There’s nothing sweeter – or sourer – than watching your bet unfold in super slow-motion accompanied by a thunderous orchestra. And, thanks to NFL Films, football fans have been able to relive their greatest and most crushing wagering memories again and again.
Nearly lost in the frenzy over replacement refs this week was the passing of NFL Films president, Steve Sabol, who died of brain cancer at age 69.
Sabol, and his Hall of Fame father Ed, wrote poetry penned in the savagery of the National Football League, taking the Average Joe Armchair inside the huddle, placing him on the sidelines and sitting him in the locker room with their visionary take on the game.
Sabol also had fun with football, putting together bloopers and blunders from the NFL. Those sound-effect enhanced football follies shows were the first tastes of the NFL for some of us. I still cue the “BOIIIINNNNGGG!” when someone takes a pass off the back of the head.
The source material is rich and always fresh. Each week, NFL teams provide drama, suspense, action, violence, comedy and even inspiration (have you heard some of those pregame pep talks? Goosebumps, baby). However, when it comes to NFL Films’ best work, nothing can hold a candle to the underdog story.
“There's no comparison. One of the tenets of football, its essence, is triumphing over adversity,” Sabol once said. “That can be your opponent, your shortcomings or it can be the weather.”
There are plenty of underdog stories ready to be told in Week 3 of the NFL season, especially with the current trend of home dogs going a profitable 8-3 ATS after two rounds. Excluding the Thursday nighter between New York and Carolina, there are eight host teams taking the points this week.
One of those teams is the Arizona Cardinals, who are surprisingly 2-0 SU and ATS with both paydays coming as underdogs. The Cardinals are getting four points at home to the Philadelphia Eagles, who have somehow salvaged a 2-0 record despite Mike Vick’s six interceptions and 66.9 QB rating.
Arizona’s speedy defense is underrated and was able to decode the beautiful mind of Bill Belichick in last week’s win over New England. If Tom Brady didn’t know what was coming, how do you think Vick will react?
I expect a few of those classic NFL Films “BOIIIINNNNGGG!” plays from the Eagles QB this Sunday.Pick:
Atlanta Falcons at San Diego Chargers (-3, 47.5)
People in San Diego are spoiled. Not only is the “Whale’s Vagina”
the nicest climate on earth but a 2-0 start to the season doesn’t even raise an eyebrow. The Chargers are undefeated heading into Week 3’s date with the Falcons (also 2-0) and no one in San Diego gives a shit. Tickets sales for Sunday’s game are in the crapper
and, as of Thursday, the team needs to sell 11,000 more tickets in order to avoid a local TV blackout. The Bolts barely avoided the blackout last week versus the Titans and needed a 24-hour extension to do so.
Perhaps San Diego football fans are wise to the Chargers’ ploy. Wins over Oakland and Tennessee are about as newsworthy as finding two prizes inside your cereal box, and Bolts backers have been suckered into believing in what they thought was a winning team the past few seasons.Go F#@k yourself San Diego
Atlanta +3New England Patriots at Baltimore Ravens (-3, 49.5)
I’ll be honest with you. I’m in a terrible mood today.
Mrs. NFL Underdogs has been sick the past two days, hacking and coughing, forcing me to sleep in the spare bed which is about six inches too short for my 6-foot-5 frame (that’s what she said. Zing!).
I’d have to say, on a rough estimate, that I’ve got about nine hours of sleep in the past two days. That may be par for the course for some of you who don’t do shit. But I got shit to do. And that shit starts at 7 a.m.
Needless to say, I’m about one stubbed toe (or Cowboys loss) away from going John Fox on someone
But that rage is nothing compared to the seething volcano of wrath bubbling up inside Patriots head coach Bill Belichick after his embarrassing defeat to the Cardinals last weekend.
Arizona defensive coordinator Ray Horton reportedly figured out the Pats' offense
, like a poker player exposing an opponent’s tell. And nothing gets Belichick’s goat like being outsmarted.
New England is 34-16-1 ATS in its last 51 games coming off a loss (66 percent) and has shown up in NFL Underdogs fewer times than Terrell Owens has been to the father-son picnic.
Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. And don’t underestimate a pissed off Belichick getting the points.Pick:
New England +3Last week: 1-1-1 ATS
Season: 4-1-1 ATS