HAIL GAMBLOR! European footy is mostly all back this weekend.
Arsenal ride into West Ham to start festivities (7:30, NBCSN). The Gooners are feeling the hot breath of Man U(re) for 5th position, while the Hammers have worked their way up to the top half (10th). Could be fairly interesting.
Redshite visit 13th position Brighton in the main 10:00 window fixture (NBCSN)…and nobody wants to see that. All your other options are NBC Gold, though. I would recommend Palace/Watford for likely quality, Fulham at Burnley for a possible relegation scrap preview. Mighty Whitey are out of the FA Cup (in less than proud fashion), and might have a bee up their arses for this one. Or they are just ded in the water. YMMV.
Newcastle are away to Chelsea in the spotlight dance (12:30, NBC), which should be a right bumming. Feel free to watch college hoopsball, as I will with Shitty Wolves taking on hapless Pitt.
GAMBLOR speaking, I like Bury at home to the wonderfully named Milton Keynes Dons (League 2, 10:00) and Barnsley home to Bradford City (League 1, 10:00). Fuck you, YOU have a problem.
Our Young Boys are just having a friendly this weekend, and the rest of the continent is fairly meh. I would keep an eye out for Porto away to Sporting, in Portuguese action. They are…not on friendly terms (10:30, probably one of the weird channels or online).
Onward we go, to Roundtable thoughts:
Beer Guy Rob:
Colts/Chiefs – The Colts stand a chance, so long as Jim Irsay reminds travelling Indy fans to bring buckets of gravy to KC so Andy Reid blows timeouts contemplating his dipping sauce options. 24-21 Chiefs
Cowboys/Rams – Zeke’s gonna get fed a whole bunch of Aaron Donald, with a side helping of Suh. 35-7 Rams
Clots/Chefs – Pill Poppers are playing great, but, does a playoff win over a team that only exists in theory count? Andy Reid waits to become Playoff Andy Reid in another conference championship game. 34-17 Chefs
Bad Hair/GAWD DAMN STARS – A battle between two of the most loathsome owners in all of sport. Whoever wins, we all still lose. 37-14 Hairpieces
Old School Zero:
Chefs/Clots – fans will look across the aisle, one seeing platters of food that is all fried, the other seeing buckets of grub slathered on too sweet sauce, and the resulting glutton orgy will summon Caligula to midfield.
Cows/Ewes – this excellent match up will be overshadowed by the widespread insanity caused by a lingering camera shot of Jerry Jones and Stan Kroenke fucking on a pile of public money.
Chiefs/Colts – THIS MATCH UP I CALL IT OPEN HEART SURGERY, BECAUSE BOTH FAN BASES ARE HEADED FOR IT. The game? Eh, 24-13 Colts. Never underestimate Andy Reid’s ability to fuck up a good thing, like a buffet.
Cowboys/Rams – This is going to be like a track meet where one team is represented by Usain Bolt and that other by the runner-up in the Special Olympics. The Rams are Usain Bolt. 24-13 LA-by-way-of-St.-Louis.
Indy/KC – Andy Reid continues to perform post season miracles as he shits himself in a late defeat to Indy 37-33. FYI I bet the Clots strait up.
Dallas/LA – Despite having a solid ground attack, the Rams build an insurmountable lead and DAK DAK DAK magic provides too little too late. Rams 42-20
Why Eagles Why?:
Colts/Chiefs – Call me crazy, as I contend that Andy Reid is still the best Eagles coach ever, even though Tank McNamara won the Super Bowl. But people are riding the Colts’ jocks a bit hard. KC is still at home with the MVP playing. This feels like the Peter Principle game for the Colts. KC 34 IND 27
Cowboys/Rams – It brings me no pleasure to report, but the Cowboys are going to the NFC Championship Game. The key for me is that they have found the best version of themselves. The Rams have struggled lately, and I think the layoff hurts them, not helps them. I can’t stop thinking about how they didn’t show up at home in the playoffs last year. Never discount the possibility of The Clapper self-immolating, but… DAL 24 LAR 23
Game Time Decision:
KC vs IND – Think that KC manages not to Reid itself and makes Hodor spit and drool all over itself. If I had any money, which I don’t, i’d bet the over and take the points on KC.
DAL vs LA – JJ goes home sad and hopefully fires Princeton. Dak takes a bad a sak or 2, and they don’t feed Elliot enough. Gurley’s wonky knee holds and runs all over Dallas.
Chefs/Humps – I went up to -135 for a lower spread (Chefs – 3.5), which is probably a sign I shouldn’t bet this matchup. But I did. I think the Indy hype machine is burning a bit too hot, and the hostile, cold environs will be hard on a dome team. Plus, as strange as it is to say this…KC has the better QB. Believe in the counter-narrative – Fat Andy’s redemption. KC 33, IND 24
Non-Gendered Cowpersons/RRRRRRRRRRRAM IT!! – This line is just getting out of control, though I think LA presents similar matchup problems for DAL as DAL did for SEA. I also think last season’s playoff pitch-shitting will get the OKC Bomber’s charges focused and out for blood. We always like blood! LA 30, DAL 14
Humps/Chefs – There will be points! Oh you best believe there will be points. I guess it comes to if you believe in Mahomes neutralizing Andy being Andy, but in all I think that Reich’s men will find a way to beat the reds at their home in the dead of winter. I mean what could possibly go wrong?
N-GCP/RAMMIT – Hopefully 100% Gurley Man vs. the Cowboys run D which allowed under 4 per attempt, wash. Elliott vs. the Rams run D which very much allowed over 4 per attempt, not wash. Hippo’s prophecy dies and he has to go to the Kit Kat Club or wherever, because what good is sitting alone in your room?
Brett Favre’s Colonoscopy:
Balls of Steel and Fury:
Colts-Chiefs – While the Hodors have played well, I don’t think their defense is stout enough to limit the Chiefs’ offense and I don’t think their offense is strong enough to keep pace with it. Chiefs win at home.
Rams-Cowboys – The word around town is that it will be a home-field advantage for the Cowboys as the smart Rams fans will sell their tickets for a major profit and watch at home as there is rain expected and no one in LA knows how to drive in the rain. There IS a large Cowboys fanbase in LA due to the Oxnard training camp, but i’m guessing it will be 50-50 at most. I think whichever team shits the bed less will win. Call it the Cowboys as they’re basically playing with house money right now.
Son of Spam:
Colts-Chiefs – Chiefs blow out overachieving Colts with Reid unable to screw up clock management.
Rams-Cowboys – Rams beat resilient Cowboys team because any other outcome would make me sad and I don’t wanna be sad right now.
Colts-Chiefs – I am on a streak right now thank you Cody Parkey. I see the Clots beating the Chefs as the Clots can play D and it will confuse the ketchup aficionado.
Rams-Cowboys – RAMMIT will take it to the Non Gendered Cowpersons but I am extremely biased.
Sharkbait (partial credit again):
Colts-Chiefs – Indianapolis wins on the road by running the “Reid Option”, wherein Andy Reid’s options to stop the clock are nonexistent, leaving the Chiefs too big a hole to climb out of with too little time on the clock.