Fishing in Lockness Week #15

by dave on December 14, 2012

My Vegas condo agreement requires me to publicly tout gambling picks for the week. I can’t GUARANTEE A FIVE STAR LOCK OF THE MILLENIUM, YOU ARE A COMMUNIST TRANSVESTITE IF YOU DON’T BET ON THIS but I can identify the games that seem to me to have an essence of Lockness about them, which smells like a mix of algae, brackish water and lizard breath.

Also, I am totally welcoming of all communists. Transgendered, transvestite or other.

I have been having one of those mornings.

One too many martinis last night (but Grey Goose was on special!), left me moving a little slow and feeling lethargic. By the time I finally dragged myself from bed, I found that I hadn’t charged my phone last night and it now refused to take a charge. So, I had to dig around until I found an old battery to put in its place and charge up.

I had to shut down my computer completely last night for the first time in ages because Microsoft requires more updates than an eight year old on a cross country drive. Unfortunately, for some reason whenever I shut down my computer completely it has a really difficult time re-connecting to the MGM Signature wi-fi, so for over an hour I struggled to get an internet connection, finally resorting to pulling out my old work computer.

Just nothing was going my way. It is even cloudy and cool outside, the last thing you would expect in Las Vegas.

Basically, it was a morning where I felt like nothing could go right.

Then I finally got on the internet and saw what was happening in Connecticut and all of my problems ended quicker than the finale of The Sopranos.

I don’t know what to say. It is really sad that it seems like once per week, I have to point back to the heart broken post I wrote last summer after the Aurora Theater shootings, but it better articulates everything I feel than anything new I can conjure today.

I don’t have children so I don’t know the fear and pain that parents feel today. But I have nieces and a nephew, and imagining the words ‘Newtown, CT’ replaced with ‘Cedaredge, CO’ feels me with an unimaginable rage.

Naturally, after a couple days this tragedy will devolve into a political shouting match because that is what happens with every single thing in this country today. A country built on rebellion and revolution, that has long celebrated individualism, manifest destiny and freedom has an inherent direct conflict with sacrificing for the greater good. We all love our country and are proud to be American, right up to the moment we are asked to do something we don’t like so that the rest of the country can live better.

The poor children and adults that were killed today for no reason won’t be the catalyst for change. If the 14 other times these tragedies have occurred didn’t spur action, then this won’t either.

Instead we all just yell more. Get angry. Get personal. Get even more dug into our positions and move even further away from ever having an adult conversation.

Man, this day sucks.

Lockness #1 – Houston (-8.5) vs Indianapolis

I hate big point spread favorites. I hate a team winning comfortably, giving up a late meaningless touchdown and winning by seven but losing my bet. I have made a point of almost never betting on big NFL favorites, unless I tease them down to a more manageable number.

But I am breaking with that tradition today because I think this number isn’t high enough. Houston is coming off an embarrassing Monday night loss at New England. A loss so bad, there are now doubters wondering if Houston’s great record was built on the backs of a schedule as weak as an SEC team’s non-conference schedule. I think Houston comes out and makes a statement against a young Colts team that has at times struggled on the road – losing badly at the Bears, Jets and Patriots this year.

Houston may very well be overrated and will be exposed when they meet the Broncos or Patriots again in the playoffs. But this week, they come out and remind us how they got that great record in the first place.

Lockness #2 – Oakland (-3) vs Kansas City

I don’t know why I keep coming back to these teams. They are more bi-polar than the roommate from Single White Female. Both teams have shown small flashes of competence yet the vast majority of their record shows them as possibly the 2 worst teams in the league.

But, at least the Raiders are mostly self-inflicted. Turnovers, penalties are what have continuously killed the Raiders. The Chiefs however are just not very good. Bad quarterback play. Little talent but one running back who spends most of each game running for his life. A porous defense.

The Raiders playing at home after a 10-day layoff (following last Thursday’s loss to the Broncos) should be more than enough to win this game easily.

Lockness #3 –Tease of the Week: Utah State (-4) vs Toledo, Nevada (+15) vs Arizona**, UA/Nevada Under (86.5)

It is already the beginning of Bowl season. It seems like just last week, we were watching the final regular season game of the year…oh wait, we were. With so many bowls, there is essentially no break in college football anymore. For that I say – HOORAY! In honor of the kick-off of bowl season, we will put the first two bowls into this tease. I like Utah State to win comfortably but am not a fan of the -10.5 line. I also think that Nevada keeps this close with Arizona, and the rust of a few weeks off playing an unfamiliar opponent keeps the score lower than is expected.

Sure, the New Mexico Bowl and Famous Idaho Potato Bowl aren’t exactly world renowned – or even destinations for fan bases to flock to. But they are college football. This time of year, you take what you can get.

Lockness #4 – Hail Mary of the Week: Nevada Moneyline (+280) vs Arizona

We’ve all been there. Bets have been going against us all day. Down to one last bet, it just isn’t worth trying to win less than double our money because when you are trapped at the bottom of a well, 3 feet off the ground is still deep in the well. We need the big score to get back. We could look for a parlay and hope 5 or 6 things all break our way or we can find one highly improbable thing that might, maybe, possibly, could happen and go all-in on it. This is the ‘Break Glass in Case of Emergency’ bet in the sports book.

Let’s face it, weird stuff happens in bowl games. Teams overlook their opponent, show up unmotivated and expect their athletic advantage to win the game. Boise State beats Oklahoma. West Virginia hangs 70 points on Clemson. It happens all the time. Especially when you have a team from a smaller conference, with a good head coach playing a team from a bigger conference in a small bowl. Arizona traveling to New Mexico for a bowl game held before other schools even reach Christmas break is a perfect scenario for this. It is also one of the few instances that I can think of where a team travels to a worse location for a bowl. Would anyone be surprised if Arizona came out flat and uninterested in this game? Nevada coach Chris Ault has years of experience preparing his team to play bigger, better known schools. Nevada went into Cal and won this year, they won’t be intimidated by the Wildcats.

** – This post originally stated that Nevada plays Arizona State in the New Mexico Bowl rather than their actual opponent, Arizona, because I am a moron. The post has been updated but, sadly, I had to delete my joke about Todd Graham.

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