I could pick NFL games until the day I die, and I will always be right around the .500 mark — maybe a little better, maybe a little worse — across the entire season. When you look at picking games as a 50-50 proposition — it’s either one team or the other — consistently getting it right would seem to be easier to do more than half the time.
As many of you know, it isn’t.
In fact, the difficulty in picking NFL games can be measured by how so many people lose a fortune at it.
You get games such as Thursday’s in Atlanta, when Drew Brees, one of the best quarterbacks on the planet — one of the best ever — had a game that he’s probably never had before, at any level. Five interceptions. Missed targets he normally could hit in blindfolds. Misread defenses.
All Brees had to do was get the Saints into the end zone one more time for them to cover the 3.5-point number. He didn’t. They lost by 10.
It left me 0-1 heading into the weekend.
And it was reason No. 134,456 why I don’t gamble on sporting events.
Last week I went 7-8-1. My tie was the Houston-Detroit game. I had Detroit getting three. Detroit was comfortably on its way to victory before all heck broke loose and Houston tied it up and won it overtime.
I had Atlanta giving Tampa Bay 1.5. It wasn’t enough that Falcons kicker Matt Bryant missed a 22-yarder as time expired in the first half. He had to miss a 48-yarder with eight seconds left that would have essentially clinched the cover.
I had Seattle giving Miami three. Miami scored 17 points in the last 8:08 to win 24-21.
OK, so I was on the right side of a miracle cover with Baltimore getting by San Diego thanks to Ray Rice’s fourth-and-29 reception that helped set up overtime. So I realize the craziness of NFL games works both ways.
It just seems to work against me much more than for me.
But it’s what makes the challenge of picking the right team so great. It certainly seems to be harder than a 50-50 proposition. NFL life goes on. Best bets, of course, in CAPS.
CHICAGO minus 3 vs. Seattle
Green Bay minus 8 vs. Minnesota
San Francisco minus 7.5 at St. Louis
Jets minus 6 vs. Arizona
Kansas City plus 4 vs. Carolina
Indianapolis plus 6 at Detroit
Jacksonville plus 6 at Buffalo
New England minus 7.5 at Miami
Houston minus 6.5 at Tennessee
Tampa Bay plus 7.5 at Denver
PITTSBURGH plus 7.5 at Baltimore
CLEVELAND minus 2.5 at Oakland
San Diego plus 1 vs. Cincinnati
Dallas minus 10.5 vs. Philadelphia
MNF: Giants minus 3 at Washington
Last week overall: 7-8-1
Last week best bets: 2-1
Season record: 83-89-3
Season best bets: 20-16