Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Pick Em Week 11

 (For Pick Em Standings -- week-by-week and YTD -- click here.)

A freaking tie?  I lost a lock on a tie?  Are you &%*#'n kidding me???

Then my sister-in-law had to inform me today that the 9 year-old son of one of her co-workers picked perfectly two weeks this season?

I don't care.  Forty still sucks.

So, this week is another super boring one where we all picked along the same lines until the final two games.  Disclaimer:  I picked the Steelers because I needed to take a risk, and I just couldn't pick the Ravens.  In all likelihood, however, the dirty birds are going to win.  They were the stronger team coming into this week, and the Steelers have some critical injuries.  The smart bet would be to take them unless, like me, you need the risky bet to win back some ground.


Lock of the Week (Keller): Houston over Jacksonville (if the Colts can beat the Jags in Jacksonville by 17, the Texans can beat them in Houston by at least that much, and take the over if it’s 44 or less): 38-10.  I think the Jaguars have officially replaced the Browns as “team that I will pick against, regardless of who they’re playing.”  This week, they happen to be playing a very talented, very confident, very motivated Texans team in Houston.  If you can tease this against another spread or point total, I’d go higher than 17.  I would go as high as 24, but probably not any higher than that, because Houston might decide to have mercy on the hapless Jags.  Thing is, you don’t want to make the over/under any higher, because Jacksonville isn’t going to score a lot of points and, again, the Texans might be merciful.  Even if I wasn’t afraid of dipping into the Patriots Lock well too much, I’d still take Houston.  They’re about as Lockable a Lock as you can lock.  (That sounds cooler when I say it in my head, so I’m keeping it there.)

Lock of the Week (Weidman): What Keller said
If the Chiefs didn't exist, the Jags would be the worst team in the NFL, no question.  Houston is also at home after good road win.  Take the Texans all day long.

Lock of the Week (Forty): Houston over Jacksonville 27-7 (Take the under because the Jags aren't going to put up many points.)  There's only one double digit point spread in the early lines this week and that's Houston at home favored by 15.5 over Jacksonville. Houston showed last Sunday night that they were ready for prime time by handling the Bears on their own sloppy field. The Jags are probably considered the worst team in the NFL right now, after the Chiefs did show some life against the Steelers last week. Maurice Jones-Drew still being out puts more pressure on Blaine Gabbert who is still nursing a bad shoulder to his non-throwing arm. He'll probably have to throw it a ton here and look for him to get knocked around big time. In week two, the Texans easily beat the Jags at home 27-7 and just to be cute, I'm predicting the same score here. 

Meet the "Experts":

Brad "QBERT" Keller is the inventor and sole proprietor of the QBERT (Quantitative BERT jones is awesome) system for rating quarterbacks. Using this innovative approach and working tirelessly part time breaking down film and finding angles inside the angles, he has mastered the art of picking and handicapping NFL games. With an expanded playing field this season, he's anxious to defend his title against a formidable group of experts that... hey, you know what? He can beat these two jokers, right? No problem. Because he has a foolproof system.

"Arena" Weidman's prime qualification for this contest is that he's spent more than a decade watching Steelers games with Keller while drinking. Because of this, most of his picks might seem like they were done while drunk, but that's just a facet of how he gets into "recall mode."  A devoted follower of the Arena Football League, Weidman's NFL world view is colored through this lens. Because of this, he possesses strong opinions on why more people should go to Power games and how the the Cardinals should really be using the Rattlers as a farm team.  Mainly, he just has trouble with the field being way too big.

Leonard "Forty" Hayhurst earned his nickname for his ability to grow the facial hair of a 40-year-old man at the age of 16, not his ability to pound 40s of King Cobra, but there's that too. He owns the largest collection of Drew Bledsoe memorabilia in the world (five items would be the largest, right?). He feels for Cleveland Browns fans because when he started rooting for a 2-14 club in the New England Patriots, they eventually won three Super Bowls. Then Steelers fans brag about how they have six Super Bowl wins, to which Leonard says they would have had eight if the Patriots hadn't beaten them twice in the AFC Championship game. They then mumble something about Franco Harris and walk away.

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