Stefan Tornquist and Brooke Costello review the NFL from a gambling perspective.
For those of you who think to themselves, “why the hell do I read these guys”… a quick comparison with the ‘Pros’ through week 9 may come as a shock:
|About.com (James Alder)||69||71||49%|
|Dr. Z (SI.com)||32||37||46%|
Admittedly, we haven’t found every free picker out there and we’ll do more for the year-end wrap, so send us your favorites. Also, Brooke has picked 20 more sides than I have (and more than the others) making it that much harder to go over .500. Finally, I include Jay Novachek because he doesn’t pick against the spread, and is at 60%. Without a spread, the plastic brain in the doctor’s office should pick at 70%.
Buff at KC (+3, 43.5)
ST: Tough run for Buffalo and I’d defer to the expert on how Buffalo will respond to being effectively out of the running for the AFC East Championship that seemed to be theirs a few weeks ago. KC has been effective at home and I’d be tempted to give them and the Over six apiece.
BC: RIP to my Bills. Trent Edwards has been channeling his inner Rex Grossman. And Dick Jauron has been channeling his inner, well, his inner Dick Jauron. The worst part of all this for a diehard is there are some great characters on this team. Guys it’s hard not to like. Roscoe Parish, Marshawn “The Beast” Lynch (Listen to one of interviews. He’s hilarious.) Donte Whitner, Kyle “Fat Boy” Williams, Leodis “X-Man” Mckelvin, and even Trent “Perfect Name for a QB” Edwards. Take KC ATS and KC and the Over.
Jets at Tenn (-5,40.5)
ST: The Jets were impressive against New England last week in what had to be the most entertaining game of the season, at least in the second tier of teams. But when New England was down 24 -6, that game should have been over. It wasn’t…not even close. Newbie Matt Cassel sliced up a lousy Jets secondary. It pains me, but the Titans are better than the Pats in every aspect outside of wide receiver. Sooner or later Mr. Hyde is going to sub in for Dr. Favre and it’s probably sooner. Tennessee or a tease of Tenn and the Giants.
B: I haven’t read up on it but I think it was week 11 last year when the ATS super stars NE Pats stopped covering the spread. In fact I’m pretty sure they didn’t cover another spread for the rest of the year. Those spreads were almost all 15+ points. Tennessee is not the 2007 Regular Season Pats. None of the Titans spreads have been fear inducing, and while Jets fans everywhere are having a love-in, I can’t forget that they nearly lost a blow out lead last week and the week before were carved up butt-good by my Bills in the first half. Tenn is solid, and I will not bite the hand that feeds me. Tenn ATS. As a hedge take the Jets in a tasty tease. I.e. Jets/Bucs.
NE at Miami (-2,42)
ST: It ain’t easy beating teams twice in the division, and the Pats have been aching for this one since they were made foolish by the ‘wildcat.’ They’ve had extra time off and can’t you just picture the Unabom…Belichik holed up at 3am scheming? Take New England and the Over as separate bets.
B: Matt Cassel made an awesome throw to Randy Moss who made an even more awesome catch for the tying touchdown last week against the Jets. Then the Jets got the kick and were crushed on the first two plays in Overtime. On third and long they got a first, and then they got another one and another one. This stuff didn’t used to happen to NE. And the Jets OT drive reminded me of the one the Giants used to put this Pats dynasty to pasture. The magic has left the franchise and what’s left are a bunch of fighters who win one and then lose one and then win one again. They win one this week. Pats ATS.
Philly at Baltimore (-1.5, 38.5)
ST: Andy Reid punted on 4th and 1 with almost no time left in overtime, ensuring the first tie in six years. You can imagine the value of a tie in the talented NFC East, and if you’ve ever been to a sporting event in the city of otherworldly hatred, you can guess how roundly Reid and his quarterback are being criticized. Add to their general malaise that Brian Westbrook isn’t himself and take the Ravens, large.
B: Week 12 is my favorite in the new bye-week NFL (It used to be week 11). Each team’s winning percentage is followed by a single digit and then two zeros. “What’s that? You’re 4-6? Great! Your winning percentage is .400. You are exactly .100 behind the 5-5 team in front of you.” This is the way it’s supposed to work, but not Philly (5-4-1) and Cincy (1-8-1). The football gods will make them suffer for their bad math-making (Dear football gods, forgive them. Cincy has already suffered enough.) First the Eagles will lose by 3.5 points to the Ravens, and then they will finish the season 8-7-1 and then they will have to pick after all the 8-8 teams in the draft.
Carolina at Atlanta (-1.5, 42)
ST: I’m going to give Atlanta one more week, especially against Jake Delholme, who is channeling Ryan Leaf.
B: Atlanta is on a three game home-stand and last week’s loss to Denver has to sting. But for the misery they were last year anything above 6-10 has to be seen as gravy. I think they go 3-3 the rest of the way and this is one of the -3. Carolina has been winning through their D, and form should hold. This really should be a pick-em and I pick Carolina, but I really like the Under.
NYG at Arizona (+3.5, 48.5)
ST: A couple of weeks ago Brooke and I took the ladies to Montero’s on Atlantic for some Budweisers, Cheetos and Monday Night Football. I know what you’re thinking…nothing but class. That night Arizona managed to squeak by the 49ers, missing the spread but taking a commanding lead in the NFC West (last year 9-7 was commanding). It gave me a chance to put some faces to the line scores and take stock of the Arizona Phoenix. Outside their mongrel pack, they’ll fold. 3.5 is a bargain.
B: Arizona wins their Division if they win 2 out of their last 6 games. They have home games against Seattle and St. Louis coming up. Hmm. I’d say they’ll be playing in January. Beating the Giants would be special for K Warner, but the rest of the Cardinals will be happy to get off the field in one piece. Give me the Gints and the Under separately.
Indy at San Diego (-2.5, 49)
ST: San Diego is played out ,and Indy seems to be on an upswing. Still, I’ve been on the wrong side of Indy for since they got shellacked in Green Bay. Take them separately or tease Indy to over a TD and the Under to a meaty 55.
B: This one should have been a doozy, and sentimentally I will be pulling for SD just so Denver doesn’t squeak in to the Playoffs. But as the weeks go by Indy improves and SD just doesn’t. They have an amazing will to lose close games. They have lost six games by 2, 1, 5,9,7,1 points and had a chance to win each of those games late. Indy has won six games by similar margins (With the exception of a 31-3 blowout of Balt). This game should be close and I think the record speaks for itself. Indy and the Under separately.
GB at NO (-2.5, 52)
ST: This game is made for a tease – give Green Bay and the Over 6 apiece.
B: Both these teams need this game badly. NO puts points on the board at home slightly faster than they give them up. I’ll take the Saints ATS and the Over.
Cleveland at Houston (+3, 49.5)
BC: Take a tease of Cleveland and the Under.
ST: Tease the Over here with Dallas
SF at Dallas (-10.5, 47.5)
ST: Tease Dallas with anything
BC: Big D ATS.
TB at Detroit (+8.5, 41)
ST: T TB/Over
BC: Detroit covers twice. Once at the end of the game.
Chicago at STL (+8,43)
BC: Chicago returns the favor. Just not to GB. Chi-Town ATS and the under.
Minny at Jax (-2,40.5)
ST: Don’t bet, but Jax if you must
BC: Minny closes out the Jags. ATS and an over.
Oak at Denver (-9.5, 42.5)
ST: Tease D/Under
BC: Den ATS
Wash at Seattle (+3.5, 41)
BC: Washington ATS
Again what can I say but J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets!
— Favre Nov 24, 11:45 AM #