Monday, September 8, 2014

The Week One Monday Night Picks

If you like gambling and you haven't seen Two for the Money starring Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey, then you have a hole in your movie resume that really needs to be filled. Not a gaping hole like if you haven't seen Rounders or The Sting but still a hole because it means that you've missed-out on classic scene stealing stand-offs like this one between Pacino's NFL gambling guru, Walter Abrams, and his recently struggling protege Brandon Lang, played by McConaughey:*

Abrams: This is dangerous territory we're getting into. You understand that. But I'm gonna bump you. Now talk to me about Monday night because everyone, and I mean everyone, is gonna double down after the hole you put 'em in.

Lang: Monday night's fine.

"You need to use your hands more . . . like this."

Abrams: You bet your mother's house on it?

Lang: I don't bet, Walter.

Abrams: If you did?

Lang: I like the pick, Walter.

Abrams: On your mother's house or not?

Lang: With my mother in it. 


Because that's really why Monday Night Football is such a phenomena right? It's the ship on the horizon for millions of gambling castaways imagining each other smothered in Bearnaise sauce. The only problem is that the ship could be a floating Swedish nursing school (it could happen) or it could be full of Somali pirates hungrier than you are (or even worse, it could be a Carnival cruise ship).** You have to roll the dice and paddle towards it and you won't know what you've gotten yourself into until it's too late to turn back.

"Oh . . . you mean like this?"
So today I am the castaway after yesterday's 4-9 debacle brought my record for the week to 5-9 and, on an even more troubling note, indicated a continuation of my, ahem, less than stellar golf picking season. I originally made these picks along with the Sunday picks but then went back and changed the late game based on the Costanza theory that, if all of my instincts are wrong, then the opposite must be right. Proceed with caution.

Detroit by 6.5 over N.Y. Giants: The Pick - Lions

I know the preseason doesn't mean anything but when you combine Eli Manning's charitable campaign in 2013 (27 interceptions) with all of the dismal late summer highlights ESPN ran featuring the ineptitude of the Giants' offense, I just can't put their name on the board in week one. Especially when the Lions' offense looks like a rodeo bull two seconds before they open the gate.

Arizona by 3 over San Diego: The Pick - Chargers

Like I said, I originally had the Cardinals in this spot but then yesterday happened and I had visions of Carson Palmer's "I Can't Believe I Overthrew Another Receiver" face so I decided to go the other way. There's some gambling analysis you won't get from a professional handicapper (or a credible one . . . or even a competent one).

This being Jaime King, in
case you were wondering.
Footnotes

* There are other notable actors in Two for the Money like Jeremy Piven, Rene Russo, Armand Assante and Jaime King but they're not really necessary as Pacino and McConaughey spend the better part of two hours chewing through the scenery like two rats working a pound of smoked Gouda (and I mean that in the best way possible because you wouldn't want to see those two on screen doing it any differently). 

** If you ever see me on a cruise ship, please notify the authorities because I have been abducted (or just shoot me on the spot).