NFL & College Football Best Bets -- It's Crime Time

To some of you this may sound obvious, to some it may sound weird, and to some it may sound deplorable -- I wish I had time to watch more television. With the advent of episodic television on cable channels like HBO and Showtime, the ante has been upped and the networks are trying to raise their games. There are more good shows on nowadays than ever before.

Unfortunately, there are only so many hours in the day and so much storage on my DVR. One show I've found room for lately that I never did before is Law & Order. Until I started watching it recently, the closest thing I had watched to a crime show was Jack Bauer using his superpowers to thwart terrorists on 24.

Bottom line -- I'm finding myself giddy to catch up on the previous 38 seasons of Law & Order. And I've found my next gimmick to maintain my nearly 70 percent clip of picking winners in football....


We've got two of the biggest bowl games (Cotton and BCS Title) and the first four playoff games of the NFL postseason on tap this weekend. Football games are typically ripe with criminals. Let's see if any of the scurrilous luminaries in each of these games can frighten me into picking them, shall we?

(What? You have a better way of picking these games? Oh, what is that you said? Actual analysis? Phhssh, whatever. It's crime time...LESH GO...)

COTTON BOWL LSU vs Texas A&M (LSU -1.5) Friday, January 7

Marquee Criminal: Les Miles Crime: Attempted Murder (of his 2010 season) Fear Factor (out of 10): 13 Mitigating Factor: Yeah, it would appear Les Miles was trying to intentionally sabotage his own season. How else do you explain the clock-management gaffes and the play calls like "holder throw an over the shoulder one hopper to the kicker on a fourth down fake in Gainesville?" And guess what -- the dude still came out of it 10-2! Are you picking against Les Miles? I didn't think so.

The Pick: LSU -1.5

BCS TITLE GAME Oregon vs Auburn (Auburn -2) Monday, January 10

Marquee Criminal: Cam Newton Crime: Stealing a laptop while at Florida Fear Factor (out of 10): 1.5 Mitigating Factor: While Cam Newton had the stones to rip off a laptop, he was also stupid enough to scrawl his name on it in size 120 font and ALL CAPS, which is like committing a murder and then deciding to shave, masturbate and take a blood sugar test next to the dead body.

The Pick: Oregon +2 (Actually, take the over. It's 74. These two teams will have that knocked out by the middle of the third quarter. Trust me.)

NFL PLAYOFFS New Orleans at Seattle (Saints -10) Saturday, January 8

Marquee Criminal: Golden Tate Crime: Stole some Maple Bar donuts from a Seattle donut shop after hours Fear Factor (out of 10): -21 Mitigating Factor: The Seahawks can't even "crime time" their way into making me take the ten points. Seriously, this line can't be high enough. (Honorable Criminal Mention -- Seattle quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, who when he's done being a shitty NFL quarterback has a ready-made career playing a child molester on crime shows like Law & Order.)

The Pick: New Orleans -10

NFL PLAYOFFS New York Jets at Indianapolis (Colts -2.5) Saturday, January 8

Marquee Criminal: Take your pick on the Jets -- Braylon Edwards (DWI), Santonio Holmes (long list), Antonio Cromartie (shouldn't eight kids with seven women be a crime?), Rex Ryan ("can I smell them?") Crime: Take your pick Fear Factor (out of 10): 7 Mitigating Factor: I am covering the Super Bowl this season for Sporting News Radio. To say that I'm hoping the Jets make it there would be the understatement of the century. (Is there a higher potential scene for comedy than Sex Ryan getting asked foot-fetish questions on media day? The odds of that happening are like -5000, right?)

The Pick: Jets +2.5

NFL PLAYOFFS Baltimore at Kansas City (Ravens -3) Sunday, January 9

Marquee Criminal: Ray Lewis Crime: Stabbing somebody! Obstruction of Justice Fear Factor (out of 10): 1,214 Mitigating Factor: In my 41 years on this earth, only two people have frightened me to the point of soiling myself -- the Wicked Witch of the West (and to be fair, I was three at the time) and Ray Lewis (pretty much every time he's miked up)

The Pick: Ravens -3

NFL PLAYOFFS Green Bay at Philadelphia (Eagles -2.5) Sunday, January 9

Marquee Criminal: Michael Vick Crime: Dog killing, gambling, dog killing, carrying bong water in an airport, dog killing, infecting chicks with herpes, dog killing...did I mention he killed dogs? Fear Factor (out of 10): 2 Mitigating Factor: I have two legs and opposable thumbs, therefore Mike Vick doesn't really scare me. I'm actually more afraid of Andy Reid, who would probably start gnawing on your arm if you accidentally spilled barbecue sauce on your sleeve.

The Pick: Packers +2.5

Last Week: 3-3 Season Record: 59-42-1

Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from 12-3 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter at

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Sean Pendergast is a contributing freelance writer who covers Houston area sports daily in the News section, with periodic columns and features, as well. He also hosts afternoon drive on SportsRadio 610, as well as the post game show for the Houston Texans.
Contact: Sean Pendergast