For Entertainment Purposes

October 2nd, 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, when Joe had a contest here among sports media members.

Fox will be here to give you a few games every week. 

By BOB FOX analyst

Alabama Crimson Tide 24,  Florida Gators 21
This game matches the past two national champions in college football. The two teams also have met the last two years in the SEC championship game, where probably will play again this year. The game tonight will be at Bryan-Denny Stadium, which is the site of Urban Meyer’s first loss as head coach of the Gators. Since then, Meyer has led the Gators to two national championships. Head coach Nick Saban has also won two national titles, one last year with Bama, and one previously at LSU. The Gators have struggled a bit offensively behind QB John Brantley, but they definitely played the best game of the young season last week vs. Kentucky. The top ranked Crimson Tide had to rally against a fired up Arkansas team last week, but the Tide prevailed 24-20 in a tough environment on the road. The No. 7 Gators will be facing similar conditions traveling to Tuscaloosa. Both teams have very talented running backs, with the Tide having Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram, and the Gators countering with Jeff Demps.  Bottom line, like last week’s Alabama-Arkansas game, this game should come down to the play of the QBs. All Greg McElroy does is win for the Tide, while Brantley is running the Gator offense for the first time this year after the graduation Tim Tebow. I see McElroy making more big plays and making less mistakes than Brantley. I also see Ingram outperforming his counterpart Demps as well.
Batimore Ravens 20, Pittsburgh Steelers 17
The Ravens will try try and take down the Steelers from the unbeaten path, and tie Pittsburgh for the division lead. This game will be another defensive battle between the two teams. The Ravens are ranked No. 1 in the NFL defensively, while the Steelers are ranked No. 5. Both offenses have struggled, as the Ravens are ranked 23rd in the NFL, while the Steelers with suspended QB Ben Roethlisberger are ranked 26th. The game will be at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, but that will not be a problem for the Ravens, who play well on the road. QB Charlie Batch has done okay, as he keeps the seat warm for Big Ben. Bottom line, the Steelers are still undefeated, and Batch has a 90.0 QB rating with three TD passes to two interceptions. QB Joe Flacco has had an up and down season, and only has a 66.3 QB rating with four TD passes anf five picks. Flacco has plenty of weapons to choose from with receivers like Derrick Mason, Anquan Boldin, T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Todd Heap. And the biggest weapon the Ravens have is RB Ray Rice, who recently injured his knee, but has practiced for two straight days, so it looks like he will play. Bottom line, it will be a a hard fought game, but I see the Ravens sneaking out of Pittsburgh with a win.

New York Giants 20,  Chicago Bears 13
The 3-0 Bears are the only undefeated team in the NFC right now. The 1-2 Giants have performed poorly in their first three games and need a win badly. Da Bears have been a bit on the lucky side, as they won their first game against the Lions when the officials took away a TD pass caught by Calvin Johnson, and last week were very fortunate to get a win over the mistake-plagued Packers. The Bears are ranked 11th offensively in the NFL, led by QB Jay Cutler, who is off to a good start in 2010. Cutler has 109.7 QB rating and has thrown six TD passes to just two interceptions.  However, Cutler was fortunate that he didn’t throw four or five picks last week vs. the Packers, as penalties and drops cost the Pack. The Bears are ranked 14th defensively in the NFL and the defense has a way of creating turnovers. The Bears special teams is always good as well. The Giants’ offense and defense are both in the top ten. You wouldn’t know it by their record, however. QB Eli Manning has had an inconsistent season, but should have opportunities in the Chicago secondary. RB Ahmad Bradshaw will have to work hard for his yards against the Chicago top-ranked rushing defense. When it’s all said and done, I see the Giants playing their most complete game of the season and getting a win they need desperately Sunday night.
New England Patriots 24,  Miami Dolphins 20
The Patriots and the Dolphins are 2-1 and lead the AFC East, along with the Jets. This game will be a Monday night affair in Miami, as the Fins try not to drop two straight night games at home. The Dolphins are ranked 18th in the NFL offensively, while they are ranked 11th defensively. The Patriots meanwhile, are ranked No. 7 offensively and only 24th defensively. QB Mark Sanchez of the Jets had a big game vs. the Fins last week, and QB Tom Brady of the Pats should be able to do the same thing, maybe even better. Brady has had a fine 2010 season, compiling a 109.1 QB rating, along with eight TD passes to just two interceptions. Brady has multiple weapons at receiver with folks like Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez to throw the pigskin to. QB Chad Henne of the Dolphins has had a decent start of the season, as well, as he has a 88.1 QB rating with three TD passes to just one pick. I see Brady making more big plays than Henne, and although the Patriot defense has many issues, I see the Pats pulling out a victory against a tough Miami team.

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