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2017 Fishy Five Week 1

I lived a decade if I lived a day in college.  I studied hard, and played hard and partied harder.

 

I discovered the best pickup move early in my college career.  At parties, I would introduce myself to a group of girls, and explain to them that I had a unique gift of being able to guess how old they were by feeling their boobs.

 

Most girls would laugh at me for the idiot I was (and probably still am).  However, my friends and I would try to convince them that I had this great gift.  You would be shocked at how many girls would actually take me up on the challenge after they had pre-gamed on a bottle of Boone’s Farm…

 

So more times than you could imagine I would get to cop a feel on a girl, and then I would guess her age.  Of course, her age had to be between 18-22 because she was at a college party, and it was pretty easy narrow it down.  And if I was wrong, who cares?  I was still a winner.  Great memories…

 

The Fishy Five is a lot like that. Don’t be fooled into thinking we have a great gift.  We are here to have fun, share some stories, and try to pick some winners.  And if we are wrong, we are still going to have a great time.

 

The fact is, there is no secret to sports betting.  Our goal is to try to tilt the scales a few percentage points in our favor.  We do that by siding with Vegas since those bastards always win.  We do that by looking for situations where teams may come out hot or may come out flat.  And we do that by not being reckless with our bankroll.

 

I really appreciate you following the Fishy Five, and I can’t tell you how much I enjoy the conversations many of us have every week on games.

 

Here’s to a great season of picking stinky dogs and hopefully feeling some boobies.

 

Before the picks though – I need to make another plug to move some merchandise.

 

I have 10% off on all shirts using the coupon code BOOK right now at my store.

 

With that code you get 10% off a shirt – AND A FREE COPY OF MY BOOK.  The shirts retail for $20, and the book is $15.  I am selling both for $18 if you use this code until Sunday.  Buy more than one shirt, get more than one book.

 

So you will get $35 bucks of Fishy Five merch for the cost of a pizza, and you will get a friend (me) for life.   Click here to check them out:

 

Fishy Five Store

 

Week 1 Picks:

 

NM State +22.5 @ Arizona State

 

Let’s not kid ourselves – NM State is the suck.  They win like 2 games a year.  However, there are some sneaky things in play here.

 

They have a good QB and potentially stud RB.  They return most of their OL.  They don’t really think about playing defense, but they do get 9 starters aNew Shirts.jpgck on that side of the ball.

 

And they play Arizona State who I think is a team in big trouble this year.  I love the Sparkies, and wear my Herb Sendek shirt as often as I can even though it has a huge hole in the arm pit.  This is a team with deep rooted problems that will be exposed as the season plays out…

 

Of course, they will be on a high Thursday because it is Pat Tillman night and we all respect the hell out of that man.  But that won’t even save them from a sinister back door cover since ASU plays no pass defense.

 

There is some great reverse line movement in this game, and I love that we are still getting more than 3 TDs.

 

Navy -9.5 @ Florida Atlantic

 

I don’t admire a lot of men, but I do admire Lane Kiffin.  They guy landed several high profile gigs and left each one of them a dumpster fire.  He married way up, even though he managed to mess that up too.  And he put out the greatest hype video in the history of college football this summer.  If you missed it – youtube it real quick.  I will wait.

 

His FAU team is getting a lot of love for hiring Lane and Art Briles’ kid.  So much love that the line opened at 14.5 and has been bet down to 9.5.

 

That is wayyyyy too much movement.  The pub has fallen in love with the story, and not with reality.

 

FAU has major defensive liabilities – especially on their front 7.  That is not what you want to happen when playing Navy.

 

Here is how this will play out.  FAU will try to run and gun.  There will be a lot of quick possessions and 3 and outs.  Navy will then hold the ball for 10 minutes going for it on 4th and 1 like seventeen times.  Eventually, this lousy FAU defense will be gassed, and Navy will gouge them with big play after big play.  That spells blowout city.

 

But this isn’t just about FAU – it’s also about Navy.  They just win.  They are 64% ATS the last four years.  They win 9 or 10 every year.  They are returning 8 starters on D, including ¾ of their secondary.  You know they will be disciplined and prepared for whatever FAU throws at them.

 

I love Navy here in a laugher…

 

Eastern Michigan -14 vs Charlotte

 

Fun fact 1 – I built Charlotte’s football stadium a few years ago.  Fun fact 2 – Charlotte sucks at football.

 

Last year, EMU beat Charlotte 37-19 in the house that Hags built.

 

This year, EMU is at home and returns just about the entire team.  Charlotte will be breaking in a new QB and lost their stud DT.  Charlotte was atrocious on D last year and should be worse this year.

 

EMU will score early and often.  They win this one comfortably.

 

Troy +10.5 @ Boise

 

Who in their right mind bets against Boise on the blue turf?  Those of us that love fishy lines do.

 

I love Troy this season.  They are coming off a 10 win season, and have all key components to that team coming back.  They are especially good on offense.  Stud QB returning for his senior year.  Quality recievers and RBs.  OL that was incredible last year.

 

On D they only gave up 22 points a game last year, and should be just as good this year.  This is a quality team.

 

Boise on the other hand also had a 10 win season. They return a quality QB, but lost their top WR and RB this offseason.  They also are suspect on the OL.  On D their front will be solid, but they replace all starters at LB and the secondary was not very good last year.  They also start freshman at the kicking positions, which could spell trouble.

 

At the end of the day you don’t get value betting teams like Boise.  They have been public for a while.  They went 4-9 last year ATS.  They are 2-10 ATS their last two seasons as home faves – which takes a little shine off the smurf turf.

 

There is some great reverse line movement on Troy, and we are still on the right side of a key number.  Love Troy here.

 

UF +5 vs Michigan

 

Gulp.

 

I guess I had to pick a game that you guys will actually watch.

 

Here are my thoughts:

 

Michigan is obviously very good.  They are well-coached and always get top talent (except my buddy Greg).  However, they are replacing EVERYONE except the QB.  They literally only have one starter returning on defense.

 

And don’t forget that they shit their pants down the stretch last year losing three of their final four games.  They had big time trouble with Florida State’s speed in the bowl game, and you have to worry if the same thing will play out vs another Florida team.

 

Florida has questions without a doubt.  They lost a lot of talent on D – especially in the secondary.  That D carried them the past two years to SEC – East titles.

 

Here is my angle though:  Florida has won a lot of games the past two years while being completely inept on offense.  There is optimism that the offense will improve this season.  Maybe it will, maybe it won’t.  But I love taking my chances on the unknown with a coach who proves he can win ugly – especially when that coach is cocky enough boast how they are going to win in his pregame interviews.

 

We are catching a lot of points here in what will probably be a low scoring affair between two defensively minded teams.  It wouldn’t surprise me one bit when Florida wins this SU.

 

There you go.  That should be a strong start to the season.  Don’t forget to tip your waiter and pick up a shirt or three.

 

Pat

 

Fishy Five 2016 Picks

2016 Season Recap:

The Fishy Five finished the 2016 season at 50-56-5 on the year for 47.2%.

It was an odd year.

There were seven straight weeks in the middle of the season where Vegas got killed.  In fact, Vegas got killed in nine of eleven weeks during that stretch.  Favorites and public plays were covering at an unprecedented clip, all the way to the Super Bowl.  As sharps and pros a frequently on the other side of the public, they got killed too.  There is no doubt that this was the Year of the Square.

While that is 100% true, it is foolish not to analyze and learn from our losses.  After a lot of careful study, here are some of the lessons I learned from this year:

  • I’m a College Guy

I was 57% on college sides this season, and 41% in the NFL.  That makes sense to me.  I like to make plays based on situational advantages.  Those advantages seem to be stronger with college kids as they are more emotional.  It also makes sense as I look to fade the public, and the public killed it in the NFL.  As a result, I was turned into road kill with my NFL plays.

  • Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you.  Fool me for months, and I’m a damn fool.

I was 3-15 in games involving New England, Dallas and Denver this year.  Those three teams killed my season.

With New England, I could not believe a team with a bunch of midget, white receivers and missing their 2nd best player (Gronk) could cover every week.  That was a very expensive lesson.  I’m glad I avoided fading them in the Super Bowl.  It took every ounce of strength to not pound Atlanta…

With Dallas and Denver, I could not believe they could cover every week with such inexperienced and young QBs.  That would eventually be true, but I was long off that train by the time it was profitable.

The lesson here is to stay away from fading the hot team.  There is no need to get cute and try to outsmart everyone.  Just stay the hell away…

  • Never Underestimate Coaching

In Week 14 Atlanta was -3.5 vs KC at home.  Atlanta was thoroughly out-coached in that game.  ATL should have won by double digits.  The turning point in the game was a brilliantly executed fake punt by KC.  Atlanta was the better team, but did not have the better coach.

Fast forward to the Super Bowl.  The exact same scenario played out.  Atlanta was better and more talented than New England.  It showed for most of the game.  But when it was time for coaching to win the game, Atlanta choked like Lee Westwood on a Sunday at Augusta.

Coaching can always make up for inferior talent.  Avoid fading the better coach…

  • I’m a Beast During Bowl Season

I was 60% this year during bowl season.  I was 73% when picking sides, but only 1-3 when picking totals.

However, there was a lot of bad luck involved there.  Four of my bowl losses were directly due to the starting QB being knocked out of the game.  While I will take 60% any year, we actually should have won a few more games.

I think the strength of bowl season comes down to sticking to the Bowl Game Rules I describe in my book:

Always look to fade teams that just lost their coach (Temple and USF).

Look to fade teams that lack motivation (Louisville and Michigan).

Look to play teams that are excited about the game (Miami and LSU).

  • Speed is a Difference Maker

People try to complicate things, but often it doesn’t need to be complicated.  Fast people are better at football than slow people.

Look at FSU and Michigan in the bowl game.  While it was a close game, anyone who watched it saw the team with the superior athletes was getting a TD.  While Michigan made it interesting at the end, the cover was never in doubt.

This was especially true in some of my losses this season.  Some examples:

Marshall + a zillion vs Louisville

BC +17 vs Clemson

SC +24 vs Clemson

Be very careful when fading a team that can just overwhelm an opponent with speed and athletic ability.  It doesn’t take much finesse to run a go route.  A receiver who runs a 4.4 will always beat a corner that runs a 4.6.  This is how blowouts happen, and the favorite can cover any number in this scenario.

  • Focus

I did not spend as much time handicapping games this year as I had in the past.  To be honest, by the time football season started I was spent.

I had written and published my book which is a shit-ton of work.  I had developed a site, and was trying to sell T-shirts.  It took a lot to get the Fishy Five off the ground, and I didn’t spend as much time as I probably needed to handicapping games.

I am going to approach this off-season smarter.  I am going to step away for a month or two to take a break.  I took make sure the batteries are completely recharged before next season.  There is no substitute for hard work, and there are definitely no short-cuts in the betting game…

  • I will Stay True to My Roots

It was a tough year without a doubt.  There are some facts that always, ALWAYS hold true over the long run.  They are the house always wins, and the public always loses.

The public got the best of Vegas this year.  65% of favorites won when favored by 6 or more points.  That is the highest percentage of big faves covering in over 25 years.

Hell, if you would have bet the two most popular NFL teams (Dallas and New England) and faded the three shittiest teams (SF, Cle and LA) you would have won 74% of your games.

For context, the winner of the Las Vegas Supercontest ‘only’ won 66% of his games to win almost $900k.

This year was an anomaly.  If you don’t believe it; be prepared to get your teeth kicked in next season.

As for me, I am not going to change my strategy.  I may tweak it a bit, but if you always look to tail the best teams and look to fade the worst you will lose a lot of money.

I am going to continue to look for plays that provide situational value.  That is how you win long term, even if it doesn’t work out for a season.

I appreciate you being along for the ride this year.  I have some really exciting things in the works for next season.  I can’t wait to share them with you.

Week 1:

You know what I love?

I love guys who dive into first base.  I love the wedge-buster on kickoffs.  I love guys like Corey Pavin and Lenny Dykstra.  I love Rudy.   Hell, I even love male cheerleaders who have absolutely have no shame in their quest to grab a handful of heinie…

I like grit.  I like hustle.   I like guys who know they are underdogs, but they savor the challenge.  These types of guys don’t understand how they can possibly lose.

And those are my types of guys – the types of guys who win girls like Destiny.

You newbies to the Fishy Five may be asking yourself “Who is Destiny”?

Quite simply, she is the goddess of underdogs.  Think of her as the slutty sister of Lady Luck.  She is the reward for a 5-0 week by having the faith to stick to our contrarian principles.  May she look over us, and guide us through another degenerate journey.

Thanks for joining us for another year of debauchery.  Here’s to another profitable season!

Now the picks:

App State +20.5 @ Tennessee

I dated a girl from App State in college.  She was mean.  I’m talking Bill Romanowski on his period mean.  Those App State folks are hardened by the harsh weather and excessive use of street drugs.  But truth be told; they aren’t half bad at football.  Everyone remembers the win in the Big House, but recall they were a D2 power before moving to the Sun Belt (tallest midgets but whatever).  They were 11-2 last year, and are getting 15 starters back from that team including 9 on defense.  This year’s team is poised to win the Sun Belt.  I love fading a team like Tennessee.  Everyone has been all over their nuts all summer.  Sure they have 17 starters back, and won their last 6 to end last year.  However, their last 6 wins were all against cream puffs and they lost to every good team they faced last year.   Tennessee has a lot going against them in this game.  First, they are hyped beyond belief.  Dark horse SEC contender?  Gimme a friggin break.  Second, they are in a classic look-ahead spot with their game vs VT at Bristol in Week 2.  Third, the line has dropped from 22.5 to 20.5, despite 71% of the public on Tennessee. Follow the smart money on this one and take the tree-huggers.

BC +3.5 vs GT

Wait a damn minute.  BC sucks donkey balls.  They did not win a single conference game last year.  Hell, they didn’t even win a conference game in basketball.  And sure, GT was down a bit last year, but they field a good team year in and year out.  I would have expected GT to be a favorite of 7+.  Let’s dig into it a little deeper though.  BC was a train wreck on offense last year.  They played 4 different QBs due to injury, and had a very young OL.  Those growing pains will pay dividends this year.  And you may not realize it, but BC had the #1 defense in the country last year.  They only lost to FSU 14-0, Clemson 34-17 and ND 19-16.  The point is they have the defensive talent to play with anyone.  If the offense does anything at all, then they can be very competitive.  And don’t forget that GT lost 8 or their last 9 to end 2015 to finish at 3-9.  They have big problems on the OL, and their D is still very pedestrian.  Remember that this game is in Ireland and will feel like an early, 7:30 AM game for these east coast teams.  I think that will lead to a low-scoring affair.  I love that I am getting the hook in this game and that the public is pounding GT.  I say BC wins straight up.

Auby +7 vs Clemson

I just can’t help myself.  I am a WarEagle-aholic.  The Fishy Five goes like 70% last year if I eliminate all the Auburn losses.  But let me tell you a little something about Auburn football.  They suck balls when a lot is expected out of them, but they are great when they are expected to be average.  And you know the public is all over Clemson this year.  They remember the national championship game, when Clemson went toe to toe with Alabama.  It was an impressive performance for sure.  Don’t forget about how they ended last season though.   The University of Argyle Sweatervests (UNC)  scored at will on them.  They struggled with South Carolina.  They didn’t demolish a weak Wake Forest team.  They were losing to Syracuse in the 2nd half before pulling away late.   And they lose 7 defensive starters off that team.   I love that we are getting a wounded home dog in this one.  Auby isn’t an easy place to play.  I love that we are getting a TD plus the hook.  I love that 37% of the public is on Clemson.  I love that Gus’ wife is batshit crazy.  It wouldn’t shock me at all if Toomer’s corner gets rolled Saturday night, and my boy Jimbo will be leading the calvery.

Vandy  -3.5 vs USC

Holy hell.  Vandy is a favorite in a SEC conference game? If this one smells fishy, it is because it definitely is.  Here is the deal on this one.  Vandy ain’t half bad.  They can run the ball and play defense.  That will win you a lot of games.  And this IS your daddy’s South Carolina team.  They have little talent on defense, and even less talent on offense.  They also have a coach who has not proven he can win at the major college level.  The line is moving away from Vandy, despite the public being all over the Cocks.  The smart money knows the USC is going to be a mess this year.   The rest of the world will know it when Vandy opens up a can on them.  Vandy will win this one by double digits.

K State +16 @ Stanford – 65% on Stanford

I love how Stanford plays.  They win by playing big boy football, which means controlling the trenches and playing fundamentally sound.  It isn’t often that I like making a play against a team like that.  However, there is no coach who gets more out of players than Bill Synder.  For those of you who don’t want to watch the game, here is how it will play out:   KSU will stack the box on defense, daring Stanford to throw the ball.  The front 7 is a KSU strength, and Stanford is rebuilding their OL, WRs and have a new QB.  As such, this will struggle to score points throwing the ball.  They won’t be able to run it due to 8 being in the box.  I just don’t see how Stanford can score enough points to overcome such a huge spread.  This one will be a lot closer than most people expect, with Stanford scoring late to make it a 10 point game or so.  Take K State here.

Week 2:

The Fishy Five went 3-1-1 this weekend – a very solid start to the season.

App State, K State and Auburn played out exactly like we predicted.  Hell, even the Vandy and BC games went as we had hoped until the final minutes.  3-2 is the goal – and anything better than that is gravy…

It was a great weekend on a personal level as well.

Every time my wife gave me shit about watching too much football, I got to yell back to her that I am working.  After all, I am an Amazon Bestselling Author in the sports gambling genre.  To be dedicated to my craft, I must spend all weekend watching football:  kids, personal hygiene and honey-do list be damned…

However, before we all get too excited about a single, solid weekend – I want to share a story.

Cuz of stinky dog fame is getting married next month (I know – getting married during football season?  WTF?!?!?).  My pregnant wife needs a dress, so she decides to go to The Gap because evidently that is where they sell dresses for pregnant chicks.

She is looking forward to a night on the town, and she is excited about buying a dress for the occasion.  She attempts to go to gap.com, but in her excitement she enters fap.com.

She was greeted by enough styles of sausage at fap.com to make Hillshire Farms blush, and enough bush to make the Dixie Chicks relevant again.  Evidently, Southern Baptist girls don’t frequent those types of sites, and my innocent wife was traumatized by what she saw.

And of course, her fat-fingered mistake F’d up my computer.  Every time I go to covers.com to check the lines I get a pop-up screen asking me if I want to meet horny singles in Raleighwood.  Good times.

The point here is not to get too high, and not to get too low.  One minute you are smarter than 80% of the betting public because you nailed the Auburn game.  An added bonus was Musburger calling it and telling us that “Luck Be a Lady Tonight.”  The next minute your wife is looking at hardcore porn on your laptop.

Remember our goal is to go 3-2.  We do that by sticking to our principals and staying disciplined.

People have formed a lot of opinions due to what they saw in week 1.  Don’t forget that it is just one week and public opinion is too easily influenced by such a small sample size.  That gives us a great opportunity find value in week 2.

Here are picks with great value:

Wash State +12 at Boise State

Buy low, sell high.  Wash State lost to 1AA Eastern Washington.  Boise pummeled ULL.  70%+ are on Boise.  Here is the thing, pretty much the same scenario played out last year.  Wash State lost to Portland State in the opener, then rattled off five wins in their next six games including beating Oregon.  They have one of the best offenses in the country, and definitely one of the most experienced.  And while Boise is good, they are replacing seven starters on defense.  Breaking in that many newbies vs a Mike Leach offense is a pretty tall task.  They also lost their Offense Coordinator to NC State, and that guy is probably going to win a conference title in Raleigh (or at least bring us back to respectful).  I think Wash State plays with a chip on their shoulder this week after the embarrassment of last week.  We know they will score a lot like they are on fap.com.  I say they win straight up on the blue turf.

UMASS +17 vs BC

We are going to make money on BC this year – just not this game.  Since they were the only game on TV Saturday morning, everyone saw that they were improved.  What no one saw was that UMASS isn’t bad either.  They hung toe-to-toe with Florida, and were only down by 3 heading into the 4th quarter.  They held Florida to just 24 points.   They were competitive in several high profile games last year (ND & Temple) before falling late.  If they can play that type of defense vs BC, then BC’s brutal offense has no way of scoring enough to cover 17.  Note that BC will be traveling back from Ireland making this a tough preparation week.  Also, this game is one that is circled for UMASS due to the local rivalry.  I think it will mean a hell of a lot more to UMASS and they will give their best effort.  This one should be low scoring making 17 very difficult to cover.

ODU +20.5 at App State

Gulp… Here we go.  Everyone saw that App State can play vs Tennessee.  If they don’t go full moron with a minute to go, they pull the upset straight up.  App State showed everyone they are good.  That being said, this is a TERRIBLE spot for them.  They nearly pull off the monumental upset in Knoxville, then return home to face lowly Old Dominion before hosting Miami next weekend.  That Miami game will be the biggest home game in App State history.  So it is the classic letdown AND look-ahead spot for App State.  But what about ODU?  They won their tune-up game vs Hampton in convincing fashion last week.  They return 17 starters and are one of the most experienced teams in the country.  And they are getting almost three touchdowns.  This one scares the hell out of me, which tells me it is the right play.  Fade the hippies here…

SD +7 at KC

Andy Reid and Phillip Rivers are two guys I know well.  Both guys gave me great memories – 4th and forever to Fredex vs Green Bay!  Thumping Notre Dame in Gator Bowl!  And both gave me incredible lows.  We are Never Going to Win with Andy Reid.   Multiple QB sneaks inside the 5 with the game on the line at Ohio State???  Point being – I know these two cats.  Here is the deal – Andy Sucks to open the season.  I think the heat bothers fat people more than regular sized people, so it is understandable.  Remember he did open the season 1-5 last year.  And while Rivers has some bitch-like tendencies, that guy hates to lose.   You know 4-12 did not sit well with him last year, and when he wasn’t making babies he was preparing for a comeback season.  Remember that SD was crippled by injury last year.  They will be better just due the fact they are healthy again.  They also added talent on both sides of the ball with a very active off-season.  KC was over the cap, and really didn’t do much this offseason.  They also didn’t have a first round draft pick.  They will also be without two key players due to injury – Justin Houston and Jamaal Charles.  San Diego is 3-1 in the last 4 ATS at Arrowhead.  They probably won’t win, but they will definitely keep it close.

NYG pk @ Dallas

Bill Belicheck is a wise old bastard.  He was asked this preseason to compare a preseason game to a regular season game.  He looked at the reporter like he was crazy and bluntly explained that they were not even close to the same thing.  The game prep is different.  The sophistication of the plays, coverages and blitzes are different.  It is essentially checkers and chess.   What does The Hoodie have to do with this game?  Very easy – Dak Prescott is going to be exposed as a raw, raw rookie in a big way Sunday.  Everyone has been lauding this kid for a great preseason.  And the thing about that is it doesn’t mean jack shit.  NY split with Dallas last year, winning by 7 and losing by 1.  They will stack the line and force the rook QB to beat them.  I don’t see it happening.  G Men win this one straight up.

Week 3:

The Fishy Five went 3-2 last weekend.  We are 6-3-1 on the year for 66% (we don’t round up around here).

While those are pretty numbers, this weekend wasn’t without stress.

UMass and ODU both choked away their covers late in the 4th quarter.  This made me 0-2 to start the weekend – white knuckle time for sure.  It reminded me of my boy’s second day of kindergarten…

Due to poor scheduling by his mother, my boy had a doctor’s appointment on his 2nd day of school.  I ended up taking him in late.  After signing him in, he starts walking to class.

Suddenly, he stops, turns around and starts running back to me.  He tells me he pooped his pants.  I’m pretty sure the kid got too aggressive with a fart.  The apple doesn’t far too far from the tree I’m afraid…

So I get him to the closest bathroom to help him clean up.  He drops his britches, and he isn’t wearing any underwear.  That is his mother’s favorite move.

Fortunately he didn’t get any shit on his clothes.  I wipe him up, and he free-balls it to class without a care in the world.  The crisis was averted.

And that is exactly how this weekend felt for me.

I’m 0-2 with three scary picks to go.  I wrote a book and created a website because I’m such a ‘freaking expert’ at picking games.  How arrogant can someone possibly be???  And now here we are, in the second day of school, and I’ve done shit my pants.

Ahhh – but there is beauty in this world.  Like my boy, I may have had a little anal leakage, but I’m still free-balling it and confident as ever.

And that is when Wazzu shows up, and covers easily.  Then SD chokes away a big lead (something Rivers learned at NC State), but didn’t choke away the cover.  When NY squeaked out a win we suddenly were 3-2 and all is right in the world.

Two winning weeks in a row is a great start to the season.  Looking forward to making it three in a row.  On to week 3…

Cincy +8 vs Houston

This scares the hell out of me.  After all, in their last two real games, Houston dominated both Oklahoma and FSU.  They are #6 in the country.  The talk of the football world is they are going to go undefeated, crack the final 4 and then join the Big 12.  This program couldn’t be any higher right now.  And that is exactly when you go against them.  Some notes – Ward will play but is banged up.  So is their starting RB.  They have to travel to Cincy, who is good at defending their home turf (5-1 last year at home).  Cincy also is familiar with Houston, having lost to them by only 3 last year in Houston.  The Cincy D gave Houston fits and actually dominated them on the stat sheet.  Cincy’s new QB has played well, and this one is going to be a track meet.  Don’t forget that Tommy Tubb’s is no stranger to big games.  The public is pounding Houston, but remember that the dogs bark loud on Thursday nights.  Gimme Cincy and the points.

NC State -21.5 vs ODU

In my book I write an entire chapter on sucker plays.  One of them is betting on your own team.  I am breaking that rule with this play, so no way in hell will the Wolfies cover.  I don’t care – I’m still playing it.  Here is the deal, NC State lost to ECU because that is what we do.  We cannot handle adversity and are weak mentally.  However, we can pummel the sisters of the poor.   Last year we beat Troy by 28, E KY by 35, ODU by 28 and S Bama by 50.  In game 1 this year we beat W&M by 34.  Why do we beat the hell out of scrubs?  Because we actually have a very good stable of RBs.  When it is time to grind a game out, our guys are looking to earn PT.  And we also have a semi QB battle on our hands.  The backup is looking to impress, and you do that by scoring.  We also have a very stout front 7.  It is the secondary that blows, but that won’t matter because ODU can’t pass the ball.  They essentially got shut out by App State.  Add in the fact that ODU refuses to kick a FG (they went for it on 4th down like 7 times vs App) and that equals less cheap points.  State wins this one by 28+ as the coaching staff knows the locals are restless after an embarrassing loss to ECU.

Southern Cal +9.5 @ Stanford

Hey – did you see Bama open up a can of whoop-ass on USC in week 1?  I know you did, everyone in the country did.  Do you also remember that Stanford pasted USC twice last year?  Yeah, I remember that too.  Do you remember who Stanford beat last weekend?  That’s right, they had an odd week 2 bye which is the last thing they needed after a lackluster performance vs Kansas State.  So here is the deal – we are getting big value because everyone assumes USC isn’t that good because they got drilled by Bama.  Lots of teams get creamed by Bama.  Not only do I think that gives us a lot of value due to public perception, it also gives USC a lot of motivation in what has become a redemption game for them.  Remember that they have 5 star talent all over the field, and they blew out a decent Utah State team last weekend.  Stanford will have the same issues they had in week 1.  They have a new starter at QB who could have benefitted from a week 2 game before this marquee matchup.  K State gave USC the blueprint on how to slow down Stanford, as Stanford only scored 9 points in their second half game.  I just see 9.5 being wayyyyy too many points in this spot.  It would not surprise me if USC won, and it would shock me if they didn’t keep it close.

Miami +7 @ New England

Betting against Belichick is rarely a good idea.  This is one of those rare instances though.  The media is all over Garoppolo’s nuts after beating Arizona.  He played a great game for sure, but there was a reason the game closed with NE a 9.5 point dog vs AZ.  Garoppolo was making his first career start, now he is making his second career start.  Gronk was out.  Ninkovich was out.  Three starting OL were out.  This is a depleted team.  Even if some of those guys are back, they still won’t be 100%.  And now they are facing Miami who is going to be tough on defense this year.  Their front 4 is very good, and gave Seattle fits all day.  That DL vs an injury-riddled OL and essentially a rookie QB is a match made in heaven.  And while Miami only scored 10 points vs Seattle, they did drop a sure-fire TD, miss a FG and went for it on 4th and inches and got stuffed.  That is at least 13 points they left on the board, which would have made their offensive output respectable.  I really like Miami here – I think they win this one straight up.

Indy +6 @ Denver

This is a bad spot for Denver.  It is a letdown spot after the big win on opening night with the world watching them get the upset.  They played with a chip on their shoulder as they did not believe they should have been underdogs.  It is also a bad spot because of all the distractions.  Everyone has been listening for a week about how dirty Denver is.  You know the officials have heard it too.  And if you google ‘Denver Broncos’ all you see are articles about their dope LB who refuses to stand for the national anthem.  Distractions are not good for a football team, especially when you have Andrew Luck coming to town.  Also, while you have to give credit to Denver for winning it all last year, this isn’t a team that blows people out.  Only 2 regular season games last year were won by more than a TD, and those happened in Week 8 and Week 3.  They play a lot of close, grind-it-out types of games.  Denver will have problems scoring this year, as their QB will get exposed for who he is – a below average player from Northwestern.  I’m not sure who will win, but I know Indy will score points.  Give me the better offense and 6 all day…

Week 4:

The Fishy Five went 1-3-1 last weekend.  We are 7-6-1 on the year for 53%.  Just complete shit.

Let’s review what happened last week:

The Wolfpack are who we thought they were, and can beat scrubs.  Laa dee freaking da.  At least that kept us from going O’fer.

Cincy looked like a solid cover, until throwing three picks in the last 8 minutes of the game including two pick sixes.  F’n losers.

Andrew Luck was in the same situation, except he decided show variety and gave up a pick six and fumble TD in the 4th.  The last one with a minute left was especially brutal as it ruined the push in spectacular, moose-like fashion.

USC sucks.  I was wrong on that one.  Got lucky as hell on Miami to save a push.  Brutal, brutal week.

I remember the last time I felt this pissed off and confused.

I was in Officer Training School for the Air Force.  To get a picture of what I was going through, imagine boot camp without the rudeness.

You get pretty brainwashed in the twelve week program, so the last weekend they let you leave base on a Saturday night in hopes that you will get a little more normal when they release you to the wild.

My group of buddies and I decided to join a group of girls for a night at a bar.  The girls were also in our program.

I had become friends with Janet during our program.  Janet was built like Kirby Puckett, but was fun to talk to.  Quick point – she was married and had three kids back home.

So anyway, we are getting to the sloppy point of the night, and my hand is resting on the bar as I’m talking to a buddy.  Janet shows up and lays her head on the bar right next to my hand.  I recall thinking that that was pretty disgusting, but whatever.

Then she nudges her head closer to my hand, and starts sucking on my finger.

I jump back startled.  She stands up straight, looks me dead in the eye and says: “I’m really good at that.”

I ran off to the bathroom squealing like a 13 year-old girl at a Bieber concert.  I needed a safe place.

After much coaxing, the boys talk me out of the bathroom and assured me everything is going to be cool and that Janet feels really bad about the whole thing.

So I stumble out, and Janet comes over.  She says she is sorry.  I tell her no big deal, I’m happy that the whole ordeal is over.

She says she has to whisper something in my ear.  But instead of whispering, she jams her tongue so deep in my ear I think she licked my eye ball.

Then she walked away, triumphantly wiggling her giant rear-end as she left…

That night I was scared, confused, drunk and had temporary hearing loss.  That is exactly how I feel right now.

But I bounced back from that debacle, and I sure-as-hell will bounce back from this one.

Thinking critically about the week, we made sound decisions even though they didn’t turn out like we wanted.  We beat the line in every game we bet last week.

Cincy – we had +8; line close at +7.5

NC State – we had -21.5; line close at -24.5

USC – we had +9.5; line close at +7.5

Miami – we had +7; line close at +5.5

Indy – we had +6; line close at +5

We beat the closing line by 8 points – and that is pretty damn solid.

If we can keep doing that, we will make a lot of money this year.

On to Week 4:

Marshall +25.5 vs Louisville

I don’t know jack-shit about Marshall football, except that they are going to cover this weekend.  This game has it all.  Questionable line – why is Marshall only a 25.5 dog when they lost to the mighty Akron Zips by 27 last weekend at home?  Surely Louisville is better than Akron right?  It’s a letdown game for Louisville after the big win vs FSU.  It is a look-ahead spot for Louisville as they have Clemson next week.  The media is all over Louisville and their QB, which means to fade, fade, fade.  The best thing about this one is it is a night, and crazy shit happens in West Virginia at night.  Gimme the fighting Randy Moss’ and a ton of points at home.  That should be straight cash homie…

Vandy +7.5 @ West Kentucky

Hold on a damn minute.  An SEC team is more than a TD dog vs a directional school?  We are buying low with Vandy as they have been a huge disappointment so far.  They got beat by a pathetic USC team, and then severely out-coached at GT.  But there is talent on this team, and they have a coaching staff fighting for their jobs.  They know they have to win here before the long conference season starts.  Western Kentucky is a mess health wise.  They are probably going to miss five starters in this game due to injury.  Hell, they only beat Miami of Ohio by 7.  Vandy rights this ship in this one, and wins straight up.

Syracuse +4 @ UCONN

You know when you go to the gym, and you are benching 225 and feeling good?  The chicks in yoga pants are checking you out while they do their squats.  The guys doing curls nod approvingly.  Then, you drop a plate and go down to 135lbs to burn out.  You can knock out about a zillion of them.  The weight feels like nothing at all after 225. And that is exactly what we have in this game.  Syracuse has played Louisville and USF the last two games.  Two damn good squads and they got pasted by both.  Now they to face UCONN, who needed a missed FG to squeak past UVA (who blows), lost to Navy, and barely beat Maine (who I am sure blows).  UCONN’s QB is a transfer from NC State, and the kid sucks.  Think of a poor man’s NFL Tebow.  UCONN’s O struggles to score points, and has issues with turnovers.  Syracuse needs a win in the worst way with the new coaching staff.  They have a fun offense and can score points in a hurry.  They have too-much fire power in this one, and win the game straight up.

Houston -2.5 @ New England

New England is playing a rookie, 3rd string QB on a short week.  I know this rookie very well, as he went to NC State the last two years.  While he is a great kid, he has terrible field vision.  It was very common sight to have a WR streaking to the EZ wide-ass open and have Brissett check down to a RB in the flat.  I was shocked that he was drafted so high.  ESPN and every radio show out there is touting that Belichik can win with anyone, and that simply isn’t true.  Don’t forget that New England is still banged up.  Also, Houston may be the most underrated team in the NFL.  They beat a very good KC team and are 2-0 on the season.  They were very good the second half of last season, proving that their hot start isn’t a fluke.  Their D is awesome, and they have great skill position players to go along with their new QB.  O’Brian is a hoodie disciple, so will be very familiar with what he is going up against.  Houston is going to want to show the world how good they are on national TV, and they will.  We are getting a good number here at under a FG.  Take it before it moves up…

Cincinnati -3 vs Denver

I am starting to become a member of the Broncos hater club.  Their QB is shit.  They make their living off of turnovers, and that is not sustainable.  Their D scored 14 points in the 4th quarter vs Indy.  They lose without those points.  While the D is good, they did lose Ware for the season.  And now they start what is essentially a rookie QB on the road in one of the toughest places to play.  Cincy is super sweet at home unless it is playoff time.  This will be Denver’s first roadie after two games at home.  Always fade a QB’s first road start, unless that QB is Carson Wentz who is the tits.  Cincy will be playing with a chip on their shoulder after feeling like they got shafted by the refs in Pittsburgh.  I love Cincy in this spot here.

Week 5:

The Fishy Five went 2-3 last weekend.  We are 9-9-2 on the year for 50%.  I’m not happy about it, and if you are tailing me right now you are a damn fool.  But we are back where we started, and it’s time for a new beginning.

A memorable new beginning in my life happened about three weeks after the Janet saga (explained last week).

I was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant, and went to my first duty station full of piss and vinegar.

I had visions of leading men into battle, and set out to be the baddest mofo out there.  Obviously, I forgot that I had joined the Air Force.  No worries though, my golf game was sharp.

So on about day two or three, I got a phone call.  I was to report to an obscure building on base for a temporary one-day assignment.  The random drug tests were done at this location, and I was to be the officer on duty.  I’m pretty sure that this is the same way Patton started his career.

So everything is going ok.  I’m reading an old Sports Illustrated and having to sign off on a form every now and again.  Not a big deal.

Then, an old, crusty Master Sergeant noticed my boredom, and thought it would be a good idea for the new LT to monitor a piss test.  Since he called me out, I really had no choice but to participate.

So in comes this ginormous kid.  Pretty sure he was wearing a bra to contain his humongous titties.  He was eating a Tastycake, and had half of it on his uniform.  He was a giant, freaking kid.

So I grab a cup, and we go to the bathroom, and I tell him to piss in a cup.

The poor bastard has stage fright.

Now, this isn’t something I have ever experienced in my life.  A Hagerty can make a #1, #2 or #3 on command.  I am confused.

So I get this kid a water.  He pounds it.  Nothing.

Then we take a walk.  We try again.  Nothing.

This goes on for about two hours until he sheepishly turns to me and tells me how we can make this happen.  He says he always pees when he takes a dump, and if he could sit down then he could provide the sample I needed.

And because of Air Force rules, I have to see the piss come from his body.

So tiny and I are huddled in a bathroom stall.  He is sitting there pitching a loaf while I am hovering over him waiting for my sample and trying not to pass out.

That is how I feel right now.

I was excited about this season, a little cocky even.  Instead of sharing the F5 with just my degenerate buddies, I am sharing it with the world.  It is a fun and exciting time.

But I can’t forget who I am.  I am the guy who can make shit happen.  Time to focus on the goal, and pick some damn winners.

And so now a new beginning…

Washington State +1 vs Oregon

This one is yummy.  Oregon has all the flash with their safety yellow and all-world dance team.  Washington State has John Candy.  But here is the deal – Oregon is on the decline.  People don’t want to believe it, but this isn’t the squad that the Chipper led.  Public perception is that they are still elite – they are not.  They gave up 200 yards on the ground to UVA.  They have lost straight up to Nebraska and Colorado that last two weeks – which is ok if it is 1995, but it is not.  Their D is still a mess.  They had to replace 6 starters on their front 7 on defense this season.  And that defense sucked to start with.  They have a zillion injuries.  They start five freshman on the OL.  This week the face the fighting John Candy’s, led my Mike Leach.  We know they can score points.  We know they won’t be intimidated by Oregon as they beat Oregon SU last year in Eugene.  WSU had an early bye last week, meaning they had two weeks to prepare for this match-up.  78% of the public is on the Ducks, and the line hasn’t moved a bit.  This one screams WAZZU – and I think they win SU by blowout.

Clemson +1.5 vs Louisville

This one is surprising to me.  The line opened at Clemson -3.5, and has been bet down already to Clemson +1.5.  This tells us that HUGE money (65% of the public) is coming in on Louisville.  I can’t remember many times where we have had a 5 point line swing and it’s only Tuesday.  Here is what I know.  Petrino is a douche bag.  We had the cover last weekend vs Marshall firmly in our grasp, until he inexplicably decides to put the starters back in for one meaningless series in the middle of the 4th quarter.  I will hold that grudge until the day I die.   We also know that Clemson hasn’t lost at home since 2013.  They are used to big games, and have turned into one of the premier programs in the country.  Louisville is damn good without a doubt.  But the hype machine is a little out of control.  They drilled FSU which was very impressive.  But that single win is giving us a tremendous amount of value here.  I believe Clemson has been very vanilla to open the season as they haven’t needed to show much.  They open up the playbook Saturday.  In this type of marquee matchup, give me the home team, better QB (yeah – I said it), points and experience every single time.

KSU +3.5 @ WVU

When you are struggling, you need to go back to the basics.  I like dogs with a good line and who have the better coach facing overrated teams that have public support.  I like fading teams who start QBs named Skyler.  This game has all that.  Bill Synder is a beast – he got us our first win of the season vs Stanford.   Recall they played Stanford tough on the road, which means they are battle tested. WVU beat BYU by three last weekend in a very tight game, but is BYU and good?  KSU beat WVU late last season with their MASH unit of a team.  Recall that KSU suffered a tremendous amount of injuries last year.  This team is much better.  I see K State winning this one straight up, because frankly that is what K State does…

UGA +3 vs Tennessee       

This one stinks to high heavens.  Georgia struggled to beat Nicholls State and Missouri, then got destroyed by Ole Miss.  Tennessee is coming off a huge win vs Florida, and had an impressive win vs VT a few weeks ago.  Why is this line only 3???  I will tell you, it is a trap and UGA wins this one straight up.  Tennessee gave it their all last week in their comeback vs Florida.  You can tell by the emotion of their players after the game.  This is a huge let-down spot for Tennessee.  Charlie Smart has made his living dominating Tennessee at Bama, and will continue to do the same at UGA.  Tennessee also has problems stopping the run due to injury issues, and that isn’t a good thing when facing Chubb.   This line has been bet down from 4.5 to 3, with 70% of the public on the favorite.  That is some great reverse line movement that tells us the smart money is on UGA.  We make our living siding with sharp money…

TB +3 vs Denver

Dammit I’m stubborn.  If you go back and look at all my losses, they are pretty much all due to me fading young QBs.  I don’t give a shit.  I don’t believe in Semen and the overrated Broncos.  We may have to turn this into the Fishy 4 because I will probably fade Denver every game for the rest of the season.  Let’s look at the facts here.  Situationally, this is a terrible spot for Denver.  This is their second east coast game in a row, and this one is a 1:00 kickoff.  75% of the public is on Denver.  If Denver is the bestest team that was ever created, then why are they only 3 point faves vs the dogshit Bucs? Tim Tebow isn’t walking through that door friends.  Tampa is -6 in turnover margin, the 2nd worst in the NFL.  Turnovers are fluky occurrences to some degree (unless your QB is Jay Cutler) and we’ll see some regression to the mean here.  Tampa will load up against the run (and they have a good run D) and force the Semenator to beat them.  I just don’t see it happening.  No name, 7th round draft picks from Northwestern don’t go undefeated in the NFL.  Bucs win this one straight up.

Week 6:

The Fishy Five went 3-1-1 last weekend.  We are 12-10-23 on the year for a solid 54.5%.  We were close to greatness last weekend.  We got a bad push due to the Hail Mary and bad line in the UGA game.  I continue to get obliterated by Friggin Denver – the biggest posers in NFL history.  F those guys.

I remember a time when a young Pat Hags was close to greatness…

It was early in my first semester at NC State.  I had joined a fraternity, and we were going on a little Thursday night road trip to Chapel Hill.  For those of you who don’t know, NC State and UNC are about 30 minutes apart.

As dipshit pledges, our job was to entertain the brothers in our car on this short trip.  We were given an old, sticky copy of Penthouse Letters Magazine, and told to read the letters out loud.  My pledge brother Dirty put all his heart and soul into that task.  There was no shame in his voice, and he attempted to sound as seductive as an overweight, balding 19 year-old kid can sound.   It was a beautiful moment and remains a fond memory.

After Dirty attempted to chub us all up, we arrived in Chapel Hill (weird I know).   Before long, I found myself on a dance floor in a fraternity house basement.  That is when I found her.

She was dancing alone – innocent and very attractive.  She was wearing a tiny jean mini-skirt and the most awesome T-shirt I have ever seen.  We’ll get to that in a minute.

She was trying to look cool, but was obviously insecure dancing alone.  That is when Dirty grabbed me by my jorts, and threw me in front of her.  He introduced me as “the horny little bastard that will change your life forever.”

I did my best to live up to that declaration in that basement.  I was sweating like Josh Gordon at an AA meeting, but continued to dance my tail off.  She leaned over to me and whispered “You look hot.”

I responded, “You’re damn right I am…”

Then I realized she was giving me a compliment.  I thought she was talking about the temperature of the room.  By accident, I had given the most bad-ass response I could have possibly given.   The stars were aligning.  It was going to be my night.

After some teenage shenanigans upstairs, she whispered to me “do you want to see my dorm room?”

My response:  pure panic.  The booze, thoughts of Dirty’s dramatic reading, the loud music, and her sweaty boobies pressing on me were all too much for my 18 year-old brain to handle.

I politely told her I had class tomorrow, and couldn’t miss my ride back.

She looked at me as if I had placed a bet on Andy Dalton in the playoffs, and walked out of my life forever.

I watched her slowly walk away.  She never looked back.  I never even knew her name….

Most of you may think that I blew it.  Sure, all this beautiful girl wanted to do was spend a lovely evening in my company, and I passed like a goober.

But you cannot look at life that way.

While an evening dizzy on jungle juice and being introduced to exotic, frilly underpanties in Granville Towers sounds like a great time; what I actually got out of that night was a lot more valuable.

I remember her shirt.

It had a powerful image, and a more powerful saying.  It is a mantra we stand by when we declare that the Wazzu Fighting John Candy’s will beat the hell out of Oregon.  It is a battle cry when we know that Clemson will beat Louisville in dramatic fashion.  It is a way of life when Bill Snyder covers yet again as a stinky dog.

To celebrate THOSE memories, I have recreated that shirt.

And because I am the generous type, I am sharing this gift and this memory with you.  For a nominal fee you can have one of your very own.  Click below and help a brother out…

And now – the Frozen Five:

ATL +5.5 @ Denver

Denver just isn’t any good.   I can’t believe they continue to cover.  I think Elway and Goodell have some type of weird, semi-sexual relationship which ensures Denver gets all the breaks…

BC +17 vs Clemson

Hard not to love Clemson.  Before their game vs Louisville, they sang the National Anthem, sang God Bless America and said the Pledge of Allegiance.  Clemson people are my type of people.

I have been on a lot of Tigers games this year, and have this team pegged pretty good.  Clemson played their guts out Saturday night.  Here are the important takeaways:  Since FSU lost, Clemson will win the ACC Atlantic (the best division in college football) which means they essentially will win the ACC because the ACC Coastal blows (literally in the case of UNC).  Thus they will make the Final 4.  Clemson’s D was on the field for at least 58 of the 60 minutes of their game vs Louisville.  They come out of the very physical game banged up.  We also know Clemson hasn’t really played good ball outside of the first half Saturday night.  They only beat Auburn and Troy by 6.

Now they travel to Boston College for a Friday night game.  It is ironic that it is on Friday night, because it will resemble a high school game.  It is a pretty emotionless atmosphere in Chestnut Hill as Boston is a pro town, not a college town.   Also, 72% of the early betting public is on Clemson.

BC has a good D (5th in the country), are rested and healthy after playing a cupcake last week.  They know they can play with Clemson as they hung within 17 of them last year in Death Valley.

This one is let-down city USA for the Tigers.  BC will lose, but will keep it surprisingly close.

Kansas +29 vs TCU

Sometimes you have to pull up your big girl panties and be bold.

Do I know anything about Kansas football?  Very little.  Here is what I do know:

They will be starting a freshman QB for the first time Saturday.  That is scary.  Kansas hung with TCU last year at TCU, ultimately losing 23-17.  Kansas has some talent on D, and gets after the QB.  Kansas had the Thursday night game last week, and got a long rest before this weekend.

This game has nothing to do with Kansas though and everything to do with TCU.  The pub is pounding TCU at a 62% clip.  TCU will have a huge emotional letdown after their game vs Oklahoma where they almost came back from a 25 point, 2nd half deficit.  This game is at 11AM which is criminal.  Most college students aren’t even out of bed by 11am on a Saturday.

TCU will put this one on autopilot, and win by 20 or so.  This will be scary, and we may need the back door, but Kansas should keep it under 4 TDs.

Tx A&M -7 vs Tennessee

Here at the Fishy Five, we don’t like posers and we don’t like frauds.  If I was a fraud, I would have claimed UGA  +3.5 last week.  If I was a poser, I’d claim A&M -6.5 this week, as I see that on some sites right now.

But I’m not a fraud and I’m not a poser.  I’m not going to cheat you out of the Fishy Five experience.  We have honor and integrity around here.  We also now sell T shirts.  And we fade fakes like Tennessee every chance we get…

Let’s remember that Tennessee needed a massive comeback and a Hail Mary to beat a putrid UGA team.  They needed a comeback of the ages to beat a pedestrian Florida team.  They needed tiny Appalachian State to step on their peckers to escape with a victory on opening night.  This isn’t a team of destiny (that word is sacred around here).  They are the Milli Vanilli of college football.  Complete fakes.

Now they travel to A&M, who is quietly pretty damn good.  The D is especially solid – one of the best front 7s in the country.

They do have a couple key injuries that they aren’t giving updates on.  Those players were held out of the South Carolina game last week, and would add a big boost if they play this week.

61% of the public is on Tennessee, but the line has moved from A&M -6.5 to A&M -7.  And you know how much I like that type of reverse line-movement.

I hate playing favorites, but will do it here.  A&M wins this one big.

NC State -1 vs Notre Dame

NC State will not win this game, but I don’t care.  I’m picking them anyway out of pride.  Note that I am breaking a cardinal rule of betting on your own team, but again I don’t care.  When you write the book on sports betting you get to decide which rules you choose to follow and which ones you choose to ignore.

For those of you who don’t follow NC State sports, we can’t have nice things.  If you go to the Urban Dictionary and look up ‘NC State Shit’ this is what you get:

NC State Shit

An inevitable chain of events in a sports where a blatant bad call or bizarre unlucky play causes in a total collapse of confidence, resulting in multiple, unforced, and devastating errors.

More than likely, State will lose this one in heart-breaking fashion.  I predict blowing a 21 point 4th quarter lead due to a pick 6 and two recovered onside kicks…

However, there are three factors in play that work in our favor:

1 – The line has moved from Pack +1 to Pack -1 despite 70% of the public on ND.  That is some SHARP (and dumb) action.  Hard to ignore that…

2 – The game will be played in a hurricane – and we love it sloppy.

3 –   Cuz is getting married this weekend, and I will have to give my tickets away for the biggest home game in YEARS.  So without a doubt, State will win and I will be watching it on my phone during the ceremony.  At least Cuz made me the Best Man.  Oh wait, he didn’t.  Can’t believe I’m still going.  I’m not even listed as a ‘bestie’ whatever the hell that is…

Cincinnati pk @ Dallas

The public is on Cincy on this one, and for good reason.  They will beat Dallas by double digits.  All the sports talk shows can talk about is how great Dak Prescott is and how the Cowboys will have a QB controversy on their hands when Romo comes back.  Gimme a friggin break.  I’m pretty sure I can line up at QB and beat the Redskins, Bears and 49ers.  If you read my book, you know I am a base champion QB but I digress…

Also, let’s not forget that Chicago played with their 4th string and gifted the game to them on fumbles.  Washington has a QB with mental deficiencies and San Fran has a college head coach and a QB named Blaine.  Always fade Blaines and Skylers.  In my book, Dallas is 0-1 with a loss to the dogshit Giants.  Not impressive at all.

Dallas is missing Dez, but at least still has all the drama that goes with that diva. I hope he isn’t beating his momma again.  They also are pretty banged up, especially on the OL.

And Cincy is a completely different team with the Taser – Vontaze Burfict of Arizona State fame.   Their defense is nastier, as they showed vs Miami last week.  That game was on Thursday, which gives Cincy a few extra days of rest.

Cincy is battle tested as they have played two solid teams in Denver and Pittsburgh.   Dallas and their young QB aren’t tested.

I absolutely love this one.  Hit Cincy hard.  Like Burfict on Antonio Brown hard…

Week 7:

First, some housekeeping:

  • Starting next week the Fishy Five will be sent out on Wednesdays instead of Tuesdays.
  • I will not post the Fishy Five to the website until the Monday after the games. The only way to get my picks before the games is by subscribing to this email.

The Fishy Five went 2-2-1 last weekend.  We are 14-12-3 on the year for 53.8%.  I’ll be honest – it was a tough week for me.

As you guys can probably tell – I really enjoy the hell out of writing the Fishy Five, and am very proud of writing the best damn book on sports betting ever written.  Many of you have given me great feedback, and have even written positive reviews for me on Amazon.  I can’t tell you how much your kind words mean to me.

Then, late last week I realized that some asshat dropped a turd in my punch bowl.  He left me a scathing 1-star review on Amazon – the first negative feedback I have received from anyone that I’m not married to…

I’ll be honest though, I was a little impressed by his fury and anger.  It takes a special person to show such disdain for a book they hadn’t even read.  His passion and commitment to trashing my magnum opus (big-time author word) shows a special level of hate.  I can respect that.  As the great Dave Chappell says: “if you have hate in your heart let it out!”

Regardless, I felt under attack and was disappointed.

It reminded me of my first trip to Brussels.

I was a young buck, and special circumstances led me to a bar in this fantastic city.  I was playing the exotic American card as hard as I could.

I focused my attention on a cute brunette with short hair.  She was stunningly beautiful…

I told her that I was a screenwriter, and my next movie was going to be about a Belgian girl lost in New York City.

This angry beauty didn’t take the bait.  She focused her attention on me being American, and proceeded to explain to me that she didn’t really like America.  When I asked why – she told me that we didn’t have any culture.

I looked at her dead in the eye, and explained to her that every song we have heard at the bar that night was American.  Every TV show on their television is American.   Every movie in their theaters is American.  Then I reminded her that inventing a fancy waffle doesn’t equate to being a cultured society…

Since I was on a roll; I told her that even though she was very beautiful, I would not make sexy-time with her that night and she probably wouldn’t be good fit in my movie.

She asked why and I told her because her German wasn’t very good.

With a cocky look she explained to me that they speak Dutch in Belgium, not German.  I told her, “you are right – another thing you can thank American for…”

Then I knocked on the table twice for emphasis, and left her there shell-shocked.

While the angry Amazon troll got under my skin, I am not going to let him get me down.  We have a great thing going here, and we even sell awesome T Shirts.  We are building culture, and culture wins championships (or something like that)…

Anyway, on Saturday morning I was driving to Cuz’s wedding, and I was listening to the Gridiron Gamble Podcast.  A group of three and a half friends (still not sure what they think of Mo) are playing the Las Vegas Supercontest, and use their podcast to entertain and explain their picks.  Kinda like what we do here on the Fishy Five.

These guys are running a free contest (click here to learn more) and asked me to donate some stuff.  I gave them some F5 swag.

In return, they gave an incredible review of my book and fishyfive.com on their Week 5 podcast at about the 6:00 mark.  That really made my day.  Those are really good guys and have a sharp eye with their selections.  I highly recommend you check them out.

So here we are.  A 2-2-1 week; a great review and a shit review.  We are pretty much right where we started outside NC State beating Notre Dame’s ass.  I told you guys that we like it sloppy.

It is week 7, and time to get serious.  Here are this week’s picks:

Notre Dame -2.5 vs Stanford

Quick trivia for you – name the only college football program that has played ND multiple times and is not only undefeated but has not allowed a touchdown to the Irish?  That’s right – NC State.  (Not sure if that stat is true or not but we are going with it.)

Notre Dame ran into a buzz saw last weekend.  You just can’t expect to go into Carter-Finley Stadium and escape with a W.  It just doesn’t happen.  No shame for Notre Dame getting pounded in the slop.

Real talk here – Both teams are down on public perception.

For ND you have to throw out the NC State game.  It was foolishly played in a hurricane and the outcome tells us nothing (outside NC State is clearly better).  The week before they trounced Syracuse in the Carrier Dome.  I actually think they are righting the ship, but that wasn’t shown last weekend due to the bad weather.

And Stanford is a mess.  They got drilled at home vs Wazzu, and got drilled on the road vs Washington.  They should have lost to a weak UCLA team the week before that.  They have issues everywhere, and injuries galore.  The injury note is particularly important as they have 3 members of their secondary injured as well as Christian McCaffery.  The injuries in the secondary is important because ND will chuck it all over the yard; they aren’t made for ground and pound.  The injury to McCaffery is just as important as he is their only offensive weapon.

Give me the home team that is getting the good line but not the public support in this one…

Indiana +4 vs Nebraska

Chapter 19 of my book is about reverse line movement.  We had a classic case last week with the NC State/ND game, and we have a classic case here…

Almost 70% of the public is on Nebraska, but the line has already moved from +6 to +4.5.  That is some pretty stinky action.

The public will see #10 in the nation, 5-0 Nebraska coming off a bye at 3-2 Indiana coming off a beat-down at Ohio State.

That isn’t what happened though.

Indiana played their tails off vs Ohio State.  The lost 38-17, but like I talk about in Chapter 15 of my book, that doesn’t tell the entire story.

First off, Indiana has massively improved their D and held Ohio State to 200 yards and 20 points below their season average.  Most believe this is the best Ohio State team in years.

Also, of those 38 points, 14 of them were gifted to Ohio State.  Indiana got jobbed on a bad fumble call which gave Ohio State the ball inside the 10.  They also gave up a kick return inside the 10.  Doing quick math tells me that Indiana’s D essentially only gave up 24 points to mighty Ohio State.  Very impressive.

On top of that, Indiana got stuffed on downs inside Ohio State’s 5 yard line, and came away with zero points two other times when in scoring position.  They scored 17, but left a lot of points on the board…

This game was MUCH, MUCH closer than the final score indicated.

Realize that this Indiana team can play, as evidenced by beating Michigan State the week before.

On top of that, Nebraska is a mess injury wise.  They have 3 starters out with injury.  The QB was in a walking boot all week.  The OL is beat up.  And their defense has been susceptible to the big play all season.

I think the public is going to fall in love with #10 Nebraska this week, and they are going to keep pounding it.  This will prove to be a very expensive lesson, as Indiana wins straight up.  This one will be my game of the week.

Cincy +8.5 @ New England

Chapter 2 of my book is about buying low and selling high.  I don’t want to take this game.  I don’t want to bet against Belichek and Brady.  I don’t want to tail the choking Ginger again.  But I have to based on my own principles.

Over 70% of the public is on New England.  Everyone in the world saw Brady destroy Cleveland, and everyone also saw Cincy get dominated by Dallas.  This line will probably hit 10 by kickoff – I suggest waiting until closer to kick-off if you are stupid enough to tail.

What I love about this one is Cincy does have a talented roster even though they haven’t showed it.  And they are desperate as this has turned into a near must-win early in the season.  They will give their best effort and I think they will sneak away with a straight up win.

This one is going to blow up suicide pools everywhere, unless you are smart enough to avoid the trap…

Miami +7.5 vs Pitt

Pros don’t play games, they play numbers.

On paper, this makes no sense.   Miami is a train wreck.  Their only win was vs the Browns, and that game was won because Cleveland’s kicker missed a last second field goal.  They got drilled last week by Tennessee.   Let that sink in for a minute…

And now they are only 7.5 points dogs to a Pittsburgh team that has blown out KC and the Jets in back to back weeks?  Almost 75% of the public sees this and is backing the favorite.

This one doesn’t exactly pass the sniff test.

I think the Miami team that showed up vs Seattle and showed up in the second half of the NE game shows up Sunday, and makes this a very competitive game.

Gimme the home team and a TD and the hook.  I feel the hook will be especially important in this one.

Hold me because I’m scared…

Seattle -6 vs ATL

This is a great situational spot for Seattle.

Atlanta is coming off a win in Denver and vs Carolina.  That is two big wins vs physical teams.  Now they have to travel to the left coast for the second week in a row to play a Seattle team that is coming off a much-needed bye week.  The public is on the dog at over a 60% clip.  I don’t have the stats to back this up, but it seems like whenever the public is on a dog they get killed…

We are getting great value on Seattle as ATL beat up a Denver team with a mediocre QB.  They also beat a Carolina team with a mediocre QB who steals.  That is two big wins on paper, but two average wins in reality…

Here is how this one will play out:  Sherman will take Julio out of the game.  Without Julio, ATL will struggle to move the ball.  A healthy Russell Wilson will channel his NC State roots (even though we don’t claim him anymore) and throw for 250 and run for 100.

Seattle wins this one by 10, and they start their 2nd half surge as they do every year…

And there you have it.  Five above average picks…

I hate to say this, but I really like the card this week.  We have good numbers in all the games.  We are on the side opposite of the public in all of the games.  We are the home team in four of the games.  We have the injury advantage in most of the games.

I am very happy betting these Fishy 5 games as I know I am on the right side of each.

Best of luck to all, and be kind this week.

Week 8:

The Fishy Five went 1-4 last weekend…  We are 15-16-4 on the year for 48.3%.  Out of the black and into the red.  Absolutely brutal.

After a bad week it is easy to get down on yourself.  After all, I have a lot to be disappointed about.  I’m an overweight, graying cube jockey in real life.  In my online life I feel like the Tennessee of authors – a complete fraud.  1 and 4?  What a joke.

But now is the time we need to stay positive.  We need to keep doing the little things right, because eventually they will lead to a long string of winners.  We need to hike up our big girl panties, and keep making decisions based on solid gambling logic.  And for the love of god quit betting on Cincinnati and against New England.

Fact is though, this is hardly the first time I’ve fallen on my face…

The first time was in my very first athletic competition.  It was field day for my kindergarten (my first year of kindergarten, not my second), and we were doing the standing broad jump.

As you may have picked up on, I am a competitive bastard.  I was going to win this event, and I listened very closely to the instructions.

The teacher explained that you jump from a standing position, and the furthest part of your body that touches the board is where your distance will be measured from.

So I watched my loser classmates do it the right way and go practically no-where.  However, I remembered the instructions.

When it was my turn, I super-manned that bitch and stretched out to damn near six feet with my furthest hand.  Note that this was on concrete, but the will to win was strong in this young buck…

When the teacher told me I did it wrong, I repeated the rules he stated verbatim.  He realized he made a mistake in his instructions, and told me to redo it the correct way.  I told him bullshit, I’m not doing it (not sure if I said bullshit or not at 6 years old, but I know I was thinking it).

Further, I pitched a fit and absolutely refused to do it again.  You can’t change the rules in the middle of the game.  I don’t know what type of shit-show he was running, but I wanted no part of it.  I pouted and he eventually gave up on me.  What a chump…

Fast forward a dozen years.  It’s the North Carolina High School Track Championships.  I am competing in the long jump, and by a minor miracle I actually made the finals.  It was a cold and dreary day, and no one was really standing out.  I was about 10 inches out of first place when it was time for me to make my final jump.

So I ran as fast as I could, and was thinking about my first jump as a kindergartener.  I hit the board perfectly, and soared into the air. Without a doubt it was going to be my best jump of the meet.  I landed, and I looked up at the judge, and…

Actually, the high school part of that story is a crock of shit.  I didn’t run track.  Real mean play sports with balls.  Pretty sure I was hanging out in right field at the time as an all-bat, no-glove baseball player.  The kindergarten part of that story is 100% true though…

So here is the take-away – we are going to start winning, and we will start winning a lot.  We can only control making solid decisions.  Then we have to let the chips fall where they may.  Good weeks are coming my friends.  And realize that they will come faster if you would buy an awesome T-Shirt or three….

Here are this week’s picks:

Iowa +3.5 vs Risky 

This is a great, great spot for Iowa.

Wisky is coming off back to back games vs Michigan and Ohio State.  It is the ultimate letdown spot.  Next week they have top 10 Nebraska visiting Madison, their biggest competition if they want to win the Big10 West.  That makes it a classic look-ahead spot as well.

Wisky is also beat up after the Ohio State game.  Questionable are two LBs, their NT, a WR, LB, OL, RB and safety.  That is to be expected after two very physical and emotional games.  And now they travel to Iowa for an 11am game.

It is also a super fishy line. Iowa has lost to ND State and Northwestern.  They barely beat Rutgers.  And now the line is only 3.5?  What gives?

I’ll tell you what gives.  It is a damn trap.  It is like a kindergarten teacher changing the rules on you during an athletic competition.  And the 74% of the public that are on the game are going to get caught in it.

Iowa keeps this one close, and may even win due to strong special teams play.  And Uncle Brent would love that we are getting the hook…

Colorado +2 @ Stanford

This is exactly the sneaky type of game we love.  The wrong team is favored here.  55% of the pub is on the home team, but the line has moved from 3.5 to 2 against them.  The Buffs will win this one straight up.

Let’s start with Stanford.  They are coming off a big game vs Notre Dame.  This was a huge emotional win after getting cremated by the Washington schools.  This will be a big letdown spot for Stanford as a result.  But everyone knows that the ND win really isn’t impressive.  That was ND’s third loss at home this year, and they are a complete train wreck.  Also, don’t forget that for the fourth straight game, Stanford managed just one offensive TD.

Colorado on the other hand is a team that has gotten much better, but no one really seems to notice.  They are playing a very physical style of ball.  They have the best D statistically in the Pac12 and they have a potent offensive.  They got their starting QB back last week and housed a decent Arizona State team.  They ran the ball at will, and the Sparkies have a good run D.

This is huge chance for Colorado to prove that they belong.  Stanford will again get exposed for who they are – a team in rebuilding mode with a banged up star tailback.  I love the Buffs here…

Auby -9.5 vs Arkansas

I DO NOT WANT TO BET THIS GAME.  Holy hell it scares me.  You know how I feel with Auburn with big expectations.  They normally go into NC State mode when people expect something out of them.

Here is the deal though.  While I hate giving up this many points (or any points really), some really smart people think it is a great play.  78% of the public is on Arkansas, but the line has moved 2 points away from them.  That is classic reverse line movement if I ever saw it.

Also, Auby is coming off a bye.  Arkansas is coming off back to back games vs Bama and Ole Miss, including a huge win at home vs Ole Miss last week.  On top of that, they have their bye next week, and they are probably more than ready to get a week off…

It is simply an awful spot for Arkansas.  And Auburn actually may be pretty good.  Auburn plays fantastic defense, and the strength of that D is their front 7.  It’s a great matchup vs an Arkansas team that wants to run it, but has really struggled to do so this year.

Another key point is Gus turned over the play calling duties to his OC a few games ago.  Since then, Auby’s offense has really been rolling.

Look for a big win on the plains, and my boy Jimbo to go streaking through the quad.

Jacksonville -1.5 vs Oakland

Jacksonville is not a good football team.  They cannot run the ball, and haven’t been good on offense this year.  However, their young defense has improved.  They are currently ranked 8th in the NFL in total defense.  I also think we are getting value on them in this spot.  Everyone was high on them to start the season.  They were the trendy pick to be the surprise team this year.  After and 0-3 start, everyone left the bandwagon.

However, while no one was watching or cared, they quietly won two straight vs Indy and Chicago.  Not world-beaters, but it counts as two NFL wins.

Their opponent – Oakland – has been good on offense, but horrendous on defense.   They are worst in the league at stopping the run, which bodes well for a Jacksonville team that struggles to run the ball.

It is an awful spot for Oakland, as it is a 1:00 game on the east coast for this west coast team.   70% of the public is on the road team.  Give me the home team and I’ll swallow the small spread.

KC -6.5 vs New Orleans

Ya’ll can thank Cuz for this.  I wanted to take Pittsburgh +7 vs New England in this spot, but this is his stone-cold-lock-of-the-week-it-will-put-folding-money-in-your-pocket play.  I am sure Cuz is going to bring his A game this week after spending the last week on his honeymoon searching for the mythical clitoris (Forgetting Sarah Marshall reference – a classic).

Here is the thing.  I don’t like Drew Brees.  It all stems back to a conversation I had with an obnoxious Purdue graduate while I was in Iraq.  We were arguing which football program was more relevant – NC State or Purdue.  At the time, Rivers had been drafted to replace Brees in San Diego, and that is when the conversation became heated.

The correct answer is neither is relevant, but this doucher wouldn’t hear it.  So freaking obnoxious.

Regardless, New Orleans is in a letdown spot.  They beat Carolina at home in a big rivalry game last week.  It was an exhausting game, as they almost choked away a big lead.  It was a very physical game, and as a result the Saints are banged up.  To that point they finished the Carolina game with their 3rd string left tackle…

And KC is about to catch their groove.  They pasted Oakland last week in Oakland.  They got a bunch of players healthy after their bye week.  They played their most complete game of the season, and Andy Reid teams always play better as the season progresses.  That is a nice way of saying he sucks when it is hot out.  Fat people problems…

Regardless, Brees often struggles on the road and on grass.  And Arrowhead is one of the toughest places to play.  KC will pound the ball against the 2nd worst defense in the league to keep it out of Brees’ hands.  When NO does have the ball, they will be throwing against the defense that leads the NFL in interceptions.

It is a bad matchup for a very overrated New Orleans team.  This will be a comfortable, double digit win for KC.  Love that we are getting it under at TD.

There you have it.  Probably five mediocre picks that I justify using flawed logic.  We’ll see how it plays out.  I’m cautiously optimistic…

Week 9:

The Fishy Five went 2-3 last weekend…  We are 17-19-4 on the year for 47.2%.  Ultimate suckiness, even though last week could have turned out a lot different.

I completely nailed two games (Auburn and Colorado), and completely whiffed on one (Jacksonville).  I got bad breaks in the other two games (Iowa and KC).

That being said – losers make excuses.  You are what your record says you are.  I’m at 47%, and coming off two bad weekends in a row.  I gotta do better.

While that is bad, let me tell you about a really bad weekend.

In college I dated a girl a little older than me.  Her family lived out of state, and we would go to their house for Thanksgiving.

My girlfriend was one of three girls.  The youngest sister was exceptionally attractive, but had a wild side.  She had been dating a guy for several months, and was bringing this poor schmuck to Thanksgiving dinner.

Also attending was her grandparents, and an aunt and uncle with their three grade-school aged kids.

As dinner was ending, my girlfriend’s parents wanted to show pictures of their recent trip to Australia.  So they plugged their camera into the TV, and let the camera scroll through the pictures while we finished the meal.

After about 10 minutes of pictures scrolling everyone pretty much lost interest in the Great Barrier Reef and started to ignore the TV.

However, out of the corner of my eye I noticed the boyfriend was fixated on the TV, and was fuming.

Nudie pictures were scrolling of the younger sister with a guy who wasn’t her boyfriend.  We are talking some crazy, kinky stuff.  The boyfriend was the first to notice, followed by the young children.  Of course, when the kids saw their older cousin riding some stranger like a pony they freaked out.  The show was on…

The old man saw it, and ripped the camera out of the TV.  The mother started screaming.  The sister in the pictures started crying.  The uncle was pretty close to drunk and started laughing.  And I just sat there, fixated on the new boyfriend.

Then the new boyfriend did a power move that I have never seen equaled before or since.

He stood up quietly in the middle of the chaos.  He waiting until all eyes were focused on him.  When they were, he explained how Carrie had changed his life.  He explained how he wakes up every day excited because he knows he will see her.  He explained how her love has made him the best version of his self.  He continued that while we all have a past and faults (obviously), he loves every bit of her – warts and all.  The kid went straight Nicholas Sparks on us.  I was in awe….

And then he dropped to a knee, and proposed to her.

She said yes, and the night went from crazy anger to over the moon joy that the crazy daughter was going to marry such a quality guy.

So the crisis was averted, and the night continued.  Everyone was getting pretty shit-faced.  The newly engaged guy and I find ourselves alone on the back porch.

I tell him it was a pretty crazy night.  He says nothing.

Then he whispers to me, “can you keep a secret?”

I tell him of course I can…

He continues to explain that he was doing Carrie a solid.  She was batshit crazy, but didn’t need all that embarrassment in front of her entire family.  He figured that was the best way to divert attention from the situation so everyone could save face.

I then asked about the engagement.

He looked at me like I had just bet against New England again.  He said, “Dude, this is the last time anyone here will ever see me.  I’m about to become a memory.”

Then he walked off the porch, got in his car, and left.  No one ever heard from him again.

The guy was in the middle of a shit storm of embarrassment.  He was angry and confused.  But he was quick on his feet, and went a little unorthodox to get out of his jam.  And we are going to do a little of that this weekend as well….

Here are our Week 9 Fishy Five Picks:

USC -15.5 vs California

This is unorthodox, and this is crazy.  It feels a little like getting some strange.  I can’t believe I am willing to swallow so many points.  I’m a dog guy.  Why in hell would I have any interest in swallowing so much chalk?

Because it is the stone cold lock of the century.

Here is the story.  Cal is coming off back to back OT games – including a win vs Oregon that was their Super Bowl.  That was Cal’s sixth straight game decided in the final minute or in OT.  This is a tired football team.

Now they play a USC team that is coming off a bye on a short week.

Cal’s HC Sonny Dykes was not too pleased with the scheduling, and this is what he said:

“I think everybody in the locker room was tired emotionally. I know I certainly am.  We have a game in six days, which is crazy. It’s absolutely nuts that we have to turn around and go to USC in six days to play a team that’s had 13 days off to prepare for us.

“It absolutely makes no sense.”

“I don’t think there’s a lot of equity in scheduling.  I clearly didn’t make the schedule. I’m not happy about it. I don’t think it’s right for these players. We’re going to miss school. We’re going to ask our players to do things we don’t believe in.”

That, my good friends, is loser talk.  Those are the words of a man who is already defeated.

Quick side note – the words “that’s not fair” are not allowed to be said in my house.  We were at another family’s house one night recently and the other father told his son, “that doesn’t sound fair.”  My boy quickly corrected him and told him that was loser talk.  My boy isn’t a whiney bitch…

Ok – I think you will agree that situationally this game is a solid play.  However, let’s look at the two teams.

Cal gives it up as often as a Kardashian in heat.  They are giving up over 40 points a game.  While they do score a lot of points, they have only faced one team that even considers playing defense – Utah.  They only scored 28 vs Utah.

Southern Cal started the year crappy, but have turned it around in a big way.  They beat a healthy Arizona State by a bunch.  They beat a very decent Colorado squad.  They destroyed Arizona.  On top of that, they actually play defense, keeping everyone except Bama in check.  And let’s not forget that the talent gap between Cal and USC is like the talent gap between Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton.

Finally, let’s talk numbers.  73% of the public is on Cal, but the line has moved from -14 to -15.5.  That is some very serious and stinky reverse line movement.  The sharps love the fave…

This one has the makings of a prison gang bang.  Swallow the points, and this has 56 to 14 written all over it.

Oregon State +13 vs Wash State

This is scary and doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.

The Beavers just got waxed by Washington, and are starting a 3rd string QB.

The Cougs have won 5 straight including blowouts vs Oregon and Stanford.

Only 30% of the public is on OSU, but the line has move from +15.5 to +13.

The sharps love the Beaver, so I guess I love it too.  Chalk this one up to ‘the line tells you what is going to happen’ just like it did in the Auburn game this week.

Quick side note – I attended Beavercreek High School for one year.  Our mascot was the Beavers.  The cheerleader would chant, “What do we eat?  What do we eat?  Beaver meat!  Beaver meat!  How do we like it?  How do we like it?  Raw! Raw! Raw!”

Good memories…

Hold me because I’m scared.

New Orleans +3 vs Seattle

I spent a month in New Orleans one weekend, and I will not go back.  I don’t know how exactly it happened, but a little weekend getaway turned into me doing unmentionable things while wearing a strappy sundress….

I was a mess that weekend, which is exactly how Seattle will be this weekend.

Recall Seattle played a very physical and emotional FIVE quarter game Sunday night vs Arizona.  Their D was on the field for an NFL record 46+ minutes and 90 plays.  Now they travel to New Orleans to play a game that will feel like 10AM to them due to the time zone change.

And while I can’t stand that midget Drew Brees, I have to respect his work.  They had two fluky turnovers vs KC.  Without them that game could have very easily could have been a win instead of a brutal backdoor cover.  Everyone knows that New Orleans is good at home.  The Saints average 36 points per game in the dome.

And this isn’t the same Seattle team that we are accustomed to.  Their OL sucks. Their midget quarterback is banged up and got cut from NC State.  And like their weird-ass QB, they have difficulty scoring.

This is a terrible situational spot for Seattle.  The Saints win this one straight up.

Carolina -2.5 vs Arizona

See above on why to fade Arizona.  Just a terrible spot for them traveling east for a 1:00 game after playing Seattle for 5 quarters.

On top of that, Carolina is coming off a much needed bye.  Cam has been banged up, and got healthy after the time off.

Carolina knows they need to play perfect football from here on out to make the playoffs.  This has turned into a must win for them.  They are a prideful team, and I think they will have their best effort this weekend.

Probably the biggest reason for Carolina’s dreadful start to the season has been the play of their secondary.  Fortunately for them, Arizona’s passing game has not been good at all this year.

Palmer has looked like an old man, and both of the WR Browns are out.

Give me the desperate team in a great buy-low spot here…

Chicago +5.5 vs Minnesota 

The public has finally caught up with Minnesota.  They have been a covering gravy train for a long time, until it all came crashing down in Philly last week.  The public probably thinks that was a fluke game, and they will resume their winning ways.

That simply isn’t the case.

Minnesota has lost their starting QB, RB, WR and both Tackles on offense.

Before Philly handed their ass to them, they were +11 in turnover margin.  That type of rate just isn’t sustainable.

This is their second roadie in a row – and this one is vs a division rival.

Granted, Chicago’s injury story is just as bad.  They are missing both of their all-pro guards and about half of their defense to injury.

Here are a few things to note about Chicago.  They have played hard all season, even while short-handed.  I think that says a lot about the heart of the team.  They have defensive minded coach, who will be able to replicate the blueprint that Philly used to dominate Minnesota.

They also have been competitive despite not having a QB.  They get Cutler back this week, and while he sucks 80% of the time, I gambling that he won’t this week.

The biggest point though is 90% of the betting public is on Minnesota this week.  90%!!!!

Vegas is going to need Minnesota in a bad way Monday night, and since the line hasn’t really moved they are telling us that they are ok with that.

I have a sneaky suspicion that Chicago wins this one straight up.  Regardless, I want to be on the same side as the books.

Week 10:

The Fishy Five went 5-0 last weekend…  We are 22-19-4 on the year for 53.6%.  That is how we respond to adversity around here.  It reminds me of a story from long ago…

It was day 1 of college at NC State.  My roommate and I were walking to the dining hall, and I had only one thing on my mind – Stephanie Gibson.

I noticed Stephanie in my Spanish class that morning.  She wore a pink mini skirt and a lacy white tank top.  She had long black hair and was absolutely stunning.  I listened intently when the teacher read the roll to catch her name.  I was in lust.

As we walked to the dining hall I explained to my roommate how my life’s mission was to date Stephanie.  As I tend to do, I went a little over-the-top with my praise of her hotness.  I explained that I would happily drink her bath water.  I explained that I would lick a gas station bathroom clean to spend an evening with her.  I explained that without her my life would be incomplete.

Of course I was getting a rise out of my roommate, so I continued to pour it on.  And as we got to the dining hall I realized that the two girls walking behind us were laughing and listening to every word of our conversation.

And in a school of almost 30,000 people, guess who was walking behind me?

Stephanie Gibson.

Of course I tried to play it off, and hid in the corner while I ate my meal.  I was such a pansy.

Two days later I had Spanish class again.  I showed up a few minutes late and there was only one seat left in the class – right next to Stephanie.

Embarrassed, I took my seat and tried to keep my cool.

That lasted about six minutes.  The  teacher broke us into pairs to practice our ‘Como se llamas’.  Stephanie and I were told to be partners.

It is highly unusual to have such a defining moment on the third day of college.  However, without a doubt this was a critical juncture in my college career.  How I handled this situation would set the tone of how I was going to live my college years.  Would I cower like a little puss, or would I man up and grow a pair?

I cowboy’ed up…

I calmly introduced myself, and asked Stephanie if she wanted to hear a funny story.  She said of course…  I looked at her and smiled, and told her that she probably already knew the story.

She had a huge smile, and said nothing.  I could sense that she found my desperation intriguing.

I asked her if she would meet me at a party the the next night.  She said she would.

The night of the party came, and when she finally showed up I decided to take charge of the situation.

Without saying a word, I walked up to her, pulled her close, and gave her a long, passionate kiss.

When she pulled away shocked, I looked her dead in the eye and said “if you want to have the time of your life – follow me.”

I am fairly confident that was the best night of her college career.  For me, it was a typical Thursday…

Anyway, that is what this season has been like.  We fumbled around like a freshman trying to un-clasp a bra early in the season.  Maybe we tried too hard to be cute by fading New England every week.  Maybe we got a little embarrassed when we stepped on our pee pee a few times.

But at the end of the day, we have a proven method for success.  We win our prize by being bold and by going against the grain.  Our motto is to go ugly early and often.  And it feels great when it plays out exactly as you expect.

Ladies, we are about to go on a month long heater.  It is going to be exciting, and it will be profitable.  But I want to make a VERY special point first:

You WILL enjoy the ride a hell of a lot more in your very own “Winner Winner Chickin Dinner” shirt.  After all, we did go 5-0.  I know some of you schmucks didn’t listen and actually tailed some of plays.  We all got paid.  The least you can do is buy a friggin T Shirt.

Disclaimer – chicks will dig you if you wear the shirt in public.  Be prepared for the Stephanie Gibson’s of the world to attack you like Vince Wilfork at a Golden Coral if you get one…

Now the picks:

NC State +5.5 vs FSU

I don’t want to do it – but I have to do it.  It isn’t my fault that Stephanie Gibson’s alma mater is the sharpest play on the board.  Let’s look at the facts:

We have great reverse line movement.  The line opened at 7.5, but is down to 5.5 despite only 39% of the bets on the Pack.  The sharps are pounding the Wolfies, and crossing the key # of 7 is very telling.

We have a FSU in a massive letdown spot.  Not only did they lose to rival Clemson in a highly-contested and emotional game, their season also went in the shitter as a result.  FSU has 3 losses.  They cannot achieve any of their season goals.  There is a good chance they mail it in this week.

Speaking of mailing it in, how about NC State?  NC State is coming off getting thrashed by Louisville, and then embarrassed by Boston College.  I was there for the BC game.  The crowd was dead and the team was dead.  That won’t be the case for a highly anticipated night game in Raleigh.  That loss gives us a phenomenal buy low & bounce back opportunity on the Pack.

It is a great matchup on the field.  BC gave State fits because they are slow and disciplined.  FSU is obviously more talented, but not as disciplined.  BC wants small ball you to death and suck the life out of you.  That isn’t exactly FSU’s strategy.

FSU has injury concerns in their secondary.  They also start a freshman QB and a weak offensive line.  They gave up 6 sacks last week to Clemson, and the strength of NC State is their defensive line.

NC State always plays FSU tough in Raleigh, often winning when we have no business doing so.

Finally, NC State’s coach is coaching for his job.  After last week’s catastrophe, he needs a signature win or he will be eating government cheese come December.  The State that showed up vs Clemson and Notre Dame shows up Saturday night.  Dorean gets his signature win this week, which means State fans will get to bitch and moan about him for at least another season…

Wake -3 vs UVA

Wait a damn minute.

UVA played Louisville tougher than anyone not named Clemson last week.  They were up with a minute to go.  That is phenomenal football.

And Wake lost to Freaking Army straight up as 7 point favorites while coming off a bye.

45% of the bets are on Wake, but the line has moved from -2.5 to -3.  That is decent reverse line movement at a key number.

Here is the deal – Wake isn’t horrendous.  They dominated Syracuse and were very competitive with FSU before their bye.  They got caught napping vs Army, who is always a quirky matchup.  They play good defense.  Their QB struggles, but the UVA secondary is atrocious.  This is a good matchup for Wake.

I expect Wake to come out extremely motived after losing last week.  I expect UVA to come out very flat after the heartbreak of last week.  Wake also has a bizarre home field advantage.  Anyone who has been there in person can attest.  It is just a place where opposing teams tend to struggle.

Wake wins this one by a TD in an UGLY game.

Notre Dame -7 vs Navy

This one is a little surprising.  Never in my life would I think that a service academy would be a public play vs Notre Dame.  Man how times have changed.

Here is the skinny:  Sharps are pounding the Irish. 36% of the bets are on ND, but the line has moved from -5.5 to -7.  That is great reverse line movement.

This game is at a neutral site in Jacksonville.  It is essentially Navy’s second roadie in a row in Florida.  ND hasn’t been on the road since October 8 when they got their asses handed to them by NC State.

ND’s recent record is not a good indicator of how good they are.  They lost to NC State in a hurricane.  They lost to Stanford due to a pick 6.  Flukey.  The Miami game last week looked close, but there were very special circumstances to it.

They were beating the piss out of Miami until special teams problems happened.  They lost 2 fumbles on punt returns.  Got tricked by an onside kick and had a punt blocked.  Clean up those special teams issues and ND blows the doors off Miami.  Also to note is ND’s new defensive coordinator has really improved that defense.  They held Miami to 18 total yards rushing.  That may be an important stat to point out when Navy is coming to town.

Another ND note is that they have Navy and Army back to back.  You can bet they will be honed in on the triple option attack.

You might be saying that Navy isn’t half bad.  They are 5-2 and beat Houston and Memphis.  Also, they only lost to a decent South Florida team by 7 last week.

I would agree, but would counter that we learned a ton in the South Florida game.  Navy got their doors blown off by the Bulls.  They simply did not have the athletes to compete, especially on the perimeter.  Navy scored 21 points in the last 7 minutes vs S. Florida backups to make the game look respectable.  Truth of the matter though it was blowout city.

I think this is a great buy-low spot for Notre Dame and a great sell high spot for Navy.  Notre Dame wins this one BIG.

Cleveland +7 vs Dallas

Gulp – here it is:

Dallas is coming off an overtime, primetime win vs a big rival.  In the process, their secondary got beat up pretty bad.

Cleveland is going to Cleveland, but they were beating the piss out of the Jets before fading late.

I have been impressed by how hard Cleveland has played every week, despite their limitations talent wise.

There is some reverse line movement on this one, as 31% of the public is on Cleveland but the line has moved from +7.5 to +7.  The sharps love the Brownies…

I am still not sold on Dak Prescott.  He is still a rookie going on the road, and it is still the NFL.  Rookies don’t win every game.  Dallas is good, but they aren’t 15-1 good.  They will go 12-4, which means they lose a few more games.  It wouldn’t surprise me if the Brownies get the upset.

Pro tip – wait to get 7.5 if you can.  This line will not go below 7.
Buffalo +7 @ Seattle

Soooo, let me get this straight.  Buffalo was +5.5 vs New England who is all-world.  And now they are +7 vs a team that just lost to New Orleans?  That is awfully fishy and looks like a massive overreaction.

At this point in the season, you are who you are.

Seattle is a team with a mediocre offensive line and a beat up QB.  They also have no running game to speak of – which is tough because they were designed to be a ground and pound team.

The only teams they scored more than 20 points against are the Jets and the 49ers, without a doubt 2 of the 3 worst teams in the league.

They also have a lot of injury issues on defense, namely Kam Chancellor and Michael Bennett.

Buffalo is admittedly an injury riddled mess – especially at WR.  But they have played good ball in spots, and I expect their D to make it difficult for a struggling Seattle offense to score.

In a low scoring, UGLY game, I will take the TD every time.  I think this game is a toss-up.

There you go.  Feels like another 5-0 to me.  It would probably bring us all good karma if you bought a shirt.  I’m just keeping it real…

Week 11:

The Fishy Five went 3-2 last weekend.  We are 25-21-4 on the year for 54.3%.  Two good weeks in a row…

I’m not going to get political on you because, quite frankly, that is bad business.  I’m here to sell books and T shirts (which are sweet by the way), not piss half of you off…

That being said, last night was the most interesting live-betting night of all-time.

Trump was at about +400 at most places to win for most of election day.  Once the polls started to close, there were wild swings.  When it looked pretty certain that he was going to win NC, FL and Ohio, the odds were -330.  I got a nibble of that.  When it looked pretty certain he was going to win AZ, PA and MI, he was -1000.  And that was a lock as all he needed was to win one of those states to win the presidency.  I broke a cardinal rule and went all-in on that one.  Of course, there was no risk with that bet because mathematically it couldn’t lose…

Also, what was amazing were the arbitrage opportunities.  The lines between different books were massively different.  I am sure that is because every book was setting their lines based on different news feeds, which were all over the map.  You could have easily bet both sides and guaranteed a profit that way.

It was a fascinating betting night – even to the point where Brett Hume on Fox was giving live odds on the air from his phone.

The take-away is I will make sure I have plenty of powder dry on the next election night.  There will become a point where you will know the outcome, and those that can act quickly can score some easy cash…

So it is pretty hard to have a smooth transition from the most divisive election of all time, but I will try my best…

Father’s Day 1985.  We are doing the family thing, and my brothers and I are giving our Old Man awful presents because that is what kids do on Father’s Day.  I am pretty confident all he wanted to do was watch the US Open, but he was patient with us.

My grandparents were over, and Grandma gave Dad a wrapped present.

A special note here is my Grandmother was a tiny Japanese woman.  She had a generous soul, and it seemed like her goal in life was to make others happy.  She was a sweet, sweet lady.  Very rarely did I ever see her write or read in English.  She always preferred to read/write in her native language.

Anyway, so Dad opens the gift, and it is a T-Shirt.  The shirt had a picture of a rising sun on it, and it read “I’m so Horny Even the Crack Of Dawn Isn’t Safe.”

We all looked at each other, not sure what to do or say.  We were in shock.  Grandma never read the front of the shirt.  She saw a pretty picture of a sunrise and thought it would make a great gift.  She had no idea what she had just given my Old Man, and we definitely didn’t want to hurt her feelings.

My poor Dad attempted to keep a straight face and be polite about the gift, but he was fighting a losing battle.  His three asshole sons started laughing like hyenas.  We couldn’t help it, it was freaking hilarious…

And that is exactly how I feel right now.  Two winning weeks in a row.  We’ve won 8 of our last 10.  I am seeing the ball well right now, and we are going to have a great November together.

I’m so horny even the crack of dawn isn’t safe.

Tulsa -1.5 @ Navy

The public is pounding Navy at almost a 70% clip…  Can’t say I blame them.  It is senior day for 31 middies, soon-to-be the most winning senior class in Navy history.  Navy beat Houston and Notre Dame this season.  They are having a great season, and as a veteran I love it.

But as a bettor, this is a great spot to fade them.

They are coming off a huge win vs Notre Dame.  It was one of the most peculiar football games I have ever seen.  ND was only stopped once in the game, and I think had only 2 possessions in the second half.  Navy converted 4 of 5 4th downs and never punted.  They actually had two drives extended due to ND penalties that would have been punts.  The take-away for me is Navy was perfect on offense and not very good on defense.

And after the Notre Dame win, they are in a huge letdown spot.   Here are Ken Niumatalolo’s postgame  comments (Navy’s HC):

“We don’t beat those guys very often, so I guess all of that is great. We’re just kind of in euphoria, cloud nine right now having beat Notre Dame. I’ve been here a long time. We’ve had some crushing defeats to those guys, and to be able to finally come out on top, it feels so good.”

That tells me they are in a massive letdown spot.  Let’s also not forget the week before they got their doors beat off by a USF.

And now they are playing Tulsa.  Obviously, no one knows shit about Tulsa, but they actually are playing great ball.

Tulsa leads the American conference in total offense and ranks second in scoring offense with 512 yards and 42.4 points per game.  Their offense is extremely balanced as the Hurricane are averaging 253 yards rushing and 259 yards passing per game.

Tulsa has scored more than 40 in every game this season except Houston, where they scored 31.

Tulsa will come in motivated, and Navy will be flat after last week.  The Golden Hurricane roll in this one…

Kansas +9.5 vs Iowa State

I don’t want to take it – I need to take it.

Kansas is the worst team in division 1.  They are miserable.  I am pretty sure there are intramural flag football teams at SEC schools that could beat them.  They rank in the bottom 3 in both offense and defense in D1.  They are the suck.

But they have great line movement.  Only 39% of the bets are on Kansas, but the line moved from +10.5 to +9.5.  That is significant line movement over a key number.  The sharps like the Jayhawks.

But let’s not build Iowa State up to be the 1960 Philadelphia Eagles (which is the true measure of greatness).  They are also the suck.

They are terrible on the road – only scoring 15 points per game away from home.  Their only win this season was vs San Jose State.

And they are in a classic letdown spot.  They played Oklahoma last week at home on national TV for Thursday night football.  They played their hearts out, only losing by 10.  Now they travel to Kansas for an 11AM kickoff.  They will come out flat, and I think Kansas will pull the upset and win straight up.

California +14.5 @ Washington State

Not sure the reason, but I seem to play a lot of Washington State games.

I love the Cougs.  They are very entertaining.  They are coming off a week when they destroyed Arizona by 9 touchdowns.

But outside that win, most of their recent games have been close.  Look at their schedule:

Eastern Wash – lost by 3

Boise State – lost by 3 (Fishy Five Cover)

Idaho – won by a zillion

Oregon – won by a bunch (Fishy Five Cover)

Stanford – won by a bunch

UCLA – won by 6

ASU – won by 5

Oregon State – won by 4 (Fishy Five Cover)

Arizona – I think Wazzu just scored again.

Their last four games were three close ones and the AZ game.  And none of those 4 teams are any good.  14.5 is just too many points for Wash State to be laying vs anyone.

Let’s not sleep on Cal either.  Their last two weeks they got annihilated by USC (a Fishy Five cover) and Washington.  Those are two of the top 12 teams in the country.   Outside those two games, they have played every game close and have wins vs Texas and Oregon.

I like Cal to bounce back here after getting embarrassed by Washington (even though they were in the game at the half).  And I love that Cal can score points meaning the backdoor will always be open.  Finally, I love that we are getting the hook as 14.5 is a great number…

Pittsburgh -2.5 vs Dallas

Wait a damn minute here.

Dallas is 7-1, covering in 7 straight.  They have the bestest QB, RB and OL in the history of the planet.  Check that – make it the bestest in the entire solar system.  F those guys, insufferable bastards…

Pittsburgh has a gimpy QB, and has lost three straight.  Two of those losses were to the putrid Dolphins and Ravens.

And now the Steelers are favorites?  The mob is on Dallas as this one doesn’t make any sense.  What gives?

I’ll tell you what gives – it is a freaking trap.

Rookies don’t go 15-1 in the NFL.  You can’t really knock their play, as they seem to be getting better every week.  But this is their second roadie in a row, and they will be facing a very motivated and experienced team.

Don’t sleep on Pittsburgh either.  They were 4-1 at one point this season before Big Ben got hurt, and Big Ben had 15 TDs in those five games.

Pitt is going to load up the box, and stop the run.  This will force the rook to beat them in the air.  I just don’t see it happening.

On the flip side, Pitt will have a field day vs Dallas’ beat up secondary.  Antonio Brown will probably have 25 catches.  Sammie Coates (War Eagle) will drop six TD passes but catch two.  Pittsburgh will win this one by a TD.  We are buying low and selling high and fading the public…

Cleveland +10.5 @ Baltimore (Thursday Night)

It takes big stones to bet Cleveland two weeks in a row.  Especially after they burnt us last weekend…

But here we go again.

Cleveland sucks – no doubt about it.  But they are still playing hard and getting healthier.  Coleman the WR will be back for the second game, and that should help free up Barrett on the other side of the field.  Also, the LB Collins (acquired in a trade from NE) will be playing his second game as a Brown.

Really though, this is a play against Baltimore.  Baltimore’s largest win of the season is only by 7 points – which was last week vs Pittsburgh.   They have no running game, and Flacco has had a poor season (his QB ranking is near last in the NFL among starters).  On top of that, they have not scored more than 27 points all season.

Baltimore is in a letdown spot after their big win vs Pittsburgh, and Cleveland is in a revenge spot.

Remember in week 2 that Cleveland had Baltimore on the ropes.  Cleveland was up 21-0 before imploding and eventually losing in OT.  Cleveland knows they can play with Baltimore.

I love that I’m getting a team at rock bottom in Cleveland.  I love that their opponent is in a letdown spot.  I love that I’m getting a good number.  This will be a low scoring and ugly game, but Cleveland should cover.

Week 12:

The Fishy Five went 1-4 last week.  We are 26-25-4 on the year for 50.9%.  A pretty awful weekend where the ball just didn’t bounce our way…

It’s a new week, and I really like this card.  It is time to make some money.  It is time to skin some rabbits!

Skin some rabbits???  I actually have had that experience…

I was best friends with a guy named Jonboy in college.  Jonboy was country.  He spent his free time killing animals and watching Walker Texas Ranger.  He is one of the best guys I have ever met.

Anyway, Jonboy killed a crapload of rabbits one weekend, and was showing them off to me on Monday morning.

He informed me that he was going to cook them up for us for lunch.  I asked him where he was going to skin them, and he informed me that WE were going to skin them in the woods near the train tracks.

Now, it was important to know that the train tracks split the academic side of NC State with the residence side.  Every student that lived on campus had to pass this spot on their way to class.

So Jonboy and I took the rabbits and strung them from a tree in what looked like an animal ritual.  He started skinning them to the gasps of the people walking by.  Literally thousands of kids walked by wondering what in hell we were doing.

Of course, it didn’t take long for campus police to show up.  Fortunately for us, the cop was a good old boy and he and Jonboy discussed at length the best way to cook up a rabbit.

What’s the point of all that?  You can’t be afraid to skin your prize.  I’ll be honest – I was off my game last week.   There were some great plays that I was too afraid to take.  I loved Tennessee vs GB.  I loved Pittsburgh vs Clemson.  I loved Seattle vs New England.  It doesn’t matter now though, because I didn’t take them…

It is tough to skin a rabbit in the middle of campus when every passerby things you are a Neanderthal.  It is tough to take super contrarian plays when hundreds of you are following my moves.  Dammit though, that is who I am and who I will always be.  It is time to get back to our roots.

Hold on to your hats – because it is going to get super stinky around here…

PICKS

Illinois +10 vs Iowa

This is beyond scary.  I cannot believe this line isn’t 17.  Champaign is a safe city for shitty football players.  They are 3 and a lot, and most of those losses have been by blowout.  Their wins are vs Murray State, Rutgers and Michigan State.  Not exactly what you’d call quality wins.  They have been particularly horrendous of late – losing by a zillion to Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan three of the past four weeks.

Here is why we are playing them though.  We have great line movement on Illinois.  The line went from 11.5 to 10 while only 35% are on the Illini.  That means the sharps see something in this dogshit group the rest of the world doesn’t.

And it is obviously a huge letdown spot for Iowa after beating Michigan.  Even though Iowa had a big win, don’t forget they got drilled by Penn State the week before.  This is a very average, up-and-down Iowa team.

I see a weak effort for Illinois at this 11am game.

Duke +8 @ Pittsburgh

There is a lot going for Duke in this game.  It’s obviously a huge letdown spot for Pitt after their big win at Clemson.  Duke had a big win of their own, but it was on Thursday giving them a few extra days of rest.  And obviously we are getting a good number at 8.

Here is the thing though.  Duke has a fantastic coach. What Cutcliffe does with Duke is amazing.  He gets more out of less than any other coach in the country.  While they have struggled this year, they have played well of late.  They came back from down 14 early to beat UNC 28-27.  They played GT and VT tough and would have had a chance to beat Louisville with 2 minutes to go until they roughed Louisville’s kicker.  The point is they have been very competitive.  Maybe the UNC win gets them over the hump.

Also, Pittsburgh’s defense has been atrocious.  They are really beat up, and are giving up almost 350 yards a game in the air.  And while they had a great win vs Clemson, they did get pasted by Miami the week prior and lost to VT the week before that.

8 is just way too many points.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all for Duke to be super competitive in this game, and they may even pull the upset.

Mississippi State -2 vs Arkansas

There is fantastic line movement in this game.  Only 35% of the bets are on Miss State, but the line has flipped from Miss State +1 to Miss State -2.  That type of reverse line movement lets us know the sharps are pounding MSU hard.

Both teams are coming off blowout losses after big wins.

Here is the thing though – Arkansas is big time overrated.  People assume because it is a Brett Bielama team that they can run the ball and stop the run.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.  They are 2nd to last in the SEC at stopping the run.  Their OL is a sieve, and looks like it is trying to get QB Austin Allen killed.

Mississippi State is in a must-win spot here if they want a chance to go bowling.  I like them at home in a high-scoring game.

Philly +6.5 @ Seattle

I love, love, love this game.  Fresh in everyone’s mind is that Seattle beat the mighty New England Patriots in Foxboro.  The offense found its groove, and the defense had a great goal line stand with the game on the line.  This win is giving us tremendous value on Philly in this game.

The fact remains that Seattle has an awful offense line and cannot run the ball.  That is not a good combination vs one of the best defenses in the NFL and a very good front four.

Also, Philly does not get blown out, and Seattle doesn’t blow people out.  Outside the Jets and 49ers, the Seahawks have been within the 6.5 point spread of this game in each contest.  Philly has also been within a TD in every game this year.  And let’s not forget that Philly has shown up for big games this year.  They dominated Pittsburgh.  They should have beat Dallas in Dallas.  They beat the #1 offense in the NFL in Atlanta last week holding them to 15 points.

This one is going to be a low-scoring, conservative ball game.  Points will be at a premium, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Philly escape with a win.

Baltimore +7.5 @ Dallas

I refuse to believe in Dallas.  And if I bet against them enough, eventually they will lose right?

I guess you can’t argue that Dallas is good.  They have won eight straight and have covered in each one.  That being said, they stole one last weekend in Pittsburgh.  They also were gifted one vs Philly two weeks ago.  Now they are coming off a huge win vs Pittsburgh where everyone has anointed them as the greatest thing of all time.  I’m not buying it.

They are in a letdown spot vs a very scary Baltimore team.  The Ravens have one of the best defenses in the league, especially against the run.  While teams have attempted to beat Dallas by taking out the running game and making them one-dimensional , not many teams have actually had the talent to do so.  Baltimore does.

Baltimore has been very good after their bye, beating Pittsburgh and demolishing Cleveland.  The Cleveland game was on Thursday night, giving Baltimore a long week to prepare for Dallas.

Baltimore wins this one straight up.  Consider the huge spread a gift.

Week 13:

The Fishy Five went 0-5 last week.  We are 26-30-4 on the year for 46.4%.  We are 1-9 in our last 10.  I hope this is rock bottom, because it feels pretty awful.

I haven’t felt this bad in a long time.  In fact, the last time was in 3rd grade.

There was an hour left in school, and I had to take a dump.  However, I had a weird phobia about using school bathrooms, so I attempted to hold it.

As luck would have it, we would be saying the rosary in the cathedral to end the school day.  I was sitting in the front row.

Of course, I couldn’t hold it and I filled my britches.  I spent the next hour saying Hail Marys and looking around pretending I didn’t know where the awful smell was coming from.  But I knew exactly where that putrid odor originated.  It was coming from me – just like it is right now…

So here I am, beaten and battered and resembling Luke Kuechly on Thursday night.  I appreciate ya’ll sticking with me as it has been a rough couple of weeks.

Below is some prime fade material…

Texas -2.5 vs TCU

The college game is all about emotion.  Remember last year when Les Miles was on the chopping block at LSU, or when Beamer was going to retire, or when Jerry Kill was going to retire?  Those teams played hard for their coach in their last home game.  And Texas players love Charlie Strong.

There are more angles to this game than the Charlie Strong angle though.  It is senior day in Texas.  They are also playing to get into a bowl.  And TCU is a train wreck.  Sure, they dominated Baylor (who hasn’t recently), but outside that they have been blown out by Ok State and WVU, and lost to a putrid Texas Tech team and barely beat an awful Kansas team.

The line has shifted from a pick to Texas -2.5.  Texas is 4-1 ATS at home this year.  You can expect maximum effort from Texas in this game, and they will carry that midget off the field when they win.  And then he will get fired and will be the next coach at NC State…

South Carolina +24 @ Clemson

This one is very simple.  It’s just wayyy to many points.

I’m a fan of Clemson.  Good program with good traditions.  Their coach shared a bed with his momma in college, which is weird but whatever.  Bammers do weird things.

Let’s take a closer look at Clemson.  They beat an overmatched Wake Forest by 22.  They lost to Pitt.  They dominated Syracuse after knocking out Syracuse’s starting QB.  They squeeked by an average FSU squad (should have lost).  They squeeked by a putrid NC State squad (should have lost).  They pasted BC.  They squeeked by a good Louisville squad (should have lost).

This Clemson team is good without a doubt.  But they aren’t as good as last year, and last year they only beat a hapless USC team 37-32.

And USC has been a surprise team this year.  They have won 4 of their last 5, and the loss was a close fought game vs Florida.  In their 5 losses (Miss State, Kentucky, Tex A&M, UGA & UF) the largest loss was by 14.  They went through an entire SEC schedule without a loss less than 14, and now they are getting 24 in very heated rivalry game???

Clemson wins, probably by double digits.  But they won’t win by 24.

Tennessee Titans -3 @ Chicago

Get this one quick, as this line will more up fast.   A big reason why I am posting this on Tuesday is so we get a good line.

Here is the deal – Chicago is done.

Cutler is out – replaced by Matt Barkley.  Zach Miller is out replaced by a rookie from Harvard.  Jeffrey is out due to drugs.  White is out because he is the WR equivalent of Sam Bradford.  LB’s Freeman and Floyd are likely out due to dope and injury.  The OL suffered more injuries vs NYG, so many that I can’t keep track.  Fuller is still out in secondary.

Let me make it simpler…

Chicago’s JV team will be playing vs Tennessee’s starters.

But there are two sides to the ball.  And let’s look at this Tennessee team.

I’m not a big stats guy, but Tennessee has the #7 offense in the league in yards per game and #8 in scoring.  The QB has been playing great, and they can move the ball on the ground.  They fell behind big at Indy, but showed a lot of heart coming back in the second half to make it interesting.  They also blasted GB the week before.

I just don’t see how Chicago will score in this game.  And when you can’t score, you can’t cover.

Atlanta -4 vs Arizona

This is a big public play which I hate, but it is too good to pass up.

This is an awful scheduling spot for Arizona.  Two weeks ago they barely beat SF who is beyond awful.  They were on the road last week at Minnesota and got beat all to hell.  The Vikings pressured Palmer on 27 of his 43 dropback attempts.   And Minnesota isn’t that good with all their injury issues.  On top of all that, Bruce Arians, who I love, had medical issues early this week.  I am not sure the coaching implications that will have, but it definitely is a distraction that Az doesn’t need.

Now they have to go on the road again to play an early game in Atlanta.  Atlanta is coming off their bye, and the NFL’s #1 offense should be well-rested when AZ comes to town.

I also think this is the beginning of the end for Palmer.  Remember last year how he just kind of fell apart down the stretch?  I see that same thing happening this year.

One final angle, Palmer is old.  Old people have a hard time processing information quickly (trust me, I know).  And the game is played a lot faster in the dome.  This will make it even harder for Palmer to perform.

I like the Falcons by a TD here.

Philly -3.5 vs GB

The NFL gods do not like GB.  I circled this one in the preseason, and have been waiting for this game for a long time.

This is GB’s THIRD road game in a row, and their 4th in the last 5 weeks.  They got blown out by Washington and Tennessee the previous two roadies.  They lost to Indy and ATL the two games before that for good measure.

In their last two games, they have given up almost 1000 yards and 100 points.  Why you may ask?  Because their back 8 (GB plays 4 linebackers) looks like Chicago’s offense with all the injuries.  Washington’s performance wasn’t a fluke.  When you make Kirk Freaking Cousins look like Joe Montana, you have serious problems.  They also have injury issues at OL and at RB.

On top of that, there are big time locker room issues.  It seems like Aaron Rodgers is the hot girl where everyone is sick of her shit.  Current and former players have commented on it this week in the media.  That isn’t a good thing when your season is on the brink.

And Philly has been special at home.  They are a perfect 4-0 at home, handily beating Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Atlanta.  On top of that, the broadcast in the Philly/Seattle game showed a clip where Philly has outscored their opponents by 130-something points in the 2nd half this year.  That tells me that this young staff knows how to make half-time adjustments.  That is a sign of good coaching.

There is no way Philly can make as many mental mistakes as they did last week in Seattle.  Gimme the Birds vs an injury–riddled team that hasn’t been home in a month in a great bounce back spot.

Week 14:

The Fishy Five went 2-3 last week.  We finally broke a horrendous stretch that saw us lose 11 in a row over the last three weeks.  I don’t even know how that is freaking possible.  Going to be hard to dig out of that hole, but we are going to try.  We are 28-33-4 on the year for 45.9%.  Absolutely, embarrassingly craptastic.

One thing that makes sports betting so difficult is that we can have a team pegged perfectly, but just be too early with our bet.  The same holds true for life.

This happened to me back in early 2007.  By dumb luck, I stumbled onto Steve Jobs’ iphone launch event.  I am not a big tech guy at all, but I watched Jobs’ presentation and immediately understood how this product was going to change the world.  I was going to make a shit-ton of money because I could see the future…

So I put my life savings into deep out-of-the-money calls on Apple stock.  For those of you who aren’t stock market junkies – that is essentially a very leveraged and risky bet that allows you to control a lot of stock for a minimal investment.

On top of that, I even wrote a position paper and gave it to all my friends explaining how the iphone was going to change the world.  I wanted my friends to get rich with me, because that is the type of guy I am…

Sure enough, Apple took off rising from $75 bucks (where I bought) to $175 in a little over a year.  I made a shit-ton of money.  An absolute shit-ton.

And then the 2008 crash happened, and I lost every cent as Apple crashed with the rest of the market.

However, the story didn’t change.  The iphone was still going to change the world, and was going to make Apple a ton of money.  I had a second chance to ride the wave up.  And this time, I was even more confident as I owned the product and realized my predictions would come true.   As you probably know, Apple stock has risen 1000% since that 2008 bottom.

But I was shell-shocked from my initial loss, and I didn’t take advantage of the second wave up.  I should have retired on that investment.  Instead, I am left peddling a book and t-shirts (which make great holiday gifts by the way) and sharing terrible football picks.  FML…

Anyway, the exact same thing happens during the football season.  Sometimes you see things others don’t see, but act upon it too early.  If the story doesn’t change, don’t be afraid to stick to your guns.  That will be the theme this week…

Quick side note – we are pretty close to the third wave of the tech revolution.  The first was with the internet, and the second was with the smart phone.  The third will be virtual reality.  Don’t get fixated on those goofy glasses where people watch roller coaster videos and look like goobers.  It is much bigger than that.

This technology will change the way we do everything.  The latest issue of Forbes has a great article on it.  Be on the lookout for a company that figures out how to monetize this technology.  That is a stock you are going to want to own…

Anyway – now the picks:

Minnesota +3.5 vs Dallas

Fading Dallas has killed me this year.  I have lost on them 4 times, including 3 of the last 4 weeks.  The story hasn’t changed though.  Rookie QBs don’t win every game in the NFL.  Especially on the road vs a top notch defense.  It just doesn’t happen.

Let’s look back at Dallas/Washington last week.  Dallas gave up 450 yards passing.  Washington moved the ball at will, but kept kicking FGs (and missing them).  Washington outplayed Dallas.

The game exposed how weak the injured Dallas secondary is.  That will really help Minnesota, as their passing game is a PERCEIVED weakness.

Everyone knows that since Norv Turner quit Minnesota has gone very conservative passing the ball.  And everyone saw the DREADFUL, fluke interception that Sam Bradford threw at the end of the Detroit game on Thanksgiving.

What everyone forgets is he was 31-37 passing in the game.  He has an injury riddled OL and the only way they can play without getting him killed is to dink and dunk it.  They also have no run game what-so-ever.  That dink and dunk strategy almost worked, as it shortened the game and gave Minnesota the ball with a tie game late in the 4th.  Without that pick they probably go down and score, and then everyone is lauding Minnesota for the great coaching job they did.

This strategy has been solid since getting rid of Norv, as they beat Arizona and played toe-to-toe with Washington.  This week they get their #1 receiver back in Stephon Diggs.  That will definitely help open things up.

Minnesota 4-1 at home ATS and SU.  They have a stellar front 7 that can keep Dallas’ running game in check.  They have a stud corner to harass Dez.  Dallas will be coming off a big rivalry game, and Minnesota will be looking to bounce back from a heartbreaking loss.  Take the home team here.  Join the 27% of us with huge stones.  They will win straight up.

SF +2.5 vs Chicago

Sometimes the story stays the same, sometimes the story gets worse.  Chicago is an injury-riddled mess, and they lost MLB Danny Trevathan in the Tennessee game.  To recap, Chicago is missing 3 starting OL, both starting WRs, their top 2 QBs and their top TE on offense.  On defense they are now missing most of their back 7.

People will think that they were very competitive vs Tennessee, but that was due to Tennessee getting too complacent down the stretch.  Tennessee was up 27-7 to start the 4th before they went into a prevent defense.  Chicago’s comeback gives us a second shot to reload, as many don’t realize that they are still the crappy team we thought they were.

San Francisco has been more competitive lately as well.  They gave a surging Miami team all they could handle, and Kapperdick threw for 300 and ran for 100.

The week before that they played NE tough for three quarters before eventually losing.  The week before that they took Arizona to overtime.  San Fran has not been playing bad ball the past few weeks.

Also, don’t forget who drafted Matt Barkley when all others shunned him – Chip Kelly.  The Chipper will have more respect for Barkley than any human alive, and probably knows him better as well.

What you have here are two dogshit teams.  One looking to pack the season in, one trying to build something for their new coach.  Look for SF to win this one straight up.

Houston +6 @ GB

We faded GB for good reason last week, and it just didn’t turn out.  The story hasn’t changed though, so we are going to fade them again.

I painfully understand that GB looked good dominating Philly on Monday night.  Let’s look at the game a little closer though.  Philly lost their starting RG hours before the game.  They also deactivated their #2 receiver hours before the game.  On top of that, they lost their #1 receiver to a foot injury on the second possession.  So Philly was playing without their top two WRs, 3 OLs and their starting RB.  This was like Chicago-lite.

On top of that, Philly shot themselves in the foot over and over.  They had a huge gain on a screen called back by a blocking too early penalty.  That took points off the board.  They were going to get the ball back down one score late in the 4th until a critical off-sides penalty.  That was like a turnover.  They actually did throw a pick deep in GB territory on an awful overthrow.  They just couldn’t get out of their own way.

GB was the beneficiary of Philly’s ineptitude, but that doesn’t change who they are.  They are still an injury-riddled team on the OL and at RB.  Their D is still atrocious as they gave up 30+ per game the previous 4 before playing Philly.  On top of that, Clay Matthews got banged up Monday night – another dent in a porous back 7.

While everyone loves to shit on Houston and Brock Osweiler, they are #1 in their division at 6-5.  They are coming off back-to-back, one TD losses vs San Diego and Oakland, but both of those teams are decent.  This gives us a great buy-low spot.

Houston’s weakness on offense is in the passing game – which is the weakness of GB’s defense.  With Houston’s stud WRs, they should have a breakout performance in this game.

Houston also has a very good defense, and you know they aren’t going to let a dink and dunk game plan beat them like GB used to beat Philly.  Even if GB is successful with that game plan, it will turn into a low scoring game.  If that happens I love that we are getting six points.

This one will be close and ugly.  Love that we are fading a team off a big win on a short week.  Love that we are getting points.  It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Houston wins straight up.

Jacksonville +5 vs Denver

My name is Pat Hagerty, and I was hating on Denver before it was cool to hate on Denver.  Fading Denver has cost us 3 losses this year.  The story hasn’t changed though – they are overrated.

Sure, they started out 4-0, but that strong start was really a mirage.  They beat Carolina who sucks, Indy who blows, Cincy who stinks and the Bucs who are the Bucs.  They built a strong start on the backs of cream puffs.

Since then they have gone 3-3.  That is a truer representation of who they are.

None of that matters though.  What matters is the situational play in this game.

First, this line stinks to high heavens.  Why on God’s green earth is this line not 8?  Every spongebob squarepants bettor is on Denver at -5, but Vegas could have taken it up to 7 and JoePub would have still hammered it.  Only 23% of the public is on Jacksonville.  It seems that Vegas is gobbling up Denver money like Drew Brees at a sausage party.  Very fishy…

Second, it is a terrible scheduling spot for Denver.  They played a VERY physical, prime time game vs a division rival last week.  On top of that, the game went an entire extra quarter due to OT.  Teams that play almost a full OT and then travel that week nearly always crap the bed – see week 9 with Seattle and Arizona for recent examples…

Finally, Jacksonville has been playing better ball.  Sure, they suck balls, but they have been competitive vs Buffalo, Detroit, Houston and KC the previous four weeks.  All four of those teams are likely playoff teams.  They were within one score in each of those games, and no reason they can’t be under one score vs an overrated and tired Denver team.

You know Jax will be pumped up playing the world champs at home.  Gimme cinco puntos because it is the right play – regardless of how terrifying it is…

Atlanta -4 vs KC

Sometimes you are right (ATL last week), and the story doesn’t change so DAMMIT don’t change your strategy!  That is called learning my friends.

Remember what I said about Denver and the OT game about 30 seconds ago?  Same thing applies to KC.  They went five quarters as well, and now have to travel into a very hostile environment in Atlanta.

Let’s dig deeper into KC though, because it is important.  They were dominated by Denver Monday night.  The yardage was 464-273, and you know I’m not a fan of Denver.  KC only had 145 yards of total offense until their final TD drive in regulation.  If Kubiak doesn’t go full retard by attempting an 87 yard FG, they end up with a tie and everyone isn’t as high on them today.

But that isn’t the only time they lucked out.  That was the third time they were trailing by 8 or more in the 4th and won.  Recall they stripped a Carolina receiver when Carolina went full Denver with 20 seconds to go to give away the game.  The Chargers chocked away a huge lead to KC as well.

Those things in life tend to even out.

Let’s look a KC’s last 4 games.  They lucked out winning by 3 vs an overrated Denver team.  The week before that they LOST to Tampa Freaking Bay.  The week before that they lucked out vs Carolina.  The week before that they struggled vs Jackson freaking Ville and barely won.

KC is well coached, but they just aren’t that good.  They are very vanilla on offense, missing their best two skill players in Jeremy Maclin and Jamaal Charles.  They also have key injuries on the defensive line with DT Dontario Poe and Dee Ford out.

This is a terrible matchup for KC vs Atlanta who gets to stay at home after a bye week and then a blowout win vs Arizona.

Atlanta is playing at a very high level on offense, especially at home.  They will score a lot of points.  KC simply doesn’t have the fire power to keep up.  Don’t forget too that Atlanta blew out Arizona with Julio Jones having a very subpar game.  He will bounce back and have a huge game this weekend.

It’s a terrible matchup and a terrible situational spot for KC.  Take Atlanta in a shootout.

Really like this card.  I don’t think it will go 5-0 as we are relying on some shitty teams to show up.  I do think it will give us a 3-2 or a 4-1 week.  Good luck and thanks for sticking around.  It is always darkest before dawn…

Week 15:

The Fishy Five went 1-4 last week.  We are 29-37-4 on the year for 43.9%.

Oakland +3.5 @ KC

You can get Oakland +3 at +110 or +3.5 at -115.  And when you are on a cold streak, you take the hook.

KC is a fraud.  An absolute f’n fraud, and I’m not a bit happy about it.  The Atlanta game is a perfect example.  Their last 16 points were scored on special teams and on defense.  That is the type of fluky shit that will drive a bettor insane.

Fact of the matter is KC can’t score.  They have been outgained in yards in each of their last five games.  If you only account for points scored by the offense – they have averaged 15 points in their last five games.

Also their defense is overrated.  It is 21st in yards per play.  It is 11th in scoring defense.

KC has made their living off of turnovers.  And turnovers are fluky occurrences in the magnitude of how they impact the game.  Counting on having your defense score points or create easy scoring opportunities every week just isn’t realistic.

This is KC’s 3rd game in 10 days.  The last two were emotional games vs high level opponents (Denver and Atlanta).  This is the game they come back to earth.

Just as important as that is the motivation factor for Oakland this week.  This is a revenge game after losing to KC earlier in the season.  Note that game was after a KC bye, and everyone knows Fat Andy doesn’t lose after a bye.

Bigger than that though is this is Oakland’s biggest game in YEARS.  This is their chance to prove to everyone on national television that they are the real deal.  This isn’t even KC’s biggest game in the last 10 days (that would be the 5-quarter Denver game on national TV).

Oakland will want it more, has a great passing game and stud OL.  They have been great all year in the 2nd half, and especially in the 4th quarter.  Worst case here we are getting points in a low scoring game.  Best case is Oakland wins straight up.

Seattle -2.5 @ GB

I have been very critical of Seattle this year.  They have significant OL problems.   They also have Earl Thomas out – a very big blow.  Sure they beat the hell out of Carolina last week, but they got thumped by Tampa Bay the week before.

That tells me a lot about their team.  They can get up for the big games – like beating Carolina and New England.  But they sleep walk through the crap teams – like Tampa and New Orleans.

Green Bay, despite their massive, hairy warts, is still seen as an elite team.  As such, they will get a focused Seattle team and Seattle’s best effort.

And you know how much I hate this Green Bay team.  Everyone thinks they are back because they feasted on a shit Eagles team and an even shittier Houston team.  Even then they struggled with both.

They are completely one-dimensional on offense – not a good recipe vs Seattle.  They also have average talent at the skill positions in the passing game.  They are still injury riddled on the OL and in their back 7.  It just isn’t a good matchup for them.

I love that are getting a good number here.  Seattle is starting their late-season push like they do every year, and this may be the last week we get them at a great number.

Jax +3.5 vs Minnesota

Holy crapballs.  No wonder I am a zillion games under 500.  I am actually going to put my hard-earned money on Jacksonville for the 2nd straight week by fading the only team that has won a game for me since Halloween.  I deserve to lose this bet, but I don’t care.

Here is a little stat for you.  Jacksonville has the #4 defense in the NFL.  As such, they kept games close and were within one score of their opponent in each game of November.  That streak was broken last week in their loss to Denver.

That Denver game is misleading though.  Bortles did what Bortles does and threw a pick six.  Jacksonville also had two painful, bogus late hit penalties that gifted Denver 10 points.  They also didn’t get a PI call on Robinson late in the 4th on 4th and 4 which would have led to points.  Jacksonville was very competitive last week, but didn’t get the breaks.

Everyone saw that Minnesota played Dallas tough.  You cannot knock the inspired D they played.  They are tough as nails and that is a fun team to watch – AT HOME.  On the road they have lost their last 4 – to the Lions, Skins, Bears and Eagles.  They are only 2-4 ATS on the road.

They also could not move the ball at all vs Dallas.  Their only drive of the game was the last one.  And don’t forget that Dallas has an injury riddled defense.  This one spells let-down city as their season is already lost.

Finally, I love that only 20% of the public has the balls to be on Jacksonville.  Vegas is going to need Jacksonville to show up.  I think they do in a lowwwwwwwwww scoring game.  Take the puntos, as Jacksonville will lose 3-2.

Tennessee -1 vs Denver

Now this one is interesting, besides me fading Denver for the hundredth time this season.

Like KC, this is Denver’s 3rd game in 10 days.  However, this is Denver’s 2nd roadie in a row, and like I stated above they didn’t exactly impress in Jacksonville.

Here is another little stat that may surprise you – Denver has a shitty run defense.  They are ranked #28 in the NFL in run defense.

And yet another little stat that may surprise you – Tennessee can run the damn ball.  They are ranked #3 in the NFL in rushing yards per game.

I think Tennessee is a very underrated team.  They will be rested and coming off a bye.  They will be supremely motivated to give Denver their best shot.

Denver has a huge concern at QB.  If Semen can’t play, then they are in big trouble.  If he can play, you have to wonder about how the injury will affect his play.  He was in a walking boot for a week.

Gimme Tennessee in this one…

Baltimore +7 @ NE

Gulp.  Fading New England on a Monday night?  Is that really a good decision?  Probably not, but this season has been filled with bad decisions so what the hell.

Here is what I know about New England – they slept walked through November.  They aren’t the dominant team they were in October.  Part of that was feasting on a weak schedule and taking it easy because they could.  No shame in that.

But they have lost the 2nd most important member of their team in Gronk.  They still have a very young offensive line.  And now they face a team that has been their nemesis over the years.

That Baltimore team is #1 in the NFL in defense.  Their secondary is playing outstanding football, a key ingredient when facing Brady.  After destroying Miami last weekend, it looks like their offense may be finding its groove as well.

I love that the sharps are pounding Baltimore.  They have bet the line down from 9 to 7.  I gobbled some +9 and will take some more at +7.  A touchdown will just be too many points in what will be a very emotional game.

There you have it.  Hopefully it isn’t another turd sandwich.  Who knows though…

Week 16:

The Fishy Five went 1-3-1 last week.  We are 30-40-5 on the year for 42.9%.

You are what your record says you are…

I am really bad.

I won’t try to sugarcoat it or explain it.  It has been a complete shit-show around here lately.

Time to go back to basics.

With sports betting – there are two truths that always, always, always hold true.  Scared money is dead money, and the public never wins.

I’ll be real honest right now, my confidence is at an all-time low.  The type of ass beating I have taken over the past month will do that to a guy.  I need to go back to the days of being the Landshark…

Back in college, I was 170lbs, and most of that was hair.  I also had the most ferocious farmer’s tan you have ever seen due to spending too much time on the golf course and not enough time in the classroom.

But when my frat would have a party, things would change.  I would morph into the Landshark.

Now, as the Landshark I had certain qualities that made me a crowd favorite.  Boundless energy and confidence were my trademarks.  I didn’t just become the life of the party, I was the damn party.

At 11:11 exactly (because I’m #1) the regulars at our parties would start the Jaws chant.  Da Dunt.  Da Dunt.  Da Dunt…

Then all eyes would fix on me.

I would crack open a beer, and chug it straight to a roaring ovation.  Then, in the middle of the damn party, I would strip completely naked.  I would tuck a cardboard shark fin in my butt crack, and 4 guys would race me though the party holding me high.  I was the friggin’ Landshark and I didn’t have a care in the world.

And on special occasions.  On very special occasions, I was the Flaming Landshark!  I’d light the fin on fire before making my victory lap around the house…

This week – I’m a Landshark again.  Confident.  Bold.  Little pecker flapping in the wind and completely vulnerable.  But also, I’m surrounded by friends.  And you and I are going to get through this together come hell or high water.

So we are confident.  Time to make some good decisions.

Here’s a little stat for you.  Last Sunday, teams that got over 60% of the spread tickets went 7-2 against the spread.  The squares had a good week.  As we know though, the public always loses.  This will be a regression to the mean week.  A week for the sharps.  A week for the Landsharks.

So this week, we are only considering teams that are getting less than 40% of the spread action.  That leaves us the games below to pick from.  Also included are my concerns with each of these teams…

Jets +2.5 (37%) vs Miami – OMG the Jets suck.  I know Miami is starting their backup QB, but so are the Jets.  Scary, scary, scary.

Jax +6 (26%) @ Houston – We bet Jax last week vs Minnesota, and they were covering until about 2 minutes left in the game.  That being said, it wasn’t that close as Minny fumbled on the goal line and didn’t convert on a 4th and Goal.

Cleveland +10 (31%) @ Buffalo – You know they are winless right? They haven’t even sniffed a cover in weeks.  They are like me.

Philly +6 (26%) @ Baltimore – Philly is dogshit on the road.  They are regressing in every area.

San Fran +14 (20%) @ ATL – They are just so bad.  So disgustingly bad.

Denver +3 (23%) vs NE – NE ran the ball down Baltimore’s #1 rated run defense’s throats.  Denver’s run D isn’t good.

Tennessee +5.5 (33%) @ KC – Do I really want to lose to Andy Reid again?  I fade them every week.  Plus they are on a long week after having the Thursday game last week.

Cincy +3 (20%) vs Pitt – Pitt is red hot, and Cincy is Cincy.  At this point of the season, you know who you are, and Cincy isn’t very good.

NO +2.5 (27%) @ AZ – NO couldn’t move the ball on Tampa.  How are they going to move it on Arizona?

SD +2.5 (25%) vs Oak – Gordon hurt.  Bosa hurt.  Rivers looks like Jay Cutler.  Scary, scary, scary.

Dallas -7 (27%) vs TB – Dallas has struggled to move the ball the last 3 games.  TB is playing great ball lately.  No way do I want to lay that much scratch on a rookie QB who seems to be hitting the wall.

The picks:

Tennessee +5.5 (33%) @ KC

Kansas City is such a joke.  Recall our bet last week vs Oakland.  KC scored 14 quickly.  They then scored a TD on a punt return after Oakland had to re-punt in the 2nd.  Then they were completely shut out the rest of the game.  Not only that, Oakland had the ball 3 times in the red zone in the 2nd half and only came away with 3 points.  KC is winning by smoke and mirrors, and that doesn’t last forever.

KC is also 4-5 ATS outside their division.  They have already lost ATS to the Jags, Saints and TB at Arrowhead, and none of those teams are as good as Tennessee.

Tennessee on the other hand beat Denver last weekend.  This came after a late bye which gives them a big advantage.  Mariotta was dreadful, but the defense and running game were very good.

Here is the thing about this game though – Derrick Johnson blew out his achilles in the 2nd half vs Oakland.  Without him, they cannot stop the run.  Tennessee is a phenomenal run team.  KC has lived off defensive and special teams scores.  Mariotta doesn’t turn the ball over, and you know Tennessee will not give KC opportunities in the return game.   This game will be slow, methodical, and probably extremely boring.  That makes 5.5 extremely huge.

Finally, despite only 33% of the tickets on Tennessee, the line has moved from +6 to +5.5.  This reverse line movements tell us the sharps like Tennessee this week, and we know the sharps are going to have a good week.

NO +2.5 (27%) @ AZ

What we have here are two average teams with lots of problems.

Arizona is a mess.  They are likely going to be missing their starting LT, RG and RT this weekend.  They couldn’t run or throw it last weekend vs Miami, and nearly got Palmer killed.  Speaking of Palmer – he has sucked this year.  Maybe it is because John Brown’s play has been off since being diagnosed with sickle cell.  Maybe it is because Michael Floyd has sucked this year.  Note Floyd was found passed out drunk behind the wheel at an intersection early Monday morning.  Maybe it is because Fitzgerald is about 50 years old.  Regardless, he has stats that rival the league’s worst QBs.

New Orleans has sucked too.  Brees (not a winner) has tossed 3 picks in two straight with no TD passes.  What I noticed most out of them though is they only gave 16 points to a good Bucs team and only 270 yards.  That is the sign of a team that is playing hard and still competing.

When I see this game, I see a repeat of the Arizona/Atlanta game.  I think Brees will bounce back and have a solid game.  I think Carson will toss a couple picks.  Gimme the Aint’s and the small spread, as they probably win straight up.

Cincy +3 (20%) vs Pitt

Here you go.  This is the game of the week.  Every week, Vegas needs a game or they will lose their ass.  This game is that game for this week.

Cincy has had a rough season without a doubt.  That gives us tremendous value in this game.  Cincy is coming off two blowout wins in a row.  While they beat inferior opponents, good football is good football.  The Glamorous Ginger has been on fire, and gets AJ Green back this week.  Arizona State’s Vontaze Burfict is playing as well as any linebacker in the league right now.  Cincy has a strong secondary and Carlos Dunlap is having another nice season.  This team has talent, and is finally starting to put it together.

Pittsburgh has also been playing great ball as winners of 4 straight.  Brown, Bell and Ben are all playing at an extremely high level.  So high in fact that it is time to sell…

I also love the revenge spot for Cincy here.  Everyone remembers the playoff loss last year.  Pitt also beat Cincy in week 1 of this season.  Cincy is traditionally an extremely good home team.  Add the emotion in and we have a very, very live dog.

Denver +3 (23%) vs NE

It takes huge balls to fade New England twice in less than a week – but I’m doing it.

New England is on a short week.  New England is decimated at the skill positions on offense.  On top of that, they are coming off an emotional game vs a hated rival.  And now they go on the road to a place they have struggled recently…

I hope I don’t lose my spot on the Denver hater bus, because I do like them a lot this week.  Denver beat New England last year with Brock Osweiler in one game, and an old man who once was Peyton Manning in another.  Both games were in Denver.  If they can win with those two scrubs, they can win with Seman.

Why does Denver give New England trouble?  Because they understand the only way you can beat New England is by beating the hell out of Brady.  Their defense is as good as ever, and you know they will be motivated this week.

The Tennessee game was also very interesting for Denver.  They got rattled in the first half, couldn’t stop the run or run it themselves.  They completely abandoned that game plan in the 2nd half and threw it every down.  There were a couple uncharacteristic drops in the second half, but the passing game was very effective.

Denver is the smart play here even though the public will POUND New England all the way until kickoff.  Watch this line very closely.  If it sticks on 3 or even drops to 2.5, you will know for sure that we are on the right side.

Cleveland +10 (31%) @ Buffalo

Cleveland is 2-11 this year ATS.  As the season progresses, there is extreme value in betting winless teams.  The reason for that is most rational bettors stay far away from them and thus Vegas inflates their lines.  I have no other solid reason why anyone on earth would want to place a bet on Cleveland.  So yeah – when you suck as bad as I do eventually you revert to “their due”.

Buffalo on the other hand is a team on the verge of turmoil.  Rex is close to being canned.  They are starting a QB who has no business in the NFL (Tyrod Taylor) and the fans what to replace him with another QB who has no business in the NFL (Cardale Jones).  Their secondary is decimated by injury and their best player – DT Kyle Williams – is likely out this week.

Cleveland is the play here.  Sharps have been destroyed on the Brownies this year, but this week will be different.

There it is.  Five solid selections.  They probably won’t pan out, but we are on the right side of each game.  Who knows, if we have a nice week, maybe I’ll dust of the shark fin for old time’s sake…

PS – Bowl season is right around the corner, and I will send out my Bowl Plays email later this week or this weekend…

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Week 17:

The Fishy Five went 2-3 last week.  We are 32-43-5 on the year for 42.6%.

Joe Public had another great week last week.  We highlighted 11 games with decidedly public action, and the public went 7-4.  The public has gotten the better of Vegas for a few weeks in a row now.

No story this week since I gave one with my bowl picks.  We are playing a lot of games the next two weeks.  Time to save our season…

Also, I want to give a shout out to my good friend Tasha from UNC. I didn’t get a chance to bet UNC this year (outside the over in the bowl game which I love), but hopefully my subtle UNC references this week will make good on our deal…

Atlanta -2.5 @ Carolina

This is a terrible matchup & situation for the Panthers.  They are coming off a short week and emotional win.  The public will overestimate them as a result.  They face an Atlanta team that is great throwing the ball.  Stopping the pass is Carolina’s weakness, despite having Tre Boston at safety from UNC.  Atlanta also does a good job rushing the QB.  That is Carolina’s other weakness.

Atlanta has had two tune-up games vs STL and SF the past two weeks, destroying both.  I think they will give the best effort as they know they are close to closing out the division.

Washington -3.5 @ Chicago

I love how Chicago has been playing.  Since Barkley entered the lineup they almost beat Tennessee and then covered in 3 straight.  The fact remains that this team is decimated by injury and is starting their 3rd string QB.  Teams don’t cover every week with backups.  Especially teams trying to get in a good draft spot to draft Mitch Trabisky from UNC.

On the flip side Washington has put themselves in a must-win spot after laying an egg on Monday night.  Washington does have weapons in the skill positions, making this a terrible matchup for a depleted Chicago back seven.   I think we see a desperate Washington team that plays pissed after mailing it in on Monday.

Minnesota +6.5 @ GB

I have been a hater of Green Bay for a long time now.  You can’t deny they have been playing great ball lately as they have been winners of 4 straight.  You have to give a lot of credit for that streak to Julius Peppers from UNC.  And Minnesota is in the opposite situation after getting dominated by Indianapolis last weekend.

I love how Zimmer called out the team for being soft after the game.  Like Washington, I think they come out pissed and looking to rebound.  They know their season is on the brink, and win here is critical to making the playoffs.

It is simply too many points vs a team that plays outstanding defense.  I expect Minnesota to dust off the Dallas game plan and make this a slow, ball-control game.  That will make 6.5 just too many points.

Oakland -3.5 vs Indianapolis

This is a great buy-low, sell-high spot.  Indianapolis is coming off a huge road win vs Minnesota.  Oakland is coming off a so-so performance vs San Diego and a very public loss to Kansas City.

The fact remains that Indianapolis does not have a talented roster outside the QB.  It has been a long time since Jeff Saturday from UNC was snapping the ball to Peyton Manning.  Oakland is talented everywhere.  Oakland also needs this week to stay in front of KC in the division race.

Fade Indy in their second roadie in a row.

Arizona +8 @ Seattle

8 points?  Are you kidding me?

Seattle has major issues on the offensive line and in the secondary with Earl Thomas out.  If there is one team in the NFL that can expose those deficiencies it is Arizona.

In their first game this year, they tied 6 to 6.  I see no reason why this won’t be another low-scoring game with Seattle’s issues on offense.  Also, Arizona has major talent on defense, like LB Kareem Martin of UNC.

I will gladly take more than a TD in a game that could prove to be low-scoring.

Bowl Picks:

I love bowl season with its endless games and betting opportunities.  It is also the best time of year for a situational bettor as it is pretty easy to identify teams that are excited about their bowl game and teams that are just playing out the string.

Several years ago NC State was playing in the Papa John’s Bowl.  A group of about ten of us attended.

In the stadium concourse we saw a line of people getting free beer from a keg.  All of a sudden the prestige of the Papa John’s Bowl went way up in our eyes.

I was about 5 people back when stadium security came up and said that no one could get beer from this keg unless someone was there checking IDs.

Everyone dispersed disappointed.  Everyone except my buddy Jonboy (the rabbit killer) and I.

I went to a nearby concession stand stole two aprons.

Jonboy and I returned to the keg and started selling beer.  He checked IDs and collected $5 a beer.  I poured.

We got about 50 beers out of the keg before it went dry.  Not too shabby, until stadium security showed back up.

They asked what we were doing.  We said that they instructed us that no one could get beer out of the keg unless someone checked IDs.  So as good citizens we were checking.

He was pissed.  He was an older guy without a sense of humor.  He threatened to have us arrested, but instead just threw us out of the game.

No big deal though, as we found scalped tickets for 5 bucks each and got back into the game.

That is what we are looking for this bowl season.  There are opportunities to profit by being smarter than the general public.  We just have to be bold enough to take a chance.

Before the picks though – consider getting a shirt or two for the degenerate in your life.  If you order today, I will get them in the mail tomorrow meaning you will have them by Christmas.

Here are our 2016 Bowlnzanza Picks:

Auburn +3 vs Oklahoma – Sugar Bowl

Remember the Rule of Auburn Football – they are shit when you expect them to be good, and great when you don’t expect anything out of them.

Auburn is really excited to be in this game – they actually lobbied hard to get an invite.  It was a great bounce back year for the program.  Just as importantly, they are finally 100% healthy.

Oklahoma is dealing with a mess with the Mixon issue.  They have sucked out of conference this year (lost to Ohio State at home and got housed by an average Houston team).

We have great reverse line movement in this game.  The line opened at 5.5, but dropped to 3 with only 31% of the public on the Tigers.  I love Auby here.  War Damn Eagle.

USC -6.5 vs Penn State – Rose Bowl

Penn State is a great story.  They should have represented the B10 in the Final 4.  My Mom was a Penn State cheerleader, so I have deep PSU ties.  But they are walking into a buzz saw this game.

While they had a nice season, they really only have two quality wins – Wisconsin and Ohio State.  The OSU win was fluky due to the blocked kick.  Wisconsin was a nice win, but that team had flaws.

Southern Cal stumbled out of the gate at 1-3, changed their QB and have been on fire since then.  This team probably beats everyone but Bama if he was starting all season.  I think they will be extremely motivated to show that USC football is back in this game.  It is a home game for them, and it is PSU’s first big Bowl in years.  They will be shell-shocked by the moment.  I like USC by 10 here.

Clemson +3 vs Ohio State – Fiesta Bowl

I love Clemson here.  Clemson shows up for big games, and wins most of them.  They have now for several seasons.  They are a very experienced team as most are seniors or juniors who are going to go pro.

Ohio State is not impressive.  Down the stretch they were dominated by Michigan (the 4th and 1 call was ludicrous) and only beat a putrid Michigan State team by 1.  They are a fraud to even be in this position.

Ohio State is also very young.  They were in Clemson’s position last year with a very old and experienced team, but all those guys are gone.

The wrong team is favored here.  Take the points.

LSU -3 vs Louisville – Citrus Bowl

This is a great matchup for LSU.  LSU will be emotionally invested due to Orgeron’s first game as head coach.  Fournette is out because he is a pansy, but the there isn’t a huge drop off with the backup.

Louisville faded down the stretch, getting their doors blown off by Houston and losing to Kentucky.  They had visions of a much bigger season, but those ended in Houston.  On top of that, Jackson winning the Heisman is a distraction, as is half the secondary getting shot (literally).

One team will be supremely focused, the other will be disappointed.  Take the Tigers.

FSU +7 vs Michigan – Orange Bowl

This one is a hard one to figure out.  I am not sure if either of these teams are as good as we think they are.  Michigan stumbled home down the stretch.  FSU’s only wins of note were Ole Miss in week 1 and UF in the last week.

Like Louisville above, Michigan had sights on a bigger bowl.  FSU has a younger team that will be excited to play in Miami.

I think FSU has the emotional edge in this one.  I also think they probably have the superior athletes.  I like how they didn’t show up in last’s years bowl game when they got housed by Houston.  I think they will be a lot more focused this time around.

This game should be closer to a pick than a TD.  I’ll gladly take 7 and sit back and see what happens.

Air Force -13 vs South Bama – Arizona Bowl

This has blowout city written all over it.

AF got hosed in the bowl selection.  They are 9-3 with wins over Boise State and Navy.  They are damn good.  And here is the thing about a bunch of soon-to-be lieutenants – they won’t sit and sulk like a bunch of bitches (and 98% of the rest of d1) because they got jobbed.  That is life.  They are going to be focused and take the fight to their opponent – because that is what they are supposed to do.

For their efforts they get rewarded with South Alabama.  South Alabama is 6-6, and squeaked into a bowl by beating something called Nicholls by 1 and Presbyterian.  I am not impressed.

S Bama is 98th in rush D vs a pretty weak schedule.  The only triple option team they faced was GA Southern, and they ran for 300+ yards in a blowout win.  AF averages 322 yards rushing a game for 4th in the nation.

This is going to be an ass kicking of epic proportions, and then these kids will go defend your freedom.   Lay a bet on them, then buy a serviceman a beer next time you see one in the airport…

South Carolina +10.5 vs USF – Birmingham Bowl

USF had a very nice season.  10-2 with some nice wins sprinkled in there.  I am not knocking that squad one bit as they have a lot of talent.

What I hate about this spot for them is they just lost their head coach Willie Taggert.  The players really loved him, and you have to wonder how they will respond without him.

South Carolina, on the other hand, is in rebuild mode.  They had to beat Tennessee and Missouri down the stretch to become bowl eligible.  They are going to be thrilled to be going bowling in Muschamp’s first year.

I think it is a good matchup on paper for USC too.  They play good D – allowing only 24 points a game in the SEC.  South Florida does not, as they give up 31 a game in a weaker conference.  It looks like strength on strength on both sides of the ball, and when that happens I always favor the defense.

Gimme 10.5 as that is just too much scratch.

KSU +2 vs Texas A&M – Texas Bowl

We have good line movement in this game, as it was gone from 2.5 to 2 despite the public on A&M.  We also have the better coach in Bill Synder.

We have a KSU team that is getting better.  Their only loss since Oct 15 was a close loss to a good OK State team.  We also have an A&M team that has tanked.  They are winless since beating Tennessee on Oct 8 (wins vs NM State and Tex San Antonio don’t count).

The wrong team is favored here.  Take Synder as a dog because he is the best dog coach in NCAA history.

Miami -3 vs WVU – Russel Athletic Bowl

We have great reverse line movement in this one.  The pub is on WVU, but the line has moved from -1 to -3.  We have an unranked team favored over a ranked team, which is always a head scratcher.

I think this is a statement game for Mark Richt heading into his first off-season as Miami’s coach.  They have won four straight convincingly, and play outstanding defense.  I like them in a low-scoring game.

Wake +11.5 vs Temple — Military Bowl

This is horrendous spot for Temple.  They play in the exact same stadium as their last game – their conference championship game vs Navy.  They are getting a lot of street cred for pounding Navy, but that was without Navy’s QB and FB.  Hell – Army beat Navy with those guys missing.  I am not impressed.

On top of that, Temple has covered in something dumb like 11 straight.  That doesn’t last forever.

On top of that, they lost their head coach.

On top of that, there is awful reverse line movement indicating the sharps love the Deacs.  It was bet down from 14 to 11.5 despite the pub being all over Temple.

On top of that, Bill Cosby is a rapist.  It is just an awful spot for the Owls.

Wake on the other hand has to feel slighted that one of their own sold them out with the playbook scandal.  I think they will play with a chip on their shoulder as a result.

They are a young team, and making a bowl actually means something.  While they are still Wake, they do play decent defense.  They won’t be shocked playing a good team either as they have played NC State, FSU, Louisville and Clemson this year.

I think they have a huge motivational edge here, and will give Temple all they can handle.

Pitt -5.5 vs Northwestern — Pinstripe Bowl

Pitt can play when motivated.  They beat Penn State and Clemson this year.  Their issue is they really don’t stress playing defense.  We’ll get to that in a minute.

Here is the #1 reason I like this game – James Conner.  He is the star tailback for Pitt, and he is a cancer survivor.  I look for QBs making their final game in a bowl because I love to back them.  I look at this as the same situation.  The team will be emotionally up for sending Conner out a winner.  He will have a huge game – I guess 3 TDs.  That is all the edge we need.

GT/UK Over 61

What is this?  A total play?  You’re damn right.  The general rule is always take a triple option team to go over in a bowl game.  Not sure why, but it always seems to cash.  Add to the equation that UK doesn’t play a lick of D and this one goes way over the total.

Stanford/UNC Over 54.5

This is a great situation for a total.   UNC likes to play fast and always gets their points.  I expect UNC’s O to show up as it will probably be the last game for several key contributors including the QB and RB.  UNC has trouble defending physical teams.  That is exactly what you have in Stanford.  Love that we are getting a low total.  Hate that McAffrey isn’t playing – what a bitch.  This one goes way over.

Pitt/NW Over 65

Pitt doesn’t even consider playing defense, but can score in bunches.  This one goes easily over the total.

AF/USA over 57.5

AF may get this one by themselves.  It is just a terrible matchup for USA.  The triple option comment is doubled when the Force is wearing their shark helmets.  Probably the best look in college football.

The big bowl card is exactly what we need this time of year.  I hope everyone has a profitable holiday.  Be sure to check my twitter @fishy_five as I will post my in game plays during the bowl season.

Week 18:

The Fishy Five went 4-1 last week in the NFL and 1-0 in Bowl games.  That makes us 37-44-5 on the year for 45.6%.

It has been a rough season for sharp bettors and a rough season for Vegas.  Prior to this weekend, Vegas had lost in 7 straight weeks in the NFL.  That is unheard of, but that is what happens when the scrubs don’t cover and the power teams cover every week.

Somewhere out there is a college kid who thinks he has sports betting all figured out.  He has taken New England and Dallas every week, and faded LA, Cleveland and SF every week.  I congratulate that kid on a great season, but hope he realizes that Vegas doesn’t hand out free money.  There will be short term anomalies, but in the end the house always wins.

The sports betting game is tough.  You have to know when to be bold and know when to pick your spots.  It reminds me a little of my recent trip to Disney World.

I have a bunch of young kids which I am too old to have.  Going to Disney is a right of passage for both child and parent, so we recently made the trip.

Of course we spared no expense.  The little girls got princess makeovers and the boy got Jedi Training.  It was a good time.

The highlight though was dinner in Cinderella’s Castle.

As I sat down I got a text from my buddy Jimbo.  I told him I can’t talk now, I am eating dinner with Cinderella.  He explains to me that any minute princesses will be coming out of the wood work and that if I don’t get a picture with Arial I don’t have a hair of my ass. We both have a thing for redheads from our college days…

And of course then he started a group text with all my buddies which took the challenge to a whole new level.  I timidly accepted their challenge because that is the type of man I am.

Sure enough, Arial comes around.  We get a picture of her with the kids.  Then we get a picture of her with the kids and with Dad.

Then I tell everyone, “ok – now a picture with just Dad and Arial.”

The world stopped.  It was like the scene in Animal House when they walked into the black bar.

Arial looked at me like I was a creeper.  The wife gave me the ‘you done f’d up now’ look.  The kids were confused as to why Daddy wanted a picture with Arial.

So I meekly said, “just kidding” and a freaked out Arial scurried away as fast as her flipper could move her.

So it didn’t work out, and I let my buddies down.  The most important thing is I knew it was the right thing to do.  Having a picture of me and Arial is something I would have cherished forever, only to be topped by a picture of me and Mandy Moore.

Sure, I don’t have either of those pictures.  But I do have a picture of me and Brent Musburger.  And Uncle Brent would be glad that I stuck it out there a little bit and took a chance.  Because those are the guys who succeed in life.  Those guys always come out ahead, even if they are down on their luck for a little bit.

With all that being said, here is our last full card of the season.

Week 18 Fishy Five Picks

Jacksonville +4.5 @ Indy

This game has the type of reverse line action we love.  70% of the public is on Indy, but the line has gone down from 7 to 4.5.  Vegas needs the Jags, and I want to be on Vegas’ side.

Don’t forget that Jax has already beat Indy once this season.  Jax has also been playing good ball the past few weeks – beating the piss out of a very decent Tennessee team and nearly beating a decent Houston team the week before that.

Indy is not a good football team.  They have a rock star QB, but little talent elsewhere on the roster.  Their strength is their passing game, but that plays into Jax’s strength as Jax is a top 10 defense vs the pass.  Indy also has to have lost their mojo a little bit after last week’s loss has knocked them out of playoff contention.

Love Jax here to keep it close.

Minnesota -5 vs Chicago

Holy hell Minnesota has cost me a lot of money this year.  I have faded them at the wrong time and tailed them at the wrong time.  We are going to try to get them right one more time…

This Minnesota team is a prideful bunch.   They had visions of a Super Bowl run before everything turned to shit.  They have been pushed around the past few weeks, especially on defense.

I expect them to come out and play good ball to end the season on a high note.

And Chicago is a freaking mess.  Barkley is not an NFL QB, and with a month of film on him a very good Vikings defense is going to eat him up.  Chicago is still the most injury riddled team outside of San Diego.

I think Minny plays inspired to finish the season strong, and Chicago plays just to finish the season.  This one smells like a blowout to me.

Houston +3 @ Tennessee

With Houston we are getting the #1 defense vs a team that just had their playoff bubble burst and is starting a backup QB?  And we are getting a FG to boot?  That is freaking insane.

Now, I know the concern is Houston has the #4 spot in the playoffs locked up and the game is essentially meaningless.  That isn’t quite the case though.

For a deep playoff run, Houston has to get their offense working and get Savage some quality work at QB.  Also, they have several players returning from injury on D, and they need to get those guys some reps as well.  This is a team that needs to find something before playoff time, because Jacksonville isn’t walking through that door…

While I like Tennessee a lot this year, they have to be very deflated.  Their playoff hopes were crushed last week.  Their QB who was having such a promising season ended with a broken leg.  This has to be a down team, and I expect it to show vs Houston.

Houston wins this one straight up in a close one.

Oakland +1.5 @ Denver

Great reverse line action on this one.  The line has moved from +3.5 to +1.5 despite 33% of the public on Oakland.

Obviously the concern with Oakland is Matt McGloin, their new starting QB.  And that is a legit concern.  But look at the talent he has around him.  He has a stud OL.  Dymanic WRs and a beast of a RB.  He has everything around him to be successful, including a team that wants him to succeed before their playoff run.  Let’s also not forget that Oakland will be supremely motivated with the chance to lock up the #2 seed and a bye for the playoffs.

Denver is a freaking mess.  They have lost 3 straight, and haven’t really moved the ball in any of those games.  Now they are starting Paxton Lynch, and there is a reason he has ridden the pine all season behind Semen.  That reason is he isn’t as good.

So Denver is a deflated team, putting a rookie QB in the lineup that isn’t ready who is actually worse than their season-long starter who couldn’t score…

And as good as Denver’s defense is, they can’t stop the run worth dick.  I am fairly confident Oakland will pound the ball to take the pressure off their new QB.

Oakland wins this one straight up in a low-scoring affair.

New Orleans +6.5 @ Atlanta

I’m a fan of this Atlanta team.  They are fun to watch and I hope they make a run in the playoffs.  Everyone thinks they are world-beaters right now, but let’s look a little closer at their recent success.

They lost to KC in a fluke game.  I’m not a fan of KC at all for the record.

Then they beat the piss out of LA and SF.  Thank you NFL for giving Atlanta an SEC schedule with cupcakes late in the season.

Last week they beat Carolina.  The score was not indicative of the game though.  Carolina scored a TD at the end of the 3rd to cut ATL’s lead to 23-13.  Then they forced ATL into a 3rd and 21.  They had the MO, and if they got the ball back they would have a game.  Instead, they blow a coverage and ATL converts.  On the next play ATL scores on a TD against some of the weakest effort I have ever seen by a NFL defense.

The point is a defeated Carolina team missing their best player (Kuechly) gave ATL a game.

Unlike Carolina, New Orleans is trying to finish their season strong.  They beat Arizona in Arizona, and beat Tampa Bay the last two weeks.  Those are nice wins.

Brees (still not a winner) has been playing great and is obviously great in a dome.  Gimme Brees and almost a TD as this game will be closer than what everyone thinks…

Week 19:

The Fishy Five went 3-2 last week in the NFL and finished our bowl season at 9-6.  That makes us 48-52-5 on the year for 48%.

It is nice to have a few winning weeks in a row now, but we were painfully unlucky recently.  We lost 8 games total this past week – and in 6 of those games the starting QB was knocked out of the game.  The Pitt QB was knocked out which cost us that side and the over.  Stanford’s QB was knocked out costing us the over.  Auburn’s QB was knocked out which eliminated their chance of being competitive.  Houston’s QB got knocked out making the game meaningless for Houston.  And Oakland’s QB got knocked out and was replaced by a 3rd string rookie.  Just terrible luck.

Regardless, it is playoff time and time to chip away and get over 500.

Small card this week as there aren’t many games to choose from.  Remember that just because the game is on doesn’t mean you have to play it…

NY Giants +4.5 @ GB

This one is a pretty simple game to handicap.  Defense wins in the playoffs.  The Giants have a good defense.  They have shown it twice by beating the best team in the NFL Dallas (and it pains me to say that).  GB’s secondary is a train wreck with injuries.  Even before the injuries though they have been bad.

Here is how it will play out:  It will be colder than a polar bears two hole, but both teams will have to pass because neither can run it.  GB will be throwing into NY’s very good secondary.  NY will be throwing to the best WR in the game vs practice team guys.  It is a complete mismatch.

I also love the motivation angle on this game.  The media is making a big deal out of the Giants WRs partying in South Beach with Jonny Football.  They are calling the players out as undisciplined and not dedicated to the game.  Don’t you think they will play with a chip on their shoulder – especially when they are the key position group in this game?

I know some of you are worried about the mystique of Lambeau – but Eli is 2-0 at Lambeau in the playoffs.  Both times he went to win the Super Bowl.  Eli is also 6-0 ATS on the road in the playoffs and 5-1 straight up.

I love that we are getting 4.5 points here.  Wouldn’t shock me at all if GB shits their pants and it freezes on their legs.

Alabama -6 vs Clemson

I see this line is teetering between 6 and 6.5.  I got it at 6, but still like it at 6.5.

This is your classic buy low, sell high situation.  And for the record I hope I’m completely wrong and Clemson wins this one straight up.  I’m an ACC guy through and through, and would love to see Clemson win.

Clemson is at the highest point in their programs history since winning the national championship in the early 80s.  They neutered Ohio State (which we called by the way) scoring the shut out.  That win has DRAMATICALLY skewed public perception of this team.

The fact of the matter is while Ohio State is very talented, but they are a year away from being a top 5 team.  They had to replace their entire team this year.  They had a senior QB and kids everywhere else.  It was an amazing job by Meyer that they were even in this positon.  Games often snow-ball on young teams, and this game did on Ohio State.  Ohio State was not that bad, but more importantly Clemson is not that good.

When I think of Clemson, I can’t help but think of the NC State game.  NC State physically dominated that game.  They beat Clemson up on both lines, and would have beat Clemson had our kicker not missed a chip shot as time expired.

And this is the part of the program where I compare NC State football to Alabama football.

Alabama also plays a very physical style of football.  Like NC State, they will be able to control the game.  Unlike NC State, they will not barf all over themselves at the key moment of the game.  It is the worst possible matchup for a Clemson team that is more finesse than smash mouth.

And again, defense wins championships.  This Alabama defense is one of the best in recent college football history.  They have feasted on turning turnovers into points, and while Watson is the best QB in college football he does turn it over a lot.

They have beaten the piss out of everyone except Ole Miss in week 3.  They completely shut down a very good Washington team last week and are getting no credit for it.

In fact, people are complaining about their offense and of course there is the Lane Kiffin situation.  Both will lead to the offense coming out inspired and giving it their best effort.

Buy low on Bama.  This game should be close for a while, but eventually Bama will wear them down and win by about 10 or so.

And in my next book – I will write a chapter titled “Always Bet Bama if You are Giving Less Than a TD.”  In true hater fashion though, I will open the chapter with a story of where I was during the Auburn Kick Six.

Good luck on your plays this weekend.

That takes me to this weekends game….

Obviously, being a GB homer, I would never bet against my team.  But, as someone who follows this team more than anybody….I would not bet GB to cover or win this weekend.

First, its going to be cold…but thats not an advantage against NY…they are used to cold games.

Second, I am not worried about GB scoring 20-24 points atleast.  Even against the NY D which is playing great….GB is on a roll, Rodgers has 18 TD 0 INT in his last 7….GB has scored 24 or more the last 10 weeks besides the snow-storm game against Houston.

But, here is the problem.  NY is loaded at WR.  GB has no Shields and even if Randall is healthy, he isnt a #1 CB.  We cant cover Beckham, or any of their WR’s for very long.  Currently, GB is without their top 4 cornerbacks…..who even has 5 and 6 corners?

The only good thing is NY cant run the ball.  GB line is good enough to stop the run with just 4 men…but GB has a poor pass rush.  Without pressure, GB is going to struggle stopping the pass…even only rushing 4.

If GB was healthy on D…I have them getting to the Superbowl….but they arent healthy, not even close.  You never like missing your #1 cornerback, let alone your 1-4 cornerbacks.  And now having to deal with the NY Widereceivers…

Good luck to those who bet this game…I obviously want GB to win….but if I bet GB games, I would def take the Gmen and the points, with a sprinkle on the ML….

NYG getting more than 4 is always a pretty good bet. I think the only time they got blown out was by Minnesota and Pittsburgh.

New York struggles on Offense immensely. I’m not sure if they can keep up even without the best corners.

I’ll now have to check which corners are available. If it is Randall available and Gunter I would still be comfortable with the Packers cover.

Yeah, Hawks are banged up too, and as you know when you lose the starters in the secondary it is much bigger than losing a Lineman/LB….Hawks do not look the same without Thomas back there.

That said…Seattle will be one of my biggest plays of the weekend.  I think Det is one of the worst team to ever make the playoffs.  Their record is a joke, thankful to an easy schedule.  They have a -12 point differential and have been losing in every 4th qtr…thats not a good team, its a very lucky team, and the teams they have been trailing are not good teams.  I think Seattle will beat them by 20+.

Eli is 2-0 at Lambeau in playoffs.. Both times they had to go through Green Bay to win superbowls..

oh ya forgot to add  ELI is 6-0 ATS on the road in playoffs.. 5-1 SU

Giants held last 4 teams to 12 points or less. Rogers was the Packers running game until week 15, the Giants can and will stop the run and guess what? It’s week 14.

Then compare who the Lions played to end their season— @Giants, @Cowboys, vs. Packers. Seahawks played vs. Rams, vs. Cards, @49ers. Detroit had a very tough stretch of games at the end of the season, Seattle had a cakewalk.

Week 20:

The Fishy Five went 0-2 last week.  That makes us 48-54-5 on the year for 47.1%.

It was a tough week for the house as all four favorites and public teams won in the NFL over the weekend.  Then on Monday the Clemson game was especially painful for the house as everyone and their sister had the Tigers.

And the best part of that game is it told me that NC State can play with anyone in football.  I didn’t think that was the case…

Regardless, this week reminds me a trip to Vegas I went on several years ago.

It was Wild Card Weekend (the best weekend to go to Vegas), and I was with my brother and my buddy Jimbo.

After spending about 10 hours in the Bellagio sportsbook, we decided to venture out to see what trouble we could get into.

We went to the Venetian, and realized they were having a porn convention there.  We ended up shooting the shit with Flava Flav and Ron Jeremy for about twenty minutes.  That was one of the weirdest experiences of my life.  When we parted ways Ron stuck out his hand to shake.  I just looked at it and said ‘no thanks’ and walked away.  I wasn’t going to touch that filthy bugger…

Anyway, it was getting very late and we realized it was time to get back to our rooms.  We got a cab and struck up a conversation with the cabbie.

He was Russian and told us of a Russian massage parlor that was pretty awesome.  He promised that the girls were amazing and it would be the best massage of our lives.  We said ‘hell yes’ and he took us there.

As we got out of the car though we feared that we had made a poor decision.  We were now three blocks off the strip, and were surely going to get mugged if we stepped foot in that parlor.  And that was going to be a tough one to explain to our wives that were sleeping in the hotel rooms.

So we got out of the cab, tipped our Ruskie, and then ran like a bunch of scared little bitches into the Vegas night.

That is how I feel this week.  This is the absolute worst week to bet of the season.  There are only 4 games, so the lines are so sharp.  I prefer to play dogs, but all the dogs have three distinct disadvantages – they are the worse team, they are on the road and they are playing a team just off a bye.

So I am going to take a pass on this week.  And it is just as well, as I have sucked donkey balls on the NFL this season.

Regardless though – here is my thinking on each game from a betting perspective:

Seattle +5 @ Atlanta

I am way down on Seattle.  Their OL is dogshit, and Earl Thomas being out is a big deal vs an Atlanta team with the most explosive offense in the NFL.  However, they changed their philosophy vs Detroit, and it paid off big team.  They ran half their plays out of the I formation with a full back.  That paved the way for a huge rushing game for Rawls, and took a lot of pressure off the OL.  That being said though, they were playing Detroit who I think we will all agree faded late in the season and probably wasn’t that good to begin with…

The line has moved from 3.5 to 5, as everyone knows that Seattle isn’t that good on the road and Atlanta is great in the dome.  That being said, 5 is a lot of scratch…

Houston +15 @ NE

I want to take 15 points on principal.  However, you don’t get rich betting against New England – especially at Foxboro and in the playoffs.  That being said, only a mad man lays 15 in a playoff game vs a very good and underrated defense.  It could also turn into a ball control game due to the weather.  If you put a gun to my head I guess I’d take Houston, but that would probably be the most terrifying 4 hours of the year.

Pittsburgh +1.5 @ KC

I hate Kansas City.  I hate their dink and dunk offense.  I hate how dependent they are on fluke plays to score.  I hate how Johnson their MLB is out and the impact that could have on the running game.

That being said, the line moved from +1 to -1.5 with KC getting less than 50% of the bets.  A large part of that is questions about Big Ben’s ankle.  While I’d lean Pitt here, I am not betting against Andy Reid at home coming off a bye.  Big Red just doesn’t lose after bye weeks…

GB +4.5 @ Dallas

GB is probably the hottest team in the league right now.  They have looked dominant in all phases of the game.  I am definitely a hater, but you have to give credit where credit is due.  Of course, they have significant injury concerns as we noted last week.  On top of their secondary issues Jordy Nelson is out, Montgomery is banged up as is a starting LB.

On the flip side, Dallas is the best team in the NFL.  Given a week to rest they are going to come out swinging.  They are getting a few key players back from injury, namely the CB Claiborne.    I don’t like the fact that Dallas has a rookie QB starting his first playoff game, but the kid has beaten everyone outside of NYG.  I see them pounding on GB like they did in the middle of the season, and a beat up GB team giving up late.

It is also important to note we have some reverse line movement in this game as it went from -4 to -4.5 despite Dallas only getting 34% of the bets on this game.  Dallas is the play here if you had to make one.

So there you go…

I often think back to the massage parlor experience, and wondered what would have happened if I hadn’t run away like a little girl.  Maybe there was a magical experience that I missed because I didn’t take a chance.  Maybe my timidness ultimately cost me a great memory.  You don’t achieve greatness by sitting on the sidelines.

I am not making that mistake again.  This season has been a complete shit show for me, but I am going down swinging.  Gimme Dallas and Atlanta and I’m laying the points!

Week 21:

The Fishy Five went 1-1 last week.  That makes us 49-55-5 on the year for 47.1%.

I recently took my wife to a Garth Brooks concert.  It was a great time.  Everyone knew the words to all his songs, and everyone was signing their hearts out.  Everyone except me…

I stood there, and enjoyed the music.

Halfway through the show Garth brought his old lady on stage to sing – Trisha Yearwood.

Of course, I knew all the words to her songs after years of dating southern girls.  So I belted them out unlike any middle-aged men I know.  I was singing about chickens pecking the ground and al that.  It was a sight to be seen.

My wife looked at me a little funny, as did the poor people sitting around us, but then they got it.  Here was a guy bucking convention, and was having the time of his life.  Here was a guy who had it all figured out, and had about 8 Coors Lights in him to boot.  It is easy to go along with the crowd and sing “Friends in Low Places”.  It takes big balls for a guy to sing “She’s in Love with the Boy”.

That is how we have to play this week.  The public will be zigging, but we will be zagging.  We are going to be confident, we are going to believe our eyes and what we know to be true.  I’m really excited about the picks for this week.

ATL -5 vs Green Bay

This game gives me strange boners that I should not be getting from large men in tights.  I haven’t liked an NFL game this much all season.  Here is why:

  • The public has won 9 straight big games vs Vegas the past two weeks (8 NFL playoff games and the Clemson game). JoePub doesn’t win every freaking week.  And now we have 33% of the public on Atlanta, but the line has moved from -4 to -5?  Since the betting is pretty split on the NE/Pitt game, this is their best chance to take a bite out of the public.  They will.
  • The media is ALL OVER Aaron Rodgers’ nut sack. I haven’t seen anything like it in a long time. Just today I have heard that he is the Michael Jordan (who is a douche dick) of QBs.  I also heard that he is a top 3 QB of all time.  Give me a freaking break.  He may not even be a top 3 QB in the NFL right now.  Hell, he may not even be the 3rd best QB left in the playoffs!  When the media builds up a player this big, it is inevitable they won’t meet expectations.  I can’t wait to hear talk radio discuss his loss next week.
  • This is Green Bay’s 4th straight road game for a team that is decimated by injury. Their secondary got even more beat up vs Dallas if that was even possible.  They have a WR playing RB.  Their stud LT got banged up.  This isn’t a healthy team.
  • In the Wild Card game GB was DOMINATED by NY in the first half. The Hail Mary rattled NY and they never recovered.  It was a nice playoff win, but let’s not get carried away with beating the Giants.
  • Last week it took a miracle set of circumstances for GB to beat Dallas. First off, they caught a Dallas team that slept-walked through the first 25 minutes of the game.  Looking back it should have been easy to predict that as Dallas didn’t play the last week of the season and then had the playoff bye.  That is a long lay-off for a team that relies on rookies at key positions.  Dallas had idiotic penalties, coaching blunders and red zone turnovers.  GB had some fluky shit break their way too.  How about the fumbled handoff that landed directly in the RBs arms?  Or Rodgers getting creamed on the last drive and not fumbling?  The only way Dallas was stopped on offense is when Dallas stopped Dallas.  The bounces of the football tend to eventually even out.
  • This is the worst possible matchup for a shit GB defense. Atlanta’s offense is for real.  They can run it or throw it.  They made a good Seattle D look terrible.  If rookie Dak Prescott can look that good in his first playoff game vs a defense that KNEW he had to throw it to catch up, think of how good Matty Ice is going to look…
  • This will be the last home game for Atlanta in the Georgia Dome. They are getting a new stadium next year.  Not only is Atlanta tits in the dome, think about the extra edge they will have to shut the place down the right way and then go to the Super Bowl?
  • What killed Dallas vs GB is they could get absolutely no pass rush in the first half. Atlanta doesn’t have that problem as they have two emerging DEs.  They also have a defensive minded coach who will give Green Bay fits.  I can’t overstate the importance of Dan Quinn.  He is experienced and successful coaching defenses in big games as he was the DC in Seattle for several years.  He will have his team prepared for Green Bay.
  • Atlanta is not a big market team, and they haven’t gotten the respect they deserve. They have been great for two months now.  Playing just incredible ball.  And no one seems to notice or care.  They will play with a chip on their shoulder this week because all they hear on TV is how great GB and Rodgers is.  I love it when I’m getting the better team that feels slighted.

Atlanta is going to win this one by double digits.  I am so excited about this one I have a tingle in my plums.  I already got -4 and will be getting more at -5.

Pitt +6 @ New England

I am not as wild about this one as I am Atlanta, but I still think it is a very solid play.

Believe your eyes.

New England struggled with Houston.  Houston plays good D, but has no O whatsoever.  That is not a good football team, and they gave NE fits.  It was very concerning how poorly the OL played.  Sure Houston is good on defense – but they completely whiffed on numerous blocks.  If they can’t block for Brady, then NE is vulnerable.

Also, let’s look at the game a little closer.  NE did win by a significant margin, but 7 of those points were on a kickoff return for TD.  Also, ironically the best ball Brock Osweiler has ever thrown was dropped in the end zone which would have been a touchdown.  If those two plays swing the other way, then it is a very tight game and everyone is looking at New England a little differently this week.

Let’s not forget that NE hasn’t beaten anyone this year.  The AFC East was very weak.  They did beat Pittsburgh early in the season, but that was with Landry Jones at QB.  I think their weak schedule and Hall of Fame QB and coach are masking a pretty average roster and team.

Pittsburgh really impressed me last week.  They got inside the KC 30 on their seven of their first eight drives of the game.  The dominated in yardage.  They obviously had trouble punching it in the end zone, but I don’t think that will be as big a problem this week as NE’s defense is not as good as KCs.  They also beat Andy Reid coming off a bye.  That alone is worth noting.  Even though the score was close, it was an impressive win.

Pittsburgh has also been playing much better on D after putting Harrison in the starting lineup.  He gives Pittsburgh the emotional edge that they need to be successful on defense.

When you look at it critically, which position group for NE’s is better than Pittsburgh’s?  Secondary maybe?  Pitt’s OL is better.  Their WRs are better.  Their RB is much better.  Their DL is better.  Their LBs are better.  QBs I would call a wash at this stage of Brady’s career – but could give an edge to Ben due to Pitt’s WRs and Gronk being out.  The only big difference is the HC difference – which I admit is significant.

I know a cardinal rule is you don’t bet against Belichek in NE, especially in the playoffs.  But to hell with that.  I see this game as a coin flip at worst.  It would not shock me at all to see Pittsburgh win straight up.  It would shock me if they don’t keep it within 6 points.

Good luck this week!

Week 22:

The Fishy Five went 1-1 last week.  That makes us 50-56-5 on the year for 47.1%.

This season reminds me of my first date.

After weeks of being a candy ass, I finally worked up the nerve to ask out the most popular girl in high school.  Amazingly, she said yes.

The morning of our date, I woke up with a zit on my chin.  It wasn’t one of those little guys that you can pop and it would go away.  It was a big, creamy bastard that had its own pulse.  It hurt like hell and looked worse than felt.

So I had the genius idea that I was going to clean it like nobody’s business, and that would help it clear up faster and go down.

So I got a wash rag, and I scrubbed it good and I scrubbed it hard.  And I scrubbed it right off my face.  The only thing that was left was a rub burn the size of a quarter on my freaking chin where the zit used to be.  I showed it who was boss though…

Anyway – no Super Bowl play.  I love ATL and the points, but I don’t have the heart to lose to New England again.

Season Recap:

The Fishy Five finished the 2016 season at 50-56-5 on the year for 47.2%.

It was an odd year.

There were seven straight weeks in the middle of the season where Vegas got killed.  In fact, Vegas got killed in nine of eleven weeks during that stretch.  Favorites and public plays were covering at an unprecedented clip, all the way to the Super Bowl.  As sharps and pros a frequently on the other side of the public, they got killed too.  There is no doubt that this was the Year of the Square.

While that is 100% true, it is foolish not to analyze and learn from our losses.  After a lot of careful study, here are some of the lessons I learned from this year:

  • I’m a College Guy

I was 57% on college sides this season, and 41% in the NFL.  That makes sense to me.  I like to make plays based on situational advantages.  Those advantages seem to be stronger with college kids as they are more emotional.  It also makes sense as I look to fade the public, and the public killed it in the NFL.  As a result, I was turned into road kill with my NFL plays.

  • Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you.  Fool me for months, and I’m a damn fool.

I was 3-15 in games involving New England, Dallas and Denver this year.  Those three teams killed my season.

With New England, I could not believe a team with a bunch of midget, white receivers and missing their 2nd best player (Gronk) could cover every week.  That was a very expensive lesson.  I’m glad I avoided fading them in the Super Bowl.  It took every ounce of strength to not pound Atlanta…

With Dallas and Denver, I could not believe they could cover every week with such inexperienced and young QBs.  That would eventually be true, but I was long off that train by the time it was profitable.

The lesson here is to stay away from fading the hot team.  There is no need to get cute and try to outsmart everyone.  Just stay the hell away…

  • Never Underestimate Coaching

In Week 14 Atlanta was -3.5 vs KC at home.  Atlanta was thoroughly out-coached in that game.  ATL should have won by double digits.  The turning point in the game was a brilliantly executed fake punt by KC.  Atlanta was the better team, but did not have the better coach.

Fast forward to the Super Bowl.  The exact same scenario played out.  Atlanta was better and more talented than New England.  It showed for most of the game.  But when it was time for coaching to win the game, Atlanta choked like Lee Westwood on a Sunday at Augusta.

Coaching can always make up for inferior talent.  Avoid fading the better coach…

  • I’m a Beast During Bowl Season

I was 60% this year during bowl season.  I was 73% when picking sides, but only 1-3 when picking totals.

However, there was a lot of bad luck involved there.  Four of my bowl losses were directly due to the starting QB being knocked out of the game.  While I will take 60% any year, we actually should have won a few more games.

I think the strength of bowl season comes down to sticking to the Bowl Game Rules I describe in my book:

Always look to fade teams that just lost their coach (Temple and USF).

Look to fade teams that lack motivation (Louisville and Michigan).

Look to play teams that are excited about the game (Miami and LSU).

  • Speed is a Difference Maker

People try to complicate things, but often it doesn’t need to be complicated.  Fast people are better at football than slow people.

Look at FSU and Michigan in the bowl game.  While it was a close game, anyone who watched it saw the team with the superior athletes was getting a TD.  While Michigan made it interesting at the end, the cover was never in doubt.

This was especially true in some of my losses this season.  Some examples:

Marshall + a zillion vs Louisville

BC +17 vs Clemson

SC +24 vs Clemson

Be very careful when fading a team that can just overwhelm an opponent with speed and athletic ability.  It doesn’t take much finesse to run a go route.  A receiver who runs a 4.4 will always beat a corner that runs a 4.6.  This is how blowouts happen, and the favorite can cover any number in this scenario.

  • Focus

I did not spend as much time handicapping games this year as I had in the past.  To be honest, by the time football season started I was spent.

I had written and published my book which is a shit-ton of work.  I had developed a site, and was trying to sell T-shirts.  It took a lot to get the Fishy Five off the ground, and I didn’t spend as much time as I probably needed to handicapping games.

I am going to approach this off-season smarter.  I am going to step away for a month or two to take a break.  I took make sure the batteries are completely recharged before next season.  There is no substitute for hard work, and there are definitely no short-cuts in the betting game…

  • I will Stay True to My Roots

It was a tough year without a doubt.  There are some facts that always, ALWAYS hold true over the long run.  They are the house always wins, and the public always loses.

The public got the best of Vegas this year.  65% of favorites won when favored by 6 or more points.  That is the highest percentage of big faves covering in over 25 years.

Hell, if you would have bet the two most popular NFL teams (Dallas and New England) and faded the three shittiest teams (SF, Cle and LA) you would have won 74% of your games.

For context, the winner of the Las Vegas Supercontest ‘only’ won 66% of his games to win almost $900k.

This year was an anomaly.  If you don’t believe it; be prepared to get your teeth kicked in next season.

As for me, I am not going to change my strategy.  I may tweak it a bit, but if you always look to tail the best teams and look to fade the worst you will lose a lot of money.

I am going to continue to look for plays that provide situational value.  That is how you win long term, even if it doesn’t work out for a season.

I appreciate you being along for the ride this year.  I have some really exciting things in the works for next season.  I can’t wait to share them with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bet dogs only if they have a legitimate chance to win

  • Beware the Number of Plays Adding Up in Big Games

 

 

 

 

 

  • Being right early is the same thing as being wrong.
  • Number of plays adding up
  • Avoid Teams that Quit
  • Squares do win – Vegas does put out bad lines
  • Fade ND

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fishy Five 2015 Picks

2015 Fishy Five Picks

Week 1

When I was a child I had a dream.  This dream was vivid.  The dream was glorious.  It was about a young girl named Destiny.  At the end of it, I had to change my underbritches.  What a wonderful memory.

This year – I vow to be a smart bettor.  I vow to stay away from road faves.  I will be weary of double digit faves, and I will love the home dogs.  I will stay away from Thursday night unless Munchie is playing.  I will not pick my own team or UNC…

Anyway, here it is – the very first Fishy 5 of the season:

Minnesota +14.5 v TCU — If it smells like fish, its delish.  Why in hell is Minny only a 14.5 dog?  Doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.  TCU is all world right?  They should have been in the national championship game last year right?  The media has been all over TCU’s nuts all summer.  Now they have to go on the road with a D that lost a lot of talent to play a Jerry Kill team that is experienced and well coached.  TCU will win, but it will be a 10 point game.  This line just doesn’t make a damn bit of sense…

UVA +19.5 @ UCLA — Love dem stinky ass dogs.  These two squared off last year, and UVA lost 20-28, easily covering as 20 point dogs. And that is when UCLA was ranked #7 with a future NFL QB.  Now they are breaking in a new starter.  UVA plays up or down to their opponent, easily covering the 4 times they played a ranked team last year (ULCA, Louisville, BYU and FSU).  Again, I think they lose by 10, but make it interesting and they cover.

Louisville +10.5 v Auburn — Everyone and their sister has been all over Auburn’s nut sack all summer.  They are a national champion contender.  Gus will score a gazillion points.  They like to have unprotected sex in public places.  Whenever that happens, there is a lot of value on the other team.  And the other team in the case is very familiar with Auburn as Petrino coached on the Plains.  Give me a grade A coach (and asswipe), a very good D and 10.5 points every time when playing a hyped team that is breaking in a new QB and wasn’t interested in playing D last year….

ASU +3 vs Tex A&M — ASU returns 16 starters on a team that won 10 games in back to back seasons.  A&M is slowly getting worse – they went from 11 wins to 9 wins to 8 last year.  A&M has QB issues   Give me the puntos here all day long.  I expect for ASU to play with a chip on their shoulder vs the vaunted SEC West…

Kentucky -15 v ULL — I like what Stoops is doing at Kentucky.  The talent level has been upgraded big time.  While they still get pummeled in conference, they do play well out of conference. They covered easily in their 4 OOC games last year including blowouts of their 3 inferior opponents (Ohio, UT Martin and ULM).  This will also be there first game after a big stadium renovation, meaning the crowd and team should be into it.  ULL isn’t a bad mid-major – they’ve won 9 in the last 4 years straight.  However, they lost 7 from last year’s D and have a new coordinator.  They also are breaking in a new QB. I just see a major talent gap in this one and will easily swallow the small spread.

Week 2

F5 is a solid 3-2 after week 1.  I would have been 5-0, except that the Sparkies quit on me in the 4th quarter and Kentucky football is the equivalent of spoiled dog shit.

Lots of great pups this week.  Some are so stinky they will make Cuz blush.  Here is what we got:

Colorado State +6 vs. Minnesota — The college game is an emotional game.  With their beer bongs and prescription drugs and undie runs, you can see why they are so emotional.  Last week Minnesota had a game vs TCU they were looking forward to for months.  They gave it their all and played a physical TCU team tough. But they did have a huge problem moving the ball on offense and have serious OL issues.  And now they are spent.  The hangover will be exacerbated (biggest word ever used in the F5) by having to play at altitude.  And let’s not forget that CSU isn’t a pushover.  They won the Mountain West last year at 10-3.  They return 15 starters off that team.  McElwain built a winner, and even though he is gone a lot of talent remains.  They beat the snot out of a cupcake in week 1, and will be primed for this one.  I think they win SU in a close game.  This is my Play of the Week.

MSU -4 v Oregon — My first thought was – holy crap balls – you are going to give me the Ducks and puntos?  I LOVE PUNTOS.  Been then I sat back and realized – its a trap.  Every spongebob capper out there is going to be on Oregon getting points and thinking they are sharp.  The books are begging for it.  They crave it.  Here is what I know.  Oregon’s D ain’t very good. They struggled big time in week 1.  Also, they are breaking in a new QB.  MSU on the other hand has all key components back from a team that went 11-2 last year including beating Baylor in their bowl game.  They also played Oregon tough for 3 quarters before fading last year.  This will be a big time emotional game for MSU.  They will be playing with a chip on their shoulder (see what I did there?)…  MSU wins by 10.

Pittsburgh +7 @ New England — The entire off season has been a circus for NE that was focused on Brady’s balls.  And distractions are bad for football.  NE lost Revis, Wilfork and Vereen.  Also, some of the focus will probably be that Pitt’s RB is out, but so is NE’s.  7 points is way too many in a game of two competent teams.  NE probably wins, but it will be close.

STL +4.5 v Seattle —  I love me some stinky home dogs.  Love em.  STL has beat Seattle in 2 of their last 3 at home and covered in all 3.  STL also now actually has a QB and big additions to a very good DL (Fairley) an a solid LB corps (Ayers).  Seattle on the other hand is still without their best defensive player in Chancellor.  I expect a slow, grind it out sorta game which makes 4.5 a lot of puntos.  And I love puntos.

Oakland +3 vs Cincy — I’m big on Oakland this year.  They are just the type of ugly team that can win you a lot of money.  They got Crabtree and Cooper as WRs – which is a very solid pair for a very decent Derek Carr.  They also have a stud in Khalil Mack on D.  Also, the line is telling you a hell of a lot here. Why isn’t Cincy a bigger fave?  Don’t they make the playoffs about every year (even though they always lose in round 1)?  Oakland wins this one SU.

FISH FISH FISH Line of the Week:

Clemson -17 vs App State — This is so WTF it hurts.  Only 17?  If I had bigger stones, I’d take App State.  However, I have small nuggets so I’ll just stay away….

Week 3

The leaves are changing and girls are putting their bikinis away.  It is sweater-meat season, and that is when the Fishy Five performs the best…

Last week was a blah 2-2-1.  The season total is 5-4-1.  Here are this weeks leans:

Auburn +7.5 @ LSU — This is super duper yummy.  It’s like a corn dog dipped in chocolate.  LSU beat up a poor Miss State team. Everyone is high on them and they are good.  However, they still have a QB with only 1 career start under his belt and will be playing in his first big game in college.  On the flip side, everyone is shitting on Auburn. They dropped a zillion places in the polls.  They would have suffered the worst defeat in NCAA football history if it wasn’t for a phantom penalty and a shanked punt.  But they still have a genius as a coach.  They still have all the talent that led them to a pre-season top 5 ranking.  And now they have the motivation of playing after being embarrassed.  They will come out hot and win this one SU…

NC State -18.5 @ ODU — ODU was beating State at half last year 21-18.  They ended up losing by 12 though because they couldn’t play a lick of D.  New year, different team for ODU.  They lost their 4 year starter at QB who is now an NFL backup.  They have turned into a run-first team and struggled to put away Norfolk State last week.  They lost a starting DT and S in that game to ACL injuries.  31 of the 48 who played in that game were freshman or sophomores.  Now they play a Wolfpack team that remembers the scare that ODU put into them.  The pack leads the nation in time of possession and is playing very good football.  They shut out a EKU team last weekend that is supposed to finish 2nd in their conference behind Jax State.  And now they get their #1 tailback back after a 2 game suspension.  The RB is the leading returning back by yardage in the ACC and a 1st team All-ACC preseason pick.  The pack will control the ball and dominate this one from start to finish.  Expect another 30+ point win.

Northwestern +3.5 @ Duke — Wrong team is favored here.  This isn’t the Duke team from the past few years.  Their QB graduated, as did their top WR (who was all-conference).  They are very weak on both lines. Their biggest concern preseason was DL.  Northwestern is legit. They punked Stanford in week 1.  It isn’t often you see at team out-physical Stanford, but it happened. They have only allowed 6 points on the season and are bragging on twitter that they will shut Duke out.  They are a terrible match-up for a young Duke squad that isn’t battle tested yet.  NW by 10.

William and Mary +23.5 @ UVA — Exsqueeze me?  Baking Powder?  BIll and Mary?  Are you serious?  It’s about emotion.  UVA got their asses handed to them by UCLA (but covered) and then lost a heart-wrenching game vs ND (but covered).  If there ever was a let down spot, it is when Bill and Mary come to town.  But B&M has a few things going for them.  They have a 35-year head coach leading them who beat UVA a few years ago SU.  They have a LB on the Butkus watch list.  They have the best OL in their conference.  UVA will win, but will sleep-walk through this one leading to a W&M cover.

Houston +3 @ Cam Newtons — Not impressed with Carolina.  I watched their entire game vs Jax.  They are really bad on O.  Cam actually had a nice game, but he has no receivers.  Their best receiver is Jericho Cotchery.  JCo is tits, but he is old.  Like he went to college with me old. Also, Kuechly got his bell rung and may be out with a concussion.  I was very impressed by Houston.  They were getting their teeth kicked in, but fought back to with a TD.  I love the heart and the fight.  Bill O’Brian can coach for sure. Give me the puntos here cause I love the puntos.

Week 4

A very average 3-2 last week takes the season total to 8-6-1.

Here is what we like this week:

GT -9.5 @ Duke — This is so square it hurts in my plums.  I hate big road favorites.  Hate their guts and livers.  But GT had covered in their last 9 before crapping their pants last week in ND.  This is a great buy-low spot for GT, while Duke is way down as I discussed last week.  Their young DL will have big trouble with GT’s option.  Look for GT to bounce back and win by at least 3 TDs.

Arkansas +7.5 vs A&M — Say what you want, but old Brett Bielema has fight in him.  After getting punked by Kliff Kingsbury both on the field and on twitter, he is going to have his team ready and pissed to play an overrated A&M team.  A&M had a nice win in week 1, but let’s be honest, their opponent pissed themselves.  Take out Jonny Football and A&M is an average B12 team.  No way can they compete with a SEC West Powerhouse.  Gimme more than at TD and a juicy home doggie.

Auburn -2.5 vs Miss State  — Sean White is the truth.  Sean White is the answer.  Sean White can’t be nearly as bad as that other scrub who will be picking splinters out of his ass.  I expect Auburn to bounce back big this week as JJ took all the life out of that team.  And let’s not forget that Miss State is very pedestrian.  Looking for a big win here to right the Gus Bus…

Philly +1 @ Jets — Philly is as low as you can get.  The Jets are as high as you can get.  And the Jets are coming off a short week.  You’ll never find more value than in a spot like this.  I’m scared, but I predict a Philly win 6-4.

Bears +16 @ Seattle — There is a phrase called ‘Addition by Subtraction’.  This applies this week.  For example – tell me the name of a QB who has never won a playoff game in high school, college or the pros?   The answer: Jay ‘I can’t handle sugar’ Cutler.  Now you get Jimmy MF’n Clauson to lead a hungry Bears team.  And 16 is a ton of points.  And its a ton vs a team that has trouble scoring.  I expect Chicago to play ball control in an attempt to keep this game low-scoring.  Two Forte TDs keeps this respectable.

Week 5

You have to take pride in what you do every single week.  You cannot mail it in one week and expect to be a winner.  That happened last week, and I paid dearly for it…

Last week the F5 finished at a very uninspired 2-3.  That brings our season total to 10-9-1.  Very, very average.  In fact, with the juice it would be breaking even.  Pathetic….

Here are this weeks leans.  Love the card this week:

K State +8.5 @ Ok State — Ok State is coming off a huge game for them vs Texas.  Texas may not be Texas anymore, but the local teams always get up for them.  And let’s not mistake Ok State for a good team.  They struggled with Central Michigan and beat Texas by a FG.  K State hasn’t played anyone, but they are 3-0 and had the bye week last week to prepare for this big game.  Give me 8.5 and the better coach.

Arizona State +13 @ UCLA —  Everyone is all over UCLA’s nuts.  Ohhhhh – they have a freshman QB who is all world.  Ohhhhh – the beat the piss out of Arizona.  And everyone is down on the Sparkies.  Ohhhh – they got their shit kicked in vs A&M.  Ohhhhhh – they got their shit double kicked in vs Southern Cal.  HOWEVER…. Let’s look at those games a little closer.  Sparkies were in the game at the start of the 4th vs A&M.  Then they shit the bed.  Sparkies were in the game vs USC, until they fumbled on the 1 and had it brought back for a TD.  Then they fumbled the kickoff giving USC another TD.  Then it snowballed.  Let’s look at UCLA…  They are coming off a huge emotional win in the national game of the week.  Teams that win when ESPNs Gameday is present are 14-22 ATS in their next game.  I just made that up but it is probably close to accurate.  No way will they be able to avoid a letdown, especially vs a supposedly inferior opponent.  And let’s be real, this is the same UCLA team that only beat BYU by 1.  Give me the sparkies all day long.  I expect them to win SU.

Auburn -19.5 vs San Jose State — My name is Pat, and I’m a War Eagle-aholic.  I can come up with bullshit reasons to pick them every week, even though they suck donkey dick.  My reason this week is if I keep picking them, they eventually have to cover.   The other reason is the United States Air Force Academy.  They beat the piss out of SJ State.  If SJ State had problems with that running offense, then they will struggle with Auburn as well. And Auburn needs a blowout win for confidence more than any team in the country. I expect them to let the freshman run the score up.  And if it gets in scrub time, you know the backup will want to prove that he shouldn’t have been benched.

SMU +5.5 vs ECU — I love me some SMU.  They are battled tested after playing Baylor and TCU.  They played both tough before eventually getting worn down.  They have a SSNN coach in Chad Morris (Clemson’s OC the past few years and Texas HS coaching legend).  I think we are getting serious value here because no one knows how good they are.  They lost to 2 top 10 teams and beat two cupcakes.  ECU on the other hand I have a good feel for.  They are overrated because they beat VT this past weekend.  This was a huge emotional game for them.  And it was a flukey win because it was played in a hurricane.  They are set up for letdown spot and will more than likely look like the ECU team that got clobbered by Navy, or lost to Florida, or only beat Towson by 5.  SMU wins this one SU.

Clemson pk vs Notre Dame — Here is a lesson in life, you nearly always get value by playing against Notre Dame.  Sure, they pasted UMass.  But they only beat an overrated GT team by 8 (Duke beat them by 14) and they should have lost to UVA.  You can throw out the blowout Texas win because that was with their starting QB.  Clemson on the other hand has had 16 days to prepare for this game.  Their last game was on Sept 17.  And they struggled in that game, which gives us value in this one.  The fact remains that they have one of the best QBs in college when healthy, and are tough as Fat Gretzky at home.  They have only lost 2 games at home the last 4 seasons.  They lost to FSU in 2013 who won the national championship, and they lost to SC in 2012.  Gameday will be there, and Clemson always shows up for big games EARLY in the season.  I love the home team here.

Week 6

Last week the F5 finished at a very typical 3-2.  It would really help the F5 if Auburn would show up someday.  Regardless, that brings our season total to 13-11-1.

I lust the card this week.  Take a lookie:

St. Louis +10 @ GB

STL has beat AZ and Sea straight up this year.  Sure, they also lost to Mike Vick and Capt Kirk, but we are ignoring that right now.  GB hasn’t beaten a team by more than 2 scores all year – and they have played powerhouses like Chicago and SF.  10 points is a ton to give a team that has the 2 best players on the field in what will probably be a low scoring, defensive game.  Who are those 2 players that are the best???  Todd Gurley from Tarboro, NC and the great Tavon Austin…

Cincy -2.5 v Seattle

Time to face facts – Seattle isn’t clicking on all cylinders right now making them an average football team. They should have lost to Detroit.  They destroyed a Chicago team that could place in very few special Olympic events.  And they lost SU to GB and STL (who has Tavon).  They are essentially an 0-3 team because wins vs Chicago don’t count.  Let’s not forget their 2nd best player Lynch is hurt. Of course, their best player is Steve Hauschka from NC State.  And the 4-0 Bengals are SSNN at home.  Have been for years now.  Give me the ginger and the home squad vs an overrated team traveling on a short week.

GT +7 @ Clemson

For those of you unfamiliar with elite ACC football – let me explain how this works.  Clemson will win a huge, huge game.  Then they will almost immediately shit their pants. They don’t often lose, but they will struggle and have to throw away their shit stained underwear in the trash can at work and go commando the rest of the day.  If I’ve seen it once I’ve seen it a million times. Also, teams after hosting game day are now 14-39 the game after hosting.  Good call on AZ State last week Patty.  Clemson also has had the added stress of not being able to focus on football all week.  Half the state is underwater, and that has had to affect their kids.  Give me Paul Johnson + puntos in a must win spot for GT in a rivalry game.

Navy +14.5 @ ND

Navy is very nice.  They pounded ECU who isn’t bad.  They pounded AF who hung with Mich State (actually out gained then).  I still am not sold on ND.  Their best moment was in week 1 when they killed a sucky Texas team. They have lost their starter since then.  I’m gonna fade these bastards early and often, and love that I’m getting more than 2 TDs here.

Nc State pk @ VT

Here’s a stat for you… NC State is 4-12 the last 4 years in conference road games.  They also lost their starting RB last week to stupidity.  This kid could start for any team in the country not named LSU.  They have played the weakest schedule in the P5.  They have injury issues on the OL.  VT has struggled their last few games with their backup QB, but should have their starter back this week.  This kid was dominating and beating Ohio State before he shot his mouth off and got pile driven into the turf on national TV.  They also have that halfback #45 who oozes sex.  They also have a legendary coach in need of a big win.  They have lots of NFL talent on D.  That being said – State will win by 2 TDs on National TV.  This will be my way to force you to watch my school play…

Week 7

Last week the F5 finished at a very poor 1-4.  That brings our season total to 14-15-1.  No excuse for such a performance.  I am in a slump right now, and I need some stinky dogs to pick me up.  Here are this week’s early leans:

Memphis +10.5 vs Ole Miss — Memphis has won 12 straight and are coming off a bye last week.  This will be their biggest home game in years if not ever.  Ole Miss was blah vs. Vandy (only won by 11) and got raped by UF by 28.  They are still a Mississippi school whether they like it or not. Gimme the home dog with lots of puntos.

K State +4.5 vs Oklahoma — What does K State have to do to get respect?  The played TCU tough, only to lose on a late TD.  They lost to Ok State at the bitter end as well.  These guys are extremely well coached and can play with anyone.  Oklahoma on the other hand is coming off an emotional game vs their rival.  Plus they got their ass kicked.  Gimme the home dog with some puntos.

USC +6.5 @ ND — Let me get this straight: people are giving USC less respect after they fired their HC who would coach games all hopped up on Patron???  Am I missing something here?  There is no doubt in my mind that they should get much better, not worse.  People are selling USC short because they lost to Washington and because of the Sark mess.  What they are forgetting is that USC is not some po-dunk school like Texas A&M – it is a premier job with premier talent.  I like USC to win one for the drinker here, and win this one SU.

Carolina +7 @ Seattle —  READ MY LIPS – Seattle ain’t Seattle.  Seattle has won 2 games vs Chicago who played without a QB and Detroit fumbled the game away on the 1.  They have lost the rest.  Now they face the fighting Cam’s who are undefeated, coming off a bye, and get their best player back in Luke Kuechly.  Gimme a TD all day long in a low scoring game.

Buffalo +2.5 v Cincy — Cincy is coming off a huge emotional win in a physical game vs Seattle. Now they must travel on the road to face an equally physical game in Buffalo.  Buffalo is scary for sure.  They needed late game heroics to beat Tennessee.  But they also stayed within 8 of the Patriots, something no other team has done.  Sexy Rexy can get his boys up for big games, and I have no doubt he’ll have them pumped for the undefeated, Cincinnati Fighting Gingers.

There you have it.  Five dogs – 3 home dogs.  Bonus Pick:

Auby -2 because I can’t help myself…

Week 8

Last week the F5 finished at a mediocre 2-3.  That brings our season total to 16-18-1.

I suck donkey dick.  Here are our early leans:

Southern Cal -3.5 v Utah — You remember when you were a kid, and a buddy would say “homosaywhat” and you’d always say ‘what?’ and then everyone would laugh?  That is how I feel about this line.  It doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.  When Vegas begs me to take a team, I go the other way.  Give me the Trojans.

NC State -10 @ Wake Forest — Here is a quick piece of NC State trivia for you.  When was the last time NC State won in Winston Salem?  Answer…. 2001.  That is when Phillip Rivers was throwing bombs to Jerricho Cotchery.  It has been that long.  And now State is a double digit favorite?  You gotta be shitting me.  State has looked putrid vs Louisville and VT.  See the reasoning for taking Southern Cal…

K State +4 @ Texas — Texas’ last game – thumped Oklahoma.  K State’s last game – lost to Oklahoma a zillion to zip.  Boys – we are buying low on K State and buying high on Texas.  Gimme those puntos. K State wins SU.

THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES +3.5 @ The Fighting Cam Newtons — Philly’s O sucks, but the D is pretty good.  Carolina’s O sucks, but the D is pretty good.  Gimme 3.5 in what will likely be a 10-7 game.  Here’s to several back foot throw picks from Cam and no underthrow, end zone picks from Sammy Glass Legs.

St Louis -5.5 v Cleveland — STL coming off a bye.  STL has the best RB in the game.  Cleveland just played an emotional game vs Noodle-Armed Manning.  And Cleveland has the worst run D in the NFL.  Lots of bad stuff is going to happen to Cleveland in this game.  And don’t forget the Tavon factor.  Gimme STL in a blow-out.

Week 9

Last week the F5 finished at 3-2.  That brings our season total to 19-20-1.

Vandy +11.5 @ Houston — Vandy ain’t bad and they play good D.  Gimme dem points.

Auby +7.5 v Ole Miss — I think Ole Miss is super overrated.  Auby has to cover someday.  I think this is the week.

Sea -6 @ Dallas — Sea’s D vs Brandon Weeden?  Yes please.

GB -3 @ Denver — Denver is done.  They get exposed for the fraud they are on national TV.

Indy +7 @ Carolina —  Carolina had the game of the week last week.  Getting up big for 2 prime time games in a row is tough.

Week 10

Last week the F5 finished at 1 and 4.  That brings our season total to 20-24-1.

Before I make my picks, I want to tell a story.  When I was in college there was a girl.  I don’t remember her name, so let’s call her Destiny.  Destiny wasn’t very attractive.  She was kind of boring.  She was a slightly below average chick – just like the Fishy 5.

However, on one Friday night she got locked out of her dorm room.  She came to visit an RA to get a key.  The RA was watching A Walk to Remember and eating ice cream because that is what this RA liked to do.  She was a huge Mandy Moore fan and decided to watch as well.  By the end of the movie, the RA and Destiny were cuddling.

Cuddling led to an awkward boner for the RA.  Said boner started poking her in the ass.  This then led to kissing.  Kissing led to groping which led to unlocking the most ferocious sex beat Owen Hall had ever seen.  That was a wild weekend for the young RA, one he probably remembers years later while he sits in his cubicle pissed off that every Tom, Dick and Harry keeps walking in asking him dumbass questions while he is trying to make his football picks…

So what is the point of all that?  Magical weekends happen to average people.  And that is what will happen with the Fishy 5 this weekend…

Indiana +7 vs. Iowa — Destiny is a lot like Indiana.  At first glance she doesn’t impress you, but when you dig deeper you know she is a hellcat in Uggs.  Indiana played Ohio State tough.  They also played Michigan State tough until the last 5 minutes of the game.  They know they can play with anyone in the country.  They have a top notch O both on land and air.  But they are young, and that has hurt them playing 8 games before their bye (the lost the last 4).  However, they got their bye last week and now they play an Iowa team that is on a big high after getting ranked 9th in whatever they call the BCS now.  But Iowa is very banged up.  QB, 3 of their 4 RBs and both OTs are hurt.  And Iowa will try to play a ball control game vs a strong Indiana front 7.  You beat Indiana by passing, not throwing.  This one is set up for an upset.  Gimme 7 and the live home dog.

Utah +1 vs Washington — Utah was Cinderella at the ball.  Riding high in the top 5.  Then they got embarrassed by an unranked USC team.  And Washington beat that same USC team.  Some things that work in college (Mandy Moore Movies and the transitive property) don’t work in real life. This is one of those instances.  USC is undisciplined, and that is why they lost to UW.  Utah doesn’t have premier athletes, and that is why they lost to USC.  Utah is disciplined and Washington doesn’t have premier athletes meaning this game plays right into Utah’s hands.  Utah reminds me a lot of Destiny.  They are forgotten and overlooked, but can work a mad D.  That is my kind of team.

Arkansas +11 @ Ole Miss — Arkansas isn’t bad.  They hung with Bama and A&M.  Beat Auby and Tenny.  Like Destiny, they know who they are and what they are good at.  For Arkansas it is running the football.  For Destiny it is giving good head.  You work with what the good Lord gave you.  On the flip side, I am just not impressed at all by Ole Miss.  They should have lost to Auburn.  They got humiliated by Memphis and Florida.  And let’s not forget that Arkansas beat that ass 30-zip last year.  Gimme 11 because that is a lot of points in what could be a low-scoring affair.

Nebraska +6 vs. Michigan State — Let me get this straight.  A team that lost to Purdue and Northwestern the last two weeks is less than a TD dog vs the undefeated Spartans?  The same Nebraska team that had a famous former coach issue a letter this week supporting the new head coach while commenting on the HC that was fired at the end of last season?  Vs the same MSU team that is coming off a bye that will eliminate the hangover from their craziest win in school history?  Just like when spending a blissful weekend with Destiny – if it smells like fish its delish!  Take the points and run because it doesn’t make a damn bit of sense.

The Philadelphia Eagles -2.5 @ Dallas — At this point, I plan on being 4-0.  And who better to take me to the promised land than my very own Philadelphia Eagles?  Dallas is a mess.  Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel and Darren McFadden are responsible for winning an actually NFL game?  And Dallas is coming off a heart-breaking loss to Seattle?  And now they have to play their hated rival who is embarrassed after getting killed early in the season?  Philly wins this one by DDs – the same double D’s that Destiny was hiding under her frumpy sweatshirts…

Week 11

Last week the F5 finished at 4 and 1.  That brings our season total to 24-25-1.  Destiny would have been proud of such a solid weekend.  Also – F Indiana and their hundred dropped passes.  What a joke of a program and university.

Before I start this week’s picks, I want to tell you about Lauren.  Lauren went to Northern Arizona University.  I met her at Club Majestic during spring break 1999.  Lauren was smoking hot, and had a thing for skinny, pasty guys (which I was at the time).

Being a young buck I had not been exposed to a lot of the finer things in life – like slutty Arizona women.  I was in a big way that week.  And this chick was crazy.  A lot of what happened that week shall remain in my clouded memory, but there was one special moment that could show how awesome this chick was…

We were at Club Majestic because that is what we did every night.  We were having good college fun.  I was hanging with a few of my buddies when Lauren came up to us.  She ignored everyone but me.  It was like they weren’t even there.  Then she pulled my hand out, put her lacy black thong in it, and then slowly walked out of the club. I took the hint, winked at my buddies, and took off after her.  I am not positive, but I am sure my buddies are still standing there in disbelief…

That week was the highest of highs.  I have traveled the world, won five figures on a football game, written best-selling books, lectured sororities and tailgated at an Auburn football game, but I have never felt so on top of the world as I did that week.  Nothing will top that amazing spring break in Clearwater, Florida.

The next week, with school and work and who the fuck cares, was an ultimate letdown.  My mind and emotions were still with the vixen from Northern Arizona.

What is the point of that story?  It is nearly impossible for a college kid to bounce back after a huge high.  Think about it: Club Majestic, bikinis and crystal clear water one week – Sorrycuse, NY the next?  Fancy underpanties, morning beers and tongue tricks one week – New Brunswick, NJ the next?? If I haven’t made my point yet; you, my friend, are a lost cause…

Now the picks:

Syracuse +27.5 vs Clemson — Clemson is damn good – they are probably the best team in the country.  However, they got a huge monkey off their back last week by playing an ugly game vs FSU.  Now they have to travel to Syracuse in what will be a huge letdown spot.  Syracuse sucks on the road, but has been tough at home winning their first 3 then playing LSU and Pitt tough before losing in the 4th of each game.  There is no way Syracuse wins, but they have proven they can score.  If they can score 21+ (which they have done every week but last week vs Louisville when they scored 17) they should cover.

Rutgers +9.5 vs Nebraska — Nebraska was such a sharp play last week.  It took major skills and gonads to take them to cover, much less win straight up.  However, now that they have their season defining win they must go to Rutgers in an obvious let-down spot.  Rutgers sucks without a doubt, but we are getting value due to their tough schedule.  They have played Wisky, Michigan and OSU the last three weeks and got drilled each time.  Before that they beat Indiana and played Michigan State tough.  And while everyone in America watched Nebraska play an unbelievable game vs Michigan State, let’s not forget that this is the same team that had lost 5 of its previous 7 with their only wins coming against Minny and Southern Miss.  Gimme 9.5 and the ugly home dog.

Oklahoma +2.5 @ Baylor — This is my stone-cold lock of the year.  This one will put folding money in your pocket.  Let’s examine Baylor first…  First, their QB broke his freaking neck and is replaced by a freshman.  The freshman has one game under his belt, where he played a tight game with K State.  There is a bigger picture here though.  Baylor has built an 8-0 record by playing the bottom of the conference and an SEC-like out of conference schedule (SMU, Lamar and Rice – are you kidding me?)…  They haven’t played Ok State or TCU yet.  On the flip side, everyone remembers Oklahoma getting housed by Texas.  But what they don’t remember is that OK has scored 52+ in each of its last 4 blowout wins.  OK is in the same boat as Baylor in that they haven’t played OK State or TCU yet.  However, they are playing great ball lately and when you stop to think about it, it is absurd that Oklahoma would ever be a dog to Baylor.  They have a better everything than Baylor and they are about to drop a big shit on the entire city of Waco.

Tennessee +4 vs Carolina —  If it smells like fish…  The undefeated Cam Newton’s are only giving 4 vs the lowly Titans?  The same Titans who just shit-canned their coach?  And the same Carolina that beat the Packers, Colts, Eagles and Seahawks the last 4?  Sure, Tenny had a nice win vs New Orleans, but let’s not forget they lost the 6 games prior to that.  This is so fishy it it makes Nebraska from last week look square.  Vegas wants Cam money, so run the other way….

Arizona +3 @ Seattle — Seattle is so overrated this year it isn’t funny.  I’m not sure if it is the Super Bowl hangover or what, but they aren’t the same team as they were the last two years.  And people refuse to acknowledge how good Arizona is.  They very well could be the best team in the NFL.  They are definitely the better team in this game.  Seattle can’t score, and AZ has a top-notch defense.  This will probably make this a game played in the teens.  Gimme a FG and the better team all day long.  And let’s not forget the prime time theory.  This is a prime time game and the better team will win.

Week 12

Last week the F5 finished at 3 and 2.  That brings our season total to 27-27-1.  We are back where we started, and it is EXHAUSTING fighting the good fight to get back to where you were in the past…  And that leads me to part 2 of the Lauren from Northern Arizona saga..

Lauren and I said our good-byes after a week of discovery and hangovers in Clearwater, FL.  It was bitter sweet as I knew I would never see her again, but I was pretty happy about the amazing week we had just spent together.  We exchanged email address and AOL Instant Messenger names (remember that???) and she headed west and I headed back to NC State.

So I’m back in my dorm room and an IM pops up.  She missed me and wanted to know what I was doing.  She then started her nightly ritual of explaining to me what type of underwear she was wearing and what she wanted to do with me.  This went on for a few weeks.  It wasn’t very productive, but it was fun.

Anyway, a few weeks go by and she told me she looked at NC State’s academic schedule, and she and her friend bought plane tickets to visit the week after school ends.  Her friend was hooking up with my buddy Lurch.  They were expecting a good time.

Holy crap did time move slow then.  Her IMs were getting raunchier and raunchier.  May couldn’t get here soon enough, but it finally does.

So Lurch and I pick up the girls at the airport in my Jeep (I was a young pimp daddy) and headed to the beach. And everything is going a little awkwardly.

So to try to cut the edge, I suggest we all go to dinner.  We have drinks, do some shots and have a good time. Lauren and I go back to our hotel room, and Lurch and his butterball go back to theirs.

So Lauren and I are in our room, and I expect the fury of 3 months of instant messages to be unleashed and she starts crying.

FFFFFFFFFFFFF – I knew this wasn’t good.

She explains that she now has a boyfriend, and she promised him that she wouldn’t play with my little pecker.  She said she was EMOTIONALLY EXHAUSTED and didn’t know what to do (kind of like getting back to 500 in the F5).

I play it cool and say it’s all good.  Let’s crash and we’ll have a good day at the beach tomorrow.  I wasn’t going down without a fight.

We have an awesome day at the beach, and then get a killer meal that night.  She looks unbelievable in her yellow bikini, but I play it cool and don’t make a move at all.

Later that night we are back in our room, and she says she has an idea.  While she promised no touching, she didn’t think there would be anything wrong with me watching her get undressed.  After all, she had described this to me every day for months and I should at least get to see what I was missing.

This was pretty awesome, but also hugely disappointing.  She realized this, and had a more creative idea…

Anyway, this shit is getting way too long…  I need to make some picks!

VT +6.5 vs UNC — Game of the year time here boys…  On one hand you got UNC.  They have been killing teams lately putting up 50 and 60 points a game.  They are on a high from having their best season in over a decade.  But they are a bunch of pastel-wearing, cupcake eating sausage mongers.  And they are the ultimate paper tiger.  They have played nobody!  After losing to Spurrier (who was a punching bag this season) they beat NC A&T, Illinois, Delaware, GT, Wake, UVA, Pitt, Duke and Miami.  Not exactly murderer’s row.  On the other hand you have VT.  They have had a tough year after losing their starting QB to a broken collarbone.  He is finally back, and they are starting to play good ball beating BC and then coming from down 14 to beat GT.  What was the reason they fought so hard to win at GT?  They want to send Frank Beamer bowling one last time.  And now they have his last home game in Lane Stadium.  You know it will be a full house and the team will be playing inspired. And it doesn’t hurt that they had a few extra days to prepare as they had the Thursday game last week.  Gimme VT in the SU upset!

LSU +4 @ Ole MIss — Damn son… LSU got pasted the last two weeks and now they get the ultimate insult.  They are underdogs to a Mississippi school.  There are few things more embarrassing then that.   I am obviously a charter member of the Ole Miss hater club.  They are living off beating Alabama in September.  And that doesn’t mean dick in November.  What does matter is Ole Miss can’t stop the run as evidenced by giving up 50+ to Arkansas in their last game.  Fournette is going to be super motivated after two bad outings.  As a rule in life, if you get more than FG with LSU vs anyone but Alabama you take it and be happy about it.  That definitely applies here.

Baylor pk @ Ok State — This might be the biggest football game in Ok State history.  And here is how it will go down.  Ok State will wait all day for the game to finally start.  By the time kick-off happens, they will be pumped and will play well the first half.  However, by halftime they will be EMOTIONALLY EXHAUSTED and the better team will come out on top.  Of course the worry with Baylor is will Oklahoma beat them twice.  I think not as Baylor still thinks they can win the B12 and a seat at the final 4 table. Gimme Baylor in a double digit win (it will probably be 124-98)…

Cincinnati +4 @ Arizona — Andy Dalton.  The Red Rifle!  The Glamorous Ginger!  Fuckin A he was terrible on Monday night. He was completely and utterly dominated by Houston.  I have never seen anything like it unless there was $100,000 on the line.  And now he has to go to AZ on a short week?  And Arizona administered as thorough an ass-kicking in Seattle as anyone has done since Russell Wilson made it to the bigs.  And now is the time to buy low on Cincy and sell high on Arizona.  Cincy is still only a one loss team.  You can’t believe Eifort will play as terrible as he did two weeks in a row.  You got to figure their pride is hurt after getting embarrassed on national TV.  They are a solid football team, and you got to figure they will show it.  On the flip side, Arizona just got off a very physical game against Seattle.  In the game after playing Seattle teams are 1-6 vs the spread.  I made that up but I bet it is close to accurate.  And AZ doesn’t exactly have a list of great wins to their credit.  They beat an overrated Seattle team, Cleveland, Baltimore, Detroit, SF and Chicago.  They have lost to STL and Pittsburgh without Big Ben.  I think we are getting a lot of value here and will gladly take more than a FG.  I bet Cincy wins SU.

Buffalo +7.5 @ NE — NE is a mess injury wise.  Edelman is out.  Dion Lewis is out.  Jamie Collins may be out.  They had 3 starting O lineman not play last week vs NYG.  I know it is Belichik and Brady, but eventually all the injuries have to add up.  On the flip side you get Buffalo, and Rex Ryan hates the Pats more than anyone.  They have won two straight, have the long week since they had the Thursday night game last week, and they know they can play with NE after losing 40-32 in week 1 when NE was at full strength.  This is a much weaker NE team.  I think NE wins, but it will be close.

Week 13

Last week the F5 finished at an inspired 4 and 1.  That brings our season total to 31-28-1.  We are back in the lacy black baby!  Happy times are here for all.

Which leads me to the last installment of the Lauren Trilogy…

So we end up doing the beach thing for a few days.  She is a pretty cool chick, but entertaining a chick for that long is excruciating without the extracurricular activities.  I know my only chance though is to play it cool – so I do so.

Finally, at about night 4 I realize I had enough.  I am going to piss away the whole week trying to be cool if I wasn’t careful.  So I decide to make my move.

I tell Lurch and Jabba the Hut that Lauren and I were going to fly solo tonight.  Lurch knew about my blue balls and said it was about time.

My first thought was that I had to take her back to the memories of Spring Break in Clearwater.  I had to get here thinking about memories of frolicking in the beach, dry humping at Club Majestic, going to IHOP at 3AM, and disappearing from our friends so we could get alone time.

But then I came to my senses.  No bitch is worth this much effort. I was about to start summer vacation unattached.  I would probably get chlamydia or some other awesome venereal disease that summer.   I needed to have some pride.  It was time to sack up.

So I told her I’m going to throw bones and she is welcome to join me.  I was heading out to the Indian in 45 minutes. And then I did the most boss move of all time.

I gave her back the sexy, black thong she had given me at the bar on Spring Break.  I had saved it and sniffed it at least six times a day.  I told her that this was the sexiest thing I have ever seen her in, and that is what she needed to wear tonight for good luck.

So we get to the casino and start throwing bones.  I win a few and then lose a few.  Then this old bastard who was at least 200 years old wheels to the table.  He ends up throwing and hitting points for about 20 minutes. The dude was on fire.  It was a glorious thing and I was well into four figures by the time he was done.

I then whispered to Lauren, “are you wearing what I gave you?”  She looked at me and winked.  She knew exactly what I was getting at.

So right there, with everyone watching at the table, she slips them off from under her mini-skirt, and walks over to the old man.  She smiles at him, puts her underwear in his hand, and then kisses him on the lips leaving a smear of red lipstick.  Then she walks away to get some air as the drunken crowd at the craps pit goes absolutely nuts.

When we finally got back to our room, she whispered to me: “this is your last night, make it count.”  Happy times..

The next afternoon we were back in Raleighwood and I dropped her and Shrek off at the airport.  She gave me a big hug, and slipped something into my back pocket.  I watched her walk out of my life forever for the second time before reaching into my pocket.

In my pocket was the black thong and a note.  The note said, “These are yours, I gave the old man another pair.  I want them back someday. – Lauren.”

Damn that was an awesome chick.

Anyway, with memories of Lauren warming my soul I am on a bit of a heater.  I love some stinky pups this week.  Here is what we got:

Oregon State +34.5 @ Oregon — Oregon State sucks.  Holy shit they suck.  But they have sucked before and only once in the last 15 years has Oregon covered that many points vs Oregon State.  In fact, most of these games play pretty close believe-it-or-not.  Oregon has been playing great ball of late without a doubt.  But they are coming off a big game vs Stanford and they still aren’t very good at D and not nearly as explosive on O as in years past.  This is a shitload of points and I think Oregon State scores 24 in the game.  That means Oregon has to be in the 60s to win.  Not impossible, but I don’t think it happens.

Ohio State +1.5 @ Michigan — This line is skewed after last week’s Ohio State game.  Ohio State lost to Michigan State in a game that was played in a monsoon.  Ohio State played poorly, and that gives us a ton of value in this game.  There is no doubt that Michigan is better, but they aren’t that much better.  And they aren’t playing as good as they did early in the year.  I think Elliott gets the ball a lot for Ohio State and I think Barrett plays much better.  Ohio State wins this one by 10.

South Carolina +16.5 @ Clemson — I love Clemson.  I think they are the best team in the country. However, the last 4 games they have struggled vs NC State, should have lost to FSU, struggled at Syracuse and turned in an average performance vs Wake.  And although South Carolina shit their pants in epic fashion last week, they have still played better since Spurrier quit on them. They gave Florida, Tenny and A&M all they can handle.  I think last week’s cluster gives us good value on a team that will play inspired after getting humiliated.  SC would like nothing more than to spoil Clemson’s dream season.  I say they lose, but keep it to about 10 points.

Auburn +13.5 vs Bama —  Bama struggles vs spread teams.  And Bama struggles to score.  In fact, they have only scored more than 40 once to anyone not named Charleston Southern and that was vs A&M a month ago.  13.5 is a lot of points when your team can’t score.  Auburn has had a very disappointing season, but can salvage a lot by ruining Bama’s.  I think they keep it close for most of the game and lose by about 10.

Denver +3 vs New England —  New England is beat up. 13 guys on IR and Amendola may be 14. They are starting an undrafted rookie at center.  Brady got beat up vs Buffalo on Monday night.  Now he has to travel out west on a short week to play a very emotional game. Denver will play a ball control game and look to win on the ground.  But Ozzy can sling it if necessary and did a great job taking care of the ball in his first game.  I think the healthier team wins this one SU.

Week 14

Last week the F5 finished at an inspired 4 and 1.  That makes us winners in 8 of our last 10 and 11 of our last 15 and 15 of our last 20.  And that is what you call a month long heater.  I made November my bitch.  It also brings our season total to 35-29-1.  Firmly in the black, just like my buddy Cuzzy.

So what prevented us from going 5-0?   Asswipe Nick Saban running up the score with Fatass Derrick Henry doing the dirty deed.  That Bama bunch is all class…

Regardless, that makes me think of my first fatass.  Now, I’m not talking your run of the mill chunky girl. Those chicks are actually a lot of fun until they hit about 23 or 24 and gravity gets the best of them.  They have big boobies, and are eager to please as they know they aren’t getting by on their looks.

I’m not talking about those chicks – I’m talking about sloppy, giant, high-heeled, trout-looking behemoths that prey on drunk kids with a lot of hair.  I’m talking about Cynthia.

Cynthia and I met my first weekend of college.  I moved in on Friday, and on Saturday afternoon I found myself at an outdoor frat party.  Day turned to night, and sober turned to sloppy.  Real sloppy.  And Cynthia was on the prowl.

Being relatively new to the binge drinking scene, I went way too hard way too early and I was borderline ready to pass out.  Cynthia realized this and said I could crash at her place as it was just down the street.  Since I lived miles away and my buddies had long since ditched me, I figured this was my best option.

We got to her place and it turned out it was the fatty sorority house!  And, needless to say, I caught my second wind.

When we got to her room she took me to her bed.  She told me to wait a sec and disappeared into her bathroom. I then passed out.

When I woke up she was on top of me wearing a furry red bra and matching panties.  Her underwear actually had fake fur on them!  Very grrrrrrrrrr baby….

She had taken my clothes off (golf shirt & jean shorts).  She left my tidy whities on.  She was sweating and grinding on me and she was about to start a grease fire.  And then she yelled at me.  She said, “just lay there bitch!  I’m almost done.”

I was confused. I was scared.  I was being sweat on.  I was being suffocated by cellulite.  My only defense was to pass out, so I did.

When I woke up it was the middle of the night and I was in for a pleasant surprise.  My wildebeest was gone (thank God).  However, it turns out I was a little drunker than I thought and I had pissed her bed.  Pretty embarrassing, but not much I could do about it…

So I did the only three things I could do.  First, I stole a pair of gym shorts and a t shirt from Cynthia.  Then, I stole the pair of furry underpanties that were on the floor.  I lefty my piss stained underwear in trade.  I had to have proof for my roommate that this actually happened.  There was no way he would believe this.  Then I walked out into the hallway, and met Megan.

Megan was an awesome, awesome chick.  She once was a fatty, but decided that wasn’t the life she wanted to live and slimmed down big time.  She was the dream, a smoking hot chick who was awesome because she was once damaged goods.  She laughed at me, and asked if I had fun riding the bull.  I guess I wasn’t the first sucker to get taken advantage of.  Embarrassed I told her that I’m not really sure.  She just smiled and said, “come on cowboy, I’ll give you a ride home.”

We’ll discuss Megan more next week….

Megan reminds me to a very profitable betting strategy.  Look for teams that are damaged goods.  The public will be down on these teams, and you can get lots of points and good value.  And who knows, maybe they will lose 50 lbs and become hot.  That’s what we’ll be looking for this week.

New Orleans +7 vs Carolina — New Orleans is dogshit.  Brees is not a winner.  Never has been, never will be.  Now he is just a worn out midget with a shit stain on his cheek.  And he is going up against the #1 team in the NFL – The Fighting Cam Newtons.  Carolina has been playing great ball after blowing out the Skins and Cowboys in back to back weeks.  But the NFL is about the regression to the mean.  You know New Orleans will be ready to play at home vs a team they always play tough.  Carolina isn’t going to cover every week.  Look for a letdown after the big win in Dallas.  Gimme the home dog in a SU upset.

Philly +10 @ NE — Philly isn’t only a fat chick.  Philly is the toothless fat chick wearing spandex who has puke breath and wants to sit on your face.  It doesn’t get any lower than back to back blowout losses to Detroit and Tampa Bay.  But New England has serious problems – like only having Brandon Lafell as a WR.  Like having two undrafted rooks on the OL.  I think Philly and the Chipper show a lot of pride here after getting blown out on national TV last week.  That gives them a long week and hopefully Bradford can play.  NE is on a short week having the Sunday night game on the west coast.  Gimme DDs in a close game.

Clemson -5 vs UNC — UNC has put together a nice little season where they have beat nobody any good.  Their best wins were vs Pitt (who got shellacked by Miami) and NC State (who’s best win was Syracuse).  They give up HUGE chunks of yards on D. They gave up 500 yards to State last weekend including 300+ on the ground.  Clemson hasn’t played good ball lately, which gives us great value in this game.  This will be a high scoring affair – bet your mortgage on the over.  But take Clemson as they will win by DDs.

Iowa +3.5 vs Michigan State — Iowa is undefeated.  Michigan State has been outgained in most of their games.  Michigan State had a miracle happen to them vs Michigan, and were very fortunate with Ohio State (JT Barrett coming off suspension in a hurricane).  I agree that Iowa hasn’t played anyone, but they haven’t lost to anyone either and its December.   I love that they will be playing for respect in this one and will be getting more than a FG.  They win SU.

Texas +20.5 @ Baylor — Baylor is on their 3rd string QB.  This 3rd stringer was 7-24 passing in his start last week – a loss vs TCU.  Baylor is also playing for nothing as they were knocked out of the final 4 and conference title by losing last week.  Texas sucks, but can run the ball.  They had 400 yards rushing vs TT.  A ball control offense coupled with a 3rd string QB equals a lower scoring affair.  That makes covering 20.5 a huge task.  Gimme the points.

Week 15

Last week the F5 finished at a perfect 5-0.  That makes us winners in 13 of our last 15 and 16 of our last 20 and 20 of our last 25.  It also brings our season total to 40-29-1.

That type of heat makes me think of Megan…

Megan dropped me off at my dorm room after saving me from Cynthia.  She also gave me her number.  She asked me to call her sometime.

I was rushing my fraternity and about a few days in they had a date-function.  Of course, I didn’t know any girls outside Megan.  So I called her and asked if she could save me again by being my date to the function.  She eagerly agreed.

The event was a cook-out at an apartment complex.  Megan showed up in a yellow sundress and heels.  Exceptionally hot.

As with most fraternity events, it got out of control and a few girls decided to go swimming in the apartment pool. As they didn’t have swim suits they took their shirts off and went swimming in shorts and bras.  This was pretty awesome.

I looked over to Megan to get her reaction.  She was not impressed, and did not join the slut convention in the pool.  However, she did invite me to spend Labor Day weekend with her and her parents at their house on Lake Gaston.  I eagerly accepted.

So we get to her parent’s lake house, and we eat lunch and make our introductions.  I could tell her old man wasn’t terribly fond of Megan dragging a guy she just met with her on the family vacation.

After lunch we went out on the lake.  Megan was in a yellow string bikini – which to this day might be the hottest thing I have ever seen.  I remember feeling awkward that Megan would wear a suit like that around her parents.  I got a boner.

Anyway, they had a jet ski so Megan and I took it out.  Once we got out of sight of the dock she pulled it over.  She then flipped around on the jetski, took her top off, and we started going at it.  She was grinding on me and got me good and chubbed up.  She promised me she would take care of that later.  It was an awesome afternoon.

Fast forward a few hours and now it is time for bed.  I am in the guest room down the hall from Megan.  She whispers to me to wait an hour, then come to her room.

I wait an hour, and creep to her room.  When I open the door she is gets out of bed and leads me to a chair.  She takes her clothes off and starts making good on her earlier promise.

And damn was she into it.  She was SUPER loud, but I figured she wasn’t stupid and everything was cool.

Just went the going was getting good the door crashes open, and the lights are turned on.  It is her old man with a shotgun!  It is pointed right at me.  I guess Megan was too loud.

He looks at me, and says very calmly, “boy, you got 2 seconds to get the hell out of this house”.  I pull my britches up, grab my shit and get out of there.

I end up hitchhiking back to Raleigh that night.

That weekend was exhilarating and terrifying.  It was exciting and frightening.  It was legendary and forgetful.  It was pretty much like the Fishy 5.

This week’s picks:

Tampa Bay -3.5 vs New Orleans  —  NO shot their wad last week.  They gave Carolina all they wanted, but ultimately came up a little short in a very emotional and physical game.  Now they have to go on the road to play TB. Let’s not forget NO got blown out by Washington and Houston in their last two roadies.  The shit stain does not travel well.  And Tampa is playing damn good ball as they have won 3 of their last 4.  If Ted Ginn can get deep whenever he wants, I can’t imagine what MIke Evans and Vincent Jackson are going to do.  I hate giving up the hook here, but gotta do it in what will be a blowout.

SF +1.5 @ Cleveland —  The owner is forcing the head coach to play Jonny Football. The head coach does not want to play him.  It is bad news when the coach is being forced to play a player he doesn’t want to play.  And SF has been playing great ball the past two weeks.  The beat Chicago and should have been Arizona.  And Cleveland sucks – they have lost 7 straight and most by blowout.  Wrong team is favored here.  Gimme the fighting Blaines.

Cincy -3 vs Pittsburgh — Pittsburgh had a blowout win in the national TV game of the week.  Now they travel on a short week to a perpetually underrated team who probably is the best home team in the NFL.  Still can’t believe Cincy gets no respect.  Gimme the fighting Gingers by 7.

Atlanta +7.5 @ Carolina —  Carolina is legit.  However, Cam has a concussion regardless of what the media reports.  He also got beat up pretty good in a physical game vs New Orleans.  Atlanta has lost 5 straight, but only one has been more than 7.  They also have a solid QB and the best WR in the NFL.  Teams that can pass have given Carolina trouble (Indy, GB, New Orleans).    Carolina is now the hunted team, and will get their best effort from everyone.  I expect Carolina to win another close one, but not cover.  Love that I’m getting the hook.

Oakland +7.5 @ Denver —  I love Brocky – not liking him would be un-American.  However, let’s be real here. He only put up 10 vs Sd who is putrid (one TD was a pick 6).  He should have lost to Chicago and New England’s JV squad.  Now you are giving me 7.5 in a rivalry game?  I can see them winning, but no way to they cover.  And let’s not forget Oakland has 3 games of film on Brock, which other teams did not have.  That is a huge advantage.  Oakland will be very tough in this one.

Week 16

Last week the F5 finished at a miserable 1-4.  Regression to the mean at its finest.  It also brings our season total to 41-33-1.

Coming crashing back to earth is tough.  And that reminds me of the Kappa Kappa Gamma Formal at UNC.

I was on a blind date for the formal.  Interesting fact, the chick I was with went to Columbine High School.  And she was stupid hot.  Insanely hot.  Absurdly hot. And I got the sense she was into skinny, awkward kids…

We pre-game at her apartment with a couple of her friends.  Everything is going great.  I’m funny.  I’m catching a little buzz.  Life was good.

Then they ask me to carry two flasks with me to the party as I was the only one who was 21.  No problems.

We get to the formal, and I’m on fire.  I am probably the world’s worst dancer, but I wasn’t that night.  That night I was straight sex on the dance floor.  Chicks digged me, and dudes just wanted to shake my hand.  I was that impressive.

As the evening wore on, I pulled out the ultimate player move.  I put my bow-tie on her, and she wore it proudly.  I was marking my territory.

Then, my world came crashing down with the power and fury of the Trenchcoat Mafia.

I had been over-served, and I was hitting the wall.  I had to think of something.

I started eating everything I could find (bad move).  I started chugging water (another bad move). I went outside to get some air (I was a dead man).

Realizing I was done I tried to cut my losses.  I wanted to make sure I didn’t make a fool of myself.  Fortunately her apartment was within walking distance of the party.  We started walking back.  She lost my bowtie (cost me $50 to replace) and I ran into a moving car (or maybe it hit me – hard to tell).  I was not hurt (much).

Now we are back at her apartment.  I’m on a tilt-a-whirl.  I gotta find a safe place.

So I head to the bathroom and discreetly lose my cookies.  By discreet it sounded like I was having intercourse with a yak.  Feeling better, I decide to get up because I am going to try to rally.  I stumble and grab the towel rack to support myself.  I rip it off the wall and am falling again.  So I grab the shower curtain.  I rip that off the wall too.  And of course it takes down a picture with it and shatters the glass frame.  Not gooooooood.

By the time I get my shit together to exit my safe place, there is already a cab waiting to take me to a buddies house.  I apologize and am poured into the cab.

I barf down Franklin street while getting yelled at by an Arabian cab driver.  A very poetic way to end the night.

Why do I tell that story?  Because that is how last weekend felt.  I was on top of the world.  I was 10 and goddam 0 the past two weeks and 14 and 1 the last three.  I wasn’t only going to nail Columbine, but I was probably going to take out half the exec board that night.  And then it ended.  Tragically, emotionally, historically, disgustingly, epically – it ended.

Later that night though I reconnected with an old friend.  I drunk dialed an old flame.  An old friend who was always there for me and gave great head.  Sometimes you have to go back to your roots.  Go back to a place you are comfortable.  Go back to where you can be you.  Sometimes you gotta seek the stinkiest dogs.  You to have to embrace them.  You have to cherish them with all you got.

Because at the end of the day, I have always viewed myself as an underdog.  I’m a fighter who embraces the struggle.  I choose to get by on will-power and guile, because I lack pure talent.  I’m an overweight, graying douchebag with a small pecker and a big heart.  But I know deep down that every dog has their day in the sun.  Sunday is going to be my day.

Detroit +3 @ NO — Detroit has been playing good ball.  They got beat by a team that plays great D.  It happens.  STL shows up about five games a season.  New Orleans sucks.  They don’t play D.  Their QB isn’t a winner.  Gimme the Lions – because that is a stinky dog.

Denver +6 @ Pitt — If 88 could have caught at a jr high level Denver wins last week going away.  And then this spread would have been flipped and Denver would be 6 point favorites.  Denver still has a top-notch D.  And they can run vs a pitiful Pittsburgh D.  6 is just too many puntos.  Gimme Brock and almost a TD because he’s got a lot of dog in him.

ATL +3 @ Jax — ATL loses 4 million to zip.  Jax wins 77 to 3.  Yep – this one feels so right.  Gimme Atlanta all day every day and twice when I’m wrecking a sorostitute’s bathroom.  This one is ugly.

Chicago +5.5 @ Minny — It is hard to bet Cutler.  He is so not-clutch.  And he can’t eat sugar.  Not a good combo.  While he isn’t a winner, Chicago keeps every game close.  And that is all you can ask for a dog player.  Keep it close and gimme a chance for the backdoor at the end.  Words to live by.

Tenny +14 @ New England — I am so scared.  Tommy Terrific.  The Gronk.  The Hoodie.  You gotta be nuts to pick against them.  I am.  I take DD dogs on principal.  Because that is the type of guy I am.

Been a good season of the F5.  Hope you guys enjoyed the words of wisdom.  I have enjoyed sharing them.

Final Tally:

Last week the F5 finished at a miserable 2-3.  It also brings our final season total to 43-36-1 or a very respectable 54.4%.

Some lessons learned in hindsight:

Quit betting Auburn.

Hope you tailed the good ones and faded the bad ones.

Keep Picking Those Dogs!

— Pat Hagerty

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1 Comment

  1. Jim Keels on August 27, 2017 at 4:23 am

    Hey Pat,

    Just wanted to let you know, the first game I went on this year, was a dog, just for you, I had “Hawaii Plus 2”, at your favorite hang out “5 Dimes”. Hope we both have a good year. Stay in touch, Jim.

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