Week Five Advice for Suicide Pools
by Drew Mangione - 10/06/2006
I'm alive. Barely. No, I'm not talking about my suicide pool picks, which won easily. No, rather I decided to play a little game Monday night-take a shot of whiskey each time Kornheiser, Theisman and Tirico said those two magic words, Terrell Owens. Well, after the first quarter, I felt as though I had overdosed on pain medication and knew my only recourse was to switch to beer. I know you probably think I'm soft, but I was out cold for 18 hours by the third quarter.
With that said, a steady regimen of iced tea, water, and a no-holds-barred battle with my refrigerator has me level again and approaching my high school weight, which, ladies, is not a good thing. My mind is limber though, even if the weight I dropped in the last 10 years has re-emerged.
First, a recap: Atlanta won easily, 32-10, as did Philly, 31-9. I was a little nervous, though not surprised, when I saw that Edge Hartwell and John Abraham would be out again and later when Adrian Wilson returned that interception for a TD. But it played out as expected. I had no chance to be nervous with Philly, as all the talk about TO made me forget my bet as I slipped into a coma.
Better still, my competition in the 30 member pool is down to 12, thanks to a surprising Bills team, a Santana Moss touchdown and the worst offensive line in football making clear the path for Mario Williams's first sack. If only the Jets had a band to block for them, it would have been seven. I told you that one would be close, but regardless, this means my $10 bucks has 6-to-1 odds of becoming $150.
Here's a quick refresher for those of you that are new to suicide pools. You pick one team - with no spread - and all that team has to do is win. It sounds a lot easier than it is. You can't use the same team twice, and once you lose you are out of the pool Winner take all.
Once again, it's time to look at this week's most lopsided games, based on the lines provided by Pinnacle Sportsbook Like last week, we've got six games with a touchdown spread or greater. I'll start with the biggest spread first.
Tennessee Titans at Indianapolis Colts (-18), 1 p.m., Sunday: In retrospect, I probably should have taken the Cowboys last week. The Titans are awful and if you think things were looking up with Vince Young at the helm, Haynesworth may as well have stomped on your face. Once again, the biggest spread is the easiest pick. I haven't used the Colts yet, so I'm alive.
Buffalo Bills at Chicago Bears (-10.5), 1 p.m., Sunday: The AFC East is a strange place this year. The Bills and Jets aren't good, but they'll be competitive, even with the good teams giving them a chance to be like Dick Jauron's 2001 Bears squad that went 13-3. No, I'm not crazy. A weak schedule could help teams with 6-win talent become 9- or 10-game winners. The moral: I think the Bears will win, but don't be surprised if this is close like Jets-Colts last week.
Miami Dolphins at New England Patriots (-10), 1 p.m., Sunday: The Dolphins suck and the Pats are the lone good team in the division. Like the Jets and Bills, the schedule could put them a few wins better than their talent and this is one they should win, but division games are hard to get excited about when it's all-or-nothing. This game may be a trap because New England's offense goes as its rushing attack goes and Miami has given up just 3.0 yards per carry (3rd in the NFL).
Cleveland Browns at Carolina Panthers (-9), 1 p.m., Sunday: I still don't think they're ready for the Super Bowl, but the Panthers showed me something last week. They appear to have sealed the leaks in the defensive front (Bush/McAllister, 22 rush, 62 yards) and Steve Smith is at full strength. Also, the Browns are getting better with a close loss to the Ravens and a win over Oakland. But they're still the Browns, giving up 4.8 yards per rush (tied for last in NFL).
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-7), 1 p.m., Sunday: Another division game and another potential trap. The Vikings lost to the Bills and Detroit's offense finally scored some points last week. Detroit's shown it can play defense, holding Seattle to six points on the opening weekend, and now they've shown they can light it up. Detroit is due and I'm hoping lots of people Minnesota this week. It could mean eliminations.
New York Jets at Jacksonville Jaguars (-7), 1 p.m., Sunday: I confess. I'm a Jets fan. However, I stand by my assertion about them and the Bills - they're good enough to play with teams. I think Jacksonville will win this one, but again, I think the Jets D will make some plays. In the battle of Marshall QBs, I see Pennington having his first multiple pick game and the Jets getting one score on a interception. Sometimes you can't look at stats when dealing with your favorite team and I'll just say this, I can't pick against them. Not now.
So I guess I'm definitely taking Indy and I think I'm going to go with a small degree of risk by taking the Panthers. The only question is on what slot do I put which one? I think I'll put Carolina where I've already used the Pats and Eagles, since I'll be able to use these powerhouses in future picks on my other line, which I know will be safe, barring a Manning OD on Vicodin.
Slot one: Patriots, Ravens, Dolphins, Eagles, Carolina
Slot two: Cardinals, Bengals, Ravens, Atlanta, Indianapolis