Friday, November 03, 2006

The Picks: Week 9

Look at the parity heading into Week 9:

Point23: 22-28-4
Kilcs: 22-28-4
Mr. 'Em: 22-28-4
Zero: 22-28-4

That's pretty remarkable, isn't it? Well, remarkable in the sense that all four of us have identical records and that's pretty improbable; not remarkable in know, being remarkable. Well under .500. Poor effort by us. We should have to run some laps or something.

I think our records would be a little better if I would stop irrationally picking the 49ers, if Mr. 'Em would stop irrationally picking the Dolphins (0-7 against the spread. 0-7!), if Kilcs didn't let his fantasy players make his picks for him and if Zero stopped picking NBA games.

But hey: we ain't quitters. This week is dedicated to Avis: we try harder!

I'd like to take the time to dedicate the next four weeks to Shawne Merriman. I know I'll miss his Lights Out dance, which doesn't even look like he's turning out the lights.

Onto the picks...

Kansas City at St. Louis (-2.0)
Point23: Kansas City. I don't know why the Chiefs are good, but apparently they are. And yes, this is a spite pick because Simmons pissed me off. (Say what you will about Simmons - and I have - but no one previews the NBA better than he does. And his Friday NFL columns are the best. I wish he'd just stick to that stuff and not be so condescending all the time.)
Kilcs: St. Louis. Kansas City seems to be two different teams depending on where the game is played. Despite the fact that Huard is proving himself ot be a competend NFL QB and Larry Johnson is returning to form, I think the Rams have too much fire power on offense and will win in a high scoring affair.
Mr Em: Rams. Damon Huard has been playing like a Pro Bowler (Steelers game excluded) since he's replaced Trent Green, and I believe he's earned the starting job (8 tds, 1 int, 100.4 rating). Teams haven't been able to put 8 in the box to stop LJ because of Huard's effectiveness, and Kansas City's run game has benefited from that significantly. Neither team will be able to stop the other in this game, but I like the Rams because of home field advantage and I believe their offense can match whatever number KC puts up.
TheNumberZero: St. Louis. I think that the all-night-partying-with-porn-stars-Chiefs team is gonna show up. Herm Edwards can’t be too happy about that.

Cincinnati at Baltimore (-3.0)
Point23: Cincinnati. The Ravens have the most overrated secondary in the NFL. Ocho Cinco and TJ Doushmanzadeh expose it and completely ignore Rudi Johnson in the process. Do you think he gets pissed after the game when they are all hanging out? I bet he just sits there all quiet, but one of these times, he's gonna snap.
Kilcs: Cincy. Baltimore just whipped New Orleans, but I think the next few weeks will show that the Saints aren't the team that everyone hoped they would be. I think the Bengals have the most talent in the AFC North and their D will cause some turnovers.
Me Em: Ravens. Ocho Cinco might be turning into a Bengal Tiger, but he still plays like a pussycat. Ravens will control the game by winning the battle in the trenches, and like Jaws says, that. is. why. they'll win this game.
TheNumberZero: Baltimore. If you can win at the Saints, then you can beat the Bengals at home.

Houston at NY Giants (-13.0)
Point23: Giants. I think there's a very real chance to Brandon Jacobs shatters someones helmet with his knee in this game. I know this isn't anything new. but Jacobs is huge. I can't get over it. Its like the Giants suited up Dwight Howard.
Kilcs: NY. David Carr at the Meadowlands after being pulled for Sage Rosenfels. Not exactly a lot to be excited about if you're a Houston fan. At least Reggie Bush isn't as goodin real life as he is in Madden. The Giants are my pick for the 2 seed in the NFC playoffs.
Mr Em: Oilers. Put the damn oil rig back on the helmet already, Texans is just plain stupid. Giants have covered in their last four games. Houston's a bad, bad, bad team. One thing I've learned about the NFL is to expect the unexpected. So get naughty and slap them points on me!!!!!!!!
TheNumberZero: NY Giants. Baaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllinnnnnnn.

Tennessee at Jacksonville (-9.5)
Point23: Tennessee. If Jacksonville plays Atlanta, does the universe implode? I have no idea what either of those two teams are made of. I just don't see David Gerrard beating a team - any team - by 10.
Kilcs: Tennessee. Jacksonville is more the team that they were against Philly than the team they played against the Texans a couple of weeks ago, but they don't blow teams out. Ten points is still a lot in the NFL and the Titans have played very competitive football since the Indy game. That continues on Sunday.
Mr. Em:
The Jaguar bushes. I really like the Jaguars defense, and Garrard can get outside of the pocket and make some plays with any of his limbs. Freddy Taylor still has some gas in his tank, but I really think Maurice Jones-Drew is going to be a stud in this league for years to come.
TheNumberZero: Jacksonville. By 10. As long as fatty Leftwich isn’t playing. He can’t even make it over the wall on Battle of the NFL Superstars.

Dallas (-3.0) at Washington
Point23: Washington. Because it makes no sense, that's why.
Kilcs: Dallas. Joe Gibbs will be back in NASCAR next year and Bill Parcells might not be on the sidelines either, but Romo has rejuvenated him as well as TO. Dallas wins this and creates some separation between the haves (Dallas and NYG) and have nots (Wash and Philly) in the NFC East.
Mr. Em:
Cowboys. Dallas finally has what the Redskins cannot defend, and that is the pass. The Cowboys went from a team that looked like they had no chance of making the playoffs against the Giants and Panthers (for a quarter and a half), to a team that realistically can win their division.
TheNumberZero: Dallas. I like the fact that the entire NBA is sponsored by adidas. I think that is gonna be a good move. I like the three stripes on the back of the warm-ups and on the ref shirts.

Green Bay at Buffalo (-3.0)
Point23: Green Bay. I can't believe Buffalo is favored in this game. Did I miss something? I think Louisville could beat Buffalo.
Kilcs: Green Bay. Get on the bandwagon. With the way the NFL is set up, bad teams play other bad teams. So the better of the bad teams will wind up with a respectable record at the end of the season. Favre throws 3 more TDs and inches closer to breaking Skinny's record. Go Deep! (Papa John's!) (What a sellout Marino's become)
Mr Em: Buffalo. Logic tells Mr. Em to take the Packers given their 3-0 record against terrible teams - Lions, Dolphins, and Cardinals, but Mr. Em says the hell with logic! I don't want the points!!!!!!!
TheNumberZero: Cheeseheads. What a boring game. Jennings better play and have 2 scores and 150 yards.

New Orleans (-1.5) at Tampa Bay
Point23: New Orleans. When someone says "Tampa Bay" my first thought is John Gruden and then...blank. I don't think that's a good thing. (OK, Ronde Barber, Cadillac, Gradkowski. Yea. That's a lot better, isn't it?)
Kilcs: Tampa Bay. If Reggie Bush doesn't play, New Orleans is a totally different team. He's not as good as he is in Madden in real life, but he makes defenses have to be aware of him. Even if he does play, Tampa's due for a win at home and I think that Caddy has a semi-break out game this week.
Mr. Em: Bucs. After getting off to a rocky start, the Bucs have won 2 straight games at home against decent teams - Cincy and Philly. Tampa will avenge their 24-21 loss at New Orleans earlier this year. Just gimme that point and a half!!!!!!!!
TheNumberZero: Saints. Rebound. Speaking of rebounding, how bout D-Ho. I think that if he was on the National Team then they win it all. He would eat Baby Greek Shaq up and shit him out to look like Ala Abdenaly.

Atlanta (-5.5) at Detroit
Point23: Atlanta. Michael Smith wrote a pretty good piece - which I happen to agree with - saying that Manning and Brady will eventually be the two greatest QBs of all time. But if Mike Vick continues to pass like he has the last two games, he'll be the greatest weapon ever unleashed on pro football. Ever. There's no feasible way to defend him. And Michael Smith is the only redeemable person on ATH besides Reali.
Kilcs: Atl. The league should start to be afraid, very afraid. Mike Vick has become just ridiculous in the past couple of weeks. Currently ATL is a 26:1 shot to win the superbowl, if the steelers didn't screw me last week, I'd lay some money on them. And surely, a SuperBowl contender can beat the Lions by 6, right?
Mr Em: Falcons. Vick's playing the best football of his career, making plays in and out of the pocket. Detroit's looking forward to playing on Turkey Day once again, which for the 10th consecutive year, will be the only game that matters for them late in the season.
TheNumberZero: Falcons. The Pistons suck, no seriously I think they win 43 games this year and lose in the first round. Rasheed might not even play in that many games. They need a new coach, maybe Dumars can hire Matt Millen.

Miami at Chicago (-13.5)
Point23: Chicago. Are you kidding me? After last week? They couldn't set this line high enough. They could have set it at 28 and I'd still take the Bears.
Kilcs: Chicago. They are one of those good teams that blow out bad teams, not just beat them. The defense has been incredible at home (on the road for that matter too) and the Dolphins don't have any real weapons that they utilize in any effective manner. The spread will be covered by halftime.
Mr Em: Dolphins. The Miami Dolphins need to put complete focus on covering the spread (0-6-1) before they can think about winning a game (1-6). I've picked Miami in every football competition I've been in this year (i.e. gambling, fantasy football) and if I pick against them I know they'll royally screw me and cover. So with that said, I'll take the flippin' Dolphins once again, Bring back Skinny!!!!! and Give me the POINTS!!!!!!!
TheNumberZero: Bears. This line should be in the 20’s. Miami can’t score against a normal team, let alone this team. This could be worse than Heat-Bulls and that’s saying something.

Minnesota (-5.0) at San Francisco
Point23: San Fran. Bounce back game for the Niners; Minny can't recover from the beatdown on MNF. Plus, they suck. Somehow they have a good record, but they suck. I really believe this.
Kilcs: SF. They played decently in the beginning of the year and I think that the Patriots might have exposed the Vikes a little bit. This whole game managing thing by a QB is nice and all but it's good to have your QB make some plays too. Brad Johnson is solid, but doesn't make many plays. Minnesota may win but I think SF will cover.
Mr. Em: Vikings. Minnesota can't give up on the run like they did after the first quarter in that Monday night thrashing. They should be able to run the ball on the 49ers.
TheNumberZero: Vikings. You want me to talk about football, No. The T-Wolves are for real this year. You think that it’s about me. It’s about the power of 5. Your not a fool. Are you?

Cleveland at San Diego (-12.5)
Point23: San Diego. I just hope Marty doesn't have LT running up the score in the fourth quarter. He's gonna get hurt one of these times, Marty.
Kilcs: Cleveland. San Diego is definitely going to win this game. Definitely. But I think that Cleveland will play them close for some reason. Much to my dismay, Kellen Winslow is real good and I think he'll make some plays to keep it respectable.
Mr. Em: Chargers. It's true! Spread the good news....there IS a FANTASY GOD!!!! Next thing you know, dude's gonna be speakin' in tongues.
TheNumberZero: Browns. Here I come. Cannnnnnonballllllllll. You can’t beat the Browns by just training in a pool Phil, you just can’t do it.

Denver at Pittsburgh (-3.0)
Point23: Denver. Tom Brady couldn't pass on Denver, something is telling me Big Ben may struggle. Just thinking out loud here.
Kilcs: Denver. Is this really the right line? Are you sure? I realize I'm bitter that the Steelers burned me by not beating Oakland by 2, but there has been no reason to believe they can beat a good team. They've been close, but haven't done it yet all year. They have beat Miami and KC.
Mr. Em: Steelers. The past two weeks were must win games for the Steelers. You have to look at this as an elimination game if your Pittsburgh, because 10 wins doesn't guarantee you a playoff berth in the competitive AFC.
TheNumberZero: Denver. I have no other reasoning then me not trusting Big Ben right now. That’s it. Plus Pittsburgh needs an NBA team. Like soon. C’mon Cuban, let’s see what you can do.

Indianapolis at New England (-3.0)
Point23: Indianapolis. I know, I know. Brady owns Manning. The Colts can't stop the run; NE has a great power running game. Its at New England. I know all this. Really, I do. I just think Manning does it this year. I apologize in advance. And if I'm wrong, I'll blaze with Belichik's son.
Kilcs: New England. Indy's run defense bothers me and Belichik and Brady are 6-1 or 7-1 against Manning. Manning, more than any QB, can play a perfect game, but it's hard to play a perfect game every week. New England will win, but this is a great game.
Mr Em: Patriots. This comes down to fantasy football ethics. I have Brady and Maroney, my competitor has Manning.
TheNumberZero: New England. This will be a shootout and probably one of the best games of this year. Go Reggie Wayne.

Oakland at Seattle (-7.0)
Point23: Oakland. Three in a row, baby! Yea!
Kilcs: Seattle. Seneca Wallace didn't suck at KC. I think he'll play decent at home and Oakland's offense is still putrid, even though they've won 2 games now. Their defense cannot win 3 games in a row for them.
Mr Em: Raiders. When your not sure what your going to get out of either team, you quite simply (let's say it together now) TAKE THE POINTS!!!!!!!!!!
TheNumberZero: Oakland. What a horrible MNF game. I guess with such a great Sunday night game they had to make this one shitty.

Read the Rest After the Jump...

Tonight in the Association

You know what sucks about the NBA? On any given night, a team will just tank it. Completely pack it in. And you have no idea when it's coming, so betting on a random game is a complete crap shoot. Its not like the NFL where you know every time is trying its hardest to win every night. Miami couldn't even play hard on opening night for God's sake. Unless its a huge rivalry game, there's a 15% chance (maybe higher?) that Team X says "Screw it, we'll get the next one...Vin, put the bottle down - you're in!"

That said, we got a full slate of games tonight! We should drink or something. Yea, let'd do that. Onto the picks...

New Orleans at Indiana (-4.5)
NOOCH. Chris Paul vs. Jamal Tinsley. Um, you pick.

Milwaukee (-1.0) at Toronto
Milwaukee. Hey, its two teams who made an off-season trade! TJ Ford for Charlie Villanueva striaght up. I think the Bucks got the better end of the bargain, so we'll give them the nod here.

Philadelphia at Orlando (-5.5)
Orlando. Dwight Howard is the new Shaq.

Detroit (-2.5) at Boston
Boston. Can Sheed make it two-for-two? Do you believe? I believe.

New Jersey at Miami (-4.0)
New Jersey. Um, maybe if this was the playoff's last year. Miami really couldn't care less. Actually, they are so old I don't think they could care if they wanted to.

New York at Atlanta (-2.5)
Atlanta. Wow. Atlanta is favored. The team they are playing must suck...oh. The two most mismanaged teams in the last five years settle it on the court: who botched it worse? Well, only New York has their mastermind actually coaching them now. I think we found a winner.

Cleveland at San Antonio (-5.5)
Cleveland. Finals preview! I hope LeBron cracks Bruce Bowen's sternum in half.

Charlotte at Memphis (-4.0)
Charlotte. If you think I'm backing a team that a) lost to the Knicks and b) has the ugliest player in the NBA on its team,'d be wrong.

Sacramento at Chicago (-6.0)
Chicago. Ron Artest and Ben Wallace can guard eachother. The other 8 players on the court can play regular basketball.

Utah at Phoenix (-6.5)
Utah. Phoenix has to be getting a little tired, don't they?

Minnesota at Denver (-5.0)
Denver. If this really is "new Melo," he'll bounce back with a vengence. I think its new Melo.

Portland at Golden State (-8.5)
Portland. This is basically saying that Portland is far and away the worst team in the NBA, right? Over 8 point dogs to the Warriors? I hope I read that wrong or something. That's ridiculous.

Seattle at Los Angeles Lakers (-4.0)
Lakers. Is Kobe playing? Who cares? Long live Lamar!

Last night: 2-0. Season: 2-0.

Read the Rest After the Jump...