Joe Girardi’s bio says he’s a graduate of Northwestern, one of the most prestigious academic institutions in the country. Um, I’d like to take a peek at the Yankee manager’s transcripts, as I can’t believe anyone who would continue to start a washed-up Alex Rodriguez in the playoffs — and bat him third in the lineup — is smart enough to even qualify for Northwestern, let alone graduate. Thankfully for Yankees fans — and not so thankfully for Yankee haters like yours truly — Girardi pulled his head out of his ass just in time last night, replacing A-Rod in the bottom of the ninth inning with a 40-year-old pinch-hitter who batted .240 in the regular season. That pinch-hitter — Raul Ibanez — not only delivered a game-tying home run, but he crushed a game-winning (and probably season-saving) home run leading off the bottom of the 12th for a 3-2 victory. I’d like to personally thank Mr. Girardi for his ignorance, because had Ibanez received A-Rod’s first three at-bats — when he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts — I probably wouldn’t have won Wednesday’s bet on the under.
That’s two straight playoff baseball winners, but I’m leaving the diamond for the gridiron today, offering you not one but two under plays on Steelers-Titans. This one is so simple to explain even Girardi could understand it. There have been five Thursday night NFL games so far this season. Here are the totals and results from those games:
• Week 1 total: 23 (half), 45½ (game). Result: 7-3 (half), 24-17 (game)
• Week 2 total: 25½ (half), 50½ (game). Result: 13-0 (half), 23-10 (game)
• Week 3 total: 25½ (half), 51 (game). Result: 10-10 (half), 36-7 (game)
• Week 4 total: 22 (half), 44 (game). Result: 9-7 (half), 23-16 (game)
• Week 5 total: 19½ (half), 38½ (game). Result: 13-3 (half), 17-3 (game)
Go ahead and put the calculator down. All five Thursday night games have gone under in the first half and under for the game. Combined, that’s 10 straight unders. Why wouldn’t it continue tonight, seeing that Tennessee’s offense consists of Matt Hasselbeck and the artist formerly known as Chris Johnson, while Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger (nine sacks in four games) continues to play behind a terrible offensive line? Oh, and the under is 8-3 in the Steelers’ last 11 games overall, 4-0 in their last four Thursday night games, 10-4-1 in the Titans’ last 15 overall and 5-1-1 in their last seven at home.
Rating(first half): ★ ★ ★ ☆
Rating(game) ★ ★ ★ ★
Wednesday’s Result: Orioles-Yankees UNDER 8½ (Win)