September 27, 2012

NFL Week 4 Point Spread Breakdown

By ROBB WITMER FULL    
"BLOWING UP THE VICTORY FORMATION" IS QUIETLY BECOMING ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT PLAYS IN FOOTBALL.


Sometimes you eat the bear, and sometimes the bear eats you. Refereemageddon was fun for a while, but when a winning week gets snatched clean from my hands, then things have gone too far. That’s the time for everyone to get together and hash this out, since we’ve all figured out what’s really important.


Which is exactly what happened last night. The NFL banged around some numbers and somehow found a little extra scratch in their pile of billion-dollar bills. I imagine that at some point in the last few weeks there was a conversation much like the corporate parable that Edward Norton tells that lady on the airplane in Fight Club: A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the shame we have to live through, we don't bring the real refs back.

It wasn’t until Monday night that B (the probable rate of failure) exploded in value, changing the situation entirely. But now that our new American heroes are returning to the field, does this mean we will be be entering an age of gambling normalcy? Don’t bet on it.


LAST WEEK: 7-8-0 | SEASON: 7-8-0, 46.7%

Browns v. Ravens (-12)
The NFL is giving us some real winners with these Thursday games. The latest features the team America loves to forget, the Cleveland Browns. Doesn’t seem like this should be close, but sometimes what seems and what is are two different things. Pick: Browns (+12)

Patriots (-4) v. Bills
The Bills have been an emotional roller coaster for me. After initially thinking they would challenge for the division, it looked like the dream might be dead after getting absolutely hammered by the Jets in week 1. Once I was safely off the bandwagon, they rolled in their next two games, albeit against suspect opponents. It the Patriots lose this game, it would be the beginning of the end of the Belichick-Brady era, and they know it. And I doubt Buffalo’s injury problems at running back will be significantly helped by Fred Jackson’s positive visualizations. Pick: Patriots (-4)

Vikings v. Lions (-5)
Sometimes things don’t go a certain team’s way despite lofty expectations. It’s the way of the world, and the Lions might just have to get used to it this year. Plus, don’t you think that the Vikes looked like an honest-to-god, real football team last week? Pick: Vikings (+5)

Panthers v. Falcons (-7)
The Panthers look awful right now. The Falcons look great right now. This game could very well end up in the Panthers’ favor, but to take them here would be a stupid pick. Sometimes you win stupid picks, but if you can train yourself to avoid taking them at all, then you will come out ahead in the end. Pick: Falcons (-7)

49ers (-4) v. Jets
The Niners probably aren’t the piping-hot shit they looked like for the first two weeks, but with a season-ending injury to Darrelle Revis, this seems like a great time for the Jets to begin their descent into flaming chaos. Pick: 49ers (-4)

Chargers v. Chiefs (-1)
I’m going to go ahead and make a pick here, but I wouldn’t put real money on either of these teams, even if it belonged to Donald Trump. Pick: Chiefs (-1)

Titans v. Texans (-12)
I like what the Titans are doing, but they won last week thanks to some trick plays, luck, and flat-out fuck-uppery. The Texans are for real. Pick: Texans (-12)

Seahawks (-2.5) v. Rams
The ghost of ‘011 Tim Tebow seems to be hanging around the Seahawks, but I don’t buy them as a team that will win consistently on the road, even against teams they probably should beat. Pick: Rams (+2.5)

Dolphins v. Cardinals (-5.5)
I’ve been hoodwinked by the Cardinals so far this year. Is it possible they could be a quality team? In the NFL, anything is possible. Pick: Cardinals (-5.5)

Raiders v. Broncos (-6.5)
To see Payton Manning go out with one or two of totally mediocre seasons with the Broncos would validate decades of my football fandom. Pick: Raiders (+6.5)

Bengals (-2) v. Jaguars
Wow. What a perfect spread. I would pick a push here if there was any strategic benefit to it. Pick: Bengals (-2)

Saints v. Packers (-7.5)
Remember that stink I talked about last week that’s lingering around the Packers? Not only is it more distinct after aging in a cask of rage since Monday night, it perfectly compliments the swamp-corpse aroma currently following the Saints around. Pick: Saints (+7.5)

Redskins v. Buccaneers (-2.5)
When Greg Schiano was initially announced as the Buccaneers’ head coach, I was sure the whole experiment would be a disaster. That might be what is happening, but he’s also slowly becoming one of my favorite coaches in the league. Pick: Buccaneers (-2.5)

Giants v. Eagles (-2)
The Eagles can’t do anything right, so naturally they are favored against the rolling Giants. This is what point spreads are all about. Pick: Giants (+2)

Bears v. Cowboys (-3.5)
Sometimes you eat the Bears, and sometimes the Bears eat you. Let’s see which way that goes for me this week. Pick: Bears (+3.5)


Robb Witmer Full (@robbwitmer) has been doing this for years and doesn’t seem to be getting any better at it. The only reasonable explanation is that the linesmakers are using some sort of Gypsy magic.

September 26, 2012

A Game of Refereemageddon Plinko

PUSHMASTER PICKS '012: WEEK FOUR

By ROBB WITMER FULL    
THE CALL THAT ALMOST SAVED AMERICA.


For the eighth consecutive season, the author is competing in the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, the greatest gambling pool in the history of Sport. Every week players must make five picks against the point spread, college or pro, overs or unders.


Colorado pulled off an amazing victory on Saturday, proving me wrong once again. Since I’m roughly 66.7% used to being proven wrong this year, the cover wasn’t much of a surprise, but to pull out a straight up WIN? Good on the Buffs. They might still be one of the worst in Division 1-A, but damn if they aren’t also one of the cutest little teams in America. The rumor flying around the PushMaster Command Center is that Rick Moranis is being mentioned as the leading candidate to replace Jon Embry, if the season ends up coming to that.

Giving the Little Buffaloes nineteen points was the only pick I felt uneasy about going into the weekend. For the first time all season, I had some confidence in my picks instead of raging abhorrence, and still, it ended up a losing week.

It would be remarkably easy to blame Refpocalypse for the dismal state of PushMaster Pickery this year, so that’s what I’ll do. It’s a lot like blaming your 7-iron for a duck hook: It is always, always the equipment’s fault. In this case, we’re working with bunk officials. The whole situation has turned betting on the NFL from an elaborate sort of Baccarat into a three-hour-long drop of a Plinko chip — which, come to think of it, probably feature similar odds.

For myself, however, Refereemageddon is an ever-flowing fountain of a silky red wine with distinct notes of buffoonery. I welcome anything that highlights the league’s clown shoes, and this situation has done so with the subtlety of Sam Kinison.

I haven’t enjoyed Professional Football to this degree since Clinton’s first term, the days of compulsively hate-watching the Cowboys and whatever was left of the 49ers. The hate-watch factor this year is approaching Michael Jordan levels, and that’s with Peyton Manning sliding toward irrelevance and Tim Tebow mostly invisible.

When M.D. Jennings and Golden Tate were wrestling for the ball, in those few moments before the call was made (calls?), I was hoping, praying, that a touchdown signal was coming. I wanted it more than Ripper wants a night alone with Tom Cruise, with only a fireplace, a few bottles of wine, and a fresh pack of boxer-briefs to keep them company.

Then it happened, and the NFL was instantly exposed for what it really is: the producer of the most successful reality show in the history of Television. It hasn’t been about football for a long time. Steve Young is right when he says the league doesn’t care; the fact that we’ve made it this far is proof of that.

Unfortunately, since this one beautiful moment directly flipped the outcome of a nationally televised game on the final play — causing the Internet and every Las Vegas sportsbook to simultaneously explode — the league will probably cave to public pressure and come to some sort of deal.

But maybe not. Very few American institutions have the capacity to ignore public sentiment like the NFL, so until the ink is dry on a contract, there’s still hope.


WEEK FOUR PICKS

Last Week: 2-3-0 | Season: 5-10-0, 33.3% | Lifetime: 327-308-20, 51.5%

STANFORD (-7) v. Washington
Stanford should win this game, and considering how physically dominant they looked against Southern Cal, I’ll lay the points against Washington — aka the poor man’s Southern Cal.

Oregon State v. ARIZONA (-3)
Hopefully, last week’s stomping by Oregon didn’t cause Rich Rodriguez to re-lose his marbles. When he’s coherent, his offense can get on a roll and everything is fine, but when he’s having one of his episodes, his teams display the slickness of dirt that’s been fucked by a hobo.

Seahawks v. RAMS (+3)
I’m a sucker for Jeff Fisher, so even though the Seahawks’ defense looked like the second coming of the Mongol Army against the Packers, I have to go with the Rams because, well, I dunno. I just dunno.

Dolphins v. CARDINALS (-6)
Okay fine, Cardinals, you win. Let’s make up with a big win against the Dolphins. I’m even willing to accept the end times a 4-0 Cardinals team will cause if it means I can pick up a game in the standings.

Panthers v. FALCONS (-7.5)
The Panthers look like a bad team, and the Falcons look like one of the best teams in the league. What am I missing? (A: Reversion to mediocrity.)

JustBet.cx, 1:22 PM EDT, Tuesday


Robb Witmer Full would like to see the Super Bowl ruined by incompetent officiating, a remote possibility. Use Twitter to find out how that is going.

September 21, 2012

The Inaugural Sports-Thrust NFL Gambling Checklist

By ROBB WITMER FULL    

THIS MAN IS NOT — REPEAT: NOT — RELATED TO REGIS.


Anyone who practices the slightest adherence to the Sports-Thrust mission statement recognises that the truest way to enjoy Football, particularly Professional Football, is through the prism of point spreads. Forget “entertainment purposes,” the devoted Sports-Thrust enthusiast is in this game to take as much money from their friends, colleagues, and personal bookies as is possible.

Here we break down and pick every game remaining on the Week 3 NFL schedule using the trademark Sports-Thrust skill and wit. Remember, readers, to bet wisely.


Rams v. Bears (-7)
The Bears got smacked down hard by the Packers last Thursday thanks to a typical Jay Cutler shitshow, but we can’t expect that sort of performance week after week. It’s hard to believe, but the Bears might have a real offense this year. If the Cutler-Marshall combo is humming, they should win this game by two touchdowns. If not, the Rams could back into another victory. Pick: Bears (-7)

Buccaneers v. Cowboys (-7)
Is the victory formation blow-up really worth talking about for days after the fact? Goddamn, give it a rest. The Cowboys are one of the best teams in the league; The Cowboys are a total disaster. Both of these things are true at varying points of every of the last ten seasons. The Buccaneers gave up 510 passing yards last week and only lost by seven, so it stands to reason they could give up 600-700 yards to Romo this week and the Cowboys could find a way to lose this game. Pick: Buccaneers (+7)

49ers (-7) v. Vikings
The 49ers are the champions of the first two weeks of the season, and the Vikings have played close games with the Colts and the Jaguars, so this spread should be closer to 14. The fact that it’s only 7 means that someone knows something that we don’t. Pick: Vikings (+7)

Lions (-3.5) v. Titans
The Titans have gotten shit-housed in the first two games of the season, and it looks like the Jake Locker experiment is a fabulous failure. However, the NFL’s reversion to mediocrity principle plays here, meaning the Titans — playing at home, outside against a dome team — will keep it close. Pick: Titans (+3.5)

Bengals v. Redskins (-3.5)
The Bengals looked like an offensive juggernaut against, of all teams, the Browns. The Redskins are coming off a 452-yard performance... by their defense. Take the ‘dog in this shootout. Pick: Bengals (+3.5)

Jets (-2.5) v. Dolphins
We are about a horse-hair away from this Tebow bullshit starting all over again, and the Dolphins feature an average College quarterback of their own in Tannehill. Did you know that the Dolphins’ head coach is a guy named Joe Philbin whose main claim to fame is that he’s not related to Regis? Pick: Dolphins (+2.5)

Chiefs v. Saints (-9)
If both of these teams revert to NFL mediocrity, the Saints still win this game by 20+ points. Pick: Saints (-9)

Bills (-3) v. Browns
Honestly, who knows? Is there anyone that can wrap their head around either of these teams? Go with the home ‘dog. Pick: Browns (+3)

Jaguars v. Colts (-3)
The Colts might sneak up on us and get 4-5 wins, and that dome is a huge advantage. We took a poll around the Sports-Thrust headquarters, and 69.7% of the staff thought that the Jaguars were no longer in the NFL. Pick: Colts (-3)

Eagles (-3.5) v. Cardinals
It is unfathomable that the Cardinals are 2-0. I would probably lay these points even if they were playing the Jaguars. Pick: Eagles (-3.5)

Falcons v. Chargers (-3)
Didn’t we stop paying attention to the Chargers four or five years ago? Would you bet your house on them starting the season 3-0? Me neither. Pick: Falcons (+3)

Texans (-2.5) v. Broncos
Peyton Manning has old balls. The Texans are the best team you’ve never heard of. Pick: Texans (-2.5)

Steelers (-4) v. Raiders
The Raiders have been a pesky team for the Steelers in the last seven years or so, and the Steelers are banged up all over the place, making this four-point spread seem reasonably small. Don’t be fooled. The Raiders will have some success throwing the ball, but still find a way to lose by at least a touchdown. Pick: Steelers (-4)

Patriots v. Ravens (-3)
Speaking of old balls, it looks like the Patriots are starting to show theirs. How else to explain the teabagging they received from the Cardinals last week? Pick: Ravens (-3)

Packers (-3) v. Seahawks
The Packers have a weird stink around them, like they walked through a strip club while covered in Band-Aids. The Seahawks are hard to figure out. One thing is obvious: this spread makes no sense. It feels like a trap no matter which team you pick. Strangely, we would feel better about taking the Pack if this was a 7-9 point line. Alas, Pick: Packers (-3)


Robb Witmer Full is an experienced gambler and has been professionally trained. Do not try this at home. Try this in Vegas instead. Follow his Twitter account for the supremest of wise-assery.

September 20, 2012

Colorado '012: Success You Can't See

PUSHMASTER PICKS '012: WEEK THREE

By ROBB WITMER FULL    

THE SWEATER VEST OF RAGE.

"This isn't going to get easier, it's going to get harder this year," —former Colorado head football coach Bill McCartney, at Colorado’s weekly football press conference
For the eighth consecutive season, the author is competing in the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, the greatest gambling pool in the history of Sport. Every week players must make five picks against the point spread, college or pro, overs or unders.


You know your football program is in a sad state indeed when a 72-year-old man feels the need to hijack your press conference in order to lecture the fanbase and local media on loyalty, as well as their inclination to “bitch and moan and whine and complain.”

There is now no doubt which College Football program is currently in the most advanced state of shambles. That was certain only twelve minutes (!) into the Buffaloes’ [sic] most recent ugly loss — this one to Fresno State — when they were down 35-0 before most fans had the chance to figure out which channel the game was on.

A majority of McCartney’s rambling, eleven-minute tirade was ostensibly in support of current head coach Jon Embree and his staff. Yeah, nothing says job security like vague allusions to foundation building. "When we turned this thing over to Embree, we turned it over to somebody who is going to get the job done," McCartney said. "Even though right now the progress is below the ground and we can't see it."

That’s right, we can’t see it. Fresno State couldn’t see it either. School president Bruce Benson has a hard time seeing it also. “All we can say is we have a serious rebuilding," he said.

No shit. As McCartney put it, "there's no shortcut. We're in over our heads right now."


WEEK THREE PICKS

Last Week: 1-4-0 | Season: 3-7-0, 30.00% | Lifetime: 325-305-20, 51.59%

Colorado v. WASHINGTON STATE (-19)
It’s way too easy to pick against Colorado here, and that makes me worried. As bad as the Buffs have been this year, it’s not clear that Washington State can stop dropping the ball or tripping over themselves long enough to pull away from them. At the very least we know that if things are working for the Cougars offensively (likely, given the competition), Mike Leach will continue to “run his offense.”

BENGALS (+3.5) v. Redskins
Robert Griffin could very well turn out to be the second coming of Football Jesus, but let’s all not forget that he’s on the Redskins.

Jaguars v. COLT’S BAR & HORSEBEEF GRILLE (-2.5)
After a change of ownership, Colt’s is now a horsebeef restaurant instead of a gay dancehall. The idea is to capitalize on the surging popularity of Andrew “Horsebeef” Luck, as well as the rising popularity of horsebeef itself.

EAGLES (-4.5) v. Cardinals
The Cardinals being 2-0 is a joke, and the mere thought of them going to 3-0 is enough to give me night terrors. They are not a good football team.

BUCCANEERS (+8) v. Cowboys
Why can’t I turn on the Internet without hearing about that stupid fucking play at the end of the Bucs/Giants game? Is this Tebow’s fault somehow?

5dimes.eu, 1:00 PM EDT, Tuesday.


Robb Witmer Full is the College Football correspondent for Sports-Thrust, which means he spends most of his week trying to figure out who the worst team in the country is. Follow his up-to-the-minute analysis of bad football on Twitter.

September 13, 2012

Donkey Salami Riding High

PUSHMASTER PICKS '012: WEEK TWO

By ROBB WITMER FULL    

THE BILLS' SEASON IS ALREADY A TOTAL WASTE OF TIME, BUT, DAMN, THOSE ARE SOME SNAZZY UNIFORMS.


For the eighth consecutive season, the author is competing in the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, the greatest gambling pool in the history of Sport. Every week players must make five picks against the point spread, college or pro, overs or unders.


By halftime it was obvious that the New Jersey Jets had been saving everything they had for their week 1 matchup with the Bills, and coupled with the fact that Buffalo couldn’t do any goddamned thing right, the rout was on. The Jets even threw Tim Tebow in for a few plays to give the Bills an opportunity to capture some momentum with a dropped snap, or maybe an interception or two. It didn’t work.


It looks as though the Bills’ dream is dead. Unless Ryan Fitzpatrick can rustle up a little of the Frank Reich magic, this is going to end up another one of those seasons just as forgettable as the Ron Paul 2012 yard sign that will end up at the bottom of a 22-foot Buffalo snowdrift sometime this winter. Everything the Bills tried to do in this game they did wrong, and most of those wrongly-done things ended up as Jets touchdowns.

So I’m definitely not buying the Jets just yet. Mark “Donkey Salami” Sanchez had the game of his life on Sunday, and all he got out of it was a win at home against the Bills. It’s mighty tempting to eat the six points against them this week, but apparently blocking for Ben “Looked It Up” Roethlisberger is a lot like playing drums for Spinal Tap, so I’ll believe the Steelers are worth a damn when I see it.

Wait — what am I, fucking nuts? No sort of winning strategy would include betting against a team that is so obviously peaking. The fun part will be riding that avalanche on its way down the mountain as it swallows northern New Jersey and the surrounding suburbs whole.

In contrast to the Jets’ load-blowage, the beginning of my PushMaster Season was not exactly inspiring. Pitt came through for me in the no-brainer game of the week, and the ‘Cuse proved to be as pesky as advertised. Otherwise, it was a pretty lame start to the season.

The Washington pick was fucking stupid from the get-go. A totally overmatched team, on the road, travelling halfway across the country — we should all know better than to fall into that trap. I was mad at myself for taking it before I had even finished typing it out. The Tulane/Tulsa game was unfortunate for many reasons. That’s just one of those games it’s best to let go and forget.

But it’s only one week. It’s a long, long way to go before we even get to the Gauntlet, and a longer journey still once we finally descend into that pit of Gambling Bloodsport. The key to escaping with your Success and Sportsmanship intact is to make sure you enter with proper weapons and accurate maps. Cool sunglasses help too.


WEEK TWO PICKS

Last Week: 2-3-0 | Season: 2-3-0, 40.00% | Lifetime: 324-301-20, 51.84%

VIRGINIA TECH (-10) v. Pitt
Here’s a matchup of future “Big East 2: Electric Boogaloo” members. I’m not sure what to make of Virginia Tech. One thing I do know is that Pitt is capable of losing to anyone by ten or more points. Any respectable NCAA power ranking has to have them dead last right now.

TCU (-21) v. Kansas
Kansas is the Pitt of the Midwest, but with a Mangino in their recent history instead of a Yinzstachio. Charlie Weis is the coach there now. Awesome.

Colorado v. FRESNO STATE (-14)
If any team is going to give Pitt a run for their money as the worst team in Division 1-A football, it’s Colorado. After losing to Sacramento State last week, head coach Jon Embree said, "I'm sorry, and I'm going to do everything we can to make it right and fix it, just like I tried to do last week." Sounds like he’s got that shit on lock-down.

Notre Dame v. MICHIGAN STATE (-6)
The Fighting Irish are not believable as a top-20 team, like if Tony Danza was the star of a Redd Foxx biopic.

Browns v. Bengals UNDER (39)
The Browns can turn any game into The Most Boring Game Ever Played. I look for their vaunted “Plod-It-Out” offense to control this one.

JustBet.cx, 7:52 PM MDT, Tuesday


Robb Witmer Full's lifetime record of 324-301-20 is the fifth best of all time. He likes to brag about that on Twitter all goddamn day long.

September 6, 2012

The Golden Shower of Green Points

PUSHMASTER PICKS '012: WEEK ONE

By ROBB WITMER FULL    

PEYTON MANNING: THE BEST PRACTICER IN SPORTS HISTORY.


For the eighth consecutive season, the author is competing in the PushMaster Invitational Football Pool, the greatest gambling pool in the history of Sport. Every week players must make five picks against the point spread, college or pro, overs or unders.


Welcome to the only season that matters. As the PushMaster Invitational begins to overtake us like a thundersnow cloud, and Football seeps into every crack of our lives, a select few choose to stand tall and embrace Success and Sportsmanship to the bitter end.

That end is more bitter for some than others. While Mr. Beef was busy spending his lavish winnings on spray tans, hair frosting, scrotum buffing, and chest waxing in preparation for his tryout to be the first male model in Price is Right history, poor Claybone spent the entire off-season haunted by endless visions of 0-5 weeks, and fitful sleep thanks to vivid dreams of self-cannibalization. The dreams are probably unrelated to his performance in last year’s Invitational; it’s hard to say for sure.

But even he has chosen to let the hot wash of Gambling Action drip off of him like honey yet again. The draw of the foremost Internet Football Pool in the Milky Way galaxy is undeniable, and 2012 promises to be, perhaps, the greatest year in Football history.

The plot lines are as thick as the toupĂ©e Ripper wears when he’s going “incognito” at Cruze nightclub: Peyton Manning looks to extend his legacy as the Greatest Practicer of All Time; The New York Jets are allegedly trying to make the playoffs with a mind-boggling combination of bad quarterbacks; Most or all of the Saints defense is locked up in Alcatraz.

In the PushMaster Command Center, we prefer to take a slightly more esoteric perspective on the Football season. There’s no reason to waste time on worrying who will win the AFC South, or which Big East team will fall ass-backwards into whatever will be this year’s least consequential BCS bowl. Screw all that noise to the wall — we’re looking for wins of our own here.

Something that can make or break a season is finding your horse (or Horsebeef, if you will). If you can spot a team about to take a nosedive for a good 8-10 week stretch and you hop on that pony as soon as it comes around the bend, it could be worth 5-6 wins in a season, a massive sum.

One team I’ve got my eye on is Pitt, which has been in a slow collapse for about five years now. This weekend, the Panthers started their most recent inconsequential season by losing to a completely-average Division 1-AA team. The suspensions of six players had an effect, but there’s no excuse for getting completely shit-hammered by Youngstown State... unless you consider being a magnificently incompetent team to be an excuse. Which might very well be the case. I’m not privy to the exact details of the Pitt roster, but what reason exists for Tino Sunseri to be the starting quarterback of an almost-major football program?

When picking a pro team to fall into the shitter, it’s too easy to go with the Cardinals or Browns or Whoever. Everybody knows these teams are boiled shit, so the value disappears. The Jets, however, are prime candidates to have a total team meltdown. They have a gaping chasm where the quarterback should be standing, and their coach is a gigantic asshole. Under the microscope of the New York media, this team could easily end up more gangrene than Gang Green. I can’t wait.

The bottom of the League can also provide some of the best value bets in sports when betting ON the shit-ball teams. Some of the most storied teams in Gambling History were about 2-14 straight-up, but 11-5 against the spread. The Colts are going to be better this year just by virtue of the fact that they’ll no longer have a line-cook under center (enter Andrew “Horsebeef” Luck), and thanks to how bad they looked last year, their season could be a never-ending string of double-digit spreads. Watch closely, bet carefully.

These are but mere samples of the Unbeatable Strategy that I have been honing and sharpening since mid-February. This year I will wield my Gambling Skill like a mystical cannon dropping enormous heavy balls on any and all foes... Can you smell the horsebeef I’m cooking?


WEEK ONE PICKS

Pitt v. CINCINNATI (-4)
Though no one would be surprised if either of these teams wins the Big East this year (my money is on Temple), the Pitt football program continues its march through the Forest of Irrelevance. Yinzstachio, anyone? Cincinnati probably blows too, but I like how Pitt already has some momentum behind their suckiness.

Tulane v. Tulsa OVER (57)
I picked this matchup of (probably) future Big East members because I’ve always had a hard time keeping these two programs straight. Tulane, Tulsa, Green Wave, Golden Hurricane (both singular); I barely know the difference, and I don’t want to. This way I can root for both offenses like they’re one giant golden shower of green points.

Southern Cal v. SYRACUSE (+26.5)
I do this every single year. I tell myself that I will stay away from making picks that are a sure path to madness, but then I black out, come to, and there it is: a Syracuse game on my list. Damnit.

WASHINGTON (+23.5) v. Lsu
Speaking of absolutely stupid picks. For some reason I want to believe the Sarkisian Huskies are better than they actually are. I don’t know what it is. The uniforms, maybe? This is not exactly a way to hold on to the momentum I captured at the end of last year by virtue of a 27-13-0 finish.

BILLS (+3) v. Jets
I have this weird feeling that the Bills are going to be a pretty competitive team this year, maybe even make a run at the division if/when the Patriots start their inevitable decline. One thing is certain: the Jets are a disaster offensively. After giving the worst quarterback in the league an inexplicable contract extension, they went out and got the other worst quarterback in the league to back him up. Then again, is there such a thing as momentum in a Football picks league?

Justbet.cx, 8:32 P.M. EDT, Tuesday


Robb Witmer Full is the 2006 PushMaster Invitational champion. He has a lifetime record of 322-298-20, which is pretty decent if you think about it. Read about other decent things on his Twitter feed.