Horse racing is like a disease. It has a knack of spreading and…
You know what? Hang on. Disease is too strong. Let me start again.
Horse racing is like Pink Eye. It has a way of spreading and effecting the way you see everything in your life.
It doesn’t always happen right away, but invariably, anytime I take a swim in horse racing’s familiar waters, I tend to get the water everywhere.
For example, I like metaphors. A lot. And after a just few hours analyzing a few horse races – to say nothing of the last three days I’ve spent breaking down the Breeders’ Cup – I find that all my metaphors have something to do with horse racing.
Buccaneers at Falcons: The Falcons are that front-running colt who raced to an early lead and will look to hang on as other, more talented horses come running at him deep in the race. The Buccaneers only just left the starting gate. Falcons
Chiefs vs. Lions (In London): The Chiefs are one of those mid-pack horses, running in a large field of middling competitors. The Lions are a few lengths back, just hoping to stay on camera. Chiefs
Vikings at Bears: Sometimes watching a race, you get caught up looking at the horses you bet on, or the big-named front-runner, and you never even think about some of those other, lurking horses to which you should maybe be paying more attention. You should be paying more attention to the Vikings, and even, a little bit, the Bears, too. Vikings
Giants at Saints: The Saints and the Giants are both running toward the back of the field struggling to find their footing, but if they find it fast enough, look out. Giants
49ers at Rams: The Rams aren’t winning any horse races, but they aren’t finishing last in too many, either – which is a step up from the 49ers, who are currently learning how to walk again. Rams
Cardinals at Browns: Like the Falcons, the Cardinals are riding confidently at the front of the pack, waiting for others to come challenge them. Conversely, like no one else in football – and few others in professional sports – the Browns can’t run ten steps without falling over. Cardinals
Bengals at Steelers: The Bengals are riding as confidently as you can through the early portions of the race, while their supporters look on hoping they can close in deep stretch. The Steelers are hoping there’s just race left to run by the time they get comfortable – by the time they get healthy. Bengals
Chargers at Ravens: Both the Chargers and the Ravens are great, stakes winning horses at the end of their careers, now running in those same races, but losing every one by a wide margin. Ravens
Titans at Texans: The Titans and the Texans are the show ponies for the Chargers and the Ravens, both wishing they’d get the chance to even enter a race. Texans
Jets at Raiders: The Jets were just shifted to a different trainer and dramatically improved. Jets
Seahawks at Cowboys: Sometimes, a horse can easily be the best in the field, but get caught in traffic and end up losing. Right now, the Seahawks are caught in that traffic. But look out if they ever find a way around it. The Cowboys? They lost their jockey a few steps into the race. Seahawks
Packers at Broncos: The Packers are Secretariat in the Belmont. The Broncos are Secretariat in the Whitney – where he lost. Great, just not as great as he was. Packers
Colts at Panthers: A few years ago, there was a horse named Palace Malice dominating every race he entered, and I never bet on him once. Ever race, I thought he’d get beat, and never understood how he kept winning. The Panthers are Palace Malice, and at some point, I need to just accept that even without Kelvin Benjamin, they’re damn good. The Colts, on the flip side, is the horse that’s favored in every race he runs, but just cannot handle running in the slop. Panthers
PICKS 21-13-2 (3-2 Last Week, 1-0 This Week)
Patriots -7.5 √
Author: Joe Bianchino
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.