It’s been a big week for me. OutKast is reuniting. The video for “Bound 2” was released. And, as you can see above, I got a retweet from ESPN. It was amazingly exciting, with RTs and favorites pouring into my feed like never before. There were 7.5 million strangers out there in the world following ESPN who could potentially be reading a joke I had carefully groomed to come in at less than 140 characters. I gained 32 new followers and have only lost one of them since. I even got some replies from Giants fans who wanted to yell at me. I decided that I might try to capitalize on this moment of attention, sending one more tweet to ESPN.
I knew it was a long shot, but my picks have been KILLING IT the past two weeks and I had to try and land my dream job any way I knew how. Maybe the intern that runs the @espn account would take a chance on me. Maybe Bill Simmons was scrolling through his timeline and one of the Philadelphia guys that works at Grantland had just favorited my response. Maybe this was my big break.
I’m moving on though. I will not allow this one retweet to be the total of my allotted “15 minutes of fame” on this Earth. I will keep writing and keep tweeting and keep hypothetically picking until I rise to ultimate glory. Or at least until I get a paying job.
With that said, welcome to my new Twitter followers if you have made it this far! My name is Tyler and I pick NFL games against the spread in hopes that people will read them and I will be right. This week, we are doing some “deadline” picks – I have a 3,000 word paper due tomorrow morning that I have yet to start and I have to finish this column before kickoff in three hours. Hooray for priorities.
But before we get to the picks, I figured we might as well check in with how I am doing as a hypothetical bettor in comparison to those who actually paid $1,500 to join the real LVH SuperContest. After going 8-1-1 in the past two weeks my overall record is now 29-25-1. In the SuperContest, this makes me tied for 130th place out of 1,034 entries – (whoa) – and only 3.5 wins out of the money. I know that this whole bit is hypothetical, but I can feel it getting realer and realer. Let’s keep the good picks rolling.
Home teams get the asterisk.
Sigh. My Eagles and my RUSSELL HUSTLE BUSTLE WILSON are both on bye; I have no safety net on this week’s high-wire walk. But the spirit of RUSSELL WILSON is always with me, wherever I go and wherever he may be. I hope he is currently enjoying a mimosa and settling in to watch lesser athletes attempt to play this game we know as “football.” I hope he is smiling. I would bet that he is.
Buccaneers (+9) over Lions*
I have two things in mind with regard to this pick:
- Jim Schwartz awful decision to try a fake field goal from the 11-yard line last week.
- Darrelle Revis vs. Calvin Johnson
I am not sure how these two events will impact today’s matchup.
It is possible that Jim Schwartz, angry with the negative press he has gotten over the past week, will coach uber-aggressively and cover nine points. It is also possible that Jim Schwartz is just a silly head coach who will keep making silly decisions like attempting fake field goals on fourth down even though it removes his best player and one of the most talented human beings on the planet from the field.
Also, while writing that previous paragraph, Adam Schefter tweeted this:
Yes, those are goosebumps on my arm. No, it is not because of the cold.
I wanted to pick this game so I could watch more Calvin Johnson like Bill Simmons told me to. I bet against him because I love taking points. Bring it on Reggie Bush. Do your worst Nate Burleson. Win this game 28-20 and leave me with a smile on my face.
Jaguars (+10) over Texans*
Didn’t I just tell you how much I love taking points? Further, Houston is laying ten after losing seven games straight? That doesn’t make sense. I mean, the Jaguars aren’t that bad are they? Maybe they are. But the Texans kind of suck too. And as much as I love JJ Watt, he is but one man. Well, to be honest, he’s realistically close to being 1.7 men, but he plays on defense and thus has a hard time covering a ten point line on his own.
Cardinals* (-2.5) over Colts
This is the sucker bet of the week. The worst part? Both sides are sucker bets. Allow me to explain.
The Colts are underdogs in this game and all of the uneducated bettors of the world see this line and go, “WHAT? The Colts are good and the Cardinals are bad. This is crazy. I want to bet a lot of money on the Colts.”
Meanwhile, all of the educated bettors look at this line and say, “This is way too obvious. Vegas is trying to sucker people in to taking the Colts even though the Cardinals play really well at home and have one of the best defenses in the league. Give me the Cards to cover less than a field goal please and thank you.”
What is the problem with these two hypothetical scenarios? In both cases, the bettor believes they know more than Vegas. And as I have covered before, that is never the case. I chose the Cardinals because it felt like slightly less of a sucker bet, but I am more than ready to take my comeuppance as soon as Andrew Luck starts that “game-winning-fourth-quarter-miracle-drive” thing he is so damn good at.
Chiefs* (-4.5) over Chargers
Last week Andy Reid failed to hold true to my “Andy Reid always wins after the bye week” rule, falling to the vaunted “Don’t bet against Peyton Manning in a night game” rule. I think Andy makes it up to me this week. And I think the Chargers are about to realize just how difficult it can be to play professional football. They have the toughest schedule heading into the tail end of the season, and have already lost to Houston, Oakland, and Washington.
Plus, the Chiefs are home, and Arrowhead is one of the five stadiums in the NFL that makes me believe in home-field advantage.
Broncos (-2.5) over Patriots*
I feel it is my obligation to pick this game even if I don’t want to. There are so many gambling rules involving so many parties involved in this game that it gets confusing to pick this one by the book. Here are just some of the gambling laws that we will be breaking or abiding by when picking this game:
- Don’t bet against Peyton Manning in a night game
- Don’t bet against Peyton Manning if he only has to cover a field goal
- Don’t bet on Peyton Manning in cold weather
- Don’t bet against Bill Belichick when he is pissed off
- Do your best not to bet against Tom Brady in a night game
- Don’t bet on Tom Brady when he has no one to throw to
- Don’t bet against Wes Welker when he is looking for vengeance
- Don’t bet against the Patriots after a loss
- Take the Patriots every time they are home dogs because that never happens ever in fact…
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have 3,000 words of SWOT analysis to write up while I stream RedZone for the rest of the day.
Last Week: 3-1-1