For Entertainment Purposes …

December 26th, 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 gives you a few games every week. To date, Fox is 36-23 on the season.

By BOB FOX analyst

St. Louis Rams 20, San Francisco 49ers 17

Somebody has to win the putrid NFC West, and the game between the 5-9 San Francisco 49ers and the 6-8 St. Louis Rams in St. Louis will be a key factor as to actually wins the NFC West “title.” The Rams have lost two games in a row, plus lost 23-20 in OT the last time these two teams played in San Francisco. But the Niners have lost two out of three and looked absolutely horrible against the Chargers last week. The Rams aren’t overwhelming, as they are only ranked 25th in the NFL in total offense and 17th in total defense, but they do have RB Steven Jackson, who is having another nice year. Rookie QB Sam Bradford has also looked pretty good with 17 TD passes,compared to 14 INTs for 3,065 yards. Bradford is better than any QB that the Niners will put out on the field. This week the 49ers are starting Troy Smith after going back to Alex Smith for a couple of weeks. San Francisco has a nice defense (ranked 13th in the NFL), and also has a weapon in TE Vernon Davis, but the season ending hip injury a couple weeks back to RB Frank Gore has really hurt the Niners’ offense, which is only ranked 26th anyway. I see the Rams winning a close one at home in a matchup of two very mediocre teams.

Oakland Raiders 27, Indianapolis Colts 24

This game has huge playoff repercussions. The Colts (8-6) are tied for first in the AFC South with the Jaguars, after beating the Jags at home last week. Da Raiders (7-7) are two games behind Kansas City in the AFC West, but the Chiefs have a tough game this week vs. the Tennessee Titans at home, and then the Raiders and Chiefs square off next week in Kansas City. Oakland won their first meeting 23-20 in OT. Also lurking in the AFC West is the 8-6 San Diego Chargers, who the Raiders have beaten twice this year. The Chargers have two road games to finish the season, in Cincinnati today and then in Denver next week. This game brings in an invigorated Colts team led by QB Peyton Manning. The Colts are ranked fourth in total offense, and first in passing. The Indianapolis defense is ranked 19th, and also 27th against the run. The Raiders hope to take advantage of the Colts problems stopping the run as they will be led by RB Darren McFadden, who is having a monster year (1,588 total yards and 10 TDs). Overall, the Raiders are ranked eighth in the NFL in total offense and second in rushing. Defensively, the Raiders are ranked 11th and also fifth in passing defense. The crowd will be boisterous and rabid in Oakland, as I see the Raiders winning a close one behind the leg of K Sebastian Janikowski.

Green Bay Packers 24, New York Giants 20

Buccaneers nation will be watching the game between the 9-5 New York Giants and the 8-6 Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field very closely. The Giants can clinch a playoff spot with a win, while the Packers can also move a step closer to the playoffs with a win. If the Pack wins out vs. the G-Men and the Chicago Bears next week, also in Green Bay, the Packers will clinch a spot in the NFC playoffs. The Giants imploded last week in New Jersey losing a game to the Eagles when they choked away a 24 point lead in the fourth quarter and gave up fourt TDs, including a 65 yard punt return to DeSean Jackson as time ran out. The Giants come into this game obviously mentally wounded, but they are still very dangerous, both offensively and defensively, as New York is ranked third on both sides of the ball. The Packers almost beat the Patriots in Foxborough last week behind backup QB Matt Flynn, but came up short at the end. This week, however, QB Aaron Rodgers returs after missing last week due to a concussion. The Packers are ranked 11th in the NFL in total offense and seventh in total defense. Rodgers will have to be very cognizant of the Giant defense, as the G-Men have a reputation for taking out opposing QBs. Ask Tony Romo. Still, I like the Packers chances in this one at home, as it is a do-or-die situation, while the Giants can still clinch a playoff spot next week with a win against Washington. I see Rodgers as the difference maker in this battle.

Atlanta Falcons 24, New Orleans Saints 21

With a win, the Falcons (12-2) can clinch the NFC South division, plus home field advantage in the NFC throughout the playoffs. However, if the Saints win, they clinch a playoff spot, plus still have a shot at winning the NFC South. As much as they hate to say it, Bucs Nation has to be rooting for the Dirty Birds in this one. The Bucs will play the Saints (10-4) next week in New Orleans, and hopefully that game will still mean something for the Bucs to earn a Wild Card in the NFC playoffs. But first things first. This game should be a war. The Falcons won the first game between these two teams earlier in the year 27-24 in OT. Atlanta is undefeated a home this year, but has come close to losing a number of those games. The Falcons are ranked 12th in total offense behind QB Matt Ryan and RB Michael Turner. On defense, Atlanta is ranked 14th. The Saints are led by QB Drew Brees who has the Saints sixth in total offense, including third in passing. The Saints defense is somewhat underrated, but it is ninth in total defense, including fourth in pass defense. The Saints struggle a bit vs. the run (ranked 19th), so expect to see a heavy dose of Turner by the Birds. I see the Saints going all out for a win, but I still see the Falcons sneaking away with another win at home.

2 Responses to “For Entertainment Purposes …”

  1. justin f Says:

    so do we need the giants or the packers to win today to help our playoff chances?

  2. Bob Fox Says:

    I don’t think the Bucs want to see ANYONE clinch a wild card spot this weekend. That would happen if the Giants and Saints win, as both teams would be in the dance. I think that the Bucs would like to see EVERYTHING decided on the last week of the season, which would include their game against the Saints in New Orleans.