Friday, November 6, 2009

Week 9 NFL picks

Due to a conference, I’m posting my picks earlier than usual. Last week I picked 9 out of 13 games correctly.

Washington at Atlanta: ATLANTA

Arizona at Chicago: ARIZONA

Baltimore at Cincinatti: BALTIMORE

Houston at Indianapolis: INDIANAPOLIS

Miami at New England: NEW ENGLAND

Green Bay at Tampa Bay: GREEN BAY

Kansas City at Jacksonville: JACKSONVILLE

Detroit at Seattle: SEATTLE

Carolina at New Orleans: NEW ORLEANS

San Diego at N.Y. Giants: N.Y. GIANTS

Tennessee at San Francisco: SAN FRANCISCO

Dallas at Philadelphia: PHILADELPHIA

Pittsburgh at Denver: DENVER

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Week 8 NFL picks

Week 7 was just a mediocre bounce-back performance for me, picking 8 of 13 of the winners. I had a “Two For The Money” week against the spread however, picking 11 of 13 games correctly. That’s pretty damn good if I say so, myself.

On to my week 8 picks…

Houston at Buffalo: HOUSTON

Cleveland at Chicago: CHICAGO

Seattle at Dallas: DALLAS

St. Louis at Detroit: DETROIT

San Francisco at Indianapolis: INDIANAPOLIS

Miami at N.Y. Jets: N.Y. JETS

Denver at Baltimore: BALTIMORE

N.Y. Giants at Philadelphia: N.Y. GIANTS

Jacksonville at Tennessee: TENNESSEE

Oakland at San Diego: SAN DIEGO

Minnesota at Green Bay: MINNESOTA

Carolina at Arizona: ARIZONA

Atlanta at New Orleans: NEW ORLEANS

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's All About The Chips

Whatever your personal feelings are about them, arguably the two most loved and hated teams in professional sports will be sharing the championship spotlight over the next two nights.

Tonight at 10:15 p.m. EST in Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, and the rest of the Los Angeles Lakers will be receiving their brand new championship rings. (Lebron, make sure you're in front of a TV after your game to get a good look - LOL)

This will be the 15th championship for the Lakers franchise, and in case you missed my blog "Memo To Laker-Haters:" click here for an explanation on why they will be receiving their 16th championship ring this time next year.

At 7:57 p.m. EST tomorrow night, 3000 miles away, the New York Yankees will host game 1 of the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. (Shortly after a pre-game performance of "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys... Major League Baseball is trying to step up their game, by the way!)

I'm picking the Yankees in 6 games. This will be their 27th World Championship.

Amidst all of the media hype, off-field drama, scandals, etc, this is what it's all about... Raising the trophy and being crowned "champion."

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week 7 NFL picks

Back when I was in high school, my friends and I had a saying: “Nothing like a good ass-whoopin’ to shut a m#+@$&f<@#r up.”

And in regards to last week’s picks, I’ll man-up and admit… I got my ass whooped! (5 out of 14 – no excuses for that kind of performance) Shit, I took I took it on the chin worse than "Red" in "Friday."

Ok, maybe not that bad...

So this week, I’m going back to the basics: No analysis… nothing but picks.

Green Bay at Cleveland: GREEN BAY

San Diego at Kansas City: KANSAS CITY

San Francisco at Houston: SAN FRANCISCO

Indianapolis at St. Louis: INDIANAPOLIS

Minnesota at Pittsburgh: MINNESOTA

New England at Tampa Bay: NEW ENGLAND

Buffalo at Carolina: CAROLINA

N.Y. Jets at Oakland: N.Y. JETS

Chicago at Cincinatti: CINCINATTI

Atlanta at Dallas: DALLAS

New Orleans at Miami: NEW ORLEANS

Arizona at N.Y. Giants: N.Y. GIANTS

Philadelphia at Washington: PHILADELPHIA

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Week 6 NFL picks

Last week was my 5th straight week of double-digit games correctly picked. My score of 10 out of 14 brings my yearly total to 56 games correctly picked thus far – which puts me in the top 2.3% of all people in ESPN’s Pigskin Pick ‘Em. Other then the Colts’ route of the Titans (I should probably take a negative on that pick), the teams I picked to win that lost (Bills, Ravens, and Redskins) all lost by just 3 points apiece.

Last week was also my 1st week of picking games against the spread… that went just as well, with me picking 10 out of the 14 games correctly.
(click the image below for a detailed view of my week 5 picks against the spread)

Moving on to this week’s picks…

Houston at Cincinatti: CINCINATTI
Cedric Benson’s ability to produce the type of #’s that people were expecting from Steve Slaton at the start of the season (but has yet to deliver) gives the Bengals the edge here.

Detroit at Green Bay: GREEN BAY
The Packers will not only win, but cover the double-digit spread against the Lions. Given Calvin Johnson’s unknown status as to whether or not he’ll play, I have a feeling this one will get out of hand early.

Baltimore at Minnesota: BALTIMORE
Yeah, the Vikings are 5-0. However, their wins have come against the 1-4 Browns, 1-4 Lions, 3-2 49ers, 2-2 Packers, and 0-5 Rams. This will be their toughest matchup yet, and with Percy Harvin banged up, how many legitimate threats will Brett Favre have at his disposal? I expect the Ravens to stack the box heavily to stop Adrian Peterson.
And one more thing… yeah, Ray “Killa” Lewis was penalized 15 yards (which helped give Cincinatti a win over the Ravens last week) and fined $25,000 for it, but don’t you think the Vikings’ receivers will have this on their mind on any crossing routes over the middle?

N.Y. Giants at New Orleans: N.Y. GIANTS
Easily the game of the week. I know it’s only week 6 of the season, but both of these teams have looked good enough to be legitimate Super Bowl Champions… this could very well be the NFC championship game. I’m giving the edge to the Giants this week because of their experience, and like New Orleans, they are coming off a bye week. (Unless you want to count the Raiders as a real game)

Carolina at Tampa Bay: TAMPA BAY
I mean, who really cares?

Kansas City at Washington: WASHINGTON
Kansas City was able to take Dallas into overtime last week, but they should really struggle to put points on the board against Washington. (That is, unless Jason Campbell repeatedly turns the ball over and gives Kansas City a short field to work with.)

St. Louis at Jacksonville: JACKSONVILLE
Can you believe what Donnie Avery did when he scored that meaningless touchdown last week? Instead of the “Stanky Leg,” he should’ve been doing “The Jerk.” What an idiot! And I feel sorry for Steven Jackson. He would be a superstar in this league if he was on another team. Unfortunately for him, they will be down early again, and Marc Bulger will be forced to throw early and often.

Cleveland at Pittsburgh: PITTSBURGH
Rashard Mendenhall is healthy enough to play despite battling the flu earlier this week. Willie Parker will be ready to go. And most importantly, Troy Polamalu will be back to anchor Pittsburgh’s defense. The Steelers win in a blowout.

Arizona at Seattle: SEATTLE
Matt Hasselbeck is back. And he and T.J. Houshmandzadeh seem to be clicking now. Arizona’s pass defense ranks last in the league. If Seattle can get some early sacks or knockdowns on Kurt Warner (you know how he gets all woozy when he’s hit), they should win pretty easily.

Philadelphia at Oakland: PHILADELPHIA
It was getting so ugly at the Meadowlands last week, Eli Manning didn’t have to play through the 2nd quarter against Oakland. Since this game is in Oakland, Donovan McNabb may play 3 quarters.

Buffalo at N.Y. Jets: N.Y. JETS
Braylon Edwards has to feel good about having a legitimate QB to throw him the ball. But if you don’t think he was purposely playing like a buster just so that he could be traded (a la Randy “I look like I should retire with the Raiders to I’m still the most dangerous WR in the league with the Patriots” Moss), then you probably think Terrell Owens is still relevant.

Tennessee at New England: NEW ENGLAND
People are beginning to see that Albert Haynesworth was literally, and figuratively, a HUGE reason why the Tennessee Titans were so successful last year. Tom Brady and the Patriots will actually look like a dangerous team again this week.

Chicago at Atlanta: ATLANTA
This should be a great game. I expect a high-scoring game, and because the game is being played in the Georgia Dome, the Falcons will come out on top.

Denver at San Diego: SAN DIEGO
Denver is for real. They proved that last week. But if San Diego finds a way to get the ball in Darren Sproles’s hands at least 15 times, the Chargers will end the Broncos’ undefeated streak, in this divisional matchup.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Week 5 NFL picks

Cleveland at Buffalo: BUFFALO
Terrell Owens will definitely catch more than his current season-high 3 receptions against this Browns defense, and Trent Edwards HAS to be motivated to have a big game after what Rob Ryan had to say, right? (By the way Rob, I couldn't stick with that p90x either. Did the yoga throw you off, too?)

Pittsburgh at Detroit: PITTSBURGH
Daunte Culpepper is starting at quarterback and Calvin Johnson is a little banged up… (Not like Matthew Stafford would have necessarily been a better option against Dick Lebeau’s defense.)

Dallas at Kansas City: DALLAS
If the Cowboys lose this game, Wade Phillips needs to be fired. Hold up... That should already be the plan!

Minnesota at St. Louis: MINNESOTA
150 rushing yards against this defense may be a disappointment for Adrian Peterson. What is A.P.’s career high? He might surpass that. Seriously. And, check out this clip from the Viking's opening game of the 2009 season. How many of the running backs in the NFL have the talent to do this? In the 4th quarter. Exactly. 1.

Oakland at N.Y. Giants: N.Y. GIANTS
With or without Eli Manning, this will probably get ugly.

Tampa Bay at Philadelphia: PHILADELPHIA
Andy Reid’s agent picked a great week to publicize his client’s contract extension negotiations. The Eagles will win BIG with the return of Donovan McNabb and Bryant Westbrook. I look forward to seeing Michael Vick get some playing time, too.

Washington at Carolina: WASHINGTON
As bitch-made as Jason Campbell has been playing (Yes, "bitch-made" - I can say that since I don’t work for ESPN), he’s still been out-playing Jake Delhomme. As long as Jim Zorn doesn’t have DeAngelo “most overrated, over-paid cornerback ever” Hall covering Steve Smith, the Redskins should be fine - even with this dude as their quarterback.

Cincinatti at Baltimore: BALTIMORE
If this game was in Cincinatti this week, I’d probably pick the Bengals. The Ravens are just too good at home, and Cincinatti needs to show me more. Ed Reed has been relatively quiet up to this point so far this season… I expect him to make a couple of BIG plays. (Plays that will be way more relevant to the game's outcome than any clever TD celebrations Chad Ochocinco can come up with.)

Atlanta at San Francisco: ATLANTA
A lot of people aren’t talking about this game… but this is a big matchup between two former division rivals, that could also be a preview to a possible playoff matchup. This was the toughest game for me to pick this week. Glen Coffee has talent, but he’s no Frank Gore. And without the 49ers having a legitimate downfield receiving threat (Michael Crabtree will change that... just not this week), the Falcons should be able to stack the box with defenders and stifle Coffee and put a lot of pressure on Shaun Hill. Still, the 49ers defense is SOLID, so it won't be easy for Matt Ryan and company, either. If Michael Turner gets 20+ carries, the Falcons will pull out this tough game on the road.

Jacksonville at Seattle: SEATTLE
David Garrard had a big game last week. Mike Sims-Walker is emerging as a big-time receiver. But Julius Jones normally plays well at home and the Seattle fans are some of the loudest in the league. (I'm so glad I don't live in either of these markets... otherwise I'd be subjected to watching this crappy matchup, pitting Seneca Wallace vs. David Garrard... and there are people who actually question whether Tim Tebow can be a quarterback in the NFL?)

Houston at Arizona: ARIZONA
Ah, yes... the Fantasy Super Bowl! There will be more eyes on this game’s boxscore than any other game on the schedule. Kurt Warner, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, Tim Hightower, Steve Breaston, Matt Schaub, Steve Slaton, Andre Johnson, Kevin Walter, and Owen Daniels… I can almost guarantee that you either have a player in this game in one of your starting lineups, or you’ll be facing a team, in one of your leagues, that has one of these players in their starting lineup. (Quick question... if you're a football fan and don't play fantasy football, what the hell is wrong with you? You're seriously missing out.)

New England at Denver: DENVER
I think Josh McDaniels is ready for this matchup against his former boss and mentor. The question is… is Kyle Orton? Orton is in pretty much the same position he was in for so long with the Chicago Bears. His defense is stingy. All he needs to do is manage the game and not turn the ball over. One thing he has now that he didn’t have before, however, is a receiver with the talent of Brandon Marshall.

Indianapolis at Tennessee: TENNESSEE
I don’t remember ever seeing the Titans host a Sunday night game. It should be an electric environment. I refuse to believe that a team that had 13 wins last year will start off 0-5. They’ll feed Chris Johnson. And then feed him some more. As good as Peyton Manning is, his streak of 300-yard passing games will come to an end on Sunday night.

(MONDAY NIGHT) N.Y. Jets at Miami: MIAMI
Unlike most players these days that pop off at the mouth, Joey Porter tends to not only back up his words with actions, but he seems to motivate and inspire his teammates, too. This week will be the 2nd consecutive mediocre performance for Mark Sanchez.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Memo To Laker-Haters:

I’m writing this to all of the Laker haters. Some friends, some family, many strangers… all motivators.

Of course it’s a long season. Of course there will be trades, injuries, internal team drama, etc that can and will happen, but…

It’s time for you haters to unite. It’s time to pool your efforts. It’s been said that there is power in prayer. That’s very true. Honestly, that would probably be your best option. Pray for a trade by the Cavaliers to get another key player (Stephen Jackson would be a pretty good fit – but not necessarily enough). Pray for an energized and healthy Kevin Garnett to return (and a trade by the Celtics to get another key player – or two). Pray for dissension and/or injuries to affect the Lakers. Otherwise, based solely on talent… there is NO WAY this Laker team that Mitch Kupchak has assembled loses 4 out of 7 games to ANY current NBA team in the playoffs.

In their first game together since acquiring Ron Artest in the offseason and losing one of their 2009 playoff heroes Trevor Ariza (albeit a meaningless preseason game against the mediocre Golden State Warriors, where they won 118-101), the Los Angeles Lakers looked like every bit of a 70+ game winner. They were leading by 16 points at halftime (65-49). Kobe Bryant had the Warriors players cursing out the referees in frustration in the 2nd quarter. He only scored 22 of the 118. This team, which was stacked last year, has only gotten better. Ron Artest, in his Laker debut, had 12 points, 9 rebounds, 7 assists, and 2 steals (in only 23 minutes). Andrew Bynum had 24 points in 30 minutes, and shot 8-9 on free throw attempts. However, I have to ask, “Why only 5 rebounds, Drew?” That’s an area of major concern for me… that shows he doesn’t yet have that fire in him. (Maybe it will be there next year when they go for the three-peat).

The potential lineup combinations for the Lakers are scary, though. Just look at some of the players the Lakers have on their roster:

· Pau Gasol, who is the most skilled big man in the game.

· Lamar Odom, one of the most versatile players in the NBA, is a matchup nightmare for opposing coaches.

· Artest, who can score 20+ points on any given night and provide lockdown defense on the opposing team’s best perimeter player/scorer.

· Andrew Bynum, who still has a long way to go to reach his potential, would be the best player and #1 option on more than half of the teams in the league.

· Derek Fisher, whose age is much less of a factor considering the depth the team has at the point guard position… he won’t have to play as many minutes during the regular season.

· Luke Walton and Jordan Farmar would both be starters on most teams

· Shannon Brown, who plays with as much energy and hustle as anyone in the league when he comes in off the bench. Check out this play from the preseason opener. Pay attention to how his defensive awareness enabled him to steal the ball in the first place…

· While tweets from some fellow @lakersnation fans declaring Sasha Vujacic was “back” after he made 3 field goals last night were laughable, he, along with Adam Morrison, should both provide timely offense off the bench.

· And, of course, the best player in the NBA, Kobe Bryant, is still the leader of this team.

Bottom line: this shirt bearing the number of rings (ie, championships) Bryant has won will be obsolete in about 9 months, when the Black Mamba adds his 5th "chip."

Between all of the haters, and my first full NBA season on Twitter, this championship run will be a lot of fun!

**To all the Lakers fans on Twitter, let’s make “#16” a trending topic on every game day this season, as we enjoy the Lakers’ run to a 16th NBA championship!