Warily Waggish Wagers
First off let me reiterate my weekly disclaimer that these selections are based on the most cursory perusal of pertinent details since it was decided to give Emeril a sitcom. Nonetheless I'll throw out the crap I've come up with and hope for the best...kinda like Jimmy Fallon does every night. Here goes...Pittsburgh -3/37 This one looks harder than trying to remember all the new Zodiac dates. I mean I just figured out the Terrorist Threat Level colors and now this! Last week Baltimore blew out the Chiefs which has probably inflated their value. This week they won't likely be the beneficiaries of 5 turnovers (Pit. was +14 this year) or the worst aerial attack since the Egyptians in the Six Day War. Roethlisberger may be the poor man's Tom Brady, but that's miles better than Matt Cassel plus add in WR Mike Wallace, who had a 1200 yard breakout year, along with Hines Ward and this is a unit that will put much more pressure on the Ravens secondary than K.C and waiver wire fodder like Kevin Curtis did. We don't figure either team to run well, but Pittsburgh's O-Line has been steadier this year than Baltimore's which seemed to regress after a dominating 2009. The key for the Steelers will be controlling LB Terrell Suggs who beat on Roethlisberger like he was Meredith Baxter in a Lifetime Original Movie back in their December matchup.We think they will and in the least surprising revelation since we found out Brett Favre has a sister who's into Meth and spells "Brandy" with an "i" we think it will be low scoring. That means PITTSBURGH and UNDER...good luck!Atlanta -1.5/44 Like Valerie Bertinelli's marriage to Eddie Van Halen there's something about the Falcons we just don't get. Roddy White is great, Matt Ryan is developing on pace and the defense is improved still it doesn't seem to add up to 13-3 dominance. From 2009 to 2010 Atlanta improved by close to 50 points in both points scored and points allowed. Part of that is due to maturation on offense and the addition of CB Dunta Robinson on defense, but part is also due to a schedule that went from one of the toughest in the NFC to one of of the softest courtesy of drawing the NFC West this year. In 4 games against the West and two against Carolina the Dirty Birds allowed 12.7 ppg. In their 10 other games they gave up 21.2 ppg and were gashed for 418 yards at home against the Pack in November. Some of this may be statistical b.s., but we prefer a team that has consolidated its gains over the course of multiple years. The Packers have done that producing back-to-back seasons of 380+ points for and <300 points against (I always like using the "less than" sign in real life, although the officer that pulled me over for speeding didn't quite appreciate the humor in my hand gesture). They also have Donald Driver back for this one (injured in November), as well as the benefit of an improved run game courtesy of James Starks. Plus we like what Aaron Rodgers is doing and if his line can control the pass rush of John Abraham we like his chances. We'll call it PACKERS and OVER figuring if Atlanta does run out and hide Green Bay will still get its garbage points. I know it's college football, but all I can think is, "her parents must be so proud."