Cousin Sal, I Am Not

Okay, so I want to throw out my picks for the NFL conference championships this weekend. Because there are only 2 games, the books should be able to clean up because the action fiends will bet everything and everything simply can’t be bet. Not everything has value.

Despite that, I’m going to throw out my picks anyways.

Most of Vegas has each game at minus 3. Of course, right? The most common and consistent spread put out by the books throughout the NFL season is 3 points. Why? Because it’s a cash cow, period. I think you take the Carolina Panthers to cover that with ease. Here’s my reasoning besides home field advantage, best defense in the game, and the MVP at QB. It’s only one simple reason.

Carson Palmer. He has shown a tendency to choke when in the big time games. What’s that old pro athlete saw about big timers? Big time players make big time plays in big time games. Carson Palmer will make big time mistakes for big time turnovers in big time situations. When he was a Raider I used to call him CP3Turnovers because his standard stat line was 2 interceptions and a fumble or 3 interceptions. You saw a bit of his chokeyness against Green Bay but they decided they didn’t feel like covering or even tackling one of the game’s all-time great wide receivers and they paid the price.

If the Packers had tightened up on Fitzgerald and forced Palmer to take his chances with Brown and Floyd, then I feel the outcome would have been different. Arizona has all the weapons to beat the Panthers from the coach to the O and the D as well as special teams, but I just don’t believe good old CP3Turnovers is going hold up against that hellacious Panthers defense. Take Carolina at minus 3.

In case you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m a Raider fan. Which means I am biased as all hell against Tom Brady. I will never let that damn Tuck Rule nonsense die. NEVER!

But here are the facts. The Patriots are 10 – 0 with Edelman on the field this year. Gronk is healthy and ready to drag defenders around the field. And they still got Tommy Boy.

Despite my unfailing and unending hate for him, I admire Tom Brady’s mental toughness. In the modern era, meaning after 1980, I challenge you to name another athlete that possesses more sheer mental toughness than Tommy whose last name isn’t Jordan, Jeter, Montana, Rivera, or Bryant. The dude’s a straight-up killer who’s cooler than anyone when the pressure is on…and I hate him.

I mean c’mon. Top model in the world for a wife. Top football team in the world. Pretty hot actress baby-mama. And he’s gotta moat with gators and sharks. C’mon!

Alright enough about bellicose Brady. Take the Broncos in the moneyline to win straight up. I know this is a revenge game and it’s incredibly tough to beat a team two times in a row but consider this. Belichick has only 8 playoff losses. All 8 of those losses came against teams the Patriots had faced during the regular season, which means 0 – 8. That’s right. A donut.

One major con to betting Denver. Tom always beats Payton. He’s got his number and revels in crushing Payton’s post-season dreams. Payton against the Patriots is just generally not a safe bet but I thought Payton looked pretty darn sharp last week. If his damn receivers could have caught a football then Manning would have had a very good line. His passes looked crisp. An occasional duck but nothing like we saw at the beginning of the year. Good lord.

Also, I know Payton just does not throw touchdowns at home but I think the defense up at Mile High carries the day and wins won for the old Papa John’s loving Eighthead. Take the Broncs to win straight up.

Before you go, let it be known that I fully recognize my status as an armchair quarterback with absolutely no athletic prowess and a horrible track record as a sporting event speculator to boot. But I also have a notebook, broadband, and a comical opinion so thanks for stopping by.

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