Friday, September 15, 2006

Week 2 picks

Thanks to a 2-0 Monday night, I managed to finish 8-8 (.500) ATS last week. That would have cost me 5% of my money, as the 10% "vig" gets paid on losses and ties. 8-8 just also happens to be the result you should achieve by flipping a coin, assuming the bookies have set up the spreads well.

So this week, I'm going to make my picks, and then flip a coin as well. My competition is a 1986 dime, minted in Philadelphia, that I found at the bottom of my desk drawer. No idea how long he could have been in there, or what his previous exposure to football includes, but I'm sure he'll be a worthy foe. When I flip, a result of "heads" will be a pick for the home team.

Oakland at Baltimore (-11.5) Oakland's offensive game plan on Monday night was the worst I've ever seen, and I've been watching the NFL for over 20 years. This team has the worst coaching staff in the league, and it will haunt them all season. My pick: Baltimore 31-0. Donnie the Dime: Oakland +11.5

Houston at Indianapolis (-13.5) The Colts find their running game and their pass rush this week, and that's bad news for the Texans. My pick: Indianapolis 34-20. Donnie: Indy -13.5

Cleveland at Cincinnati (-10.5) Kellen Winslow Jr. guaranteed that the Browns would beat the Bengals this weekend. George Bush Jr. is more likely to be invited to join the Mensa society. My pick: Cincinnati 21-10. Donnie: Cleveland +10.5

Buffalo at Miami (-6.5) New England ran all over the Bills last week as they were coming back from a 10-point deficit. Miami will pound the ball from the start with Ronnie Brown. Miami 20-10. Donnie: Buffalo +6.5

Detroit (+9) at Chicago Chicago's the better team, but Detroit will keep it close. After winning 27-0 last week, the Bears will come out a little overconfident and flat. Chicago 17-16. Donnie: Chicago -9

Carolina (+1) at Minnesota Carolina is in trouble after losing their left tackle for the season, and their middle LB for an indefinite amount of time (I think Morgan's career is over.) But they are too well-coached to start 0-2, and Minnesota's not really talented enough to start 2-0. Carolina 24-21. Donnie: Carolina +1

NY Giants (+3) at Philadelphia I know I picked Philly to win the NFC East, but after watching the Giants run the ball last week, and play run defense, I'm really scared. I'm not counting on the Giants to beat themselves two weeks in a row. I'll take the Giants with the points, but I can still dream that Eagles pull out a close one. Philly 24-23. Donnie: Philly -3

Tampa Bay (+5.5) at Atlanta Little known fact: 2/3 teams that are shut out in the NFL come back to win the next week. Since I didn't pick the Raiders to win, that means I'm picking Tampa and Green Bay. Tampa is a well-coached team that's much better than they showed against Baltimore. They have a history of containing Vick, and Atlanta has injuries on defense. Tampa bounces back to win, 19-16. Donnie: Tampa +5.5

New Orleans at Green Bay (+2.5) The football gods have smiled on me with this line. Forced to pick Green Bay for statistical reasons, I at least have the comfort of getting 2.5 points at home. Green Bay did manage to beat New Orleans 51-3 last year, so maybe I'll get lucky again. Green Bay 21-20. Donnie: New Orleans -2.5

St. Louis (-3) at San Francisco Half of the 49ers wins last season were thanks to a sweep of the Rams. But that awful coaching staff has been replaced, and this time, the Rams will be ready to play. They kick nine FGs and win 27-10. Donnie: St. Louis -3

Arizona at Seattle (-7) I'd take the Seahawks at home if I had to give twice as many points. Seattle 31-3. Donnie: Seattle -7

New England (-6) at NY Jets New England's bad personnel moves over the last two seasons are starting to catch up with them. But the Jets aren't ready for prime time. New England 21-14. Donnie like the Jets +6.

Tennessee at San Diego (-11.5) This is a good spread, because I don't want either end of it. I could see Phillip Rivers throwing a couple picks as the Titans have one of those bounceback games where they lead the whole way then somehow lose in the end. But that means I'd have to bet on Kerry Collins, and I'm not drunk enough for that. San Diego 17-3. Donnie: Tennessee +11.5

Kansas City at Denver (-10.5) I could be wrong, but I think it's been about five years since the Chiefs have won at Mile High. Add to that the fact they are starting Damon Huard (honestly, I didn't know this guy was still in the NFL til last week) and the Broncos will be pissed about losing to St. Louis last week...Denver 28-10. Donnie: Denver -10.5

Washington (+6) at Dallas I think Dallas is going to win this game, but six points is too much to lay in a rivalry this intense. Dallas 24-20. Donnie: Dallas -6

Pittsburgh (-1.5) at Jacksonville If this game was played Sunday afternoon, I'd take their Jags. But Bill Cowher owns the #3 all-time winning percentage on Monday night, behind only George Seifert and Tom Flores. The last time these teams met in prime time, it was one of the most physical football games you'll ever see, and Pittsburgh squeaked out a 17-16 victory. Expect something similar this time. Pittsburgh 19-17. Donnie: Pittsburgh -1.5


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