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The Thursday Line--Just Because Benjamin Franklin's Face Is On It Doesn't Make It Smart Money


That is what I went last week against my good friend Lee from Australia (Hogs Haven knows him as PommyLee). As they say Down Under, "It was a bad week to quit sniffing glue." The good news for Lee is that he gets a new week and a new slate of games to redeem himself. We'll shuffle the format from week-to-week. Last Thursday, Lee picked 8 games and I did him the favor of taking the other side on all of them. This week he will pick 4 AFC games and I will pick 4 NFC games. As always, these picks are for entertainment purposes only. Except for Lee, who now owes me $500.

Here are Lee's 4 AFC picks (after the jump):


So...not the greatest week for Pommylee last week.   A pointless TD by Detroit got them to cover vs. the Eagles, which killed me.  Then to illustrate the madness that agreeing to write for this post has caused, let me give you an anecdote from the Saints vs. 49ers game.  In Australia you can bet live in-game, and during the 2ndQuarter I convinced myself that the Niners would cover and put $50 on them.  Then as Alex Smith was driving in the last minute to get the TD that would cover, I started to panic that I had picked the Saints in this Post last week and was actively rooting against my bet so that I would not be embarrassed on HH.  Then when it went to OT, I really wanted the Saints to get a TD not a FG to win, so that they would cover, even though that meant that I would be right on HH, but $145 lighter in my pocket-just madness.  Which as I collected I realised that I was happier to be wrong on HH than not to collect, so sanity did come back.

Also as bad as some of my picks on HH were, I actually did well financially. You have to love those Dolphins. Even though the Pats took away much of my winnings, the Niners made it a reasonable week.

Anyway, I am still embarrassed about my picks last week and promise to do better this week.  So onto the picks: these are my 4 AFC picks of the week.

Bengals (-3.5) over Panthers.

Little worried about this pick because I have a sneaky feeling that Clausen might light it up on his debut. However, if the Bengals can beat the Ravens then they have to have to be picked by more than 3 points against the Panthers surely.  Plus this game passed my ‘Jump off the Screen' test, which basically is when you are scanning the games there is one line that just jumps up and says ‘I'm too low/I'm too high" and begs you to bet on it.  This was the game that jumped off the screen this week. BENGALS

Browns (+10.5) over Ravens.

I'm going down with the ship here.  I told myself that the Browns would be better than everyone expected this year, and even though all evidence from the first 2 weeks suggests otherwise, I'm (stupidly) giving them one more chance.  Let me try to put some logic behind it.  What has Joe Flacco shown us so far this season that he deserves a 10 point line?  Can that offence even score 20 points, because you have to think the Browns will at least get a TD and a FG right?.  Also I think Seneca Wallace should improve with some play behind him now.  I dunno...I'm scraping here, but I'm giving the Browns one more week. BROWNS

Texans (-2.5) over Cowboys

 Hard to find just AFC vs. AFC games this week.  Anyway the reason I have the Texans here is nothing to do with Matt Schaub, though I am sure he will play well.  No, this pick boils down to one thing:  Mario Williams vs. that woeful Cowboys O-Line, plus the joy of picking against Dallas. TEXANS

Steelers vs. Tampa (under 33.5)

 Very low over/under line here, but I am still taking the Under. I can easily see this being a 12-10 type game, so I am more confident with the under than I am with the Steelers to cover the 2.5 line.  Also, how annoyed am I that in our Yahoo Fantasy League I dropped Freeman for Matt Moore? That was madness.  That said, this is not going to be a good week for Freeman, as he will be brought thudding back to earth by that Brutal Steelers D.  The only concern here is that the Steelers entered the season wanting to be at worst 2-2 when Ben came back, and with them already having 2 wins, they may mentally drop off a bit, but I don't see that happening and the Steelers D will keep this a low scoring affair. UNDER



Good luck Lee. Here are my four picks:

San Francisco 49ers (-2.5) over the Kansas City Chiefs

Maybe I was fooled by that game on Monday Night Football earlier this week. Maybe the 49ers did not seem to become a better football team as that game dragged on. As good as KC looked in the opener against San Diego, I just don't think the 49ers defense is going to make things at all pleasant for the Chiefs. Look for the 49ers to win this one going away as the Chiefs take their first loss. 49ERS

Detroit Lions (+11.5) vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are in disarray right now. Favre is throwing picks. Berrian is deflecting blame. Harvin has more migraines. The Viking defense is strong. But I see this line and I wonder if this isn't the week when a team like Detroit makes a move against an in-division rival. I am betting that the Lions cover this spread. But something inside me tells me that Lions could very well be in a position late in the game to win it. LIONS

Green Bay Packers (-2.5) vs. Chicago Bears

Look for Jay Cutler to begin his INT-fest this week. This line would be a good 3-5 points the other way if this game was in Green Bay. The Packers should lay some serious wood on Monday Night Football. PACKERS

Atlanta Falcons (+3.5) vs. New Orleans Saints

Always bet on Uncle Rico...(he wears #9 for the Saints). SAINTS

You have a lot of ground to make up Lee...time to get moving.