant invest in Sanchez who I anticipate will have to go vertical at some point. Against the Bengal corners, this could be the difference. It may though, give Cotchery a chance to score late as the most reliable receiver in the corps. However, Ill give the points at home and take the Unders.
Two teams that seem to be headed in different directions. Philly were horrible last week and thats a worrying type of momentum to take into a game like this. Dallas are looking to rid themselves of some post-season demons and are looking like a team pulling together at the right time.
Again, if you look at the respective QBs it looks like Romo is likely to put his opposite number in the shade. The Eagles pass rush was ineffective last time and Romo is going to have time to look downfield with Austin and Witten freed up in the middle. The Eagles have operated on the
Uncle Os Wildcard Weekend PicksNY Jets @ CincinnatiTwo teams I dont like. I dont like the thought of a rookie QB on the road in the post-season and the Bengals can be anything on any given day.I suspect this is going to be a run heavy game as one of
Cheers, Ross. Sandwiches and cake at the ready ... tea ready. Can't wait :)
Bizarrely, a whole paragraph of my pick post is missing (about Phillies' O line protecting McNabb and the Eagles needing to stop the run) but I'll take it as a good omen!
Cheers, Ross. Sandwiches and cake at the ready ... tea ready. Can't wait :)Bizarrely, a whole paragraph of my pick post is missing (about Phillies' O line protecting McNabb and the Eagles needing to stop the run) but I'll take it as a good omen!
New England, New England, just keep repeating it like a mantra.
Brady is banged up, Welker is gone, Moss has lost a step and Edelman has got to find his feet fast in a post-season game. Gulp.
Actually, I like the Pats a little more than that. The Ravens are going to key on their run game, but New England have Wilfork back at nose tackle to clog things up and the rest of the D line has done well enough not to be terrified by the prospect of the Rice/McGahee one-two. Baltimore are limited downfield, with Mason and Heap (on fire lately) providing their greatest threat and, while the Pats secondary doesnt exactly fill me with girlish glee, again, I dont see them being overpowered.
The New England O line needs to keep Brady safe and they have managed pretty well during the regular season giving up just 16 sacks. Theyll have to cope with Rice, Suggs, Ngata, Pryce et al, so it will be interesting to see how those matchups look early keep an eye on them, because they are key here. If Brady gets time, he will develop Edelman underneath and that should free up Moss deep. Then the Pats can get rolling against a thin Ravens secondary with only Fabian Washington at CB and Ed Reed limping around at free safety. New England are still running it by committee, and Baltimore have been particularly solid against the run recently, so the 15 Pats RBs arent likely to shine too bright.
Flacco set off at a gallop this season, but as the running game dwindled, he began to struggle in a less balanced offence. Hell be happier now the run is back, and New England do give up the occasional big play, but I like the Pats D here and I expect Flacco to have a tough day.
New England is perfect at home and I dont see that changing here. Both teams may struggle to get into stride quickly, with personnel gone on one side and the Ravens trying to get the running game on the other, so Unders may be the call.
Baltimore @ New EnglandNew England, New England, just keep repeating it like a mantra.Brady is banged up, Welker is gone, Moss has lost a step and Edelman has got to find his feet fast in a post-season game. Gulp.Actually, I like the Pats a little mo
I like Green Bay here in a game that should produce a lot of points. Rodgers has been money all season and the Cards are nicked up in the secondary and if Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie doesnt go, the Overs and GB case increases. Similarly, Warner should be able to make hay against the Pack downfield who really only have Woodson tearing up trees. Boldin is out, but Warner has the weapons, but he is apt to turn the ball over under pressure and Green Bay will come after him all day. These noises about him retiring when they lose doesnt fill me with confidence, either.
As all my picks are informed (?) by fantasy producers, I like Jennings and Finley to maybe make me back some of the money I lost on the NE fiasco. Ill give the points and go Over.
Green Bay @ ArizonaI like Green Bay here in a game that should produce a lot of points. Rodgers has been money all season and the Cards are nicked up in the secondary and if Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie doesnt go, the Overs and GB case increases. Sim
This has all the makings of a shootout as the two top offenses meet and that would suggest a bucket full of points, but, with the line high Im going to go Under here. I never cease to be amazed, even after 30 or so years of serious interest in football, at the capacity of teams to readjust, re-adapt and retool elements of their game, even over short periods. So I expect the Cards to come with a better game on the defensive side of the ball.
Arizona sacked Rodgers five times last week, and thats a worry for Brees whose O line has not given him an armchair ride this season. His quick release, accuracy and ability to move can paper over those cracks but Berry, Dockett and Calais Campbell will come after Brees and its a question of how well the line copes.
Interestingly, and another factor that plays in favour of Unders, I think the running game may be a big factor in the outcome of the game. Wells had a solid game last week (91 yds) against a strong rush D and the Saints are poor against the run. Although Warner almost forces a coach to use the vertical game, it shouldnt be forgotten that Whisenhunt is a run first coach and it will be difficult for him to resist thoroughly testing the Saints defensive front, especially as this is likely to open up the field for Warner if its successful.
Picking the winner is tough. I like Warner, the Cards running game in this match and I love Arizonas momentum and Im not sure the Saints will find their rhythm easily after the time off, but I like New Orleans attack and their secondary and the Superdome is a definite homefield advantage, but are they really 7 points better in this game?
No, I think the Cards can win this. Im going to take the points and go Under.
Pick: Arizona +7 Pick: Arizona SU @ 3.5 Pick: Under 57
Im not buying Baltimore. Last week, everything had to fall perfectly for them for them to win, and it did. In order to win this game however, theyll have to put the ball in Flaccos hands and that isnt good. Since they last met, the Colts have got Kelvin Hayden and Jerraud Powers back at the corners and Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis are healthy too; particularly significant with Ravens LT Jared Gaither out and Baltimore are just not going to move the rock effectively enough to win it.
Of course, the Ravens gameplan on D will be to get to Manning and disrupt Indianapolis the way they managed to with New England, but Brady looked off his game and his O line was peculiarly porous; I dont see the same happening today and Manning will get it done. That will put Baltimore behind and Flacco will need to try and catch up (see above!).
The greatest threat for the Indianapolis D, of course, is the Baltimore running game and Ray Rice**over the Pats last week (159 yards and 2 TDs) and the Colts D is ranked 24th in rush yards allowed. However, Im going to go out on a limb here and qualify those stats by pointing out that that one incredible opening play last week accounted for 83 of Rices 159 yards on the day and that 400+ yards of rushing was given up by the Colts in the last two games of the regular season, when they were controversially resting their players. LBs Gary Brackett and Clint Session arent slouches and Ill take the Colts to exert some control over the Ravens running game. That said, Rice is good catching out of the backfield too, so hes good to score at the price. Incidentally, Wayne on offer at 10 at SJ strikes me as a knocking bet.
The run heavy O and competent Ravens D mean that Manning will have to work hard, so I see this going Under.
Ill give the points.
Pick: Indianapolis -6 Pick: Under 44
Pick: 1st TD Reggie Wayne @ 10 (SJ) Pick: Anytime TD Ray Rice @ 1.91 (PP)
Arizona @ New OrleansThis has all the makings of a shootout as the two top offenses meet and that would suggest a bucket full of points, but, with the line high Im going to go Under here. I never cease to be amazed, even after 30 or so years of serio
lol ...same here ...considered trading out on Arizona @ 2.72 having backed at 3.65 ...of course i didnt ...seduced by last weeks performance!!
...won back my losses on IND all in!
...had a dream run in play offs last year but struggling this time round
have lost heavily on DAL 2 consecutive weeks and they do have momentum but I was struck last night what an advantage NO had playing in the dome and suspect it will be the same tonight!!
...find that coin quick!
lol ...same here ...considered trading out on Arizona @ 2.72 having backed at 3.65 ...of course i didnt ...seduced by last weeks performance!!...won back my losses on IND all in!...had a dream run in play offs last year but struggling this time round
Sorry, Bostsox, I'm opposing you. It means Minny are a lock though :)
Dallas @ Minnesota
Im going with momentum on this one. The Vikes love their home field, Favre can get it done and Peterson is due a big game, but Dallas are surging in practically every aspect of their play and theyre just too hot to oppose.
Romo is rolling, and I expect Austin to have a big game with Winfield sufficiently injured to have been playing nickel last time out. This means Austin will match up on guys like Sapp or Griffin and both can be overpowered. Williams and Crayton round out a strong set of options downfield that should be able to do some damage. Dont disregard the Dallas running game, I like Felix Jones to break a couple today against a line that gives up the occasional long run.
Fairly obviously, limiting Romo is the key for the Minny D, but my man-love for Jared Allen has been tempered somewhat by his performances down the stretch. However, he goes up against Flozell Adams here and thats a worry for Dallas. E.J. Henderson is out and if the pass rush misfires, the all-new Romo will torch Minnesota. Bear in mind though, were looking at Allen, Kevin Williams, Pat Williams, and Ray Edwards here.
If that pressure comes, look for Witten to have a greater role in this game. Brinkley is weak in coverage and if Romo is forced to check down he can expose the Vikes safeties.
On the other side of the ball, Dallas are strong at DB, but look for Harvin in the slot, because despite the excellent play of Mike Jenkins, Terrance Newman, Gerald Sensabaugh and Ken Hamlin, Scandrick looks like a weak link operating as nickel corner and Harvin could take advantage. I like DeMarcus Ware and Anthony Spencer and the Dallas linebackers are working beautifully as a unit, but theyll need to with Peterson on hand. That said, theyve shut the run down before and should be capable of at least limiting the damage.
Favre: what to say about the old man? Well, he seems to have throttled back on the hopeful pass that made him a turnover machine, but Ware and Ratcliff are going to give him fits today as he tries to operate behind an average Vikes O line and I fancy Brett to eventually give the ball up a couple of times as they bear down. Keep an eye on his favourite redzone target, Visanthe Shiancoe.
Ill take Dallas to win this in a squeaker and go Over as some quick strikes take it to da house ... or Mall
Pick: Dallas SU @ 2.2 Pick: Over 45.5
Pick: 1st TD Shiancoe @ 11 Pick: Anytime TD Austin @ 1.91 Pick: Felix Jones longest rush Over 15.5 @ 1.87
Sorry, Bostsox, I'm opposing you. It means Minny are a lock though :)Dallas @ MinnesotaIm going with momentum on this one. The Vikes love their home field, Favre can get it done and Peterson is due a big game, but Dallas are surging in practically ev
It ends here for the Jets. Although Revis and the D have been a revelation, the Chargers just look irresistible. Revis will cover Vincent Jackson, but Antonio Gates will be free to wreak havoc. Kerry Rhodes is no mug, but as needs must, Rivers will get it to Gates and Floyd as the Chargers O line tend to give their QB enough time to get it done. LT and Sproles give them options out of the backfield. This means that the Chargers will score points, and if that happens, then the Jets will have to look to Sanchez to put it up and that spells disaster in my view.
The big qualifier of course, is whether the Jets primary means of scoring can find any joy. Well, the Chargers can certainly be run on, but Jones is banged up (durability is an issue here) so expect Shonn Greene to get plenty of touches.
The key then, is the Jets falling behind. If that happens (and it will) they wont be able to make it back. I also like the line at 42 to go Over as the Jets get reckless in desperation.
Pick: San Diego -8.5 Pick: Over 42
Pick: 1st TD Antonio Gates @ 10 Pick: Anytime TD Vincent Jackson/Antonio Gates @ 2.2 (BWin) **
NY Jets @ San DiegoIt ends here for the Jets. Although Revis and the D have been a revelation, the Chargers just look irresistible. Revis will cover Vincent Jackson, but Antonio Gates will be free to wreak havoc. Kerry Rhodes is no mug, but as needs
If the Jets can keep it close, they can make it to the Who concert. But they wont.
If ever the great 'resting players' debate promised to bite a team on the backside, this is its moment, but I just dont see the Jets scoring enough points to get the win and, as its win at all costs, Ryan will have to put it in Sanchez hands at some point and that may make things worse.
The Jets will dial up lots of exotic blitzes, but they didnt hurry Manning before and, while Revis is the finest corner in the NFL, Manning has too many options to fall at this final hurdle. Revis says hell move around, not just cover Wayne, but who is better under centre at recognising Defensive patterns than number 18? Once Revis is neutralised, that secondary isnt so fearsome, so I expect Garcon and Clark to have big games. With Jenkins out and Ellis limited, the Colts should use Addai to mix it up and I wouldnt be surprised to see him break a couple.
Shonn Greene and Jones will see the rock all day, but the Colts are solid on Defense, and they can defend the run - they stepped up mightily against the Ravens and they dont give up big plays. Theyll bring Mathis and Freeney off the edge against the pass where necessary, hurrying Sanchez into bad decisions that risk giving the ball away.
The line has moved out, but Ill still give the points and take the Unders.
NY Jets @ IndianapolisIf the Jets can keep it close, they can make it to the Who concert. But they wont.If ever the great 'resting players' debate promised to bite a team on the backside, this is its moment, but I just dont see the Jets scoring enou
Away from the home dome; banged up in key areas; Minny better hope that All Day comes to play. The Vikes give it up through the air, and with Drew Brees as triggerman that can spell disaster. Theres always the Favre factor, but as superhuman as he is, this is probably a game too far for the old man.
If the Vikings can get to Brees they might have a chance because the Saints can be run on, notwithstanding the fact that, if they fall behind early, Favre will have to throw the ball to Rice who is stellar downfield.
Minnesota leak points against TEs and Id have liked to see a fully fit Shockey rampaging into the endzone, but Brees isnt short of targets and I expect Colston to do some damage. There should be some points in this one as Favre never goes with a whimper and the Saints seem to rely on winning by sheer weight of points; theyll concede, but theyll put 40 points on in any case.
Minnesota @ New OrleansAway from the home dome; banged up in key areas; Minny better hope that All Day comes to play. The Vikes give it up through the air, and with Drew Brees as triggerman that can spell disaster. Theres always the Favre factor, but
A better showing here and a couple of quid gained back from a pretty torrid post-season!
I thought the Jets, and Sanchez in particular, showed some real talent. An ante post bet or two in the offing?
Nice one, M.A better showing here and a couple of quid gained back from a pretty torrid post-season!I thought the Jets, and Sanchez in particular, showed some real talent. An ante post bet or two in the offing?