Peebles on Point: August Power Rankings don’t mean Squat

Well folks, September is nearly upon us. If you haven’t picked out a sportsbook yet, it’s time you get off your ass and do so, because the first NFL game is coming up fast. Don’t be the typical schmuck who waits until 6:00 PM EST on opening day to get his credit card out and place a bet. It just doesn’t work that way: the sportsbook will be so busy writing tickets and helping customers that already signed up that it’s likely you’ll get left in the dust. Hence, don’t be a fool, deposit now and work out all the kinks before you start punting. In fact, Peebles has already deposited $500 at two of his favorite books, just for sh*ts and grins, so he can participate in the weekly card game tournaments leading up to September 9th. Peebles would also like to comment on August NFL Power Rankings. Everywhere he goes, he sees these power rankings on blogs, available here: NFL Power Rankings Word Press Plugin. It’s actually quite a nice blog plugin, except for the rankings themselves. 😉 If Peebles had a nickel for every….well, he’d be rich and writing this blog from some small island in the Pacific Ocean, with his laptop in one hand, and a Corona with Lime in the other (How pretentious is that? “Corona With Lime” – you’ve heard it all here). 🙂 So the rankings have the Saints, Colts, and Vikings in the 1-2-3 positions respectively. That’s just about right, given that the Saints did win the Super Bowl last season. The Colts have also earned their number 2 ranking, being the Super Bowl runners-up and having Peyton “The Howitzer” Manning firing the football around the gridiron. Then, there’s the Vikings, with Brett Favre, who recently suited up and joined the pre-season team for a game. To say the least, Favre didn’t quite live up to expectations, throwing a few interceptions that any high school player could have caught. Maybe NOW it’s time to retire? After that group, the 4-5-6 rankings go to the Jets, Ravens, and Cowboys respectively. Hmm, the Jets at #4? Is that really realistic, or is the guy who runs the Power Rankings internet server fiddling with the results? The #4 spot seems generous, even in August, for the Jets. The Ravens, on the other hand, do deserve their #5 position, and perhaps should be #4. Mr. Peebles has always liked the Ravens: they are a perennial post season team, and always seem to impress everyone with their uncanny ability to stick-it-to the most worthy of opponents. Mr. Peebles likes the Ravens this year, and they will probably win their opener. Then, we have the Cowboys at #6. Apparently it’s not enough that they’re the NFL’s “most popular” team (see various polls from those lame-ass research institutes). Instead, the Cowboys want to be popular and given a meat ball at the same time. Well, if they don’t get their acts together, they’ll be throwing meat balls alright, during the half-time show at some Pop Warner football game in rural Nebraska. At any rate, once we’ve got one week under our belts, the Power Rankings will begin to sort themselves out. Mr. Peebles actually believes Power Rankings don’t mean much of anything until at least 4 weeks have been passed. After that point, it’s reasonable to figure who’s leading, following, and getting out of the way. Accordingly, Power Rankings are most important as the NFL season wanes in December. That is when all the jockeying for the post-season begins, and only then are Power Rankings legitimate. Until next time, “Tap the Rockies” and watch ESPN Classic NFL until September 9th arrives (Just 10 days away!). Good Luck from Mr. Peebles!

NFL Betting: Peebles says the Saints will “Brees” by the Vikings

Dear NFL bettor, It’s not often that Mr. Peebles calls a game 3 weeks before it actually starts, but by golly, you’d better take the Saints on NFL opening day, Thursday, Sept. 9, 2010, or else you’ll be sorry. Even though much of what’s been going on in the Saints camp has been hush-hush lately, that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be dogs when the regular season starts. To the contrary, Mr. Peebles sees the Saints continuing as a force to be reckoned with, driven by quarterback Drew Brees’ laser-guided throwing arm and a halfway decent defensive unit to boot. So Favre is being wheeled out of the QB nursing home for another year? How much money did that cost the Vikings? Will Favre fall and break a hip in the Vikings’ shower room after practice? Mr. Peebles thinks not, but he does begin to question Favre’s resilience. After nearly 2 decades of football, Favre is either going out with a bang or out in an ambulance. That’s just reality folks, and as a result, you should tune your bets accordingly. On September 9th, the Saints are favored by 4 points. This is a fairly reasonable spread, hinging on Favre and how he musters the offense on day one. If Favre looks like crap in the pre-season, chances are, that spread will open up a bit, perhaps favoring the Saints by a touchdown. Let’s not forget that Drew Brees is no slouch. He put on one hell of show last Super Bowl and picked up a ring in the process. Among the top 3 teams – Saints, Colts, Vikings – you have 3 amazing quarterbacks, all ranked in quality in the same order as their respective teams. We’ll put Brees on top for now, unless Peyton Manning steers the Colts to another undfeated run in the initial weeks of regular season play, in which case he’ll be king of the castle until the post season decides otherwise. Also, it’s worth noting that sportsbooks are a bit conservative during the first week of regular season play. They’re not going too far out on limbs to make a buck, since they need to get a feel for how to pitch the odds. Mr. Peebles sees conservative lines/odds during weeks 1 and 2, and then things will open up once everyone has the lay of the land. For example, the Bears are currently favored by 7 over the Detroit Lions. That’s reasonable, but if this was week 10 and NOT week 1, we’d see more than7 points for the Bears. The Lions and their St. Louis Rams friends have a lot of room for improvement, and desperately need to get things together in order to make the NFL actually competitive this season. In the end, it really comes down to how strong the leaders are and how weak the followers are. If, for example, the Colts are so good that they smash the St. Louis Rams by 40 points, the NFL 2010-11 football season will be a bit boring. Instead, Mr. Peebles prefers a stronger bottom end. Suppose the Colts only beat the Rams by 7: well, we’ll have ourselves a halfway decent game and not passing practice for Manning against team no better than some punk high school football squad. Remember, ALWAYS check your sportsbook’s lines and odds BEFORE betting. Don’t be stupid. Get the facts, then collect the cash. That’s how it works. Best, Mr. Peebles Good Luck NFL Pre-Season Betting!