Ditto. That’s all I have to say about that. The song that is.

Some things happen and we wonder why; last week wasn’t one of those weeks in the NFL.

There were three games with eleven point spreads, yet the one that ended in a tie—this is eerie—had a hook. Ouch indeed.

It’s not parody. I’m so tired of that phrase, too, because this is a professional sport. So don’t be stupid; if these guys couldn’t play, they wouldn’t be in the NFL.

Therefore, it ain’t parody: ‘Tis the best football players on the planet.

Sorry about that; I’ve been pondering that one for days, so I’ll get back to the point.

This writer went 9-5 last week overall ATS and three-for-five here. The yearly totals thus far are as follows: 67-75-2 and 27-23. Let’s do this…

New Orleans (-4 ½) @ Oakland. The only thing bothering me about this pick that I’ve just made is how small the number is. People in Vegas very rarely get these things wrong; that’s why they keep building so many giant bloody casinos; and/or, this is why bookies drive such nice cars. The Ain’ts are back, and now we can stop hearing talking heads try and explain to us why they were so bad at the onset of this NFL season. All that being said, the Raiders did beat the Steelers in the Black Hole—how could you forget that—and Oakland gave the Falcones a run for their money. And they covered each of those games, so this writer could just be blinded by his recent success and in need of humble pie from the team that makes him the most excited that it is Sunday.

Miami @ Buffalo (-1). Forget the first half of this season and you’ll see this game quite clearly. Quarterback talk will occur a lot in this column, so I apologize for that in advance; I can’t, however, look at this game without bringing it up. One team has a rookie (the Fish); the other (duh, the Bills) has a kid that holds a degree in economics from Harvard. Now I know the latter has nothing to do with playing football in the NFL, but it certainly doesn’t hinder his ability to perform. And, by the way, the Bills playcaller has been through the ringer; Miami’s QB could be good in a few seasons but not tonight. Add to that the cold—it matters—you got to bring it up, for it does change things—and Buffalo wins this thing by a touchdown minus the extra point.

Cleveland (+9) @ Dallas. Before you scan downward to the next pick, please stop. This is the odd ball in this batch, I know, but listen to the gambler’s logic. The aforementioned three point spreads of the same number last weekend has happened again during Week Eleven in the NFL. This time the line’s nine (with one with a hook, too, so this is getting down-right creepy)—and when I filled out my book just now to pick every single game, I took all the points I could get my hands on. Sorry if that’s a terrible explanation of a selection, but there’s no other reason I’d be this confident about such an absurd suggestion such as this.

Green Bay (-3 ½) @ Detroit. The Packers did not need a week off, but they got one anyway to sit around and game plan how to destroy their division foes the Lions this week. The Vikings and the Bears have made this division the deepest in the league, yet the standard bearers under center are still these two teams. Quarterback play doesn’t win games in the NFL, but it can hurt your chances. A costly pick instead of taking a sack; a time when you misjudge something you see in the presentation of the defense and audible wrong—or you shouldn’t have audibled in the first place; these things and more add up, and you can end drives and lose chances, lessening your chances to win by committing these costly football sins. Take the team that makes fewer mistakes: The Pack.

Baltimore @ Pittsburgh (+3 ½). I might be blowing your minds here—doing something like beat a dead horse and then turn around at the end and flip-flop, back-track like a…Where was I? That’s right. Pittsburgh’s winning this thing outright. The Ravens’ll get their revenge in a few weeks—these two have a week apart before the second half of this epic home-and-home, concluding fast you could miss it—okay maybe not. I love the Steelers (see my NFL season preview in the archives), and this will be won before the ball even is placed for the opening kickoff. For good measure, I’ll include numbers: The home-underdog theory may be bunk by now (‘dogs at home are 26-23-1 this year), but last week they took 66% of the contests against the number. Why not the Steelers? Answer that question within your cranium before you go the other way—yet I don’t think you can.


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