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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Get along, little doggies

Last weekend was a total bust in the pro football Underdog Pool in which I play. There were only two underdog winners -- Denver and the Giants -- and no one in the pool had either of them. And so I remain in second place, with a few other players breathing down my neck.

Several commenters on this blog liked the Giants, and one even had the Broncos on his list of four 'dogs with potential. Being a "value investor," I went with the lowly Lions, who weren't even decent.

It's Week 11, and although we're past the halfway point of the season, it's still not time to rest on my laurels. It's a 17-week regular season, and we play into the playoffs. I need the underdog (in caps on this list) who will win its game outright, without the benefit of the point spread. If I'm right, I get that many points toward my cumulative season total (currently at 34):

14 DETROIT at Carolina
11 OAKLAND at Miami
9 CINCINNATI vs. Philadelphia
8.5 HOUSTON at Indianapolis
7 ST. LOUIS at San Francisco
6.5 BALTIMORE at NY Giants
6 DENVER at Atlanta
4.5 KANSAS CITY vs. New Orleans
4.5 CLEVELAND at Buffalo
4.5 SAN DIEGO at Pittsburgh
4 MINNESOTA at Tampa Bay
3.5 NY JETS at New England (Thursday)
3 JACKSONVILLE vs. Tennessee
2.5 SEATTLE vs. Arizona

Readers, whom do you like in that pack? My first impression is that Houston, Baltimore, or Denver might be worth a shot. If I wanted to play safe, Jacksonville at home looks good, but I wouldn't go with that unless no other underdog shows enough promise. What do you think? (BTW, leaving the pool aside, there are a few interesting contests on this slate, aren't there?)

UPDATE, 11/13, 10:31 a.m.: Late add:

1.5 WASHINGTON vs. Dallas

UPDATE, 11/14, 4:40 a.m.: And:

3.5 CHICAGO at Green Bay

Comments (11)

I'm psyched. Greg Oden could play tomorrow night, and I just had 2 jokes about Sarah Palin on with McCain sitting right there in the green room, so I'm pumped up. I think Brett Favre is going to school the Patriots and I'm bummed that it's on the NFL network so the peeps can't watch.

In order of pref:
4 MINNESOTA at Tampa Bay
7 ST. LOUIS at San Francisco
4.5 CLEVELAND at Buffalo

The San Diego @ Pittsburg game is going to be the season for SDO.

-Kansas City will beat New Orleans
-Cleveland will beat Buffalo (Cleveland has to pull another one out sooner or later, and Buffalo is WAY overrated)
-and the Jets will beat New England (New England lost their best LB this week - when it rains, it pours)

I wouldn't mind St Louis beating San Francisco just for Singletary's post-game press conference.
Interesting that Dallas isn't included in their game against the Redskins.

St. Louis if Steven Jackson plays, otherwise Baltimore.

Really, I swear, sooner or later I will get one right. I PROMISE

Okay, winnowing them down:

Disregard SEA, JAX, DAL, NYJ (not enough points).

Disregard DET, OAK, CIN (suck too badly).

HOU/IND - Nope, not with Bob Sanders back.
DEN/ATL - Nope, Denver has NO running backs, and even though they always seem to plug in some unknown who then rattles off 125 yds, I don't trust 'em. Plus Matt Ryan and Michael Turner are playing too well. And it's in Atlanta.
BALT/NYG - Nope, Baltimore doesn't have a running back that can take charge, and I don't trust Joe Flaco throwing against the Giants D. CAVEAT - Baltimore *could* win this game on a Special Teams big play. Watch for it.
SD/PITT - Being a Chargers fan, it's really tough not to pick this game, but c'mon. They've looked horrible.
STL/SF - I'm tempted here, given the turmoil in SF, but Vernon Davis is back on board (2 TDs last week) and the Rams are 26th against the pass. So nope.

That leaves KC/NO, CLEV/BUFF, and MINN/TB.

My heart says Minnesota, but only 1 of these remaining underdogs is playing at home, and that's KC. Add on the fact that Thigpen is starting to play well and Bradley is coming out of nowhere, and that the Saints are 27th against the pass, and I think KC has a real shot.



I'd go with St. Louis - San Francisco may have difficulty winning another game this year - utter chaos there and doubt it will change this season.

Why is there no line on Chi v. GB?

The pool doesn't include it because the Vegas bookies hadn't posted it as of yesterday.

We have, however, added:

1.5 WASHINGTON vs. Dallas

I'm not happy about coming within a yard of 10.5 points last week, but I suppose it was better for you if others had the Niners.

The Oakland Raiders are the Geek Squad pick of the week. If they pull it off for you, you'll be in great shape the rest of the way. Still too many weeks left to sacrifice value for a better chance at a nonzero week.

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