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Various Sports Mutterings from Sportsfly.com!

Slumpdog Millionaire

When the NFL playoffs come around each winter, I always feel obligated to take some action on the weekends games. I justify it by using the “this only happens once a year, it’s the NFL Playoffs.” So I study spreads, take advice from six different friends and research what kind of food Deangelo Williams has been consuming this week that may rile up his bowels. I look at ridiculous prop bets like who will win the coin toss and first QB to throw an interception. Sounds fascinating and fun until you’ve realized what you’ve done. My other persona comes out to play, WagerinRondo. I’ve gone to Vegas twice and came back with only a pack of pretzels I snagged from the person sitting next to me on the airplane. It’s an ugly sight, but for your entertainment I lost some money and lived to tell about it.

retrogambling-1Now here’s my usual rules that I like to stick by:
1.Don’t do teasers. I usually can’t get one bet right so why deal with having two things happen.
2.Don’t bet on Eli Manning…for anything. I don’t care if he won a Super Bowl, he still poses a Manning Face all game.
3.Don’t make a bet that counters the previous bet on the same game. (I’ll explain soon enough)
4.If it’s snowing outside, don’t always bet the under. Snow must include some wind, freezing temps and rain.
5.If you’re smart, don’t bet on NFL Football this season…it’s unpredictable.

My stupidity is so clear to me today that this is the only way I’ll ever learn to keep my money. So here’s what went down. In Saturday’s game I liked the Ravens. I somehow broke rule one with a teaser of the Ravens +9 and under 40. Minutes before game time I chose to get creative and put in a parlay of the over (33) in the Ravens/Titans and the under (50) in the Arizona/Carolina game. I was hoping for a score between 34-39. Now this was about as ridiculous as an episode of 24 explaining how Tony Almeida can still be alive. If you don’t watch, well then I missed you on that one. Anyways, I broke two rules here and broke even. I also took Deangelo Williams over 106 yards in the night game…well he finished with 67. Another stupid forced prop bet just to add some meaning to a pointless Saturday night blowout. Thanks Jake!
For Sunday, I managed to break some more of my own rules. I bet on the Giants giving 4 points and realized that was a huge mistake when I noticed that a Pop Warner QB could throw a tighter spiral than Eli on that day. Eli and the G-Men have looked terrible near the end of the season and with an extra week off, lost any rhythm their week 17 win presented. So of course, I bet on the reigning chumps thinking that with Tuck and Jacobs back “healthy” they would be able to physically dominate the Eagles. This was followed by me yelling and sulking in the corner of the couch. I wonder if we will ever see that Citizen’s watch commercial claiming Eli is unstoppable. Does this mean that the watch won’t work properly if it is windy out? I digress.
And if you haven’t figured it out, I took Pittsburgh and the under teaser. Well folks, it was barely snowing, some wind and boy did they kill that under. I wanted Tomlin beaten with the type of calls he was making in that game. Fake punt in the first half and choosing to throw deep when they could just run out the clock! AHH, I will never watch another movie with Omar Epps in it now because of what transpired on Sunday.

So the lesson today folks is don’t gamble. It’s an added stressor to an already exciting sport. If you have that gambling itch, go for a run and tackle a snow bank. You’ll get that gambler’s rush followed by a cold sensation that leaves you seeking a snuggie. Remember, I made these bets so you didn’t have to…now I hope you’ve learned your lesson!

RaginRondo

January 12, 2009 Posted by | NFL | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Straight Cash’s Divisional Playoff Picks

There are some juicy, juicy matchups this weekend. Lots of top defenses showcased, a wild gun show on display in the South, and a good old NFC East hatefest. Let’s get it on.

Do the dance, Ray, do the dance.

Do the dance, Ray, do the dance.

Baltimore Ravens at Tennessee Titans, 01/10/09, 4:30pm EST, CBS
Line/Total: TEN -3, o/u 34

The Pick: BAL +3

Everyone’s saying that a rookie QB like Flacco will fold against Tennessee’s punishing front, but New Guy Joe gets to see this type of “D” everyday in practice. The Titans won back in Week 5 (13-10) in a grind it out, defensive battle, but I think the difference this time is the improved play and confidence of Flacco and the growth of Le’Ron McClain as a legitimate back to pair with Willis McGahee. Kerry Collins, LenDale White and Chris Johnson are stabling forces for the Titans, but the loss of Kevin Mawae under center will play a big role at the line. To me, it just seems like the Ravens D is jacked entering the postseason, led by All-world hawk Ed Reed. No doubt, Tennessee is still one of the top 3 defenses in the league, I just don’t think they have enough weapons offensively to put up points. The Ravens will keep it close and may win outright — lots of penalties, trash talking and clock running in this one.

My name is not pronounced Del-Homey

My name is not pronounced Del-Homey

Arizona Cardinals at Carolina Panthers, 01/10/09, 8:15pm EST, FOX
Line/Total: CAR -10, o/u 49

The Pick: Over 49

I’m riding the Arizona “over” train until it falls off the tracks. This team cannot cover anyone and Kurt Warner must try to outgun each opponent they face. And why not? with both NFC Pro Bowl WR starters at his disposal in Boldin and Fitzgerald, could you blame him. Carolina has found gold in their backfield tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart. And of course, Steve Smith is a game changer. Need some numbers? The two teams combined for 50 in a 27-23 Panthers win in Week 8. The over is 7-2 in Arizona’s and Carolina’s last 9 games. Carolina has given up an average of 25 points in that span, and Arizona 29.5. It’s Jake Delhomme’s 33rd birthday Saturday and his wish of a Carolina win will come to fruition, just not sure it’s by the 10 points Vegas is projecting them by. So take the over, sit back on the Lazy Boy and watch some fireworks in the Bank of America Dome.

Don't do the dance, Donovan, don't do the dance.

Don't do the dance, Donovan, don't do the dance.

Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants, 01/11/09, 1:00pm EST FOX
Line/Total: NYG -4, o/u 38

The Pick: NYG -4

The Eagles are playing excellent ball at the right time. The Donovan McNabb Hall of Fame talk has resurfaced. Philly’s defense has been dynamic with Johnson at the helm. I’m still taking the Giants to win and cover. A few reasons why: 1) They’re at home. 2) Eli has more weapons to pass to than Donovan. 3) Brandon “Frankenstein” Jacobs is at full force. 4) The 3-headed monster that is Jacobs-Ward-Bradshaw is more effective than a nicked up Westbrook and Buckhalter. 5) The Meadowlands field will be slick and there’s a 90% chance of snowfall/rain, which bodes well for the Giants ground attack. 6) The Giants have been there, done that, and coach Coughlin has had an extra week to prep the troops. And finally, 7) Those two “MENSA” candidates Andy Reid and McNabb will find a way to implode on the big stage. ‘Nuff said.

Now if I could just "PLAY like a champion" on Sunday.

Now if I could just "PLAY like a champion" on Sunday.

San Diego Chargers at Pittsburgh Steelers, 01/11/09, 4:45pm EST, CBS
Line/Total: PIT -6, o/u 37.5

The Pick: PIT -6

I still don’t believe in Philip Rivers. While everyone waxes poetic about his natural ability and competitiveness, I still think he’s just a gunslinger who lacks the leadership quality (charisma) to inspire his team. That said, the Steelers will bring the pressure in waves at the Chargers, and Rivers will have to get rid of the ball quicker than he’s used to. Darren Sproles has to be ready to catch short dinks from the backfield ala LaDainian Tomlinson, while Gates must push hard off the line for SD to be effective. Now, what concerns me for Pittsburgh is the offensive side of the ball. Big Ben is holding on to the ball longer than he should be, resulting in multiple sack games, while the deep threat in Santonio Holmes has been nullified throughout the year. Look for the Steelers to give the Chargers a big dose of Fast Willie Parker and Mewelde Moore. The -6 points from Vegas is pretty steep, but the Steelers have gotten all the breaks of late and it’ll be a game-changing turnover (maybe by the wavy-haired Samoan) that’ll put the Steelers over the top. Also, that same competitiveness that Rivers is lauded for will be his undoing as he’ll attempt some unnecessary deep throws into the Pittsburgh’s secondary. The only thing that worries me is Big Ben’s bell being rung to the tune of another concussion.

Went 3-1 in last weekend’s Wild Card matchups. Let’s keep up the good vibes.

2009 record: 5-2.

Straight Cash … Homey!

January 10, 2009 Posted by | General, NFL, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

No Fantasy This Holiday Season

The second to last week of December ushers in the Christmas season and prepares us for the New Year, new beginnings, and … the end of Fantasy Football. While most of the world runs around for last minute gifts, stocks up on cartoned nog, or indulges in taboo vices before they make fleeting resolutions, a large segment of the male population closes its doors to Fantasy Football. The 4 month long trudge through two-a-days of Yahoo/Fox updates and second-guessing Steve Slaton’s match-up against Carolina’s run D are over. Ladies, your men are back.

What the world really thinks

What the world really thinks

For 15 to 17 weeks, we are fixated on backup tight ends and whether Nate Kaeding will have more field goal attempts than John Carney. That season long digital trance is what I call the Fantasy Football Funk (FF Funk).

This FF Funk has many a symptom:

  • It causes guys to root against their home team (if indirectly) — “Man, I hope my Giants beat the Cowboys, but Eli throws 3 picks and fumbles twice, because I’m playing Stu this week.”
  • “Hellos” and “What’s ups” are no longer part of exchanges between buds, rather just straight to: “Fool, you’re stupid for starting LT.” or “Hey, you still got a chance on Monday night, IF Seneca Wallace throws for 6 scores against the Steelers.”
  • Guys outright avoid meeting up for drinks or pick-up hoop games for fear of said clowning (see above). Note: Poker night attendance suffers during the FF Funk season.
  • If exchanges are mutual, then we encounter 4-hour long discussions on gap-schemes and ball-hawking fullbacks. FF Funk guys become astrophysicists in these discussions with the eloquence and fervor of Deepak Chopra at a book signing.
  • Scores of bull rushes to nearby laptops and logins (ala those Southwest “ding” commercials) once ESPN News posts a blurb that Darren McFadden has a stinger, and so WE ALL have to get on the Justin Fargas train!! [insert Huggy Bear reference here].
  • The de-evolution of Fantasy League Commissioners (and I ran 2 of the 4 leagues I was in myself) into some hate-spewing control freak, reminding managers twice a week to pay their league fee and regurgitating the rules that are clearly posted.

I know there’s a bunch more FF Funk symptoms and irrational behavior, I just don’t have to time to list them since being free.

Time to refocus priorities

Time to refocus priorities

But there are a few good things that come out of the FF Funk, and that’s if you win your league, you get some straight cash homey. Or in my case, you have to explain to your wife (because Sundays are all booked up), the nuances and rules of football, because she wants to “relate”. This had a great effect though, because of our added “together time” on Sundays, she’s allowed me 20 extra minutes a week of surfing hot sites like this one. But that’s another story.

So we delete those Fantasy bookmarks, wave goodbye to NFL injury lists, say adios to pass defendeds and auf wiedersehen to 3rd string “sleeper” backs. And as we hear the kids sing carols, smell the evergreen wreaths, and wrap the fruitcake for the in-laws, we get back to what’s really important … betting on Bowl Games.

It’s good to have my life back. Peace out FF Funk.

Happy holidays!

December 23, 2008 Posted by | Fantasy Football, NFL | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment