Let’s be real: a lot of people love football because it’s the easiest and funnest sport to gamble on. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Personally, I’m too broke to gamble much, but I sure do watch a lot of football. I figure I should help* my loyal readers out with some gambling advice.
*Help not guaranteed to be actually helpful.
Hey, it’s the playoffs! Several years ago, I went through a phase where I basically didn’t watch the playoffs each year. It was just too painful that the Bills weren’t there.
Now? It’s weird how a decade-plus of failure numbs you. Heck, it’d be weird for me to see the Bills actually in the playoffs.
Plus, now I have gambling to fill the hole in my heart where the Bills should be! And I’m feeling really good about these picks. Which likely means you should take whatever the opposite of what I say.
Onto the picks! I’ll pick a score for each playoff game as well, just for the heck of it.
TEXANS (-4) over Bengals
In the “who gets blown out in the second round” bowl, I like Houston. I’m just not convinced the Bengals are actually good. Cincy’s best win in 2011? A 24-17 win over the 9-7 Titans. Amazingly, the Bengals went 0-7 against teams that made the playoffs (and 9-0 against non-playoff teams). The Texans are just better at this point. That defense is legit, and the offense will do just enough. My prediction? Jake Delhomme comes off the bench for an injured/struggling T.J. Yates, leading the Texans to a win and leading America to forget just how bad Jake Delhomme sucks. This will lead to a much lower line for the Ravens/Texans game next week than it should be….leading to easy money for Brad.
Prediction: Texans 20, Bengals 10
GIANTS (-3) over Falcons
Probably the game I struggled the most with this week. The Giants are a complete enigma. I have no idea if the Falcons are actually good or not. When in doubt, going with the better QB (Eli) and the home field is the way to go.
Prediction: Giants 23, Falcons 17
Broncos (+8.5) over STEELERS
What an awful QB matchup. It’s becoming more and more clear Tim Tebow isn’t good. If Tebow is as bad as he was last week, the Broncos should give Brady Quinn a shot. Why not? Of course, the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger isn’t an awful QB, but he’s going to struggle here. I think Big Ben is really, really hurt. Like really hurt. Like “shouldn’t be playing” hurt. Is Charlie Batch or Byron Leftwich that much of a dropoff from a crippled Big Ben?
Anyway, this game is going to be GHASTLY to watch. Expect to see a lot of punts. The Steelers turn a Tebow mistake into a score, and that’s enough to win, but not cover.
Prediction: Steelers 13, Broncos 6
*Note: don’t take the word “Lock” too seriously.
SAINTS (-10.5) over Lions
Maybe I’ll eat these words come Saturday night, but I think the Saints absolutely roll here. I can see the Saints scoring early, forcing a punt, scoring again, and the young Lions completely unraveling. The Lions just make too many mistakes to win in the brutal Superdome environment. I’ll say the Lions take their whoopin’ here, but come back angry and much better for it in 2012.
Prediction: Saints 41, Lions 17
Last Week: 2-3
Regular Season: 43-38-4
Lock of the Week: 11-6