a blog by Brian
Folks, I do not think we have to hit some panic buttons. I don't know how I continue to miss, I only make three picks. Realistically, it is a bit hard.
Let me tell you why.
I ain't no shleem. I pick the best lines I can find. Which does not necessarily mean I pick the easiest lines. I pick the best underdogs, and find the best returns on your money. Sometimes, the dogs don't win. Unfortunate, yes I know but, I do not shy away from a challenge. Well, I don't shy away from non-physical challenges.
We will get back on track. No need to worry.
The deeper the seasons go, the better the lines. The more games that pass, the more we know about these teams. The year might end with a questionable win/lose record for the Thursday Picks, but we got to keep chugging. It's an easy way to make money and laugh at me while I justify throwing away the little money I have.
Syracuse +5.5 -110
Florida State -5.5 -110
Syracuse was the pick to make last week in college football. +5.5? Take that shit all day son. The only problem, I was not the only one thinking that way. A couple of sites showed the betting action going heavy on Cuse making the return less desirable. If you did your homework or just took my advice outright, you got a real good pay day from this one.
I have to give Florida State credit, they played extremely well. Based on my expectation, they looked like an entirely different team. Eric Dungey did injure his ankle early, which severely hampered his mobility. He even left the game for, nearly, one quarter. The offense emerged in this game for FSU, as did the rush defense. They shut down the run (again, injured Dungey) and they threw the ball effectively in the second half.
I did say, the Syracuse running backs are nothing special. They did not help their junior quarterback at all. Dungey was forced to make every play, as the running backs struggle to separate from the line of scrimmage.
I thought those two facets would be the downfall of this beat up Florida team, but it does not matter because they did not cover.
Florida State won 27-24.
Aleksei Oleinik -365
Curtis Blaydes +300
I underestimated the improvement Curtis Blaydes would have in his striking. He was more accurate than I've ever seen and I've watched 7 of his 9 fights while prepping this pick. It was something I didn't entirely consider yet, there has been talk out of his camp, before this fight, about his improvements. I honestly didn't even see that, or maybe I accidentally skimmed by it.
Even if i did see that, I don't know if I would have changed my mind. This fight was odd. I was not entirely accurate in my prediction of how this would play out. Early in the fight, Oleinik attempted to pull guard once, and Blaydes landed two take downs but, it didn't look like Blaydes was forcing the action to stay there. Oleinik slowly prodded forward eating jabs as Blaydes showed improved footwork and movement. The oddities came a couple minutes in. How can I describe this? Ever seen Don Frye v. Takayama? Well we had a couple of similar moments that featured an uppercut duels. The best of which came with around a minute left as they both gained Thai clinches, and went bombs away as they swung without regard for the others fist. They traded at least six, clean, back to back, uppercuts. Blaydes would then break the clinch with his back to the cage, circle out, and use range. The two traded single strikes before Blaydes connected with a holy uppercut that dropped Oleinik. The Russian shot for a take down as Blaydes came in and used the time remaining in the round to hold onto Blaydes. Before the round ended, Blaydes bench pressed Oleinik who fell to the canvas like a red oak.
The real craziness was the second round. Blaydes came out landing on the Russian. Oleinik then pressures him against the cage. Oleinik moves forward, opening up to strike and Blaydes times a good double leg. The two smash to the canvas, Blaydes in the Russians guard. They grappled on the ground for around a minute. As Oleinik moved his legs up Blaydes back to set up a submission, Blaydes pulled out and stood up. The Russian attempts to move quickly to meet his opponent on the feet but, the man is 40. As he was on hands and knees, Blaydes threw a head kick. Oleinik was slow getting up as the head kick came in. Slow and a good range away, the head kick landed, more so grazed. It landed an extreme glancing blow to the ear of Oleinik. the ref seeing contact, called time and brought the doctor in. As the doctors were communicating through a translator, Oleinik tells them he can't go on any longer and the fight is stopped.
Luckily new York instituted instant replay for fight ending sequences. The referee watched the replay, seeing what everyone at home did, the blow was not significant and could not have damaged the opposing fighter enough to force his withdrawal. Curtis Blaydes was awarded a TKO victory instead of a DQ loss.
It would have been nice to get a DQ or no contest but, that would not be right. Curtis Blaydes beat the guy to near unconsciousness.
Tampa Bay +6.5 -110
New Orleans -6.5 -110
Tampa Bay is really disappointing this season. Their season is not over yet, it will go as Jamies Winstons health does.
The Saints might be legit this year. I don't know how or why. They still, in my mind, only have one quality player in the secondary, Kenny Vaccaro. Apparently Marshon Lattimore is playing well. Alex Okafor has turned into a one of the better linebackers in the league. He's played much better than Manti Te'o who was supposed to be good. With a defense playing well, the Saints are a legit team. The offense is amazing, they snagged a guy I really wanted the Patriots to hold onto, Austin Carr. I think that kid could be a stud outside receiver.
Saints won 30-10.
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