Each week Brooke Costello & Stefan Tornquist bet on the NFL.
We’re getting into that stretch of the season where teams that need to perform don’t and those that can afford to relax yawn their way to victory. Or the reverse.
Strong week 13 for Mr. Costello, going 14-9-1, while I kept my head above .500 at 11-9. Season totals are Brooke 134-129-3 (51.0%) and Stefan 136-97-3 (58.4%).
TB at Atlanta (-3, 44.5)
ST: I’m convinced on the home field thing in the NFC South (thank you Brooke). Take Atlanta and a tease of Tampa and the Under as separate bets. Hey, a mix and match worked last week, let’s roll the dice. By the way, ‘mix and match’ isn’t a real betting term.
B: My main memory of TB on the road is the 30-27 nail-biter against KC a few weeks ago. It’s a puzzling score for a number of reasons, but mainly why would that proud D let the Chiefs hang 27 on them. The answer is the old guys on the team don’t like to travel. ATL is young, dumb and full of Gatorgum. ATL and the Over separately.
Buff at Jets (-8, 41)
ST: Brooke and I nursed our hangovers by drinking away our Sunday watching his beloved Bills play their way out of contention against a surprisingly consistent Miami team. Fortunately, we weren’t drinking every time the Bills screwed up. This is a team that’s gone round the bend and it’s hard to see them coming out of their stupor. Tease the Jets and the Over.
B: OMG!!!! WTF!!!!!! NLMAO!!!!! Losman’s starting!!!! Take the Under!
Tenn at Houston (+3.5, 45)
ST: Why do I like Houston here? No defensible reason, but I smell an upset of half point proportions. Tennessee should be fired up to seal up home field and take the potential bite out of that game with Pitt next week, but that might be too abstract a motivation. Houston is playing for love of the game. Small bets on the Texans and the Over separately.
B: Houston has won 6of9 which is fun for everyone. They out maneuvered Mia, Cinci, Cleve, GB, Det, and the Jags. I’m not impressed by that! The Bills have won 6 games also and would you bet them against the Titans. I thought not. Houston will assume a new position this week and I don’t think they’ll enjoy it much. Tenn and the Over.
Pitt at Balt (-1.5, 34)
ST: This will be a good game. That prediction is solid. Beyond that, I’m torn. I really like the way Baltimore plays, especially at home. Meanwhile, you can’t take away what the Steelers are able to accomplish week in and week out. This is an emotional pick, but I’m going with Baltimore. Any tease that includes the Under is a more realistic recommendation.
B: Unless you include Philly (Tying Cinci means I won’t until they win a playoff game) Baltimore has only beaten average or worse teams. And they have feasted against bad teams in an early season college, USC vs Montana, kind of way. After so many horrible beatings this year Big Ben is mostly numb all over. He only starts getting rattled when the other team gets into the double digits on sacks. He is a Pro and the Steelers have some real playmakers. It’s possible this will be a Philly-Pitt repeat, but I think the Steelers close the Ravens out. Steelers and the over.
Minny at Cards (-3, 48)
ST: The Vikes are missing the Williams sisters this weekend, and possibly Gus Ferotte. Ok, so missing Gus is a mixed blessing, but without a pass rush, their weak secondary should be easy picking for a Cards team that’s playing for position and pride.
B: Zona should really be playing in the NFC South. It’s not just that they happen to lose more on the road than at home (most teams do) but it’s that they lose badly on the road and they win handily at home. I spent about three minutes thinking about it just now and I think I have the answer. The defense shows up in Arizona. The Cards at home giving three points. I’ll take it.
Gints at Dallas (-3, 45.5)
ST: I love me some Giants. I know, I know…they came out as flat as a putting green in Kansas against Philly, and they’ve got little to play for, but this is a bounce-back team. They love playing on the road and they do not want losses within the division, even with it wrapped up. Meanwhile, Dallas will be playing desperate, but not all teams react the same way to having their backs against the wall. Some teams calmly ask for a smoke while eying paths to escape, while others plead for mercy and soil themselves. I like the sniping Cowboys to go the second route. Giants and a tease of the Giants and the Over.
B: Cleveland beat the crap out the Giants and did that make the Gints a bad team? Did that make Cleveland a good one? Philly beat the crap out of… well you get the point. The Giants are a good team. The Cowboys were a good team for most of last year and for a couple weeks this year. TO is the Bernard Madoff of football, a very talented fraud. A single man that changes a team/financial universe, seemingly for the better and finally and tragically for the worse. Gints ATS for a small piece of Madoff’s “gone fishin’” $50,000,000,000.00.
Cleveland at Philly (-14,39)
ST: Philly is playing angry. Everybody is at least interested in their individual reputations if nothing else. Cleveland doesn’t seem much interested in anything but playing some golf in Bocca. 14 is mighty heavy so I wouldn’t go large, but Philly just might cover.
B: This is the “Which disappointing team that beat the Giants is better bowl?” Philly will probably win, but they won’t cover. Browns.
GB at Jax (+2,45)
B: Jax are due. Pack aint.
Detroit at Indy (-17,45)
S: Tease of Detroit and the Over
Wash at Cincy (+7,36.5)
B: Wash and Wash and Under teased.
SF at Miami (-6.5, 41.5)
S: Tease of Miami and the Over
Seat at STL (+3,43.5)
Denver at Carolina (-7.5,48)
B: Carolina and Tease Car w Over
SD at KC (+5,46)
NE at Oak (+7,39.5)
S: Tease of NE and the Under