Last week in conjunction with our NFL “Point Spreads and Picks” we began the 2011 Vodka Challenge. Joining us in the challenge is Mitch, from the Shadow Beverage Group, makers of Dude and Mystt Premium Vodka.
In our innagural week Mitch and the Vodka Examiner differed on seven games. Mitch picked three of these correctly, the Vodka Examiner got four. This week there are 8 conflicting picks. We’re all rooting against a tie.
The “Point Spreads and Picks” season total stands at 26-22.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Carolina Panthers v Chicago Bears -6.5
The Bears most glaring weakness in 2011 is their inability to keep Jay Cutler off the ground. An upright Jay Cutler is only a modest improvement over one writhing on the turf, but the former can at least fling the ball toward Matt Forte. Carolina is averaging a mere 1 2/3 sacks per game thus far. Likely won’t be enough. Cam Newton will also facing his first true defense this week. Mitch loves Cam Newton.
Mitch’s pick: Carolina +6.5
Vodka Examiner’s pick: Chicago -6.5
Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals +3.5
The sports betting landscape is littered with erroneous claims of “a sure thing.” The smoking hot Bills, taking on a Bengals team that only managed 8 points against San Francisco, at home, would seem as sure as any. We know a trap when we see one, though that doesn’t necessarily mean we can avoid it. Neither of us.
Both pick: Buffalo -3.5
Tennessee Titans v Cleveland Browns -.5
If your team is playing the Browns, and your team is not favored, your team is lousy. Granted the Titans just lost Kenny Britt, and Chris Johnson appears to have lost his enthusiasm for football, but Cleveland needed a last minute touchdown last week, to beat Miami who may not win a game. Unless a rejuvenated C.Johnson shows up, the Cleveland Browns win this one at home.
Mitch: Tennessee +.5
VE: Cleveland -.5
Detroit Lions v Dallas Cowboys -1.5
Until they lose, the world will be waiting for the Bills and Lions to come back down to earth. The betting public seems to believe the Lions will do it in Dallas. Tony Romo is showing all kinds of heart, though the Cowboys haven’t demonstrated they can beat a team with Detroit’s 2011 level of talent. Mitch still believes in the Cowboys despite how they let him down last Monday.
Mitch: Dallas -1.5
VE: Detroit +1.5
Pittsburgh Steelers v Houston Texans -3.5
The Steelers opened up in Baltimore, and got smacked around by the Ravens, losing 35-7. The Texans are arguably an even more complete team, and 3.5 points is completely too low. At least according to one of us.
Mitch: Pittsburgh +3.5
VE: Houston -3.5
New Orleans Saints v Jacksonville Jaguars +7
The Saints faced a tough test against the Texans and came away with a 7-point victory. Jacksonville is a team without an identity, and mostly without a quarterback. The Jags would be fortunate to keep this game within triple digits.
Both pick: New Orleans -7
Minnesota Vikings v Kansas City Chiefs +1
Dubbed the Andrew Luck Bowl, this game could well determine the worst team in the NFL, and thus who has the first pick in the 2012 draft. Vikings’ RB Adrian Peterson finally spoke up this week, noting how he is tired of his team being so terrible. Though we expect the Chiefs to feel likewise, no one from their side has yet come forward. Flimsy logic indeed, but we’re being asked to choose between two 0-3 teams here.
Mitch: Kansas City +1
VE: Minnesota -1
San Francisco 49ers v Philadelphia Eagles -6.5
San Francisco’s 13-8 yawner in Cincinnati did not fail to fall short of our dubious expectations. After giving up 64 points in the last two weeks, the Eagles defense will be looking for blood. We love San Diego native, Alex Smith, though no one likes his chances of survival.
Both pick: Philadelphia -6.5
Washington Redskins v St. Louis Rams +0.5
That spread seem low? Aren’t the Rams decimated to the tune of getting crushed every week? The Redskins did give one away in Dallas Monday night, but that is one of those hotly contested NFC East match ups. St. Louis is losing at a 20-point clip this year. Washington should be able to cover a measly 0.5.
Both pick: Washington -0.5
New York Giants v Arizona Cardinals +1.5
Just when you think Eli Manning a worthless as a bag of doorknobs, he stumbles into a four touchdown outing against the Philadelphia Eagles. If he plays like that, and not like his typical doorknobbyness, the Giants will have no trouble in Arizona. Mitch would like to remind everyone that Larry Fitzgerald is going to be the best player on the field that day.
Mitch: Arizona +1.5
VE: New York -1.5
Atlanta Falcons v Seattle Seahawks +4.5
The only team less predictable than the Seahawks is, perhaps, the Falcons. Atlanta’s Matt Ryan is playing more like Tarvaris Jackson than Tarvaris Jackson. And, with the return of Sidney Rice, Tarvaris Jackson looked like Matt Stafford. 4.5 points is too many to give on the road to an underachiever, even if it’s only against another underachiever.
Both pick: Seattle +4.5
Denver Broncos v Green Bay Packers -12.5
Green Bay over Chicago was our Week 3 Pick of the Week. Don’t get off a winning horse until you’re thrown from it.
Both pick: Green Bay -12.5 (pick of this week)
New England Patriots v Oakland Raiders +4.5
Oh, those pesky, not terrible Oakland Raiders. Not only did they not lose to the Jets, they looked good in victory. A visit from the New England Patriots is like rain at a picnic, however, and Tom Brady’s boys are fresh off an unanticipated, irritating loss in Buffalo.
Both pick: New England -4.5
Miami Dolphins v San Diego Chargers -7.5
If you can’t beat the Chiefs by four points, can you expect to beat anyone by 7.5? If Philip Rivers does not improve over his performance last week, the Chargers won’t win this game, much less cover. Mitch is far more forgiving.
Mitch: San Diego -7.5
VE: Miami +7.5
New York Jets v Baltimore Ravens -3.5
Will the real Baltimore Ravens please stand up? On one hand is the team that outscored Pittsburgh and St. Louis, 72-7 combined. On the other is the team that lost to the nearly-Chris Johnson-less Titans. The Jets just suffered their first loss, and while we think Joe Namath should shut his yap, we are angry at the Jets for losing to the Raiders.
Both pick: Baltimore -3.5
Monday, October 3, 2011
Indianapolis Colts v Tampa Bay Buccaneers -9.5
The Colts are likely going to run their 3rd string QB out for this one. Sadly for ESPN, Curtis Painter hasn’t quite the star power of Peyton Manning. He hasn’t near the talent either, but Indy hung tight against the Steelers Sunday, and Tampa Bay couldn’t beat the Hoosiers by ten points. Mitch doesn’t care for college ball, or our pick.
Mitch: Tampa Bay -9.5
VE: Indianapolis +9.5