Blue Duck Sports – Week 4 NFL Betting Guide

September 30, 2009

Last week wasn’t the greatest, but continues to be profitable as my “locks” made a come back.

Looking for a strong showing this week, and there appear to be a lot of “solid” bets to make.  Tread carefully of course because you are useless to me if you can’t afford internet service anymore and your PC gets repo’d.  Play it safe and play all of my picks…it’s been working so far.

Have you heard?  Brett Favre has still got it I swear!

Have you heard? Brett Favre has still got it I swear!

Last week: 9-7  Locks: 2-0        Season: 29-19   Season Locks: 3-2

Raiders vs Texans Over 42

The Texans have the ability to put points on the board.  Admittedly, the Raiders defense is under rated but I see Schaub and company putting up 30 on the Raiders.  Jamarcus Russell should be able to hand the ball off enough to his talented backfield to cover the rest of the over.

Patriots -1.5 vs Ravens

Tough game to pick.  Ravens defense is not as good as it has been, but all eyes will continue to be on Brady to see if he can get it back together for a solid game.  The Patriots defense has been a bright spot and should give the offense time to get going.  This will be a statement game for the Patriots, against a team many are already proclaiming to be the best in the NFL.

Giants -9 vs Chiefs

Giants will control the game and the clock and rattle Cassel whenever they please.  Large spread but look for the Giants D to continue their dominant streak.

Buccaneers +7 vs Redskins

Both teams are absolutely terrible, and the Redskins should come out fired up after being embarrassed by the Lions last week.  If the Bucs can keep it close in the first half, they could very well win this game outright.

Bengals -5.5 vs Browns

The Browns are my vote for worst team in the league.  Not only do they lack talent, but they hate their coach.  Absolute disaster.  The Bengals have been a pleasant surprise and should roll here.

Jets vs Saints OVER 45

Tough game to pick with the line so I’ll take the over.  It’s a big over to hit, but I’m still not sold on the Jets defense.  Drew Brees should be able to find time and put together a good game.  On the other side of the field Mark Sanchez has shown a lot of poise and should also be able to keep his team in the game.

Bills -2 vs Dolphins

While the Dolphins were never really about who played quarterback, and relied heavily on the run game and gimmick plays (wildcat).  The loss of Pennington will hurt a bit.  He was a very efficient quarterback and didn’t make costly mistakes.  Not sure if Henne can provide the same.  I just hope this game isn’t on TV.

Rams +9.5 vs 49ers

49ers will be without Frank Gore, it won’t slow them down all that much, but look for the Rams to control the game on the ground and keep this one close.

Cowboys -3 vs Broncos

The Broncos are over rated.  Don’t get me wrong with this, but the Cowboys DO play in a tough division.  They still have the offense to put up big points even with a backfield that is in pain.  They should be able to handle this one.

Chargers +6.5 vs Steelers

The Steelers are reeling, and may not be as good as we thought they were.  The Chargers defense continues to be suspect, but their offense is able to score from anywhere on the field, while the Steelers are not.  If the Steelers cannot get a running game together the Chargers will be able to keep this close.

Packers +3.5 vs Vikings

Everyone will be watching this game.  Brett Favre vs his old team.  Favre now playing for their bitter division Rivals.  The Vikings are good, and the Packers haven’t shown too much, but Aaron Rodgers should be able to carry his team to victory here.
Really, I just like the whole emotional factor that Green Bay should be running on.  I love that stuff.

Lock of the week:

How can I not love this guy??

How can I not love this guy??

Lions vs Bears OVER 39

Everyone knows I hate Jay Cutler, but he may become a fixture in my lock section. Neither teams defense is very good, and both offenses are developing.  Look for both teams to put up 40+ combined.

Titans -3 vs Jaguars

Both teams are very good rushing teams, but I’ll give the edge to the Titans in the passing game and on defense, enough so that they should cover the 3 points.

3 Months. Blue Duck

May 7, 2009

I don’t know if its been three months. I was bored.

Jackie Would Be Disappointed Today

April 15, 2009
A great ball player, a great man, he was still out here, though.

A great ball player, a great man, he was still out here, though.

Sixty two years ago Jackie Robinson started a fight that benefited everyone in American society and much of the world.  You can argue that Robinson’s breakthrough in baseball was as crucial as most points in the civil rights movement.  Like Jesse Owens before him, Jackie Robinson was a quiet, honorable man on the field, and that made it hard for fans to dislike him (though most found ways, for a long time).  But today, the thing this great man fought for, baseball, is no longer desirable in this country.

Jackie would not be disappointed in African Americans specifically, but everyone when it comes to baseball.  Baseball has become somewhat of an elitist game.  The age of the Sunday pickup game has given way to the tournament weekend in Tennessee, and much of the fun has gone with it.

You must dig deeper to find the cause.  The lack of freedom of the American child has a lot to do with it.  Many people seem to think their kids are freer today than they ever were, but think a little harder.  Kids today don’t leave the house.  They play videogames or find kids with funny names on facebook.  When kids do venture out into the great unknown it is for a formal sports practice or a scheduled playdate.

Now, I hate to sound all Wilford Brimley on you here, but when I was younger (born in ’85, not that long ago) we were barely allowed in the house.  There is a general fear among parents of child abduction or sexual predators and whatnot, which their child may have a better chance of finding online.

There are no longer really public fields as well.  Sure, they exist, but there is always some type of practice going on.  Baseball training has become work.

You think this is how Rizzuto learned?

You think this is how Rizzuto learned?

How many kids play an instrument when they are younger?  In my region at least half, but within a couple of years most of them quit.  Why?  Because it is work.  All they see is notes, and there is not much fun in that.  Baseball has become somewhat of the same experience.

Also, Compared to other sports, baseball is difficult to pick up.  From one of my top 5 films, “It’s the hard that makes it great,” but its also the hard that makes kids quit after a year or so and pick up soccer.  I will get to soccer in another article.

AAU has replaced any local pride a kid had in his youth and Legion teams.  AAU has also priced out much of the best athletes.  It provides the best exposure for players and therefore gives kids who can’t afford it a hopeless feeling, and sets their future in the sport in stone.

In Baseball today, the coaches or scouts don’t come to you, you have to go to them, and in many cases, you must pay for this, too.  It is bad enough the bats cost three hundred bucks, a decent glove $150, and new spikes $75.  A season of baseball could easily cost a 13-yr old kid $5 grand these days.

I would also argue that the baseball in Robinson’s day was better.  Many argue that the players are faster, stronger, and in better shape, but does that make for better baseball?  For a while, homeruns made us forget what a hit and run, double steal, and sacrifice bunts were.  Through the nineties, baseball players were 6-4, 220 lb weight lifters with very little athletic ability.  Look at Joe Dimaggio, Phil Rizzuto, Pete Rose, Hank Aaron, and Jackie.  These guys were great athletes who got good at baseball playing with their friends.  Not in some academy.

Others argue that the best players are produced in academies.  The academies they speak of are in the Dominican Republic, though.  My response to them is that the alternative to the academy there is not pretty, and they understand the spirit of baseball because of that.  Baseball, a game, can get them out of poverty.  That is how baseball was for a long time here.

But, alas, the sandlot has made way for the state of the art practice batting cages for kids 10-12 to hone their skills with video to show them the flaws in their changeup grip.  It is good to see smaller guys making their way in the MLB.  And its good to see that only a few guys put up massive home run numbers last year.  Maybe the game won’t scare off as many kids.

As the WBC showed us, baseball is far better in other countries.   Baseball is becoming a sport where all Americans are the minority.