GREG GAMBLE’S 2008 PIGSKIN PICKS: 40-27 ATS...60%
NFL 13-12 - NCAA 16-9 - Teasers 11-6 - Happiness 67-0
While my picks were perfect this weekend, I’ll admit watching Seabass line-up for a last second 58-yarder had me thinking of all the times the Gambling Gods have toyed with my degenerate azz. But thankful, after years of using the date-rape drug on himself (it’s physically impossible not to mention that every time I use his name), his poor lil foot just didn’t have the gusto to get the pigskin ova the crossbar. Throw-in T-Bone’s call on the Titans yesterday, and I expect some Thank You cards after we prove once again 2night that nobody breaks down the ATS World w/ artistic flavor than ur Homeboys at InsidePlays!
SAN FRAN 49ERS @ ARIZONA CARDINALS (OVA 47)
Tonight’s contest just screams of crazy tuddies & turnovers for two teams rarely gracing the national spotlight. After years of a steady decline, a rejuvenated Kurt Warner somehow remembered he was an MVP back in the day becaus he didn't drop the pigskin and got rid of it before big blackmen sat on his head. Now, with a superstar trio of WRs thanks to the recent emergence of Steve Breaston, Warner has been able to find mismatches at the line-of-scrimmage and uses a quick drop letting his playmakers make plays & keeping the offense in a rhythm. Already ranked 2nd in the NFL in passing yardage, the Cardinals should look even better tonight with Anquan Boldin’s return a week ago, an legit backfield w/ the emergence of the punishing rookie Dreads Hightower (last week: 22 carries, 109 yrds, TD) and the lil speedster J.J. Arrington (last week: 7 rush, 61 yrds – 4 rec, 58 yards).
As for the 49ers D, considering they're much better stopping the run & currently have an undermanned secondary, I expect the Cardinals to be aggressive early and excited to showcase their lethal attack on the Monday Night stage. During San Fran’s five-game losing streak, Mike "Drop it like it's Hot" Singletary’s D has allowed opponents to average almost 33 ppg and ranks near the bottom in Takeways. As a result, no reason to think they’ll simply find the magic on the road cause they had two weeks to prepare…if anything, I expect the quick Cardinal attack to overwhelm them out of the gate.
As for the other side of the ball, Mike Martz & Co. have shown the ability to move the ball, but have struggled with turnovers and capitalizing in the red zone. In the 34-13 loss to the Seahawks two weeks ago, SF actually out-gained Seattle by 127 yards (388 total). Off the Bye Week and with QB Shaun Hill breathing some much needed life into the offense, I expect the 49ers to find some success with a balanced attack. In three starts to finish-off the abysmal 2007 season, Hill actually was phenomenal with a QB rating ova 100 and throwing five TDs to only one INT. Last week after talking over for J.T. O’Should-not-be-playing, the former Maryland QB was extremely efficient in limited action (15-23, 173 yards, TD). With his ability to make quick confident decisions, I’m actually surprised he wasn’t given more of an opportunity to win the job this off-season.
While the Cardinals D has been solid against the run, they rank 19th against the pass and have been overly aggressive at times. As a result, look for Martz to spead-out the offense and open-up the passing lanes for Hill to maneuver. While the freak known as Vernon Davis continues to dissapoint, after his embarrassing sideline debacle I expect the fastest TE in NFL history to look focused and have a breakout performance tonight. Paired with Frank Gore’s downhill running style (Gore rushed for almost 7.0 carry in their season opening loss to Zona) and plenty of possessions with the pace the Cardinals set, I expect the 49ers to score a couple TDs & kick a few through the uprights to make this a nice little shootout!
Final Score: 49ERS 20 ARIZONA 34
GREGGY G’S MONDAY NIGHT TEASER SPECIAL
SAN FRAN 49ERS @ ZONA CARDINALS (teased to OVA 41)
SAN FRAN 49ERS @ ZONA CARDINALS (teased -3)
I KNOW the Cardinals will score and I’M HOPING the 49ers find an offensive rhythm to at least pepper the red zone a few times this evening. Considering Zona leads the league in points scored per game (29.3) and San Fran’s D ranks 30th in points allowed, tough to see how Warner & Co. don’t put-up at least 30 tonight…leaving only a TD and a couple FGs for the so-called mastermind Mike Martz to muster up for our azz to hit-up Sizzler for free tomorrow!
As for the Cardinals minus a FG at home versus a team in disarry, does it get any easier than that? With the Monday Night stage enabling Ken Whisenhunt to further prove he’s permanently changed the culture in the desert, I expect them to light things up early and to keep their foot on the gas throughout. While Zona –10 also sees like a reasonable call, teasing it down to -3 prevents the dreaded backend cover as the 49ers find a rhythm against a prevent D late in the 4th.
Final Score: 49ERS 20 ARIZONA 34