The Road to .500? ACo attempts a reversal of (mis)fortune

After week 2, I was a little disappointed, but I wouldn’t call my performance a disappointment. Does that make any sense? Basically I was kind of bummed that I didn’t go 13-3, but I didn’t really have expectations to crack .500. Neither did Chris, and I don’t blame him for that. Year after year, I refilled my Sportsbook account thinking that I had finally figured the lines out only to lose it all after four weeks and ask myself why I even bet on sports in the first place. If I had a dollar for every time that I contemplated betting the exact opposite of my picks only to disregard the idea and then regret not doing it once I lost all my money, I probably would have broke even. But I’m a trooper (and luckily don’t bet on sports anymore) and I’m going to keep picking even though it could get to the point of serious embarrassment.

So without further ado, here are my picks (with the home teams in bold) for this week.

Tampa-Pittsburgh (-2.5)

Carolina-Cincinnati (-3)

St. Louis-Washington (-3.5)

Chicago-Green Bay (-3)

Denver -Indianapolis (-5.5)

I’ve grouped these games together for a very specific reason. These lines are absolutely baffling to me. I like to consider myself very knowledgeable about sports, football specifically. I think it’s fair to say that I know more about football than 90% of the general population (completely random, unprovable statistics are the best kind). So when I look at these lines, my brain has trouble processing how I could possibly be wrong about them. Maybe the fact that they are all home ‘dogs (underdogs) has something to do with it, but what that something is, I don’t know. So on the face of it, the obvious picks to me are all 5 of the away favorites. How is the Tampa offense going to do ANYTHING against the Steeler defense? JIMMY CLAUSEN ONLY GETTING 3 POINTS ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! The Redskins are giving 3.5 to the Rams. THE RAMS! Chicago put on a decent show last week against Dallas (who I think we should have realized by now isn’t very good) and is only getting 3 points from arguably the best team in the league? Denver, WITHOUT CHAMP BAILEY, THEIR ONLY COMPETENT DEFENSIVE PLAYER is only getting 5.5 from Indy! How does Indy not score 40 points?

So I’m completely stumped. I want to pick all 5 of those games exactly how I see them. But time and time again Vegas tricks me. Whenever a game seems too obvious, or the line that is deceptively close, Vegas knows something. My dad always said that the definition of insanity is doing something the same way over and over again and expecting different results. When I used to bet on football, I would do exactly this. See a line that looked obvious to me, bet it and lose. So I’m going to try something different this week, because there is no money on the line and I’m frustrated with my performance last week:

My Picks:



St. Louis



(DISCLAIMER: Seriously I can’t believe I’m actually picking some of these teams. It goes against everything that’s good and holy, actually thinking that Denver is going to cover 5.5 against Indy. But it’s either all or nothing to test my hypothesis).

Jacksonville-Philadelphia (-2.5)

Detroit-Minnesota (-11)

Seriously, when I meant all or nothing, I meant all or nothing. These two games just missed the cut in making the, “Oh my god this line is so amazingly obvious maybe I should reopen my Sportsbook account” level. The only reason they didn’t is because I can somewhat understand why the two lines are what they are. Philly is sporting Vick at QB and just barely beat the Lions. As bad as I think the Jags are, Philly obviously isn’t THAT good and they’re on the road, so it should be relatively close. But when I looked at the line, I was licking my lips getting ready to take the Eagles. Minnesota, on the other hand is at home playing the crappy Lions, so an 11 point spread isn’t so unthinkable. But again, I saw the line and was SOOO ready to take the Lions. Favre looks awful, Percy’s headaches are back and even without Stafford the Lions scored points. So in keeping with my previous hypothesis my picks are as follows:

My Picks:



Atlanta-New Orleans (-4)

My Pick: Atlanta

This game is just screaming let down game for me. Short week for the Saints and I think Atlanta matches up relatively well. Should be a close one.

Buffalo-New England (-14.5)

My Pick: New England

It’s a lot of points and Buffalo usually plays the Pats pretty well. But I really like the Patriots offense with their young tight ends and I think they can cover the 2+ touchdowns.

Dallas-Houston (-3)

My Pick: Houston

Tough game, a must win for Dallas (but people say that all the time, and I’m not sure it really means anything). They don’t have any takeaways yet, so the law of averages says they are probably due. But until they show something, I’m not going to trust them.

Kansas City-San Francisco (-2.5)

My Pick: Kansas City

I think it’s a toss up, so I’ll take the home team and the points

Cleveland-Baltimore (-10.5)

My Pick: Baltimore

Gotta give Ray Rice the ball more. Flacco played poorly, I think he bounces back as well. Should win big.

Tennessee-NY Giants (-3)

My Pick: NY Giants

Another tough game to call. Chris Johnson probably bounces back, but I like the Giants playing at home. I’m still banking on them as division winners

Oakland-Arizona (-4)

My Pick: Oakland

BRUUUUUUUCE. Bruce was huge for me last year when Oakland went on their run of beating good teams. Knocked out a whole bunch of people from my survivor league (I ended up choking in week 17). I think they can win straight up.

Seattle-San Diego (-5.5)

My Pick: Seattle

Ugh, I don’t know. No Ryan Matthews? Seattle has a good home crowd? I would usually take the Chargers, but I’m trying to mix it up a bit.

NY Jets-Miami (-1.5)

My Pick: Miami

Jets are definitely the better team. They really shouldn’t lose…so they probably will. Plus I picked the Pats last week and the Jets won. Gotta keep the streak alive.

Last Week: 3-12-1 (Wow…) Season: Do I really have to type that record again?

*ACo is the Sports Chump’s first ever contributing writer. As a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, ACo has resorted to blogging to help dull the pain of going from frat life to corporate monotony. His allegiances belong to the aforementioned Wolverines, as well as the New York Jets, Yankees and Knicks. So if at any point his biases get out of line feel free to rip him a new one in the comments section.

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15 Replies to “The Road to .500? ACo attempts a reversal of (mis)fortune”

  1. I love it.

    Week Three and he’s already rattled. Intentionally going against your own instincts? Did you feel the least bit dirty while writing this?

    Either way, let’s just say I predict more than 3 wins for ACo this week. I mean how could he possibly be any more wrong that he was last week, right?

    I’ll be back later with a more detailed analysis.

  2. Rereading it is making my queasy. A little piece of me died inside betting on Jimmy clausen to cover. That Denver pick too. It just makes zero sense to me why those lines are so close.

  3. Ok I’m caving. Knowshon Moreno is out for Denver. No person in their right mind can logically pick the broncos. MY PICK IS BEING CHANGED TO THE COLTS. phew. I feel so much better now

  4. That line hasn’t budged much, ACo. It’s still holding steady at 5.5. Guess Moreno’s absence doesn’t mean that much.

    Everything points to Indy covering this one easily. But since you flip-flopped on your pick, I’ll go ahead and take the Broncos moneyline.

  5. On your bold five, ACO, I can’t see taking the dogs in either the Panthers or the Rams game.

    I see both Cincy and Washington blowing them out.

    I predict a 7,8 or 9 win week for ACo… which is still a dramatic improvement from his Week Two belly flop. Still enough to get him above the Mendoza Line.

  6. The Bucs can’t run but then the Steelers can’t pass, especially with Charlie “I beat the Bucs in 1998” Batch! That leaves the run game and while the Bucs have a ways to go on defense before I annoint them the second coming of DBrooks, Sapp, Lynch and company they did hold the best rushing team in football last year to 94 yards last week. I think Penn holds his own against Harrison and Freeman is no pushover to sack. Just ask the 2 Carolina D-lineman he slung to the ground before hitting Winslow for 40 on 3rd and long. Keeping in mind the Bucs are 3rd in the league in points allowed (weak opponents aside) and the Steelers failed to score an offensive td last week (it was a kick return and the Bucs have a great special teams unit). I see a baseball score coming. Connor Barth, the Bucs kicker is as good as it gets. This one will be close and the homer in me likes the Bucs at home in the heat even if half the crowd has terrible towels. I also like the Fish at home, Indy at Denver, definitely the new and improved Michael Vick and the Eagles (who I hate) in Jax and anyone who picks against the Ravens should have their head examined.

  7. Oh and I like Drew Brees and the Saints in the Superdome where Brees has thrown 50 touchdowns against 9 ints in the last 3 years.

  8. Either way, Al, it should be an ugly game to watch. Maybe the NFL is sparing its fans from having to watch a 13-10 game. I still like the Bucs chances at home.

    The over/under for this one is low as expected: 33. Vegas rarely goes any lower than that, yet I’ll still take the under… assuming, of course, that I condoned wagering on sports.

  9. Ladies and gentlemen…

    That is why the Bucs coaching staff has a pipeline into Super Seth.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Take the under.

    And I also like the Saints to cover, SK.

  10. As of midway through the Sunday night fish-fry, ACo has only hit on:

    St Louis
    Kansas City

    Quickly, people. Let’s book a trip to Vegas and do the opposite of everything ACo suggests. There could be no sounder investment.

    Your bookie misses you, my friend.

  11. Ok so the Bucs were clearly over matched and homerism took me down again. Yet another example of why i don’t play fantasy or bet on the NFL. I did get the Eagles, Colts and Ravens right and if the Saints had a better kicker I would have had that one too, but not against the spread. I won’t quit my day job any time soon!

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