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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

In a deep and 'dog December

The 'dogs of Week 15 have been unleashed, and here they are. Players in our charity pro football underdog game, choose your upset pooch from this pack:

9.5 INDIANAPOLIS at Houston
6 SAN FRANCISCO at New England
5.5 ARIZONA vs. Detroit
5.5 BUFFALO vs. Seattle
3.5 TAMPA BAY at New Orleans
3.5 PHILADELPHIA vs. Cincinnati (Thursday, 5:20 p.m. PST)
3 CHICAGO vs. Green Bay
3 CAROLINA at San Diego
3 BALTIMORE vs. Denver
2.5 KANSAS CITY at Oakland
1 NEW YORK GIANTS vs. Atlanta
1 NEW YORK JETS at Tennessee (Monday, pick still due Sunday morning)
1 MINNESOTA at St. Louis
1 DALLAS vs. Pittsburgh

There are two weeks of the regular season after this one, and our game goes through three weeks of the playoffs. In the playoffs, however, there are fewer games, and often only some fairly small points to be won. Our standings to date are here (ignore the asterisks).

Eagles picks are due at kickoff Thursday afternoon, and all other picks are due Sunday at 10 a.m. (all times Pacific). Good luck, everybody!

Comments (6)

Washington/Cleveland is a pick 'em and therefore out of play.

After MNF, that Indy game is tantalizing! If they win that one, Bruce Arians will be a shoo-in for NFL Coach of the Year.

It is indeed. But Luck couldn't deal with New England, and Houston will be out for blood after looking like chumps the other night.

Can't recommend the Eagles over the Bengals Thursday. The 49ers might have a strange edge on the super-surging Patriots with a stouter defense than Houston presently, plus a talent @QB with not much film history for Belichik to key off on. Hmmm....

Mojo's Best Bets
Peace on Earth Edition

Harry Belafonte - I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Best Bets
(Last week: 1-0; Overall 10-9 (.526))

TAMPA BAY (+3.5) at New Orleans -- This will probably be a high-scoring game, but I believe that with the Saints wilting now and the Bucs finding themselves mid-season, the underdog will pull this on off on the road. The Bucs have the NFL's #1 defense vs. the rush while on offense they sport a breakout rookie RB, Doug "Muscle Hamster" Martin, on a team record-setting pace and currently the #3 rusher in the league with over 1,200 yds, and averaging nearly 5 yards per carry. Plus, the Bucs' receivers are solid and aren't afflicted with the season-long dropsies that have plagued the Saints' WRs. Consider also: "Now in his fourth year as a starter Josh Freeman ranks among the top 10 in the NFL in QB Rating and touchdown passes. He compares closely to Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers with similar numbers in all but one major statistical category." (Dave Friedman, ESPN 12/14/12).

Upset Special
(Last week: 0-1; Overall: 6-8 (.429))

INDIANAPOLIS (+9.5) at Houston -- Due to a stack of injuries, Houston's still got some serious holes in their defense as the Patriots revealed for all to see on Monday Night Football. Meanwhile, the Colts are the talk of the NFL, surging into the playoffs, all the while overcoming shortcomings, injuries, and a head coach out since Week 3 fighting for his life against cancer. However, if the Colts win out now, they would capture the AFC South Division title at the expense of the Texans, who face the Colts tomorrow and again in two weeks up in Indy.

I like the Colts' chances at pulling off this big upset behind the fantastic season rookie QB Andrew Luck is having, even though two of his starting OL are expected to be out for this one. Coach of the Year candidate, Bruce Arians, will have some good offensive tricks up his sleeves for this one -- count on it. Whether it makes enough of a difference or not, well that's why it's a gamble and why I think this will be the upset of the week.

Colts' Bruce Arians helps team focus on taking care of business

Gamblers' Corner

SAN FRANCISCO (+6) at New England -- While this is a short spread for the Gamblers' Corner, I think the likelihood of the Patriots losing to the 49ers is less likely than the Colts upsetting the Texans. That's all. Certainly, the 49ers could actually give the Patriots a pummeling because of SF's ability to control the ball and keep Brady & Co. off the field for long stretches of time. Plus, SF's defense is much better than NE's. We'll see, though, won't we? Good luck with this pick. As much as many folks dislike Harbaugh and his a-hole antics, Belichick is even less likable. Call this one the "Dispica-Bowl."

Judy Garland & Mel Tormé - The Christmas Song
(from a live t.v. special in 1963, with "a new verse"!)

A Tale of Two Teams --

Failed attempts: Cowboys haven't been back to Super Bowl since beating Steelers 17 years ago

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