Stefan Tornquist, our gambler at large, writes in from his travels, while Brooke Costello holds down the fort here in Brooklyn.
S.T.: I’m writing from the heart of it all, Las Vegas, but the clamor of the slot machines is especially harsh these days, with the flood of sound-absorbing Brits cut to a trickle by economic woes. As the market continues to beg for another slug of bourbon while lying on the bathroom floor, our mutual picks are an island in the storm, going 5-3. On the week I fared better (11-6-1) than BC (5-11), and on the season we’re a collective 91-58, a 61.1% clip.
Oakland at NO (-7.5,46.5)
S.T.: What a fantastically bad run of luck on Monday for the Saints. Brees is phenomenal and the NO defense actually played pretty well (except for that lummox that gave the game away with the most blatant pass interference of the young century) – by all rights that game should have been a blowout. This week they’ll be able to stop Oakland 2 out of 3 times while scoring at the same pace. Take the Saints straight and the tease of the Sts with the Over.
B: Drew Brees is having an Offensive Player of the Year kind of season, and NO could easily be 4-1. Oakland likes to lose. They should be able to in this one. NO and the over as separate bets.
Baltimore at Indy (-4.5,39.5)
S.T.: Who knows what’s what with Indy. Without the Whirling Dervish aka Sage Rosenfelds, they lose that game in Houston. In my first draft (yeah, really) I suggested Baltimore but can’t help thinking how Indy managed a couple of touchdowns in the second half against both Minnesota and Houston. Thinking back to how Jax manhandled them, let’s throw it all into the pot and say that a tease of Baltimore with the Under makes the most sense. Tight, tough game that goes down to the wire and stays well under 40.
B: Doesn’t it seem like Ray Lewis has been playing for six decades? It does to me, and The Ravens D has been nasty for each of those1,000 Sundays. Manning’s will to win got them through against Minny, and Houston’s will to lose gave Indy the game last week. Unfortunately for the Colts they are home this week and they haven’t won there yet this season. This will not be the week they do. Balt.
Cincy at Jets (-6,45)
S.T.: Cincy is going to play havoc with bettors, alternately beating and getting buried by the spread. As for the Jets, Brett Favre’s ridiculous QB rating is the result of a single game. I think this spread is too high, so I’m going to go with Cincy and the Over as separate bets.
B: The Jets had the week off and Palmer is showing a stronger pulse as the weeks pass. The Bengals will win one soon. Who do they play in week 8? At less than a TD betting against the orange and black is a bargain.
Carolina at TB (-1.5,36.5)
S.T.: Tampa is solid at home and probably about even with Carolina as a result. I think the Panthers are the better team, but home field means a lot with teams that play like this. But any tease of Carolina gives them a TD to play with, and I like that a lot.
B: This one seems to be such a slam dunk that it makes me scared. When google stocks were first offered I was sure it would never be as good as it seemed, but I felt the urge to invest in something. So I took all my massive gambling winnings from under the mattress, cleaned the cash by buying tons of shit off craigslist and then reselling it on ebay, accepting only direct deposits to a newly created checking account, and then gave the washed green to the geniuses at Lehman Brothers. I told them to buy up and resell as much bad debt as they could find. Take the Panthers and if we’re wrong we’re wrong.
Detroit at Minny (-13.5, 46)
S.T.: We’re going to see three-touchdown spreads if the Lions keep playing this way and hopefully, a campaign to remove the Lions from their guaranteed Thanksgiving spot. I’m not sold on Minny in the slightest, but Adrian Peterson will get 400 yards and Gus Ferotte will have a career day.
B: The game I am dying to see is the Lions Vs. The Rams. The twist would be the game lasted 5 hrs, no punting allowed. Oakland gets the winner. 13 points yeah I’ll take that. I’ll double take the tease of Minny and the over.
Chicago (-2.5) at Atlanta (43.5)
S.T.: I haven’t watched either team play a snap, so they’re both a surprise to me this season. Atlanta gives up passing yards, and Kyle Orton…yes, Kyle Orton…has been hot. If Chicago is anything but a passing fancy, they’ll cover.
B: Some people are ready to take Atlanta seriously. I’m not quite there yet, but one thing is very clear the Falcons have hope and Matt Ryan is the guy that’s giving it to them. Hope won’t keep the Bears at bay. The Falcs have followed each of their first two wins with 24-9 loses. Final score Bears beat Falcons 24-9.
Miami at Houston (-3,44.5)
S.T.: Yikes. This is a game I would have skipped. Miami is creating a kind of pseudo pass protection with their wildcat ways, and Chad Pennington is having a good time. Give the Fins six with anything else on the board.
B: The Dolphins, Jets, Patriots, and Bills will all be over .500 by Monday morning. Poor Houston played their tails off for 57 minutes last week and still lost. It is very hard not to take the 2-2 dog against the favored 0-4 squad. Miami is the pick.
STL at Wash (-13.5,44)
S.T.: Doesn’t this smack of a trap? Wash is riding high and can’t quite bring themselves to take STL seriously? They win but not by much? Maybe, but I’m thinking they’ll enjoy putting a New England-like beatdown on anybody that comes asking this season. They’ve beaten the best in by far the best division in football, and STL may ultimately surpass last year’s Fins as worst of the decade. Bite the bullet, take Wash and watch something else for your own sanity.
B: Franz Kafka once asked, “I am a bug, but that don’t mean I ain’t got rights right?” That’s right Franz you do have rights, but you ain’t no bug neither. Wash and the Under.
Jax at Denver (-3.5, 48.5)
S.T.: Jax is dead to me, so they’re probably about to go on a tear. If Rothlisberger can throw at will in Jacksonville, Culter is going to set career highs.
B: It’s the dangling .5 points that have me so jazzed on this one. Jags and the Under.
Philly (-4.5) at SF (42)
S.T.: Solid defenses beat the Niners, as proven by the Pats last week. I like the suddenly desperate Eagles teased with the Over.
B: As I watched my Bills collapse last week a petty thief came over and sat next to me in the bar. He was wearing a Pittsburg shirt and a Phillies cap. I put all my stuff in my pockets and drank my beer. He started talking about a lot of things and the thing that he said that made sense was that the Eagles offense was built on a guy like Westbrook. Buckhalter is no Westbrook. I’ll take SF.
Dallas (-5) at Arizona (50)
S.T.: Just tease the Over with something.
B: The blanket question about the NFC West is: Can any of these teams play well two weeks in a row? I figure if Cincy and Philly can shred the Dallas D so can Warner and Co. Zona with a maybe for the Over.
GB at Seattle (-2,46.5)
S.T.: Hate this game. Why can’t Seattle be playing on the east coast again. I’d take Hofstra over those guys in a 1pm in New Yorks state. The Seahawks are bad and Aaron Rogers is a gamer. I like the Packers to upset Holmgren.
B: Seattle has St. Louis to thank for their lone victory this year. GB is getting more banged up by the week. If I had to put anything on any side of this I would take the over for the minimum.
NE at SD (-6,44.5)
S.T.: I don’t know who the Chargers are, but I know the Pats and they just aren’t good. If San Diego can’t hammer this Pats team at home, they’re done. For the last time, perhaps, take the Chargers.
B: After the bye, against SF, Randy Moss did his thing, Wes Welker did his, and it should have been just like old times for NE. 44-10 or so, but it wasn’t. And it won’t be again for a long time. The Bolts real season starts here. SD.
NYG (-8) at Cleveland (43)
S.T.: The Giants look great. Cleveland will be all kinds of excited to play the Champs on Monday night, but the featured game status just underscores how they’ve completely underwhelmed and are basically dead in the water. Gotta go with the Gints who have done great ATS.
B: My high school and our sister schools used to have a lot of date dances, mixers, socials etc and when these events approached a lot of guys had pictures of female friends from their neighborhoods who might need a date for a dance. A guy might come up to you and say Cherry needs a date for this Friday. Here’s her picture. Think about it and let’s talk at lunch. So then you would look at Cherry’s picture through English, history, and religion and see the guy at lunch and say yes or no. This happened to me once and Cherry was pretty cute and I though geeze she’s too cute not to have a date, but geeze she’s also too cute not to go on a date with. So me and the guy with the picture picked his girlfriend and Cherry up and Cherry was even cuter in person, but after a few moments standing talking to her on the dance floor I was thinking geeze Cherry has a very bad odor coming from her mouth. Cleveland was supposed to be the belle of the NFL ball this year, but damn are they stinking it up. I’ll take the Gints.