TOJ – Week 2 NFL Gambling Advice

Ok, so week 1 didn’t exactly go as planned as the games I liked the most let me down. The Giants and Panthers really let me down with late cover blowing, as DeAngelo Williams fumbled late inside the 20 and Eli Manning threw a pick 6. Oh well, time to bounce back here in week 2. Let’s get to it.

Jets +12.5 @ Patriots – 1 for 1 this week! Things are turning around! Continue reading “TOJ – Week 2 NFL Gambling Advice”

TOJ – Week 1 Gambling and Fantasy Football Advice

Mike Donnelly with week 1 NFL Fantasy and Gambling Advice

Well look what we have here. The Turn On The Jets gambling column has found a new home in 2013 and it is right here in Donnellyville. Joe searched high and low for the most degenerate gambler he could find, and he picked me. I’m honored. I truly am. Each week I’m going to run down all the games and give a brief synopsis on why I’m picking who I am. Then I’m going to give you my 5 “Best Bets” which are typically the games I’m going to be betting on myself and the “Teaser of the Week”. Yes, teasers are usually sucker bets, but they’re fun, and every once in a while I nail a good one. Then afterwards, I’m gonna give my fantasy football advice for the week. You’re welcome. Let’s get started.  Continue reading “TOJ – Week 1 Gambling and Fantasy Football Advice”

Turn On The Jets Super Bowl Prop Bet Extravaganza

Chris Celletti with his Super Bowl prop bet extravaganza for Turn On The Jets

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The Super Bowl is all sorts of fun and stuff, unless your team isn’t playing in the actual game. Then, Super Bowl Sunday is all about eating, drinking, gambling and hanging out while a football game is being played in the background. But the most popular single sporting event in America is far, far from perfect. If I were running the NFL, here’s a few simple things I’d do to improve the game.

Move the Super Bowl to Saturday night

You could counter with “Football purists will hate this!”, but football isn’t baseball. Actually, there are no such things as “Football purists”. Lennay Kekua is a “Football purist”. If they did exist, or had a strong voice, you’d be hearing a lot of stuff about how it would be bad for the 49ers to win the Super Bowl because it might usher in an era where read-option offense is the norm, and soon we won’t have any drop-back, gunslingin’ quarterbacks like the good ole days of Roger Staubach and Terry Bradshaw and Troy Aikman and blah blah blah. Is anybody saying that? No. All football fans ever want is to be entertained. We all absolutely LOVE players like Kaepernick and Robert Griffin III, because they’re exciting. Far more exciting than say, Joe Flacco.

Contrast that with a (admittedly out there) hypothetical in baseball. Let’s say the Tampa Bay Rays brought up a young shortstop, Pierre Gomez, who perfected bunting (they’re the most annoying baseball team on planet Earth –they WOULD do something like this). Then say Gomez led off every game with a bunt base hit. And unless he came up in a situation where he HAD to take a full swing, he bunted. And he was so good at it, and was Usain Bolt-fast, that it was nearly impossible to get him out if he laid one down. Let’s say Pierre Gomez won the batting title and set a new Major League record with a .497 batting average.

There would be panic among baseball fans. Dan Shaughnessy would write snarky columns tearing down Pierre Gomez nicknaming him “THE ASTERISK” and imploring his fellow media to never vote for him for any awards because he’s made a mockery of the game that Johnny Pesky helped make so sacrosanct.

Not that the Niners winning a Super Bowl with a dual-threat like Kaepernick would be as exaggerated as Pierre Gomez winning a bunting-only, record setting batting title, but you get the idea. In football, if it’s fun, it works. (This is why the league has taken countless steps to make sure that it’s really hard to win unless you can put up some points – Rex Ryan take note.)

Football has the flooziest fans of any sport, bar none. This is why it’s the most profitable league in the country. The NFL is as popular as it is because of gambling and fantasy football and the fact that it’s the easiest sport to watch in a social setting (meaning: crushing Coors Lights with your bros at the bar while ogling girls in pink jerseys all day. They probably do this in Canada with hockey, but it’s Canada, so…) It’s the easiest sport to be a fair-weather fan of, thus, it has the most fair-weather fans.

So can anyone tell me why the Super Bowl is played on Sunday? Other than tradition? Well screw that. What’s more fun, Saturday night or Sunday night?

The Super Bowl should be played on Saturday at 8:00 Eastern time. With the two week gap in place, the teams already have more than enough time to get healthy and prepare, so that’s not an issue. Nothing is worse than the end of a Super Bowl party when you’ve eaten and drank enough for a week, and you realize it’s 10:30 on Sunday. That’s awful. Why does the NFL do that to us? You think Super Bowl parties are fun now? How about if the game was on Saturday night? That, my friends, would be a party.

Recently, the UEFA Champions League changed their title game from a Wednesday to a Saturday (for those who don’t follow soccer – it’s the biggest club competition in the world, and the final is watched by more people than the Super Bowl globally). They probably thought to themselves the same thing – why do we stage this insanely big event on a Wednesday night? Probably because that’s how it always used to be, but Saturday makes infinitely more sense. It does for the Super Bowl as well.

Enough of the damn halftime show

Well, you can still have a halftime show, but why does the NFL insiss on having the performance inside the actual stadium? Totally useless. The halftime show, as is, is a made-for-TV event. If the NFL would move the halftime show to a remote location – obviously right near the stadium hosting the game – the break wouldn’t have to be the insane 45 minutes or so it currently is. Also, I’m sure you can find  a couple thousand morons who would pay separately to go see the halftime show live in person, so that would alleviate any of the money that may be lost (I’m assuming the NFL would claim that a ticket to the actual game is priced as so because there’s also a halftime show).  So when halftime hits, take a commercial break, throw it to Seacrest to introduce Taylor Swift who plays 15 Minutes in Heaven with every horny middle age man in America, take another break (heck, you could throw it back to the analysts, take ANOTHER break) and then come back to the game, and you’ve probably only taken 25 minutes total; still too long but way more reasonable.

Also, more Jets Super Bowl appearances, please

And now, the Prop-Bet Extravaganza

Will there be a defensive or special teams touchdown? Yes (+145)

With these two teams? Sure.

Player to score first touchdown in the game – Dennis Pitta (+1000)

Dennis Pitta is the exact type of guy who catches the first touchdown of a Super Bowl.

The first punt of the game will be…Touchback (+250)

They really have to make things like this available to bet on in-stadium at Jets games. Place would be packed.

Sidney Crosby Goals + Assists (PK) over Colin Kaepernick touchdown passes

Cindy beats Colin by a 2-1 margin.

David Akers Total Points – Over 7.5 (-130)

Expecting a few stalled drives/holds by the Baltimore defense.

Gatorade Shower – Red (+200)

Shouldn’t Roger Goodell mandate that both teams only use red Gatorade and then put his entire life savings on this?

Ray Lewis Solo+Assisted Tackles – Under 11.5 (+120)

Just because.

MVP

Ray Rice (+800)

Game

Ravens +4 – In a big game, I usually like to side with the guy under center who’s more comfortable. Somehow, someway, in a Super Bowl, Joe Flacco is that guy on Sunday. This thing will probably be close throughout, and I like Ray Rice to bang home a few touchdowns in a low scoring affair. Oh yeah, Dennis Pitta catches the first touchdown too. So, Ravens 24, 49ers 20. Congrats Bunk, Jimmy, Omar, Stringer and Rawls.

Bring on the offseason.

Turn On The Jets Championship Weekend Picks

The Turn On The Jets gives their picks for Championship Weekend

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The Race for Steak is down to the final three games and it appears we have a winner clinched, although second place is still up for grabs. 

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Rob Celletti (140-117-7)

2. Chris Gross (134-123-7)

3. Mike Donnelly (134-125-5)

4. Chris Celletti (129-129-6)

5. Joe Caporoso (119-138-7)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (2-2)

  • Atlanta (+4) over San Francisco
  • Baltimore (+8) over New England

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (2-2)

  • Atlanta (+4) over San Francisco
  • Baltimore (+8) over New England

Rob Celletti

Last Week (2-2)

  • San Francisco (-4) over Atlanta
  • Baltimore (+8) over New England

Chris Celletti

Last Week (2-2)

  • Atlanta (+4) over San Francisco
  • Baltimore (+8) over New England

Chris Gross

Last Week (3-1)

  • San Francisco (-4) over Atlanta
  • New England (-8) over New England

Turn On The Jets NFL Championship Sunday Best Bets

Chris Celletti with his weekly Best Bets, featuring a special guest appearance

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Every professional team I root for – the Yankees and perpetual knife-twisters the Rangers, Knicks and Jets – has a history that I can only read about. No matter how much research I do, even if I could name off the top of my head who played on the third line for the Rangers in 1974, or who led the Knicks in assists in 1983, it’s all just history – like studying the Civil War in high school. But to have lived through the entire existence of something is to truly understand it.

The only reason I’m a New York Jets fan is because of my father. My brother and I were lucky enough to have Jets season tickets in our family dating way, way back before we were born, and our father has been taking us to games for the past 20 or so years. And in my two-plus decades living and dying with the Jets, I think I’ve seen it all. But of course, it’s physically impossible for me to have seen it all, because the Jets have been in existence longer than I have. They have not, however, been in existence since before my father was born. He, and others of his generation, have indeed seen it all.

And those who haven’t missed a single beat have a different perspective than those of my generation. I remember when I was in college the day the Jets hired Rex Ryan, I received a text from my father that read, “Jets hire Rex Ryan. 8-8, 9-7, 6-10, 4-12, bye-bye”. It wasn’t that he knew all about Rex Ryan and was predicting he’d been a failure. He certainly wasn’t hoping he was right (as you’ll see below). But looking back, my father wasn’t that far off. Make no mistake – with a new GM in town any day now, if the Jets go 4-12 in 2013, Rex Ryan will be fired, and my father would have essentially called it four years earlier. He’s just seen this game before, countless times.

In a way, it’s just like raising a child – if you’ve been there every single step of the way, you just understand them better than anyone else.

Of course, one thing that has been the same since the Jets were in existence has been the media’s coverage of the city’s black sheep of football. So, I’ll step aside and give the floor to my father, Frank:

———-

There’s an old game being played in the media these days, but with a brand new intensity. The game is called “Turn On the Jets”. No, not turn on as in “tune in to” or “rev up”, but as in “put down” or “mock”. Who in the organization has set off this new round of put downs? None other than Rex Ryan. As someone whose first game was at the Polo Grounds in 1962 when the team was still the New York Titans, let me explain.

Back then, the NFL ruled the world. Then along came the upstart AFL and along with them a brash new quarterback named Joe Namath. What Joe and the Jets did was predict they would knock off the mighty, 24-point favored Baltimore Colts and then went out and did it! With that, they also knocked the Giants, and the NFL, off the back pages of the newspapers. How dare they! For this the organization has never been forgiven, especially by many in the New York media. You see, this was, and will always be to many, a Giants town.

Since Super Bowl III, Jets fans have seen the birth of the “Same old Jets” tag,  and the embarrassment of playing in those same Giants’ stadium for 30 years. And we have lived with a barrage of put downs in the media that intensifies or ebbs year-to-year. Right now we are in a tsunami of beat downs on the team. Why? Well you see, Rex broke the cardinal rule. He came along and dared to say positive things about the Jets. He even tried to push the Giants off the back page. Oh Rex, how dare you?

When the Jets went to two conference championship games in his first two years, nothing much could be said by the media. But now that the team is down, it’s open season. Sure, Rex has brought on some of this himself. But the intensity of the criticism is way out of line with reality. The organization has been called a “sewer”. It’s been said they can’t give away the GM job. Really? Oh and there’s the tattoo. Think of it, can you imagine anyone, anywhere in the New York media treating the Giants or Tom Coughlin that way? Be honest now.

The facts is things are not as bad as the pundits say they are. Rex can coach. There are some good young players on the roster. There are some real problems for sure, but they’re not insurmountable. But you see folks, it’s the Jets so anything goes! Roll out the put downs. Same Old Media.

———-

And now, onto the picks for this weekend’s Championship games:

Atlanta (+4) vs. San Francisco – As my dad would say “The WORLD has the 49ers”. Meaning, nobody is giving the Falcons any credit, and everyone seems to think this is going to be a laugher in the 49ers’ favor. I’ll take my chances with a home dog in the NFC Title game.

Ravens (+8) at Patriots – Outright, I’m picking the Patriots, but I think it will be very close, similar to last year’s game. The more important betting line is the Over/Under on snaps of this game I will watch, given that this is head-to-head with the Rangers’ home opener against the Penguins and pits two of my most despised sports franchises in the world. Let’s set it at 14.5 (hint: take the under).

Bonus Non-Football Bet of the Week – Hockey Hockey Hockey Hockey! Rangers +105 at Bruins tomorrow night. Hockey Hockey Hockey Hockey!

Turn On The Jets – Divisional Weekend Picks

The Turn On The Jets staff gives their picks for divisional weekend

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The Race for Steak continues. Only 7 games to go… 

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Rob Celletti (138-115-7)

2. Chris Gross (131-122-7)

3. Mike Donnelly (132-123-5)

4. Chris Celletti (127-127-6)

5. Joe Caporoso (117-136-7)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (3-1)

Denver (-9.5) over Baltimore – The best team in football over the past two months is well-rested, well-rounded and led by likely NFL MVP Peyton Manning. It is hard to see Joe Flacco out-gunning Manning in his own building because the Broncos will put up points on a Ravens defense that is far from elite. Baltimore will keep this competitive into the fourth quarter but eventually Denver will pull away for the win and the cover.

Green Bay (+3) over San Francisco – The 49ers smacked around the Packers way back in week one. Yet, Colin Kapernick is making his first playoff start. Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers and the 49ers are going to miss Justin Smith being at 100%. This could end up being the best game of the entire playoffs but ultimately the Packers will prevail late.

Seattle (+3) over Atlanta – Despite their final regular season records, Seattle is a better team from top to bottom than Atlanta. This is also a good match-up for them with their speed on the turf and their physical secondary against Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez. Is it weird to trust Russell Wilson more in this game than Matt Ryan?

New England (-9.5) over Houston – Manning vs. Brady feels kind of inevitable, no? I know we are hearing comparisons to the Jets upset back in 2010 but the Jets had beat the Patriots earlier that season (which many people forget) and Rex Ryan scripted the defensive game plan of his life. Houston isn’t pulling this off…I hope they do but they aren’t.

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (3-1)

  • Baltimore (+9.5) over Houston
  • Green Bay (+3) over San Francisco
  • Atlanta (-3) over Seattle
  • Houston (+9.5) over New England 

Rob Celletti

Last Week (1-3) 

First off, I’d like to say that it’s been a blast participating in the Race for Steak this year. As you all know, I’ve spent the majority of the year occupying the top spot. I wish there was some secret to my success that I could share, which might in turn lead to some of you winning a bunch of cash via illegal online sports betting. Unfortunately, there is no secret. The only thing I’ve done consistently week to week is make these picks as quickly as possible, without thinking too much about them. Having said that, here are my picks, ironically presented with a sentence or two about each game!  I’m looking forward to locking up the top spot this week, and thereby winning a free steak dinner at Peter Luger (or other comparable high-end NYC steakhouse) courtesy of my TOJ colleagues.
  • Ravens (+9.5) over Broncos – I’m not a believer in Flacco, but the Ravens are playing good ball. Considering all of the blowouts last week, these games have to start getting close right? Broncos win, Ravens cover.
  • Packers (+3) over 49ers – The Packers had the quietest 12-4 season in the history of mankind. This is also Colin Kaepernick’s first playoff game. It is not Aaron Rodgers’ first playoff game.
  • Falcons (-3) over Seahawks – I’ve had quite enough of Russell Wilson.
  • Patriots (-9.5) over Texans – UUUUUGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Chris Celletti

Last Week (1-3)

  • Baltimore (+9.5) over Houston
  • Green Bay (+3) over San Francisco
  • Atlanta (-3) over Seattle
  • New England (-9.5) over Houston 

Chris Gross

Last Week (2-2)

  • Baltimore (+9.5) over Houston
  • Green Bay (+3) over San Francisco
  • Seattle (+3) over Atlanta
  • New England (+9.5) over Seattle  

Turn On The Jets Best Bets – Divisional Weekend Edition

Chris Celletti with his weekly rant and Best Bets selections for Divisional Weekend

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Let’s say you’re looking for a job as a restaurant manager, and you have offers from two different owners. Restaurant #1 has been a successful establishment in the past. It’s located in a high traffic, affluent area. The appliances were just purchased two years ago and are in perfect working order. The already-in-place staff is reliable – the waiters are friendly, the cooks are solid and not to mention, the hostess is quite gorgeous. Then there’s Restaurant #2.

Restaurant #2 is located on a meandering, desolate road. The nearest businesses are a porn shop and a gas station, both a mile away in opposite directions.  There’s a shanty house across the street that everyone is pretty sure is a meth lab. The previous manager allowed the place to become filthy; the tables and chairs all need to be replaced and the appliances were revolutionary in 1986. Additionally, the owner is insisting on keeping his best friend as the head chef. And of course, the hostess looks like Melissa McCarthy.

Anyone in their right mind would choose Restaurant #1.

Restaurant #2 is the New York Jets.

The Jets aren’t exactly the outright embarrassment that a lot of fans and media want to make them out to be. But currently, they are a bit of a mess. It isn’t any wonder that their search for a General Manager is taking them a long time, and has them exploring paths that they had no idea even existed. There are only 32 General Manager jobs in the world, but the Jets’ vacancy is probably the least desirable for a few reasons:

The owner has essentially taken the decision on coach Rex Ryan completely out of the hands of who its supposed to be in, the General Manager. By making Rex a fixture in the organization, you are shrinking your pool of realistic candidates. Additionally, you’re telling any potential candidate or anyone that you coax into an interview that the entire football decision making process isn’ t up to them – that they’re going to have an owner over their shoulder ready to jump in and make a move at any moment. This is not the way to go about business.

The team is in salary cap hell. A true rebuilding job that will take a full season or two is needed. Some general manager candidates would love this opportunity – it’s a chance to prove they can correctly gut a team and build it from the ground up. If you can prove yourself by doing this, you’ve secured yourself a job in NFL front offices for as long as you want. But the best way to do this is a complete system overhaul and that includes the entire coaching staff – yes, Head Coach too. The Jets have made up their mind on head coach already, and the financial situation is dire.

The team has no quarterback. They are not in position to draft a no-brainer franchise quarterback like Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III. The right executives might be able to guess correctly on a mid-round quarterback, a la Russell Wilson (the draft is a total guessing game, especially with quarterbacks) but that’s no guarantee. Either way, with Mark Sanchez and his gargantuan contract in tow, the most important position in all of professional sports is in total shambles. Ask any free agent GM – they’d give up every corner, safety, pass rusher, receiver, lineman, coach, trainer and tee kid if you give them a legitimate quarterback to start with. Having no quarterback means you’re in NFL quicksand, and the Jets are just about up to their chin at this point.

This is why the Jets are looking at people like Jim Popp and Omar Khan. Who knows (certainly not me)? Just as you can unearth a great player off of someone else’s scrap heap, the Jets might strike gold with whoever they hire as their next GM.

But as with every head coaching hire the team has made since Bill Parcells left, the best you can say is “We’ll see”. Nobody knew what Herman Edwards was going to be like as a Head Coach. Nor Eric Manigini, nor Rex Ryan or Al Groh, or Joe Walton or Walt Michaels or Pete Carroll. When somebody has never been an NFL Head Coach or an NFL General Manager, you just never know. The Jets will soon likely  hire somebody who has never been a General Manager at this level. So when you read the articles saying “The Jets Were Right in Hiring (insert name here)” or “Clueless Jets Hire (insert name here)” take it all with a grain of salt.

I can’t tell you how many times I heard “Eric Mangini is the right man for this job”, or “Rex Ryan will be the Jets’ Bill Cowher” or things to that extent. Eventually, the Jets will get it right. They’ll guess right on the Next Great Coach/GM. Maybe they’re about to do that with whomever they choose in the coming days. It just would be nice, for once, to know you’re in the hands of a winner.

And now, the picks for this weekend’s Divisional Games after going 1-3 against the spread on Wild Card Weekend:

Baltimore (+9.5) at Denver – I like the Broncos to win but this is a big spread. Eventually we’re going to have a few close playoff games, right?

Green Bay (+3) at San Francisco – The Packers are winning the Super Bowl.

Atlanta (-3) vs. Seattle – Matt Ryan is overdue to win a playoff game.

New England (-9.5) vs. Houston – We’re headed for a Manning/Brady AFC title game. The only way Jim Nantz could be any more excited is if they move the game to Augusta National and Phil Mickelson refs.

Bonus Non-Football Bet of the Week – Do you think there’s any chance Ben Affleck wins the Golden Globe for Best Director, making up for his snub in the same Oscar category? He’s at +150

Turn On The Jets NFL Wild Card Round Best Bets

Chris Celletti with his weekly NFL Rant and Best Bets for Wild Card Weekend

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Let me start my column with some killer football insight, to keep up with the excellent, best-Jets-stuff-on-the-Internet precedent that’s been set this week by the entire Turn On The Jets staff –

Rex Ryan definitely lost a bet. TATTOOGATE is so obvious. Before the season, Rex Ryan and his lovable twin brother Rob, defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, got together over pork rinds, Skittles, and bourbon and made a bet: Whoever’s team finished with a worse record in 2012 would have to get a tattoo of their wife wearing nothing but the jersey of their starting quarterback. That also explains why Rex Ryan refused to go to Tim Tebow early on this season. God, this all makes so much sense now.

In related news, all I had to do was throw “SOURCE:” in front of my theory, make up a quote or two and BANG I just knocked out a Daily News exclusive.

Before we take a look at this week’s playoff games, I thought it would be fun to look back at my preseason gambling picks. I did three team Over/Unders, which I went 2-1-0 on. I missed by a hair on Baltimore at under 10, and was right on Jacksonville under 5.5 and Denver over 9. This quote on the Broncos stuck out when I re-read:

“Peyton Manning throwing with his left hand could win 10 games if he gets half the support Lefty Jesus got last year from this defense, special teams and running game.” Welp, that’s about right.

What I whiffed on were my “good bets” for MVP and Super Bowl Champs. I thought Eli Manning had a chance to have an incredible year, and thought at 18/1 for MVP was worth taking a crack at. Instead, Eli reminded us that he just isn’t in the same stratosphere as his brother, Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers. That isn’t to say that if I had to win one game tomorrow, I wouldn’t take Eli. I may; he’s certainly at the top of the discussion. The Giants could have won the Super Bowl again if they snuck in this year because he would have been the 2nd best quarterback in the NFC playoffs, plus he’s beat Aaron Rodgers in the playoffs on the road before. But his 2012 season was pedestrian at best. I’m not going to go all Ian O’Connor, who offered this drab after the season ended:

“In his heart of hearts, Eli Manning knows this was a winning season in record only. He knows he had a chance to do something no New York Giants quarterback had ever done, a squandered chance that might haunt him for the balance of his career and beyond.”

Yup Ian! You got it! Forty years from now when we interview an old, shriveled Eli Manning (gross image alert), he’s not going to talk about the legendary wins in Green Bay or the Super Bowl titles. Nope. It’ll be a sad tale of the 2012 season, the one that has kept him up countless nights over the years, with nightmares of throwing 26 touchdowns and finishing a dire 12th in the league in passing yards and winning a putrid nine games (the same amount he won in the regular season a year prior when winning a Super Bowl, mind you). How horrifying. Nevermind that Jason Pierre-Paul, Justin Tuck and Osi Umenyiora combined for 16.5 sacks, with Tuck having 1.5 less than Quinton Coples.

Eli’s legacy is secure. If he never throws another pass for the Giants, he’s a true New York sports legend, in the conversation with Mark Messier, Derek Jeter, Clyde Frazier and of course Jeff Cumberland. But let’s also understand that Eli’s legacy is what it is for a reason, and that’s his clutchness. People scoff at those who say he’s not “elite”, but if your definition of “elite” is “dominant, transcendent, consistently excellent over the course of many seasons”, then you know what? Maybe he isn’t. That doesn’t mean he isn’t great, or isn’t a legend. You can be one but not the other.

And then there was my 18/1 pick of the Saints as Super Bowl Champs. I blame it on going to New Orleans twice in nearly a year from May 2011-July 2012. When you go there, you’ll believe anything. Crawfish? Why not. Open container anywhere? Great idea. Jazz? Still relevant. Voodoo? Not totally unreasonable if you think really hard about it!

So we’ll close the book on what was a pretty weak season by me picking games, and unlike the Jets I have a chance to redeem myself in the postseason. Let’s just go ahead and pick them all:

Cincinnati +4 at Houston – My thought all year has been that the Texans would lose at home in their first playoff game. I always thought it would be during the Divisional Round, after a bye, but some late season stumbling has them playing on Wild Card weekend. I’ll stick with my guns and say Cincy pulls the upset. Plus, AT LEAST one road team is winning this weekend.

Packers -8 vs. Vikings – The Adrian Peterson story is amazing, but I think last week was the Vikings’ Super Bowl. If it’s even ever possible for there to be a letdown in a playoff game, the Vikings might feel it. This has a very 2001 Jets/Raiders feel, with the dog beating the favorite in the regular season finale in dramatic fashion to set up a rematch the following week. I don’t like the chances of the Vikings beating the Packers twice in as many weeks, and with Aaron Rodgers at home, I think it’s a pull-away-late type of game for Green Bay. Who knows…maybe Charlie Garner will come out of retirement and salt the game away for the Pack on an 80-yard touchdown run on 3rd down in the final minutes.

Indianapolis +6.5 at Baltimore – The Ravens lost three of their last four to close out the season. It’s going the wrong direction for them. And the last thing America really wants is some memorable Ray Lewis swan song. Whoever wins, I think it’s a close one.

Washington +3 vs. Seattle – Home dog in the playoffs? I’m taking the points. And with no real GREAT team in the league this year, anyone without a dog in the fight has to be rooting for a Luck/RGIII Super Bowl, right?

Bonus Non-Football Bet of the Week – Hockey! Wait, what? I thought they canceled that sport forever? Well, even though the NHL has decided to sever any thread of relevance they were hanging on to, there is hockey being played in Russia: The World Junior Championships! And the USA is in tomorrow’s final against Sweden after blasting the favorite Canada 5-1 in the semis, which probably put all the Dougies and Gordos and Scotties and Stevies and Jonesys in Canada in mourning. Good. If you’re hanging your national pride on the backs of a bunch of 18 and 19-year olds, you deserve to lose and realize how ridiculous you are. With that being said, USA! USA! USA! at -190.

Turn On The Jets Week 17 Best Bets: Closing Out The Season

Chris Celletti with a rant on Rex Ryan and his final Best Bets of the 2012 NFL regular season

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Just like the Jets, I have nothing to play for (or pick for) this week. My 1-2 record in Week 16 brought my yearly record to a stellar 15-31-2. I always thought this column would net some bad results, but even I didn’t think it would be this bad. Again, sorta like the Jets.

With just three days left until the Jets’ 2012 season mercifully comes to an end, the reports and rumors are swirling about anything and everything this point. The latest report – which came from Manish Mehta of The Daily News, who operates only slightly more in certainty and facts than the Mayans or that Rapture dude – has Rex Ryan wanting out if owner Woody Johnson doesn’t open up the checkbook and fix the team’s problems on offense. In order for the Jets to really change things on offense, this means changes at offensive coordinator, starting quarterback, and probably about four of five out of the 11 starting offensive players total.

Of course, this makes plenty of sense. Rex Ryan isn’t dumb (well, I’m not exactly so sure about that, but…). He knows that if the Jets bring back both Tony Sparano, Mark Sanchez and don’t make any significant personnel changes on offense, then the 2013 Jets will quite closely resemble the 2012 Jets. If that happens, he’ will likely be fired after next season. So Rex Ryan is crying to ownership to fix the offense or just fire him now, because what the hell? He’d rather go blabber on ESPN for a season then take over as the Head Coach in Detroit in 2014 than deal with another minute of coaching this Jets team.

Maybe I’m the only one laughing and shaking my head here. Does Rex Ryan, and do his staunch supporters, fail to see that he’s also responsible for the deterioration of this team, of the team’s offense? I know, I know “Mike Tannenbaum is the GM! He picks the players while Rex shows up in August and is like ‘Wait, we have LaRon Landry? WHO KNEW?!'” “Rex is a defensive coach!” “Rex never wanted Tebow!” “Rex is the next coming of Tom Landry if he’d only be surrounded by great talent and great offensive coaching!”

The Jets’ demise from contenders to mess is an overall organizational failure. Stop pretending that Rex Ryan isn’t a part of that. He’s the head coach of the team. Doesn’t anybody else find it hilarious that – if true – the head coach of a football team would be begging his owner to help him fix the offense? If the Giants’ defense became all-time bad, would Tom Coughlin cry to John Mara to fix the side of the ball he knows nothing about? Oh wait, that would never happen because Tom Coughlin, while an offensively-trained coach, is also a FOOTBALL coach (much like Tim Tebow is, you know, a FOOTBALL player), who has a damn good feel about every aspect of the entire sport. Thing is, the Giants defense would never get that bad under Coughlin, because he’d see it coming a mile away and start fixing it before it got to the point where it could cripple his team. Rex Ryan has zero feel for offense, and something that’s malicious in the NFL in 2012, he has zero feel for the quarterback position. Have you watched how Rex Ryan has handled this QB disaster in 2012?

Okay, Tim Tebow was thrown on him by ownership so the Jets could steal some headlines. We all understand that. Then how come after the Jets made the Tebow trade, Rex talked up Tebow’s potential in the Wildcat and all that? Remember Rex proclaiming that there could be games where he’d get 15-20 snaps in the Wildcat? Here’s how a smart coach who had a clue about how important your quarterback is in the NFL would have handled the Tebow mess from the start:

“Tim’s a really versatile player who is our clear back up quarterback. The great thing about having Tim is that you’re able to use him in a few different ways than you could with other backups. He could add a wrinkle to our offense and we may be able to use him in certain special teams situations too. And if Mark ever unfortunately gets hurt and can’t go, we can start a guy who has won games recently in the league.”

No proclamations about Tebow being a major part of the team. No mapping out snap totals. No public endangering of Mark Sanchez’s job. For a guy whose greatest strength as a coach might have been his way to play the media to his team’s advantage, Rex Ryan couldn’t have handled the Tebow mess any worse. And I personally think that the way this QB situation was handled all season is a huge reason the Jets will finish with a losing record this season.

If you follow my columns at all you’ll recall that I think Rex Ryan is a defensive coordinator masquerading as a head coach. The Ground-And-Pound ethos is an archaic bunch of garbage that no title-winner in the past 10 years has subscribed to. The league is different these days, and there is no place at the summit of an NFL sideline for a guy who has no feel for modern offense. Your defense better be the ’85 Bears or the 2000 Ravens in order to win with a middling offense. We know the Jets defense is good but it’s nowhere near all-time good.

And after all that, I accept and am okay with Ryan being back next season as head coach. If I were running the team he would be gone, but I’m not going to act like he’s Rich Kotite or something. The Jets have made deep playoff runs under his lead (although I think the case can be made that he took over Eric Mangini’s teams and the more and more he’s gotten his handprints on this franchise, it’s gotten worse). The idea of fixing the Jets’ offense is the right one. Rex can coach a defense that’s good enough to win a title even with mediocre talent. The Jets need to spend money on an offensive rebuild to have any chance of being successful.

Ryan has the right idea. It’s just amazing to me that he has to ask his owner to do the fixing for him. But he needs the help. He can’t do it himself. He doesn’t know enough about it. That’s not a good place to be in the NFL in in 2012, 2013 and beyond.

And now, mercifully, the final picks of the season:

Eagles +7 at Giants – I’m more rooting for this than anything, okay.

Packers -3 at Vikings – The Packers are playing for something. Oh yeah, also, nobody is really talking about the Packers, who are going to win the Super Bowl this season.

Bears -3 at Lions – Remember when the Lions were good? That was fun.

Bonus Non-NFL Bet of the Week (Record: 6-9-1) – Alabama -10 vs. Notre Dame. Notre Dame sucks.

Thanks for reading all season. I promise my picks next year will be not worse.

Happy 2013. May you break all your resolutions by January 8th.

Turn On The Jets Week 16 NFL Picks

The TOJ Staff submits their week 16 NFL Picks

The Race for Steak continues. Note that last week’s record includes the most recent Thursday games –

CURRENT STANDINGS

1. Rob Celletti (123-95-6)

2. Chris Gross (113-105-6)

3. Mike Donnelly (112-108-4)

4. Chris Celletti (111-108-5)

5. Joe Caporoso (96-122-6)

Joe Caporoso

Last Week (9-6)

  • Atlanta (-3.5) vs. Detroit
  • Tennessee (+12.5) vs. Green Bay
  • Oakland (+8.5) vs. Carolina
  • Buffalo (+4.5) vs. Miami
  • Pittsburgh (-3) vs. Cincy
  • New England (-14.5) vs. Jacksonville
  • Indianapolis (-7) vs. Kansas City
  • Dallas (-3) vs. New Orleans
  • Washington (-6.5) vs. Philadelphia
  • Tampa Bay (-3) vs. St. Louis
  • Giants (-2.5) vs. Baltimore
  • Minnesota (+7.5) vs. Houston
  • Denver (-13) vs. Cleveland
  • Chicago (-5.5) vs. Arizona
  • Seattle (PK) vs. San Francisco
  • Jets (-2.5) vs. San Diego

Mike Donnelly

Last Week (9-6)

  • Falcons -3.5
  • Titans +12
  • Raiders +8.5
  • Bills +4.5
  • Steelers -3
  • Jaguars +14.5
  • Chiefs +7
  • Cowboys -3
  • Eagles +6.5
  • Bucs -3
  • Jets -2.5
  • Texans -8
  • Giants -2.5
  • Broncos -12.5
  • Bears -5.5
  • Seahawks PK

Rob Celletti

Last Week (10-5)

  • Falcons (-3.5) over Lions
  • Titans (+12.5) over Packers
  • Raiders (+8.5) over Panthers
  • Dolphins (-4.5) over Bills
  • Steelers (-3) over Bengals
  • Patriots (-14.5) over Jaguars
  • Chiefs (+7) over Colts
  • Cowboys (-3) over Saints
  • Eagles (+6) over Redskins
  • Rams (+3) over Buccaneers
  • Giants (-2.5) over Ravens
  • Texans (-7.5) over Vikings
  • Browns (+13) over Broncos
  • Bears (-5.5) over Cardinals
  • 49ers (PK) over Seahawks
  • Chargers (+2.5) over Jets

Chris Celletti

Last Week (5-10)

  • Falcons
  • Packers
  • Raiders
  • Dolphins
  • Steelers
  • Patriots
  • Colts
  • Redskins
  • Rams
  • Giants
  • Texans
  • Browns
  • Bears
  • 49ers
  • Jets

Chris Gross

Last Week (7-8)

  • Falcons (-3.5)
  • Packers (-12)
  • Raiders (+8.5)
  • Dolphins (-4.5)
  • Bengals (+3)
  • Patriots (-14.5)
  • Chiefs (+7)
  • Saints (+3)
  • Eagles (+6.5)
  • Bucs (-3)
  • Ravens (+2.5)
  • Vikings (+8)
  • Denver (-12.5)
  • Bears (-5.5)
  • 49ers (pk)
  • Jets (-2.5)