Devil's Playground


Ever feel like you're burning the candle at both ends?

Welcome to my world.

Between working graveyards, going to school, and trying to raise a small wick is feeling pretty charred. And, I'm sure I'm not the only one. 

But, it's football season. My favorite hobby, and part-time, part-time job. No time to cry. This is the game that requires a short memory. Just ask the Pittsburgh Steelers...or, Tony Romo. Or perhaps...just take a look at my picks from last week. Not good.

However, I've noticed that the beautiful part (the saving grace, in a terrible week) about being an effective gambler, and one that is often misunderstood, is that you don't have to get all of the games right, all of the time. You just have to know which ones to stay away from - when diverting those funds from the cable bill, to the bookie.

(I'm kidding...I never pay the cable bill.)

So, quick box score from last week:

W-L: 8-8 Money bet: $15 (3 seperate bets) Money won: $100 Profit/hole: +85

LD's MVP's: Tom Brady, The Oakland Raiders, the "overs" on Monday Night, and Tony Romo choking on everything but the spread.

Yep. I said from day one, that I wasn't a high stakes gambler. So, let me now add rule #3...especially in week 1.

Because really, what are you betting on in the first week? Last years teams? Speculation from (this year, more than any) the off-season? Pre-season? Yeah right. You may have hit 16 games (ATS) last week (and congrats, if you did)...but in my experience, week 1 is the NFL's version of a "shot in the dark". I'll take my 8-8, and my $85...and be as happy as, Rex Grossman is (or at least, should be), this week.

(Soak it in, Rex.)

Week 2 (Again, under the gun, on a Saturday night.)

Chicago (+7) @ New Orleans

I don't know what it is, but I just can't believe in the Chicago Bears. I don't hate the Bears, but this is a trend that extends back to last year. Something about that team just doesn't sit right with me. So, obviously, they'll probably go on to win the Super Bowl. Nevermind that though, I choose to stay blind. New Orleans was just a "gack" away, from taking one on the "not-so-frozen" tundra, in Green Bay. 7 points is, too many. DO NOT LISTEN TO ME. New Orleans, in a rout.

Kansas City (+8.5) @ Detroit

Kansas City has been terrible, since training camp finally opened. Detroit is the "sexy" pick to make noise this year. Neither team did anything to swat those opinions, last week. This week...I still believe in Detroit (and that Man-imal, Calvin Johnson), but are we really ready to start giving them 8.5 points (which is a lot, in any game), against a division winner from last year? Yeah, me neither.

Jacksonville (+9) @ NY Jets

As much as Mark Sanchez wanted to hand that game to the Dallas Cowboys, last week, Tony Romo just wouldn't let him do it. Jacksonville, I'm sure, will follow suit. The only real question here, is if the Jets can cover. I think they can...but I just don't see Sanchez and co., being able to take MJD out of this game early I'm going say, not this week. 

Oakland (+4) @ Buffalo

Game of the Week.

Well, not really...but I'm sure it looks nice, for fans of these two teams. It's more like, the game of the week...for whichever of these two teams would like to start playing in the "Game of the Week". Each of these two teams has a chance to put themselves on the radar, here. But, just like I said last week, these games are almost always riding the line. So - another road dog week, for Oakland.

Arizona (+4) @ Washington

Hail to the Skins! Feels nice sitting (tied) a top the NFC East, doesn't it? Don't get used to it, but definitely enjoy least for one more week. I really feel as if the "over a field goal spread, in a who knows(?) contest" applies here, too. But, sometimes you just have to trust your gut. And my gut tells me, that "new" RFK (FedEx) will be on fire, in week 2.

Baltimore (-6) @ Tennessee

I loved that game, last week...even though I lost it. It told me everything I needed to know about Baltimore. (As for Pittsburgh, who knows?) Baltimore is going to pound people. The Ray Rice/Ricky Williams...starter/closer combo, is the best the league has seen for some time. And, oh yeah, that Defense is still pretty decent, also. Trap game? Maybe. But consistent money isn't made in trying to bet the upsets.

Seattle (+14.5) @ Pittsburgh

Ahhh..the comforts of home, eh, Pittsburgh? Where as last week answered my Ravens questions, it did nothing but create new ones, for Steelers Army. Do I agree with Warren Sapp? Are these Steelers "old & slow"? Ridiculous. Classic, first week, fatalism. However, 14.5 points is a ton, even against T-Jack. Do I think they'll get medieval on Seattle, after having their towels exposed in nationally televised game? Sure. But, let's just say they win by 14.

Green Bay (-10) @ Carolina

You heard it here first...or second, or...does it really matter? Carolina upsets Green Bay (by covering the spread).

Tampa Bay (+3) @ Minnesota

Okay first everybody wants to put TB (and Mr. Freeman) in the playoffs...and now they're dogs in Minnesota, because they lost to very good Lions team? I don't think so.

Cleveland (-2) @ Indianapolis

How the mighty have fallen. Browns fans, did you ever expect to see your team favored, in Indy, while Peyton Manning was even on the roster? Collins won't be on the road, against blood-thirsty (for the Colts, anyway) teams, every week. So here's your chance, Kerry, to stay that call from Jim Irsay to David Garrard. Good Luck.

Dallas (-3) @ San Francisco

The worst thing that Tony Romo could do here is to play it, too safe. He might not have Dez to eat up elite corners this week, but I'm sure he'll manage fine with those other scrubs, with names like Witten, Austin, Jones (Not Jerry)...etc. If anything worries me here, it's still the O-line. One week, does not an elite unit make. No matter how good the team you played was. San Fran also has some pretty good young weapons of their own, and if Dallas wins, last week, this might have been a huge trap game. Either way (whether they win, or lose, in NY), they finish week 2 @ 1-1.

Houston (-3) @ Miami

-3? Really? Yeah - I saw the game against New England. It just one, of what I'm sure may be many, of Miami playing to just below the level of the competition that gets put in front of them, this year. Houston should prove no different.

San Diego (-7) @ New England

(The reverse, 2011 Miami Dolphin, effect.) Speaking of New England, I see them playing to just above the level of the competition, in many of their games, this year. Including this one. And who knows? Maybe, San Diego exercises their own early season demons, here. I don't think it will happen, but I'll certainly take the touchdown, just in case.

Cinncinatti (+3.5) @ Denver

The coin flip game. (In case you were was heads.)

Philadelphia (-3) @ Atlanta

Not the kind of game to get healthy on, eh, Atlanta? At least, it's at home. Home, where the carpet is. You know who's really scary (and incredibly fast) on carpet? Yeah - you know the answer.

St Louis (+7) @ NY Giants

Bradford...or no Bradford...Jackson, or no Jackson...these are the sweetest seven points I've seen in some time. Eat 'em up.


I hope all went well for everyone last week, and that the sound of my heart shattering last Sunday night, didn't disturb anyone. At some point, I'd like to knock these picks out a little sooner than "hours" before the games. But, as no one is exactly "beating down my door" to get it done...I guess my family will have to remain priority for now.

Good luck, this week.  }:)




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