Sunday, January 20, 2013

Championship Sunday: Playing the "Home" Teams

San Francisco at Atlanta (+4.5)
Last weekend in the GB/SF game, I was so unsure of which way to lean that you'll recall I "flipped a coin". That game also proved to be the only game last weekend I hit ATS. Someone get me a quarter.

Speaking of flipping, if you read my brilliant piece on the difference between winners and losers in the NFL, you'll know that I wanted to jettison the Falcons from this post season party, following their embarrassing 4th quarter meltdown to Seattle. However, I never imagined the upstart Colin Kaepernick led 49ers would come into town as 4.5 point favorites. And after 6 days of thinking it through, and 7 days removed from what might've been the biggest choke job in NFL post season history (if Atlanta had lost), I just cannot help myself from jumping all over a 1 seed, catching 4 and a hook at home in the NFC Championship Game.

Short of the final 17 minutes and 11 seconds of last weekend's Divisional game, the Falcons did beat the piss out of Seattle. I'm not sure what part of that 27-7 lead with 2:11 to go in the 3rd that Vegas and the general public didn't see, because today's current line at one point, was all the way up to SF (-5). But in any case, the meltdown that was, that wasn't, that still kind of was, is absolutely influencing this number today.

As is Kid Kaepernick, and his dynamic performance last Saturday night against the Pack. 263 yards through the air, and 181 yards on the ground by the tattooed wonder. As big as my eyes are looking at this home dog catching points, I have to consider this kid and what he did to the Pack, and apply that to what happened to the Falcons last weekend, per the very similar Russell Wilson.

Last weekend's win against Seattle, regardless of how stressful it was, is going to be a big factor today with regard to how Atlanta and especially Matty Ice plays. I think getting that monkey off their back, coupled with what I feel is almost a free roll situation, by getting disrespected by the odds makers, is going to allow them to just go out there and play.

The disrespected Falcons are still 8-1 SU at home this year- again, with just that one loss coming in the final regular season (meaningless) tilt against Tampa. The Niners did post a winning (5-3) road record this year, but they were only 1-2 SU in domes. Also, the Niners are 0-4 ATS the last 4 games following a game in which they gave up 30 points or more. I'll take Matty Ice and his post season experience, especially since he's finally notched a 'W' in his belt, over the kid whose been elevated to Superman status pre-maturely in my opinion. And again, I just think there is entirely too much value here getting a 1 seed at home catching points. 24-19 Falcons.

Baltimore at New England (-8)
The limo ride is over for Ray-Ray and the Ray-vens. I obviously swung and missed on them last week, as I thought the Broncos were going to absolutely house what I thought was a very blah Ravens team in their win against Indy. But to their credit, they overcame two Special Teams touchdowns and a 7 point deficit late in the 4th quarter, and prevailed against the interception throwing/kneeling Peyton Manning.

Fast forward to this week, Raven fan, to a team who is going to force your hand and require you to score 30+ points in consecutive weeks. The reason being; New England is a scoring machine. The league leaders in points scored, have stayed true to form all season. In fact, over the last 8 weeks, they bettered their season average, and have scored 37 points/per.

Defensively, I also think New England has the advantage. Take a look at New England over the final month and a half of the season. Short of their home beat down they got from Frisco, they have been very stingy on defense. Even last week's game against Houston, they had held the Texans to just 13 points into the 4th quarter and quite frankly gave up garbage touchdowns late. Prior to that, New England yielded 0 points (Miami), 16 points (Jax), 14 points (Houston), 16 points (Miami) and 19 points (NYJets). 

And again, lets not forget about Baltimore's final 6 weeks of the regular season, which was nothing to write home about. They lost 4 of 5, and really should've been 5 of 6 if you consider the miracle win in San Diego. I just think the Patriots have too much fire power, and I think the Patriots' defense is entering this contest a little under the radar. In fact, I don't think Baltimore scores more than 17 points in this contest.

The Ravens are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 after scoring 30 points or more. New England has covered 4 of their last 5 at home. Not a good Sunday for the Harbaugh family. 39-16 Patriots.

Last Week                        1-3 ATS
Barking Dogs YTD      18-20 ATS
Totals YTD                   8-5-1 ATS

YTD                           45-43-2 ATS
Since 2010               120-84-9 ATS

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Violent Crime Stats: MD vs VA

The Junkies got into a debate this morning about which state is better- Maryland or Virginia, which eventually led them to bringing up regulations, taxes, etc. between the two states. Eric Bickel said that he thought you needed a permit in Virginia to have a gun on your hip, which you don't, as long as the gun is in plain view for the general public to see. Maryland, whose gun regulations are considerably stricter and whose governor (right this very moment) is lobbying for more gun regulations, does not allow for one to carry a gun open without permit. In fact, you can't even own a hand gun without a registration in Maryland. Not the case in Virginia.

Curiously in Maryland (like in other states where the gun laws are stricter), the violent crime numbers are higher than they are in Virginia. And Maryland has about 2.2 million fewer people. Wow, that's interesting Mr. President, and all others who continue to spin and gloss over the statistics that show violent crime decreases in jurisdictions that have fewer gun restrictions.

2011 Statistics Per Virginia and Maryland Law Enforcement Data Base

Maryland (5.82 million residents)
28,797 "Violent Crimes", to include:
*398  Murders
*1,198 Rapes
*10,343 Forcible Robberies

Now the numbers for that "big bad hillbilly commonwealth" in Virginia, where as someone on twitter put it to me this morning, legislatures want "Arlington to be like the wild west". #ShutUpYouDope

Virginia (8.01 million residents)
15,932 "Violent Crimes", to include:
*303 Murders
*1,536 Rapes
*5,430 Forcible Robberies

Monday, January 14, 2013

The Difference Between Winners and Losers in the NFL

Via @Sportsyack

The Falcons lost yesterday. Sure, they won the game and will be playing next weekend at home against San Francisco, but they will lose against the 49ers. The fact that Matt Bryant hit a 49 yard field goal with just seconds to play is irrelevant. The fact that the Falcons took at 27-7 lead with 2:11 to play in the 3rd quarter, but then eventually had to march down the field with :31 seconds to play just to win, is all I needed to see.

Sure, I'm bitter that I had the Falcons yesterday (-2.5)  and that those dirty birds dirtied me up, but in doing so, they provided me the clarity for whom I'm  going to bet on next weekend.

There is a fine line between winners and losers in the NFL, and there is a reason that Mike Smith and Matt Ryan are (barely) 1-3 in post season play. See the 20 point lead blown with 17 minutes to play. See Matt Ryan's horrible interceptions (2), when he had only thrown 1 over the course of the final month of the season. See the Falcons special teams completely botching a play as simple as a kickoff while protecting a 2 point lead with 8 seconds to play.


Mike Shanahan is now 8 days removed from  being crucified by the media for his decision to leave RG3 in the game. The sentiment- whether or not you were on the side of killing him, was that Shanahan made a mistake. And for the record,  I disagreed with leaving RG3 in, but I understand the multiple factors involved in that "in the moment decision". So I'm certainly not going to, like radio guy Tom Joyner did, compare Shanahan to a slave owner.

Mike Shanahan has two Super Bowl rings, and took over an absolute disaster here in Washington barely three years ago. He just helped lead the Skins to their first Division Title in 13 years.


Denver head coach John Fox has a career .534 winning percentage and zero Super Bowl rings. He also doesn't trust one of the greatest Quarterbacks of all time to march his team into Field Goal  range with :31 to play and two timeouts.

Denver defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has a .333 win percentage as a head coach, yet put together a #2 ranked Denver defense this year, but when put on the national stage, at home, in a win or go home game, he and his defense threw up all over themselves.


Bill Belichick has a career win percentage that is north of .650. He also has been to the Super Bowl 5 times, and he and his Patriots have won the big game 3 different times. Do I need to say more?


Belichick also played Rob Gronkowski yesterday, for the first time since late November. Gronk broke his arm less than two months ago, while blocking on an extra point in what was a blowout (at the time) of Indy. My google searches on broken arm recovery produces a time table of anywhere between 6-8 weeks. Yesterday's game against Houston was about the 8 week mark.

Now the google search didn't advise on time to return, relative to running around an NFL football field against guys in different colored uniforms who want to kill  you, but I'm sure a medical professional would advise against it. Nevertheless, Belichick had Gronk in the game, I'm sure Gronk willingly played, and unfortunately Gronk re-broke his arm in the 1st quarter of the Patriots victory.

Gronk; winner.

Its a fine line between winning and  losing, and some have it, and some don't. Belichick and his 3 titles will get no criticism for having a player back in the game whose arm most likely was not completely healed. Mike Shanahan and his two titles, was ripped by every arm chair quarterback in the DMV for allowing RG3 (another winner) to continue to play last Sunday. Its a fine line- that decision,  and the criticism of him would've been considerably less if the Redskins had won that game.

I'd ask those critics to tell me where you draw the line. Is Gronk's arm not as important as Griffin's knee? Is the pinky that Ronnie Lott cut off some 30 years ago to continue  playing, less of an issue than Gronk's arm or Griffin's knee? Did Bill Walsh and his staff get ripped for that- you know, allowing a person to remove part of his finger for the sake of the team and  victory?

These guys are all winners.

I'd compare these critics and the response I wish Shanahan would've had last week to the media, to the way Col. Jessup responded to Lt. Kaffee.

"I have neither the time, nor the inclination to explain myself to a man that rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide and then questions the matter in which I provide it. I'd rather you just said thank you, and went on your way. Otherwise I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post, either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to...."

My point being, you arm chairs, you can't have it both ways.

Give me Walsh, Belichick, and Mike Shanahan's combined 8 rings, and I'll take my chances with them when it comes to making a "make or break" decision in the heat of the game. And then throw in a Joe Montana, a Tom Brady, and an RG3- and their attitude and drive with regard to winning. And you can have the John Foxs, Jack  Del Rios, and Mike Smiths of the world.

How's that working out for you?

You can also hear @Sportsyack Mike on the NTNRadio network. @BTSportsRadio

Sunday, January 13, 2013

NFL Divisional Playoffs (Sunday)

A 1-1 Saturday ATS for your boy, and a continued torrid run through NCAA hoops courtesy of "my friend" Matt, who is 12-0 ATS picking college round ball since last weekend. Quite the run, Matty Ice.... 

Its This Guy's Time
Seattle at Atlanta (-2.5)
It seems that I'm one of the only believers in Atlanta. I've been saying for weeks now, that I just think this is the year they get the monkey off their back, and as much love as Seattle picked up nationwide last weekend, for the kneet-down they gave Washington, I do believe their time is up.

Seattle is playing great, no doubt. Following a first quarter last week that resembled a hot knife (Washington) going thru butter (Seattle), Seattle's defense then shut the Redskins down completely for the final 3 quarters. Now some of that was an injured RG3, but most of it was a defense that just settled in and became very stingy in all areas.

However, barring a 1st quarter injury to Matt Ryan, I think Seattle's sh*t talking corners are going to have their hands full with Roddy White and Julio Jones. And although Atlanta's run game isn't anything to write home about, I'm predicting Michael Turner to go north of 100 yards against a Seattle run D that has been suspect at times. Don't be surprised, because of the wide out threats on either side, if Pete Carroll and the Seahawks forget about the Falcons running game.

I think this game, relative to the point spread and the moment of being a divisional playoff round, could borderline on blowout. I think the back and forth travel across country catches up with Seattle. I also think we're done seeing a rookie QB this weekend, play like a 10 year vet on this stage (See Colin K. last night), and I think the injury to Seattle's Chris Clemons is kind of a big deal. You know, he only led Seattle in team sacks.

Matt Ryan's numbers over the final month of the season were stellar. 10 touchdowns, to just 1 pick over the final four games, completing a staggering 71% of his passes. Its his time to shine here. Atlanta went 7-1 SU at home this year,  with just the one loss in their final (meaningless) tilt against Tampa. And this line essentially is asking a team who went 3-5 on the road this year (Seattle), to win back to back games on the road (on the East Coast, no less). It's just not happening. But if it does, Pete Carroll will be hoisting the Lombardi trophy in 3 weeks. 30-17 Falcons.

Houston (+9.5) at New England
Its Going to Be an UGGly Day For This Looker
The Texans are sort of in that class of teams like the Falcons, who just can't get any love because of their recent failures. The Texans don't have the good looking Uggs salesman, or the coach in the hoodie. They have a balding Matt Schaub at QB, and a head coach in Gary Kubiak, whose career W/L record is barely over .500.

The Patriots absolutely pollaxed Houston the second week in December, 42-14. I'm not going to put too much stock in that loss against Houston, as we saw what happened in Denver yesterday. In the NFL, its very hard to beat a team two and three times in the same season, let alone do it twice in blowout (-9.5) fashion. The Broncos manhandled the Ravens up in Baltimore 4 weeks ago, and then yesterday just laid an egg against the very same team.

I'd also go back to a game I used in yesterday's post, when I made a case for the 49ers (big fat winner); the Frisco/New England game 4 weeks ago.

In that game, the Patsys got absolutely worked. The Patsys gave up 41 points, 180 yards on the ground, and turned the ball over 4 times. And other than the before mentioned Houston game, it was the only game NE played down the stretch, against an opponent who was worth a shit. Their other 3 games were against awful Miami (twice) and embarrassingly bad Jacksonville.

Keep this in mind, Texans haters. The Texans were 12-2 going into the final two weeks of the season, and had the lock on the AFC home field. I think that's important to remember here. They lost their final two games of the year, virtually falling off everyone's radar. But to their credit, it was against a surging and playoff bound Vikings team, and playoff bound Indy.

I think the Texans could actually win here. If Arian Foster gets going early, the Patsys are in some deep doo-doo. Houston is 6-2 ATS on the road against a team who has a winning home record. Also, the last time the New England Patsys hosted a divisional playoff game against a team whose ass they had just kicked  a month earlier in the same venue (2010), they got bounced by the Jets. In fact, New England has been bounced from the first round in two of their last three post season dances. 36-31 Texans.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Has RG3 Played His Last Game In a Redskins' Uniform? Probably Not, but....

By. Mike Baxter

Robert Griffin The Third, the most dynamic Redskin to don the burgundy and gold uniform in at least a quarter century- and my favorite player, may have played his last game in that burgundy and gold uniform. I do think there is a scenario- one of which I believe to be not all that far fetched, in which the Redskins organization might have to consider unloading the superstar QB.

Dr. James Andrews, who performed Griffin's knee surgery on Wednesday (Repair of both his ACL and his LCL in his right knee), was very ambiguous regarding the time table of Griffin's return, most likely because of the PR fallout of Griffin's injury itself, and the "he said/she said" regarding Griffin's initial injury in the Baltimore game.

In any case, its a given that no two athletes are alike, and Griffin's return could most definitely fall on how motivated (a non-medical term used by Andrews in his post surgery presser. And certainly a word I would consider "alarming", coming from a doctor with Andrews' credentials) and athletically sick Griffin actually is. And from all accounts based on what we saw leading up to his injury, he's one sick athlete.

However, this is the second major knee surgery for Griffin in less than a four years. And depending on who you talk to or who you read (and there is and has been plenty of it in the last 96 hours), Griffin is looking at at least a 9 month recovery, and probably closer to 12 months. Not to mention the lingering effects of knee injuries in general. (See Kory Lichensteiger, See Tim Hightower)

I would also say, having gone through the PR nightmare that the Shanahans and the Redskins Organization in general went through this week, that you're probably going to see Mike Rizzo 2.0 out at Redskins Park this year. Meaning, regardless of whether its a 9 or 12 months,  or whatever it is, you can be assured that the Redskins will be erring on the side of not bringing Griffin back too soon.

So for the sake of this piece, I'm going to wipe out the entire 2013 season for RG3.

I'm also going to present you with a scenario (here comes my contingency, people) in which Kirk Cousins- the guy who won that same game in which Griffin was injured in Baltimore, who then went on the road in Cleveland, and posted the highest passing total for any Redskin QB (him or RG3) all season- has a monster year in 2013. And by monster year, I mean Kirk Cousins goes out in the 2013 campaign and throws for 4,000+ yards, he keeps the turnovers to a minimum, and he leads the Redskins to another 10-6 or even better yet, an 11-5 record. Now at this point, I think the decision down the road (Griffin or Cousins) will become even more complicated if the Redskins were to win at least one playoff game. (In fact, an NFC Championship Game appearance, and it will be "RG Who?" here in the DMV)

My point in a nutshell, is that the scenario of the Redskins having a "good to great" season with Kirk Cousins at the helm next year, is not some fairy tale, pipe dream that guys like Rich Turpin think up; there's a pretty good chance in Shanahan's year 4, with guys like Alfred Morris, Pierre Garcon, a kicker who can actually consistently make field goals, that Griffin or no Griffin- the Redskins are probably going to have a successful campaign.

And I joke when I say 'RG Who?', but take a look in the mirror, people. That includes every fan and media member (including myself), who has opted to weigh in on this subject, all while being emotionally invested in the quest for victories and Super Bowl titles.

Winning is the cure all. Look at the "Sybil" like transformation of the DMV and Fed Ex Field and Redskins' fans everywhere, from the doldrums of 3-6 to the nirvana of a 7 game win streak, culminating with the beat down of the hated Cowboys to win the NFC East for the first time in 13 years.

Mike Shanahan is a great coach in my opinion, but  he's a bit tone deaf when it comes to his perception of himself by the media, fans, etc. Everyone, myself included, wanted him run out of town when in his year 3, he stood up at the post game  presser at 3-6 and insinuated that he and his staff were already in the evaluation period. Fast forward 7 weeks, and Mike Shanahan is back to being a genius and there was even talk of granting him a contract extension. Now lets jump into the first week of January, throw in a  first round playoff loss and the health/future of your franchise quarterback at stake, and all of the sudden Mike Shanahan is back to being Dr. Evil.

That's pretty brutal. And that's one wild 8 weeks, people- the highs and lows of winning and losing, and how we ultimately eat our own. Based on the feeding frenzy and appetite for winning here in DC, especially for the Redskins,  I just think its a bit naive to automatically assume (right now, Jan. 2013) that even if Cousins comes out and has a great year next year, that the general consensus among fans, media, and the organization is going to be to just trade him, and go back to the guy who was knocked out of 3 different games this past season.

Because IF RG3 misses the entire 2013 campaign, and IF Cousins steps up to the plate and delivers something similar to what I've described here, you can spare me the "you're out of your  f**king mind, Yack" when I suggest that Griffin could be done here in DC. You've just shown your mental hand over the last 8 weeks as to how quickly one can turn when it comes to winning and losing, and RG3 will be no exception in the hearts and minds of Redskins fans, and a Redskins organization that will have a huge dilemma on their hands.

Do you go back to Griffin- the guy who has now had two major reconstructive knee surgeries, and who is beginning to look like a guy who is a bit fragile, or do you keep Kirk Cousins, your conventional pocket passer, who just threw for over 4,000 yards and led you to at least one post season victory? They're both young and talented, they'll both have tremendous trade value, and if the 2013 season plays out anything close to what I've described, the decision on who to keep might not be as cut and dry as most Redskins' fans think.

Follow me on twitter @Sportsyack     Hear me on "radio" @BTSportsRadio

NFL Divisional Playoff Weekend (Saturday)

Delivering Papa John's Pizza & 'W's to The Ravens. #9straight
Baltimore at Denver(-10)
This might end up being my favorite game of the entire playoffs relative to betting. So I  hope I don't swing and miss here, like I did last Sunday (Oh-fer....Christ's sake!). I'm not sure where to begin here, so lets just start with the last time these two  teams met.

12/16/2012, just under 4 weeks ago, Denver rolled into Baltimore on the back end of back-to-back roadies, and took care of business. Now Peyton Manning didn't have a sports highlight type day, but collectively, the Broncos absolutely boat raced the Charm City Crowes. You need to look no further than the 1st down (21-12) and time of possession (39min-21min) stats. Not to mention the Broncos keeping Ray Rice to just 38 yards rushing.

The other factors I'm leaning on besides actual numbers here, are the fact that Denver will not be on the back end of back-to-back roadies in this one. In fact, they'll be on two weeks rest. I also think the lingering effect of having fired your Offensive Coordinator with 3 weeks to go in the regular season, will rear its ugly head for Team Purple. Lastly, the old eye test told me that last week's 24-9 win against Indy wasn't that impressive. The Ravens seemed to do everything they could to keep Indy hanging around. That game didn't get out of hand until midway into the 4th quarter, and quite frankly, if Indy didn't have as many drops as they did, that game would've been a nail biter down the stretch.

Peyton Manning has won 9 straight versus Baltimore, and I don't expect that streak to end this week. Denver has also covered 4 straight. The Ravens lost 4 out of 5 games heading into the playoffs, and didn't do much to convince me last week that they're going to be a "tough out". Couple that with going on the road to face the league's suffocating number 2 defense, and you have a recipe for disaster, Baltimore fan. 33-13 Broncos.

Green Bay at San Francisco (-2.5)
That sound you just heard, was the quarter I just flipped that then hit the ground, as I'm trying to decide which team to go with here. Quite honestly, I can make case for both, yet I don't really love either one of these teams. I know Aaron Rodgers is the man, but I also think Green Bay's defense has been suspect all year. And as dumb of a statement as this might sound, GB was VERY fortunate that Christian Ponder was a late scratch last week. I realize he's far from the second coming of Fran Tarkenton, or  Sean Salisbury (our boy) for that matter, but that type of disruption to a team's offense, that late in the game planning, absolutely affected the Vikings last week.
 You Don't Want to Shake Hands with Me, Mother F**ker

My final answer (the 49ers) is based on the absolute pollaxing Frisco gave the New England Patriots on national TV about a month ago. That team flew across country, was more than prepared to play, and delivered an absolute knock out punch, even though the Pat(sys) did march back in an attempt to make it a game. Bottom line, everyone's favorite Uggs salesman and his boys got thumped. And they're a pretty good team....

As much as I think Jim Harbaugh is probably a dick, and a guy I wouldn't want to ride around in a golf cart with during a charity golf tournament, I think the guy can coach. Case in point, the "big game" I referenced in New England. And I wouldn't expect anything less for this "big game", with an extra week to prepare, and at home no less. Green Bay is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games in Frisco. Nevermind that stat, Mr. Cobain, because I'm playing the due factor. The 49ers will have a date in Hotlanta next weekend. 27-23 49ers.

Last Week                         2-3 ATS
Barking Dogs YTD        18-19 ATS
Totals YTD                    8-5-1 ATS

YTD                            44-40-2 ATS
Since 2010                 119-81-9 ATS

Relative to Nirvana songs, A total sleeper,  IMO.  Nirvana's "Radio Friendly Unit Shifter"

Sunday, January 6, 2013

NFL Playoff Sunday: Throwing The Book at The Bookie

Well, that was fun. A 2-0 NFL ATS Saturday, and thanks to my good "friends" Jabby and Matt,  another 5-0 ATS against the man playing college hoops. Yesterday actually felt like stealing. But we have no time to count all our cash with two more NFL games on the horizon. So without further adieu, let's continue this bookie beat down....

Indy(+7) at Baltimore OVER 47
Enjoy The Next 10+ Years, Texans, Titans, & Jags Fans
To be honest, I haven't liked this game one way or another (great Blondie song, by the way) all week. I actually predicted this line right on the number last Sunday, before the suits in Vegas even posted it. And quite like my surprise with regard to lines in the next game we'll talk about, this game has bumped up to the touchdown and extra point. I guess you can credit that to all the simpleton degens who opted to throw in an extra few bucks at the betting window, the minute they heard that Ray-Ray was hanging up his knife, or his cleats- whatever he uses to do battle. (Just don't ask him to hang up his suit. He's misplaced it or something)

Here's what this game comes down to with me: the overlay line. Like I said, I had this game at (-6) when I learned of the match up last weekend, and I think there is value (be it just a point) in the line covering you all the way up to the full TD. Great article on this week about how Vegas got hammered this year by the favorites- specifically Denver, New England, and Green Bay. And with both favorites covering on Saturday, I've got to think that Vegas is going to have this number inflated as much as they can, without compromising their juice.

Enough of the point spread conspiracy talk from yours truly.

Bottom line, the Ravens enter the post season not hitting on all cylinders. As I detailed this week in my post regarding how all 12 playoff teams have done since the Redskins win streak started (I'm not linking it. If you haven't read it, go back and read it after you read these words of wisdom first), the Ravens limped into the playoffs. They lost 4 of their last 7 coming in, and of the 12 teams entering the playoffs over the last 7 weeks of the regular season, Baltimore's offense  had the lowest points per game total of all 12 teams. Not to mention that BRILLIANT move by John Har-errrrrrrr, ownership, of firing Offensive Coordinator Cam Cameron with 3 weeks to go, with a record of 9-4, coming off a game in which their offense scored a not so shabby 28 points.


The Colts enter the playoffs having won two straight, five of their  last seven, and are coming off a nice beat down administered to their division foe Texans, in a game Houston needed to maintain the bye week.  Also noteworthy, Andrew Luck and his mumble mouthed speech patterns, hasn't thrown an interception in  4 weeks. Expect the LUCKy one to pick a part a very porous Baltimore secondary, and keep his team hanging around. Both of these teams defenses are suspect, and with the good weather expected in Baltimore today, I'd expect a shootout of sorts.

The Colts have covered 5 of their last 6 overall, and have covered 8 straight when playing in Baltimore. I'll ride my Colt into town drawing off the inspiration of a coach whose battling cancer, before I draw my inspiration from a Come to Jesus who lied to cops and threw away his blood spattered suit. 31-26 Colts, Ruff-Ruff, and hammer the OVER.

Seattle at Washington (Money Line, +130)
RG3, Jack White, & Ryan Gosling from "Drive" #CoolGuys
As mentioned in the pablum above, this too is a game where I think the line is off. A buddy of mine pointed out to me that this simply explains the reason for which you prognosticate and pick games, because you disagree with the line. Not necessarily. I do feel Vegas gets the lines right 90% of the time, and then its the job of degenerates like myself and you the reader, to dissect the information, trends, and stats available, and then pick one side or the other.

And I do think Vegas and of course, the betting public, have swung and missed on this one. When the game was scheduled following last Sunday night's beat down by the Redskins of the Dallas Cowbitches, I had this Seattle/Skins game as a pick'em.

Both teams enter this contest on heaters. Washington having won 7 straight to get in, Seattle having won 5 straight, and 6 of their last 7. Both teams can run the ball extremely well. The  Redskins are doing it at a #1 rushing offense in the NFL pace, and the Seahawks are almost right behind them with the 3rd best attack. Seattle enters the game having allowed the fewest points in the entire NFL (15.3), while the Redskins-during this torrid 7 game stretch, are allowing just 20 (which relative to season stats, would have them with the 8th best defense in the league).

I truly think this overlay is a result of Vegas and the betting public putting entirely too much stock in "Robert Griffin III isn't 100%". Because to me, this game is about as even as it gets. And this game IS NOT going to come down to a field goal. This game is going to be won by the Redskins in almost a going away fashion, similarly to how they put the final nail in Dallas' coffin, with Alf's two 4th quarter touchdowns.

The Redskins are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games overall, and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 at what used to be the unfriendly home confines of Fed Ex Field. They've also covered 5 straight against teams with winning records, as they didn't have the luxury of playing the lowly Bills and Cardinals down the stretch, Seahawk fan. (Yeah, you dickbags. Keep hanging your hats on those 50+ point performances against Stone Bridge's JV team)

Seattle is 3-14 SU since 2007 when playing in the Eastern Standard Timezone. I too think this is a stat that just kind of flew under the radar the entire week. Regardless of how much stock you put into that trend, its a record you can't ignore when considering this game. Leave the 3 points  in your man's juice box, and  bet the Redskins on the money line to win out right. 27-17 Redskins, hello Hotlanta.

Now watch this video. It has cool colors and hot chicks and the coolest mother f**ker on the planet,  next to RG3 of course. Good luck with your wagers.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

NFL Playoff Saturday: Bend Over, Bookie

Don't F**k With Red Heads
Cincy at Houston UNDER 43
The Texans are limping into the playoffs worse than Rihanna does after date night. They've lost two straight, three of their last four, and have scored 16 points or fewer in three of those final four games. Yikes, you ten gallon hat wearing hillbillies!

With all the talk about the Broncos, Seahawks, and Redskins heading into the playoffs on heaters, nobody seems to ever mention the Bengals. Cincinnati won 7 of their last 8 heading into the post season. And although they're not exactly putting up the offensive numbers to garner highlight film coverage (think 2000 Baltimore Ravens), their defense has been absolutely stifling.

Over the final 7 weeks of the regular season, the Bengals only gave up 12 points/per (#1 rank) and their overall defense- relative to the other 11 playoff teams, was ranked 2nd, only behind the Vegas favorite Denver Broncos.

This game has OT and/or one possession game written all over it with 3 or 4 minutes to go, and do not expect a lot of points. I don't like a side either way, but if I had to pick one, I'd take the Bengals. The safer play is the UNDER. 19-14 Bengals.

Minnesota at Green Bay (-8)
The Vikings got off the schneid last week, having beat the Pack for the first time in like 483 years. Actually, it was the first win by the Purple People Eaters over their divisional foes  in about 38 months. And I don't see them beating the Pack in consecutive weeks with an offense, quite frankly, that is a lot of AP and a lot of not much else.

MVPeterson and Its Not Even Close, Peyton Fans
Now to their credit, the Vikings too are riding a bit of a heater heading into the post season. They won 4 straight to get in, beating two playoff teams in the process (Green Bay and Houston). I just don't like the one dimensional offense approach, and their defense is a bit suspect.

For all the greatness league MVP Adrian Peterson brings to the table, Christian Ponder is another story. I realize you don't need much of a passing game when you have a 2,000 yard back in the backfield, but the numbers don't lie. Ponder's completion percentage (62.1) is average, QB rating (81.2) is below average, total yards passed for (2,945) is well below average, and although he had a very good week last week, the Pack will shut him and AP down in this spot.

Aaron Rodgers will  have a monster game here. Minnesota's defense enters the playoffs with the worst pass defense of all 12 post season teams (275 yards/per). The Pack is 11-0 ATS the week after allowing 150+ yards on the ground, and they're 8-1 ATS in their last 9 following a SU loss. The man with the bionic knee can carry his team for only so long, and in this case, "so long" equates to about 11:15 pm Saturday night. 31-21 Packers.

Last Week                           2-1 ATS
Barking Dogs YTD         18-17 ATS
Totals YTD                      7-4-1 ATS

YTD                               42-37-2 ATS (53%)
Since 2010                   117-78-9 ATS (60%)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

How The Rest of the NFL Playoff Teams Have Done, Ever Since The Redskins' "Evaluation Phase" Started

Here are the numbers on all 12 NFL post season teams, since your beloved Washington Redskins decided to start their 7 game heater. You can see where the Burgundy and Gold rank versus the other 11 teams in the dance, during Mike Shanahan's "evaluation phase" of the season. These numbers are from each team's final 7 games only.

Denver              7-0      (won 9 straight)
Wash          7-0      (won 7 straight)
Sea                   6-1      (won 5 straight)
Cincy                6-1      (won 3 straight)
New Eng           6-1      (won 2 straight)
Minn                  5-2       (won 4 straight)
Indy                   5-2       (won 2 straight)
SF                     5-2       (won 1 straight)
GB                    5-2       (lost 1 straight)
Atl                     5-2        (lost 1 straight)
Hou                  4-3        (lost 2 straight)
Balt                   3-4        (lost 1 straight)


  Points Per Game  
New Eng                    36.9
Sea                            34.6
Denver                       30
Wash                  30
GB                             27.7
SF                             26.3
Minn                           25
Atl                              24.6
Indy                           24.4
Hou                           23.7
Cincy                         21.6
Balt                            20.6

 Passing Yards Per Game
New Eng                  300.4
Denver                     271.4
Atl                            268
Hou                          267.4
GB                           257.9
Indy                          232.4
SF                            219.6
Balt                          213.7
Sea                          210.3
Wash                209.6
Cincy                       186
Minn                        150.6

Rushing Yards Per Game
Sea                         189.9
Minn                        189.3
Wash               175.4
SF                           137
Balt                         136.7
Denver                    130.3
Cincy                      128.9
Hou                         127.4
New Eng                 124.3
GB                          115
Indy                         98
Atl                            80.4


Points Allowed Per Game
Cincy                       12.7
Sea                          13
Denver                     14.3
Atl                            17.9
New Eng                  18.6
Wash                20
SF                            20.9
Balt                          21.1
GB                           21.3
Minn                         21.6
Indy                          26.6
Hou                          26.9

Passing Yards Allowed Per Game
Balt                        170.6
Denver                   175.4
Cincy                     184
GB                         185.7
Sea                        198.4
SF                          204.6
Indy                        245.1
Atl                          250.9
New Eng                253.2
Wash              256.6
Hou                        264
Minn                       275

Rushing Yards Allowed Per Game
Denver                  81.9
Minn                      90.9
Cincy                     92.9
Wash              95.1
SF                        100.6
Sea                       103.9
New Eng              108.4
Balt                       111
Hou                      112.9
Atl                         114.7
GB                        144.4
Indy                      159.6

Finally, the standings below are an aggregate total from the 7 statistical categories from above: 

Final Team Rankings, Heading Into the Playoffs
 3.New England
 6.San Fran
 8.Green Bay


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

BT Sports Radio: Best of 2012

Best of 2012: The Interviews and Other Stuff

*Jason "Lurch" Bishop calls in on our debut show.....00:45-29:00
*The Rich Turpin/Chris Kinard Twitter "fight".....32:42-57:58
*Redskins' kicker Kai Forbath calls in, two days before Thanksgiving....01:01:42-01:17:22
*Former Redskins' RB Clinton Portis calls in.....01:20:35-01:41:46
*Sean Salisbury, former NFL QB and ESPN talking head, calls in.....01:44:40-02:16:24

Best of 2012: Top Sports/Entertainment Stories, Yack's Top 5 Hottest Dudes

*Intro.... 00:00-06:52
*Jabby's Top Sports Stories of 2012... 06:52-30:13
*Rich Turpin's Top Entertainment Stories of 2012... 34:10-50:26
*Yack's Hottest Guys of 2012... 55:10-01:06:35
*Top Sports Stories (continued)...01:10:40-01:43:03

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Head Scratching Point Spread and Seattle's Inability To Stop Teams Who Can Run It

Vegas and The Betting Public Don't Like These Two
Vegas and the betting public are all over the Seahawks this week. Surprisingly to yours truly, the Seahawks not only opened up as a road favorite (-2.5), but by Tuesday morning, most of the books on the Vegas Strip had the Pete Carroll Crowes as a (-3) point favorite. (Not to mention, the S'Hawks are 6/1 to win the Super Bowl...really??)

Why all the love for Seattle?

Well, obviously rookie of the year candidate Russell Wilson (3rd on my voting sheet) is one reason. But Seattle's 4th ranked defense has got to be another. And over the last 5 weeks of the regular season, Seattle's D gave up just 12 points per game.

Yikes, Redskin fan...

However, if you take a look at things a wee bit closer, you'll notice that the Seahawks had some issues containing the run, whenever they played a team who can run the football. In fact, the Seahawks played in six games this year in which they faced a Top 10 rushing team or better. And although they did win five of those six games, they were absolutely gashed on the ground by their opponent:

The Vikings, (#2 ranked rushing team in the league): Rushed for 243 yards vs. Seattle.

The 49ers (#4): In two games played, the 49ers rushed for a total of 257 yards. (128.5/per)

The Bills (#6): Rushed for 118 yards.

New England (#7): Rushed for 87 yards.

Chicago (#10): Rushed for 132 yards.

Throw in the 17th ranked Miami Dolphins, who rushed for 189 yards against Seattle in Miami's Week 12 win in South Florida, and that works out to 147 yards/per game that Seattle gave up on the ground in those 7 contests. The Seahawks defense in the other 9 games they played this year, against teams who weren't statistically great when it came to running the ball, yielded just 69 yards/per.

I realize I have a betting bias here (which is an awful thing to have, my fellow degens), but I'd take my chances on the home dog whose getting 3, who also happens to have the #1 rushing offense in the NFL, against a team who is sneaky bad defensively, whenever they face an opponent who can pound the rock.

Not to mention...

Including the Seahawks, west coast teams who played in the Eastern Standard Time Zone this year were 7-11 straight up. (SF,ARZ,SD, and OAK). The Seahawks were 2-2 SU in the EST in 2012, and since 2007, they are 3-14 SU when playing in the EST. Their last win in the big boy time zone prior to this year, was on December 2, 2007, against the Philadelphia Eagles (28-24).

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