Blaze Of Glory

12/22/13 in NFL   |   pigskinfan   |   65 respect

~~It wasn't exactly glorious, but things went down in flames again yesterday and last night.  Of all things, it was the Pelicans playing an uncharacteristic 4th quarter that ended up being the final nail.  They are notorious over the last couple of years for folding up and letting games get away from them in the final stanza, but instead of playing to form, they surged, and it was all the Blazers could do to just come away with the win.  Go figure.

So I tried to steal one in New York early in the day, and that didn't work out either.  So, yesterday's 1-3 (0-1 with college football and 1-2 in the NBA) is just fuel for the fire that's burning me up so far this month.  For the week, things weren't much better at 5-9 (0-1 with college football, 1-2 in the NFL and 4-6 in the NBA), and that now leaves me at a lowly 14-23 (1-1 with college football, 2-5 in the NFL and 11-17 in the NBA) so far for the month.  The longest journey begins with the first step, so here we go boldly into the last week of 2013!

THE NFL  (8-7 last week and 20-25 so far for the month)

BUTTA  (1-2 last week and 2-5 so far for the month)
1.  PARLAY:  BENGALS (-450) over Vikings and CHIEFS (-270) over Colts - In Cincinnati, it looks like a perfect storm.  The Bengals are (-8 1/2), and that's too rich for my blood, but they are the division leaders off a bad loss on the road last week.  The Vikes are a cellar dweller off a home win against a playoff contender.  Both teams return closer to form today.  Here in God's Country at Arrowhead, it's cold and blustery and we got a nice blanket of snow last night.  The Colts are an indoor team coming out in those harsh elements knowing they already have their division title sewed up.  They're also seriously banged up along an O-Line that's had Luck running for his life all season long.  That's not good mojo against the Chiefs D.
2.  Broncos/TEXANS (O53) - Even without Welker, Manning playing into a Texans defense that's been bad all season long is a good bet to get well into the 30s here.  The Broncos can be had on defense also, and the Texans still have some offensive weapons.  I expect a close resemblance to a Texas Shootout.

That's enough for now, but there's so much more I could do.

  1.  Dolphins (-2) over BILLS - The Fins seem to be leading a charmed life as they try to zero in on a playoff berth.  The Bills are without their starting QB for today's game, but is that a bad thing or a good thing?
  2.  RAMS (-3 1/2) over Bucs - Both teams are trying to close strong.  The Rams play some really good defense when they're at home under that dome.  If I had to, I'd go with St. Louis.
  3.  JETS (-1 1/2) over Browns - Really???  I've got nothing more than that to say about this game.
  4.  Bears (+3 1/2) at EAGLES - The division is right there for the taking for both teams.  A Bears win and a Packers and Lions loss will win the North.  An Eagles win and a Cowboys loss will sew up the East.  The only problem with all that is that both these teams seem to like drama.  The Bears play the Packers next week, and the Eagles have a showdown with the Cowboys to close the season.  Laying more than a FG seems like a foolish move.
  5.  Cowboys (-3) over REDSKINS - Talk about a team that loves drama.  It's the Cowboys.  I'd really like to jump them here off 2 very disappointing losses, and they're backs are against the wall.  I just don't trust that defense enough to pull the trigger though.
  6.  PANTHERS (-3 1/2) over Saints - Revenge is sweet, but at more than a FG, I'm skitterish.
  7.  JAGUARS (+4 1/2) vs. Titans - My gut tells me the Titans win this game, but my head tells me that this number is too high to lay with them.
  8.  Broncos (-10) over TEXANS - As a general rule of thumb, it's not a good idea to lay doubles and play OVER, but that's all I'm going to say about that, and why I won't pull the trigger with the Donkeys.
  9.  SEAHAWKS (-10) over Cardinals - Normally, I wouldn't think about laying doubles in a division game, but the 'Hawks all but wrap things up in the NFC with a win today.  I also have this little voice in my head that's telling me that Carson Palmer reverts to his old ways and throws the ball to the wrong colored jerseys a few times.
10.  LIONS (-10) over Giants - EGAD!  How am I supposed to lay doubles with a Lions team that's so mistake prone?  I can't take with the Giants either.  They're no better when it comes to botching things up.
11.  PACKERS (-1) over Steelers - I don't know how either of these teams are still alive for a playoff berth, but they are.  The Pack may not have as much on the line as the Steelers because even if they lose here, and the Bears lose in Philly, they still have a game against the Bears to finish the season.  I still think the Steelers season ends today though.
12.  CHARGERS (-9 1/2) over Raiders - The Bolts have got to be feeling really good about themselves.  They knocked off the mighty Broncos in Denver last week, and they're still in the hunt.  But are they feeling too good to cover this big number?
13.  RAVENS (-2) over Patriots - The way to beat the Pats is to run right at them.  The Ravens can't run the ball, but I think they can take the Pats running game away from them also.  This looks like a steel cage death match.

TOTALS  (3-1 last week and 7-7 so far for the month)
OVERS - Dolphins/BILLS (43 1/2), Colts/CHIEFS (46 1/2), Bucs/RAMS (43 1/2), Broncos/TEXANS (53) and Cardinals/SEAHAWKS (43)
UNDERS - Bears/EAGLES (55 1/2), Giants/LIONS (49) and Raiders/CHARGERS (50 1/2)

THE NBA  (6-6 ATS & 7-5 SU last night, 29-25 & 33-18 for the week and 73-82 & 80-68 so far for the month)

BUTTA  (1-2 last night, 4-6 for the week and 11-17 so far for the month)
I'm always going to keep my options open, but right now, I'm laying off in The Association tonight.

1.  Celtics (+12) at PACERS - I don't know how this works out, but since I'm not interested, there's no point in going against my numbers.  PACERS 90, Celtics 82 
2.  THUNDER (-10) over Raptors - I don't think the Thunder are a team that is given to "hangovers".  There's just too much talent there, but if there was a spot where they might slip up a little, tonight might be the night.  THUNDER 112, Raptors 101 
3.  CLIPPERS (-5 1/2) over Wolves - If there is a play in The Association tonight, this is it, but I'm going to lay low on it for right now.  CLIPPERS 113, Wolves 94 

TOTALS  (9-3 last night, 30-24 for the week and 77-78 so far for the month)
OVER - Raptors/THUNDER (205 1/2)
UNDERS - Celtics/PACERS (188) and Wolves/CELTICS (209)

It's a great day to stay in and gorge myself on football and hoops.  As I said, it's very cold here in God's Country.  We got a nice blanket of snow last night, but that was preceded by about a 1/2-inch of freezing rain and sleet, so the roads are like skating rinks out there.  Wherever you are, and whatever the conditions are there, have a grand and glorious Sunday.  Be careful out there, and I'll talk to you tomorrow.
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