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.
Leave it up to a fictional woman to make your picks, and you’ll surely regret it. Week 6 was my worst week so far, so it’s time to go a different direction with these picks. Today, our guest is the Swami himself, Chris Berman, the longtime face of ESPN’s NFL coverage. Take it away, Boom!
(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: 4-9-1
My Record So Far: 38-50-3
Thursday Night Game (10/18 8:20PM ET)
Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers -7
Hey, it’s the Schwam here, bringing you my two minute drill that will take a lot longer than two minutes to complete. (Grumble) This week’s first matchup has the beasts of the Bay, the San Francisco 49ers, hosting the resurgent Seattle Seahawks. Despite Russell Wilson Phillips’ tendency to “Hollllld on,” the Niners will take this game and rebound after last week’s loss to the New York FOOTBALL Giants.
My Pick: 49ers -7
Sunday Early Games (10/21 1PM ET)
Tennessee Titans at Buffalo Bills -3
Nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills, and they’ll take this one from the Titans, who may still be without Jake “The Hurt” Locker.
My Pick: Bills -3
Arizona Cardinals at Minnesota Vikings -6
Another game where the QB situation is questionable has the Vikes hosting Arizona, who may be starting John “Red” Skelton if Kevin “Kolrn on the” Kolb cannot suit up. Either way, this spread is much larger than one would expect; take the Cards to cover, but only bet a smart amount, because the Cards’ owner is Bill Bid-well.
My Pick: Cardinals +6
Cleveland Browns at Indianapolis Colts -3
Andrew “Cancelled HBO Show About Horses” Luck seems to be alternating between mediocrity and greatness; what else could one expect from a rookie following up Peyton Manning? Brandon “Instrumental Black Flag Album the Process of” Weeden “Out” just turned 29 as a rookie; he’s been around almost as long as I’ve been at ESPN. Take Indy at home.
My Pick: Colts -3
Baltimore Ravens at Houston Texans -6.5
The Ravens have now lost Lardarius “Spud” Webb and Ray “Emmanuel” Lewis to injury, and Haloti “Zip, Zilch” Ngata will be playing the rest of the season on a bum knee after suffering an MCL tear. Houston will take this one after their loss to the Packers last week on Sunday Night Football.
My Pick: Texans -6.5
Green Bay Packers -5.5 at St. Louis Rams
The Packers leave the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field for the Ed in St. Louis, facing a Rams team that’s surprising in its toughness this year. Aaron “Buck” Rodgers will lead his team to a road win today, though, and the Rams will once again fall where they belong, below .500.
My Pick: Packers -5.5
Dallas Cowboys -2 at Carolina Panthers
Two teams, two disappointing quarterback years. Cam “Fig” Newton and Tony Romo “and Michelle’s High School Reunion” have not performed up to their potential, and this will be a duel of the don’t-do-thats. Carolina takes this one at home and puts another coffin nail in the career of Cowboy Coach Jason “Mrs.” Garrett “From Facts of Life.”
My Pick: Panthers +2
Washington Redskins at New York Giants -6.5
The New York FOOTBALL Giants impressed with their complete dismemberment of the 49ers. The Skins always play them tough, though, so we’ll have to see if the Book of Eli Manning has another winning chapter, or if we’ll have another rookie win for Robert Griffin “Hank Williams Jr.” III.
My Pick: Redskins +6.5
New Orleans Saints -3 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Is New Orleans back? Playing at the Creamsicle, where the defense is tough and the coach’s mindset even tougher, it’s hard to say. Still think the New Orleans Saints are no longer the Ain’ts, and Drew “Summer” Brees will do well in the warm confines.
My Pick: Saints -3
Sunday Late Games (10/21 4:05PM ET)
New York Jets at New England Patriots -10.5 (4:25 start)
The AFC East rivalry game will go to a man named Brady, but the point spread is too high not to take Rex “Meg” Ryan and the J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets to cover.
My Pick: Jets +10.5
Jacksonville Jaguars at Oakland Raiders -4 (4:25 start)
My Pick: Raiders -4
Sunday Night Game (10/21 8:20PM ET)
Pittsburgh Steelers -2.5 at Cincinnati Bengals
Even though they’re not playing in the Big Ketchup Bottle, the Steelers are favored in this matchup against the Bengals, who lost to the Browns last week in a performance not worthy for the ages. Blitzburgh will put Andy Dalton Trumbo on the blacklist and take this road divisional matchup.
My Pick: Steelers -2.5
Monday Night Football (10/22 8:30PM ET)
Detroit Lions at Chicago Bears -5.5
I’m going to save my pick on this one for Monday Night Countdown, right after C’mon Man.
My Pick: Bears -5.5
Thanks, Boom. Hopefully you do better than my fictional wife. Also, I am now 31 years old, and need to grow the fuck up.