I’m a nervous gambler.  Even in games that I’m winning comfortably, I compulsively dream up scenarios where through some absurd confluence of circumstances, I end up getting completely screwed and lose my bet.  And this leads to all kinds of dreadful self-fulfilling nightmares – occasions where the ONE thing I don’t want to happen somehow comes to pass.  Like the time a few years ago when I had money on Cincinnati, losing by 13 but getting 13.5 points against the invincible Patriots, and all I needed was for the Bengals to stumble through their final possession without giving up a TAINT or a fumble return for a touchdown.  And on the final play of the game…well, let’s just say when I read about Kellen Winslow’s incredibly painful swollen testicles, my only thought was: “serves him right.”

And despite my ability to brilliantly foresee each and every bad beat coming from a mile away, I have to admit – the Giants game wasn’t even on my radar.

I was listening on the radio when they announced the Giants had scored just before halftime to push their lead to 24-3 – I pumped my fist, and promptly forgot about the game.  Until the last two minutes.  I don’t even want to talk about the DeSean Jackson return – enough has already been said.  As far as the computer is concerned, that dreadful finish by the Giants turned what would have been a moderately profitable week into a disastrous one.  Gamblor had its worst week of the season, going 5-11-1 for a weighted win percentage of just 18.0%, and Son of Gamblor had its second-worst week of the season with a misleading record of 5-3 and a weighted win percentage of just 23.8%.  But it looks like I’ll be able to close out the season in the black – there’s only one big bet this week – and betting against Washington is usually a good proposition.  Unfortunately, it goes directly against the advice of handicapper Walter Cherepinsky, whose picks I respect more than anyone else’s in the business.

Away Home Spread Gamblor’s Pick Bet Amount Son of Gamblor’s Pick Bet Amount Overall Pick Overall Bet
CAR at PIT -15 CAR $7.45 CAR $7.45
DAL at ARI 7 ARI $4.11 ARI
DET at MIA -3.5 MIA $7.87 MIA $34.60 MIA $42.47
WAS at JAC -7 JAC $74.95 JAC $147.28 JAC $222.23
SNF at STL -2 SNF $4.29 SNF
NEP at BUF 8.5 BUF $5.25 BUF $0.65 BUF $5.90
NYJ at CHI -1 NYJ $0.72 NYJ
BAL at CLE 3.5 CLE $3.76 CLE
TEN at KAN -5 TEN $11.03 TEN $11.03
HOU at DEN 3 DEN $21.35 DEN $21.35
NYG at GNB -3 NYG $4.35 NYG $0.38 NYG
SND at CIN 7.5 CIN $10.55 CIN $10.55
SEA at TAM -6 SEA $5.60 SEA $5.60
MIN at PHI -14 MIN $6.98 MIN $6.98
NOS at ATL -2.5 NOS $9.42 NOS $5.38 NOS $14.80


Computer’s Pick: Carolina (+15)
Bet Amount: $7.45 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: I personally would avoid betting on this game.  It’s a simple hedge bet for the computer, meaning that it thinks the spread is more or less where it ought to be.  However, Troy Polamalu is out, and the Steelers won’t be worrying too much about whether they can handle the Panthers’ offense.  Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, the Steelers are notorious for failing to deliver blowouts when expected, especially when the betting is lopsided in their favor.  Which is definitely the case here.  In a pinch, I’d take the Panthers here, simply because Vegas is greedy and games with lopsided betting usually go their way.
Computer’s Pick: Arizona (+7)
Bet Amount: $4.11 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: In 2008, the Dallas Cowboys — Arizona Cardinals game was my favorite bet of the year.  Arizona, five-point underdogs at home, ended up giving up 10 points in the final two minutes, but won in overtime on a blocked punt that was recovered for a touchdown.  For some reason, the Cardinals always seem to play at their best when they’re hosting the Cowboys.  And the Cowboys are always surprised.  With how terrible Arizona has been lately, it’s hard to imagine they’ll find a way to win this game — but history has taught me to not be surprised if that happens.  Which is why I’ll gladly take the points in this one.
Computer’s Pick: Miami (-3.5)
Bet Amount: $42.47 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: Will Miami finally break out of their funk at home?  It’s actually been quite unbelievable how badly they have managed to play on their own field – and I say that not as someone who lost $900 on them three weeks ago, but as someone who lost $70 more on them last week.  Will things finally change?  I hope so.  And I actually do believe so – playing the Lions is good medicine for pretty much anything that can ail a football team.
Computer’s Pick: Jacksonville (-7)
Bet Amount: $222.23 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: This is the computer’s biggest bet of the week — the biggest it’s had since that disastrous $900 dud on the Dolphins in Week 13.  But the computer has had some success with Jacksonville — in Week 14 it scored big when the Jaguars hosted the Raiders and won by a touchdown.  I’m comfortable with it — it’s a large spread, but the Jacksonville offense seems to be running at peak efficiency right now.  They’ve won five of their last seven, and they haven’t been held to less than 17 points since Week 6.  Everyone saw Rex Grossman pull things together last week and throw four touchdowns and now magically assumes that Shanahan has ”fixed” the turnover-prone quarterback.  Yeah, right.  Todd Marinovich had a great first game too.  If Jacksonville were headed out on the road after last week’s disappointing loss to the Colts, I’d be a lot more worried.  But they’re at home.  And their playoff hopes aren’t dead.  Look for a solid effort from them, while Washington reverts to form after their desperate flicker of confidence against the Cowboys.
Computer’s Pick: San Francisco (+2)
Bet Amount: $4.29 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: I’ve got a bet with my friend Amir Talai (yes, I’m calling him out here in case he decides to ”forget” about our wager) over whether his 49ers will finish the season with a worse record than my Raiders.  Loser changes their facebook profile photo to the other team’s logo for a week.  It’s looking awfully good for me so far, but with high stakes like these, it’s impossible to relax.  I’ll be rooting against the 49ers in this one for obvious reasons, but I also think the Rams are the better bet here.  There’s no consistency in the 49ers offense, and as such they’ll be mistake-prone against the Rams, who are at least trying to build something for the future.  Plus, wouldn’t it be fun to see Sam Bradford lead his team to a backdoor playoff spot in his rookie year?
Computer’s Pick: Buffalo (+8.5)
Bet Amount: $5.90 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: Everyone is expecting a blowout here, and I’m following the crowd.  Patriots win big.
Computer’s Pick: NY Jets (+1)
Bet Amount: $0.72 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: I’m not sure what to make of this one in the wake of the Rex Ryan um…scandal?  I’m not sure it qualifies as a scandal; just kind of odd and hilarious (and I say this as a fan of the Jets coach — it’s unfortunate to have your fetishes suddenly become public, but when you post things to youtube it doesn’t really qualify as ”private” anymore).  It’s going to be extremely tough for the Jets to focus these last couple of days preparing for their trip to Chicago; it’s going to be even harder to focus when they’re in hostile territory and someone holds up a diagram for a play called ”Michelle Ryan Triple Option” featuring three different holes for the running back to choose from. Rex Ryan does a great job rallying the troops, but this might be too much even for him to overcome immediately.
Computer’s Pick: Cleveland (+3.5)
Bet Amount: $3.76 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: I have some concerns that this line is a trap — the Ravens seem to have things together and probably won’t make any serious missteps before they face serious competition in the playoffs.  And I know Cleveland is capable of playing some tough games, but they can’t seriously keep things close against the Ravens.  Can they?  Looks like there’s a ton of money coming on the Ravens, so apparently Vegas thinks the Browns can — so I do too.
Computer’s Pick: Tennessee (+5)
Bet Amount: $11.03 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: Again, this line seems a bit dubious to me.  Kansas City has looked solid, if unspectacular, lately, and they’ve got the inside track on the division title.  Matt Cassel should be back to full strength, and their running game is looking terrific.  Tennessee just managed to snap their six-game losing streak, but that was against a dejected Houston squad that has given up on their season.  I would have expected to see the Chiefs favored by a touchdown.  But this is one of the games that I don’t actually believe to be a trap — I think Kansas City will finish their season strong with a runaway victory here.
Computer’s Pick: Indianapolis (-3)
Bet Amount: None (Conflict)
COMMENTS: As much as I’d love to predict a Raiders win (or even cover) here, I’m not going to get my hopes up.  With or without receivers, Peyton Manning is too good to pick against.
Computer’s Pick: Denver (+3)
Bet Amount: $21.35 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: I feel like the Texans have given up on their season, and as such, Denver should be able to beat them, especially as home dogs.  If nothing else, Tim Tebow is a winner, and I think he’ll get his first one in front of his home crowd against an underachieving Texans squad.
Computer’s Pick: NY Giants (+3)
Bet Amount: $4.73 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: I’ve read a few things that suggest that the Giants will actually bounce back from their ridiculous collapse against the Eagles.  I don’t believe it.  Especially against a team like the Packers, who can exploit even the smallest defensive mistakes and turn them into 80-yard touchdown passes.  If the Packers can protect Aaron Rodgers (never guaranteed) and he can unleash a couple of quick scores, the Giants defense will lose their will to win very quickly, and it’s doubtful that Eli Manning and his offense will have the tenacity to battle back.
Computer’s Pick: Cincinnati (+7.5)
Bet Amount: $10.55 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: Blowout win for the Chargers.  They’re unstoppable at this time of year, and having Vincent Jackson on the field has only made them better.  Plus, just in time to piss off all of us who were dumb enough to waste a high draft pick on him in fantasy football, rookie running back Ryan Matthews seems to finally be healthy and is starting to a share of action on the field that justifies what the Chargers gave up to get him.
Computer’s Pick: Seattle (+6)
Bet Amount: $5.60 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: This should be another blowout.  Tampa’s postseason hopes are pretty dim at this point, but that doesn’t mean they won’t finish their season with a chip on their shoulder – especially against a team whose playoff hopes are still alive even though they’ll probably end their season with a losing record.  Tampa will be playing for pride here, and against a terrible Seattle team, they should have ample opportunity to vent their frustration.
Computer’s Pick: Minnesota (+14)
Bet Amount: $6.98 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: Another blowout?  I’m not so sure.  The Eagles should win this game handily, but I don’t see any reason why they’ll keep their foot on the gas.  Once they’re up big, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kevin Kolb take over the Eagles offense and slow things down, and the Vikings will manage to cover the spread in garbage time.
Computer’s Pick: New Orleans (+2.5)
Bet Amount: $14.80 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: Two of the best teams in the NFC, locked in a battle for the division title.  Except…the Falcons have already got the division title locked up.  And with a two-game lead over Chicago and Philadelphia for home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, Atlanta isn’t going to be particularly motivated to win this game.  And neither is New Orleans, who is effectively locked into the fifth or sixth seed.  As such, I’m not really sure who to pick here.  I suppose I’ll take the points, and plus it’s always fun to bet on Drew Brees, the nicest guy in the NFL.  After all…he’d bet on you.


W L P Weighted Wins Weighted Picks Weighted Win % W L P Weighted Wins Weighted Picks Weighted Win %
1 9 4 3 1681 1876 89.6% 6 0 2 3692 3692 100.0% $647.02
2 10 5 1 918 1030 89.1% 5 3 486 491 99.0% $206.10
3 13 3 1203 1428 84.2% 5 4 1132 1988 56.9% $184.96
4 8 6 672 891 75.4% 3 4 1343 1832 73.3% $200.21
5 6 5 411 583 70.5% 9 3 974 1477 66.0% $372.58
6 4 7 1 432 559 77.3% 2 3 649 727 89.2% $121.28
7 8 6 666 2401 27.7% 3 4 1792 3924 45.7% -$291.65
8 7 5 507 1000 50.7% 6 2 1526 2876 53.1% $6.96
9 6 6 1 1625 1768 91.9% 5 2 1766 2017 87.6% $462.73
10 8 5 1077 2707 39.8% 3 5 1996 5620 35.5% -$337.12
11 6 10 260 999 26.0% 6 4 921 2577 35.7% -$204.94
12 9 7 354 631 56.1% 6 2 108 734 14.8% -$56.31
13 9 6 1084 2893 37.5% 4 4 2224 6584 33.8% -$431.29
14 10 6 515 642 80.2% 7 2 3395 3398 99.9% $479.91
15 5 11 1 144 798 18.0% 5 3 373 1569 23.8% -$215.00
Total 118 92 7 11548 20205 57.2% 75 45 2 22377 39507 56.6% $1,145.44