As I type this, I’m watching the high desert landscape sweep by outside my window, the sagebrush covered “hills” (which you can only call them if you have no imagination whatsoever) somewhere between Albuquerque and Juarez, Mexico. In fact, just moments ago we passed the blacked-out windows of the “Juarez Transport,” featuring a driver with the best fucking beard I’ve ever seen outside of my Aunt Lulu’s house.
What I didn’t expect was to have a fleeting feeling of FREEDOM wash over me, that American ideal which can be so easily snatched away from those who do not defend it mightily (or those who do something really really bad with some really really bad people and end up in Juarez — a really really bad place).
There are those in this world who are not able to bet on football, likely because they’ve had their knees broken by their bookies and have been left in a ditch somewhere in the high desert, just awaiting the vultures and drug cartels to do what they do.
But we are not they. Lo, we must prepare for the weekend’s feast of football so we may win ALL THE MUNNEEZ, because when it comes to us and the bookies and cartels? Magic Sam is in charge. Magic Sam does the fuckin’.
Let’s pick some fuckin’ games and win some fuckin’ money. As always, home teams are in CAPS.
San Diego (-3) over CLEVELAND
Now, I know, I’m the king of the “The Browns aren’t nearly as bad as they’re being portrayed in the GOT DAM ELITE LIBRUL MEDIA” club, but I cannot in good conscience say that the Browns will win this game. Yes, they’re somewhat salty at home, and have even shown signs of life. But the Chargers are still the Chargers, and after the embarrassing PR snafu they went through last week with the “Chill Out” letter posted on their website, they’re going to come out firing as if head coach Norv Turner’s job depends on it. Because it does. Lose this game to Cleveland, and I’d be amazed if they don’t leave Norval at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and make him find his own ride back. Chargers 23, Browns 10
CHICAGO (-7.5) over Carolina
Chicago is playing lights-out football at home, and this week they’ll welcome the Panthers, fresh off everyone in the sporting press questioning everything about the team, from whether Cam Newton is actually a good quarterback (he was last year, this year… no…) to whether head coach Ron Rivera will make it through the season with a job. It doesn’t look good. And now in march the Bears, winners of several straight, having just taken Detroit to the woodshed (as much as a team can in a very physical 13-7 win) and a team trying to show the world that they’re worthy of our attention. They’ll get it this week, as Carolina continues its downward trend and Chicago continues to dominate. Chicago 17, Carolina 6.
Washington (+4.5) over PITTSBURGH
I’m riding the “Pittsburgh is no longer trustworthy as a favorite” bus until it runs into a god damn bridge abutment. I’m also riding the “there’s no player in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE who I’d rather watch play than Robert Griffin III” wagon, which is a Radio Flyer and actually mostly free of rust, which is nice. Pitt is old and slow, Bobby Griffin is young and fast, and I think even if the SKEEEEEEEINS don’t win, they’ll be within striking distance. A good pick to roll the dice on here. Redskins 24, Steelers 20.
Sunday Nighter: DENVER (-6) over New Orleans
HOMER ALERT! Fuck yeah, I’m taking the Broncos, even with a big spread, and here’s why: At home, in prime time matchups, the Broncos are really tough to beat. And I don’t want to alarm anyone, but we have Peyton Fucking Manning now, so… you know…
Okay, so the Saints have managed to win a couple of games, against poor competition, and now I’m supposed to commence shitting my pants and panicking because “they’ve figured it out” and whatever. Not true. Not going to happen. The Saints have a top-notch offense combined with a shit defense (ranked 32nd out of 32 teams). The Broncos have a top-notch offense with a pretty decent offense (currently ranked 8th out of 32 teams). If Denver can hold on to the football, which we’ve discussed before, they should come out on top in a shootout. I say Denver hangs 40. Denver 41, New Orleans 28.
Monday Nighter: San Francisco (-7) over ARIZONA
Boy, when Arizona comes back to earth, they do it hard and without much grace. And San Fran has looked straight up dominant since their gameplan failed completely against New York a few weeks ago. I’m not sure this is going to be much of a game, but Arizona could put some yards and points up late in order to make it closER. Still looking at a fairly easy San Francisco treat. Niners 31, Cardinals 20.
That’s all I’ve got for today. Talk to you again Monday when I’m back from Juarez with a new shipment of the black tar. Enjoy the games, everyone.