I’ve chased plenty of Saturdays on Sundays. But most recently, I spent Sunday chasing my previous seven days.
With “Feast Week” (ESPN’s gimmick slogan to promote countless college basketball games the week of Thanksgiving), Thanksgiving Day football, and a full slate of college football on Friday and Saturday, I had too many options. By the end of the 1 p.m. NFL games on Sunday afternoon, I was staggering on the edge of my fiscal cliff.
Nearly out of steam by 4 p.m., I cobbled together a two-team parlay that, if successful, would drag me back to even for the week. My faith was placed in San Francisco -1 (at New Orleans) and San Diego +1 (hosting Baltimore).
The 49ers did their part, handling the Saints in impressive fashion. The Chargers? They appeared poised to grind out a cover until they allowed the unthinkable: a late conversion on fourth and 29 that helped the Ravens get the game to overtime and ultimately win by a field goal.
Someone needs to remind me in 2013 to stand down during “Feast Week”.
This week’s picks (home team in caps):
GREEN BAY (-8½) over Minnesota: Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder has barely been mediocre recently and struggled mightily at Lambeau Field last season when the Vikings were clobbered, 45-7. Ponder has not progressed during the last year, and with Minnesota going 1-4-1 against the spread in its last six, expect another rout by Green Bay. Risking $110 to win $100.
TENNESSEE (+6) over Houston: At 10-1 overall and 7-3 against the spread, the Texans are formidable. Even when they let teams hang around, which they’ve done recently, they find a way to win. And we’re merely betting that the Titans can hang around, too, just like the Lions, Jaguars, and Bears before them. The 68 combined points Houston allowed to the Lions and Jags are a harbinger of trouble. Risking $110 to win $100.
Carolina (-3) over KANSAS CITY: The Chiefs hung in against Denver, a divisional opponent, but still managed only three field goals. Kansas City hasn’t scored a touchdown in more than 11 quarters and at this point has no discernible advantage at Arrowhead Stadium. Risking $110 to win $100.
ST. LOUIS (+7) over San Francisco: Here’s a trend I’m willing to follow: The Rams are 4-0 against the spread within their division. Risking $110 to win $100.
Last week: 2-0-1, plus $300. Season: 21-24-1, minus $398.