Thursday, November 15, 2007

NFL Week 11/College Week 12 Predictions

"If you don't like the way I'm living
You just leave this long-haired country boy alone."

So the Pats are back, thank goodness. Last week's games were horrendous for the most part, except for the Bolts/Colts and the Steelers comeback win over the Browns. Peyton Manning, six are reading the words of a very happy man. The Colts are not finished by any means, but they will have to defend their title without Dwight Freeney, who is done for the year. The Chargers are coming on strong after sucking it up for the first few weeks of the season...very interesting. Still, with Norv Turner at the helm?...He'll (mess) it up somehow. The Jaguars are completely puzzling with the mighty Quinn Gray at quarterback. One week they get the crap beat out of them in the Big Easy, then they look fantastic against the Titans...this is one of those teams that I'm just giving up on and will resort to flipping a coin to predict (the Bears are the other team on the list. The Falcons beat the Panthers at home...I have now begun panhandling at local bars to get me to stop working the games because they simply can't win in my presence (now 0-6 including the preseason). I amazingly did really well in the 4:00 games, which leads me to my next point: I am going to damn my picks in a jinx reversal to do really well. It's not like selling your soul, but it's not too far off. In any event, let's get down to why we're all here...and by the way, don't listen to a word I say (wink).


Duke vs. Notre Dame:
The reason I am even bringing this game up is because this is simply the height of hilarity right here. What's funny is that the Irish scheduled Duke because they're a cream puff, and now, they are going to be in the fight of their lives in this game. I mean Duke has a real shot of winning this game...Notre Dame (W, -6).

BC vs. Clemson: First, I have to say that BC is the team I thought they would turn into. They came so close to being able to play in a huge bowl game, and then they blew it, like they always do. There's really no worse place to try and rebound than Death Valley. BC is going to win another inconsequential bowl game for the seventh year in a row. Clemson (W, -6).

Purdue vs. Indiana: The home team has lost the last two meeting ATS. Curtis Painter, the Boilmakers' QB, will have a big day against the Hoosier pass D. Purdue (W, -2).

Ohio St. vs. Michigan: Todd Boeckman officially bowed out of the Heisman race after his deplorable performance against Illinois. Michigan lost to Wisconsin at Madison, which isn't really that big of a shocker. Like it or not, this is the biggest rivalry in college football, and once again, this will be the game to determine who goes to the Rose Bowl. I have to think that after everything that has gone down this season for Michigan, with the Ap St. game, the Oregon blowout, and losing Chad Henne and Mike Hart to injuries during the year, and yet they have put themselves in the position to go to a BCS game...I'm pulling for Michigan to make the comeback complete. Michigan (W, +4).

Penn St. vs. Michigan St.: Penn St. wins with defense, and when the D doesn't show up, they get trounced. They have had problems with teams whose specialty is running the ball, even though they are 8th in the country at stopping it. In simulations, the Spartans are rushing for more than 150 yards on average. Michigan State (W, +3.5).

West Virginia vs. Cincinnati: How about that Big East conference? I'm glad BC got out when they did, because they would probably be a .500 team right now. This is for all the marbles now that Cincy knocked off UConn last week (thanks a lot by the way). A primetime matchup that's definitely worth a look. Not a lot of scoring favors the Bearcats, but it's hard for me to believe that Cincy can knock off the top two teams in the conference, especially after the amount of effort put into the annihilation of the Huskies last week. West Virginia (W, -6).

Missouri vs. Kansas St.: And the best conference in the country is, the Big 12? Well, start getting used to it. Mizzou, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, they could all be going to New Year's Day games, and two may even play in the BCS games. Chase Daniel is going to go bananas in this game. In sims, he's going for over 400 yards passing, and if he comes through with a breakthrough performance, could be considered a Heisman candidate. Missouri (W, -6.5).

Maryland vs. Florida St.: It's gotta be a let-down has to be. Maryland dominated BC all of last week, despite only winning by seven. Florida St. is great at home, and why not pick against the betting public? Florida St. (W, -7).

Miami vs. Virginia Tech: The home team has lost the three games ATS. Also, Virginia Tech really has almost no reason to try and blowout Miami. They have the inside track to the ACC Championship game, and they clearly outclass the 'Canes in this game. However, I think Miami will give it one last gasp. Virginia Tech (W), Miami (W, +18).

Oregon St. vs. Washington St.: So for whatever reason, Oregon St. got to play the last three meetings at home. Is the competition committee sleeping out west there? Three home meetings in a row? In any event, the Cougars have been ok overall, but fantastic at home, with their only loss coming against Arizona St. Washington St. (W, -2).

Last Week: SU: 5-5, ATS: 5-5
Season: SU: 58-38 (60.4%), ATS: 52-37-7 (58.4%)


New England vs. Buffalo:
This is almost as big of a test as the Indy game was. Plus, all of the Pats' games are going to be on primetime now because all the networks want to show the first loss, if it happens. Everyone is talking about how Pittsburgh will be the biggest test, but honestly, the Bills are fantastic at home. Still, ever since that '03 loss, the Pats have decimated the Bills at home. No Marshawn Lynch means that the Bills are going to be relying on the J.P. Losman experience, which is something that still has not filled up to its billing. New England (W, -16).

San Diego vs. Jacksonville: Now we're talking. Both teams took down huge wins last week. Jacksonville, as stated before, is a complete enigma. I don't know which team will show up from week to week. Here's what I do know: It took a series of miraculous events (2 return TDs, 6 INTs by Manning, including 4 picks by Cromartie, a backup CB, and a Vinatieri miss to win the game) for the Chargers to pull the upset. I think this could be an off week for them...also, the coin fell on heads. Jacksonville (W, -3).

Kansas City vs. Indianapolis: I remember what happened last year in the playoffs...and this year, the Chiefs are without Larry Johnson. The Colts will definitely rebound this week. Indianapolis (W, -14).

Oakland vs. Minnesota: Culpepper's first return to the Metrodome since getting traded to Miami a year ago. For whatever reason, the Raiders decided to start McCown last week...boy was that a mistake (as first predicted here). Culpepper is perfect for this offense. A guy who can throw the deep pass, forcing the safeties to back off the box, allowing the talented three-headed running attack (Jordan, Fargas, Rhodes) to get their yards. The Vikings got whooped by the Packers after losing Peterson early on in the game. I feel like they are still reeling from that. Plus, this will be Culpepper's second crack at a revenge game, and you know how the first one went in Miami (a 37-13 win). I think he will be able to do it again...and who's playing quarterback for Minnesota? Is it possible that Jeff George makes another comeback? Oakland (W, +5.5).

Cleveland vs. Baltimore: This is always an interesting game. Baltimore got run out of Cleveland earlier on this year, and after getting dominated by the Bengals last week, who suddenly were playing lights out defense, they are 'dogged at home. Cleveland has shown that they are a gritty team, staying with the Patriots at Foxboro, and almost knocking off the Steelers last week at Heinz. However, Baltimore has won the last four meetings at home. Baltimore has been atrocious ATS, winning just one game against the number. I think they turn it around with a defensive stance this week. Baltimore (W, +3).

Pittsburgh vs. New York Jets: The snitch continues to get his just desserts. One win? Nice second season champ. Truth is that Mangini has overtaken Coughlin for most hated coach by his own players in the Tri-State area. Truthfully though, Kellen Clemens is going to help, and Pittsburgh may be out of gas after coming all the way back against Cleveland, while the Jets have had a week to get healthy, which mean Lavernanues Coles will be back to team up with the NFL's most underrated receiver, Jerricho Cotchery. Call me crazy. New York Jets (W, +10.5).

Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta: Tampa Bay has one win on the road this year. Guess who? You know it's the Panthers. Also, the Falcons are coming off a comeback win against those same Panthers. With Jerious Norwood once again a question mark, the Falcons could be in trouble. But the Bucs have been so bad on the road that I expect that trend to continue. Atlanta (W, +3).

Arizona vs. Cincinnati: The defensive effort put together by the Bungles last week was a complete mirage due to the fact that Baltimore is hideous on offense. 'Zona beat up a high-powered Detroit team at home last week. The Cards are another team that seemingly can't win on the road, that is unless they are playing against a bad team. Arizona has a surprisingly good defense, but Rudi Johnson is getting healthier with each week, and also, Kenny Watson has proved to be a more than capable running back. Chris Henry's presence is so huge, and you could tell that last week against the Ravens. Cincinnati (W, -3).

Miami vs. Philadelphia: Miami had the Buffalo game won last week, and choked it away, like they have done all season. On the outside, you would think this is a no-brainer. While I'm going to go with the obvious pick, I am still interested to see how John Beck will do in his first NFL start. It's not going to happen this week, but with this QB change, the hopes that Miami will go winless have all but disappeared. Philadelphia (W, -9.5).

Washington vs. Dallas: The Redskins have been deplorable ATS (2-7) and have dropped the last five. Sean Taylor is done for the could not have planned a worse time to play Dallas at Irving. Dallas (W, -10).

New Orleans vs. Houston: Interesting. Houston will now be without its two best corners. What this means is that if Brees gets any protection in this game, he is likely to go off. Matt Schaub will be back behind center for the Texans, meaning that their passing attack will be at 100% for the first time in weeks. Something tells me that this is going to be a wild game, and judging from the past, the Texans do not do well in "wild" games (Vince Young's OT TD run last year, Bironas' eight FGs this year). New Orleans (W, +1).

Carolina vs. Green Bay: They're good on the road, just not this good. Also, Steve Smith might not even play. Green Bay (W, -9.5).

New York Giants vs. Detroit: Both teams are coming off of games where they were outplayed all game long. Detroit has been tremendous at home this year (5-1). I think the Cowboys loss was the one that will ultimately start the downward spiral of the Giants and Tom Coughlin. This team isn't that great, and they have benefited from a weak schedule (last four games before Dallas: Jets, Falcons, Niners, Dolphins). Detroit (W, +3).

St. Louis vs. San Francisco: Hey, the Rams may win the division, you never know. Again, this was one of the worst predictions to have ever been made by anyone. I'll fess up to it now, and I'll keep doing so the rest of the year. Once again, I find it absolutely impossible to root for the Niners considering what is at stake for the Pats (more on that later). St. Louis (W, +3).

Chicago vs. Seattle: A rematch from last year's NFC Divisional playoff game. Both teams have fallen from grace, but are both coming off convincing victories. To me, this is classic Rex Grossman. He does great one game so that his name will be floated around in a QB controversy, then once he gets the job, he breaks your heart. Plus, I'm thinking Seattle would like to get a victory to atoll for last year's thriller at Soldier Field. Seattle (W, -6).

Tennessee vs. Denver: If I lose this game, the Broncos will officially become a "coin-flip" team. They got absolutely rocked two weeks ago at Detroit, then win a huge game at Arrowhead last week. Denver has been horrendous at home (1-10 ATS in the last 11) while Tennessee has been a good road team (4-1 SU & ATS in the last 5), but have not played well against Denver historically. Denver (W, -2).

Last Week: SU: 10-4, ATS: 7-6-1
Season: SU: 96-48 (67.6%), ATS: 74-60-10 (55.2%)

And now, before I sign off, a new segment to the program. Because the NFL thinks they can hold down the Pats by taking away their first round pick, I am going to start keeping track of where the Pats will pick with San Fran's first rounder. Sure, the Niners started off with a ton of promise, but then fell flat on their faces, a trend I hope will continue throughout the rest of the year. Also, because of my obsession with the NFL Draft, let's take a look at where the Pats would pick if the season stopped today:

After 10 Weeks: San Francisco: 2-7 (4th)

Thank you.

Have a good weekend everyone. Peace.


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