Late, but not too late.
Only two games today, obviously. However, this is the last weekend of the football season which resembles a football weekend. After this, its the utter stupidity of Super Bowl Sunday, which I will probably spend with my lips wrapped around the exhaust pipe of my car.
Fortunately, that's two weeks in the future. This week, we can still talk football like it's a sport, rather than the world's most inane circus.
Saints (+2.5) @ Chicago - I am still on that Saints bandwagon. I loved what they did to Philadelphia. And, I have to tell you, I'm not that impressed with Chicago. Their defense is not what it was at the beginning of the season, and the only QB I like less in a big game than Rex Grossman is Chris Simms. Neither team has much in the way of playoff experience, neither coach is exactly big-game seasoned. Sure, the Saints are a dome team forced to play outside in the cold, but this is not a light-it-up, deep-passing team. They can run and hit the short pass, perfect for bad weather. Give me the Saints to win.
Pats (+3) @ Colts - All I need to know here is Peyton Manning, always looking for a reason to choke, against Tom Brady, the man who doesn't do anything but win. Peyton has a chance to shake the "Loser" tag again today, and nothing in his past indicates he'll be any more successful this time. The guy has made a career out of losing the big game, both in college and the pros. Belichick and Brady, on the other hand, are in their element. Give me the Pats.
And since I intend to go into a deep coma for the duration of the Super Bowl onslaught of vulgarity, I'll take the Pats over the Saints by 14.
Mark it down.
UPDATE 01/22/07 8:00 a.m.: Another 0-fer. Some of you have suggested a good gambling strategy is to take my picks and bet the exact opposite. I endorse this strategy. It's quite clear that I have NO idea what I'm talking about.
Now we have two weeks of inane run-up to The Most Overblown Show on Earth. Yippee. When we finally get to game-time, we'll all be sitting on our respective couches, drooling into little dishes set in our laps.
As for the game itself, I'm going to go with the more complete team, which appears to be the Colts at the moment. However, Peyton is the still the Great Unknown in big games. This is his opportunity to shake the "Can't Win the Big One" tag once and for all. He took a GIANT step yesterday. I'm actually pulling for him to go all the way.