It’s the second volume for the week, and we’re already behind. In the middle of the third quarter, our prediction of Cleveland looked like a lock, and the Under was still at least a plausible hope. Ten minutes later all hell had broken loose, the Cleveland secondary unilaterally decided that 45 minutes was more than enough to play, and both sides of the bet were history. Sorry about that. Brooke adds: Cleveland has lost back to back games they have led by 13, and are forever forward on my not-to-bet for list.
For a quick look back…I was 10-6 last week, while Brooke went 6-10-1 (based on the spreads when we wrote the article on Thursday…that’s reasonable isn’t it?) That brings our combined yearly tally to 136-112, 55% clip.
Gints @ Phi (-3,47.5)
ST: I think that Brooke is right when he suggests that the Giants will lose at least 3 games. I just think they’ll be surprises – great teams get up for big games, and this is one of them. The Giants are the best team in a weirdly poor league this year and I can’t recommend against them, even in Philly. I also like any tease that includes the Giants – 9 point underdogs? Who doesn’t think that sounds good.
BC: Both these guys are ATS superstars. Both these guys beat the living snot out of Big Ben. Philly did it through blitzing. The Gints did it through their front four more or less. Westbrook is back, as is Curtis. NY is probably the best team in football. There are lots of reasons to like either team. I feel NY will end the season 13-3 or 12-4 and how do they get there? Losing to Philly by 4 in week 10. I also like this under as a separate call.
Rams @ Jets (-8, 44.5)
ST: I’ve never disliked Brett Favre beyond a mild annoyance at his ‘just the tip’ retirement teases and unerring ability to throw INTs when I bet on him. I’ve also never really minded the Jets, even though they ‘compete’ for the AFC East with my Patriots. Joe Namath is, after all, the coolest man in football lore. The combination of the two, however, is one that I’m starting to loathe. These guys get up for big games, shrivel for walk-overs and manage to zig to the wrong side of every bet I make that includes them. So, first pick: don’t listen to me. Second, I like the Rams to somehow keep it interesting.
BC: My wife and I are looking forward to seeing the new 007 movie. I’m really into Bond girls strutting around in torn eveningwear and Justine has a big thing for guns and explosions. The Rams detonator Stephen Jackson will not be dressed on Sunday and that about does it for the Rams mini surge, but the Jets feel smug faster than any 5-3 team I have ever seen. They will have to work for this one. Rams and Rams and the Over as a tease.
Jag @ Lions (+7, 45)
ST: When you look at the Lions’ stats for the year the question isn’t how they’ve gone winless, but how they’ve kept some of those losses close. Their leading rusher has 70 attempts because they rarely have the luxury of running, yet their number two receiver hasn’t been on the team for three weeks. The Jags are coming off a game where they let the Bengals get their first win, and they don’t want to be embarrassed again. Does it matter? I hope so. So long as this line doesn’t move, take the Jags, but with Daunte Culpepper a possible starter, it probably will.
BC: I was at a party not long ago, and somebody was talking about a livestock farm that had recently been shut down because its main product was lion meat. The notion of a lion meat farm offended the wrong people. Action was taken, and the farm was out of business. I would like to state for the record that I have never eaten lion, but I have eaten dog, possum, guinea pig, raccoon, whale, rattle snake… you get the picture. My main problem with the Lion farm that they have in Detroit is that they have not been losing by enough points lately. I think they will this week. Jags.
Titans @ Bears (+3, 38.5)
ST: These teams play relatively similar styles, only the Titans do it a lot better. Titans.
B: Chicago is without their Kyle Orton. So what, you say? Every team in the league will be without Kyle Orton this week. That’s true but only the Bears replace Kyle Orton with Rex Grossman. Titans ATS until the wheels fall off.
Bill @ Pats (-4, 42)
ST: The Bills are better than they’ve played the last few weeks, but they can’t seem to get up for Divisional games. The Pats meanwhile are learning what it’s like to be a pedestrian team with a legitimate shot to get to the playoffs before being easily handled in the first round. Pats have the edge in pretty much every category, but it’s hard to get a bead on either team since they’ve been lucky enough to play meatballs more weeks than not, sadly including each other. I’d love it at 3 points, but can live with 4.
BC: My good friend Stefan called me when my Bills were 4-0 and told me that statistically the Bills were as good as in the playoff. Teams that start the season 4-0 almost always get in, he said. I think he foresaw this week 10 matchup and he knew his team would be playing all around solid Billy-ball while mine would be dropping like a stone to the back of the AFC East pack. The same $100,000,000.00 offensive line that opened holes for Marshawn and kept the QB clean last year is in such a fuddle right now that it’s impossible not to lean the other way. Pats and the over separate bets.
NO @ Atl (-1, 50)
ST: You figure Atlanta wins an Under and NO an Over, so take Atlanta and the Over to hedge and possibly win both.
BC: Jeremy Shockey should be suiting up Sunday and I’m sure he’ll catch a TD and then start telling all the Saints who will listen about how good he is and how they can improve. My inclination is Atlanta will be pretty geeked up for this one and that and Shockey’s big mouth are enough for me to take Atlanta and the Over as separate bets.
Sea @ Mia (-9, 43)
ST: 9…wow. But those Hawks are at sea. Tease Miami with anything on the board, or the Under if you want to keep it in the game.
BC: Strange to see a team that was 1-15 last year favored by 9 against a playoff team from last year. The oddsmakers seem to really want us to scare to the Hawks side. Mia ATS.
GB @ Min (-2.5, 44.5)
ST: Here’s a tease to savor; spot GB another six along with the Over.
BC: Minny beat the Lions 12-10 one week and then lost to Chicago 41-48 the next. And somebody once told me the folks in the Twin Cities don’t have a sense of humor. Holy effing shit that’s funny. This is a good manners bet. Give me GB and the over.
Car @ Oak (+9, 37.5)
ST: If Oakland had any wheels, they could have been described as coming off last week. They’re bad and Carolina doesn’t seem to play at different levels for bad teams, which you’ve got to love as a bettor. Carolina teased with Miami or GB if you need the breathing room, but I’ll take Carolina straight up.
BC: Didn’t Oak gain 31 yds total last week? Carolina tease w/ under.
KC @ SD (-15, 47)
ST: San Digeo hasn’t done much to earn my respect and the last time KC came up against a huge spread in SD they won the damned thing outright. Gimme a tease of the Chiefs and the Over.
BC: 15 points seems like a lot of respect for a 3-5 team which is pretty much the only reason I like it. SD averages over 32pts a game at home and they should be good for a little bit more against KC. Give me SD and Over on separate accounts.
Ind @ Pit (-3, 42)
ST: You’ve got to like Pitt here. Indy barely beat the Pats at home last week, and sad to say, Pitt is much better than the Pats.
BC: I am very pleased Indy won that game last week. It shaved 2 points of Pitt’s handy-cap and those 2 points make this really pretty easy. Indy is at the bottom of the ATS barrel and Pitt will bring the lumber and nails to make sure they don’t sneak out. Put a lump on Pitt and the Under.
Bal @ Hou (pick, 42)
ST: This seems like just the sort of game Baltimore will win – Ravens.
BC: Baltimore is battering their way into the playoffs and Houston is just the kind of team to fight for 3 quarters and then lose interest. Put a double lump on Baltimore.
SF @ Zona (-9, 46)
ST: If it looks like a blowout and smells like a blowout…take AZ straight and the AZ/Over tease.
BC: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and if you live and love in the Bay Area you should avert your eyes Monday night. How many yards can a person throw for in a sixty minute football game? Kurt Warner is about to show us. BTW: Here we have our one and only Hero/Villain match-up of the week. Zona is 6-2 ATS and SF is 2-6. Zona and the over as separate bets.