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I'll admit, I went to bed before the Red Sox dramatic comeback last night at Fenway Park. Then again, I know a lot of people that went to bed or left the park, as well. But they all did it when the score was 5-0, or if that wasn't enough, waited until Upton hooked one of the wall in left off Papelbon to make it 7-0. For me, I waited until Ortiz launched a Tiger Woods tee shot into the right field seats to make it 7-4 and a ballgame again. I couldn't do it. I was exhausted and sure the Rays would hold on. The last thing I wanted to do was stay up waiting for a dramatic comeback and not get it, or even worse, root for the Rays to hold and collapse. So instead, I slept soundly until I got a text from a buddy saying, "Wow. What a comeback." Mind you, I'm rooting for the Rays here for several reasons:

1) I just don't like Boston. Not when the team is led by Pedroia and Youkilis, two of the biggest crapheads in all of baseball.

2) Carlos Pena. We both played at Northeastern, although I'd say he played a bit more and a bit better than I did. I also played with his brother Omar, who was a hell of a player himself.

3) Evan Longoria. What a player.

4) What a story. This team is so exciting to watch, and after 10 years of holding down the fort in the basement of the AL East all those first round picks are paying on.

5) I have a friendly lunch bet going with a co-worker who is also a season ticket holder at Fenway. I'm not exactly making bank right now, so any free lunch is certainly welcome when I can get it.

Nonetheless, at least the comeback makes the series exciting again, and will give the Rays the chance to clinch at home. But I said it after Game 4 and I'll say it again, Francona lined up his rotation for this exact situation. Down 3-1, he had a fighting chance with Dice-K, Beckett and Lester. Although the Sox dodged a bullet last night with Dice-K, they now send one of the greatest postseason pitchers of all time seeking redemption, and one of the best lefties in the game today coming off a rough start. The Sox are in great shape to make another run, but the Rays have been resilient all year. This should make for absolute tremendous threater. Too bad Chip Carey and company have the call. Where's Donny O. and Rem-Dawg when you need 'em?

Game six actually being necessary does pose a bit of a problem for us here at The Sports Brief, however. You see, UFC 89 takes place in England on Saturday and is being show, for free, on SpikeTV in a delayed telecast. Headlining the card is an exciting showdown between two promising middleweights. Chris "The Crippler" Leben, fresh of a 30-day stint in the slammer, takes on Michael "The Count" Bisping, who has looked very impressive in a pair of middleweight fights since dropping from 205. Keefe and I are both die-hard Leben fans. He's an exciting fighter who loves to brawl and has a chin of iron, granite, brick, whatever. The only guy to knock him out is Anderson Silva, and well, it's almost an honor at this point to be knocked out by Silva. Bisping, meanwhile, is relentless. He fights at a torrid pace, something you might expect out of Manny Pacquiao at 135 lbs. He doesn't throw bombs like Leben, and his chin, for the most part, is untested. But he's highly skilled, athletic and agile, and it should make for a terrific matchup.

On the undercard, Keith "The Dean of Mean" Jardine takes on Brandon "The Truth" Vera. Jardine is coming off that awful, brutal beatdown at the hands of The Axe Murderer. But he's taking on Vera, a fighter with a completely different style and approach, perhaps one that is tailored to Jardine's liking. Vera is in search of an impressive victory after a couple snoozers for wins, but Jardine is in the same boat.

Keefe and I will go on the record as saying that we like Leben and Jardine, both 'dawgs in Vegas, to come out as winners on Saturday. If you can parlay that ass, let us know. You should consider doing it too.

Onto the picks. I'm praying that Romo starts this week. I have him in four fantasy leagues and need him. I went to pick up Brad Johnson in those leagues as insurance, but in my ESPN league, "Turd Ferguson" (my girlfriend's brother) made a strategic move and claimed him on waivers ahead of me. Well played. I texted him and told him I hope Romo plays just to spite him. Some solid action ahead of us this weekend, including what could be a brutal Monday Night game between the Broncos and Pats. Keefe and I are heading to Gillette next week for the Rams game. Normally we'd be excited, but with Matt Cassel at the helm, that's certainly not the case these days.

For Random Rob this week, I utilized the little box of paper clips on my desk. I counted out seven red (Home team), seven blue (Away team), seven green (Favorite) and seven purple (Underdog). I gave it a hard shake or two, then drew a clip for each game, matching up the color with the respective team.

Keefe's picks:

Last week 7-7, overall 43-45

Chargers +0.5 over the Bills

In a basically pick em game I’ll go with San Diego after what they did to the Pats last week. Bills are good, but get their 2nd loss.

Bears -3.5 over Vikings

Kyle Orton has provided some passing to the offense that’s needed a boast. Matt Forte is solid, but they’ll be better off passing this week in the battle of 3-3 teams in the NFC North.

Steelers -9.5 over Bengals

Is Carson Palmer healthy? I don’t know.

Chiefs +7.5 over Titans

Undefeated Titans have a close call in a game they should dominate. Chris Johnson has good game coming off the bye week.

Saints +3.5 over Panthers

Carolina D looks sorry last week, think the Saints should put up some points.

Cowboys -6.5 over Rams

Roy Williams, in. Pacman Jones, out. Tony Romo, ? Either way America’s team wins by at least a touchdown.

Dolphins -2.5 over Ravens

Ravens O is terrible. The D, is ok. Miami will continue to surprise with another W.

49ers +10.5 over Giants

Giants should bounce back with a win, but asking them to cover with that number, is too much.

Texans -8.5 over Lions

How many 1 win teams in week 7 of the NFL season have been 8.5 point favorites? I’ll still take Schaub, Andre Johnson and the Texans.

Raiders +3.5 over Jets

If the Jets are going to be a playoff team this is one they need to have. I think they win it, but it’s close.

Browns +7.5 over Redskins

Browns beat the Giants, and the Skins loss to the Rams, and Washington is understandably 7.5 point favorites this week. How about the NFL? Anderson and Edwards looked like the ’07 Browns last week, keep an eye on them.

Packers +1.5 over Colts

Colts looked good last week, but how much does it matter? I’ll take Aaron Rodgers and the points this week. No Addai for Indy.

Buccaneers -10.5 over Seahawks

Talk about a stinker on Sunday Night. Seattle is hurting, and quietly Tampa Bay is having a nice season. Can that city have playoff baseball and football this year?

Broncos +3.5 over Patriots

Patriots don’t deserve to be the favorites after last weeks game. It’s not just Matt Cassel hurting this team. The secondary was brutal. Malcolm Floyd and Vincent Jackson looked like All-Pros, what will Brandon Marshall and Eddie Royal do on MNF? I’m afraid to watch.

Besse's picks:

Last week: 5-9, Overall: 48-40

Chargers +0.5 over Bills

San Diego looked impressive against the Patriots last week, and I still think the Bills are slightly overrated. Edwards suffered a concussion and it'll be interesting to see how he bounces back after the bye week. LT has a solid two score game.

Vikings +3.5 over Bears

Matt Ryan passed for 301 yards against that Bears secondary. Gus Frerotte is a solid veteran who will find some open lanes through the air and create a little breathing room for AP. Bears may win by a FG, but don't cover.

Steelers -9.5 over Bengals

Carson Palmer is out. Willie Parker is also out. Bengals have a solid pass defense, and but Mewelde Moore has been a nice fill-in. He should rush for 100 yards and a score or two while Big Ben should just limit the mistakes. Solid win for the Steelers here.

Titans -7.5 over Chiefs

Larry Johnson has been suspended and the Chiefs already suck. Look for a virtual shutout in this one for the Titans defense.

Saints +3.5 over Panthers

This could be a fun game to watch two offenses go at it. Both quarterbacks have a lot of weapons, but Brees is one of the best in the game AND he gets Colston AND Shockey (potentially) back this week. I really like this Saints team.

Rame +6.5 over Cowboys

Cowboys win, but there have been a lot of distractions this week. Pacman is a tough hit to that already porous secondary. Whether Romo plays or not, the offense should be sufficient. With him, it's explosive. But the Rams should have some openings to score points this week and at least keep pace for a while.

Dolphins -2.5 over Ravens

I was sorely disappointed by the Ravens defense last week. And that offense is just pathetic. This seems like a trap game to me in terms of betting, but the Dolphins are playing some solid football these days.

Giants -10.5 over 49ers

This could be the last time JT O'Sullivan quarterbacks an NFL team. He has completely wilted under pressure the last couple weeks, and the Giants defensive line will do just that. Solid bounce back performance for the Giants here.

Texans -8.5 over Lions

I think we have a new poll question. Worst current starting quarterback in football is a) Dan Orlovsky b) JT O'Sullivan c) Joe Flacco d) Seneca Wallace e) Matt Cassel

Jets -3.5 over Raiders

This Jets team is looking better and better to me. Raiders are still a joke, and McFadden is coming down to earth a bit.

Browns +7.5 over Redskins

Good game here. Browns looked like they found themselves a bit last week. Jason Campbell needs to pull his head out of his ass and start looking for Santana Moss again. Redskins should bounce back with a win, but no way do they cover the spread.

Colts -1.5 over Packers

No Addai? No problem. Colts continue to roll over Rodgers and the Packers with Dominic Rhodes filling in. Pick him up in fantasy.

Buccaneers -10.5 over Seahawks

This spread could have been 80 and I would have taken the Bucs. Seahawks are the worst team in the NFL right now without Matt Hasselbeck.

Broncos +3.5 over Patriots

How are the Pats a favorite? I can't believe this. I feel like this is one of those "bet the house on this one" games. Even if the Pats find a way to win, it's only by a field goal. Broncos are just a much better team on paper.

Random Rob's picks:

Last week: 9-5, Overall: 53-35

Chargers

Vikings

Bengals

Chiefs

Panthers

Cowboys

Dolphins

Giants

Texans

Raiders

Browns

Colts

Bucs

Pats

Like what you see? Check out more of The Sports Brief at http://sportsbrief.blogspot.com or e-mail us at sportsbrief@gmail.com

-Bess


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