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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 Wild Card Weekend Picks

This NFL Wild Card weekend will have dirty birds, rookie QBs, MVPs, All-Days, Burners, Bolts and Colts. It also features all 4 home teams as underdogs — first time I’ve ever seen that. Let’s get to the picks. Short and sweet.

Dreaming of days with Martz and Faulk

Dreaming of days with Martz and Faulk

Atlanta Falcons at Arizona Cardinals, 4:30pm EST, NBC
Line/Total: ATL -2, o/u 51

The pick: Over 51

It’ll be a shootout in the desert. The Falcons will score points because the Cardinals are 0-6 against teams who were in the top 10 in rushing (the Falcons are ranked #2 behind the Giants). Then, after a steady diet of Mike Turner and Jerious Norwood, Matt Ryan will open up the field against Arizona’s 22nd ranked pass D. On the other side, Arizona will take to the air because they are dead last in rushing, and so we’ll see the Kurt Warner show against Atlanta’s very shaky secondary. This game may also get messy with the presence of John Abraham and his 16.5 sacks. Though a lot of things point to an Atlanta win, you cannot count out Captain Kurt at home. He will go down chucking the ball to his talented trio of receivers, and if he misses, well that’s just better field position for the dirty birds. One big stat: the over is 9-1 in Arizona’s last 10 home games.

Will Peyton take it lying down?

Will Peyton take it lying down?

Indianapolis Colts at San Diego Chargers, 8:00pm EST, NBC
Line/Total: IND -1, o/u 50

The pick: IND -1

The Chargers may be on a roll with 4 wins in a row to close the season, but if you look closely they were against the doormat Chiefs, lowly Raiders, and self-destructing Broncos and Bucs teams. The Colts are riding a 9-win wave themselves with quality victories over the Steelers, Patriots and a 23-20 Week 12 win over the Chargers at Qualcomm. In this matchup of two premier QBs, I’ll take Indy’s 6th ranked pass D over the 31st ranked San Diego pass D (only the Seahawks were worse). It will be close throughout, but look for the Colts to slow this game down, and finish with a vintage Peyton Manning, long, drawn-out, antsy, multi-audible, drive.

Will Ed Reed touch the ball more than Ricky Williams?

Will Ed Reed touch the ball more than Ricky Williams?

Baltimore Orioles at Miami Dolphins, 1:00pm EST, CBS
Line/Total: BAL -3, o/u 38

The pick: BAL -3

Baltimore’s D will be too much for Pennington and Miami. In their 27-13 Week 7 win over the Dolphins, the Ravens stopped the vaunted Wildcat offense allowing only 71 rush yards and forcing a pick 6 courtesy of Terrell Suggs. Look for Baltimore to bring the same defensive gameplan and challenge Pennington to go deep (not his strength) where my pick for Defensive Player of the Year, Mr. Ed Reed (and his 9 INTs), will be waiting. All rookie QB Joe Flacco has to do is his best Kerry Collins imitation and take care of the ball and make simple, low risk plays, and leave the rest to Ray Lewis, Bart Scott, Suggs and company. The Dolphins’ and Pennington’s comeback story has been inspiring this year, but it ends this weekend.

A little help on "O" please

A little help on "O" please

Philadelphia Eagles at Minnesota Vikings, 4:30pm EST, FOX
Line/Total: PHI -2, o/u 41

The pick: PHI -2

If the Eagles were facing any other NFC playoff team, I might think twice about picking them because of their inconsistency and much too frequent brain farts. But against the one-dimensional Vikes, it makes it easy for D-guru Jim Johnson to scheme up ways to stop Adrian Peterson and expose the Vikings passing game. Yes, Minnesota has the top-ranked rush defense, but Philadelphia isn’t too shabby at #5. The difference is that Philly has a very efficient McNabb, who’s making the right reads of late. Also, the Eagles 3rd ranked pass defense will feast on Minny’s 25th ranked pass offense. Nothing else here other than the Eagles secondary has been swarming, and if any bit of the intensity brought against Dallas shows up, it’ll be a long day for Tavaris Jackson. Hopefully, we don’t get any of this on the sidelines.

USC’s KO of Penn State started the year off right. Straight Cash record for 2009: 1-0

Good Luck everyone.

January 3, 2009 Posted by | General, NFL, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Best/Worst NFL Desicions of 2008

With the New Year right around the corner, let’s look back at a few of the best and worst decisions of the 2008 NFL season.

BEST:

1)  Starting rookie quarterbacks–Choosing to start young guns Matt Ryan and Joe Flacoo truly paid off for the Falcons and Ravens, respectively.  Both players managed the game well, looked poised in the pocket, and limited their mistakes.  Ryan and Flacoo never hit a rookie wall and just may have changed the thought around the league that rookie quarterbacks should never hit the football field early.

2)  Michael Turner to the Falcons–While everyone knew that Turner had great ability, no one knew quite what to expect from Tomlinson’s career backup.  Turner’s decision to go to Atlanta was met with skepticism, as the big man signed with one of the worst teams of 2007.  Seventeen touchdowns later, Turner was the best free agent signing of the 2008.

Matt Cassell

Matt Cassell

3)  Keeping Matt Cassell–A career backup everywhere he went, the Patriots made a great decision in both developing Cassell and not cutting him.  For years, Cassell looked awful in pre-season games, and he was close to being cut several times over the years.  The Patriots were smart in keeping Cassell around, as Tom Brady’s injury proved how necessary it is to have a quality back-up.

WORST:

1)  Not Trading Derek Anderson–This is not hindsight.  The Browns should’ve traded Anderson the minute after the pro-bowl ended.  His numbers last season looked good, but Anderson faltered down the stretch in 2007.  His ineptitude against the Bengals in December of 2007 cost the Browns a playoff birth.  And Anderson couldn’t hit his receivers in the pro bowl–a game that doesn’t allow opposing defenses to blitz.  GM Phil Savage refused to trade Anderson and closed the door on the possibility of a training camp competiton involving Brady Quinn.  Anderson eventually signed a long term contract with Cleveland, and Phil Savage simultaneously signed his own death warrant.

Derek Anderson

Derek Anderson

2)  Jets Release Chad Pennington–Pennington was always a pretty good quarterback.  Not great, but he did a lot of things well and was football smart.  While one cannot argue that his weak arm is better suited in warm Miami than cold New York, Pennington was always good for minimizing his mistakes.  Favre, while certainly a gun slinger, is a turnover machine.  The choice to trade for Brett Favre and subsequently release Pennington came back to bite them in week 17.  It also cost Eric Mangini his head coaching job.

3)  PacMan Jones Gets a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Chance–This is all on Roger Goodell.  At some point, a man such as PacMan Jones needs to learn that his beahvoir is not acceptable, and that priveleges he has enjoyed in the past will be stripped away due to his reckless behaivor.  Regarding Jones and the NFL, his priveleges were always taken away–but only temporarily.  Whether it’s his dozens of arrests, his fight at a night club which resulted in someone getting shot and paralyzed, or his “incident” with his own bodyguard, it’s clear that PacMan Jones just doesn’t “get it.”  And for someone who acts so stupid off the field, he should’ve forver lost the privelege to suit up and play.

December 30, 2008 Posted by | NFL, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Santa’s Naughty or Nice List (Part II)

 

 

SantaGiven that I am leaving tonight to traverse the world on 8 reindeer and spread holiday cheer to all the boys and girls, it’s time to make the last minute additions to my Naughty or Nice List. 

Kerry Collins: Oh Kerry, my sweet Kerry. I suppose you have come a considerable distance from your days of drunk driving, racial slurs and overall shitty personISM. Your numbers don’t dazzle by any stretch of the imagination, but you seem to know your role on the Titans’ offense and have made, relatively, very few mistakes this season. If you continue to rely on the running game and superior defense in Tennessee you should have a good playoff venture. Just stay away from the Seagrams. More blase quartebacks have won Super Bowls (see: Brad Johnson, Trent Dilfer, Mark Rypien) and YOU might be able to add your name to that list if you’re a good boy. Your Christmas gift from Santa: a Super Bowl matchup versus the Arizona Cardinals. I really want to see two quarterbacks go head to head whose combined age is 73.

Mike Martz: Hired as the God of Offensive Attack, you came in and improved the 49ers from 32nd in passing in 2007 to 14th this year. Although San Francisco fans aren’t impressed with 1-2 more wins from a dismal 5-11 record last year, you’ve shown enough potential this year to avoid my naughty list, but you are still a touchdown or two away from “nice.” And dear Lord, what were you thinking on that last play of the game when you played Arizona on Monday Night Football?!? I’ve made better decisions playing Tecmo Bowl. Your gift from Santa: a new quarterback for 2009 and the chance for a winning record… Kurt Warner? Matt Cassel? Sage Rosenfels? You name it…

Joseph Addai: Is it just me or where you listed as ‘questionable’ before EVERY game this year?! And I feel like you missed games for the most minuscule of injuries (headaches, nausea, morning sickness…) Let me ask you a question Joe, do you even like football? The Tooth Fairy traded you for Leon Washington to the Easter Bunny in our fantasy league, and I don’t blame her. I picked Domenic Rhodes up off waivers and made them both look like shmucks. Your stocking stuffer from Santa: Vagasil.

Plaxico Burress: Hahahahahahahahahaha! Next…

Ravens Defense: I’ve gotta respect the resurgence! Going from the 22nd best defense last year to the 2nd best is a more impressive comeback than Robert Downey Jr. this year. For Christmas you guys get anything you want…mainly because I’m terrified of upsetting Ray Lewis.

All of the Detroit Lions: I don’t even know what to say here. You should highly reconsider changing your name from the “Lions” to the “Clubbed Baby Seals.” You are that pathetic. The automobile industry in Detroit is going up in flames and putting families on the streets. The winter weather is keeping anyone from coming or leaving Michigan for the holidays, and you guys are one loss away from the worst possible season in football. Seriously, for Christmas all I want is one win out of you guys. Not for me. For the people of Detroit. Please. It’s all too depressing…

Well I’m due in Beijing in about 15 minutes, so this is Santa signing off until next year. Until then, Merry Christmas to all… except Eli Manning. You broke my heart this year. Yes it’s true, Santa is a Pats fan.

December 24, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment