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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

End up like a 'dog that's been beat too much

It was about as frustrating a week as you could imagine in the pro football underdog pool in which I play. Half of the underdogs in the league won their games outright, scoring points for pool participants who were smart enough to pick them. Eight winners! Did I have one of them? Hells to the no.

What makes it even more deflating is that my original instinct -- Houston -- was correct, but I allowed some of my trusted advisors (you know who you are) to talk me out of that one and let me think that Carolina was a better play. There were several voices singing the Charlotte swan song, and that right off should have warned me that it was the wrong way to go. Jake Dahbumme fell through again. Somebody needs to find that fellow a bench to warm.

It gets worse. I was so torn between the Texans and the Panthers that I actually flipped a coin with minutes to go before the deadline to pick the week's underdog. Every time I have used the coin flip method to make up my mind, things have ended in heartbreak. Never again.

The final nail in the coffin was that I awoke on Sunday to see that my buddy Gordon also picked Carolina. When he and I go the same way in the underdog pool, the sporting weekend does not usually end on a happy note.

Oh, well. Win early, lose late -- but now I'm way behind. One guy has 15½ points already, to my zip. This can't go on too much longer, people.

So here's this week's lineup, with lots of favorites on the road, which is always interesting. Let me know if you see a 'dog (in caps) who can win its game outright -- straight-up, without the benefit of the point spread. The points are relevant in this pool only in that they show how many points I'll win if I pick a winning 'dog. Whom do you like? I will take all nominations under advisement. But don't be offended if I go my own way this time.

13.5 CLEVELAND at Baltimore
9.5 CAROLINA at Dallas
7 TAMPA BAY vs. NY Giants
7 ST. LOUIS vs. Green Bay
7 SAN FRANCISCO at Minnesota
6.5 DETROIT vs. Washington
6 BUFFALO vs. New Orleans
6 MIAMI at San Diego
4.5 CINCINNATI vs. Pittsburgh
4.5 ATLANTA at New England
2.5 TENNESSEE at NY Jets
2.5 SEATTLE vs. Chicago
2 OAKLAND vs. Denver

UPDATE, 9/24, 11:05 p.m.: Add one last game to the list:

9.5 KANSAS CITY at Philadelphia

Comments (27)

Don't want to sound like a broken record, but the 49ERS are on a mission. They'll steal one from Favre. 7 big ones and you are back in the game, Jack. BUFFALO would be my second big-point pick.

Gave you Giants last week and potentially Rams (who only lost 9-7 as the biggest underdog of the week)....

#1 on my list: Dolphins
#2 Atlanta.

Go forth and prosper.

Since you're already behind and need to make a move, I like Detroit to get off the schneid (apologies to Chris Berman) against Washington. I'll be rooting for the Niners, but I won't be putting money on them: fandom has its limits.

I like the 49s too...their coach will have them fired up for this one too...

I don't want to be banned or anything but maybe THIS is the week for Carolina.

They seem better than 0-3. But is Dallas going to go 0-2 in the blimp hangar?

Dallas is ripe for another loss, after getting way up for the Giants and dying at the finish anyway. The Cats are underdogs for sure, but that unjustifiably huge spread is going to help motivate them and becalm the Pokes.

I think most upsets have more to do with the factors having to do with reasons for the favored team to lose than anything else. And Dallas is a team without much, if any, character, and may not respond to the NYG loss the way it happens in movies.

Singletary is a motivator, who would want to come off the field to atone to the guy?
SF - 7 pts.

Colts, Jacksonville, Oakland.

The Giants were my gift to you last week. If you're already in the hole, you need some bigger point spread upsets in week 3 to get back in the pool. I like Miami over San Diego for 6. The 'Fins outplayed the Colts in every way but the final score Monday night. Which is why I also like the Colts for a 2 point upset over the Cards.

San Francisco is looking like a winner by the week. And Oakland is also showing some signs of life.

That's what you get for listening to "advisers" (read: people avoiding doing real work by reading your blog)!

Last week I gave you my slam dunk of Baltimore over SD. And it hurt to say it.

(yes, I know my 2nd pick was Carolina, so sorry for that...)

This week's slam dunk is Tennessee. No doubt they will beat the Jets. Not many points, but at least it's something.

Houston woke up for 1 week, but Jacksonville will put them back to sleep. So that's the 2nd best option.

Third best... again... as much as I hate saying it... is for my Chargers to fall to Miami.

#1 Detroit: Wash looks really bad and Det is starting to look like a pro team again.

#2 Carolina: Dal RB is 50/50 and they have no proven big time reliable WR's now. Delhomme looked better and they pull it out this week.

(My record to date 1-1 3.5pts)

Good lord this is easy. Atlanta, Jack. The Patriots are really just not very good this year. Their O-line can't control a thing, and their defense sans Meyo and Seymour is full of holes that Ryan, Turner, and Gonzalez, and White (man, how many more weapons can one team have??) will exploit with relative ease.

I'd like Atlanta over NE if it weren't in NE. I think NE finally puts together a decent game and Atlanta returns to the mean.

The Jets are gonna be the September team this year. Hot start - then people will figure out how to disrupt their kid quarterback.

San Fran does look hot, but I don't trust teams that win big games by busting open big yardage plays. That's just not a reliable method for winning games.

So my upset pick of the week is Detroit. They're gonna win sooner or later, and this may finally be their day. And Washington does look AWFUL, and Jason Campbell is hurt. And it's in Detroit.

"And it's in Detroit."

Um, is that really helping them? There might be more Lions fans in DC than Detroit right now.

6.5 DETROIT vs. Washington

49ers, or the Bengals at home over the Steelers. Sorry I couldn't help out last week, Jack -- was off the grid at an undisclosed location, diggin' autumn comin' up.

Detroit is an intriguing option ...

the skins can't score. it's FINALLY time for the lions to break the winless streak. this is the week.

Cleveland ... because why the hell not.

If you were considering the Lions, consider this: "The overall #1 pick of the draft, Matthew Stafford, is off to a horrendous start for the Lions, with 1 TD to 5 INTs and a QB rating of 40.5 in the first two games. " Does that mean he's going to continue to suck or does it mean that he's due for a breakout game?

After injury reports, weather changing, and Steeler resolve intensifying (Parker, Mendenhall & Moore could run wild on Paul Brown Stadium's fieldturf), I'd lay off Cinci and go with 49ers over Vikes (+7). Another thought might be St. Louis over G.B. (line's dropped .5). G.B. is overrated and on the road in St.L.

P.S. -- Detroit over Wash. is tempting, but compare defenses and running games and go from there.

Colts, Jacksonville, Oakland

Well, I was 2 for 3. I'm surprised by the Raiders.

Detroit, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, and Indianapolis so far ...

This is HARD! Stupid Brett Favre.

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