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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A very good grade

A 3.5 is a B-plus -- and it's also the point spread for many of the pro football games this weekend. Players in our charity underdog game have these options:

11 ARIZONA at Green Bay
10 BUFFALO at Houston
9.5 KANSAS CITY at San Diego (Thursday, pick due at 5:20 p.m. Pacific)
5 MINNESOTA at Seattle
4 DALLAS at Atlanta
3.5 PHILADELPHIA at New Orleans (Monday)
3.5 PITTSBURGH at New York Giants
3.5 CAROLINA at Washington
3.5 JACKSONVILLE vs. Detroit
3.5 TENNESSEE vs. Chicago
3.5 CINCINNATI vs. Denver
3.5 CLEVELAND vs. Baltimore
1 TAMPA BAY at Oakland

Lots of home 'dogs on the lower floors of the kennel. To win the points listed, a player needs to choose an underdog that can win its game outright. Good luck, 'dognosticators!

Comments (5)

If I was in the pool, I'd go with Kansas City. Chargers are playing HORRIBLE football right now, and 9.5 points would be a pretty decent score for one weekend.

One of the top three is going to hit, but which one? And two Thursday nights in a row?

Maybe Buffalo, they're due and Green Bay showed the Texans' may not be all that they're chapped up to be.

Mojo's Best Bets
"Fall Back" Edition

"Best Bet"
(Last week, 1-1; overall, 6-5 (.545))

JACKSONVILLE (+3.5) vs. Detroit -- I was leaning at first to Carolina at Washington, but the Panthers are just too unreliable and the Washington rushing game + super-rookie QB RG3 will be just too much for Carolina on the road. So, I got to thinking: after last week's near-upset of the Packers at Lambeau, the Jaguars defense is going to play with extra intensity to win before a restless home crowd. It helps that with the Jags running game hobbled with star, Maurice Drew-Jones, out, and his backup, Rashad Jennings, having difficulty approaching the level of performance required of a starter, that 2nd year QB Blane Gabbert (who's having his own struggles so far this season) will be facing one of the weakest pass defenses in the NFL.

I look for Gabbert to rise to the occasion and display the consistency on 1st and 3rd downs that the Jaguars need to succeed in this contest. There's a chance that the Lions could bust out early and slay the home crowd, but just as easily a turnover here or there could give the Jaguars the spring in their leap that they've been missing. The Lions have been overrated. Here in week 9 with a record of just 3-4, going on the road and playing outside on grass, I expect the Lions' whisker-thin playoff chances to incur another slash.

David Bowie & Stevie Ray Vaughan - Cat People
From the rare Dallas Moonlight sessions, the legendary Stevie Ray Vaughan brings a new life to some classic Bowie songs in this rehearsal. (4:20)

"Upset Special"
(Last week, 0-1; overall 3-5 (.375))

PITTSBURGH (+3.5) at NY Giants -- THE Game Of The Week! It's a tough time for the defending Super Bowl champion Giants to be facing the resurgent Steelers, who bring a powerful and efficient offense into the Meadowlands against the still-banged-up NY defense. While very good at forcing turnovers, the Giants defense will be trying to cope with the multitude of weapons the Steelers employ in a ball-control rush-and short-pass-with-super-speedy-deep-threat. The Steelers lead the lead in 3rd down conversions and Roethlisberger has an accuracy percentage of 77.4. Add to that, the jelling of Pittsburgh's offensive line both in pass protection and especially in the running game, the Giants defense which is ranked down at 19th in the league vs. the run, and it's readily apparent how the stage is set for this upset.

NY QB Eli Manning is also going to be facing the NFL's #1 pass defense (and #3 vs. the run -- #2 overall total defense; the Giants are 24th, btw). There's going to be exciting individual match-ups at just about every position on the field, but keep an eye on the Giants WRs vs. the Steelers CBs. Also, taking over for the Steelers injured superstar safety, Troy Polamalu (who is still recovering from a calf muscle injury), S Ryan Clark is a superb backfield general and devastating hitter. This could be a rough day for Eli as the Steelers DL and LBs will prove once again that they're "aging" very well, thank you. Eli, let me re-introduce you to James Harrison. James, chase & sack Eli, over & over. Heck, Pittsburgh's shutdown CB Ike Taylor might even hang on to an interception or two for a change.

Hard end to a terrible week around NYC-NJ-PA, this shapes up -- no matter what the outcome -- to be a very exciting 3-hour respite of the highest quality of sports entertainment. Interesting note: any in NY-NJ will probably not be able to see the game on TV due to widespread power outages, and so will be listening to the game on the radio -- WFAN 660AM/101.9FM.

"Gamblers' Corner"
(Last week 0-1; overall 2-5 (.286))

BUFFALO (+10) at Houston -- It's kinda like Jack said, but...

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