Brandon Lang Picks: Chiefs, 49ers, Cardinals

Brandon Lang, whose life as a professional sports handicapper was depicted in the 2005 movie Two For The Money, offers picks that he says can turn a profit over the long-term for his clients. His full picks are available exclusively at his web site,, and he's also offered us three picks for free here at FanHouse

Chiefs +10 vs. Broncos
The only organization in America that's had a worse September than the Chiefs is Dow Jones. Not only has Kansas City lost all three of its games, it has gotten outscored 78-32, including double-digit blowout losses to the lowly Falcons and Raiders. So what makes me think that the Chiefs can hang with the undefeated Broncos this week? One reason: My 12-year-old nephew and 10 of his buddies could march down the field and score on Denver's sieve-like defense. The Broncos are coming off two home games in which they surrendered 38 and 31 points, and escaped with two wins by a combined three points. So how can you trust such a porous defense to go on the road, in a hostile venue, against a rival, and cover double digits? I can't. And since the Chiefs are wisely going back to veteran QB Damon Huard in this game and former All-Pro RB Larry Johnson got on track last week at Atlanta with 121 rushing yards, I fully expect Kansas City to put up some points in this one.

Also, the home team has won nine of the last 10 meetings in this rivalry; the host is 11-3-1 against the spread (ATS) in the past 15 clashes; and Kansas City is an incredible 18-4-1 ATS in its last 23 games as a home underdog against AFC West foes. Bottom line: You may not have made any money this week supporting one floundering organization (Wall Street), but you can certainly make some on the Chiefs. Take the points.

49ers +5½ at Saints
Three things you can count on every September: The New York Mets will choke away a playoff berth, FOX will unveil a new reality show entitled, Yes, I Have No Dignity, and the Saints' "much-improved defense" will be exposed as being not improved at all. To that latter point: A week after letting Jason Campbell and the pedestrian Redskins' offense put up 29 points and 455 total yards, New Orleans went to Denver last week and got torched for 34 points and 369 yards. So, in a nutshell, the same rule applies here as in the Denver-Kansas City contest: It's difficult to cover a big pointspread when you can't stop an opponent from scoring. And make no mistake, this 49ers offense can put points on the board, having rolled up 33 and 31 on the Seahawks and Lions, respectively, the last two weeks. In fact, San Francisco quarterback J.T. O'Sullivan has a higher passer rating (104.6) than that of Saints QB Drew Brees (103.9).

Speaking of Brees, sure, he's at the controls of an explosive weapon, but right now it's a weapon missing too many bullets. His top wide receiver, Marques Colston went down with a thumb injury in Week 1 and is still several weeks away from returning. Then this week, tight end Jeremy Shockey had hernia surgery and he's down for more than a month. Memo to Reggie Bush: Might want to check your health insurance coverage; you know how these things tend to happen in threes. New Orleans is 4-11 ATS in its last 15 games as a favorite in the Superdome, and they're laying too many points here.

Cardinals +2 at Jets
My sources informed me that Brett Favre sent a text message to Packers GM Ted Thompson this week that read as follows: "Hey Ted - Uh, any chance that $25 million please-stay-retired offer is still on the table?" Seriously, how do you think ol' No. 4 is feeling right now about his decision to un-retire and hitch his Hall-of-Fame wagon to the moribund Jets? His receivers can't get open, his offensive line provides about as much protection as a punctured condom, and his defense couldn't play dead in a western. (I think my 82-year-old grandmother could've gotten free in the Jets' secondary and scored a touchdown Monday night in San Diego - and she uses a walker to get around!) And if that's not bad enough, there's Favre's new coach, Eric "The Weenie" Mangini, who brilliantly decided to try an onside kick Monday after narrowing the deficit against the Chargers to 17-14. If they handed out Ph.D.s for surrendering momentum, "Mangenious" would have to build a new mantel.

So now the Jets, with a gimpy Favre (ankle injury) and playing on a short week after a miserable 3,000-mile flight home from San Diego, have to face an improving Cardinals team that prudently chose to remain on the East Coast after last week's tough 24-17 loss at Washington rather than go back home to Arizona and travel all the way back to New Jersey. Besides, do you think after watching Philip Rivers and his arsenal of weapons shred the Jets' defense Monday that Arizona's trio of Warner, Fitzgerald and Boldin are drooling over the fact that it's their turn to put up big numbers? Finally, remember that it was just two weeks ago that the Jets lost convincingly at home to Matt Cassel and the Patriots - the same Patriots who lost by 25 points at home to Miami last week. Throw in the fact that the Jets are 2-6-1 ATS in their last nine home games, and this one's a no-brainer.

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