Tag Archive | "Monday Night Football"

The Degenerate: Monday Night Pick: Can I Get A Winner, Please?

Well, I won my fantasy games this weekend. So that’s kinda cool.

Thanks to the defense, we stayed in that game

Ok, so this weekend was not the start I expected to the 2012 gambling season. We started 0-2 and they weren’t even close. I know the Eagles pulled out a 4th quarter shocker and beat the Browns on a last minute drive but they were laying 9.5. So it wasn’t even close to sniffing a cover in the 4th quarter. And the penalties?! Oh lord, the penalties. Hopefully they review the rulebook in practice this week, I’m not sure if our guys know what they can and can’t do.

On the bright side, the Juan Castillo defense really put the screws to Brandon Weeden. But I think if we were playing against a half-decent QB (Colt McCoy?) we probably would have lost that one. But you know what, a win is a win and in Week 13 when we are fighting for the division lead we won’t remember how bad we looked yesterday. Looking forward to week 2 and it doesn’t get any easier, Baldymoore is coming to town. Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin. If we play sloppy like yesterday then those guys will beat us. It’s gonna be a tough one. No line yet, but it should be close to a pick ’em depending on how Baltimore looks on Monday Night.

And speaking of Monday night, we have a doubleheader tonight, Bengals at Ravens and Chargers at Raiders. But only one game looks like a value, the Chargers at Raiders, so let’s get into that one…

Bet #1: (a.k.a the “10pm start? I’ll be asleep by halftime” bet): Oakland Raiders -1 over San Diego Chargers

Raiders fans. They are one of a kind.

I actually like the Raiders to make some noise this year. In my Saturday column I had them picked to win the AFC West. I think that the AFC West could be a battle. All 4 teams are pretty good, but no team stands out from the rest (although Denver looked pretty good last night).

The Chargers lost Vincent Jackson to free agency, and will probably not have Ryan Matthews tonight. So it will be Phillip Rivers looking to Antonio Gates for his offense tonight.  Last season, the Raiders lost in Week 17 to the Chargers at home, and that loss knocked them out of the playoffs race. I think they will remember that. The Raiders have a new GM, and a new Head Coach and are looking to (new and improved!) Carson Palmer to continue where he left off last season, in that Week 17 loss he threw for 417 yards.

The Raiders also get Darren McFadden back, he has been banged up his whole career and missed half the season last year with a foot injury. The Raiders should be able to move the ball with Palmer and McFadden. But their defense is another story.

The Raiders defense was not good last season, to put it kindly. 27th in defensive efficiency at Football Outsiders. But I think they use the home field advantage (one of the best in the NFL) and the arm of Carson Palmer version 2.0 and get a big opening win against a division rival. Could be high scoring, but I’ll stay away from the total and just take the Raiders.

How about Oakland starts fresh with a 30-20 win at home.

And oh yeah, I can’t forget that Phillip Rivers cost me money last year. It was Halloween Night, Chargers were lining up for a FG to win (and push -3) and he muffs the hold? I haven’t forgotten about that, Phil. Go Raiders!

The Line: Oakland Raiders -1, O/U 47
The Pick: Raiders -1
Game trends (via Covers.com): Oakland is 5-1 ATS last 6 vs. Chargers; OVER is 5-0 last 5 in Oakland in this series.

Let’s get a winner! (I really need one)

Season Record: 0-2 (booooo!)

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

Twitter:
Email: fantasource@gmail.com
Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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The Degenerate: Week 15, Monday Night – This One is Worth Watching

So yeah, the Patriots.

New England -7 was our pick yesterday, and once Tebow and the Broncos scored on that opening drive I thought I would be in trouble. Twitter exploded with TEBOW! tweets, everyone was throwing dirt on the Patriots, and I have to admit I was a little nervous. Even the boss had a case of Tebow Fever…

https://twitter.com/#!/your_activity

But I’ve learned in my long life of gambling that there are a few quarterbacks who are never out of a game. And Tom Brady is definitely on that list.

And like I expected, the Patriots turned it on, got themselves a 27-13 halftime lead and never looked back. It got tight in the 4th, with a score of 34-23 with around 9 minutes left. Was I looking at a backdoor cover from Denver? I sure was feeling like it would happen…

https://twitter.com/#!/fantasource

But Gisele’s husband took his guys down the field for a TD to seal the win and the cover. That win moved us to 2-0 on the weekend and 20-16 overall.

And yes, It was kind of awkward when I ran into Spike in the breakroom this morning at SpikeEskin.com headquarters, he didn’t even make eye contact with me. Poor guy, Tebow broke his heart.

Mark Sanchez had a rough day

All in all it was a great game. Sure, the Broncos lost but they lost to a better team. Denver definitely has talent, and they could do some damage early in the playoffs. Keep an eye on them.

And how about those Birds! Damn, 44-19. Who saw that coming? Shady with 3 TD’s and another 100 yards, 17 TD’s on the season. For all of the Eagles flaws this season, LeSean McCoy was one of the few consistent bright spots.

So, the Eagles are still alive for the division (thanks, Redskins). Next week they go to Dallas and the opening line is Dallas -3. It’s gonna be a fight, but does Tony Romo scare you? He doesn’t scare me. The Giants are playing the Jets (Jets are 3 point favorites), and that one will be a battle too.

But we’ve survived to fight another week and that’s all that matters.

#ALLIN

Now onto the Monday Night pick…

As MNF matchups go this is one of the best we could ask for. Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3) head out west to play the San Francisco 49ers (10-3). Two great teams, both still fighting for playoff seeding, primed and ready to bang heads.

The line right now is 49ers -1.5, O/U 38.

LaMarr Woodley has 9 sacks to lead the Steelers

The status of Ben Roethlisberger is unknown right now, but I’m writing this assuming he plays but it really doesn’t matter to my pick, I like the UNDER 38 tonight.

This is a matchup of two very good defenses, but if you follow football at all you already knew that. Pittsburgh comes in as the 9th ranked defense, San Francisco is 3rd ranked.

With or without Roethlisberger I think the Steelers offense will have trouble moving the ball on a very good San Francisco defense. And when the 49ers have the ball, Pittsburgh should be able to contain Frank Gore and Alex Smith and keep them out of the end zone.

James Harrison is out for the Steelers, serving his one game suspension for hitting Colt McCoy in the head. And for San Francisco, Patrick Willis is out with a hamstring injury. So both teams are missing a top defensive player, but there are still enough defensive weapons on both teams to still keep this game low scoring.

When the 49ers played Baltimore on Thanksgiving night it was another matchup of two great defensive teams, that game ended with the Ravens winning 16-6. And this game could play out the same way. Long, sustained drives, and teams settling for field goals. Whoever gets into the end zone will win.

The 49ers have not given up a 100 yards rushing in 35 straight games, they only allow 70 rushing yards per game, and they haven’t allowed a rushing TD this season. Wow. So don’t expect much from Rashard Mendenhall.

Both teams still have incentive to win. The 49ers need a win get to 11-3 and stay on pace with New Orleans for the #2 seed in the playoffs. The Steelers came into this weekend tied with Baltimore atop the AFC East at 10-3, and with the Ravens losing last night this is a chance for them to open up a one game lead that could be enough to get them the division title.

Our old friend David Akers could be the difference tonight

I’m thinking both teams play conservative and try not to make mistakes, and that game plan points to the UNDER. That is also the most obvious play statistically, considering that both teams rank #1 and #2 in points allowed per game, (49ers – 14.0, Steelers – 15.2). Both teams are averaging low 20’s in offensive points scored per game. So both teams being under 20 points tonight is a definite possibility.

The Steelers are a very good team, and Ben will probably play and keep the gameplan conservative. But I don’t think they can break through the 49ers rushing defense, and a hobbled Roethlisberger may have trouble making things happen with that 49ers d-line breathing down his neck all night.

But Pittsburgh has a solid defense as well, even without Harrison, and they should be able to shut down the 49ers. Frank Gore has had a rough stretch lately, he hasn’t broken 100 yards in his past 5 games. Alex Smith has a decent passer rating (91.5) but he only has 15 passing TD’s on the season and I don’t expect him to light up a good Steelers pass defense (6th ranked v. pass).

In this pretty even matchup I think the 49ers are a little better on defense and they will find a way to build off of the home field advantage and squeak out a win. But regardless of the outcome, this one should be a real battle and a fun game to watch.

I’ll say that the 49ers win a low scoring game, San Francisco 17-13.

The Line: 49ers -1.5, O/U 38
The Pick: UNDER 38
Game trends (via Covers.com): Steelers: 6-2 UNDER last 8 games as an underdog; 49ers: 6-2 UNDER in their last 8 games

Fantasource

 

 

 

Season Record: 20-16. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

Follow me on Twitter: @Fantasource
Email me: fantasource@gmail.com
Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments

 

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The Degenerate: Week 14, Monday Night – Are You Really Going to Watch This Game?

So we finally got ourselves a winner on Sunday. The Eagles looked pretty good. Yeah, they put up 24 of their 26 points in a big 2nd quarter burst, but they looked pretty good on defense with nine sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception. And Shady was able to find the end zone twice (but only managed 38 yards rushing). But really the Dolphins showed that they just aren’t that good, and Matt Moore isn’t a big game QB. Besides that nice TD pass to Brandon Marshall he really didn’t do too much before he left with an injury.

The Eagles defense was swarming on Sunday

So yeah, the Eagles are still alive for the division title. We still need a ton of help and alot of breaks have to go our way, but it’s not over (yet). Actually it probably is, but I’m #ALLIN and I’m not giving up hope until we are mathematically eliminated.  We get the Jets at the Linc next week. Rex Ryan comes into town, so hide your daughters… and lock up your refrigerators.

But let’s put away the pipe dreams for one more week. Tonight is Monday Night, so you know what that means: Jaws, Jon Gruden, Mike Tirico and quite possibly the worst Monday Night Football matchup all season.

5-7 Seattle is hosting 2-10 St Louis. Rams QB Sam Bradford is hurting and backup AJ Feeley is already declared OUT, so the Rams could be playing some guy named Tom Brandstater at QB (no shit, I’m not making that up). They also claimed Kellen Clemons off of waivers, so he could get some action too. So your starter could be an injured Sam Bradford,  Tom Brandstater, or some guy they signed last Wednesday.

We’ve already had to sit through Tyler Palko and the Chiefs at New England. And Jacksonville hosted San Diego last week and that wasn’t that great either. But this one is a crappy matchup of epic proportions. But no worries, I’ll break it down and pick a winner for us (para la única diversión).

Marshawn should have another big game

Seattle is a -9 point favorite in this one, the Over/Under is 38. Vegas was hesitant to make a line on this game without knowing the status of Sam Bradford. The Hilton Supercontest put the line as Seattle -7.5, and people jumped all over it. 109 contestants picked Seattle -7.5, while only 22 went with St. Louis. (The Supercontest is an open invitation contest where entrants pony up $1500 to try to prove they are the best handicapper in the country, picking five games against the spread every week. Winner takes all.) We know that the Supercontest 7.5 point spread was low because the true “opening number” for this game was Seattle -9.5 (at least the ones I saw). The line has settled on -9 this morning after being bet up to -10 over the weekend. Seems like the news this morning that Bradford should be playing brought in some Rams money.

But really, the question here isn’t if the Seahawks can win, it is can they cover the 9 point line? And we might see this line go up even more, I mean if you’re betting on the game you aren’t going to put your money on the 2-10 Rams and their shaky QB situation, are you?

One saying I learned early in my gambling life was “never rely on a bad team to do good things.” And tonight you’re going to rely on the Rams (and whomever their QB is tonight) to get motivated and go into a hostile stadium and hang with a Seattle team that is still (barely) alive for a wildcard playoff berth.

Hey look, it's the last four Rams fans.

Seattle had an impressive win at home last week over the Eagles, and they’ve won three of their last four games and covered the spread in four of their last five. To say St Louis has struggled would be an understatement. They’re 2-10 straight up and against the spread, and they got shutout last week at San Francisco.

I don’t see how the Rams can stay in this game. They have the #31 ranked team in overall efficiency (thankfully for them the Colts are playing even worse), and the 32nd (worst) ranked offense. Seattle counters with the #11 defense. The Rams will have a tough time moving the ball. With all the problems at QB lately, opposing teams really only have to key on Steven Jackson, you stop him, you stop the Rams offense. Seattle should be able to do that, they come in with the #9 rush defense.

Seattle has owned the Rams lately. Since 2005 the Seahawks are 12-1 SU and 10-3 ATS in this series. These two teams met back in Week 10, and the Seahawks won that one 24-7, holding the Rams (with Sam Bradford at QB) to 210 yards total offense.

The combination of the Seattle defense, Seattle home field advantage and the Rams inept offense means that I’m taking Seattle -9 in this one.

I don’t expect alot of points, I could see the Seahawks playing a conservative game, alot of Marshawn Lynch on the ground (remember him, Eagles fans?) and Tarvaris Jackson trying not to lose the game and sticking with short passes. Even if Sam Bradford sucks it up and plays, I don’t see him being effective with his injured ankle.

I see Seahawks getting it done in a low scoring game, boring game. Good luck if you’re going to watch it. How about Marshawn Lynch leads the Seattle offense, the Rams continue to struggle on offense and the Seahawks win 24-10.

The Line: Seattle -9, O/U 38
The Pick: Seattle -9
Game trends (via Covers.com): St. Louis: 1-7 ATS in their last 8 road games; Seattle: 6-2 ATS in their last 8 home games.

The Over/Under on ‘Skittles’ mentions tonight? I’m setting it a 5. And I’m going OVER.

Fantasource

 

 

 

Season Record: 17-16. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

Follow me on Twitter: @Fantasource
Email me fantasource@gmail.com
Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments

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The Degenerate: Week 13, Monday Night – Let’s This Try Again

Rough loss on Sunday with the Bears. Matt Forte went down early in the game and the Bears never seemed to get their bearings. I said the Bears would win 24-10, well I got the ten points part right. Bears lose 10-3. The Bears D did what they needed to but the offense was invisible. 181 total yards? Ouch. Add that loss to the Thursday night Eagles loss and we’re looking at 0-2 going into Monday Night. But I’m riding a nice Monday Night streak this season, 7-3 so far, and three straight MNF winners. But the NFL didn’t do me any favors with this matchup.

San Diego visits Jacksonville. The Chargers are three point favorites on the road, the total is 39.

This could be a rough night for Rivers

This matchup is very hard to break down. The Chargers are basically the Eagles of the AFC. They came into the season with high expectations, and then totally crapped the bed. They were 10-1 to win the Super Bowl and -1000 to win the AFC West. Now they’re 4-7, in last place in the AFC West and in the grips of a six game losing streak. Not a good run for Norv Turner and the boys. And to top it all off, reports are circulating that Norv is going to be fired at the end of the season, and guess who is going to replace him? Andy Reid. Yeah, it’s gotta be true. The internet never lies.

Firing your coach? ‘Been there, done that’, says Jacksonville. Not only was HC Jack DelRio fired last week, the Jaguars were sold. Beat that, Chargers.

So here we are. One team in the midst of it’s longest losing streak in 10 years, and another with a new coach, and a new owner. Both teams are well under .500, and the home team is having trouble selling out the game. Nice. Can’t wait for this one.

I don’t know who is watching this game tonight. Maybe some Chargers fans, some Jags fans, gamblers and anyone with any of these guys in fantasy football. But here I am, trying to handicap this game and give you a winner. Fun job, isn’t it? But you know what, I do have a pick, but first let’s break down the combatants.

MJD will be the key for the Jags tonight

Like I said earlier, San Diego is a hot mess. 4-7 record, six game losing streak, under-performing all season and a coach on the hot seat. But they are actually still alive for the AFC West title if they can get a win. They’d only be two games back of the leaders if they can pull this out. So they still have some motivation to get this done.

Jacksonville has a new (interim) head coach, DC Mel Tucker takes over for the rest of the season. He got the job for good reason, his Jags defense is #2 in defensive efficiency, behind only the Ravens. So, how can a team with such a great defense be 3-8? The problem with the Jaguars is offense, or lack of it. The Jags come into this game averaging a league-low 12.5 points per game, and they have only scored over 17 points once this season. They’re ranked last (32nd) in passing, and 22nd in rushing. Going up against a Charger defense that is 30th overall.

So we have a terrible offense going up against a terrible defense. Not sure who wins that matchup, but it’s not the TV viewers.

The one bright spot on the Jags offense is RB Maurice Jones-Drew. He is tied for first with Shady McCoy averaging 95.4 rushing yards per game. And if the Jaguars want to win this one, they’re going to stick to the ground game with MJD.

It's been a rough year for Norv

When the Chargers have the ball they’ll have their work cut out for them. Jacksonville defense is good. Very good. Coming into the game they have the 2nd overall defense (5th against the pass, 3rd against the rush). And they are allowing only allowing 18.2 points per game.

San Diego has had trouble scoring lately, only once in their last 6 games have they scored over 21 points. QB Phillip Rivers has not been playing up to his past stats. Only once this season has he thrown for more than two touchdowns in a game. I don’t see him doing too much against this tough Jaguars defense. He should play ok, but not light up the scoreboard.

The Jaguars defense should shut down the Chargers, or at least limit their scoring ability. The Jags on offense should be able to move the ball with MJD and kill some clock in the process. I don’t see QB Blaine Gabbert being be much of a factor but he won’t really need to be. It’s all MJD and the Jags defense.

Add all that together and I’m going with UNDER 39 in this one.

Some trends I found on Covers.com point to the UNDER also:

  • Jags 10-1 UNDER this season
  • Chargers: 10-4 UNDER in their last 14 games on grass
  • Chargers: 20-2 in their last 22 games in December

I think that the Jaguars defense will be playing extra fired up now that their guy is in the top seat. MJD made a comment that practices this week were extra intense, and the new coach has the team focused and practicing sharp. But on the other hand, the Chargers continue to struggle. I’ve learned my lesson from the Eagles, sometimes a team is just not as good as you want them to be.

San Diego has to travel east to play against a great defense. It’s going to be a sluggish game. I think the Jaguars defense is the difference. I’ll still give San Diego the win, since the Chargers dominate in December, I think Phillip Rivers will find a way to pull it out and snap the six game losing streak, but it’s not going to be easy.

How about Chargers win 20-14.

The Line: San Diego Chargers -3, O/U 39
Ths Pick: UNDER 39

Let’s recover from a bad weekend and get this one.

Fantasource

 

 

 

Season Record: 16-14. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

Follow me on Twitter: @Fantasource
Email me: fantasource@gmail.com
Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments

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The Degenerate: Week 12, MNF Pick – Easy Breesy

I’m still in Thanksgiving weekend vacation mode (plus that Eagles debacle really killed my Sunday night), so apologies for the quick post. We went 2-1 on Thursday and 15-12 so far this season, let’s get another winner tonight and close out the week in good fashion.

Monday Night Football: New York Giants at New Orleans Saints

This is homefield advantage

We’ve had a pretty good run on Monday Nights this season, going 6-3 with the picks. And most of those times I went with the favorite, only taking the underdog once (Indy, in a teaser in Week 6). Tonight, the Saints are my pick. Simply because they dominate at home. 4-0 on the season (and 4-0 against the spread). Scoring 40 points per game at home (62 points v. Colts definitely helped pad that stat); and only allowing 17 points. The Saints are tough in the Superdome, excuse me, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. And coming off a bye week? They’ll be ready.

The Giants are in a tough spot in this one. They’re coming off two straight losses (Eagles and 49ers) and now they continue their death march into New Orleans. This is game four of a six game stretch that everyone thought would doom New York to 2nd place. Tonight is the night that prediction comes true.

A loss tonight will drop the Giants to 6-5 and put them in 2nd place behind the 7-4 Cowboys. On the other side, the 7-3 Saints need a win to stay alone at the top of the NFC South, ahead of the 7-4 Falcons.

I think the Saints will have too much for the Giants in this one. Eli has worked magic before, and he has led his share of 4th quarter comebacks (and ‘almost comebacks’) but tonight I think the Saints will put enough points on the board to put this game away.

Could be another national TV loss for Eli

The Giants are #31 in rushing yards per game. So even if they wanted to slow down the pace and try to kill the clock by keeping the ball on the ground, they couldn’t do it.

Vegas doesn’t think the Giants can slow down the game either. The total on this game is 51 points, the highest total for either team all season. And there’s good reason why. The Saints defense is less than average, 23rd overall (20th v. run; 21st v. pass), so Eli should be able to move the ball in the air. And Brees should be able to move the ball for the Saints, too. The Saints offense is solid. They’re #2 in points per game behind the Packers. #1 passing yards per game, #4 overall offensive efficiency. Surprisingly, they’re averaging 4.6 yards per carry (8th overall). They can move the ball in the air, and on the ground when needed, and they can score. And they should be able to do tonight, even against a good Giants defense.

I’m going with the Saints -7.5 points to knock off the Giants (For amusement purposes only. Why do I keep saying it? You already know).

I think the Saints at home off the bye week coupled with the Giants in the 4th game of a tough stretch, and their 3rd road game in 4 weeks could prove too much. How about Drew Brees airs it out, and moves the Saints to 8-3 with a 34-21 win.

**If you decide to take the Saints, you would be wise to buy points and get this line down to -7, or even -6.5.  Getting onto the other side of a 7 point line is always a smart move. 

The Line: Saints -7.5, O/U 51
The Pick: Saints -7.5
Game Trends (via Covers.com): NYG are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 vs. NFC.

Cheer up Eagles fans, the Sixers are back! So we got that going for us, which is nice.
Fantasource

 

 

 

Season Record: 15-12. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

Follow me on Twitter: @Fantasource
Email me fantasource@gmail.com
Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments

 

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The Degenerate: Week 10, MNF pick: It’s Over, Johnny

So, can we stick a fork in them? Are they done? 3-6, 3 games back with 7 to play? Yeah, I think they’re done. Time to start studying the college draft prospects. As it stands today we’re right in the mix for a top 5 pick, so that’s pretty cool. Can’t wait to see what Andy has up his sleeve this year. How about a punter? That LSU kid is pretty solid. What about drafting a QB? Oh yeah, I forgot, we’re stuck with the 100 million dollar man. But at least it’s not Kevin Kolb, amirite. I personally think they would do well getting Justin Blackmon from Oklahoma State. Another WR to throw into the mix. Maclin, Jackson and Blackmon. I like that. But he’s junior, hopefully he comes out.

So, can I just challenge the whole season and start over again?

Anyway, back to reality. John Skelton came into the Linc with the 2-6 Cardinals, he led a 4th quarter comeback and the Cardinals came away with a 21-17 win as 14 point underdogs.

The good: Asante got a pick six. The bad: Vick threw 4 INTs (lucky for him 2 were negated by penalties). The Ugly: DeSean blew off a team meeting and got benched.

I guess Andy has to go. This team has no fire, no passion and they have no heart late in games. They’ve only won 3 games, at Rams, at Redskins and vs. Cowboys. So, we have wins against 2 of the worst teams in the league and a nice blowout of Dallas. But when push comes to shove, they can’t get it done. They’ve blown late leads to the Falcons, Giants, 49ers, Bears and now the Cardinals.

The drumbeats are sounding, the ‘Fire Andy’ movement will be in full force this week. I’m sure that idiot with the signs will be outside of NovaCare. Hopefully he bought himself a dictionary.

As much as I don’t want to, I’m writing off the rest of this season. I have to. I can’t hold out any more hope for a team that has proved multiple times that it can’t close games. Watching the 49ers/Giants game made me long for the days of good football. Both teams fought to the end, to the last seconds, the game went down to the final play in the red zone. You didn’t want to count Eli out (yeah, I just wrote that), even after two bad interceptions he answered with a threaded needle for a TD. And the 49ers were punching back everytime the Giants landed a left hook. I want that kind of fight. I want a team that will die on the field to get a win, these guys aren’t doing it.

Maybe a new coach, but who knows what the answer is. Bill Cowher? John Gruden? Rob Ryan? Some unknown assistant with a nice binder full of laminated plays and schemes (ala Andy Reid back in 1999)? The triumverate (Lurie, Reid and Banner) needs to step back, evaluate the coaches and management, and make a move. Maybe move Andy upstairs, let someone else call the plays? I don’t know. Something has to be done.  But knowing the track record of the Big 3, I’m not holding my breath.

Onto the Monday Night pick…

Monday Night Football: Vikings at Packers

Green Bay hosting Minnesota. The Packers are a 13 point favorite, total is 50 points.

There's gonna be alot of Lambeau Leaping tonight

I’m not expecting the Vikings to be in this game at all. Blowout city. But laying 13 points opens us up to a back door cover. I’m looking at this game as a scorefest. And I’m going with OVER 50 points.

I’m bucking a big trend here. This season teams coming off bye weeks have hit UNDER in 20 of 27 games including 2 UNDERs from the 3 teams off bye weeks in this past Sunday’s games. So I’m working in the minority here.

Green Bay can score, we all know that. They’re averaging 34 points a game. They’re also 8-0 and looking to keep the undefeated season alive. A home game on Monday Night is something teams circle on the schedule when it first comes out. So expect a top effort from Green Bay. The Packers are playing a division rival, but one that’s not very good. Minnesota is 2-6 and going nowhere fast. They have Adrian Petersen, the best RB in the league (sorry Shady, your #2). But the Vikes have improved the past few games. Christian Ponder took over for Donovan McNabb full-time in Week 7 and since then they have put up 24 and 27 points and they’re coming into this game off of a bye week. So they’ll be rested. Ponder is good. The rookie QB crop this season is pretty solid (Andy Dalton and Cam Newton are probably battling for Rookie of the Year) and Ponder is one of the better ones.

AP is ready for a big game.

Ponder already matched up against the Packers in his 1st pro start in Week 7, and put up a decent game but lost 33-27 at home. So he’s already seen the Green Bay defense, and he did ok with them. Petersen is going to get his touches, he had 175 yards rushing and a TD in Week 7 vs. Green Bay. I expect the Vikings to try to slow down the game by staying on the ground and keeping the Packers off the field, but it’s probably not going to work for too long.

Green Bay has put up points this season, their lowest scoring game was when they scored only 24 points vs the Rams 2 weeks ago. Last week they went to San Diego and won 45-38. I expect Rogers to put the ball up early and often, try to get a big lead and take AP out of the game, forcing Ponder to throw. At least that’s what I would do if I was playing this matchup in Madden.

You may not be aware of this but the Green Bay defense is not very good. They’re 8-0 despite the fact that they have the 22nd ranked defense. That’s says alot about their offense’s ability to outscore teams.

And while Minnesota’s defense is a far cry from the Purple People Eaters of the 70’s, at #20 they’re ranked higher than the Packers D. But they do have the 21st ranked pass defense, so I expect Aaron Rogers to have 3 TD’s, maybe 4. Another great fantasy game for Rogers.

I think the Vikings will figure out a way to score in the 20’s, and the Packers will score early and often and get into the 30’s, and that’ll put the game OVER 50.

How about Rogers throws 4 TD’s, the Packers move to 9-0 and cheeseheads rejoice with a 37-24 Packers win in a division beatdown of the Vikings.

The Line: Green Bay -13, O/U 50
The Pick: Green Bay / Minnesota OVER 50
Games Trends (via Covers.com): Vikings: 1-6-1 ATS in their last 8 vs. NFC North. Packers: OVER is 7-2 in last 9 games as a home favorite.

R.I.P Joe Frazier.

R.I.P 2011 Eagles.

Season Record: 11-9. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.
Fantasource

 

 

 

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

  • Follow me on Twitter: @Fantasource
  • Email me fantasource@gmail.com
  • Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments

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The Degenerate: Week 9 MNF: Bring on the Bears!

Losing sucks. Especially when we were on such a nice winning streak for a few weeks. We lost our pick yesterday with Dallas laying 11′, the Cowboys could only muster a 10 point win. They had plenty of chances to expand the lead but they ended up with early FG’s instead of TD’s, and a late 4th quarter TD drive from Seattle sealed the pointspread loss. It wasn’t quite a backdoor cover because there was still six minutes left, but it felt the same. That’s karma for betting on the Cowboys, I guess. Oh, and Eli drove 80 yards at the end of the 4th quarter to beat the Patriots in Foxboro? Bad Sunday all around.

Ok, enough looking back let’s look forward to tonight’s big Eagles matchup.

Monday Night Football, Eagles vs. Chicago Bears. Let’s make a pick and get back on the winning track.

Another game under the lights

So, it wasn’t too long ago that the ‘football experts’ were throwing dirt on the Eagles’ grave. Andy was on his way out, the Dream Team was a bust, you can’t buy a championship, etc. Now, after two division wins including an impressive beatdown of the Cowboys last week, the Eagles are suddenly the ‘hot’ team in the NFL. Everyone in town is back on the bandwagon (or so says Jason Avant) and the rest of the league is taking notice. Note to Jason: we never left.

The division race is heating up, it’s currently a three way race with the Eagles, Giants and Cowboys. Every week is a must win now for the Eagles as they try to keep pace. And with the Giants beating the Patriots on Sunday, we need this win even more. A loss will drop us 3 games out, and that would be tough to recover from with 8 games left. Really, there’s not alot of margin for error at this point in the season for Andy and the boys.

The Bears, on the other hand, are 4-3 but seemingly in a worse position than the Eagles. Forget division title, they’re probably looking at a wildcard spot at best. Yes, they are 4-3 (better record than the Eagles), but they’re not catching the Packers for the division title. They beat Atlanta at home to open the season, but since then they have pretty much beaten the bad teams and lost to the good teams. They have wins against Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Carolina (and Atlanta), and losses to New Orleans, Detroit and Green Bay. All the losses were by double digits, so maybe the Eagles laying eight is the play? I don’t know. I think this will be a tight, low scoring game. So I decided to look at the total.

Job #1: Stopping Forte

I know I’m killing you all with the UNDER picks lately, but I’m doing it again. I like the Eagles/Bears UNDER 47.5. UNDERs hit big on Sunday, 10 of 13 games went under, including all of the 1pm games.

Also, another trend to note is that teams off of the bye week (like the Bears) have hit 17 UNDERS in 23 games this season (including Sundays games). Note: The Eagles were coming off of a bye week last week and went UNDER.

The Eagles got a big win last Sunday night over Dallas, 34-7, and they were in control the whole game. The offense continued to show that they can move the ball, Shady took his game to another level (is he the best RB? 2nd best behind AP?), and the defense showed that they can step up and shut down a good offense. Chicago had a bye week, and 2 weeks ago they were in London to play the Bucs and they came away with a 24-18 win as 1.5 point favorites. They’re coming in rested and ready.

I’m expecting the Bears to keep it on the ground and not try to challenge our D-backs, I don’t think Jay Cutler has it in him to beat us by himself and the Bears know this. I would expect Chicago to rely on Forte for most of the offense (rushing , or catching passes out of the backfield). And since the Eagles are only ranked 30th vs the run (and 8th vs. the pass), I think that might be a good choice for Chicago.

I think we'll see alot of Shady

The Eagles defense has clamped down the past two games, giving up 13 points to Washington and 7 to Dallas. That, coupled with the Bears relying on the run, makes me think that this will be a ball control, short yardage type of game. Which would lend itself to the UNDER.

The Chicago defense is good. Ranked 10th overall at FootballOutsiders.com (12th vs. run and 12 vs. pass). Mike Vick and the offense have been playing well the past few games, so I expect them to be able to move the ball, but probably not at the rate they did vs. Dallas. Chicago D has played well the past 2 games, giving up less than 300 yards total offense in both games, and under 50 yard rushing (vs. Vikings: 286 total yards (50 yards rushing); vs. Bucs: 280 total yards (30 yard rushing)).

I’m expecting a low scoring, ball control type of game. Weather won’t be an issue, but it will be cold at gametime (40 degrees and clear skies). How about we keep giving it to Shady, Vick pulls out a few tricks, we control Forte and the Eagles move to .500 with a 27-10 win.

The Line: Eagles -8, O/U 47.5
The Pick: Eagles / Bears UNDER 47.5
Game Trends (via Covers.com): Chicago: Under is 20-8 in CHI last 28 road games.

Let’s get this one and close out the week with a winner.

Fantasource

 

 

 

Season Record: 10-7. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

  • Follow me on Twitter: @Fantasource
  • Email me fantasource@gmail.com
  • Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments

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The Degenerate: Week 9 Preview, Back to Work

I’m still a little giddy from that Cowboys massacre. Please allow me to sing a little diddy to Andy Reid…

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

Andy's giving mustache rides to the rest of the NFC East.

Ok, I’m back. Wow. Nothing better than whooping up on the Cowboys. It makes everyone feel better. That game was huge. It got us closer to the Giants, it vaulted us from the “and other teams…” list onto the short list for the NFC title race and it wiped that shit-eating grin off of Rob Ryan’s face. And after the game Rob Ryan was forced to admit he got out-coached, ‘”It’s all comes down to coaching, and Andy Reid….kicked my ass”, Ryan said after the game.’ Classic.

That win also was a wake-up call for the rest of the NFL. And the guys in Vegas took notice (all odds via Sportsbook.com). The books made some big adjustments to the season props after that game. And as it stands now the Eagles are the favorite to win the NFC East, the #2 choice to win the NFC at +600 and the #5 choice to win the Super Bowl at +1200.

After Week 8 the updated odds to win the NFC East are: Eagles +120, Giants +140, Cowboys +250, Redskins +1500. Wow, just four weeks ago the Redskins were leading the pack at +150 and the Eagles were bringing up the rear at +300. My, how times have changed.

Of course, if you follow this column, you know that we predicted this back after Week 5. And then again after Week 6. Hopefully you got in on the fun and grabbed the Eagles to win the division at those good odds. But at +120, I’d probably stay away, the value is gone. I mean, we are definitely looking good but we’re still two games back of the Giants, and they have a head to head win in hand. So +120 is nice, but the payout is too low to make a play right now.

The NFC East division race will tighten up over the next few weeks. The Eagles have the Bears and Cardinals at home (two winnable game), the Cowboys get another laugher this week against Seattle, then Buffalo, both at home (1-1, 2-0?). The Giants have the Patriots and the 49ers, both on the road (0-2?). So we could be be looking at a 1st place tie going into the Giants/Eagles Week 11 matchup in the Meadowlands. Holy smokes. I’m ready for some revenge on Eli and Victor Cruz (remember that guy?).

But first, we have a Monday Night matchup against the Chicago Bears to get past. We’ll have a preview of that game in this post, and also look at the line move of the week, but first let’s recap last weekend (do we really have to?)…

Week 8 Revisited:

1-2. Not good, but we're not giving up.

Last week was rough, we went 1-2. We had a winner on the Eagles/Cowboys UNDER, but losers on the Ravens (ugly) and the Chargers (heartbreaking). We had such a nice run for four weeks and then we got hit in the gut. But that happens every once in a while, you gotta take your lumps and move on. Let’s get some more winners this week.

We’re 10-6 on the season (see all the picks here), and 9-4 the past four weeks, so we’re making some money (but this is for amusement purposes only, as we’ve been saying all along). And the only way to get on a winning streak is to start winning (I might trademark that). Onto the Week 8 recap…

Eagles / Cowboys UNDER 51 – what more can I say about this one. You all watched it. The Birds blew them out. I expected a tight game, but the Cowboys defense forgot to show up. It did get hairy in the 4th when the Cowboys scored on a 70 yard TD pass to put the game at 41 points with just under 13 minutes left. Thankfully, no more points were scored. and we got out of there with a 34-7 final. Winner.

Ravens -13 over Cardinals – Some games you can just give up on early. This was one of them. Cardinals came into Baltimore and jumped out to a 24-3 lead in the 2nd quarter, and they were getting 13 points, so this one was dead before halftime. The Ravens did fight back to tie the game at 24 with 9 minutes left and I thought we had a slight chance to pull it out. But Flacco was Flacco and the Ravens couldn’t get into the end zone. The Ravens settled for a FG at the buzzer to get a 30-27 win, but no cover. Loss.

Chargers -3 over Chiefs – Here’s the game in two sentences… Chargers fought back from down 10, and were driving at the end of the game when Phillip Rivers fumbled the snap in the red zone before they had a chance to kick a chip shot FG to win (and get us a push). The Chiefs won 23-20 on a FG in OT. Done.

The rest of the details don’t matter and would probably make me even more mad if I typed them out. That was our toughest loss this season and one that gamblers don’t forget. Loss.

Week 9 Preview

Hometown Preview: Eagles vs. Chicago Bears
Opening Line: Eagles -7 / 47
Current Line: Eagles -8’ / 47
Game Trends (via Covers.com): Bears are 20-8 UNDER last 28 road games

Smile, Jay. It's gonna be ok

Coming off the huge Sunday night win, we get to follow up at home with a Monday Night contest against the Bears. People took notice of that Sunday night win and moved the line up from Eagles -7 to Eagles -8’. That’s a huge jump. Seven points is a key number and one that books don’t move off of easily. And to move all the way to 8’ is saying something.

I would expect some sharp money to come in on the Bears at +8’, but the public will probably lay the points and take the Eagles. The 8’ number makes this a solid teaser option. Taking the Eagles and dropping to -2’ looks like a nice choice, or pushing the Bears up to +14′ might also have some value.

This game will get the most action from gamblers this weekend for a few reasons: it’s Monday Night, it’s two high profile teams, and suddenly the Eagles are the hot team. And I’ll predict that Sportsbookspy.com will have the Eagles getting 65%+ of the action in this game. The Eagles have definitely become a ‘public’ team.

Quick look at the Bears: The Bears are 4-3 with wins vs. Atlanta, vs. Carolina, vs. Minnesota and vs. Tampa Bay (in London) and with losses @ New Orleans, vs. Green Bay and @Detroit. So basically they beat the bad teams at home, and lose to the good teams, so the 4-3 record is a little misleading.

The key to this game will be whether the Eagles can stop Matt Forte. He leads the Bears in rushing yards and receiving yards. He is their whole offense. If we stop him, we win the game. Jay Culter isn’t going to beat us with the pass, no way. And the Bears defense is good but it can’t match up with our skill players. Shady probably won’t get 185 yards rushing this week, but he should do fine. Chicago gets Detroit in Week 10, so there could be a look ahead there, since they lost to Detroit on Monday Night back in Week 5. The Eagles could have a little letdown after the huge division win over Dallas, but I expect them to be fired up for this game as well. The letdown may hit the following week vs. Arizona.

Both teams are 3-4  against the spread. Both opened the season with a cover, then dropped 4 straight against the spread, and have covered the last 2 games. The Bears are 0-3 ATS as an underdog this season.

Quick stat to digest until Monday: The Bears OL is 27th in pass protection, the Eagles DL is 3rd in pass rush. Translation: We are going to eat Jay Cutler for dinner.

I’m leaning towards the Eagles and UNDER in this one. We’ll break the game down and make a pick in Monday’s column.


Big Line Move of the Week:
Atlanta Falcons at Indianapolis Colts
Opening Line: Falcons -9 / 45
Current Line: Falcons -7 / 44.5
Game Trends (via Covers.com): Falcons are 7-1 ATS (in last 8 games) vs. teams with losing records

You hear this guy? He said "we almost got you." It was 62-7.

When I saw this line move at first I thought, why? Atlanta is a much better team. The are coming off a bye week. They just had a huge road win at Detroit. The Colts are 0-8, and going nowhere fast. They just lost 62-7 to the Saints. How can they expect to hang with the Falcons?

When you look at the numbers a little closer you see some interesting trends, like the Colts haven’t lost by more than eight points at home this season. They’re coming home after 3 straight road games. The Falcons are 1-3 ATS on the road this season. Maybe the wiseguys wanted to grab the 9. Home team getting over a TD seems like a decent spot.

But my analysis boils down to this: The Colts have a terrible defense (#32 out of 32), the Falcons have a good defense (#6). I could see the Falcons putting up 40 points. I mean, the Colts give up 144 yard rushing per game, Michael Turner could have a huge day.

It looks like the sharps grabbed the high number expecting the Colts to make a game of it. I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I would lean towards the Falcons laying 7 points or less and the OVER. This could be a high scoring game, with most of the points coming from Atlanta, something like 35-17.

Tweet of the Week

The Texans have a nice crew of running backs. Arian Foster, Derrick Ward and Ben Tate are probably the best 3-back combo in the league. And now we know why. You know the old saying, “The team that practices Bikiram Yoga together, stays together.”

Remember back in the late-70’s when fans gave Lynn Swann some flack for taking ballet lessons to improve his agility? Well, looking at the success of the Texans RB’s, maybe more teams should be sweating to the oldies together.

But really, Ben Tate is scared of yoga? C’mon Man!™ (trademark Mike Ditka)

https://twitter.com/#!/derrickward32


Coming up on Friday… the Week 9 picks.

Fantasource

 

 

 

Season Record: 10-6. You can see all my picks for the 2011 season documented here.

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

  • Follow me on Twitter: @Fantasource
  • Email me fantasource@gmail.com
  • Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments

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The Degenerate: Week 8 MNF: Stay Classy, San Diego

What a win last night. Wow. There’s nothing more fun that slapping around the Cowboys. Especially on national TV. Birds looked good, 2nd place with a bullet. Bears and Cardinals in the next 2 weeks, then it’s a showdown with the Giants for 1st

Yo Cowboys, Why U Mad?

place. Hope you all got in your ‘Eagles to win the NFC East’ bet when it was +300 or +240. New odds come out tomorrow, I think we’ll see the Eagles as the 2nd choice. My quick guess: Giants +120, Eagles +150, Cowboys +200, Washington +500.

1-1 yesterday, lost on the Ravens -12, won on the Eagles UNDER. Still hitting at 9-3 in the last 12, so still in the black (for amusement purposes only).

Enough about Sunday, let’s get onto the Monday night pick, Chargers at Chiefs…

I guess if you’re from Kansas City or San Diego, or if you were a fan of the old AFL, then this game really strikes a chord. But I’m from Philadelphia, and I shot my ‘big game, huge rivalry’ load last night with the Birds blasting the Cowboys out of the Linc. But alot of people are foaming at the mouth for this one, and I respect a true rivalry. These team hate each other from way back.  This one is a rematch from Week 4 when KC went out to San Diego as 14 point dogs and almost pulled the upset. Chargers managed a tight 20-17 win.

Well, here we are four weeks later and the line is Chargers -3, a huge adjustment from the first game.

When I handicap I like to look at past games to see who a team has played to get where they are at. In this case, KC started

Obligatory Halloween image...

0-3 with some ugly losses and looked to headed for the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes. But they’ve run off three wins in a row and now stand at 3-3 and only a game out of 1st place. But lets look closer at those three wins. Week 4 they beat Minnesota 22-17, Week 5 they beat the Colts 28-24 and Week 6 they beat the Raiders 28-0. Only the Raiders win is worth anything and I’m discounting that because it was their first game with Carson Palmer and Palmer and Kyle Boller managed to throw six INT’s. Also in that game they pitched a 28-0 shutout but got out-gained by 82 total yards (getting 2 pick-sixes will do that).

If we look at the Chargers, they stand at 4-2 and in 1st place but have only beaten Minnesota (2-6), KC (3-3), Miami (0-7) and Denver (2-5), with losses to New England and the Jets. So the Chargers are really in the same boat as KC. No real impressive wins on either side. I mean they both beat Minnesota at home by pretty much the same score (KC 24-17, SD 22-17). While San Diego lost to New England on the road they did play them tough for 3 quarters, and they were in the Jets game for the whole game on the road too, so they proved that they can play good teams tight on the road. So I’ll give that some weight.

Cassel v. Rivers. Who ya got?

In a game that is a true toss-up I’m going with San Diego -3 to get the win and cover in Kansas City on Monday Night. The Chargers get alot of flack for never winning the big games, for starting slow, for managing to lose winnable games, etc. But they have talent, at least on offense. Love or hate him Phillip Rivers is pretty good. And he throws to Vincent Jackson and Antonio Gates. They have a decent running game with Ryan Mathews and Mike Tolbert (questionable for tonight). KC has Matt Cassel, Dwayne Bowe and a hodge podge of RB’s filling in for injured Jamal Charles (Jackie Battle, Dexter McCluster, Thomas Jones). I think the Chargers get it done. This is a must win for them, and I think they get it.

KC does have a home field advantage, one of the biggest in the league. They’re 8-2 at home in their last 10 games at Arrowhead, and they beat San Diego at home last season, on Monday Night, so that did factor in my decision.

FootballOutsiders.com has them as almost dead even. According to FO, the Chargers are #14 on offense, #26 on Defense, and KC is #25 on offense, #15 on defense. So this game is a true tossup. But I’m looking at this as a matchup of talent and skill players and I think San Diego has the edge. Better QB, better RB’s, better WR/TE combo. I also think they remember Week 4, they will be ready and not get caught sleeping like they did four weeks ago. The better talent wins, and I think the Chargers have the better talent.

I’m saying Norv goes on the road, into hostile Arrowhead Stadium and gets a win to take sole possession of 1st place in the AFC West. Chargers 27 Chiefs 17.

The Line: Chargers -3,  O/U 44.5
The Pick: Chargers -3

I’ll give you all one more day to soak in the Cowboys win last night, then it’s onto next Monday Night against Da Bears.

 

 

 

Questions, comments, links to share, etc… You can get in touch with me multiple ways:

  • Follow me on Twitter: @Fantasource
  • Email me fantasource@gmail.com
  • Or just let me know your thoughts in the comments

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