The Perfect Way To Start The New Year
Many of you, myself included, take it easy on New Year's Eve. I like to get to bed early, there are cops and drunks all over the roads, and temperatures are usually frigid on NYE. Shoot, I missed NYE 1999 because I was sick in bed with the last flu I ever had. I could hear the huge party five doors down when I wasn't sinking in and out of feverish sleep. If you have that going on tonight, I've been there before.
Others like to go out among the proles. Going into Boston, doing First Night, watching some fireworks, checking the Freaks... it's a very nice way to close out/start off a year. I heartily recommend doing so as a family once the youngest kid can stay up til 1 AM or so without getting all cranky and needing-to-be-carried and stuff.
Others like to make a Beast of themselves, for, as someone said, it takes away the pain of being a man. I'm not going to tell you that many NYE's haven't passed that saw me stumbling down a street, full of wine, pausing to fight passerby or projectile-vomit onto people I had been sexually harassing. If you know me, you wouldn't buy it anyhow.
But however you may spend NYE, the perfect way to spend New Year's Day is to lounge on a couch and watch the NFL for 11 straight hours. Maybe you invite the family over for a nice dinner. Maybe you take down the Christmas tree. Maybe you get a heaping helping of The Hair Of The Dog Who Bit Ye. Maybe you're alone, or maybe you're even booting heroin while not knowing exactly what day it is.
I get a big gathering of friends, cook up a mammoth pile of food (for large gatherings, I recommend Olde Cape Cod Whale Stew), mostly stick to marijuana, and sort of just focus on the games most of the day. It's actually a terrible day for Sports Betting, although many will be using this week to try to even out the numbers a bit as the season comes to a close.
The problem with betting NFL games on Week 17 is that the usual motivations for the players have changed in many cases. Some teams are fighting for the right to be in the playoffs. Some teams are already in the playoffs, and are just trying to not get injured. Some teams have been eliminated since October, and basically have Senioritis at this point. Some guys on the fringes will be using this game to audition for next season. Some guys will be hung over.
Only a desperate man or a fool would gamble upon the outcomes of these contests... and, as life shows us from time to time, it is often the fool who becomes the desperate man.
Please also check out Mayan-themed forecasts at my friend's site. Please remember that any betting lines here are For Entertainment Purposes Only.
1/1 1:00 ET At New England -10 Buffalo 50 (CBS-4)
New England is fighting for home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and can guarantee it with a win. Buffalo started strong, before undergoing a terrific crash that may land the team in Toronto someday. Buffy pwned us earlier in the season, and many guys on this team will be playing for their jobs.
However, if I lived in Buffalo (the most boring city I ever have been to personally, and I lived in Worcester for a year), I'd be a heavy drinker. I never bet on even presumed heavy drinkers on the day after NYE, and this supercedes all other factors outside of things like "team plane crash.".
New England, 41-24
1/1 1:00 ET At Philadelphia -8.5 Washington 45.5
You know that, at some point every Christmas season, Michael Vick wonders if/how he could get two reindeers to fight. "I gotta go to motherfuc**g Finland some day, playboy."
1/1 4:15 ET At Atlanta -11 Tampa Bay 45.5
My brother is up from Florida, so I got to tell my Tampa Bay joke for the 100th time. It's a bit raunchy for the newspaper, but the punchline is the hillbilly telling his daughter, "I didn't say I was going to take you to Florida when you turned 16, Betty Sue.... I said I was gon' Tampa with ya."
I guess I sort of actually omitted all of the joke except the raunchy part. Sorry about that. It's probably why ESPN never calls me.
1/1 1:00 ET San Francisco -10.5 At St. Louis 35.5
St. Louis actually needs to lose this game while concurrently rooting for Indianapolis to win. Whoever gets the #1 overall pick will be able to demand a king's ransom for it.
San Francisco, 21-10
1/1 1:00 ET At Minnesota -1.5 Chicago 41
Minnesota can't get the #1 overall, as they'd lose all the tiebreakers. That's too bad, because they could really use that Andrew Luck guy. This will be a game full of people who have already booked flights South, probably for like 5 PM or so. If I were a Minnesota millionaire who suddenly didn't have to be in January Minnesota anymore, I'd be Audi like motherf***ing Curt Gowdy, probably while still in my uniform.
1/1 1:00 ET Detroit -3 At Green Bay 43.5
On paper, this is a great game. In reality, the outcome doesn't matter much for either team playoff-wise. Everyone was making it rain or doing the Discount Double Check last night. They don't want to give away even a hint of what their game plan is vis a vis the other before the playoffs. You don't want to get anyone injured.
Detroit, who can gain or lose a spot in the playoff seeding, will be looking at either dominant Green Bay or how'd-they-get-here San Francisco. To bet this game, you'd have to watch how San Francisco and New Orleans are doing in their games. Once you figure out where SF/NO will be seeded, you either than win or lose to avoid the more dangerous Saints team. If the numbers break wrong, Detroit may end the game by running the ball into their own endzone to lose on purpose or something. Green Bay may kill them anyhow.
I wouldn't touch this game with a six and a half foot Pole, and neither would Ron Gronkowski. I can do it here for entertainment purposes, but I wouldn't bet a bad penny on it IRL.
Green Bay, 47-6
1/1 1:00 ET At New Orleans -7.5 Carolina 54.5
The 49ers own the tiebreaker if both teams win, I think. Unless a rotten Rams team is destroying the 49ers, the Saints can gain nothing but the risk of injury by playing their good people. They have to get way ahead early in this one, and then watch the scoreboard.
New Orleans, 30-24 (although, if SF gets up 21 points early in their game, this could be Carolina, 31-14)
1/1 1:00 ET Tennessee -2.5 At Houston 40
This game is pivotal. Houston is guaranteed a playoff spot, but they have no QB and have several key defenders missing. Every team in the playoffs will be watching this one, and perhaps angling themselves to play Houston.. as opposed to taking on the Steelers or rolling the dice with that Jesus Tebow motherf***r. Houston has many good reasons to just sit anyone who can even kinda play.
1/1 4:15 ET Pittsburgh -7 At Cleveland 35
Pittsburgh has the chance of both being the #2 seed in the AFC or playing a road game against Christ incarnate in the Rocky Mountains.
1/1 1:00 ET At Jacksonville -3.5 Indianapolis 37.5
Especially where this game is in Florida, one could understand if both teams decided to skip this game and just let the cheerleaders wrestle for the benefit of the season standings. God didn't make all that coastline so people could sit inside and watch a 2-13 team play a 4-11 one. God made that game so that people would have something to do with Rum.
1/1 1:00 ET At Miami -3 NY Jets 41
As much fun as Rex Ryan is, a loss here would stand a 40% chance of ending his Jets career. It would be cool if Bill Belichick pulled Rex Ryan off the unemployment line... at the cost of having to kiss Bill's Super Bowl rings.
1/1 4:15 ET At Oakland -3 San Diego 47.5
If San Diego wins and Denver loses.... well, just read this:
If, at the end of the regular season, two or more clubs in the same division finish with identical won-lost-tied percentages, the following steps will be taken until a champion is determined.
Head-to-head (best won-lost-tied percentage in games between the clubs).
Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the division.
Best won-lost-tied percentage in common games.
Best won-lost-tied percentage in games played within the conference.
Strength of victory.
Strength of schedule.
Best combined ranking among conference teams in points scored and points allowed.
Best combined ranking among all teams in points scored and points allowed.
Best net points in common games.Best net points in all games.
Best net touchdowns in all games.
I want to see how this works out, so I'll bet along those lines.
San Diego, 20-19
1/1 4:15 ET Baltimore -2 At Cincinnati 39
Cincy is playing for their lives, while Baltimore can still be the top seed through the playoffs if things break right... or can be a road wild card team if things break wrong. This game is for all the marbles.
They're called the Bungles for a reason, folks...
Before we proceed,,,, watch this.
1/1 4:15 ET At Denver -3 Kansas City 37
See final line of the SD/Oakland prediction. It would be fun to see Tim Tebow in the playoffs and someone asks him about Tom Brady ditching Bridget Moynihan or however you spell that. Tebow will reply that Brady is most likely Damned, and oh, the fun we'll have after he does something like that.
KC QB Kyle Orton can knock the team that dumped him (and the QB who took his job) out of the playoffs with a great performance and some cooperation from Oakland.
1/1 4:15 ET At Arizona -3 Seattle 41
Both teams are eliminated. Pete Carroll will have his boys more jacked and pumped, however.
1/1 8:20 ET At NY Giants -3 Dallas 47 (NBC-7)
The winner wins the NFC East, and the loser is eliminated. The question isn't IF the game will somehow be decided by Tony Romo botching a critical play, it is WHEN and HOW he does so. The only way it doesn't happen is if the Gods have some sort of plan for Romo to fail on a higher stage. If he does so, there's a pretty good chance that Dallas just gives away Romo and their entire 2012 draft for a shot at that quarterback from Stanford.