We're back for another week of picks, and you know the one thing we've got going for us? Las Vegas is as confused as we are at this point. The Super Bowl favorites are all over the map, and NINE games this weekend have lines that are three points are less. In other words, Vegas is throwing up their hands on more than 75% of the games this weekend. In other words, our guess is as good as Vegas.
That's what the NFL has become. Is that a good thing though? Um, if you'll excuse me...
We need to talk. The way things have been going the past few years, I feel like we're growing apart. Every week, you find a new way to toy with my emotions and belittle my intelligence. You make me crazy. And for a long time, I thought it was part of the charm.
After all, as Chris Rock once said, "There ain't NOTHING more exciting than a bad relationship. You never know what's gonna happen tomorrow, when you're in a bad relationship. You never know when your gonna walk in and say, 'HEY! You gave me crabs!' That's exciting! I wonder what tomorrow's gonna bring!"
But you know what? When there's a new, crazy surprise around every corner, it becomes an unhealthy relationship. And for the record, if every weekend brings a new surprise, is it really that surprising? We all do crazy, uncharacteristic things every now and then. But when EVERYTHING YOU DO is crazy and unpredictable, then that's not a "wild and crazy weekend." At some point, it just becomes "what you do when you drink."
You're not "fun" and "spontaneous" anymore. You're schizophrenic.
So, this is me putting my foot down.This relationship has turned into a roller coaster of emotions with no end in sight. I have no idea who you are anymore. Frankly, I think anyone would throw up their hands in this situation. Because how can anyone understand anarchy?
Ten different teams can win the Super Bowl this year, and YOU KNOW DAMN WELL that not one of them is any good. STOP DOING THIS TO ME. Our song, The NFL Films Music?? It's been replaced by a cacophony of your stupid voices, each one of them lying to my face, expecting me to believe that [insert team here] is the Best Team In Football. AND YOU PROBABLY DON'T EVEN KNOW WHAT CACOPHONY MEANS.
It's a "a discordant and meaningless mixture of sounds." Ahem... NFL countdown? The AFC West? The Washington Redskins? The Jets offense? The entire NFC? TAKE YOUR PICK, BASTARD.
I've let this go on for too long. It was fun when we called it "parity", but these days, I'm beginning to wonder what I'm doing here. Get your act together, NFL, because there's no promise ring in this relationship. College football is younger, cuter, and more fun.
Consider yourself warned.
Sexually EMOTIONALLY frustrated fan.
...Sorry, needed to get some things off my chest. Because sometimes you need to stand up for yourself and your feelings, ya know? Let's get into the Week 10 lines, courtesy of Odds Shark:
- Baltimore at Atlanta (-1)
- Tennessee (-2) at Miami
- Detroit at Buffalo (-3)
- Wait, Buffalo is seriously favored? (Yes)
- New York Jets (-3) at Cleveland
- Houston (-1.5) at Jacksonville
- Carolina at Tampa (-6.5)
- Minnesota (-1.5) at Chicago
- Cincinnati at Indianapolis (-7)
- Kansas City (-1) at Denver
- Dallas at New York Giants (-14)
- Seattle at Arizona (-3)
- St. Louis at San Francisco (-6)
- New England at Pittsburgh (-4.5)
- Philadelphia (-3) at Washington
So now that I've vented about the NFL's schizophrenia--not even because of last week's picks, which were a respectable 3-2--let's go through this weekend's slate by sticking to what we know. And in 2010, while we may not have any clue as to who's really good, we can at least take solace knowing exactly who sucks.
1. Carolina at Tampa Bay (-6.5). Jimmy Clausen on the road ... Tampa Bay, inexplicably capable this season ... Um, and some other factors, too. But seriously, what more do you need to know? If Jimmy Clausen's Panthers are getting anything less than 14 points, just save yourself the analysis and take the other team. Even when that team is Tampa Bay... You gotta take the Bucs.
2. St. Louis (+6) at San Francisco. What do you do when two awful teams play each other? You either bet against the team that's favored by an inordinate amount of points (San Francisco), or, if you want to go a simpler route, just bet on which team is awful-er (San Francisco, probably). So yes, just this week, it makes sense to pick the Rams. Because doesn't it seem like fate for all those 49ers fans to sit through a lights-out performance from Sam Bradford? It'll give them one final reminder of how much they hate Alex Smith (before he gets cut this offseason). Take St. Louis, but drink heavily if you plan on actually watching this game.
3. Tennessee (-2) at Miami. Not because of Randy Moss, but because Miami has seemed destined for 8-8 since August. And maybe because of Moss a little bit. Take the Titans, America's Team.
4. New York Jets (-3) at Cleveland. I know I pick the Jets like every week in this column, but does anyone seriously believe that the Cleveland Browns will beat three playoff teams in four weeks? We probably should bet against Buffalo here, but then... It's Cleveland. There's like a universal law that they can only be so happy in a given month. And the Bills won't go 0-16 this season, so beating Detroit feels like it makes sense. Because even though they're actually pretty decent this season, everyone finds a way to beat Detroit.
Hey, so that turned into the most depressing paragraph ever! Detroit, Buffalo, Cleveland... It's like the Bermuda Triangle of Soul Crushing Disappointment. Feel guilty about it, but take New York.
5. Cincinnati at Indianapolis (-7). The Colts are a perfect example of what's wrong with the NFL. For at least three years now, besides Peyton Manning, the rest of their roster has gotten progressively more dilapidated, and yet, they just keep winning. I mean, it's all fun and games until Jacob Tamme, Javarris James, and Austin Collie are the key "weapons" taking you to paydirt each weekend. But somehow, the Colts keep winning. It's proof of how crazy (and mediocre) the NFL has become. Or maybe Peyton Manning's just insanely, historically talented. We really don't know, and the answer is probably "both."
You know one of the only things we know for sure in 2010? Carson Palmer sucks. Take Indy.