Good afternoon, Lunatics. Check out the Football Ranter's week 10 NFL picks, including the Degenerate Gambler Angles.
Fun starts after the jump.
Thursday Night Football
Oakland Raiders at San Diego Chargers: Yea OK, so I fucked up and neglected to post this pick prior to the game. Here's what I had written up prior to Thursday: "The Raiders are god awful with Captain Interception under center. I wouldn't trust them to beat a guy that owed them money, much less another professional football team. Take the Whale's Vaginas, who shouldn't have any trouble making Carson Palmer look like...well...Carson Palmer. Degenerate Gambler Angle: I know I said the Chargers would definitely win this game, but I have zero faith in this squad to cover a 7 point spread. The danger of them Norving themselves is just too high. I wouldn't bet this game at all, but gun to my head, I'd puke in my office trashcan and take the Raiders (+7). San Diego 23-21." (Post-game note: Carson Palmer torched this team for a madden-esque 15.0 YPA. Yup, I'll just go fuck myself.)
Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals: Can the Red Rifle and the Green Dream upset Rapelisberger and the Steelers? Sure. Will they? No, they will not. I'd say that Troy Polamalu would take Andy Dalton's soul, but...uhh...ya know...nevermind. Believe it or not, these two defenses are almost identical, ranking 3 (Pittsburgh) and 4 (Cincy) in yards per game. The difference is that Pittsburgh has a better pass defense (3rd in the NFL) than Cincinnati (10th), while Cincy is better against the run (2nd, Pittsburgh 6th). Factor in that Pittsburgh has the more productive offense and has been facing stiffer competition all year, and I'll take the Steelers all day, every day in this matchup. Degenerate Gambler Angle: I don't like laying more than a field goal in a matchup that has legitimate upset potential. I don't believe Cincy is ready for prime time yet, but they're at home and their defense should keep them in this game. Take the Bungles and the points. Bengals (+4). Pittsburgh 26-23.
Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs: The Chiefs have their third straight home game and are coming off a hideous loss to the previously winless Dolphins. KC will be down after that inexcusable performance last week, and will be looking ahead to New England next week a little too early. Degenerate Gambler Angle: I wish Denver was getting more than three points, but since I believe they'll win outright anyway, take the Broncos (+3). Denver 22-19.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts: The numbers say that Jacksonville should win -- Indy is 31st against the run and pretty much all Jacksonville can do is run the football and play defense. But take a look at the Colts' upcoming schedule. They finish the year: vs. JAX, vs. CAR, at NE, at BAL, vs. TEN, vs. HOU, at JAX. Which one of those games is the most winnable? It has to be this week at home against the Jaguars. I really don't think the Colts go 0-16, though this is their best shot to avoid that dubious honor. Degenerate Gambler Angle: The fact that the Jags are only -3 is enticing, but Blaine Gabbert is so, so bad. Take the Colts and give yourself a chance to push if the Jags win on a late field goal. Colts (+3). WEEK 10 UPSET SPECIAL: Indianapolis 19-13.
Buffalo Bills at Dallas Cowboys: Buffalo is going down fast and there's nothing you can do to stop it. They're like the Titanic, or Kim Kardashian in the Cowboys' locker room. Traveling to face a non-conference opponent after getting debacled at home by the Jets is just more bad news for the Bills- they're not going to have anything left in the tank for this game. Degenerate Gambler Angle: Having said everything above, I absolutely do not see any reason to believe Dallas wins this game by more than a field goal, so take the Bills (+5.5). Dallas 27-24.
Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: This one is fairly simple: Houston is just flat out better, and it's not close. Houston is 3rd in total offense and 4th in total defense in the NFL, while Tampa is 15th and 28th in those categories, respectively. Tampa Bay really needs help on the defensive line, where they're 31st in sacks and just lost Gerald McCoy, then signed Albert Haynesworth. Yes, I'm counting signing Fat Albert as subtraction by addition. Degenerate Gambler Angle: Tampa Bay is 26th against the rush. There's no reason Arian Foster/Ben Tate can't make sure Houston covers a three and a half point spread considering how much better Houston is than Tampa Bay. Texans (-3.5). Houston 31-24.
Tennessee Titans at Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton was added to the injury report and had an MRI on Friday for "stiffness" in his throwing shoulder. He's listed as probable, but if for some reason he doesn't play, this game is all Titans, all day. If Newton does play, it's the opposite. The Titans just don't have the horses to run with Newton and Panthers offense. Degenerate Gambler Angle: I don't love giving up 3.5 points to take Carolina here. On the other hand, I hate only getting 3.5 points on the road for the Titans. I'll take the lesser of two evils and trust in Cam to cover -- Panthers (-3.5). Carolina 30-20.
Washington Redskins at Miami Dolphins: This game wins the week 10 "who gives a fuck" award. Literally no one on earth, including these two fan bases, gives a fuck who wins or loses this game. The Redskins are going to win because they have "a defense" and Miami has "their dick in their hand." DEGENERATE GAMBLER WEEK 10 PICK OF THE WEEK: Washington GETTING 4 points to go into Miami, where the Dolphins are 1-10 in their last 11 games?? Holy god are the books overrating Miami after they stomped out the shitty Chiefs. Do it up people! Bet your wife, bet your kids, bet your house, bet the farm! Don't have a farm? Form a raiding party to go up to Canada, take some land from those hockey-loving penis pumps and make a farm out of it, then bet it on this game! Redskins (+4). Washington 20-16.
New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons: Probably the toughest game of the week to pick, but I like the Falcons for a couple of reasons. First, as mentioned last week, Drew Brees is vastly better at home than on the road (118.9 home QB rating, 88.4 road QB rating). Second, while it hasn't been true this year, historically Matt Ryan has been much better in the Georgia Dome than on the road (94.9 home QB rating, 80.4 road QB rating). Plus, Atlanta has been on a tear ever since their week 5 home loss to the defending champs. I just don't trust the Saints defense to shit the bed at all the wrong times in this game, and I don't know if Drew Brees can play well enough in a hostile environment to overcome the defensive issues. Degenerate Gambler Angle: Stay far, far away from this game. It's a pick 'em, so you get no points either way and these two teams are pretty evenly matched. If you're a huge degenerate (like me) and must bet this game, take the home team because of the above-mentioned trends. Falcons (PK). Atlanta 27-26.
St. Louis Rams at Cleveland Browns: I feel your pain, Browns fans. Just like many Browns fans, last week I took the Browns to upset the Texans. And just like many Browns fans I was staggeringly and pathetically wrong. And just like many Browns fans I'm back for another steel-glove-junk-punch as I take the Browns again. I fucking hate this team, but there's at least a 50/50 shot they're better than the Rams. Degenerate Gambler Angle: Cleveland can win by a field goal and cover the spread? Umm...OK. I can live with that. Browns (-2.5). Cleveland 16-13.
Arizona Cardinals at Philadelphia Eagles: I don't want to waste any time on this one, it's the easiest pick of the week. The Cardinals traveling east for a 1pm game without Kevin "Corn on the" Kolb coming to the Eagles after the latter suffered an awful home loss on national TV last week? This is going to be a blood bath. Degenerate Gambler Angle: The Eagles could be favored by 50 and I still might take them. No way the Walrus allows the Eagles to do anything less than blow out the Cards at home after what happened last week. Eagles (-14). Philadelphia 38-9.
Baltimore Ravens at Seattle Seahawks: The Ravens did lose to Jacksonville on the road, so could they be in for a similar let down going up against the 12th man? Actually, yes. The Seachickens play much better at home and are very stout against the run. That means Joe Flacco is going to have to take control of this game and I have very little confidence in his ability to do that over a full game, despite his fantastic final drive last week. Despite all that, I'm picked the Ravens- but not by much. This game has very real upset potential. Degenerate Gambler Angle: I can't believe I'm going to say this, but take the Seachickens. Baltimore likely wins this game by a field goal, or maybe even gets upset. Either way, I don't see them being up emotionally for this game. Seachickens (+6.5). Baltimore 23-20.
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears: Yes, Da Bears went into Philly and walked out with a huge win over the Iggles. But the Eagles are now 3-5. It's time to admit that they're just not very good. Detroit is a much better team and now Chicago is the favorite -- they may not be as pumped for this game without the "no one believes we can win" motivation they had last week. Degenerate Gambler Angle: You know the rules people -- always take the better team and the points. And no, I don't want to hear it Bears fans, they're not the better team here...yet. Lions (+2.5). Detroit 28-26.
New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers: San Francisco's defense has been lauded all year, but really it's just their run D that has been so impressive (#1 in the NFL, 70.8 yards/game). Meanwhile their pass defense hasn't been nearly as impressive (22nd in the NFL in yards per game), though that stat can be misleading since they've been ahead of teams that had to throw. Regardless, the Giants can't run the ball anyway, so as usual this one is on Eli "Mouth Breather" Manning to deliver a win. I know Alex Smith has been great this year, and the Giants have a tendency to make shitty QBs look like perfect 10s, but Eli hasn't failed the Ranter yet -- except in that FUCKING SEACHICKENS GAME. No, I'm not bitter at all, so don't ask. Degenerate Gambler Angle: You know the deal with the Giants by now -- they play to the competition, meaning a lot of close games. They're likely to win or lose by a field goal, so no reason not to take them. Giants (+3.5). New York 25-23.
New England Patriots at New York Jets: This is probably the biggest game of the week as far as playoff implications go. If the Jets lose, the Pats hold the tiebreaker will have a 2 game lead in the division because of it. The Jets know what's at stake, and they'll treat this like a playoff game. Meanwhile the Pats are in disarray. They have no pass defense to speak of and Tom Terrific just hasn't looked like himself the past few games. Not to say he's been playing badly, he just hasn't been utterly and totally impossible to stop. You know, like he normally would be. Degenerate Gambler Angle: I'm not sure why this game isn't pick 'em if New Orleans at Atlanta is, but whatever. I don't make the rules, I just play by them. In any case, giving up two points really isn't a big deal, it still means that so long as the Jets win by a field goal, they cover. Giving up 2 points doesn't deter me from taking Gang Green. Jets (-2). New York 28-23.
Monday Night Football
Minnesota Vikings at Green Bay Packers: Not even going to bother analyzing this. The Pack have issues on D, yes. But it doesn't matter because they have Godgers, who apparently is prohibited from losing by official NFL rules. Seriously, he's a machine sent back from the future to collect Packers super bowl rings. Degenerate Gambler Angle: Despite all of the above, I don't like the Pack to cover a 14 point spread. That defense isn't good enough to keep AP and a revamped offense in check and reliably provide a 14 point win. Take the visitors and the points. Vikings (+13). Green Bay 33-21.
Until next time, Lunatics.