And you know when you feel deja vu. -Iron Maiden.
Last week was glorious. 3 for 3 and I am guaranteed to hold the lead for at least another week.
On the heels of my success I started a tip line on Wednesday. Call 1-900-FUT-WINS* now and get the Sunday night point spread winner FREE!
Our logs indicate that Sisyphus has already called my tip line 97 times.
Flash has not. So I'm feeling confident.
On to the games. King's remarks are in italic. He's gone with a deja vu theme:
1. San Diego at New England (-5). This is deja vu all over again. We had a weird 5.5 line last week with the Bolts, but they were favored in that one and blew out the Giants with LaDainian Tomlinson throwing and running all over the Giant defense. The Pats defense is a patchwork affair, but that defense did enough to stymie the Steelers on the road. If Rodney Harrison and Teddy Bruschi and the rest of the defense was healthy, would this line be 7? 8? Let's put this to our prognosticators.
[Sirens blare. Strobe lights wildly flash]
Uh oh. You know what that means?
Yes! This is the BOONDOGGLE LINE OF THE WEEK, sponsored by the Taxpayer's League of Minnesota!
The only possible explanation for this line is that bettors are just indiscriminately throwing money at the Chargers like a phalanx of Matt Entenzas on crack would throw money at "social programs". Sure the Bolts ritualistically disemboweled the Giants at home last week, but did anybody notice the Pats smacking down a supposedly better Steelers team on the road? Pats giving up only 5 points at home against this team is a no-brainer.
In fact the only reason I can think of to not bet on the Pats is that Flash is probably going to pick them to win too. And that would be the kiss of death for the Pats.
2. Green Bay at Carolina (-7.5). So how bad are the Packers really? Not so bad that this line moved towards them after opening at 8. This is deja vu too, as the Packers went to AllTel last year as 3.5 dogs and beat the Panthers 24-14. But the Panthers lost a tough game to the Dolphins on turnovers and, at 1-2, need this game to start contending in a tough division with the Falcons and Bucs. The Packers are 0-3 ATS, but have won 5 of their last 6 ATS against Carolina. Which way does this one turn out this time, guys?
Obnoxious Packer Guy?
OPG? Where are you?
Oh, he's passed out on the couch. I'll have to take this one.
There are many tangible factors to consider in this game: the Pack's marked improvement on defense (Ahmad Carroll committed less than 5 illegal hands to the face penalties last week), and despite the Panthaz' win over New England, they appear more and more to be pretenders.
Throw it all out the window. This is the Pack in a Monday night game.
The Packers have a long and storied history of participating in weird MNF games. There was the win over the Redskins by a score of something like 57 to 56. I believe Antonio Freeman's "improbable bobble" touchdown to beat the Vikings was on a Monday night. And last year they got blown out at home by a far inferior Titans team on a Monday night. Weird things happen to the Packers on Monday nights.
This Packers team beating Carolina in Charlotte would fit the definition of "weird" quite neatly. Fortunately for me, they only need to come within a touchdown.
Footnote: I am dedicating this pick to LittleFoot #1 who celebrates her 4th birthday today. Her first word was "Bears," and her second word was "suck." And no I'm not exaggerating. Much.
Indianapolis (-7) at Tennessee. These teams play so often that every down is deja vu -- Indy is 4-0 ATS over the last three years against the Titans. Indy looks great with an improved defense and a running game that has worn people down, but they have had two big numbers and not covered the chalk against the Jags and the Browns. The Titans, though losing last week, have covered the last two weeks and look like they might have righted the ship in a year where they are supposed to be rebuilding. Do the Colts continue to look like the cream of the AFC, or is this the start of their slide to 11-5 and a trip to New England in January?
UPDATE: And the Penzoil 5-Star Lock of the Week - I maintain my four-point lead.
* Do not call this number. For all I know, it's a phone sex line.