It is always more fun for Kevin and I when you guys take active roles in the pieces we do. After all, the real fun happens in the comments sections. The Thursday Line has attracted the attention of some real degenerates among you. Finally...a weekly piece where I can feel at home.
One of our more ardent supporters, Pommylee, has taken me to task on a number of occasions for my picks in recent weeks. To be fair, in the absence of the regular season, I think I was making up lines on just about anything. Now we get honest-to-goodness betting lines provided by honest-to-goodness odds makers.
Pommylee threw down the gauntlet and has challenged me to a season's worth of bets on the Thursday Line. I am not sure what to think, since ol' Lee lives in Australia and hails from England. That is a powerful betting background. We are looking for suggestions from the rest of you delinquents on what stakes we should put up on this.
We have agreed that all lines will have the half point to prevent any pushes from occurring. I, for one, love this. I have asked Lee to pick his games for the week and he has done a fantastic job. Since I am a man of the people, I have decided to take the other side on all of his selections this week. Let's see how good this guy is...before I bring out my whooping stick. From the looks of Lee's picks, methinks he spends a few minutes thinking about this stuff. Check out his selections after the jump. Remember, he is a Brit. As Patton once said, we are two countries separated by a common language. I did not edit out his Englishness...just like I don't edit out Kevin's Ewoldtness.
Again, I have the opposite of all of his picks.
New England (-2.5) over Jets (Vegas 3)
I am in the mega minority in that I am not a Jets fan, but actually like Rex Ryan. I find Rex refreshing. However, that does nothing about the fact that he does not have a Quarterback. Sanchez is not only an awful player-in what little of Hard Knocks I saw in Australia, he exuded anything but leadership qualities. On the other side, NE is just scary this year, and in the Cincy game last week, Tom Brady just stood like a Statue in the pocket, never being pressured. If that O-Line continues at that level then this NE team is poised for a deep run into January and more importantly will provide me and those that follow my advice some easy money until Vegas works out just how good they are. Patriots
Giants (+5.5) over Colts (Vegas 6)
Call me crazy (and you won't be the first) to pick the Colts to start 0-2 but if an undrafted RB can gash Indy for 231 yards I can see Coughlin just dumping the ball into Brandon Jacobs and his other RB's hands all afternoon trying to replicate that success. This has the other advantage of keeping the clock running, therefore reducing Peyton's possessions and leading to a low scoring game. Maybe NYG won't win, but I can see them covering. Giants
Saints (-5.5) over Niners (Vegas 6)
I have a few gambling rules, and one of them is this: if you can't beat a Seattle team that is weak at basically every position on the field and is in Stage One of a rebuilding program, then you don't deserve to have me risk my money on you when you play the SB champs, basically I would have tipped the Saints here if the line was 13.5. Saints
Dolphins (+5.5) over Vikings (Vegas 6)
Two things here.
Number One, I actually like the Dolphins. I think Henne has the potential to be the best QB from his draft class and I like their coach and the style they play. They're innovative and fun to watch.
Number Two, I usually have a rule never to bet on games including Brett Favre or Jay Cutler, just because you never know what you are going to get from them from week to week. Yes Cutler sucks, but occasionally he will have a 400 yd, 4 TD day and cost you money. However I am dumping that rule today, ‘cuz Favre looked terrible last week and although I am taking a big risk here, I just can't see him playing well this week either. He had no targets he trusted and I don't trust Childress to go to Peterson, meaning Favre will control the outcome of this game again...I think that's a recipe for failure. Dolphins
Jags (+6.5) over Chargers (Vegas 7)
I don't see how a team gets better when snubbing their nose at a Franchise Left Tackle who is in the Top 8 in the League. Vincent Jackson I think they can live without, but as good as Rivers is, we in Washington know what no protection for a QB means. Plus this Jacksonville team might actually be better than people think-when their own city doesn't care about them, it's pretty easy for the rest of us to ignore them as well. But they have a top notch RB, their QB has played well enough in the past to win a big contract and with teams used to playing in half empty stadiums I think being on the road with actual atmosphere in the stadium can inspire them rather than intimidate them. I don't think they will win, but I can see them keeping it close and therefore covering the 6.5 line. Jaguars
Eagles (-4.5) over Lions (Vegas 5)
If Kolb plays then I would be very tempted to change this bet. Shaun Hill is not a sexy QB by any stretch, (and stretch is a good word as he is unable to stretch the field) but the dude just keeps winning games. However, I think Vick will play and I think 3 years of frustration will bubble over, coupled with the confidence he got last week and he will light it up. This has the added advantage of causing a full scale QB controversy in Philly and dividing their locker room, leaving DMcNabb smiling at Fedex.
One other thing on Kolb: I watched that game last week, and the first boo's rained down at 1:47 left in the 2ndQuarter. Now I saw the hit just before that, and that was not a concussion causing hit, leading to only two possible conclusions, either the Philly crowd's Boo's are so powerful that when sent raining down from the stands they can actually concuss people, or alternatively Kolb is weak minded, saw he wasn't playing well and looked for the first excuse to get off the field. I choose Option 2. Eagles
One point of advice: if you are going to just follow one of my picks, choose one of the other 7. I am taking a bit of flyer on this one-originally I thought the line would be 5.5 and was prepared to back the Bengals, but then couldn't talk myself out of it when I saw the low line. My reason for thinking they can do it: Ochocincho and TO vs a suspect Cornerback position for the Ravens. It's a home game for Cincy too, but like I say feel free to ignore this one. Bengals
Before this season I convinced myself that the Browns would be sleepers that would do ok early then falter once the pressure came on, sort of like Denver last year. Now last week should have convinced me otherwise, but what do you know... it didn't. Kansas City rode a loud home crowd and special teams to victory last week as well as the motivation of being on MNF for the first time in forever. I can see this as a classic let down game. If Jake can keep his INT below 2.5 I think the Browns win on the back of Cribbs and Defence. Browns
To be honest I will be happy with 6 from 8 this week as it is a tough week, anything less than 4 will be embarrassing.
Feel free to join Ken in ripping me, or me in ripping Ken in the comments section below.