I’ve lost a lot of good money betting bad horses I shouldn’t have – horses I probably knew I shouldn’t be betting on, but horses I bet on anyway because they’d made me money before or because I’d met and liked the owner or trainer.
Sentimentality is a deadly for a gambler. You can’t go into games leaning one way or the other because you like a quarterback and don’t like his opponent, or because you’ve been telling people for months how good one team is and want to be proven right for yet another week.
You have to look at the cold, hard truth of the game, then make your pick.
Patriots at Broncos: Sentiment says Broncos. In a landslide. A detereorating Peyton Manning with one final shot at one final Super Bowl, against his arch-rival – the arch-rival of the NFL itself, it seems. You want so badly to see Manning will his team to a win, and to a Super Bowl, so he can ride off into the sunset.
But you just can’t see it, can you? A healthy Patriots team is too good, too dynamic, and too well-coached. The Broncos play solid defense, but they can’t stop Tom Brady all day long, and how much can you really expect to get out of this Peyton Manning? Patriots
Cardinals at Panthers: Early in the preseason, I was asking why more people weren’t talking about the Cardinals – a team that took Ryan Lindley to the playoffs, and were getting Carson Palmer back to start the year. With a defense, a running game, and that aerial attack, I couldn’t understand why they weren’t getting more play – and throughout the year, I was still asking questions, while the Cardinals were proving themselves one of the NFL’s elite. So come Sunday, I’ll be rooting for them. Like Manning and the Broncos, sentiment has me on their side.
But there’s a difference. The Cardinals are legit. And they absolutely can win on Sunday. In fact, I think they will.
Carson Palmer had a terrible game last week against the Packers. That won’t happen again this week. And while the Panthers are undoubtedly a great team – their 15-1 record speaks for itself – the Cardinals are more well-rounded. If the NFC Championship game was Broken Arrow, the Panthers would be Christian Slater, and the Cardinals would be John Travolta. They’re the triple threat. And this time, they’d come out on top. Cardinals
PICKS 52-31-4 (50-34-5 in Regular Season, 1-2-1 Last Week)
Author: Joseph White
Joe Bianchino is a writer, producer, and radio host located in upstate New York. He is a life-long New York sport fan, Chelsea supporter, and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon enthusiast. Follow him on Twitter @JoeBNTS. Email him at Joe@noticketsports.com.