Gambling State University: Week Two

He won’t be smiling come Sunday night
Photo Credit: Peter Martorano

If you took my advice in Week One you made money. bottom-line. While you may have wanted to murder shit like Christian Bale in “American Psycho,” you must understand that we are bettors who must strive to be more disciplined than that. Week One is about learning who is who and what is what. Now that we have a better sense of what some of these teams really are, I’m ready to strap on the big boy pants and make some bets that you might not be ready for. The bets I’m about to give you might scare. Don’t worry. You have to remember it’s not about what these teams were last year, it’s about who they are this year. At one point, I would have licked the ass crack of Jessica Simpson (this being in her “Dukes of Hazzard” days), but in 2012 Jessica Simpson’s ass crack is about as appealing as a Mounds bar you got four Halloweens ago. What am I getting at? It’s all about what these teams have done for us lately, so without further ado… let’s get to it.

More after the jump:

The Pick: Baltimore Ravens +1 @PHI
What’s encouraging is that the Eagles last year were one of the worst teams in the league against the spread. This year they are off to an 0-1 start against the spread as they could barely squeak out a win last week against the woeful Browns. Year after year Vegas favors the Philadelphia Eagles and for the life of me I can’t understand why. Michael Vick may be the most overrated quarterback in the league, and last week he proved it by throwing four interceptions in the opener (the first time a quarterback for Philadelphia has done that since 1941). Yes, the Eagles have talented players, but that doesn’t make them a talented team. You know who is a talented team… the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens in their home opener beat the Cincinnati Bengals 44-13 in what was an all-around dominant performance. This week the Ravens travel to Lincoln Financial to take on the Eagles. The Eagles are banged up as both Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson missed practice Thursday. They should figure to play, but you have to like that they won’t be 100 percent.

While the Eagles have a talented defense, the Ravens are just as gifted offensively and know how to execute. Joe Flacco will not only be a Pro Bowl QB this year, but perhaps (keyword being “perhaps”) an MVP candidate. Flacco’s gotten better every year and clearly outplayed Tom Brady in last year’s AFC Championship. In fact, if it weren’t for a Lee Evans dropped pass, it would have been Flacco who played in Super Bowl XLVI, not Brady. Expect the Ravens to feature a balanced attack. This gameplan will include a steady diet of Ray Rice, which should open up the pass game for Anquan Boldin, Dennis Pitta and deep-threat Torrey Smith. The Eagles, on the other hand, won’t have Mike Vick throw the ball 56 times and will most likely run LeSean McCoy more than they did last week as the Bengals had success on the ground versus the Ravens. This is where the Eagles will find success, something that will help them score points, but not enough to beat Baltimore. While everyone knows about Vick’s dog fighting, few know about his herpes lawsuit. In 2006, Michael Vick was accused of knowingly giving a woman herpes. He eventually settled out of court. What you should find amusing is that while Vick reportedly had the STD, he seeked treatment under the name “Ron Mexico.”  What does this have to do with our bet? Nothing. But do you really want to bet on a man who seeks herpes treatment under the alias “Ron Mexico?” I don’t. Take the Ravens who are the much better team in this one, and thank “Ron Mexico” for the money you’ll make.
The Prediction: Ravens 27, Eagles 20
The Bet: $200

The Pick: Cincinnati Bengals -7 vs. CLE
Listen, folks I have drunk women to fondle at a wedding in the very near future so I won’t be able to elaborate too much on these next picks. Two things here. Last week’s game between the Bengals and Ravens didn’t tell me that the Bengals were that bad; it told me that the Ravens were that good. Look for the Bengals to rebound in their home opener in the battle for Ohio (as well as a pivotal divisional matchup). If BenJarvus Green-Ellis had success against a stingy Ravens run defense (second against the run last year), he’ll find holes against the Browns defense like I will at the wedding reception. Andy Dalton and AJ Green should be able to stretch the field vertically as the Browns are without stud cornernback Joe Haden (suspended for not clearing his prescription medication Adderall with the league). Look for the Bengals defense, a group that was solid last year, to give rookie Brandon Weeden his fair share of troubles. Trent Richardson will get his carries and his yards, but nothing that should deter you from taking this bet. Redemption is the key word in this matchup, and I look for the Bengals to redeem themselves here.
The Prediction: Bengals 31, Browns 14
The Bet: $200

The Pick: San Francisco 49ers -7 vs. DET
With the way the 49ers man-handled the Packers last week, you have to consider them the best team in the league. The Lions looked virtually inept against a Rams squad that shouldn’t be that impressive this year. The 49ers get not only a Sunday night game in front of a national audience, but they get their first game at home in Week Two. Both are factors which play into San Francisco’s hands. The 49ers are the most physical team in the league, and this week they get to prove it against a physical front four in the Lions. It is said that the Lions are too aggressive in their pass blitz, something which should hurt them when the 49ers counter with their potent rushing attack. Right now, San Fran has a plethora of weapons, many of which were on display against the Pack. Most experts would say their weapons will be too many for a banged up Lions secondary to stop.

Something that should be of note here is that the 49ers are aces at maintaining leads. Between having the best defense in the league, one of the best running games in the league, and a quarterback who has only thrown five interceptions in his last 19 games, when the 49ers get a lead, they do not relinquish it. Look for their defense to give Matt Stafford all he can handle and more. When Stafford finds himself forcing the ball to Calvin Johnson, mark my words, it will lead to interceptions. And interceptions will lead to points. This game will not be as close as people think. Look for the 49ers to make another statement.
The Predicition: 49ers 27, Lions 13
The Bet: $200


About Starbonell

Starbonell is the co-founder of Sons of Roto and one of the most insightful and colorful fantasy analysts in the game. Mixing intelligent and well-researched advice with an entertaining style of writing that is easy to digest, Starbonell is the king of info-tainment.