Weekend Edition - (Merry Christmas) & NCAA/NFL Picks

CV's PICKS - 2010 YTD Totals (all "ATS" [against the spread - wager totals include the vig lost])
2010 NCAA Picks (aggregate): 65-43-4
2010 NCAA (unit picks differential): +3
NCAA 2010 Regular Season Wager Total: (+$35)* (cv wins the "kissing your sister" trophy)

- results thru Sheraton Hawaii Bowl -
NCAA 2010 Bowl Picks (aggregate): 5-1-1
CV's NCAA 2010 Bowl Season (Picks) - Results:

New Mexico Bowl (UTEP) - Correct
Humanitarian Bowl (N. Illinois) - Correct
New Orleans Bowl (Troy) - Correct
St. Petersburg Bowl (Louisville) - Push
Las Vegas Bowl (Boise State) - Correct
Pointsettia Bowl (SDSU) - Correct
Hawaii Bowl (Hawaii) - Incorrect
Total (incl. vig): (+$390)


2010 NFL Picks (aggregate): 120-93-5
2010 NFL (unit picks differential): +36
NFL 2010 Wager Total: (+3,700)
Exotic Wagers (parlays & teasers): (+30)*

*I had to go out and cobble together some teasers to PAY for the lesson I needed to teach everyone last week on just going for the EASY MONEY parlays of home favorites... That "LESSON" cost me $150 to illustrate, but I made it back with a +$180 on my own teaser selections...

This week in da bowls... (damn there are a lot of them)! I'll revert back to this page to compile the results after the week is done...


Sunday, December 26th
Little Caesars Bowl - DETROIT, MI
aka the "Pizza Pizza" Bowl

 Florida International Golden Panthers vs. Toledo Rockets (8:30 EST)
Line: Toledo by 1.5

CV is going with the Golden Panthers here... Gold seems to be doing better than Rockets these days... After losing their first 4 games (all to quality teams that are in fairly high profile bowls), FIU had to play furiously to get to the 6 win minimum to get a school qualified for a bowl... So I'm thinking, if they want it that bad, at least they may show up... FIU for (1 unit)... And, HEY... I thought "Domino's Pizza" was from Detroit??? (or was it "Cleveland", that was from "Detroit"?)... CV can't remember... I've GOTTA to stop eating those late night pizzas!

Monday, December 27th (5:00 EST)
AdvoCareV100 Independence Bowl
aka the "Vitameatavegemin" Bowl, or, the "6 Million Dollar Man" Bowl

 Air Force Academy Falcons vs. Georgia Tech Ramblin' Wreck
Line: Air Force by 3

The sponsors of this bowl (some vita-meat-a-vegimen company)...

They have a slogan that says... "The human body’s 70 trillion cells are constantly wearing out and being replaced"... Yeah? So who TF cares (death & taxes - right)?... If I start breaking down, I'm just going to call these guys for help...


OK... That's a quaint little buggy that you built there!


Why does it remind me of this?

Here's the AIR FORCE Academy's quaint version of a Ramblin' Wreck

The irony here is that the GROUND attack of the AFA is #2 in the nation (while their aerial attack ranks nearly dead last in all of NCAA Division 1AA football)... But I'll let the videos talk... Do I have to tell you who I'm taking for (1 unit)?... And while we're on the subject of Disneyland flyovers...

Tuesday, December 28th (6:30 EST)
Champs Sports Bowl - ORLANDO, FL
aka the "We came in 4th in the ACC or Big East so... WERE GOING TO DISNEYLAND" Bowl

 West Virginia Mountaineers vs. NC State Wolfpack
Line: West Virginia by 2

The Mountaineers rank #2 in NCAA in total points given up per game (12.8)... Some may argue that the Big East isn't stock full of high powered offenses (Pitt, Syracuse, UConn, USF), and they would be right... But NC State, despite its good season, lost 3 games to teams with similar stingy defenses (Virginia Tech, Clemson, & Maryland)... WVA ought to be able to cover a field goal here for (2 units)... Note - Due to the "soon to be arriving" TCU in the Big East Conference, the recruiting of these Big East teams will have to be stepped up... The best way to do that is to be competitive in these high profile games... Just saying...

Tuesday, December 28th (10:00 EST)
Insight Bowl - TEMPE, AZ
aka "The Big Toaster Bowl"

Missouri Tigers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
Line: Missouri by 1

Iowa really fell apart after suffering a tough loss to Wisconsin in the Big 10... After their hopes for a conference title were dashed, they never really got it together and dropped their last 3 games... Missouri suffered a similar fate, when it was undefeated until losing late in the season on the road at Nebraska and Texas Tech... I like the way Missouri bounced back and competed (which makes me think it could be the more "interested" team here)... MIZZOU for (1 unit)...

Wednesday, December 29th (2:30 EST)
Military Bowl pres. by Northrup Grumman - WASHINGTON, D.C.
aka the "Shucks Obama couldn't make it because he was vacationing in Hawaii" Bowl, or, the "Let's throw THE FRIDGE under the bus" Bowl

 East Carolina Pirates vs. Maryland Terrapins
Line: Maryland by 9

Maryland will be without "likeable" head coach Ralph "The Fridge" Fridgien next year after reportedly buying him out to bring in former Texas Tech HC Mike Leach... It's hard to really react to that because it says that Maryland is serious in an attempt to compete in a stronger way in the ACC (yet everyone loved the Fridge)...

Leach is known as an offensive genius, but the Terrapins have been doing it this year on defense... Covering a 9 point spread is never easy in games where nobody really cares... But then again, the Terps are basically in their own back yard here and ought to come away with the win & cover... TERPS for (1 unit)...

Wednesday, December 29th (6:00 EST)
The Texas Bowl - HOUSTON, TX
aka the"GHW Bush ought to show up if we offer a nice shrimp platter" Bowl

 Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Baylor Bears
Line: Baylor by 2

It kind of shakes out this way... Illinois couldn't even beat Fresno State... Who couldn't even beat NORTHERN ILLINOIS... So how does the State University (of a bankrupt state), that can't even beat it's lesser sister, come down to Texas and do anything meaningful on Baylors home turf... BAYLOR for (1 unit)...

Wednesday, December 29th (9:15 EST)
Valero Alamo Bowl - SAN ANTONIO, TX
aka the "If Little Caesars and Alamo Car Rentals ever merged, this could be the Pizza Pizza Alamo Alamo [where Led Zeppelin & Billy Idol could do the half time concert and sing Livin' Lovin' & Mony Mony] Bowl)

 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Arizona State Wildcats
Line: Oklahoma State by 6.5

Both these teams are choking dogs (who both had a chance to play for a bigger prize, but instead find themselves as the Davy Crocketts of their conferences)... So their reward is to get to come and save the Alamo from Santa Ana... Good Luck... OK State couldn't get it done against Oklahoma or Nebraska, and Arizona lost it's last 4 games... 

That's 'somewhat' excusable, being that they played #1 Oregon & #4 Stanford (on the road) during that stretch, mixed in with a couple of tough 'situational' games... But it's STILL hard to trust a team that hasn't proved it can rise to the occasion... So I'm going to go a different route and take the OVER in this game... OVER 65.5 points for (1 unit)... 

Thursday, December 30th (12:00 EST)
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl - DALLAS, TX
aka the "When the wars stop, we'll just lease our choppers to THE BERNANK" Bowl
Army Black Knights vs. SMU Mustangs
Line: SMU by 8

This is a much better ARMY team than most people realize... Still, they're just getting back in to this bowl business... MEH... I'll go ahead and take Army... Some of the losses they had this year weren't as bad as they looked on paper... They lost to Navy by 2 touchdowns, but "outgained" them offensively, and might have tied had it not been for a 96 fumble return the other way for a TD... I'll take ARMY for (1 unit)...

Thursday, December 30th (3:20 EST)
New Era Pinstripe Bowl - BRONX, NY
aka the "We gotta pay for this fiasco of a stadium somehow until the Yankees win another World Series Bowl"

 Kansas State Wildcats vs. Syracuse Orangemen
Line: Kansas State by 2.5

The bottom line here is that most people are surprised to see Syracuse back in a bowl game... They quietly put together a 7-5 record in the Big East Conference... It's not like the Big East was "all world" this year, but it still means you have to run a gauntlet of fairly decent athletes, and well coached teams (WVU, Pitt, UConn, USF, Louisville, Cincinnati, & Rutgers)... They also had Boston College & Washington on the schedule... These teams should "probably" be a "pick-em", so I suppose we're getting a little VALUE here with the game being played in the home state of Syracuse... ORANGEMEN for (1 unit)...

Thursday, December 30th (6:40 EST)
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl  - NASHVILLE, TN
aka the "Mortgages? Don't you mean Musical Chairs Bowl? When they foreclose on Nashville this will move to Branson, Missouri" Bowl

 University of North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Tennessee Volunteers
Line: UNC by 1

Don't ask me how the hell the Tennessee Volunteers got into a bowl game (or how they're only 1 point dogs)... Oh I get it... the game is in Nashville, and they need nice warm Tennesseean asses in the seats so as not to embarrass the sponsors... Oh well... Tenn barnstormed its last 4 games by beating up on the dregs of the SEC and barely qualifying with the 6 win minimum a team needs to get a bid... UNC has actually had a pretty good season... They got off to a slow start because they were dealing with recruiting scandal issues (and had to face LSU), but otherwise won most of their games except against very elite teams like Virginia Tech, and in state rival NC State... This team plays with a lot of drive and is well coached... I'll go with the TARHEELS for (3 units)...

Thursday, December 30th (10:00 EST)
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl - SAN DIEGO, CA
aka the "How does one rationalize putting "EDUCATION" & "HOLIDAY" in the same package?... Nevermind - don't answer" Bowl

 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Washington Huskies
Line: Nebraska by 13.5

How the hell did this happen? Nebraska has manhandled Washington the past 2 years (what was the Washington Athletic Director thinking)... Frankly - I'm still not convinced that Nebraska is "all the way back"... And I'm still not sure about their prospects as they skip off to the Big 10... But Washington??? Friggin' Jake Locker has to be the stupidest MF on the planet... He'd have gone top 5 in the NFL draft last year if he'd have come out early... Now, he may still be on the board in the 3rd round in a year that the NFLPA might be locked out... C'Mon Man!... HUSKERS for (1 unit)...

Friday, December 31st (12:00 EST)
Meineke Car Care Bowl - CHARLOTTE, NC
aka the "Muffler Bowl"

 South Florida Bulls vs. Clemson Tigers
Line: Clemson by 4

Both of these teams sport pretty nice defenses (but not much else)... So I guess it's "good" that it's the MUFFLER BOWL (otherwise it might be the HEADER BOWL)... I'd say the signature game for USF this year was the last game of the year, when they weren't really playing for anything, but played UConn tight in a 'spoiler' role (as UConn needed just that win to get to the BCS payday)... I gotta respect a team that won't lay down, and will step up in a game that means a lot more to the opposing team... Clemson has a similar instance vs. Florida State... So anyway, here... I'll take the USF BULLS (if they're offering me points)... for (2 units)...

Friday, December 31st (2:00 EST)
Hyundai Sun Bowl - EL PASO, TX
aka the "We used to be a New Years Day Bowl until Korean beer can car companies started sponsoring us" Bowl

 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Miami Hurricanes
Line: Miami by 4

Both ND & Miami "used" to play on New Years Day as well until their teams started playing like they did after having played beer pong all night with Korean beer... Let me just say this... If you have been spending your hard earned cash betting on ND or "the U" these past couple of years, you need to seriously re-evaluate your lifestyle because you've hit rock bottom... I'm going to go with the FIGHTING IRISH here for the simple reason that "at least" they got their latest coaching revolving door issue settled last year (while "the U" is in the process of undergoing another one)... And... ND has been adding A LOT of Texas recruiting to their arsenal... They "like" being down here in Texas and ought to show up to play not only because they're facing an old foe, but they may lose recruits if they stink up the joint... FIGHTING IRISH for (1 unit)...

Friday, December 31st (3:30 EST)
Auto Zone Liberty Bowl - MEMPHIS, TN
aka the "You can NEVER have enough muffler sponsors" Bowl
 Georgia Bulldogs vs. Central Florida Knights
Line: Georgia by 7

If anyone hasn't noticed... Georgia WR A.J. Green is a beast... He's probably the best WR prospect coming out of the NCAA since Randy Moss or Calvin Johnson... Georgia started off slowly this year (until AJ Green got back into the lineup)... at which point, they could pretty much compete with anyone... UCF is a solid team, but it's hard to imagine they'll have an answer for this phenom (which is Green)... The Carolina Panthers are going to have an interesting choice in the NFL draft... They could stick with Jimmy Clausen (and give him a weapon by drafting Green, or, they could blow off Clausen, and take Andrew Luck)... Anyway... BULLDOGS for (2 units)... 

Friday, December 31st (7:30 EST)
Chick-fil-A Bowl - ATLANTA, GA
aka the "McFearless eats here" Bowl... (This USED to be the "Peach Bowl" but "Chick-fil-a-Peach" sounds kind of kinky)...

 South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Florida State Seminoles
Line: South Carolina by 3

OK... How are you supposed to handicap a match between the "game cocks" and the "semen holes" in a bowl that's called "Chick Fill A Peach"? That's why CV has been advocating a playoff system for years now... But nobody wants to listen... PERVERTS!

Look... I respect Steve Spurrier for his accomplishments (and even what he's managed with this South Carolina team in a tough SEC conference)... But USC will "always" play second fifth fiddle to the Florida's, Alabama's, Auburn's, & LSU's of this conference... Hell - half the time they may also have to stand behind Arkansas, Georgia, and Tennessee (when they're not dicking around with their coaches & recruiting)...

Nevertheless... This is the best team SC has put on the field, probably, EVER... It wouldn't make sense to me if they were just to piss the season away by losing in a tier 2 bowl (after having come so close to stepping in there to play for the big marbles)...

Florida State is just coming back to finding it's bigtime game winning ways... I'll go with SOUTH CAROLINA for (1 unit)...



Carolina Panthers at Pittsburgh Steelers (8:35 EST)
Line: Steelers by 14

CV took STEELERS for (0 units) - ($0) - Correct


Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals (7:30 EST)
Line: Cowboys by 6.5

Wasn't this the "Jerry Maguire" game? Rod Tidwell has his coming out party, at home, vs. Dallas on Christmas Day (Night)?

Some people may have the coin, but they will never have the "COIN"... It worked out for Rod, Jerry Maguire & Co. back then, so why not?... I intend to put some "coin" into my pocket by taking the CARDINALS for (2 units)... "You complete me"... "You had me at 'hello'"...


Detroit Lions at Miami Dolphins (1:00 EST)
Line: Miami by 3.5

The "fins" have several things working against them this week... Tony Sparano has never covered a home game at +3.5 or more, and the Lions are on their 2nd straight road game (which usually tosses a bonus to the visiting dogs)... Add to the pile, the psychological factor (downer) that they were just mathematically eliminated from the playoffs last week...

The only thing that makes me cautious here is that the "public" is suddenly in love with the Lions (who will probably be rotating Shawn Hill to replace Drew Stanton who replaced Shawn Hill, who replaced Matt Stafford, who came back after initially feeling better while Shawn Hill replaced Stafford for being injured...

IOW - Screw this line... Take the UNDER for (1 unit)...

Washington Redskins at Jacksonville Jaguars (1:00 EST)
Line: Jaguars by 7

The QB controversies never stop do they?... I've got one word for Donovan McNabb & Fletcher Smith... "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"... Quit your effin crying!... Here... FLETCH... Here's a new job for you...

McNabb has done zero... squat... for the Redskins in 2010... This league is about performance and about "what have you done for me lately"?... I don't care about McNabb's past (with the Eagles)... What has he done in Washington (but cash checks)... Want to get into a pissing contest about "the past" with Shanahan?... OK, I'll make it easy... Just count the fingers on your hand that you have a ring on, and the ones that Shanahan does... Go ahead... I'll give you the benefit of extra time to figure it out... I hope you do it faster than you can count your "checkdowns" on offense...

McNabb was the beneficiary of an Andy Reid scheme in Philly (which he no longer had the physical skills for)... Worse... Now he's in a system that is utterly different and is no longer viable... Want to talk about QB's ending their careers with dignity? How about Joe Montana in KC?, Namath on the bench with the Rams? Johhny U with the Chargers?... Hell - at least those guys won some jewelry in the process...

Get TF out of my face... & Get TF out of Washington... If I were you, I'd check to see if you had another year of eligibility in the NCAA... Syracuse might be able to use you vs. Kansas State in the fucking "Pinstripe Bowl"...

Look - Sexy Rexy Grossman probably isn't the solution in Washington either... But at least let Shanahan make that decision, and nove on from there... rex put up better numbers last week than your lazy ass did all year...

I'll go with the REDSKINS here for (1 unit)... Jags always suck the week before and after playing Indy...

San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams (1:00 EST)
Line: Rams by 2.5

I gotta admit I don't know where to go with this game... Let's hit the highlights... Nobody would have ever expected that this was  "must win" game (for either of these teams) to be playing for a potential (home team) playoff spot this late in the season... Probably MORE surprising are the Rams than the 49ers (based on preseason expectations)...

So, that said, you have to consider that this is much more a pressure situation for the Rams than it is for the 49ers... The Rams have gotten this far based on Sam Bradford being a QB who has showed the poise to manage games... plus a decent "home" record, plus a fairly light schedule, plus a bunch of sacks on defense...

OTOH, it was the 49ers who had to travel to London... Travel to the East Coast to play 1PM games twice (Carolina & Atlanta - both "almost" wins)...

It may be a surprise to some that the 49ers are "technical" favorites here (basically, they're 0.5 favorites due to the home team skew)... They're coming off a blowout loss to the Chargers last week, but the Chargers have been playing with fire as of late (as they always seem to have to do in December)... Moreover, it's HARD for a team to travel on 3 days rest and play on Thursday Night... Instead, now they're on 10 days rest and might be able to get it done here... Who knows? Maybe that was the strategy all along... I think I gotta go with the 49ERS here for (2 units) if for no other reason than I think the NFC West title will come down to the last week of play...
New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (1:00 EST)
Line: Patriots by 7.5

Quirky things going on here... Barring collapse, the Patriots have all but locked up home field advantage throughout the playoffs... They may be inclined to "take it easy", but division rivalries of a touchdown or more are usually a "widowmaker" for gamblers taking favorites (especially when the point "layers" have little incentive)... The Pats also seemed to have taken Green Bay a little lightly last week and Belichick may have ridden them hard this week about that... Consider that this is one of the "youngest" defenses in the NFL, so I'm sure they heard an earful this week...

The Bills would normally be my pick here, but they have a curioius habit of playing poorly the week after playing the Dolphins...

I'll go ahead and side with the PATRIOTS for (1 unit)...

New York Jets at Chicago Bears (1:00 EST)
Line: Bears by 1

What's curious and compelling about this game aren't the "X"'s and "O"'s but the jockeying for position (& public mentality/sentiment)... The public is inclined to side with the Bears here because despite the Jets having rebounded vs. the Steelers last week, they still seem to be a team that some of the cocky "veneer" has worn off (that may change if they manage to pull this game out)...

The Bears already seem to have been forgiven for having been manhandled by the Patriots the week before... And only because they came in and dismantled the hapless Vikings on national TV...

Think about it this way... For MOST of 2010, the Patriots and the Jets have been more or less mentioned in the same breath... The Jets even handed the Patriots one of their two losses this year (the other loss for the Patriots coming vs. former Jet coach Eric Mangini & the Browns)... Yet, the fact that the Patriots blew out the Jets on MNF, combined with a lackluster performance the week after vs. the Dolphins (a game CV "warned" everyone about)... All of a sudden, the Jets suck...

Looking more closely, it's apparent that the "oddsmakers" don't think the Jets suck (because without the 3 point home advantage, the Jets would be 2 point favorites here)... But the public is busy "gift giving" this time of year... I think the linesmakers are hoping the public will just blindly bet the Bears...

The only "knock" I have on the Jets right now is that in many ways, this game is unimportant... They will be either a #5 or #6 seed NO MATTER WHAT in the playoffs (while the Bears still have the incentive of playing for a 1st round bye)...

I'm going to try and look past that... I think the Jets aren't the type of team that's going to just hang around and wait for the playoffs to arrive (call it - my "I know Rex Ryan" instincts from having had Rex Ryan In Baltimore for a few years)... They've (Jets) had some hard times lately, but I think they need some positive momentum going into the post-season if they're going to live up to what they boasted about at the beginning of the season... Rex Ryan is the type to get his team going when it counts...

JETS for (2 units)...

Baltimore Ravens at Cleveland Browns (1:00 EST)
Line: Ravens by 3.5

This, once again, falls into the category of "division rivals" that CV refuses to get sucked in to laying 3.5 point lines on when the public is 96% backing the favorite... Everyone here knows that CV is a Ravens fan... But the way Peyton Hillis ran roughshod against them earlier in the season... I can't lay more than a unit on the game... So fine... I'll side with the RAVENS... But for (0 units)...

Tennessee Flaming Thumbtacks at Kansas City Chiefs (1:00 EST)
Line: Chiefs by 5

Oh boy... OK - There could be a lot of complicated ways I could break down this game... But i'm going to go with a singular notion... KC really hasn't beaten any quality teams this year... I'm going to make YOU go look that up... The AFC West, in 2010, had their regular division schedule (Chargers, Raiders, Broncos)... Plus, the AFC North and NFC West... The NFC West we ALL know blows (Rams, 49ers, Seahawks, Cardinals)... AFC North? not so much, but since KC were dregs last year, they only played the dregs (Cincinnati & Cleveland)...

Tennessee is only playing for pride right now... But the end of the Monday Night game vs. the Colts, and their manhandling of the texans last week tells me that the interruption they had this mid-season (because of whiny ass Vince Young), is behind them... I think Chris Johnson is still behind the stat season he envisioned at the onset, and would love to see it here... Kerry Collins still has some football left... & what I like too is that Kenny Britt is back and wants to learn from Randy Moss...

Randy is a superior football intellect, and, I'm sure will have some insights on how to prep for a game against the Chiefs, (who aren't much more than a group of Patriots off-shoots that RM played in the same system with)...

The Chiefs have had it "cakewalk" easy thus far this year... It's time for them to step up their game to see if they'rte ready for prime time... I don't want to disparage them here... But I think this may just prove to be another step in a long term learning process... I'm taking the FLAMING THUMBTACKS for (8 units), as my DECEMBER PICK OF THE MONTH...


- late game Sunday write-ups will be posted throughout Saturday -

Seattle Seahawks at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4:15 EST)
Line: Bucs by 6.5


Indianapolis Colts at Oakland Raiders (4:05 EST)
Line: Colts by 3


Houston Texans at Denver Broncos (4:05 EST)
Line: Broncos by 2.5


New York Football Giants at Green Bay Packers (4:15 EST)
Line: Packers by 3


San Diego Chargers at Cincinnati Bengals (4:05 EST)
Line: Chargers by 7.5



Minnesota Vikings at Philadelphia Dog Killers (8:25 EST)
Line: Dog Killers by 14.5



New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons (8:35 EST)
Line: Falcons by 2.5



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