Organized Sports is a recurring sports column named for a seminal DC avant-hardcore song by the equally stupid and brilliant (to me, “equally stupid and brilliant” pretty much just means “brilliant”) band Void. Take from that what you will.
Apparently, the key to (moderate) success for the NFL picks this year is not to watch any football. Out of town and on the road, I missed the majority of the games, seeing only about half of the Sunday night game and parts of the Monday night game, and I went 8-7, which, if I were a baseball team, might be just good enough to walk bass-ackwards into the playoffs in the new second Wild Card slot (go Cardinals! Nice lawyer ball!).
The problem is, I like watching football, which will likely doom me when it comes to this week. Will I continue my upward swing into moderate success? MAYBE. Will some quarterback have a game that’s way above his average performance, which will lead to annoying sports talk about whether or not said quarterback is ELITE? PROBABLY. Will I pick the Rams even though they are playing an undefeated team because I like the fact that Jeff Fisher basically appears to just tell all of his defensive players to go out and commit personal fouls all the time? WITHOUT A DOUBT.
(Note: All point spreads listed here are the lines at the time picks were made. Be sure to consult your very legitimate and legal sports book [cough] before making a bet of your own; lines move constantly due to the action on particular games. Also, gambling is illegal in many states. And watch out for those offshore betting sites, lest you end up like an online poker professional. Okay? Okay. Onward and upward.)
Last Week: 8-7
My Record So Far: 26-35-2
Thursday Night Game (10/4 8:20PM ET)
Arizona Cardinals (-1.5) at St. Louis Rams
I imagine when the NFL Network was angling for Thursday night primetime games, they were considering this one a complete and total dogbaby. But now, it’s actually a good game, with the undefeated Arizona Cardinals going up against the 2-2 and so far performing ahead of expectation St. Louis Rams. This will be a hard-hitting, defensive battle, and will likely be a low-scoring game. It’ll be close, but I think the Rams will take this one at home, purely because I am a homer, and because I think this “undefeated Cardinals” thing has run its course.
My Pick: Rams (+1.5)
Sunday Early Games (10/7 1PM ET)
Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers (-3.5)
Pennsylvania is a weird state. Philadelphia is considered an East Coast city, while Pittsburgh is the epitome of rust belt Midwest, and State College is a cultish town that deifies relics at the expense of the innocence of children. I guess what I’m saying is I don’t really want to visit Pennsylvania. I hear the Pirates’ stadium is pretty cool, though.
My Pick: Eagles (+3.5)
Green Bay Packers (-7) at Indianapolis Colts
Green Bay had trouble with the Saints, but pulled out the win. The Colts lost to the Jaguars, and their coach has tragically been diagnosed with leukemia. It was already a rebuilding year, but I don’t see the Colts doing much without their head coach. That’s a cold thing to say, but this is an NFL picks column, and I’m a cold-ass mug.
My Pick: Packers (-7)
Cleveland Browns at New York Giants (-9)
Each year, it seems like the Giants drop a home game to a team they should beat easily; they already had a scare with this with the Buccaneers earlier, and coming off of a tough loss at Philly on Sunday night, this game against the Browns will be an emotional letdown. At the very least, I think the Browns will beat the spread, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up winning the game outright.
My Pick: Browns (+9)
Atlanta Falcons (-3) at Washington Redskins
While the “undefeated Cardinals” thing may have run its course, I don’t think the undefeated Falcons thing has. I think they’ll dominate after the close call with Carolina last week, and easily take this one on the road, even while letting RGIII put up some ridiculous numbers.
My Pick: Falcons (-3)
Miami Dolphins at Cincinnati Bengals (-4)
It’s the Chad Johnson on Hard Knocks bowl, as the Miami Dolphins visit the Cincinnati Bengals. A couple of weeks ago, Chad Johnson was the guest “expert” on Inside the NFL, the Showtime show that features NFL Films highlight packages and homoerotic bickering between Chris Collinsworth and Phil Simms. They joked around with Chad a lot and it was uncomfortable, especially because they sort of tried to bring up the fact that he head-butted his wife in the face but then went back to talking about Chad’s wacky “Child Please” antics. Let us please be done with Chad.
My Pick: Bengals (-4)
Baltimore Ravens (-5) at Kansas City Chiefs
I once knew this guy who smoked a lot of weed, and always wanted to do so at inopportune times. When he wanted to smoke, he would say, and I quote, “Hey man, checkitout. You mind if I cheef?” I guess what I’m saying here is that the Ravens are going to smoke the Chiefs, because I am clever.
My Pick: Ravens (-5)
Sunday Late Games (9/30 4:05PM ET)
Seattle Seahawks at Carolina Panthers (-3)
Cam Newton had a fantastic rookie year, and now he’s having a sophomore slump, and people are writing think pieces about his body language and whether or not he should do his Superman celebration while his team is behind with no hope of winning. The Seattle Seahawks are a good defensive team with a rookie quarterback who seems to have the right attitude but maybe not the skills yet to be truly effective.
My Pick: Seahawks (+3)
Chicago Bears (-5.5) at Jacksonville Jaguars
The amount that people in Chicago hate Jay Cutler makes me automatically love Jay Cutler, because the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The amount that he just seems not to care and have a doofy face while still occasionally being awesome at quarterback makes him the perfect person to troll Chi-town people and their gritty, mistakenly working class vision of themselves.
My Pick: Bears (-5.5)
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots (-7) (4:25 start)
Peyton vs. Brady. Bayton vs. Prady. Bady vs. Prayton. Brayton vs. Pady. Hype. Long-standing rivalry. Fleebs.
My Pick: Patriots (-7)
Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers (-9.5) (4:25 start)
The Bills enter the Bay. San Francisco treats them with dignity while still defeating them easily. One of the Bills offers a formal thanks to the 49ers for not embarrassing them. The formal response from a member of the 49ers? “William, It Was Really Nothing.”
My Pick: 49ers (-9.5)
Tennessee Titans at Minnesota Vikings (-5.5) (4:25 start)
Ah, a late game battle between mediocre teams! Minnesota is slightly better than people expected, and Tennessee is slightly worse than people expected. Therefore, I will take the Son of Adrian Peter, one who Ponds Christians, and the Vikings.
My Pick: Vikings (-5.5)
Sunday Night Game (10/7 8:20PM ET)
San Diego Chargers at New Orleans Saints (-3.5)
I have no idea how the Saints are still favored in this game, even though they’re at home. They’ve been the biggest disappointment this year, and the Chargers seem like a slightly above average team. Philip Rivers will have a good game, and the Saints will stay unundefeated for yet another week.
My Pick: Chargers (+3.5)
Monday Night Football (10/8 8:30PM ET)
Houston Texans (-7.5) at New York Jets
The countdown to Tebow Time is on, and the Texans will cause another tick in the Doomsday Clock.
My Pick: Texans (-7.5)
I plan on watching the games this week, so obviously more than 50% of these picks will be incorrect. So, if you’re going by my guide, it’s like gambling twice!
See you next week.