Here’s something that has always bothered me about sports — the regular season is rendered meaningless by the playoffs.
In the NFL, this is less of an issue because the regular season is so short. In the NFL, regular season combined with the playoffs tends to identify the best team of the year.
In the NBA, it’s not really an issue, either. For the most part, the best team in the NBA has the best regular season record, and excels in the playoffs.
But, in baseball, it’s a big problem. Baseball teams play 162 games during the regular season. And even if you win 160 of those games it doesn’t matter if you can’t win in the playoffs. Your whole season is rendered meaningless.
That seems ridiculous and unfair. But, I’m not sure what you do about it.
Is there a way to create, and then celebrate an award for the best regular season team? Because, having the best record across 162 games is much more impressive than winning in October. And yet, our mindset is not geared towards celebrating that. We only care about the playoffs which tend to be arbitrary.
Anyway, let’s look into some NFL picks.
I got last night’s game wrong. Who knew they allowed close games on Thursday nights? My record for the season is now 18-18-1, which is better than it sounds.
All lines come from the Las Vegas Hilton, and are current as of Friday morning.
Indianapolis Colts are 3 point favourites against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Has there ever been a team that went from #1 in the power rankings to not even close to #1 faster than the Bengals? All it took was a pounding by a seemingly weak Patriots team to stop anyone from believing in the Bengals. The Bengals didn’t really help themselves by tying the Panthers the next week.
But, that’s not what I want to talk about. What I want to talk about here is the Colts and Andrew Luck. It makes almost zero sense to bet against Luck. He’s just great. And yet, weirdly, he’s underrated because didn’t have the hype of RGIII, and he doesn’t have a Super Bowl ring like Russell Wilson.
As they might say on ESPN, Andrew Luck just wins games in the National Football League. And I expect that to happen this weekend.
The pick: Colts -3
The Green Bay Packers are 7-point favourites at home against the Carolina Panthers.
I don’t really trust the Panthers, but that’s a lot of points. Cam Newton is talented, and according to Ron Jaworski, he’s playing some of the best football in the league, so why not roll with that?
The pick: Panthers +7
The Dallas Cowboys are 6.5 point favourites at home against the New York Giants.
The Giants got absolutely dismantled last weekend against the Philadelphia Eagles. It was embarrassing. After three weeks of showing promise the Giants looked like a mess. The Giants didn’t score a point.
As for the Cowboys, they had the “most impressive win” of the year according to the pundits. The Cowboys won in Seattle, which is something that pretty much never happens. This vaulted the Cowboys into top of the power rankings. Tony Romo did Tony Romo things like running around to buy time to convert on third downs. Demarco Murray ran the ball like a mad man, and the Cowboys look great.
So, it would not be stupid not to take the Cowboys here. A word of caution: I have gotten the Cowboys wrong all year, and I am probably getting this one wrong, too. But, I got to do what I got to do.
The pick: Cowboys -6.5
The San Diego Chargers are 4-point favourites at home against the Kansas City Chiefs.
I live in the New York metro area. That means I rarely ever see the Chargers. But, it seems like they’re really good! They’re 5-1, and people are talking about Philip Rivers as an MVP candidate. I rarely see the Chiefs, either. But the Chiefs seem to be heading in the wrong direction. They have a so-so coach, and so-so talent. So, it’s hard to pick them.
The pick: Chargers -4
The Arizona Cardinals are 3.5-point favourites on the road against the Oakland Raiders.
Everything I just said about the Chargers goes for the Cardinals. I know nothing about the Cardinals, but they seem to figure out how to win. So, I’m going to lay the points and hope they can beat the worst team in the league.
How sad are the Oakland Raiders? I remember when I was younger how it was cool to like the Raiders, with the silver and black uniforms. They had scary, weirdo fans. Now, they’re a pathetic franchise that’s been run into the ground. The NFL needs to step and do something about it.
The pick: Cardinals -3.5
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