• Gary Porpora

Could Week Six Finally Be The Gairzo's Week?

AFTER WEEK FIVE

Week Three Picks: 7 – 8 2019 Overall Tally: 36 – 40 – 2

Weekly Totals Picks: 3 – 2 Cumulative Totals: 14 - 15

Weekly Specials 0 – 4 Cumulative Specials: 8 – 11 – 1

GAME OF THE WEEK 2 – 3 LOCK OF THE WEEK 2 – 3

UPSET SPECIAL 2 – 2 – 1 O/U OF THE WEEK 2 – 3

My elder sister Cheryl has a very subtle style when it comes to criticizing my work.


Here was her little ditty on my first foray into blogging on my own site:


I’ve been looking at it. Too bad I don’t understand any of the betting stuff. But the accompanying prose is hilarious as always!


The nerve….


To quote my younger sister, ”She’s such a bitch, oh my God, she’s such a bitch…’


Let me be clear, I haven’t been hilarious nearly as much as Cheryl thinks—too much effort just to get decent clean copy up before deadline. Besides, my boss is a real asshole and doesn’t have a clue as to what he’s doing.


The “bitch” label fits Cheryl because she thinks no mortal is within, oh, 50 points, of her 160 IQ. I mean, it only took me three days to figure out my eldest sibling was, in her inimitable, way saying, “Hey Melville, maybe more people would read your website if they knew what the hell you were talking about!”


How dare her!


It was that same syrupy condescension she repeatedly slapped on me while we were growing up.


A TRUE STORY


One time I was peeking inside Cheryl's cracked bedroom door; there she was, as usual, with her nose buried in a book. My mind raced:


What could be so interesting in that goddamn book? Didn‘t she know she was about to miss MR. ED? What an idiot!


As my mind continued galloping, my gaze into her room became more intense.

Then, without her eyeballs moving from the text: “I know you’re there Gary. It is not polite to spy on people.”

My razor sharp instincts told me not to move—there is no way she saw me!


“ I can see you in the mirror...”


I knew she was bluffing—did she think I was stupid? My split-second decision was not to move a muscle.


Suddenly she rose up like some Blonde Demon, “MOTHER!”


I bolted outta my crouch trying to be in the living room before my mom turned the corner from the kitchen, unfortunately, my eyes were still looking into Cheryl’s room and I slammed my shoulder full blast into her door frame.


The pain was excruciating. My mom turned the corner, as usual, with her wooden spoon in the assault position; her faced morphed from anger to concern, “What’s wrong, mister?”


My improvisational skills were legendary, “My shoulder, I fell in my room…”


Mom lifted my t-shirt, surveying the damage. She winced, that’ll be black ’n’ blue in a few days, sore for a week. You’ll live—that’s what you get for tormenting your sister….”


She turned on the TV….HELLO!!!...A horse is a horse, of course, of course, and no one can talk to a horse, of course…


BTW, determined to find out what Cheryl found so fascinating about that gottdamned book, the next day, I snuck into her room when she was gone. There it was, and what I saw taught me a life long lesson about smart people: WUTHERING HEIGHTS…. My smarty-pants sister was reading a book that spelled a word in the title wrong!


I looked it up---it’s “Weathering”…


160 IQ, my ass…


After Further Review…

Cheryl has a point. I know when I started handicapping, (analyzing NFL games), it took me a while to learn the terrain. So, let’s spend a couple pages explaining the terminology. (I will use my Steelers as examples since a lot of people who might read this are from The ‘Burgh.)


A BASIC GLOSSARY


Handicapping = Trying to analyze sporting contests for fun and/or profit…the professionals who make a living at it—more than you think—run a—


Sportsbook = a casino or website where people pay 200.00 and up for handicapping analysis.. These entities take –


Action = Money bet on an event…for every kind of wager…


Straight Up (SU) = Wager picking one a team to win or lose any given game. No other factors are involved…i.e. Since 2014 the Steelers are 58-33-1 (63.7%) SU…Studies have shown monkeys are almost as good as the pros at picking SU. The payoff for SU bets is minimal. Some sportsbooks don ‘t bother taking SU action.


Against the Spread, (ATS), betting a team playing in any given game will overcome a preset point deficit or betting a team will be able to overcome “spotting” an opponent a preset number of points…The Point Spread or Spread = the points added to or subtracted from one team's in any given game.


Here’s an example:


PITTSBURGH STEELERS @ LOS ANGELES CHARGERSS -7 41 [O]


No mysteries here. Read it aloud—it means the Steelers as visitors are spotted 7 points before the game begins…or…Whatever the final score of the game, add 7 points to the Steelers score.


So, if the Chargers beat the Steeler 26-20 and you bet on Pittsburgh---you win.


The point spread was once determined by thugs who would kneecap welchers and other stupid people who tried to muscle in on their Action.


Today, the Thugs send their kids to MIT to develop algorithms for the express purpose of determining the perfect Spread for every sports contest on the Planet…


****Remember**** the Spread is not a guess, it is calculated to attract an equal amount of suckers, er, bettors, on each side…. To avoid confusion, simply add the Points given to the Underdogs to the final score of the game you bet—if the underdog has more points, they “Beat the Spread” if the Favorite has more points they Covered the Spread.” The two terms are interchangeable, though.


No matter what, how lucky or good you think you are, the House, The Sportsbook ALWAYS WINS….Why? –


Vigorish = or “The Vig” or Juice = why the books always win. The Book get 5-10% of every bet made on every game…including bets on –


The Total…or The Number…or The Over/Under = the number of Total Points the Book predicts will be scored in a given game.


Rarely do big time handicappers pick every game. In fact, most pick a few of the easier games just to massage their percentages up.


Finally, any intelligent bettor respects the bookmakers—they are phenomenally great at what they do.


Take a look back at my analysis of the Pittsburgh/Baltimore game in Week 3. I wagered Baltimore to win by 4 points; the spread was 3.5; my predicted score: 24-20…Final score 23-20—which means I lost the bet by a half point. Those kinds of close calls—where the Final score teeters on the Spread—happen 2-3 times a week.


Handicapping Tools


Stats = Data ranging from the score to yards given up, pass completion, etc., etc.—ANYTHING. There are sites that have stats on every imaginable facet of the game.


Trends: “The Steelers are 1-5 on the west Coast under Mike Tomlin.” Now, you might think, “Wow, I’m not taking the Steelers Sunday night!” You might be right, but trends are ripe for overuse—especially when people conflate what occurred 6 times in the last 13 years with what happened in each of those games BY THE PLAYERS.


In addition, a good handicapper will look deeper and discover the Steelers, since ’02 are 12th best EST team playing in the Western time zones!


Here’s their Record:


Games Played Wins Losses W-L%


22 7 15 .318


Here’s the league average:


Games Played Wins Losses W-L%


362 150 212 .414


So instead of any team’s lack of West Coast success being blamed on coaching, the reality is it could be a body clock issue, circadian rhythms, delayed jet lag….


To me serious handicappers see each game in its own light. There are about 90 guys playing a game that is won by superior teamwork, intelligent decisions, specified game plans, and pure heart and will.


The coaches’ job is to put their player in as favorable positions to win games as they can.


The Players’ job is, when put in favorable positions, to execute plays without making mistakes.


Mike Tomlin shouldn't get blamed for a late game James Connor fumble, or a Big Ben throwing a pick to a linemen from the enemies 1-yard line, the player does.


For the record, a lot of people disagree with me on that.


Finally, successful picking ATS is also about feel, or knowing the teams.

If you have any questions, hit up my blog, or my Facebook page, or my email: g.a.porpora@gmail.com


So lets get to analyzing my Four Weekly Specials…


First, our dismal Weekly Tally:


AFTER WEEK FIVE

Week Five Picks: 7 – 8 2019 Overall Tally: 36 – 40 – 2

Weekly Totals Picks: 3 – 2 Cumulative Totals: 14 - 15

Weekly Specials 0 – 4 Cumulative Specials: 8 – 11 – 1

GAME OF THE WEEK 2 – 3 LOCK OF THE WEEK 2 – 3

UPSET SPECIAL 2 – 2 – 1 O/U OF THE WEEK 2 – 3


GAME OF THE WEEK


DETROIT LIONS @ GREEN BAY PACKERS -4 47 [O]


This baby is a perfect example of a feel game. The Lions have shown real improvement under second year head coach, Matt Patricia.


Matt Stafford has been more consistent, his Lions have a legitimate back in Kerryon Johnson and when not fighting the injury bug, the defense has been complimentary. But can this team—historically inept at Lambeau Field win a big game against Rodgers for division supremacy? Maybe…


But, when they’re going to Lambeau to face a rejuvenated Aaron Rogers without two CBs, Amani Oruwariye and Darius Slay, when WR, Danny Amendola, and TE, T.J. Hockenson are nursing injuries, and DE, Mike Daniels is hurting, Stafford will need to play a perfect game—and so will the suddenly competent Lions passing defense


Green Bay, with Aaron Jones in the backfield, taking the pressure off of Rodgers, will score at will; Detroit might too—but it won’t be enough…


Packers 30 Lions 20


LOCK OF THE WEEK


DALLAS COWBOYS @ NY JETS -7 40.5 [U]


Dallas’ goal in this game is the same as any team who plays the Jets—stop LeVeon Bell.


It should be easy to stop Bell even if Sam Darnold’s return promises to inject some kind of life into the lamest offense this side of the 20th century. Darnold just doesn't have any talent but Bell to count on.


Actually, the Jets defense has played respectable ball in 2018, but football, the ultimate team game, demands consistent performance in every phase of the game.


Right now, all the Airplanes can hope for is the same Dallas run defense that let Green Bay RB, Aaron Jones gouge ‘dem Cowboys for 107 yards, a 5.6 average, and four—FOUR!!—TDS.


LeVeon Bell is the same kind of back, even better than Aaron Jones, but Sam Darnold coming off a three-week absence due to mononucleosis is not the same QB Aaron Rodgers is.


Still, I’d love to be wrong, forget my tally—watching Dallas get beat is a magnificent pleasure no matter the time of year.


The Under is my call here.


Cowboys 27 Jets 13


OVER/UNDER OF THE WEEK


CAROLINA PANTHERS @ TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS +2 48.5 [U]


“We’ve got some guys who are just soft…” That was Bruce Arians, Tampa Bay head coach, on his defense after giving up 34 points to the Saints last week.


We know AB from his stints in Pittsburgh and Indy—when he says that about his defense, that’s a direct challenge to competitive men who don’t like to be called soft.


No doubt, his goal is to stop Christian McCaffery the way Tampa did earlier in the season.


What I like most about Arians is at his age, he is willing to try new things to win games that go beyond Xs and Os—like creating a new sports science department.


https://www.espn.com/blog/tampa-bay-buccaneers/post/_/id/22980/how-sports-science-is-preparing-the-bucs-for-london


The Panthers left early for London and practiced there all week. When Arians tried it that way during his Arizona tenure, the Cards lost badly.


I’m thinking Tampa Bay’s defense steps up big, Jameius Winston takes care of the ball, and the Bucs win late—Under the Number.


Buccaneers 24 Panthers 22


UPSET SPECIAL


PITTSBURGH STEELERS @ LOS ANGELES CHARGERSS -7 41 [O]


Let’s see, just lost a heart breaker to their most bitter rival in overtime…Down to their third quarterback, whose claim to fame is being an undrafted free agent who won a couple duck calling contests as a teenager.


Devlin “Duck” Hodges meet Phillip Rivers, probable HOFer, who last year pulled a victory out of something stinky that cost the Steelers a playoff birth.


What else—oh Pittsburgh head honcho, Mike Tomlin was mentioned as trade bait for the Washington Natives, owned by sick rich racist, Daniel Snyder.


The Steelers enter the Electricians room without a starting CB, LB, and RB, Jaylen Samuels.


Their two “best” offensive players—Ju Ju Smith Schuster and James Connor—are in a battle to see who can make the more crucial game blowing mistake. So far, they’re tied 1-1.



The only legitimate reason Steelers fans have a shred of hope is the game will b e played in a 30,000 seat soccer stadium that will be filled by 20,000 Black & Gold loving fans.

I still don ‘t see Pittsburgh winning outright—but I’m confident they’ll play it close and lose on a late field goal. That means they Beat the Spread—Over the Total.



Chargers 22 Steelers 20



NFL Lines For Week 6 - 10/10 - 10/14, 2019

Date & Time Favorite Line Underdog Total

10/10 8:20 ET At New England -16.5 [U] NY Giants 42.5

10/13 9:30 ET Carolina (London) -2 [U] Tampa Bay 48

10/13 1:00 ET At Baltimore -11 Cincinnati 48

10/13 1:00 ET Seattle -1.5 At Cleveland 47.5

10/13 1:00 ET At Kansas City -5.5 Houston 55

10/13 1:00 ET At Jacksonville -1 New Orleans 44.5

10/13 1:00 ET At Minnesota -3 Philadelphia 43.5

10/13 1:00 ET Washington -3.5 At Miami 41

10/13 4:05 ET At LA Rams -3.5 San Francisco 50

10/13 4:05 ET Atlanta -2 At Arizona 51.5

10/13 4:25 ET Dallas LW -7 At NY Jets 43.5

10/13 4:25 ET At Denver -2.5 Tennessee 39

10/13 8:20 ET At LA Chargers -7 [O] Pittsburgh 41


Monday Night Football Line

10/14 8:15 ET At Green Bay GW -4 [O] Detroit 47


Week 6 Byes: Buffalo, Chicago, Indianapolis, Oakland

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