For Entertainment Purposes …October 23rd, 2010
Now Joe is sure all his readers fly to Vegas to wager legally, versus placing bets with the guy whose cell number changes every week.
Regardless of how or why you wager, Joe knows there are many aspiring handicappers reading. So to please the gambling crowd, Joe has turned to superpicker Bob Fox. A writer for various sports publications over the years, Fox flashed his stellar picking skills back in 2008 on JoeBucsFan.com, when Joe had a contest here among sports media members.
Fox will be here to give you a few games every week. He’s 9-3 over his last 12.
By BOB FOX
Auburn Tigers 24, LSU Tigers 20
This game should be a classic, as No. 5 Auburn takes on No. 6 LSU at Auburn. Both squads come into the game 7-0. QB Cam Newton is the main reason the Tigers of Auburn are undefeated. The former Florida Gator has put up Heisman trophy-type numbers, as he has thrown 13 TD passes, compared to five interceptions for 1,278 yards, plus he’s has rushed for 860 yards and 12 TDs. Auburn is ranked ninth nationally in offense, and last week scored 65 points in its win over Arkansas. The Auburn defense has some holes, however, especially in the passing game. LSU is undefeated, but was extremely lucky to get back-to-back wins against Tennessee and Florida.The LSU defense is the top reason the Tigers are still undefeated (that and good luck), as they are ranked 3rd in the nation. The QB combo of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee have done just enough to win games for LSU, or at least not lose them. Bottom line, although it should be a close game, I see Newton and company doing what it takes to beat LSU and stay undefeated.
San Diego Chargers 24, New England Patriots 21
If somebody told me that a team that was ranked first in the NFL in total offense, and first in total defense, but would have a 2-4 record, I would say that person had to be crazy. But that is the exact situation that the San Diego Chargers find themselves in, as they prepare to face the 4-1 New England Patriots at home this week. The two clubs have met six times since the 2002 season, and the record is knotted at three games apiece. The Chargers are led by QB Phillip Rivers, who has thrown for 13 TD passes, compared to five picks for 2,008 yards. Rivers might have his options at receiver limited this week, as TE Antonio Gates has a toe injury that will limit his play, plus it appears that WR Malcom Floyd will be out with a hamstring injury. So it appears that the RB tandem of Ryan Matthews and Mike Tolbert will have to help out Rivers against the 30th-ranked Patriots defense. Also, keep an eye on RB Darren Sproles, especially as a receiver and kick returner. The Pats are coming off a big win vs. the Baltimore Ravens, and it didn’t appear that they missed Randy Moss too much as QB Tom Brady connected with newly re-acquired Deion Branch, who caught nine passes, including one for a TD. Somehow I see the Chargers getting a badly needed win, although the Pats will play them tough.
Green Bay Packers 20, Minnesota Vikings 17
This game is Brett Favre vs. Ted Thompson III. Favre and the Vikings won their two meetings with the Packers last year, mostly based on Favre playing out of his mind, as he had seven TD passes and zero interceptions vs. the Pack in 2009. That and Jared Allen’s performance, as Allen had 7.5 sacks, forced a fumble, and recorded a safety in two games against Green Bay last season. Luckily for the Packers, LT Chad Clifton is healthy and ready to go against Allen, a matchup that never happened in 2009, due to injuries for Clifton. Speaking of health, it appears that the 3-3 Packers are getting back some key players this week vs. the 2-3 Vikes. The list includes LB Clay Matthews (hamstring), who leads the NFL in sacks with 8.5 sacks, and that could be key as Favre has been sacked 13 times. LB Brandon Chillar (shoulder) should also be back and he is a key ingredient in the Green Bay nickel defense. In addition CB Al Harris (knee) and S Atari Bigby (ankle) could be coming off the PUP list to help as well. The Packers need all the help that they can get as Favre has never lost against a defense run by Dom Capers. This game should be extremely close, but I see the Packers finally winning a close game (Green Bay has lost back-to-back overtime games), as QB Aaron Rodgers will outplay Favre in this contest.
New York Giants 21, Dallas Cowboys 20
Dallas (1-4) comes into this game vs. the New York Giants in a desperation mode. The Giants (4-2) know all about being in a funk, as they started 2010 slowly, but have rebounded and won three straight. Another loss for the Cowboys, especially vs. a divisional and NFC foe, might cause Jerry Jones order another facelift…this time for his team. The Cowboys keep shooting themselves in the foot with mistakes, whether they be turnovers or penalties. Like the Chargers, the Cowboys should not be looking up, as they are ranked third in total offense in the NFL and fourt in total defense. The Giants also come into the game with nice team stats, as they are ranked seventh in total offense and second in total defense. The Giants will pressure QB Tony Romo often, as the G-Men are 2nd the NFL in sacks with 21, plus lead the NFL in forced fumbles with 13. WR Miles Austin will have to play big if the Boys are going to win. QB Eli Manning has many weapons to choose from at the receiver position, especially Hakeem Nicks (36 catches for 417 yards and 6 TDs), plus has a solid run game behind him as well (4th in the NFL). In the summer 2010, Jones had dreams that his squad would be the NFC’s representative at the Super Bowl, which will be at his billion dollar Cowboys Stadium. That dream is becoming a nightmare, and the bad dream will continue with the Giants winning a close one.