Friday, October 06, 2006

"Expert" picks versus the cowgirls

Quick recap of what some of the paid professionals think of this Sunday's contest. Personally, there's so much checkout-isle-magazine hype around this game, I doubt the lines will really reflect the game but will sway back and forth with the crowd. It opened around 2 1/2, and is currently hovering between 2 and 1. The over is 44 right now.

The lame sites that only pick straight up are generally evenly split:

The ESPN sages are evenly divided. Mark Schlereth joins Jaws, Golic and Eric Allen who all give props to their homeys and pick the good guys. Those who pick the cowgirls include Mortensen, Salisbury and even more shockingly, superstar analysist Joey "Sunshine" Thesiman and the beloved and unbiassed Meril Hoge. You can always count on those two heavyweights to give their unbiassed, thougtfull and well-articulated opinions and analysis.

Peter Queen at SI believes it will be the Cowgirls 23-20. His complex analysis is, in total: "
From what I hear, four ticket-holders dressed as nurses behind the Dallas bench will attempt to throw aspirin at Terrell Owens at some point Sunday. Oh, yes. There is a football game planned as well." Thanks, Pete. Very insightful, and as helpful as always.

FoxSports' Rundown takes perhaps the safest route by stating: "
We don't have a pick for this week, just some advice: don't go to Lincoln Financial Field wearing a blue jersey. But you probably knew that." However, the Fox Panel Roundtable banter seems to weigh more heavily towards the cowgirls because of their single-minded view that the Eagles are banged up more than the 'girls. Jimmie Johnson broke down the situation regarding Lito as: "I mean, how healthy is his ankle really?" (Yes, he certainly must have some pretty solid inside information to offer such certainty for his conclusion). And Howie Long thinks for the Eagles to win, McNabb has to win the game by himself. You have to wonder if any of them knew that their discussion was being recorded.

If this even counts, the guys at Inside the NFL were evenly divided. Collingsworth and Marino go for the Birds, while Costas and Chrissy Carter (perhaps showing some solidarity with his brother in disgraced-and-discarded-eagles-receiverdom) go with the cowgirls.

The picks against the spread are pretty similarly split:

Sportsline's six visionaries also balanced the scales: Harmon, Judge and Greg Bromberg all take the Eagles, while Prisco, Ron Davis and Dave Richard don't. (For what it's worth, Harmon and Judge have the best records this season, with 33-24-3 and 28-29-3 respectively). Harmon predicts a 26-21 Eagles win, and makes clear that he stands by the pick even if Westbrook is a scratch. Prisco predicts the cowgirls by 27-23, claiming that T.O. will be the go-to playmaker "more so [sic] than anybody on the Eagles offense." Seems like he must've overlooked that little fact about Parcells greatly favoring Glenn over T.O., and that little thing called Westbrook.

The consensus pick at Pro Football Weekly is for Philly, on a 2 1/2 point spread, and this is even one of their three "best bets" of the week. (Of course, so far the consensus best bet picks are a whopping 2-2 -- but that's still better than their consensus record to date of 28-31-1 ATS).

handicapper Brandon Lang told WIP on Friday morning that he's still not sure about the score, but likes the over. Mathmatical Mark Lawrence told Eskin that he actually likes the under, and most importantly, thinks the Birds will win fairly big (and obviously big enough to cover, with such a tiny spread).

So the prevailing view of those who are paid to analyze football games for a living is that it will be a high-scoring, smash-mouth brawl. Wow, are these guys omniscent or what?

For what it's worth, I get the impression that most of those who like them 'girls think they'll be able to eek out a small win. Of those who think the Birds will prevail, there are some -- a minority no doubt -- who think they'll actually win pretty handily. Or maybe that's just wishful thinking . . . which I know has no place here.

Bottom line: Go Eagles.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read the espn "expert" picks all the time. I found it hilarious the one time Theismann doesn't pick the Foreskins, they win. Don't even get me started on Hoge. I wished he'd stumble into a dark alley in Philly.

10/07/2006 8:50 PM  

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