Thursday, October 30, 2014

"Kids Club" Podcast Picks - Week 9: October 30th

Most of the crew sent the picks via text this week, with the podcast on a Thursday instead of the usual Wednesday.  Here are the picks!

Ron in NJ (15-16-1) 
Missouri -6.5 vs Kentucky
Utah State -3 at Hawaii
Chiefs -9.5 vs Jets
Colts -3 at Giants

Say Hello to Ottis (15-16-1) 
ECU -8 at Temple
Arizona +6.5 at UCLA
Broncos -3.5 at Patriots
Chargers +1.5 at Dolphins

Andy in Seattle (13-18-1)
Mississippi State -10.5 vs Arkansas
Arizona +6.5 at UCLA
Patriots +3.5 vs Broncos
Eagles -2 at Texans

John in CT (12-20) 
UNC +14.5 vs Miami
Kansas St. -12 vs Ok. State
Cardinals +3 at Cowboys
Patriots +3.5 vs Broncos

Only two checker on checkers this week: Arizona and Patriots.  We also have Ottis and John going head to head with Broncos/Patriots.   Good luck to all the picks!

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: October 30th

Here we go, time for Dave's LOCKS (aiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiieee!) of the Week.

Just four games this time, but I feel pretty confident about them.

We'll start with the lone college pick.  Despite my hesitance to do College Games, I nonetheless will select Ole Miss -2 against Auburn.  Auburn is really looking overrated lately and I think they got pretty embarrassed by a similarly good defense at Starkville against Mississippi State.  Ole Miss is going to win this one going away.  Mississippi -2 vs Auburn.

Next we have the Panthers +3.5 at home against the Saints.  For me it's two things:  one, home dogs in prime time getting points are a good play, and Carolina is a good choice for one because while they lost against Seattle, Cam Newton's played markedly better.  The second thing is that the Saints still are very bad on the road.  I know they'll win a game there eventually but with the extra half point, I feel pretty confident about the Panthers at least covering the spread.  Panthers +3.5 vs Saints.

I'm also taking Patriots +3.5 at home against the Broncos.  Same reason! In fact, it surprises me a good amount that the Brady's Pats are getting more than a field goal against the Manning's Broncos.  Even recent history suggests that the Patriots have the upper hand over Manning teams at Gillette Stadium.  In a showcase game such as this, as every Manning/Brady matchup is, a home team getting points is a tremendous opportunity.  It doesn't happen often, and the fact that the Pats are underdogs suggests that either the Patriots are much worse than they looked in recent weeks or that a TON of people are putting money down on the Broncos.  I tend to think it's the latter because we've seen some pretty big point spreads for Denver over the last three weeks.  The betting public is big on Denver, and I feel like I can at least get good statistical odds with Brady and Belechick at home.  Bear in mind, the Patriots have yet to lose a home game.  I actually liked them outright, but officially we have Patriots +3.5 vs Broncos.

Lastly, I'll play heel and take the Ravens +1.5 at the Steelers.   In all honesty, the Steelers have been more fun to watch lately but their defense, especially in the fourth quarter, is pretty terrible.   Their pressure on Andrew Luck seemed like more of a fluke last week, but Ryan Shazier did make his return a week ago.  Nonetheless, the Ravens are a better all around team, an improving defensive team, and they're coming off a loss.   PIT comes off a win against the Colts.  Logically you'd expect the superior roster to win out, even on the road, but we'll see how it goes.   Ravens +1.5 at Steelers.

The line has since changed, since I made the pick early in the week.  Currently the point spread is Ravens -1.   I like it more with Ravens getting the point and a half, so I'm glad to jump on it.

So there they are, LOCKS for Week 9 of the NFL.   Mostly NFL, one College Game, and with hunches I think will hit.  On to a good football weekend!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Dave's WEEKEND MADNESS goes 6-3! and LOCKS of the Week finish 3-3 (Season: 12-19)

Weekend Madness was a great success!  The capper was Redskins +10 at Dallas… I felt good about that and boy did they come through, didn't they?  Not only did they cover the 10, but they won outright in overtime.   Tony Romo was hurt during the game, but even so a great win for Washington.

That game finished off a great weekend of do-or-die picks from the weekend.  Here's how WEEKEND MADNESS broke down.

Hit with: SF Giants, Saints, Redskins, Isles over, Flyers over, Michigan State
Missed with: Penguins over, Maryland, Mississippi State (that damn half a point got me!)

Mississippi State.. would NOT have picked that game at all if I knew it was -14.5.  I thought it was -14… in fact I was waiting for it to go down to 13 but it didn't happen, but no matter, we got through it.

But, all in all, a 6-3 finish… I'm very happy to have a big finish in what could have been our last entry of this blog.   Thankfully it worked out.

LOCKS of the Week were not as lucky due to the Chargers running out of steam plus the aforementioned mis-cue selecting Mississippi State too late.   A good lesson to myself about why I need to make these picks earlier in the week.  I tend to find the point spreads more favorable when I jump on it early.  LOCKS went 3-3, bringing my season total to 12-19.  One more winning week and we're going to be in striking range for .500.  I have all the way until January to make it up too.  Let's break down the LOCKS:

Hit with: Michigan State, Saints, Redskins
Missed with: Chargers, Maryland, Mississippi State

Many of the picks here were included in "WEEKEND MADNESS."  One thing I noticed is that my pro picks have been doing much better than my college picks.   I'm going to step back through the weeks and see how it all adds up:

10/24: 2-1
10/15: 0-2
10/8: 2-0
10/2: 1-2

I did not pick NFL games this year until October, so that is my entire NFL picks history.   Well!  We went 5-5.. not as great as I thought, but it is quite a lot better than my record with College Games.

So!  Let's try to build another winning week.  We'll get it rolling by week's end, stay tuned for more LOCKS of the week coming up.

Monday, October 27, 2014

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 8 Results: Ron ties for first place, Oat Man steady.

No winning weeks out of the Kids Club this week, in a weekend featuring a few wild finishes in both College and Pro Football.   Andy and Oat Man went 2-2.  Ron and John had losing records.    Andy is doing a pretty good job not giving up ground in the race, and Ron pulls into a tie with Ottis for first place.  Ron also wins Week 8 based on the number of previous week wins.  Here's the breakdown.

Ron in NJ (2-2) 
Hit with: Mississippi State, Bengals
Missed with: Ole Miss, Packers

The Mississippi State win was very very close!   He had the Bulldogs -13.5 and picking it early was his key to success, the line went up to -14.5 later on, which would have made Ron a loser, but getting it under 14 was *the* deciding factor.   Miss. State won by exactly 14 points.

Andy in Seattle (2-2) 
Hit with: Oregon, Patriots
Missed with: Auburn, Colts

Andy went with his home town Patriots and they came through in a big way: a dominating 51-23 home win over the Bears.

Say Hello to Ottis (1-3) 
Hit with: Michigan State
Missed with: Alabama, Bears, Seahawks

The Seahawks game was very similar to their game at Carolina last year.  Both games were decided by less than five points.  Alabama was especially disappointing for Ottis because  they had covered for a large portion of the game, but won by only 14 instead of the 18 points he needed.

John in CT (1-3) 
Hit with: Nebraska
Missed with: Oklahoma State, Lions, Jets

Hard to imagine the Jets would have put up such a miserable effort against the division rival Bills.   The Lions were down 21-0 against the Falcons and made a monster comeback to win with a last second field goal.   Final score: 23-21 Lions, so while John lost the pick, the Lions could have been blown out altogether if it were not for that furious rally.

I'd call it a "steady" week for the 'Club, and it brings our standings after 8 weeks:

Ron: 15-16-1
Ottis: 15-16-1
Andy: 13-18-1
John: 12-20

On to Week 9!

Mike Francesa's NFL Week 8 Results: 1-3 this wk, 19-12-1 for the season

After a great run of winning weeks, Mike Francesa's NFL Picks go 1-3, bringing his season total to 19-12-1.   Here is how it broke down...

Mike hit with: Chiefs
Mike missed with: Ravens, Jets, Packers

Both the Packers and Ravens picks were effective pick'em's, and for Mike they just didn't work out.   The Ravens came especially close to pulling it off, only to give up the the push for a touchdown at the goal line near the very end.

Next week, Mike goes for more W's in the NFL picks.  And on we will go...

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Weekend Madness!! A large array of picks.

Well folks... we are taking the kamikaze movement and going heavy with games this weekend.   LOCKS of the Week are included here plus some other picks.  NINE games total:

Maryland +11
Mississippi State -14.5   (this one burns me because it changed from 14 pts to 14.5 at the last second)
Michigan State -17.5
Stars/Islanders over
Wings/Flyers over
Penguins/Preds over
SF Giants -115 (Vogelsong vs Vargas)
Saints -1
Redskins +10

If this goes really south, you are reading the last post ever on LOCKS of the Week.  

Friday, October 24, 2014

Mike Francesa's Week 8 NFL Picks: October 24th

In the league where they play………………………………..  for pay. 

Mike went a spectacular 6-0 last week, bringing his season total to 18-9-1 (no matter what he says).   Now, he has a golden opportunity to extend his streak and build upon an already great season record.  Here are his picks for NFL Week 8:

Jets -3 vs Bills
Chiefs -7 vs Rams
Ravens [pickem] at Bengals
Packers +1 at Saints

I will add though... just when you feel like you can trust the Ravens, that's when they let EVERYBODY down.   Something to watch for going into this weekend.  Flacco in particular -- you never know what you're gonna get.   Provocative!   Good luck to Mike's picks for NFL Week 7.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: October 23rd

And now time for a big edition of our LOCKS (boink) of the Week!

I promised it a few days ago... this week we have a lot of games, and when I say a lot of games, I mean "we have a lot of games."   Let's start:

First from the Pros, we have the Chargers +8 at Denver.   This is a matchup the Chargers used well to their advantage last year, albeit later in the season.  They were also getting over a touchdown in points at Mile High and the Bolts won outright.  I also think it's odd to think of the Broncos winning a divisional game against another good QB by so many points.   On the other hand, it feels like a trap.   Nonetheless, the movement of the line from 7.5 points earlier in the week to 8 suggests many people want to take the Broncos.  That makes me feel pretty confident about this one.  Rivers should be ready to go after an off game against KC.   You may see some big plays from Malcolm Floyd this time around, and while the Broncos have a great run defense, it won't affect this game as the Chargers don't run the ball that much to begin with.

Next!  We have the Packers visiting the Saints.  The Packers are the better team here, but I also think they're due for a minor let down after a monster performance against Carolina.  The Saints had a tough loss at Detroit, and they are now 2-5.  Something has to give, and the Saints are bound to have a big game at home.   Brees hasn't been completely awful of late, and I think he'll spread the ball around much like the Packers do.  I haven't seen anyone really take advantage of GB's secondary, but that will change at the Superdome.   Saints -1 in a virtual pick'em vs Green Bay.

Lastly from the pros, we have a goofy pick: I like the Redskins +10 at Dallas.  This really makes no sense at all.  The Redskins are one of the worst offensive teams in the NFL and they have struggled  defensively against good or even mediocre quarterbacks.   Their QB situation itself is brutal.   They went from RG3 (hurt) to Kirk Cousins (ineffective) to Colt McCoy.   A perennial NFL backup retread against the league's hottest team, I don't like that matchup for Washington.   HOWEVER -- it remains that the Cowboys consistently don't cover at home when favored by ten or more points.  There's no other real reason to take the Redskins, other than the usual nonsense about what a big "rivalry game" it is.   Over time, I've found the games to be pretty close anyway.  Much closer than we'd expect in some years.  There were years where the Redskins had no right to compete that year, yet, you had a game within a touchdown in the fourth quarter.   All the value will be on D.C.'s side, Redskins +10 at Dallas.

Now to College Football.   I enjoy my Saturdays a little more when I have that 9am game to watch with a little juice involved.   This time around, that game is Maryland at Wisconsin.   Once again, the Badgers scheduled 5 tomato cans in a row, seemingly all at home, to give people a fake undefeated record, then played the real teams and fell short.   It's happening again this year, and after losing to Northwestern, Wisconsin isn't really a serious contender.   In a twist -- the Badgers had LSU on the ropes, only to *lose* late in the fourth quarter.  Then, we came to find out, LSU really isn't that good this year, but they have been getting better since that early September game.  Wisconsin, on the other hand, looks pretty weak of late.  This week, they play Maryland, a pretty good offensive team with a full head of steam.  Maryland isn't really the kind of team that can hold a lead, but they are usually pretty good at scoring points.    I like Maryland and their quick paced offense because they played a team similar to Wisconsin earlier in the year: Indiana.   Back then, the Hoosiers sported Tevin Coleman, a terrific running back and a big part of their offense, and it wasn't nearly enough in a 37-15 home loss.   The Badgers also are big on running, their star is Melvin Gordon and he too is the real deal, but that's just it.  The Badgers have had a tradition of running the ball but there's not much else to work with.   Passing from Wisconsin is so-so, and eventually I think the Terps will catch up with them in this game.   Maryland's done a fine job so far fitting in with the Big Ten.  Here's to a good game - Maryland +11 at Wisconsin

Next in College, two big favorites I couldn't resist.   We'll start with Michigan State -17.5 vs Michigan.  No one has been more dominant at home against weak teams than Michigan State.  With that said, they looked pretty shaky against Nebraska, but perhaps the Huskers are better than we imagined.   This time, the Spartans take on the reeling Michigan Wolverines who can't score to save their lives most of the time.   My only hesitation was on the line getting lower, but it didn't happen.  Nevertheless, we'll go Michigan State, coming off a blowout of Indiana on the road.

Finally, I have Mississippi State -14.5 at Kentucky.  I was waiting all week for the line to come down, but instead it actually went *up* to -14.5 from -14.  Very disappointing, but we'll take the game anyway.   Kentucky is 5-2, but none of those wins were against quality opponents.   They also had a terrible outcome against LSU, where they lose 41-3 at Baton Rouge.   While UK is at home, they're also playing the best defense/QB combination they faced so far.   It took me a while to buy into Dak Prescott's offense, but they locked down Auburn and embarrassed LSU on their field.  What more could you want?  The only thing keeping them back is either an unprepared-ness for the Wildcats' Air Raid offense, or a simple action of playing down to their opponent.   Usually in college, the best defense can circumvent or limit the "let down game."   It's hard to say though, that's why the SEC is so tough!   We'll take our chances.  Mississippi State to give the points.

Quick update:  I also have selected UConn +28.5 at ECU.  This isn't a LOCK of the Week, but it does seem like an awful lot of points to be getting against ECU.  ECU beat UNC 70-41, but nonetheless I figure the score will be just a point or two lower than 29 this time out.

So!  On this busy football weekend we have six picks:

Chargers +8
Saints -1
Redskins +10
Maryland +11
Michigan State -17.5
Mississippi State -14.5

Incredibly disappointing that the Bulldogs line isn't lower.   It seems to me that they will win by right around 13, 14, or 15 points.  We'll have to see!   Here's to a good weekend in football.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Kids Club" Podcast Football Picks - Week 8: October 22nd

Here are the Week 8 picks from the "Kids Club" as delivered on the @ditcow podcast!

The theme of the week was "17.5" as in the many 17.5 point favorites that were chosen for college football this week.  We'll list the picks plus each person's season record, and we start with John:

John in CT (11-17) 
Nebraska -17.5 vs Rutgers
Oklahoma State -1 vs West Virginia
Lions -4 vs Falcons
Jets -3 vs Bills

Andy in Seattle (11-16-1) 
Oregon -17.5 vs Cal at Levi's Stadium
Auburn -17.5 vs South Carolina
Patriots -6 vs Bears
Colts -3 at Steelers

Say Hello to Ottis (14-13-1) 
Alabama -17.5 at Tennessee
Michigan St. -17.5 vs Michigan
Bears +6 at Patriots
Seahawks -5.5 at Panthers

Ron in NJ (13-14-1) 
Mississippi St. -13.5 at Kentucky
Ole Miss -3.5 at LSU
Bengals -1 vs Ravens
Packers +1.5 at Saints

Some of these picks are pretty bold... we'll see how they all do over the weekend.  Good luck to the picks!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Mike Francesa's NFL Week 7 Results: A *perfect* 6-0! 18-9-1 this year.


Mike Francesa went a perfect 6-0 for the NFL Week 7 predictions, and with the perfect week his season total is 18-9-1.   A masterful effort by Mike this year and bear in mind: he started 0-3!  So, here are the picks and the outcomes:

Mike hit with: Colts, Ravens, Vikings, Chiefs, Cardinals, Steelers
Mike missed with: [none]

That's why he's number one, folks.

"Kids Club" Football Picks - Week 7 Results: John + Andy both go 3-1, Division Standings tighten

John and Andy both needed a nice rebound and they got it with their respective 3-1 weeks.   Ron was not as lucky, with the Colorado State game in particular burning him, and Oat Man held at 2-2.  The picks were pretty well designated so the group as a whole now is closer to one another in the standings.  John wins the week, owning the better overall record and most individual week wins.  Busy day at the office so we'll just give you the straight results:

John in CT (3-1) 
Hit with: Kansas State, Ravens, Jaguars
Missed with: Louisville

Andy in Seattle (3-1) 
Hit with: Duke, Arizona State, Cowboys
Missed with: Chargers

Say Hello to Ottis (2-2) 
Hit with: Ole Miss, Broncos
Missed with: Baylor, Patriots

Ron in NJ (1-3) 
Hit with: Missouri
Missed with: Colorado State, Bears, Seahawks

and here are the standings after 7 weeks:

Ottis: 14-13-1
Ron: 13-14-1
Andy: 11-16-1
John: 11-17

On to Week 8!  It's getting intense with this competition.

Monday, October 20, 2014

LOCKS of the Week go 0-2: Season total is 9-16

It was a disaster this week, but anticipating said disaster we were keen to limit participation to two games:

Interestingly, the game we didn't use, Jaguars +6, hit in a big way.  The Jags won the game outright!  But, officially these are our results:  0-2 for two NFL picks and 9-16 for the season.

Hit with: [none]
Missed with: Bengals, Giants

I think the simple fact is, both of these teams *stink.*   I'm glad they lost, and it serves them right getting overhyped like they do and then doing nothing when you expect them to.

We're starting to run out of weeks!  I can only hope we find a way back to .500 and we're looking at some pretty juicy matchups to use for LOCKS next week.   We may include quite a few games, more than you've seen before.  Stay with us and we'll provide some future winners.

Dave's Top 5 Sandwiches in L.A.

In case you're wondering my "Top Five L.A. Sandwiches" are:

1. Bay Cities "Godmother"
1. Langer's Pastrami
1. Canter's Corned Beef
1. Capriotti's "Bobbie" Turkey/Stuffing
1. "Bayou Bomber" at Ralphs

*they're all No. 1!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Mike Francesa's Week 7 NFL Picks: October 17th

In the league where they play………………………………..  for pay.

Mike went quickly delivering his Week 7 NFL picks, and here they are!

Colts -3 vs Bengals
Ravens -7 vs Falcons
Vikings +5 at Bills
Chiefs +4 at Chargers
Cardinals -3.5 at Raiders
Steelers -3 vs Texans

Good luck to his picks and here's to a big NFL Week 7!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: October 15th

It was a very tough week to think of games to pick from this week's point spreads.  Nothing stands out, so we have just two LOCKS for this week, and they're both in the NFL.

First, I like the Bengals +3.5 at Indianapolis.  My goodness, how quickly did everyone quit on the Bungles?   It just seems nuts that now we all think they're bums... and yes I think they're overrated and not to be trusted in big spots, but their defense is not the Jaguars now.  I don't even think the Jaguars are that bad... but that's another matter.

Anyway, the Colts have done well for themselves lately, but if they think they're going to just throw all over Cincy, they are mistaken.  Granted, the last two QBs did just that: Tom Brady and Cam Newton.  They were flat out great... but the Colts never make it easy... they struggled to put away a good D-line like the Houston Texans.  I see the same story this Sunday.  There is just way too much confidence in the Colts, and I feel like their team needs work defensively and in their O-Line.   Lastly, the Bengals are simply due for a win.  Even without A.J. Green, this team has way too much talent to have a 3 game win-less streak.  There's no way!   and... well, even if they don't win, I think I'll have a good time with them getting embarrassed anyway.

Yep!  It's another "Dave in the City"  "eff those guys!" bet!   If they cover, I win, if Indy tramples all over them, I still win.  Bengals +3.5 at Indy.

My second and final pick is Giants +6.5.   I've had enough of the Giants.   I've picked against them twice I believe and got burned both times.  This time I'm going to pick them to cover +6.5... and one of two things will happen.  a) they cover and/or win  and b) they don't cover and get kicked around by the Cowboys.  I *love* both outcomes, and the fact is, the Cowboys may come into this game a little flat after an emotional, impressive, incredible win at Seattle.   Dallas would be liable to start slowly and pull out a win at the end, but the point spread is just too big.  Dallas was about a 6.5 point favorite against Houston at AT&T Stadium and nearly lost to them.   The 'Boys did not cover on that day and I don't think they cover here either.  Giants +6.5 at Dallas.

So, with the Jaguars +6 on the table, I'll pass on that affair for now and stay with the two strongest choices: Bengals and Dallas.  No picks in college this time out... we'll be in for some fun for football, enjoy the games!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

"Kids Club" Podcast Football Picks - Week 7: October 14th

On the @ditcow show this week, the Kids Club once again filled in for the unavailable Junk Man and we had great time breaking down some manic movement at the top of College Football's ranks along with the various comings and goings of the NFL.   So!   With Ron, Ottis, and Andy on air, and John sending picks via text, here's what the Kids Club picked for Week 7.

Ron in NJ (3-1 last wk)
Missouri +5.5 at Florida
Colorado State -5.5 vs Utah State
Bears -3 vs Dolphins
Seahawks -7 at Rams

Ron also offered these two bonus picks which will not count towards the contest: Colorado +19.5 at USC and Rutgers +19.5 at Ohio State.

Andy in Seattle (1-2-1 last wk)
Duke -2.5 vs Virginia
Arizona State +3 vs Stanford
Chargers -4.5 vs Chiefs
Cowboys -6 vs Giants

Say Hello to Ottis (1-3 last wk)
Ole Miss -16.5 vs Tennessee
Baylor -8 at West Virginia
Patriots -10 vs Jets
Broncos -6.5 vs 49ers

John in CT (0-4 last wk)
Kansas State +8 vs Oklahoma
Louisville -17 vs NC State
Ravens -7 vs Falcons
Jaguars +6 vs Browns

Nothing specific of note about the picks except that there are NO Checkers on Checkers (common picks) for Week 7.  Some of them were re-assigned on air.  Good luck to all the picks and enjoy the games!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: October 14th

Ever see that joker who drives really fast trying to wind all over the street to beat out the traffic like he has a fire up his butt?  I mean he'll drive 60 on a 40 mph road trying to be a bad ass and dodging guys like Grand Theft Auto.   Great job, jackass... congratulations on beating out *everybody*... to the red light!  Hey it just turned green, go rush to the next red light!  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

You wouldn't believe what happened to my radio alarm clock yesterday.  I woke up before the alarm went off and it said it was 4:45 am... and then it felt like fifteen minutes later and the alarm went off... and "Mike and Mike" came on over the speakers, and I was looking at it and I thought "how'd I do that?"  I usually set it to 6am... and then the local guy came on at "5:30" and in my head I thought "wait a minute?!  he comes on at 6:30 each day and not before... did  I change the clock to 5am?"   Then I thought... "How could I even do that?   If I was going to change the clock to 5am I'd have to cycle all the way through the other 23 hours by holding the "hour" button.  Did I do all that?   Even if I did... how'd the alarm go off at *5:00* AM?

The whole thing blew my mind, so I pressed the "hour" button to change the time to 6:30 from 5:30. 

The last week was too much of an adventure.  I wrote on a previous blog entry that my foot's side hurt and I thought I tore a ligament.  After some rest I learned that was not the case, but it took a while to get walking normally again.  THEN, mid-week, I got a *nasty* flu... it was so bad that I couldn't do anything but sleep for most of the day.  I felt awful.. by late evening I was getting better, and I summoned the energy to go to Wendy's for a meal that afternoon.   It took a few days before I felt confident enough to exercise again, and...

Yesterday I finally did it... I went to swim.  I started to gear up, looked at myself in the mirror and thought "whew, I didn't get as fat as I thought I would."   I was definitely not up to snuff, a touch out of shape, but doing ok, so I went into it.  I just wanted to familiarize myself with the water, so I did a lunch time 1000 meter swim, short course.   Wasn't too bad, but with so many people swimming it felt like it took a while to get from one end of the pool to the other.   It was my first short course meters swim of the year too and that threw me off.  I'm used to yards, tangibly shorter distance, and a better rhythm.   I got in the 1000 and I felt good about it.

I went to shower, in the locker room, then before I could use the swimwear drying machine, some guy was in front of me trying to suck the last drop off his suit... and I'm standing there in front of him, naked with my noodle hanging down thinking "its not going to *dry* the suit all the way."   He was persistent, just holding down the hatch for over a minute... the machine says to just let it run for five seconds.   The machine started to slow down more and more because it has an auto stop feature and it was getting glacial on him... I mean this whole thing was just slowing me down... I had to get back to work so I just stood in front of him and watched, bored to tears.  Finally he took out his first suit and put in ANOTHER one!  I couldn't believe it... so I gave up and went over to the wall and took my towel to dry.   After another minute he left and I put my speedo in there to dry.  That was something else.

Last night, I ate Papa John's for the first time in almost a year.  My buddies and I were watching Monday Night Football and having some slices.   It was what I expected... very salty, pretty bland.    It made me thirsty too, but I tried to sip at this Cinnamon Angry Orchard brew and it wasn't happening.   Cinnamon and Apples are great for cereal but not my style for hard cider.   So I got some water and sipped some orange Gatorade at the end.

I've had those moments, those wonderful moments where I think I can drink a bathtub full of orange Gatorade.  Then I go after just the 64 ounce bottles and can't finish it... but I start in like Kobayashi, full of confidence, like you can take on anything, but you find out you're only human.

I visited family over the weekend and we had a great time... my sister threw a party for her daughter, my niece, on Sunday.  Great party!   Relatives, friends of my sister's, and I were there.  After most of the people left, my immediate family stayed behind as did I.   My sister served us hot dogs baked in crescent roll dough.   So you'd take one of those cans of Pillsbury crescent roll dough, wrap a piece of it around each hot dog and bake them all in the oven for a few minutes.  These came out GREAT!   So crispy on the outside of the crust and chewy on the inside with a plump succulent hot dog in the middle.   Culinary excellence.

I was mesmerized at the ease of conception.   It looked so easy to make these very tasty treats.  I shall try these myself someday with some Hebrew National franks and my own can of crescent roll dough.   Fan-tastic!

At this same party my sister brought in these huge dinner salads from Panera Bread.  One was an Asian Chicken salad, and the other one was a Barbecue Chicken salad, so good.  It came with their respective dressings.  I had several servings of that salad.. I couldn't get enough but I stopped myself well short of my literal limit.  I knew how bad that could have gotten for me.  I have to admit, I also indulged in some of that "Frozen" themed blue kool aid.  Man was that refreshing!

That's all from here.  Back to my peanut butter and blackberry jam sandwiches... I crafted several of them just so that I could finish the loaf of bread that was sitting in the fridge for over a week.   I am down to the last four slices now, or two remaining sandwiches.

OH!  My last point of the day... why is the nickname for sandwiches "sammies?"   There is no "m" in the word "sandwich."  It always confused me, but carry on.  Take care, fellas!

"Kids Club" Picks - Week 6 Results: Ron goes 3-1, big rebound, Ottis hangs onto 1st

College Football was once again very un-kind to the Kids Club as we have yet again avoided any Kids Club members with a split sweep in College games, but we did have our friend Ron in NJ with the sweep of his NFL picks.   It wasn't as big a disaster as about two weeks ago for our Kids Club but we got some good and some pretty bad.

The Kids Club is doing a little better with pro picks, despite some of the matchups seemingly tough to gauge on paper, but it's worked out well.   Ron wins the week at 3-1, Andy went 1-2-1, Oat Man went 1-3, and some wicked fortune for John as he goes 0-4.  Let's run down the results player by player:

Ron in NJ (3-1) 
Hit with: Mississippi State, Broncos, and Patriots
Missed with: Clemson

On the subject of Ron's Broncos pick I hadn't noticed at the time that he was picking against his own team, the Jets.  As a Jets fan I was surprised he'd go that way even though it was a very solid move... generally speaking, it's tough for fellas to pick against their own team, but he felt pretty strongly  about the Jets' misfortune entering Sunday.

Andy in Seattle (1-2-1)  
Hit with: Patriots
Missed with: Baylor, Texas A&M
Pushes: Packers

The Packers had a real dogfight with Miami, and a stellar final drive by Aaron Rodgers, led the Packers to a win and a push against the spread.   A&M disappointed quite a lot of people coast to coast, including Dave on "LOCKS of the Week."   Hard to see what's next for the Aggies after two VERY disappointing losses to superior defenses.   That puts A&M 0-2 against the State of Mississippi so far.

Say Hello to Ottis (1-3)
Hit with: Bears
Missed with: FSU, Clemson, Steelers

I'm not positive whether any of these were "spite" picks, but the FSU pick would have leaned that way as they were playing Syracuse.  Hauntingly, they missed a would be cover by just a touchdown at the Carrier Dome.

John in CT (0-4)  
Hit with: [none]
Missed with: Memphis, Texas A&M, Vikings, Falcons

I feel for John... he's been so good at picks, and I *know* this is not any indication of his prognostication skills.  He won the contest last year, and I hope he bounces back in a big way over the next month.  The Falcons have let a lot of people down this month, and now you start to wonder if they're even a good team.   I might go so far as to say the same about A&M, but time will tell.  The SEC West is very very tough this year, tougher than ever.   Mississippi State, Auburn, Alabama, Texas A&M, Arkansas, and Ole Miss are all in the same division!

Ron's big week now closes the gap for first place, but Oat Man still hangs on due to his three split sweeps which is better than Ron's 2 sweeps for the tiebreaker.  Here are the up-to-date standings:

Say Hello to Ottis: 12-11-1
Ron in NJ: 12-11-1
Andy in Seattle: 8-15-1
John in CT: 8-16

Tuesday night, we'll meet with the Kids Club on-air to get their Week 7 picks.  Ron will try to keep it rolling while the others try to get back on track.  Join us for all the particulars at , 10pm ET / 7pm PT.

Dave's LOCKS of the Week Results: 3-1!! 9-14 for the year.

A monster week for LOCKS of the Week!   Turns out that my "hunches and funny feelings" played out brilliantly... Cowboys were the biggest winner of them all I think.   One could have seen the Cowboys getting blasted late, but it didn't happen.  In fact, the Cowboys controlled most of that game in Seattle.  What a moment!

First winning week since Week 2 and this is how it all broke down:

Hit with: Washington State, Patriots, Cowboys
Missed with: A&M

That's the last time I involve Texas A&M in any football pick for quite some time.  Their defense is simply terrible and their offense suddenly stops once it plays a big SEC school.   For future reference, that's still zero wins against ranked opponents at Kyle Field for Kevin Sumlin's A&M career.

Anyhow, the NFL picks were red hot, and I'm thankful for good fortune this week.  I also picked the Raiders +7.5 against the Chargers, but this will not count for the purpose of LOCKS of the Week.  All in all, a successful weekend, and with LOCKS we now go up to 9-14 for the year.   That's still quite a ways off from .500, but we'll try to cut into that deficit again next week.  Stay with us!

Mike Francesa's NFL Week 6 Results: 1-2 this wk., 12-9-1 for the season

Even Mike admitted it on Friday, this was going to be a very tough week to pick games... nothing really stood out, and for the week he went 1-2.  The big disappointment, from Mike's point of view, was the Steelers.   I have never seen a modern Steelers/Browns game that uncompetitive from a Steeler standpoint.   That was a surprise for all the wrong reasons and the Browns won 31-10.

Put simply, the Steelers stink!

Let's run it all down for Mike's Week 6 picks:

Mike hit with: Ravens, and a very gutty move by him too... barely anyone even addressed this game and this was a great job by Mike sniffing this out.   Baltimore dominated.
Mike missed with: Steelers, Seahawks.   You can't really poke fun at him for picking Seattle... you'd love your chances taking the Seahawks in a game like that, and many times they pull through for the betting-public.  

So!  1-2, and now 12-9-1 for the year (or 13-9-1 if you ask Mike).   Let's see how Mike rebounds in Week 7.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Mike Francesa's Week 6 NFL Picks: October 10th

In the league where they play………………………………..  for pay.

Much like his picks segment on WFAN, we'll keep it short and simple.  Here are Mike's WEEK 6 NFL Picks:

Steelers +2 at Browns
Seahawks -8 vs Cowboys
Ravens -3 at Bucs

He had a couple good fakeouts on the picks segment... he was talking about how the Browns turned the corner BUT he still thinks the Steelers will take care of them.  He thought the Cowboys were playing better BUT he thought the Seahawks would be too dominant.

And careful now!  Don't use the "tank mush" chant just yet, he went 2-1 last week and is 11-7-1 for the year.  Many have done worse...   He still claims "12-7" leaving out the one tie and adding a mysterious extra win, but we're keeping it straight for the time being.   Good luck to the picks!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

A rant about the St. Louis Cardinals: Debunking the "Small Ball" Myth


David Eckstein was on w/ Herd yesterday and he was talking about how they get all these small hits etc .etc.   ok… let me make something clear:

The biggest damage done by STL in the division series had nothing to do with "small ball" or taking the extra base.   It was EXTRA BASE HITS.   Carpenter hit a HOME RUN… no taking extra bases or stealing or "putting the ball in play" B.S..  Then he hit a DOUBLE… a bases clearing double.

As a matter of fact, with all those singles the Cardinals had early on in the Game 1 7th inning, it would have been pretty deflating if Kershaw got one out between Carpenter's at bat and the one before.  I mean they had like 6 singles in a row and barely scored two runs.   That sounds like station to station baseball to me.

I don't mind people praising the Cardinals, but be accurate, ok?   The Cardinals basically got a) unexpected slugging, b) superior bullpen work, and c) a little luck to win their series.   Even as it was, the Cardinals won all three of their games by just one run or two runs.   I shall tip the cap to them, in fact I did, and they move on.

So Game 1… the Cardinals put away the game with… gasp, A HOME RUN.    They tied the score of Game 2 in the 8th with: A HOME RUN.  Then, in Game 3… the deciding factor was… you aren't going to believe this,  A HOME RUN.   Finally, in Game 4, when things got very intense, and the season on the line for LA, the Cardinals put them away with…

I know this is going to shock you: it was a home run.

The point of all this is… let's see how good this team really is when they play a more balanced pitching staff that has no fear of Carpenter whatsoever.  Good luck to the Giants.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Kids Club Podcast Picks - Week 6: October 8th

I'm still fighting the flu as I write this, so tonight we'll present the Kids Club's picks in written form only.  Hopefully we'll resume the on-air podcast picks next Wednesday.

Oat Man has the lead, Ron is close behind, and John and Andy are in striking range.   Let's see what they all have for Week 6...

Say Hello to Ottis (11-8-1)
Clemson -9.5 vs Louisville
Florida State -24 at Syracuse
Bears +3 at Falcons
Steelers +2 at Browns

Ron in NJ (9-10-1)
Clemson -9.5 vs Louisville
Mississippi State +3.5 vs Auburn
Broncos -8 at Jets
Patriots -3 at Bills

John in CT (8-12)
Memphis -8.5 vs Houston
Texas A&M -2 vs Ole Miss
Vikings +2 vs Lions
Falcons -3 vs Bears

Andy in Seattle (7-13)
Baylor -7.5 vs TCU
Texas A&M -2 vs Ole Miss
Packers -3 at Dolphins
Patriots -3 at Bills

These are some pretty good picks!   One pick went head to head (Checker w/ Falcons -- Ottis with Bears), and we have three games were checkered on checkered:

Clemson -9.5 (Ottis, Ron)
A&M -2 (John, Andy)
Patriots -3 (Ron, Andy)

Pretty much everyone's in it... good luck to the picks for Week Number 6.

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: October 8th

Well, when you're 6-13 after about six weeks, it's hard to really keep trying, but we're going to go after it anyway.  We'll have some fun with this week's edition of LOCKS.  This week we're going to approach the picks a little differently.

I got burned a week ago not acting on some very strong hunches I had... sometimes it's not about the stats or the matchups, and it's about the trends and the circumstances.  So!  Here are this weeks IGOTAFUNNYFEELINGABOUTTHISES of the week:

First, this HAD to happen... Washington State +17.5 at Stanford.   The Cougars have been very good at staying competitive with everyone in the Pac 12.  There is NO way a team that's struggling to score is going to cover that, even at home, and even against a bad defense.   Stanford hasn't even scored 17 points in a game since September 27th, and against the Pac 12, they scored more than that just once, in their win against Washington (20-17).  THAT game was also dicey!

So, even though the Cougs are 2-4 overall, that record is very misleading.  They were responsible for the huge 21 point comeback at Utah, AND they were one bad call and a few other bounces away from upsetting Oregon before Arizona did some weeks after.  I like the way they sling the ball, and I'm thinking they're good for at least one touchdown, but to be fair, Stanford represents the toughest defense they've played so far.  I repeat, I'm not predicting Washington State to win... but keeping the margin within 17 points, oh yeah.

Up next, Texas A&M -2 vs Ole Miss.   A&M looked downright abysmal last week at Mississippi State.  A&M is 4-22 against teams ranked 3 or higher all time.   A&M is has ALSO never beaten a ranked team at home since 2011... 2011!!!  That was against Baylor, pre-SEC era.  So WHY would LOCKS of the Week take the Aggies in a situation like this?

Well it's a hunch!  Selecting Ole Miss +2 seems so easy but just too good to be true.  Here are some other things to watch for -- first of all the obvious: Ole Miss is under the mother of all hangovers after defeating Bama the week before.   You can bet they won't be nearly as focused for a game against the theoretically overmatched Aggies.  Next, watch for Bo Wallace to finally commit some serious turnovers.  He had three turnovers in his opening week game against Boise State... since then he's been scott free.   It makes me wonder when the other shoe's going to drop.  Wallace is bound to make a lot of interceptions and it could happen as soon as this Saturday.   Interestingly enough, from the department of "no-context trivia", Texas A&M is 6-0 against Ole Miss, all time.

So while it seems like an easy choice to take a #3 team against a lesser SEC opponent with zero wins against ranked opponents in Coach Kevin Sumlin's career there, I like the Aggies.   Besides, when it comes to a close point spread like this, you often wind up doing better just taking the home team.   I could have been well served following my own advice a week ago when these Aggies went to Mississippi State, but what can you do?

My final two picks come from the NFL. First, Cowboys +8 at Seattle. Call me nuts, but I just think the Cowboys are playing better football lately with a great offensive line and the fact that they struggled against Houston was more about Houston's defense being the real deal.  The Texans have a great D-Line, some good linebackers, and in that group is NFL superstar J.J. Watt.  Jonathan Joseph does a pretty good job with pass coverage in the secondary.  but enough about the Texans, let's look at Dallas.  I can imagine so many people will jump on Seahawks +8 at home, and for me I wonder... won't the Seahawks have to lose a home game eventually?  Maybe they don't... but they haven't looked that great, underestimating team after team, including the Redskins where they needed some real heroics from Russell Wilson to put away the game.  If the Cowboys focus on running the ball more, it's something they're doing better lately, I think they'll be in this game for quite a while. 

Lastly, I'll go Patriots -3 at Buffalo.   The Chargers had no problem kicking around the Bills a few weeks ago at Ralph Wilson stadium.  I think things will go similarly for the Patriots.  The only issue is that with Kyle Orton quarterbacking, I'm curious as to whether that presents some issues for the Patriot defense.   But let's be honest here, when you have to go to Kyle Orton as your quarterback, just as the Bears and the Cowboys did, you hit rock bottom.   This line is basically saying "do you think the Patriots will win the game?" and yes, I do think that, even as bad as they looked from weeks 1-4, the Patriots WILL win this big divisional game against the Bills.  Bear in mind, people said that Rob Gronkowski had a slow start, but almost every game he's had a receiving touchdown.  In week 5, he finally broke out for a monster game.  I'd be hard pressed to see a poor defensive team like the Bills have much of an answer.

So! Four "hunches" this week:  Washington State +17.5, Texas A&M -2, Cowboys +8, and Patriots -3.   Maybe I'll get one right!  Enjoy all the games, folks.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: October 7th

I've been in the mood for fruit punch for a while.

Could today be the day?  We'll find out.

I have some bad news folks.  I tweaked my foot this week.  It happened while I was running.   I think my left shoe was on too tightly and it gripped the side of my foot too much.  Now it feel like some really little joker is putting a vise to my foot's side tendon.  When I try to walk full stride it hits me hard.  Ooh!   I had to walk much more slowly today and it curtailed swimming altogether.

I gotta give it some rest.  Since I got home its been feeling better.  Hopefully it'll hold up and heal by tomorrow.  If it doesn't I may get it checked out.

That *run* by the way was the best run I'd done in a long time.  I don't run that often, but on Saturday I was inspired to try another six mile run.  I did six miles once before on the track, and maybe a couple times on the treadmill.  This time I ran six miles from my home down the coastline, past Santa Monica Pier, and down to the Venice Boardwalk.   Great run!  Scenic.  Gorgeous.  Then I ran back the same way.  I've got to do that again sometime!

Perhaps not any time soon though, in light of my foot.  Imagine?  3 years of swimming and no major injuries. One day jogging and I get a foot ACL?   Just nuts.

I tried the chorizo quesadilla at "Tacos Por Favor" and it was pretty good, but I didn't think it was worth the price.  It's sold for more than the price of the nachos, and yet, its much smaller.  I could have had the same amount of meat, cheese, and tortilla, by ordering two chorizo and cheese tacos.  AND, the two tacos would run 5 bones total or 3/5 the cost of the quesadilla.   It was not to be for a long term solution.

I think the baseball Giants are putting this away tonight.   The Giants are very good at closing series, and with even Vogelsong they'll take care of Gio Gonzalez who apparently is NOT very good.  I had no idea of this, but then our friend Ari in Philadelphia said that the Mets won only 4 of 13 games against the Nationals this year, but all of them were against Gio Gonzalez!   He's apparently a shaky pitcher and Vogelsong isn't that good either but he tends to be solid for the first 4 innings.  I love the Giants here to win.  I'm so confident about it that I am assigning the Giants as my quintuple-confidence LOCK of the day.  So Giants to beat Washington in the NLDS and complete the series.

Dang.. unfortunately that's all I had today.   I had some other stories I shared about a week ago in case you missed it.  Catch you all soon.

"Kids Club" Picks - Week 5 Results: Oat Man extends his lead; Ron holds steady

2014 so far has been one of the toughest seasons for football predictions in modern history.  Just look at how unpredictable this weekend was.   #1 goes down.  #3 goes down.  (these may be different rankings in other polls)  #6 goes down!  #4 goes down!  Alabama, UCLA, Oregon, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and more were wiped out of the undefeated ranks.  My goodness, was it a wild week.

The consequence of this much manic unpredictability, with no newspapers or milkmen, not even TV, is that getting picks against the spread was nearly impossible, but one man made it out... the OAT MAN.  He went 3-0 in picks leading up to the Jets game, and had they had any competitive fire or perhaps more importantly, more talent, on the team, he may have had our first 4-0 week of the year... but he still went 3-1 with the Jets pick missing.

Ron went 2-2, but it's as good as a win with the way many games were twisting and changing across college and pro football.  The others were not so lucky, so we now will break down how all the picks went.

Say Hello to Ottis (3-1) 
Hit with: Baylor, Louisville, Packers
Missed with: Jets

A little funny that his favorite team winds up being the letdown this week.  Agains the spread, the Jets have had their moments, but not this time around in San Diego.   Two of the picks he hit with were non-weekend games.  Packers on Thursday and Louisville on Friday.  And, if you remember, he picked L'ville "out of spite" to stick it to Syracuse.   The gamble paid off!  Oat Man also sweept his college picks.

Ron in NJ (2-2) 
Hit with: Notre Dame, Colts
Missed with: Wisconsin, Falcons

Let me tell you: the Falcons' inability to close a game is pretty annoying.  I digress.  Ron had a gutty pick going with Notre Dame against Stanford, and they delivered for him in the late moments of their game.  The Colts game seemed like it could go either way for two quarters but after the Ravens proved they didn't know how to score that week, the outcome was in hand for Indianapolis.  Wisconsin, by the way, didn't just fail to cover, but they lost outright at a suddenly resurging Northwestern.  That's 3 wins in a row for the Wildcats since that hopeless home loss to Northern Illinois.  The Badgers probably blew their chance at a serious bowl game.

Andy in Seattle (1-3) 
Hit with: Packers
Missed with: Oregon, Alabama, Cowboys

Really, these were a product of some tough luck in the latter two misses.  Oregon was simply history repeating itself, but it seemed unusual for Oregon to lose this soon.  Usually if they lost that first game, it was late in the season.  'Bama had control of the game leading up to half time, but the fourth quarter things fell apart and they lost altogether to Ole Miss at Oxford.  The Cowboys game was shaky as many anticipated, but there was a very good shot at Dallas scoring more points, but one interception by Romo took away would-be points from the scoreboard.  The Texans are showing themselves to be a better defense and that may prove to be an asset for them in Week 6.  Houston next plays at Indy.

John in CT (0-4)
Hit with: none
Missed with: ECU, Tennessee, Falcons, Ravens

No sugarcoating it, this was a tough week for John.  Both Tennessee and the Ravens had numerous chances... more than numerous, maybe abundant chances to score points and it didn't take.  A tough break indeed.   ECU had an odd moment where they were really hanging around with SMU, only to pull away later.  I was as shocked as anyone else that SMU scored a few touchdowns.  Things didn't play out well, but John still had a good cumulative record going into the week, so he is still in the mix for the contest's stop spot.

Oat Man's big week means he's still the leader, and he's the winner of Week 6.  Here are our updated standings:

Say Hello to Ottis: 11-8-1
Ron in NJ: 9-10-1
John in CT: 8-12
Andy in Seattle: 7-13

The last three weeks haven't been kind to most of the Kids Club, but the use of four games each week keeps everyone in it, and things can twist and change just like the NFL's Witching Hour.   We'll hope for better luck going into Week 6 later on.

LOCKS of the Week Results: 2-3 for Wk. 5, 6-13 overall

It's getting pretty bad my friends...

After a very optimistic start, my LOCKS of the Week still went a mediocre 2-3... not too bad for the volume of picks, but ultimately the last thing I needed with a 4-10 record going in.   It's so bad right now I may consider taking a week off.  That bad... really bad.

It's too bad too because I had some hunches I could have acted on to improve my record... it just goes to show you that no matter how informed you are, there still a lot of luck involved and that if you have a hunch it might be good to go with it.

Utah +13 at UCLA... even with that bad loss, actually, BECAUSE of that bad loss to Washington State I had to think Utah was going to play with fire.   It was still a very good team.   UCLA... similar situation but in reverse.  They were SO dominant at ASU that it was liable they'd be laying off the gas pedal with the Oregon game one week away.  So it was!  And, regrettably I never acted on it.

Then you had good ole CINCY.  The Bungles... doing what they always do, and lose a game where they were a clear favorite.   That was the case last night with Cincy at the struggling, internally dissenting New England Patriots.  Didn't act on it -- and!  The Pats went on to win convincingly, despite being a 3 point dog at home.

The two games I *didn't* pick... and they delivered smashingly.  Now to the games I did pick.

Hit on: Packers, Michigan (just barely)

Michigan needed a missed extra point from Rutgers to cover the spread, but them's the breaks.  UM still lost at Rutghers by two points and their season is in a complete tailspin.  Packers... it was the classic case of not overthinking it.  I was pretty happy with that selection, and it proves to be the the easiest LOCK of the Week I've made in my entire 7 year career.

Ok... now to the losses.

Missed on: Falcons, Ravens, Texas A&M

A&M had to be the most disappointing of all of these.  One would think they'd be hyped up and ready to defeat the Bulldogs on the road.  One would think they'd play much better offensively, but instead of Kenny True, it was Dak Power (not his real name) and Mississippi State.  By a lot.  I never really though the defense would be that good, but the offense for A&M is what really surprised me.  They looked brutal.  Kenny flat out missed some of his receivers, and the rest of the time, guys wide open were just dropping passes for first downs.   To be fair, the receivers were not open very often, and for that I give Mississippi State a lot of credit.

Prediction wise, it was a week that had much promise, started off well, but ultimately ended poorly.  The NFL games, what can you really do?  That's the NFL... It confounds me that the Falcons couldn't put one good game together on the road, even at the Meadowlands, especially after going up ten points.  Then they gave up something like 17 unanswered points.  NO GUTS!!!!

I also thought the Ravens would score once in a while.. silly me, I forgot that Joe Flacco is a complete spaz.   Actually I did sense this, but I also sensed that there'd be enough offense to win anyway and turn that into an ugly game... this bothered me less because, first of all, I *hate* the Ravens so serves them right.  Secondly, the eventual outcome of the game benefitted my fantasy team.  I have the Indy fantasy defense and it went OFF.  TY Hilton also had a great game, so I think this was a situation where even losing the pick was a win for me personally.    Of all the picks to not hit, this one bothered me least.

So...   These games have been anything but a lock.  Couple that with USC's incompetence on the field in the fourth quarter against ASU, it was just a rough week for me personally, but I still had a great time with it!  The upset alerts were great and the college schedule turned out some spectacular games!

We'll try it again for the so-called LOCKS of the Week... next week, perhaps.

Mike Francesa NFL Week 5 Results: 2-1 in picks, now 11-7-1 for yr.

Mike does it again!   Two favorites and one underdog, and two out of the three hit for NFL Week 5.  Here's how it broke down.

Mike hit with: Bills, Steelers
Mike missed with: Saints

The Saints had a real letdown game against the Bucs at home and it took overtime for them to win.  Hard to really fault anyone for taking the Saints in that spot.   Boy, will the Saints ever get it together?  They've played completely unconvincing football for a month and a half.  The Bills was a particularly good value pick... 7 points for the Bills, and Buffalo wins outright.  Great work by Mike.  He's 2-1 for the week, and now 11-7-1 for the year, or "12-7" according to Mike's crack production team.  We cannot verify his 12th win so for the moment we'll stay with 11.

It makes no difference, with Mike starting 0-3, he is now 11-4-1 since that time in just four weeks.  Now to see if he keeps it going in Week 6.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Mike Francesa's Week 5 NFL Picks: October 3rd

In the league where they play………………………………..  for pay.

1-1-1 last week, and 9-6-1 after four weeks.  We now enter NFL Week 5 and Mike Francesa has these picks:

Saints -10 vs Bucs
Bills +7 at Lions
Steelers -6 at Jaguars

Good luck to Mike's picks, and enjoy the games!

Mike Francesa NFL Week 4 Results: 1-1-1 (9-6-1 season record)

Sorry for posting these so late, in fact, it was after Week *5* started with last night's Vikings/Packers game.  BUT... here are Mike Francesa's results for Week 4.  He went 1-1-1, which was a decent week, but there were some big opportunities for his games to hit for him.  The Steelers for example, they were up double digits, only to lose outright to Tampa Bay at home.  The 49ers were down a pretty decent amount and actually were pretty charmed to push their -5, but if the Niners had played better from the start (specifically the offense, defense was great!), they could have won more convincingly.

So here they are!   Mike's results after Week 4:

Hit with: Packers
Missed with: Steelers (a very *painful* miss I'd imagine)
Pushes: 49ers.

So for the year, Mike is now 9-6-1.  We never deduced the mysterious "bonus win" Mike awarded himself, and our colleagues corroborate that this is his official record, no matter what he says at 5:30 today on WFAN AM and FM.   What will he choose to build upon his record?   We'll have that for you later today here on the Daveblog.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Dave's LOCKS of the Week: October 2nd

I waited a little longer this week, but here are LOCKS (blam!) of the Week.

This week I want to get an assist from the NFL schedule for picks.  We have a huge array of ranked College Teams facing each other, and since the matchups are so close, it was tough to really feel confident about many of these teams.  For me, even Alabama (-7) at Ole Miss didn't seem like enough of a LOCK for me despite my complete confidence that the Tide will win the game.  It all boils down to Lane Kiffin and his dopey offense.. it's done well so far, but I'm curious to see what it's going to do against another ranked team.  Tune in and see!

So, with some NFL point spreads that really jumped out at me, I have this week's LOCKS... we'll cover the NFL games first here we go.

Packers -8.5 vs Vikings:  Bridgewater is looking more and more like he won't start the game.  Interestingly, the line opened as "Packers -9" and that probably occurred just after the Vikings' last game against Atlanta.   Bridgewater was carted off the field with what we believe is an ankle injury and it didn't look good, but there was some optimism as the week advanced for Ole Teddy.  Unfortunately it doesn't look like he will play, so the Packers at home will have another pretty big offensive night, or expect to.  Rodgers found his groove last week in Chicago, and I'm expecting more of the same with the Pack's wide open spread offense.   What interests me most tonight is whether Eddie Lacy will have more of a say offensively.  He improved last week, but he's off to a slow start to say the least.

Falcons +4 at Giants:  It was impossible to say no to this.  How could the Giants, who have just a terrible defense, have suddenly been rated this highly after a mere two wins?   Two games against Washington (terrible) and Houston (also terrible) apparently was enough to swing the point spread into New York's favor?   The Falcons struggle on the road, no doubt, but it's still a very potent offense and even as much as they lost at Minnesota last week, they were able to really run the ball and score points.   Eli would be good for at least 1-2 interceptions, and I simply think the Giants are extremely overrated in this game.   The Falcons will play much better than they did against a new QB a week ago; Falcons +4 all the way.

Ravens +3.5 at Colts:   The Colts may look good on paper, but they're beating up on some very weak teams.  Jacksonville one week, Tennessee the next (yep, I blew that one!  I really thought they'd be good).   The Ravens had a dogfight with Cincy that they lost, but they also have been incredibly dominant defensively against Carolina and Pittsburgh.  It's tougher to explain the Browns game, but I really thought the Ravens would win the game this weekend over in Indianapolis.  THEN, I saw that they were getting 3.5 points, this was a layup.  The Colts defense still doesn't impress me, and even with a shaky QB, I think the Ravens can put together a win.  Steve Smith really wanted to show up his old team a week ago... maybe he carries over some of that performance into Lucas Oil Stadium too!

Now to the college games... it was tough to seek out some winners but I kinda like these calls:

Texas A&M -2.5 vs Mississippi State:   And let's be honest here.  The hype for Mississippi State comes from two games -- one bowl win against RICE, and a stunning blowout upset of LSU at the Bayou.  Two stinkin' games... now great performances both, but not enough of a sample size for me to say Mississippi State is a big time team.   I would concede that the Bulldogs play much better offensively and that's in big part due to rising star Dak Prescott.  But, over on the other side, you get another rising star, Kenny Hill, picking up right where Johnny Manziel left off for A&M.  So far they've had some tough tests and passed them both.   They probably shouldn't have won the game against Arkansas.   With that said, Sumlin and co. have the better overall track record and let's not forget, a much tougher schedule so far in '14:  South Carolina, and Arkansas, and maybe even Rice to an extent.  Mississippi State played Southern Miss, UAB, and South Alabama before beating LSU and getting a week off.   Call me nuts but I'll go with the better coach and the more seasoned program.  A&M -2.5 even on the road.

and lastly a personal favorite pick of mine for the weekend...

Michigan +3 at Rutgers:   Never in any context would we have seen a perennial past-powerhouse like Michigan getting points on the road on a borderline FBS team, let alone Big Ten team, like Rutgers.  Then we saw the Wolverines lose big-time to Minnesota at home.   It just can't get any worse for the Maize and Blue, but while that's all true, it seems a little ridiculous to be giving points to Rutgers against a big ten opponent.  Both teams can struggle to score against big competition, but I also think this game proves to be a fun moment for this writer.   There are really only two outcomes and both of them I'll enjoy -- either Michigan wins the game and the pick hits, or they lose and get embarrassed.   One of my favorite picks of the year, I can't lose!

There you have it, five games this week.  three NFL and two NCAA.   Here's to a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Kids Club Podcast Picks: Week 5 (Oct. 1)

We had an extended "Kids Club" spot tonight on the #DITCOW podcast due to Junk Man's unfortunate trouble with his car.  We all extend best wishes to the Junk Man and hope he gets home safely (or got home safely by the time we publish this).

So, we carried on with the extra allotted time and even spoke about the MLB Postseason.   So, let's see how our panelists try to build on their record here for Week 5.  Here are the picks...

Say Hello to Ottis (8-7-1) 
Baylor -15 at Texas
Louisville -2.5 at Syracuse
Jets +7 at Chargers
Packers -8.5  vs Vikings

John in CT (8-8) 
ECU -42 vs SMU
Tennessee -3 vs Florida
Falcons +4 at Giants
Ravens +3.5 at Colts

Ron in NJ (7-8-1) 
Notre Dame +2 vs Stanford
Wisconsin -8 at Northwestern
Falcons +4 at Giants
Colts -3.5 vs Ravens

Andy in Seattle (6-10) 
Oregon -23.5 vs Arizona
Alabama -6 at Ole Miss
Packers -8.5 vs Vikings
Cowboys -6 vs Texans

Good luck to all the picks, and here's to a big Week 5!