The Weekly Gambling Debacle
NFL: 31-26-0 NCAA: 2-5-0 Last week: 9-4-0 Season total: 33-30-0
$ Wagered: 1135 $ Won: 475.5 $ Lost: -635 $Net: -157.5
My picks have been good, choosing where to put money…not so good. If you’re reading this, maybe you should be choosing who to bet on. I don’t know. With a 9-4 week, we should have done much better. The momentum is definitely with us going forward though, 18-9 the last two weeks, and dominate a 70% in the NFL. We are finally over .500 after a lackluster start. Our focus is viscous and this week looks like another chance to take advantage of some favorable lines.
The NFL has been littered with easily sellable news stories. The Jim vs. Jim near fight was almost as entertaining as the Niners/Lions game (and that is saying a lot for a game of teams with a combined 1 loss). I am glad the NFL didn’t fine anybody after the brush up. No one threw a punch and the NFL should be harnessing coaches with passion/enthusiasm, not punishing them for letting that boil over and simultaneously giving me the best quote of the year, “Slap, grab handshake”. I loved the near fight, but not nearly as much as I loved that Andy Reid gut punch. If you don’t know what I am talking about here you go (focus in at 14 seconds): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4UJKHfabIQ
Nothing else seems to be working in pushing the Eagles to where they want to be; maybe a good ol’ coach sucka punch will motivate. My favorite part… the fact that no one responded to it. Not Asante Samuels, not Desean Jackson nor any of the assistant coaches standing adjacent to Reid. And maybe that’s how it should be… ignore your coach’s pain and just win baby. That is I feel right now. That big -157.5 number up there makes me sick. But were ignoring it. The last two weeks have been legit and more in line with how we expect our picks to go, now we plan to get the wagering on point. So here we go:
NFL (Lines as of Friday, October 21, 2011 per Las Vegas Hilton. Home Team in bold).
Tampa Bay (+1) over Chicago
The Bears are 2-4 ATS this year. LaGarrett Blounte is out. Tampa’s run defense is the one liability that will keep them from dominating being favored by more. Chicago has no o-line, no significant wide receivers and will not be able to throw the ball at all against this Tampa D. Raheem Morris has done an excellent job of keeping his team focused through a season and a half and will not allow a let-down after a big win last week over the Saints. Combining all this with Josh Freeman’s ability to lead 4th quarter comebacks, I like Tampa getting one point in this one.
Carolina (-2.5) over Washington
Coverin’ Cam leads his potent offense in a home matchup against the newly anointed QB of the Redskins, John Beck. For most games, if you pick the best QB you have a good chance of picking a winner. Without any real chance of capitalizing on Carolina’s horrendous defense, the Panthers should be able to cover three in this one. Coverin’ Cam (and his play-callers) will hopefully dial it back, rely on his run game a little more and keep the mistakes to a minimum.
San Diego (-1.5) over NY Jets
Traveling across the country is always tough. That usually sets the line a little lower, especially for a west coast team travelling 3000 miles and playing at 10 am Eastern time slot. Even with all that against them, bettors have moved the line from +2.5 to -1.5. A great bet if you took the moneyline early in the week (and again highlights the benefits of putting money down early). I still like this line for the Chargers who I have winning with or without Antonio Gates. Ryan Matthews is emerging as running back worthy of the first round pick the Chargers spent on him and the Jets defense has looked old, at best, against good teams this year. San Diego Super Chargers!!!!!
Seattle (+3) over Cleveland
At the beginning of the season I had a feeling the Browns might do what the Niners are doing and break out to a nice record. But with their only wins being against the beleaguered Colts and Dolphins, this feeling last lost its gusto. They were dominated by a Britt-less Titans and would have lost by 3 scores if Jason Campbell had not gone down last week. Seattle comes off a bye week with plenty of time to prepare. They might be the only team in the league would will play better with their backup QB in and that’s what they get this week with Tavaris Jackson out. Seattle proved they can show up on the road after doing it two weeks ago against the Giants.
Tennessee (-3) over Houston
I said last week that Gray Kubiak would be at risk of losing his job if the Texans don’t start playing better and get back to leading their division in the first year they have avoided playing Peyton Manning. Without Andre Johnson and Mario Williams, it will be hard for them to get off against a tough, grinding Titans team. CJ 2000 has to get off sometime soon; this week is looking friendly for that prediction and fantasy owners. Gary Kubiak don’t buy any real estate in Houston anytime soon.
Denver (+1) over Miami
TTTTEEEEBBBOOOOOOWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Tim Tebow era will open in Miami, where they will be honoring one of Tebow’s national championship teams at halftime. With Miami’s lackluster talent/performance/quarterback/team/everything and the nearly home field advantage that Denver and Tebow will feel in Florida, I really like Denver in this matchup. Miami comes off a short week and a brutal performance by the offense on Monday. Denver is reenergized by the Tebow infusion and has had a bye week to adjust and get the Tebow playbook set.
Atlanta (+3.5) over Detroit
I especially liked this line when it opened at +6 for Atlanta on Monday. I’ll still take it at +3.5 today. Detroit has trouble running the ball and Atlanta is built for a dome taking away an advantage Detroit usually has at home.
Oakland (-6) over Kansas City
Carson Palmer is still a good QB. Everyone is pointing to his lackluster stats over his past two years in Cincy. His QB rating was still in the low 80s with eroding talent at all skills positions, a terrible o-line and a defense that couldn’t keep games close enough to allow the offense to utilize the run game. Palmer will lead this team to the playoffs and a cover over a bad Chiefs team. *If Carson doesn’t start, this line could be a hell of a lot more sketchy…
Arizona (+4) over Pittsburgh
Dallas (+13) over St. Louis
St. Louis is 0-5 and 0-5 ATS this season. Neither trend stops.
Bold prediction # 5: The Dallas Cowboys will be in first place in the NFC East by Thanksgiving weekend. Look at their schedule. St. Louis, at Philly, Seattle, Buffalo, at Washington and Miami all before Thanksgiving. That is at least 4 wins. And there is no reason they cannot win all 6. That would put them between 8 and 6 wins after Thanksgiving. I am leaning high. The Eagles have less wins, the Redskins are a mess and could easily lose their next 3 games and fall to 3-5 and the Giants have the hardest schedule in the history of mankind starting in November. The Giants might have 6 or 7 wins and if they play great and steal a win against the Patriots or at San Francisco they could match the Cowboys’ eight wins by Thanksgiving. After that it’s all downhill with 2 games against the Cowboys, at the Saints and at the Jets and home matchups against the Packers and Redskins.
Green Bay (-9) over Minnesota
Green Bay = Great team, Minnesota = Bad team.
Indianapolis (-14) over New Orleans
The Saints might score 50. But the news about Olin Kreutz and the huge 14 points is just a little too much for me to take. I still love you New Orleans.
Baltimore (-8) over Jacksonville
Has given up just 5 touchdowns in the last 12 quarters. And those games were against Sam Bradford, Marc Sanchez and Matt Schaub, all of whom are better and more experienced QBs than Blaine Gabbert. Baltimore should be able to keep the Jags and Gabbery to less than 2 TDs. This means 21 points by Ray Rice and an offense that should have excellent field position all night will be enough to cover.
NCAA (Lines as of Friday, October 7, 2011 per Las Vegas Hilton. Home Team in bold).
West Virginia (-14) over Syracuse
West Virginia can score the rock. Syracuse lost by 21 to a USC team that is nowhere near as talented as West Virginia.
Illinois (-4) over Purdue
Ron Zook’s team is getting some extra points because of the weak showing last weekend against Ohio State. But Purdue has no, repeat, no athletes on the par with those at the Ohio State and that is what gave Illinois so much trouble. The Fighting Illini have defeated Arizona State and Northwestern, both of whom are better teams than Purdue. The betting has moved this line down from -6 to -4; I would have taken it at -6.
***Per my own rules I cannot put money down on my own team. In case you haven’t noticed or have been sleepily reading through my articles; I am a huge Notre Dame fan. Therefore I do not put money on the Fighting Irish. If there was ever a time I wanted to change this rule, it is this weekend. Notre Dame is getting 9 points against a young, injury-plagued and inexperienced USC team. It is the first night game in over 20 years at Notre Dame and the crown should be raucous. USC pass defense is atrocious and will be down one starter and one contributor due to injury. If I could I would take the points in a heartbeat.
Picks to place money on: (All money wagers are $55 to win $50 unless otherwise noted)
*Just to clarify based on some questions that I have been asked:
-Wagering= Games I am telling you to put money onto/am betting myself.
-Near bets= Games that I was close to betting.
-Kryptonite= Games I am terrified of and you could not force me to gamble on.
Wagering: West Virginia and Illinois covering as favorites. Carolina, Denver, Baltimore and Green Bay.
Near bets: None.
Kryptonite: San Diego, Atlanta, Oakland.