Category Archives: Straight Cash Homie

Straight Cash Homie: NFL Playoff Picks Sunday

Went one-for-two yesterday with a Steelers comeback win and an Aaron Rodgers deflowering of Atlanta. Looks like the parallels between the 2010 Falcons and 2006 Chargers were valid after all. I’d think to think the game would’ve been different if Matty Ice didn’t throw that first half walk-off touchdown pass to Tremon Williams, but we will never know. Moral of the story yesterday: QBs win you playoff games. Big surprise, right? Yesterday it looked like this: Aaron Rodgers > Big Ben > Joe Flacco > Matt Ryan. Simple as that. The theme continues today.

Sunday, 1:00pm – Seahawks (+10) over BEARS

Let’s be honest, this line has to be too high, right? Jay Cutler has all the trimmings of a playoff collapse. Let’s look at all these things that uninspired confidence:

1. This is his first playoff game ever.
2. He is such a dick, he inspired Rick Reilly to roast him in a column this week. The usually fang-less Reilly reserves his selective criticisms for the likes of high-profilers Obama and Tiger Woods. Cutler’s misplaced bravado was enough to make Reilly interested.
3. He is extremely turnover prone. This year: 16 picks and 9 fumbles. Last year: 26 picks and 4 fumbles.
4. He was sacked more times than anyone else in the league.
5. He notoriously makes poor decisions throwing the ball, and as Keyshawn pointed out today has had quite a few balls hit defenders in the hands this year that weren’t caught.
6. His teammates don’t like him.
7. This is his first playoff game ever.

If I am the Seahawks defense, I can’t be more excited to play Jay Cutler. He is clearly the biggest question mark in the playoffs and I can’t see him not making a few mistakes.

On the other side, Matthew Michael Hasselbeck showed off his playoff chops last week and has to be confident coming into this week. Mike Williams had his breakout game in week six against the smaller Bears’ corners with 10 catches. Look for Seattle to exploit that matchup again.

Seattle wins this game if two things happen:

1. Jeremy Bates has a good day play-calling. Trust me on this as I’m one of the few people who have watched every Seahawks snap this season outside of Seattle; when Bates is clicking and the team is in a groove they can move the ball on anyone. When they get cute and try the wrong things at the wrong times (see: the four 25-yard floating jump balls on 4th-and-1s this year) they will not succeed. If the Seahawks can out-coach the Bears like they did the Saints last week, they will win this game. (Okay that was a pretty obvious statement a la John Madden…but it is true. I love Brett Favre.)

2. They have to keep the Bears receivers in front of them. If Cutler hits a few big plays and gets some confidence it could be bad. In the Seahawks “Bandit” package where they play three safetys, rookie safety Kam Chancellor is very vulnerable. If the Bears do there homework, they’ll find this out.

Sunday, 4:00pm – PATRIOTS (-9) over Jets

The 2010 New England Patriots are first in the league with 0.525 points per play. The next closest in the entire league was San Diego at 0.424. The Jets? 0.332. Why do I bring up this stat? Because it is reeeeediculous. The Pats weren’t even close to that number last year. Not enough people are realizing how good Brady and the Pats are this year. The yards-per-play stat says this: If both teams run 50 plays, the Pats win 26-16. If the Jets run 60 and the Pats 40, the Pats still win 21-20.

IT IS NOT ABOUT “KEEPING BRADY OFF THE FIELD!” This is what you’ve been hearing all week. It’s about limiting his plays. The Pats won games this year with the following TOP (time of posession) numbers: 27:43, 25:35, 24:52, and 19:12. Remember in the NFL we play 60-minute games.

I have no doubt the Pats win. Mark Sanchez isn’t going into Foxboro and beating this team with this quarterback and this coach that had a week to prepare. Brady didn’t watch the Jets game last week because he didn’t have to. What could he possible have seen that he hasn’t already? He’s been going to the theatre, wearing Uggs, and rolling around on a Razor scooter like a boss not giving two shits about anything to do with the Jets. And now he will go out and shred them per usual on his way to his fourth Super Bowl. The line has moved to 9 but I’m still confident in at least a 10-point win. Take the Pats.

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Straight Cash Homie: NFL Playoff Picks for Saturday

As Wes Welker would say, it is time to put your best foot forward.  This is arguably one of the best weekends in sports: Week 2 of the NFL Playoffs.  You still get four games in two days, you don’t have any shitty wildcard teams left, and you have fantastic matchups where teams are playing as hard as possible because a win means a conference championship game.  I suggest just sitting back and enjoying the 48 hours of football.  However, if you’d like to make things a little more interesting, risking some of your hard earned dollars on the outcomes of these games can be fun too.  For those of you doing the latter, here is how you should play it for Saturday, we’ll do Sunday tomorrow.

Saturday, 4:30pm – STEELERS (-3) over Ravens

Ben Roethlisberger has never lost to Joe Flacco

Ben Roethlisberger has not lost to the Ravens in six games.

Ben Roethlisberger is 8-2 in his career against the Ravens

Ben Roethlisberger is going to take the Ravens into a bar bathroom and have his way with them.

Why do I begin with three legitimate sentences and one other sentence about Big Ben?  Because Big Ben does not lose these kinds of games.  He doesn’t lose many games in general, but especially not second-round home playoff games against the Ravens.  You may not like him, his face may look like a Salvador Dali painting at this point, and he may not make the best off-the-field decisions, but the guy wins football games.  Herm Edwards texted me something interesting the other day: “You PLAY to WIN the GAME.”

I can’t explain it.  I can’t quantify it.  I can’t even give you a score because it does not matter.  Ben will find a way to win this game and you can take that to the bank.  The only way this thing goes south for Pittsburgh is if Troy gets hurt.  In case you forgot the last time these two teams played, Polamalu literally single-handedly won the game with his absurd blitz off the edge resulting in a Flacco fumble and a Steeler touchdown.  I am confident he will be on the field and effective.  So confident in fact, I have dust off Punxsutawney Polamalu.

Gun to my head, I say take the Steelers and lay the three points.  I’m not excited about it, but you can’t not bet on NFL playoff football.  I won’t be mad at you if you take Baltimore, but know Big Ben wins this game somehow.  Trend right now is 62% of the public is on Baltimore (+3).  This is the highest of any of the games this weekend.  Like I said, I’m not mad at you, but how can you all be betting against Big Ben?  You’re not betting on the Ravens unless you think they can win.  You NEVER bet on an away dog in the playoffs unless you think they can win.  At least I hope you aren’t doing that.

 

Saturday, 8:30 – FALCONS (-2) over Packers

Another game that is a complete coin flip.  So why am I still doing the Dirty Bird?  Why the hell not?  Matty Ice wins games at home.  I’m not going to get cute here, I like what Green Bay has going on.  Rodgers is a stud, that defense is solid, and they should have run up on the Eagles.  On the other side, I don’t like the running back situation, Donald Driver is 80 years old, and they don’t have anyone to cover Rowdy Roddy White.

My only worry…Are these Falcons the same exact team as the 2006 Schottenheimer Chargers? Let’s analyze:

Regular Season Record: 2010 Falcons 13-3, 2006 Chargers 14-2

Stud Young Quarterback: Matt Ryan, Philip Rivers

Top 5 Running Back: Michael Turner, LaDanian Tomlinson

Go-To Tight End: Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates

Big-Play Wide Receiver: Rowdy Roddy White, Vincent Jackson

Good Regular Season Coach Unproven in the Playoffs: Mike Smith, Marty Schottenheimer

It was a little too quiet of a 13-3 season in my opinion.  If they didn’t have that big game against the Saints this would have been the most under the radar 13+ season since the 2006 Chargers.  The parallels are all over the place for me.  This team is built to win at home and in the regular season.  The Chargers ended that season with 10 straight wins, went on bye, then lost to the Pats at home 24-21.  This Falcons team has come in winning 9 of their last 10, went on bye, and now face the Packers at home.

This scares the hell out of me.  However, I believe in Mike Smith more than Schottenheimer.  I HATE Philip Rivers with a fervent passion and I like Matty Ice – especially at home.  I think it’s a good game, but that crowd should be into it and I think Green Bay got beat up a little bit last week and won’t be able to run the ball.  Atlanta has the second best run defense in the league and THE BEST RUN DEFENSE AT HOME IN THE LEAGUE.  That’s enough for me to say they aren’t the 2006 Chargers…I hope.

Steelers and Falcons are the picks today.  Good luck!

Streak for the Cash Pick 1/14

Streak for the Cash Pick 1/14

Jump on the Stags!

So Providence got housed by 30 last night.  Way to show up Friars.  We killed the Nuggets over Heat pick, so I look at it as a wash.  Especially if you put money on the Nugs and only an SFC Pick on the Friars.  I bet if God Shammgod was still playing they would have kept it within 15.

Today 1/14: On to the next one…Who loves some MAAC Basketball!  Get your first glimpse of the Fairfield Stags, the top team in the powerhouse Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference and a lock for a 15 seed come this year’s tournament.  The Stags actually are first in D-1 in PPG Defense and have won 11 straight.  Loyola (6-9) averages 6.2 threes per game – which is high – but the Stags are 47th in the country allowing opponents to shoot threes at only 30.5%.  The pick here is Fairfield, who should limit Loyola to under 55 and win by plenty.  If you can get a line on this game from your friendly off-shore betting site, I would take this as well because the Stags are only laying five.  This will be a double up pick here

 

Straight Cash Homie: Betting Tonight’s Final Four Games

Any one of the four teams left could win the National Championship this year.  Whether or not this is a good thing I’m not sure yet.  In my opinion, the best storylines are the coaches.  Wunderkind Brad Stevens, who out-coached AP Coach of the Year Jim Boeheim already, takes on Tom Izzo, who at this point could coach five members of the MSU band to a final four.  And the lovable and unpredictable Bob Huggins takes on the well-spoken and calculated Mike Shasheffski (I refuse to spell his name anything other than phonetically).  Both games have relatively evenly-matched teams, and I think the coaches will effect these game more than we’ve seen in a Final Four in a long time.  Keep that in mind when you’re thinking where to put your money tonight.  Here’s where I’m putting mine and why:

Butler (-1) over Michigan State

Most books are giving Butler a point, which I think would be more (like 2-2.5) if people weren’t betting this game specifically because of Tom Izzo.  Butler doesn’t take a possession off and there whole team is an extension of coach Brad Stevens, who will have plenty to throw at Izzo’s Spartans with five days to plan.  Butler’s defense has been phenomenal in their four tournament games, holding high-scoring teams Cuse, K-State, Murray State, and UTEP all under 60 points.  What they lack in athleticism and size they make up for in hustle and fundamentals.  There is no doubt they will be out-matched athletically, but like against K-State I don’t think it will be the difference in the game.

I’m not sure how Michigan State is still around.  Lucas goes down, they have to hit a three at the buzzer to beat Maryland, and they haven’t won a convincing game yet.  Getting Northern Iowa and Tennessee instead of Kansas and Evan Turner State probably helped.  With all that said, the Spartans are athletic one through five and Darrel Summers is playing as good as anyone left in the tournament.  Unfortunately Tom Izzo won’t be able to out-coach his way to a victory like he did against Bruce Pearl and Gary Williams’ assistants.

The trend right now is Butler 53%.  Bettors are split right down the middle, as they probably should be in a game with these two teams.  A stat that makes me comfortable with my money on Butler tonight: The Bulldogs are 5-1-1 against the spread in their last seven games against the Big Ten.  This includes their win against Ohio State earlier this year. They have already beaten two teams that are head-and-shoulders better than the Spartans on their tournament path and I don’t expect them to end their run here.  Butler will win, and the fact that the game is 17 minutes from campus makes this a cover for Butler.    Take the Bulldogs with the point.

Butler 68, Michigan State 61.


WVU (+2.5) over Duke

Huggins against Shasheffski.  I am actually pretty excited to see these two go at it.  There are two things that could take this game out of the coaches hands and decide the winner, though: Da’Sean Butler and the refs.  This game will be close at the end, and if Butler decides to take over he has the ability to win the game by himself.  He is the best player left in either game.  On the other hand, if the referees call this game tight, especially in the last five minutes, Duke will be the beneficiary because of their disciplined style of play and superior free-throw shooting.  Referees are naturally Duke fans anyway, and if it’s as bad as the Baylor game they could be the deciding factor.

This game is one of two different styles.  Duke’s balance and efficiency was enough against an athletically-superior Baylor team, but WVU is underrated defensively and just a flat out better version of Baylor.  I think the Big East reigns supreme here.  Duke is 1-5-1 against the spread in their last seven against the Big East, including a man-handling by Georgetown this year.  The Mountaineers swept the Hoyas this season.

This game also has the betting public split down the middle (Duke 54%), and I’m a little surprised the line isn’t closer here. I’m taking WVU straight-up to win; I’m confident enough that Huggins and Butler don’t need the points.  Unless Scheyer puts on an aerial barrage and Shasheffski has an answer to the matchup zone Huggie-Bear is surely going to throw at him, the Mountaineers keep their impressive season going.

WVU 71, Duke 67.