Each week our gambling enthusiasts weigh in on key NFL games. Look back at last week’s picks.
Week 6 recap: I went 7-3-1, and Mr. Costello went 4-4-1. We were swimming in our spoils until New Orleans put a damper on things Sunday night.
I’m in the middle of a Boston to Baltimore to San Juan tour, telling kids about the dangers of losing drugs, so there’s precious little time to write. That’s a shame because I would have liked to compose a Wagnerian salute to my Pats, who somehow seemed in total control, even as they let Dallas take the lead in the 3rd quarter. Suffice it to say that the Colts and Pats are in a separate league. Their only real challenge will be staying awake after Thanksgiving, by which time both will be division winners.
Week 7 finds us one week closer to truth.
- I would like to introduce you to the Cleveland test ® (to be fleshed out as today’s column and the season progresses). When evaluating talent in the NFC, I will predict teams’ records of the for the rest of the season if they played games against Cleveland only. Dallas (6-4) proves to be a little better than the Browns. The rest of the NFC elite, represented by Tampa, the Gints, Green Bay, and the Skins, amass 5-5 records. Arizona manages a 3-5-2, because weird shit always happens in the desert, and Seattle gets a last second field goal in OT of the 10th game to go 3-7.
- This is the Jags moment. If they manage to play Indy tight (and this means a 4th quarter tie or lead), they will officially become the 4th goodish team in the league (Pitt also deserves this designation).
- This week’s headline. NO way NO catches TB to GO to PO.
Atlanta at New Orleans (-9, 42.5), 1 p.m.
Stefan: Let’s see…heads. Which is to say that I think NO will mimic the Chargers and put up some good numbers against bad teams (now that they’re broken the curse that Old Mama Three Toes put on them after losing a grand on them in the NFC championships). Take the tease on this one – NO and the Over.
Brooke: Dashed Dreams Bowl I: Both of these teams would go 2-8 against the Browns and that is mainly because the Browns aren’t that good. Atlanta gets their second win here and the Under is a lock by the third quarter and everyone is left to wonder why Drew Breese’s WRs can’t get open. And the answer is: they prefer not to.
Baltimore (-3) at Buffalo (34.5), 1 p.m.
Stefan: Teases are the refuge of the weak and confused. I love the tease of Buff and the Under, unless Losman starts, in which case I’d stick with the Under plain and simple.
Brooke: I love my Bills and they are going to win this one. Really. I mean it. And everyone in WNY will be talking about how they easily could be 4-2. Just wait. Now for the real shocker. They are about get healthy on D and win 4 straight. Really. I mean it. And everyone in WNY will be talking about how they easily could be 7-2. Just wait. Then my boys play NE again and we Buffalonians can finally start concentrating on the Sabres.
New England (17) at Miami (51), 1 p.m.
Stefan: Anyone who looked at this matchup historically would look at the spread and Over and lick their chops – these teams play each other tight and hard. Here are some numbers to chew on (to belabor the mastication thing):
- NE is 2-7 ATS in their last 9 against Miami
- Home team is 12-3 ATS in the last 15 meetings between the teams
- Miami beat NE 21 to zip last December…the December before they got within a quarter of the Super bowl.
If you’re frightened by the 17, take a look at the Under. I don’t see Miami letting NE tee off the way they’ve been for the last few weeks – that’s just how these teams play. Miami will be trying to run the ball which should speed the clock and New England clearly will want to work on their running game after last week in Dallas. Oh, and Miami just traded their best receiver to the Chargers.
Brooke: The only thing NE has not done this year is pitch a shut out. They are very hard to do, but 28-7 is not that hard to do against the Fins. Straight Under is probably the safe bet here, but if you like to roll the dice, blind bet the Pats until they lose for you.
San Fran at Giants (-10,39), 1 p.m.
Stefan: If Trent Dilfer is starting for SF, it’s going to be another 12 sack day for the Giants. Trent has the pocket mobility of Larry King. Ten points is a lot for a Giants team that likes to keep it interesting, but if Baltimore can hold them to 6 points at home, SF probably won’t be dazzling in the Meadowlands.
Brooke: Eli Manning is no Tony Romo, but it is possible that ex-Bill Nate Clements gets a pick, and if that happens early the first half may be interesting (read scary) for bettors. San Fran has a hell of a rookie middle linebacker. Mills is the kind of player the Browns would kill for, but SF would gladly swap the rest of their lineup (sorry Nate) for what the Land of Cleve has. Don’t let the 10 points scare you, take the Gints or the Under or if need be tease the Gints and the Under.
Jets at Cincinnati (-6, 47), 1 p.m.
Stefan: This is a match-up of two teams that had modest dreams at the beginning of the season that have since been broken and sold off for scrap. I will absolutely not be betting on this game, in part because I would feel some obligation to watch it. Based on nothing except that Cincinnati plays like they’re in the NFC, I like the Jets to upset on the road.
Brooke: Dashed Dreams Bowl II: I like Pennington and I truly hope NE picks him up as their back up next year. Cinci is going to score a lot of points. I mean lots. NY will put up their highest total in 2 seasons as well, and we will have our Over by midway through the third quarter.
Pittsburgh (-3) at Denver (39), 8 p.m.
Stefan: Pitt has had a week to heal up and get ready for this game. I’d like them at 3 points if they had been stranded at sea for the last two weeks with nothing but seagull meat and the thought of playing the Broncos to sustain them.
Brooke: Yep. I wish these two teams played every week. (This is a good game to build a three game tease on. See chart at bottom of page.)
Indy (-3) at Jax (44.5), Monday night.
Stefan: Yes, Jacksonville plays Indy tough every time. Yes, they’re getting better. Yes, they’re a home dog. No, none of that matters. Until they meet in a few weeks, if you can get Indy or the Pats at less than a touchdown, take it. I would be amenable to any tease that includes Jacksonville, since a blowout seems unlikely. Let’s say a tease of Wash, bringing them to a 2 point fave at home over Zona.
Brooke: This is the trap-trap game of the week. If Jacksonville was 1-4,2-3, or 3-2 coming into to this game I think I would lean toward the Jags, but they will not be surprising Indy this year. Indy does not want to play NE in NE for the AFC championship, and they know these are the kind of games that you have to win if you want to go 14-2 or better. So the question is do the win by 2 or do they win by 4? I say Indy brings it’s A game and covers in the Game of the Season Pt 2.
Three team tease of the week:
- Wash (to 1 from -8)
- NO (to 0 from -9)
- Pitt (to 6 from -3)