Here's my analysis on the Redskins/Giants game...all of my picks are free at www.blackboxsports.net ... I might post my Denver play later as well, but it's up on the site if you're interested. Good luck to all the gamblohrs in here!
The Giants have put up quite a few points this season, but have had a relatively easy schedule thus far, at least in terms of defenses they’ve played. In fact, the highest ranked defense they’ve played recently was the Patriots (7th), who held them to 26 pts. That said, the Redskins don’t qualify as having a good, or even average defense themselves, as they currently rank 31st in our Power Rankings, with a pitiful power rating of 20 (out of a 100). They can’t stop the run at all, allowing 4.8 YPC this season (t-2nd last), and also have a hard time against the pass, allowing 7.7 YPA this season. They also can’t get to the QB, and are allowing a 109 QBR and a whopping 6.4 YPP (yards per play) over the last 6 weeks….they’re just pitiful. While the Giants probably won’t be able to take advantage on the ground, Eli and company will certainly take advantage aerially.
On the other side, the Redskins do have some hope. The Giants rank in the middle of the pack at stopping the run, which will be important in this game as the Redskins try to control the clock with Matt Jones and Alfred Morris. If they can keep Cousins in manageable down and distances, I like their chances of putting up a ton of points themselves. The Giants D, despite being ranked 23rd in our Power Rankings, are allowing 6.6 YPP over the last 6 weeks (worse than the Redskins) and, despite JPP playing a lot better than expected off an amputated finger, still struggle to get any pressure on the QB (I’m not buying the Patriots game – Brady has been under duress all season).
This game is shaping up to be a back and forth affair, so I like taking the home team with the free FG. I also like the situational angles here, as the Redskins are coming off a blow-out defeat to the Panthers, while the Giants are coming off a very tight loss to the undefeated Pats, and are also off a bye, which explains why this spread is moving in the direction of the Giants. The whole point of the Model is to cut thru all the noise, public bias, media hype and other crap that can move a line, so I’m not surprised it’s saying the Redskins are undervalued right now. The standard method for recommending units likes the Skins for 2 units (see above in the Statistical Model section), and so does the new method. I’m sticking with 2 units on the Redskins.
LINE MOVEMENT: This line has dropped to 2.5, indicating the professional bettors are all over the Redskins. I still like the skins for 2 units, even at 2.5, but I'm going to hold out and see if 3 pops back up again. We're not risking much by doing this, since the worst case scenario is the line moves down to 2, which isn't a big deal.
OVER-UNDER: I don't normally play over-unders, but for whatever reason I'm trying it this week for a few games. This total doesn't make sense to me - 47? Both teams can put up 30+, and a 28-24 final would actually be on the low side to me. I'm going with 1 unit on the Over.
FINAL BET: This line has dropped to +2..I'm locking this in for 2 units.
INJURY UPDATES: I don't normally post all the injuries, but considering a lot of people are scared to take the Redskins, I decided to give an update. The Giants have 2 key injuries on their Offensive Line - G Justin Pugh and C Weston Richburg (who is having a stellar season). Center is so important, so the latter is really going to hurt.
My sister just graduated from West Chester University's (Pa.) master's program last Monday. While the ceremony itself was an excruciating 75-minute snooze-fest for everyone else, I had some fun gathering material for this installment of Jerks of the Week. If by chance you attended that event and have stumbled upon this column, keep reading because you may have made the cut.
I should note that half of the graduates were announced by an old lady as "Master of Arts, First Name Last Name." I would have given anything for her to say "Master of Arts and Crafts..." Seriously, I would have paid the hag $100 just to hear it announced that way. Sure, the kid with a master's degree in "arts and crafts" would have been traumatized for life, but you can't put a price on awesome humor. (I guess I'm a jerk this week.)
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 1: West Chester's Athletic Facilities and the Stuck-Up Couple
Let me describe the scene first. The graduation took place on West Chester University's basketball court. I'd make fun of this, but Penn State did the same thing when I graduated four years ago. At least I think so - I was still drunk from the night before.
As you may imagine, West Chester's gym is not up to par with Penn State's. Penn State has an actual basketball arena with thousands of seats. West Chester only had really hard, ugly brown bleachers. I'm pretty sure I developed hemorrhoids from sitting on them for 75 minutes.
Not only were the bleachers uncomfortable - I must have squirmed around every 30 seconds because I felt like I was sitting on a hard rock - they were also impossible to navigate. There were no stairs for the audience to move up and down the bleachers, so the people in attendance would just climb over everyone, trying their hardest to avoid stepping on bags, flowers, cell phones, hands, etc. It's a miracle that no one died or had to be sent to the hospital.
Some chose to stand on the side rather than traversing the bleachers. This presumably included two individuals I called the Stuck-Up Couple. These two people, likely around 50 years old, walked into the gym with a disgusted look on their face. Stuck-Up Woman, wearing bright white pearls, stared down her husband and said something that sounded like, "It's very pedestrian in here."
Stuck-Up Woman then glanced at the bleachers with an even more disgusted look. She tried to step over the first row, but suddenly gave up. "I just can't do this," she whined as she placed her foot back on the ground. "I just... I just can't do this."
Stuck-Up Man, proudly boasting an obvious toupee, didn't like the situation either. He turned the bleachers, waved his hand at us, and yelled, "Bahhh!!!! Everybody go home!!!!"
I didn't see the Stuck-Up Couple after that. They probably decided to completely forgo the ceremony, opting instead to drive back to their mansion, eat pheasant for dinner and have stuck-up sexy time, unless, of course, Stuck-Up Woman stopped Stuck-Up Man and said, "I just can't do this. I just... I just can't do this."
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 2: Crazy Bag Lady
Crazy Bag Lady is one of the weirdest people I've ever seen. She was a skinny woman in her 40s or 50s. She had thin brown hair that looked like it hadn't been washed in decades. She wore thick, ugly glasses (think Joe Paterno), and she constantly had a confused look on her face as if she just escaped the mental hospital, and had no idea what she was doing or where she was going.
Before the graduation commenced, Crazy Bag Lady paced around the gym, seemingly unsure of where she was going to sit down. Luckily, she opted to sit right in front of me, allowing me to observe her behavior up close.
For the first half of the ceremony, Crazy Bag Lady couldn't sit still. It may have been the same hemorrhoid problem that was plaguing me, but from what I noticed, it simply looked like she didn't know where she was. She constantly looked around - toward the stage, to the side, behind her - apparently desperate to locate someone she knew. Unfortunately for her, none of her fellow inmates at the mental hospital were able to escape with her.
At the halfway point of the graduation, Crazy Bag Lady seemingly came to the realization that she was not in the right place. However, there was now no room for her to step down from the bleachers because they were so crowded. This did not deter Crazy Bag Lady; instead, she pulled off these crazy ninja maneuvers to get around everyone that would have made Frogger proud.
Now on the ground, Crazy Bag Lady Ninja glanced around again with a befuddled look on her face, and then left the gym.
Was Crazy Bag Lady some former ex-CIA super spy who conveniently lost her mind when she discovered something she shouldn't have? Maybe. We'll find out for sure if I disappear for a while and then resurface as some crazy bearded man who attends random college graduations.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 3: Hot Super Cop
Aside from scanning for jerks and weirdoes, I also kept an eye out for hot chicks. Seeing as how this was at a college, I expected to see a ton of them, and I was not disappointed. One of the hot chicks happened to be a cop/security guard who was working the graduation.
You may be skeptical because the stereotypical cop is some fat dude who eats doughnuts and has to deal with his annoying nerd neighbor who always breaks stuff around his house. But I assure you, this girl was smoking. She was in her mid-to-late 20s. She was semi-tanned and had blond hair that was tied up. A week later, I am still enthralled.
So, why is she a Jerk of the Week? Why didn't I have her arrest me so she could do naughty things to me? Quite simply, because she would have kicked my a**.
I've never seen anyone more serious or in control. This chick was standing by the aisle as the graduates were walking in. She had a super stern look on her face. She cautiously looked around at everyone. She constantly kept her hands near her gun and baton in case of an emergency. I seriously would have felt less safe if Jack Bauer were there. No crimes were going to be committed under her watch (unless Crazy Bag Lady tried to steal Stuck-Up Woman's pearls).
All kidding aside, I have no idea why Hot Super Cop was there. I understand the need for security, but why have her stand right next to the aisle the graduates were walking through? Was there an expected attack on the graduates? Did she think one of the graduates was going to set up us the bomb? There was no reason to have her escort every single graduate to the aisle. She may have been super hot, but she looked out of place.
I blame the U.S. government. When you have someone as awesome as Hot Super Cop at your disposal, you're wasting your resources by having her guard some college graduation. She should be diffusing bombs, finding Osama bin Laden, or at the very least posing for swimsuit calendars.
JERK OF THE WEEK NO. 4: Other Random Graduation Jerks
I don't have enough material on these people (what do I mean, these people!?) to create an entire Jerk of the Week entry for them, but they're all worth mentioning:
1. Dorito Lady: These two old ladies decided to sit behind me. One of the ladies nearly tore her ACL trying to climb into her row. I'm not joking. Her foot slipped and made a loud thud. I was shocked that she didn't severely injure herself.
At any rate, her sitting behind me was an unpleasant experience. She smelled like moldy cheese Doritos. It was really disgusting. Clearly, neither she nor Crazy Bag Lady don't believe in taking showers.
2. Aunt Strahanmima: I'm convinced this black lady came to West Chester's graduation straight from shooting an Aunt Jemima commercial. She was wearing this bright blue and gold outfit and matching turban. Upon seeing her, I suddenly had a craving for pancakes.
It wasn't until after the graduation was over that I saw her up close. She was overweight, but more importantly, there was a gaping void between her front teeth that would have made Michael Strahan proud.
I decided to take a picture of her with my cell phone camera, but she turned around just as I snapped the photo. Here's what I came up with:
Look how awesome that turban is. Aren't pancakes awesome? Need pancakes... Need pancakes. Pancakes! Nom nom nom nom nom!!!
3.West Chester Graduation Commercial Break: All graduations are the same. Some old guy talks for a while. Then another old person talks for a while. Then, some middle-aged guy talks for a while. Then, they announce everyone's name, which takes years. And finally, they ask the audience to remain seated while all the graduates walk out, but at that point, no one listens.
During West Chester's graduation, there was something in between Old Person No. 2 and Middle-Aged Guy. For about 10 minutes, nothing happened. There was some music playing in the background, but no one was doing anything. It was pretty strange and a complete waste of time.
Was this some sort of commercial break? Did Old Person No. 2 need a change of diapers? Did Hot Super Cop ask the college president to stop the ceremony because she noticed that her nemesis, Crazy Bag Lady was in attendance? I'm not sure, and I didn't really care. At that point I was just pissed that Aunt Strahanmima wasn't bringing me any pancakes.