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.
I should have known it was too good to be true. Once again, I dipped below the .500 mark, and the team that lost the week for me in the end? The St. Louis Rams, my hometown team, who rewarded me for my lack of faith in them by holding it impossibly close with the much better Seahawks, only to call a stupid pass play at the end of a potentially game-winning comeback drive when they’d inexplicably been able to run all over Seattle all night. Which means that the one sports victory on St. Louis’s not-so-good Monday (the Cardinals also lost, as more people probably watched) was that the Rams covered the spread when they were dogs at home.
Let’s try this all again, after the jump.
(Note: All point spreads listed here are the lines at the time bets 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’s Record: 6-7
My Record So Far: 57-60-3
Thursday Night Game (10/31 8:30PM ET)
Cincinnati Bengals -2.5 at Miami Dolphins
Have you ever noticed that a lot of pundits, particularly ex-jock pundits, pronounce the Cincinnati football team’s name as “Bingulls”? That’s pretty annoying.
My Pick: Bingulls -2.5
Sunday Early Games (11/3 1PM ET)
Kansas City Chiefs -3.5 at Buffalo Bills
Even though the Chiefs remain the only undefeated team this year, everyone seems hesitant to crown them for anything because their offense is far below their amazing defense and their quarterback is Alex Smith, which is not bad but is kind of boring. Even his name is kind of boring, like the name of the kid from school whose driveway you used to play basketball in and moved away in fifth grade.
My Pick: Bills +3.5
Atlanta Falcons at Carolina Panthers -7.5
At the beginning of the year, there was some debate as to whether or not Panthers head coach Ron Rivera was going to make it through the season without getting fired, and the Falcons were a team that had been a couple of plays away from the Super Bowl. Now the Falcons are only blocked from scraping the bottom of their divisional barrel by the presence of the Tampa Bay $1/ears, and the Panthers look like a playoff team.
My Pick: Falcons +7.5
Minnesota Vikings at Dallas Cowboys -10.5
Last week, the Cowboys experienced a Romo-like collapse at the end of their last-second loss to the Lions that actually had nothing to do with Tony Romo, and everything to do with terrible playcalling and the duo of Matt Stafford and Calvin Johnson. Will they come out guns blazing against the lowly Vikings at home, or will this be another mediocre effort that calls into question how good they really are?
My Pick: Vikings +10.5
New Orleans Saints -5.5 at New York Jets
Before last week’s blowout loss to the Bingulls, the Jets had at least kept things close in every game, and won more than they were expected to. But they’ve yet to win two in a row, and only seem to really perform well every other week…which means this week they should have a good game at home against the Saints, who are not the same team away from the Superdome.
My Pick: Jets +5.5
San Diego Chargers at Washington Redskins (PK)
A pick ’em! Woo!
My Pick: Chargers
Tennessee Titans -4 at St. Louis Rams
Sigh. The Rams defense had a hell of a game on Monday night against the Seahawks, even though they were playing in a half-full dome because everyone else was at home or at a bar watching the Cards lose. The offense didn’t hold up their end of the bargain, and will continue not to, but they should keep this one close enough so that taking them as a home dog against a pretty-good-not-great Titans team is the right move.
My Pick: Rams +4
Sunday Late Games (11/3 4:05/4:25PM ET)
Philadelphia Eagles -1.5 at Oakland Raiders
The Eagles are not good. The Raiders are less not good? I bet Chip Kelly wishes he had Terrelle Pryor right about now, which is not something I ever thought I’d say about an NFL coach.
My Pick: Raiders +1.5
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Seattle Seahawks -17
Much has been written about how awful Greg Schiano is, but I think the funniest thing was that during a joint practice with the Patriots, he took a break from senselessly berating his disinterested players to follow Bill Belichick around like a puppydog. Sadly though, they’ll keep it JUUUUUUSSST close enough to keep him from being fired for one more week.
My Pick: Buccaneers +17
Baltimore Ravens -3 at Cleveland Browns
Jason Campbell is actually pretty good. And it turns out Trent Richardson wasn’t.
My Pick: Browns +3
Pittsburgh Steelers at New England Patriots -7
The Patriots’ record and the fact that they play in a weak division (still weak, even though the Dolphins were supposed to be strong this year) covers up a multitude of sins. Pundits are still all “You can’t count Tom Brady out” even though the first half of the season he was about at Sam Bradford level in terms of his stats. I can’t see them kicking anyone’s ass at this point, not even a subpar Steelers team.
My Pick: Steelers +7
Sunday Night Game (11/3 8:25PM ET)
Indianapolis Colts -2.5 at Houston Texans
Is there a more Texas name than Case Keenum?
My Pick: Colts -2.5
Monday Night Football (11/4 8:30PM ET)
Chicago Bears at Green Bay Packers -11
These rivalry games are often closer than it feels like they should be, so with a double-digit spread I’m going to have to take the Bears on the road on Monday night.
My Pick: Bears +11
If I could go three games over .500 this week, I’d be back at .500 for the year, and ready for the home stretch to turn this year into a profitable one. Wish me luck. Or don’t.