The Degenerate: Week 15, The Friday Pick (on Saturday)… He’s Baaaack!

Ok, enough of this losing crap. Can’t the gambling gods throw me a bone and give me some holiday cheer? On Thursday night we had the Steelers -14.

Ben, I know how you feel.

And just our luck, Big Ben goes down with a leg injury in the 2nd quarter. We’re doomed! But wait, here comes Ben after halftime taking warmups. He’s gonna play!

Steelers were up 7-3 with 11 minutes left in the game, they moved the ball down to the tw0 yard line, but they got stuffed by the Browns four straight downs. Yes, the 30th ranked Browns rushing defense stuffed the Steelers 8th ranked rushing game. That’s when I knew we weren’t going to cover.

Steelers managed to get a 14-3 win, but not the cover. So that dropped us to 0-5 in our last five picks. Not good. And now we’re at 16-16 on the season. But let’s keep on taking shots and see what happens.

I looked over the card this week and I really only found one game I liked, Eagles at Dolphins. Yeah, and it’s not even just a hometown pick, I actually like a side in this one.

I also liked the Saints -3.5 at Tennessee, but not enough to put it out as a pick. And Carolina at home getting 3 over Atlanta looks like a possible money line play. But let’s focus in on the one play this week.

Bet #1: (a.k.a. “The Mike Vick Experience, Part 2” pick) Eagles +3 over Miami Dolphins.

I know, I know the Eagles suck. They’re 4-8, they’ve lost four of their last five games straight up. They looked terrible against the Seahawks. I know, I’ve watched every game.

The Dolphins aren't playing too bad

And Miami, on the other hand, has won of four of their last five and have covered 6 in a row. Miami is the new hot team in the NFL (excluding Tebow, who is on another level of bandwagon jumping right now). I think they stole the title from Detroit. Everyone loves the Dolphins. They started slow at 0-7, now they’re rolling at 4-8.

The big news for the Eagles this week is that Mike Vick is back. He should be ready to play and he is the reason I am betting the Eagles this week. When Vick plays, the Eagles are a different team, bottom line.

And I’m not sold on the Dolphins. Not as a three point favorites against the Eagles. I know the Eagles have had a rough season, but they have better players than the Dolphins. Matt Moore at QB for Miami? In 9 games he’s putting up 193 yard per game, Vick is getting 243 in the air. Dolphins are relying on Reggie Bush at RB. Bush has had a rough few season, really not living up to his potential. He has four TD’s in his last four games, but is only gaining 60 yard per game on the ground.

Four of Miami’s recent wins have been againt Kansas City, Washington, Buffalo and Oakland. Only that Raiders win sticks out as a decent win. Buffalo is falling apart, and KC and Washington aren’t that good. So their recent ‘hot streak’ hasn’t been against top competition. They did play Dallas tight on Thanksgiving Day, so that is a nice effort (even though they lost).

Just give the ball to Shady.

I know, the Eagles are losing too. Against bad teams and good teams. Sort of an equal opportunity failure this season. But despite being 4-8 they have only been underdogs in two other games, Week 11 against the Giants (+6) and Week 12 at home against New England (+3).  Now they are getting three on the road at Miami with Vick returning? I don’t get it.

If the Eagles are going to win this game they are going to have to rely on Shady and the running game (I say this every week, maybe this week will be the time they actually do it). I really think this week Andy will design a gameplan to use Vick and Shady on the ground as much as possible. I mean, why not? Shady is the leading rushing RB (tied with MJD), and Vick is the leading rushing QB (he’s getting 8.2 yard per carry). Why mess with success? Even without Vick keeping the defense honest we were able to put up 132 yards vs. Seattle last week. The Eagles come in fully rested, it’s been 10 days since their last game, and for a team that has been banged up lately that has to help a little too.

It’s a pretty meaningless game for both teams, but I’m going to say that the better team wins. And the Eagles are the better team. I saw this Tweet on Friday about this game… “The Miami Dolphins look like a big Choc Cake this week, Dont eat it.. Bad Carbs will hurt your pockets.” I think he is saying the Dolphins are a mirage. Sometime gamblers make no sense when they talk in code, but this one was pretty clear and it confirmed what I was already thinking.

How about Andy gets a “too little, too late” win on the road, Eagles 24-20.

The Line: Miami -3, O/U 45
The Pick: Eagles +3
Game Trends (via Miami: 3-0 ATS as a home favorite this season; Eagles: 0-2 ATS vs. AFC East this season.

I need this win. I don’t want to drop to under .500 for the season.





Season Record: 16-16. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.

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