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Sunday Line
POSTED AT 12:17 PM ET, 01/28/2009

Super Bowl Chatter, Take 2: Prop Bets!

Dave: And now, from the folks at Bodog (Bodog: Gambling is cool!): exotic prop bets! First up:

Kurt Warner needs to pass for 364 yards to break Joe Montana's career record of 1,142 passing yards in the Super Bowl. Will he do it?

Matt: That's a lot of yards against a really good defense. Of course, Fitz could have 180 receiving yards at halftime.
Dave: It would certainly be good for the Cardinals' chances if he does. Pittsburgh allowed 157 passing yds. per game in the regular season, 200 in the playoffs.
Dave: Since I like the Steelers' chances, I'll say no.
Matt: Yeah, it's a bit much to ask of anyone. I'll say he doesn't do it.
Des: Warner already owns the top two passing yardage marks in Super Bowl history, with games of 414 (1999) and 365 (2001). But at some point, we do need to give it up for that fantastic Steelers D. I say Warner won't do it.

Willie Parker rushed for 93 yards in Super Bowl XL. Will he have more in Super Bowl XLIII?

Dave: I'm having trouble reaching a decision on this one
Des: It'll help if he breaks off a massive run like he did against the Seahawks. I say he does, and goes over 93 yards
Matt: The most the Cardinals have allowed in the playoffs this season is 63 rushing yards.
Matt: Held Michael Turner to 42, Westbrook to 45 (on only 12 carries, but still).
Matt: Parker killed the Chargers, did very little against the Ravens.
Des: yes, Zona's run defense has been surprisingly good. I just think Parker will get that one huge run to boost his stats
Dave: This goes back to whether the Cards take an early lead or not
Dave: I think the fact that Arizona has jumped out in every playoff game, and that it has forced turnovers, are the reasons for the low rushing totals.
Matt: I say this one is close enough that he doesn't get the ball a ton, and that the Cardinals' run defense holds firm with a mighty CAW!!! Parker doesn't do it. CAW!!!!
Dave: I'll say Willie does it.
Des: ha! In your cawing face, Matt!
Matt: He will heed my CAW!

How long will it take Jennifer Hudson to sing the national anthem? (Over/under: 1:54)

Matt: Toughest one of the day so far.
Dave: But will Jennifer Hudson heed your CAW? If so, if she actually ends up cawing, the anthem will have gone on far too long
Dave: This seems like a long anthem. I'm trying to find stats on this
Des: Where does that number come from? is that the average length of all previous SB anthem renditions?
Matt: Seeing as how she's likely to be singing to a recorded track, the possiblities for a fix here are endless.
Dave: It comes from our good friends at Bodog. (Bodog: Gambling is cool!) Where they got it, I don't know.
Matt: And considering that NBC will likely want to cram as many ads into the pregame as possible, I bet they got to pick the length of the track.
Des: she will definitely be lip-synching, that's a lock, it's what happens at all these huge events nowadays. Heck, Yo-Yo Ma cello-synched at the inauguration!
Matt: I know: I feel like a small piece of my childhood died when I learned Yo-Yo Ma did that.
Des: you mean the 5.2 seconds when you pondered becoming a concert cellist?
Dave: Yeah, the lip-synching is intriguing. And again, 1:54 seems like a big number for the anthem. I take the under.
Matt: I'll go with the under, for cynical advertising-related reasons.
Des: at the risk of sounding even more unbearably cynical, I think the tragic events surrounding Hudson's appearance make for a particularly, emotional, heart-rending rendition. I say she goes over.
Dave: I see Jordin Sparks clocked in at 1:38 last year. Jordin Sparks?!?!
Des: that leaves her with 13:22 left of fame

Yes or no: Bruce Springsteen will begin his halftime show with "Born to Run"

Matt: Born to Run is a rather lengthy song, no?
Dave: Well, it will be a medley, surely. I'm saying any part of "Born to Run" counts. We good with that?
Des: You know, a couple of years ago I won a few bucks from a buddy by betting him that the Stones would open their halftime performance with "Start Me Up." that was the biggest no-brainer, mortal-lock in history.
Matt: That was like picking against the Cardinals in the regular season: you just had to do it.
Matt: Nothing says "Super Bowl Halftime Extravaganza" like the lyrics: "It's a death trap, it's a suicide rap."
David: But commercial concerns love songs that could kinda-sorta be construed to fit their product if you're not listening to the lyrics.
Dave: Like CBS during March Madness several years back, when they played Pearl Jam's "Better Man," cuz you can't find a better man than in the NCAA tournament, right? Even though the song's about spousal abuse.
Dave: And Bruuuce has some experience with this, thanks to Ronald Reagan and "Born in the USA."
Matt: Here's what I think is gonna happen, in this order: 1. Glory Days. 2. Boring new song. 3. Boring new song. 4. Born to Run (joining in at "The highways jammed with broken heroes on a last-chance power drive.")
Des: anyway, this doesn't seem quite as much of a lock as Start Me Up, but I do think the Boss ain't gonna mess around and play a cut off "Nebraska." but I agree, Born to Run sounds more like the last song he'll play, much like the Stones ended w/Satisfaction, which I also won a few bucks by predicting.
Des: and btw, I strongly encourage everyone to make small bets all along the way during the SB, you know, like, who'll score next, which team commits the next penalty, which beer brand will have the next ad, that sort of thing. Really makes the SB a lot more fun.
Dave: I think Matt's got a pretty good idea. I'm not sure what he'll open with, but I'm convinced he'll close with "Born to Run." Gotta finish with "whoa-ho-ho-ho-hoooooo." So my answer is no.
Des: okay, we're all in agreement!
Matt: it's either that, or a peppy number like "Rosalita," for the ladies. But I can't see him opening with BTR.

Last one, and perhaps the easiest: What color bow tie will Bill Bidwell wear? For our purposes, the choices are red or the field.

Matt: Red.
Des: Is is a certainty that he will wear a bow tie?
Dave: Is it a push if he doesn't?
Des: I guess it is his trademark style, so let's assume he does. It would be cool if he wore a kente bow tie, but I think the pick here has to be red.
Matt: What if he wears an ever-trendy bolo tie?
Des: that would bring some Southwestern style to the proceedings
Dave: The bow tie is pretty much his trademark, and I can't imagine he wears anything other than red. Though maybe it will be some heavily patterned thingy, which would be the field. But I say dominant, likely totally, red
Dave: This because the Cardinals wear red
Des: ah, I see
Dave: They do have small elements of black and gold in the logo, but I don't think Bidwill will overthink that part of the equation
Matt: What if he wakes up and says, "You know, I'm gonna color-coordinate with the beak today."
Dave: CAW!
Matt: One last time: CAW!!!!!
Des: well, even though I took the Steelers to win by more than 7, I'd love to see a competitive game. So go Cards! at least for the first 55 minutes before Warner is sacked by Harrison, fumbles and Polamalu takes it to the house.
Des: you knew I had to get a Warner-fumbles prediction in here somewhere
Dave: I'll be working, so you know what? It doesn't matter much to me whether it's close or not. Just as long as the game doesn't last too ludicrously long.
Des: talk to Jennifer Hudson about that

BY David Larimer | Permalink | Comments (0)         Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  

POSTED AT 11:51 AM ET, 01/28/2009

Super Bowl Chatter, Take 1: Who Ya Got?

Dave: why, hello!
Matt: fancy meeting you two here.
Des: f-o-o-t-b-a-l-l-? what is this odd pastime?
Dave: So, in honor of the Super Bowl, let's do things a little differently, shall we?
Des: ooh, I'm game!
Matt: ch-ch-ch-ch-chaaaanges.
Des: Of course, we're already doing things differently than we did last week
Des: when -- hello -- didn't have a chat
Dave: This is true. Last week we did nothing, which means I didn't win the pick-em outright for once
Matt: it's really a 100 percent swing in the other direction.
Des: my head is spinning. although that may have more to do with my traditional breakfast margarita
Dave: So of course we'll pick the winner, but what's the Super Bowl without prop bets? And well pick a few of those, thanks to our friends at Bodog. Bodog: Gambling is cool! So let's go. Who ya got?

Cardinals (+7) vs. Steelers

Matt: Whole lotta points, there.
Dave: I'm a little surprised the line hasn't come down, since it seems like sentiment for the Cards is gaining steam
Matt: Didn't it open at like Steelers -10, then immediately plummet?
Des: Yes, when everyone realized that Kurt Warner was THE story angle for the week
Dave: I think he's absolutely a Hall of Famer if Arizona wins
Des: I agree, especially, obviously, if he has a huge game and/or is named MVP
Dave: Largely because I don't expect Arizona to win, and if he can get two titles with two such long-shot, woebegone franchises, he should be in
Matt: Absolutely.
Des: and it seems like he has to have a huge game for the Cards to win. it ain't gonna happen on the strength of their running game and shutdown D
Des: you know, the ways it will happen for Pittsburgh
Dave: Now it is my turn to agree
Dave: For one thing, Arizona will have to take an early lead. They have to put some pressure on Pittsburgh to keep up
Matt: Just throwing this out there: The last time someone covered such a big spread in the SB was the Broncos (-7 1/2) over the Falcons in 1998 or whenever that was.
Dave: How many spreads this big have there been since then?
Matt: Actually, belay that. Colts covered minus-7 two years ago.But still, it's not usually done.
Matt: A big favorite to cover, that is.
Matt: Five of the last six spreads have been a touchdown or more.
Matt: And six of the last eight.
Des: but even though we've had a nice run of competitive Super Bowls in this decade, the average margin of victory is in double-digits, just as it has been in every other decade
Dave: Huh. But can we agree that the best team usually wins the Super Bowl?
Des: not last year, but yeah
Des: I mean, if you go back through all the Super Bowls, there are very few upsets
Dave: What I'm getting at is the Steelers are the better team. I'm not one of the people saying Arizona is a fluke; it earned its way, but the only advantage it has is at wide reciever, and maybe quarterback.
Dave: And I think quarterback is even, since Big Ben and Warner are apples and oranges
Matt: Don't forget the coaching: Whiz and Grimm know how LeBeau thinks. Of course, it could go the other way, too, but the Steelers didn't have nearly the weapons the Cardinals have now.
Des: well, I wouldn't say the Steelers' cupboard is bare. Roethlisberger is pretty good, Ward and Holmes are pretty good and Parker is pretty good
Des: pretty good analysis on my part, eh?
Matt: The Steelers: They're good! trenchant.
Matt: That'll be the title of the NFL Films season highlight DVD.
Des: Sure, they're not great, like we could say Fitzgerald and maybe Boldin are great, but Pittsburgh is perfectly capable of scoring points
Matt: I see a definite lean on the part of youse two.
Dave: The Steelers' running game is much better, their defense is much better, their offense as a whole is not better, but it's not bad, and it's largely healthy. I think they win, and I more importantly, I think they cover.
Matt: So you're pretty much saying the Steelers win big?
Dave: I'm betting they win handily.
Des: I have picked the Cardinals to cover in every round of the playoffs so far, but I think I have to forsake them now in the final hour. 37-year-old Kurt Warner is a great story, but I think there will be no play for Mr. Gray, as this game is Just for Men, i.e., the Steelers D, which I think will score a defensive touchdown much like in the AFC championship game, boosting Pitt's margin into double digits. Steelers
Dave: If the Cardinals score early and/or often, they have a shot. But I like the Steelers. They have a championship formula.
Des: grecian formula?
Dave: Had I known what tack you would take, I would have said Grecian formula
Des: color me surprising!
Matt: I will be the contrarian here. I think the Cardinals, will their weapons on offense and knowledgeable coaching staff and bacon-scented Whiff of Destiny on them, at least keep this close. I see both teams trying a trick play, but only the Cards being successful at it. I see Edge James being used effectively for about two series and then cast off to the bench. Cardinals, please.
Matt: In fact, I think they're gonna win outright.

Over/under (47 total points)

Matt: Seems a bit low, no?
Dave: If you check the Super Bowl preview page, you'll see that I picked 47 total points
Matt: Last four SB's have gone under, BTW.
Des: wow, Dave, looking for the push, huh?
Dave: I think it seems a bit low if you're picking the Cardinals. Which of course you are.
Matt: Including 2006 (Steelers-Seahawks), when the number was...47.
Dave: Would it be unsporting of me to take the push? Or would it mean I have the courage of my convictions? Or that I'm an idiot, because he who tries to pick the exact score is never, ever right?
Matt: Well, since I've picked the Cardinals to win by something like 29-24 on the Super Bowl preview page, guess I have to go with the over here. Both teams are capable of scoring, and only one has a truly superb defense.
David: I don't want to blow the computer mind of the predictive widget we have set up, and I took the Steelers, so I'll take the under. 46 points will be scored.
Des: most sporting of you, David
Des: for the season, Pittsburgh averaged 21.7 points scored and the Cards 26.7, so that puts them into Over territory. Plus, I have predicted a final score of 34-17 (Steelers, natch) so I will, in fact, take the Over.
Matt: You just don't cross the predictive widget.
Des: you wouldn't like the widget when it's mad

BY David Larimer | Permalink | Comments (0)         Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  

POSTED AT 12:18 PM ET, 01/16/2009

Chatter, Take 1: AFC Championship

Des: it's conference championship time! who's excited?
Dave: yay!
Matt: I'm actually saddened that there's only three games left until next September. So thanks for the reminder.
Des: well, there's also the Pro Bowl
Matt: Yes, everyone mark down the Friday before the Pro Bowl for a Very Special Edition of our picks.
Dave: Actually, our "injury replacements" will be handling that chat
Des: Will there actually be a line for the Pro Bowl? I suppose there has to be, right?
Matt: I think there usually is, yes.
Des: We may have to chat about that. But if we do, we have to photoshop our pictures to have us in Hawaiian print shirts

Continue reading this post »

BY David, Des and Matt | Permalink | Comments (0)         Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  

POSTED AT 12:07 PM ET, 01/16/2009

Chatter, Take 2: NFC Championship

Philadelphia (-3 1/2) at Arizona

Matt: CAW! CAW! CAW! CAW! CAW! CAW!
Dave: CAW!
Des: MEOW!
Des: whoops, CAW!
Matt: MOOO!
Dave: You said last week that you would chat in a bird costume if all three bird teams won. So?
Matt: I haven't killed enough birds for the costume yet. It may be until next season to get that put together.

Continue reading this post »

BY David, Des and Matt | Permalink | Comments (0)         Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  

POSTED AT 11:44 AM ET, 01/16/2009

Conference Championships Picks & Previews

Ravens (+6) at Steelers Picks

For these two rivals, third time's the harm. Preview Des: Steelers
Matt: Steelers
Dave: Steelers
Eagles (-3 1/2) at Cardinals Picks

Is destiny finally taking wing for the Cardinals? Preview. Des: Cardinals
Matt: Cardinals
Dave: Eagles

Des's record: 1-3 last week, 129-123-11 overall
Matt: 2-2, 132-120-11
Dave: 3-1, 140-112-11

BY David, Des and Matt | Permalink | Comments (0)         Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  

POSTED AT 2:00 PM ET, 01/ 9/2009

Sunday Line Playoff Chatter, Take 4: Chargers at Steelers

Chargers (+6 1/2) at Steelers

Des: Gee, not a lot of road favorites this week, huh? I like the way the Chargers are playing the role of unexpected guest at the party, and I like the way they handled the red-hot Colts last week. Heck, I even like Philip Riv... well, let's not get too carried away. But this seems like enough points for me to take a dog that seems to have its title-contender act together. And who cares whether or not Tomlinson is ready to go? Sproles is the (wee) man!
Dave: So Des is on board with the Chargers, who also seem to be picking up fans these days
Matt: Some seem to think they have the Whiff of Destiny on them.
Dave: Yes, and there is reason to be a bit concerned about the Steelers. Their offense just hasn't been that good of late
Matt: It hasn't been all that good all season.
Dave: It's all Ben, who's been concussed
Matt: However, they still pulled off the cover-that-wasn't-a-cover against SD earlier this season, tho that was a dark time for the Chargers.
Dave: That was after scoring a FG to take the lead with about 15 seconds left, right? So that was a backdoor-cover-that-wasn't-a-cover.
Matt: Yeah, the TD was called off by the refs or something in a dark moment for many, many gamblers.
Matt: Then there's this: The Chargers are 0-13 at Pittsburgh in regular season games, but 2-0 in playoff games.
Dave: It seems the one reason to like the Steelers is their defense vs. the Chargers, which still gives up plenty of yards
Dave: There's also my contempt for the Chargers, which is still near-blinding and I hope is good for 3 or 4 points.
Matt: Yes, you truly loathe them.
Dave: I'm not sure if the Steelers can win by a TD, but they're still my pick to go to the Super Bowl, and I think they can ground-n-pound the Chargers back to .500. I'll take em.
Matt: I dunno, I think the Chargers are playing good enough right now, even without LDT, to keep this one within a TD, so I'll take them. Wow, three road teams. That can't be good.
Dave: It's gutty. or something
Dave: After citing the 55-17 straight-up stat. Good luck, sweet Bonesy
Matt: Exactly. I'm hoping the ATS record is much closer to .500.
Dave: That should do it. Maybe I'll call Des and persuade him to swing up to the sports books in Vegas
Matt: Ah, he'd probably be too tempted by the buffets in his ongoing quest to weigh 65 pounds by February.

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POSTED AT 2:00 PM ET, 01/ 9/2009

Sunday Line Playoff Chatter, Take 3: Eagles at Giants

Eagles (+4) at Giants

Des: This strikes me as the end of the line for the Eagles, and no matter how Donovan McNabb plays, let's hope Philly fans have the good sense not to demand his ouster. Actually, let's hope they don't, it's always more fun that way. I see the Giants simply taking care of business here, and 4 points hardly seems like too many in that scenario.
Matt: I guess he's going with the Giants, in so many words?
Dave: It appears that way.
Matt: Imagine if the Eagles, Cardinals and Ravens all make their conference title games. CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW CAW
Dave: That would be the entirety of next week's chat
Matt: I would purchase and wear a bird costume for it, definintely.
Dave: It would be like standing in a big virtual aviary
Dave: Anyway, I really like watching the Eagles when they're playing well, and they're playing well
Matt: But exactly how impressive were the Eagles last week? I mean, Tarvaris reverted back to the old Tarvaris we all know and laugh at, and if not for that one screen pass, it woulda been a lot closer.
Matt: Plus, they got all sorts of yardage from D. Jackson on punt returns, and the Vikings' punt return unit was an atrocity all season.
Dave: Yeah, that's true. Eagles shoulda finished off more drives and finished off the Vikings earlier than they did
Dave: And Brandon Jacbos oughta be rested and ready
Matt: Tho the chances of him suffering another injury are at least 50-50, I'd say.
Dave: I'm a little leery of four points, but I think the Giants needed the week off. With the rest, I think they're the better team. I'll take 'em
Dave: Not that I really made any case for the Giants there. But still
Matt: I'll go with the Giants, too. I'm not sure the Eagles showed enough last week--not pounding a pretty middling team--to warrant taking them.

BY David, Des and Matt | Permalink | Comments (0)         Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  

POSTED AT 2:00 PM ET, 01/ 9/2009

Sunday Line Playoff Chatter, Take 2: Cardinals at Panthers

Cardinals (+10) at Panthers

Des: Gotta luv Vegas. They know that no one thinks the Cards can make it all the way to the NFC championship game, so they're jacking up the price on backing the Panthers. Well, taking double-digit favorites has generally been a sucker's bet this season, and maybe it's also the fact that I'm in John McCain's stomping grounds (hey it only SEEMS like he lost to Obama by double-digits), but I'll take Arizona
Matt: And he's right, taking double-digit favorites has been a sucker's bet.
Dave: Des is right about that line. It's awful fat.
Dave: The Cardinals did acquit themselves fairly well in their first trip to Carolina--btw, isn't it a little odd that every game this weekend is a rematch?
Matt: That is odd.
Matt: MIght be raining, according to my SuperDoppler X57802
Dave: Yup. Highs of 58, lows of 36, showers possible. Maybe not very pleasant for my in-laws, who will be in the house
Matt: Also, they Cardinals were crummy on the road this year, tho they did keep it close against the Panthers. Otherwise, their only wins were at the Niners and the Seahawks. CAW!
Dave: CAW! CAW!
Dave: Their run defense was pretty good last week against the Falcons, too, and it's gonna have to be Saturday.
Matt: Yes, because the Panthers have two Michael Turners instead of one.
Dave: And DeAngelo Williams by himself has been something like one and a half Michael Turners lately.
Matt: I think the Panthers will be excited to play at home, where they were unbeaten this year and haven't played in almost a month (Dec. 14 was their last home game).
Matt: They also won their home games by an average of 15 or so points.
Dave: I give the Cardinals very, very little chance of winning this. But they stayed within 4 last time vs. the Panthers. And I think they'll be kind of loosey-goosey. So I'll take Arizona.
Matt: Yeah, that line is so big. And it's so tempting to take the home team. But I just can't do it. Cardinals.

BY David, Des and Matt | Permalink | Comments (0)         Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  

POSTED AT 2:00 PM ET, 01/ 9/2009

Sunday Line Playoff Chatter, Take 1: Ravens at Titans

Matt: So welcome back to our little den of vice. We're still going at it for the playoffs, scrappin' and chattin' and makin' picks. I went 2-2 in the first-round games, as did Desmond, with regular season champion Dave pulling up the rear at 1-3.
Dave: Actually, I went 2-2. The chart mistakenly had me for the Dolphins. If you read last week's chatter--and why don't we all read it again?--you can confirm I took the Ravens
Matt: Ah, I was going off the chart.
Matt: So we all went 2-2! Mediocrity for all!
Matt: Des, BTW, has deserted us for the Great American Southwest, but he was kind enough to send us an e-mail with his thoughts on this weeks games:
Des: Greetings from the desert! My plan to make like Eric Mangini and high-tail it outta town not long after the NFL regular season ended (of course, I waited longer than that shlub to high-tail it, and am doing it totally voluntarily) is working out nicely. By the time you read this, I will have visited the Grand Canyon, not to be confused with the gap in Michael Strahan's front teeth. Currently I'm chillin' in Tucson, where the temperature hit an unexpectedly chilly high of 56 degrees on Tuesday, but I
am assured it's all uphill from there, much like the Cardinals' climb to the Super Bowl.
Matt: So there's that.
Dave: So, onward with the picking of the games...

Ravens (+3) at Titans

Des: So when these teams first played, Tennessee won by 3 at Baltimore, and there's little reason to think this won't be another close game. There's also little reason to think that Ed Reed won't lay his hands on at least one errant Kerry Collins pass, especially after the Titans realize that they won't be able to just run the ball 45 times like they want to. That being said, I love how Tennessee has played this year and this spread makes it essentially a choice of who we think will win, so I'll go with the
Titans.
Dave: Like many, I'm getting on the Ravens' bandwagon
Matt: yes, the Ravens' defense was, um, quite Ravens-y last week.
Dave: You can't seem to run on them, and if you throw deep, Plastic Man Ed Reed is back there
Matt: But a-ha! The Titans won't have that problem, because Kerry Collins can't throw the ball deep!
Dave: Yeah, like I said, Ravens bandwagon for me. At least for one week. I think they win this straight up.
Matt: Also, I should put this out there at the outset: Since 1990, home teams in the second round of the playoffs are 55-17!
Matt: I don't know how they did against the spread, but if I did, you all would be the first to know.
Dave: This is true. But that's basically 3 out of 4, right? So I guess the Ravens are my one.
Matt: I'm not sure the Titans' offense is much more potent than the Dolphins', so I'll go with the Ravens.

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POSTED AT 2:00 PM ET, 01/ 9/2009

Conference Semifinals Picks & Previews

Ravens (+3) at Titans Picks

Kerry Collins doesn't commit turnovers. But then, neither did Chad Pennington until he played the Ravens. Preview. Des: Titans
Matt: Ravens
Dave: Ravens
Cardinals (+10) at Panthers Picks

The Cardinals' prospects on the road seem about as promising as a Cormac McCarthy character's. Preview. Des: Cardinals
Matt: Cardinals
Dave: Cardinals
Eagles (+4) at Giants Picks

Westbrook is the Eagles' game-breaker. Without Burress, do the Giants have one? Preview. Des: Giants
Matt: Giants
Dave: Giants
Chargers (+6 1/2) at Steelers Picks

LT likely won't play for the Chargers, but it's the Steelers who face uncertainty on offense. Preview. Des: Chargers
Matt: Chargers
Dave: Steelers

Des's record: 2-2 last week, 128-120-11 overall
Matt: 2-2, 130-118-11
Dave: 2-2, 137-111-11

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POSTED AT 5:08 PM ET, 01/ 2/2009

Sunday Line Playoff Chatter, Take 1: Falcons at Cardinals

Dave: So, just wanted to get you guys together to let you know that I AM THE CHAMPIONS, I AM THE CHAMPIONS
Des: but you spared a little time for losers, that's nice
Des: So Dave wins the regular season title, but guess what? It's the playoffs, baby! A whole new season, and a chance for Matt and I to come off a little smarter than we have for the past 4 months
Matt: But hey, we both finished above .500, as well, right?
Dave: I finished the regular season with an 11-3-2 Week 17, clinching the title. I also hit my lock, and finished with the best record on that (10-6-1).
Des: yeah, yeah, yeah, that's SUCH ancient history. We're to look ahead, not behind.
Matt: I went a very respectable 10-4-2 in Week 17.
Matt: and also solved my lock issues by finally hitting one again to finish 8-9 on the season in that category.
Des: I did the worst in Week 17, but Matt points out, we all finished above .500 against the spread for the season, which is pretty good
Dave: So, officially, I finished FIRST, CHAMPION at 135-109-11 overall, Matt out-touched Des at the finish, 128-116-11. Des brings up the rear, but nobly, at 126-118-11. Very good season, as we said
Matt: We should charge people for this service.
Dave: You've gotta this number and pick this game!!!
Matt: THIS IS MY 350-STAR, GIANT SHOE-IN OF THE WEEK. YOU CAN'T AFFORD TO MISS THIS ONE!!!!
Matt: If we do this, I'm wearing nothing but bolo ties.That'll be my schtick.
Des: like, nothing at all, but a bolo tie?
Matt: No, also butt-less chaps.
Des: and a smile
Des: Well, I will show a little more graciousness than Chris Johnson and congratulate the winner. Good job, Dave! Seriously, someone needs to tell Johnson to shut the heck up. He wasn't even the rookie running back of the year! that honor has to go to Matt Forte.
Des: So let's take the games in order. First up...

Atlanta (-2) at Arizona

Matt: DOUBLE CAW!
Dave: As has been noted, the road team is favored in all four games, for the first time ever
Matt: yeah, DOUBLE CAW! CAW! CAW!
Des: Have the Cards finally sold enough tickets to avoid a blackout?
Dave: That's really pitiful
Des: the team had until 2:30 today to avoid one
Dave: That's Atlanta Braves-like
Matt: I'm sure the league and team will find a way to say it's sold out even if it isn't.
Des: yeah, they'll round up. way, way up
Dave: You'd think the first division title in 30-some years and the gleaming new stadium would be reason for some excitement. Even if the division title is the NFC West
Matt: They're not playing the Cowboys, so no excitement.
Des: the fans there are just confused. "More football? That's unpossible!"
Dave: And I was searching for home teams I might pick to "upset." I was acutally considering the Cards.
Matt: And as I've pointed out before, road favorites are the winningest category ATS in the league this season, covering 59 percent of the time. Much better than home favorites (46 percent).
Des: But despite the fact that all the road teams are favored, do we all agree that at least one home team will win outright?
Dave: Plus, Edgerrin picked a fine time to say he's not play for Arizona after this season, even tho he's under contract. Not that he's relevant, but still, real team player.
Matt: The Redskins will trade for him, and pay him 2 billion dollars.
Dave: And put him at DE
Des: he should just go back to the Colts. Look what Dominic Rhodes did the season with a horse shoe back on his helmet
Dave: I do like that Falcons pass rush vs. Warner (something about how he's due to fumble, right Des?)
Des: Exactly! he is the Fumblebee Man
Dave: And I think Atlanta's run game will control the clock. I do think at least one home team will win, but I'm not picking this one. Falcons.
Des: Warner's butterfingers aside, I would like to give some credence to the whole rookie QB vs. wily vet angle.
Dave: Well, there is that.
Des: Atlanta is a way more solid team from an infinitely tougher division. But I will go with the home team, even if the home crowd doesn't seem to be flocking to this game in droves.
Matt: The Falcons weren't great on the road this season. The Cardinals were great at home. Thusly, I will take the home dog. Cardinals.
Dave: so you guys got your home picks out of the way
Des: I think Arizona can score some quick points and take the Falcs out of their comfort zone w/ the rushing game. Cards

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