Stefan Tornquist and Brooke Costello bet on the NFL each week.
Tough week in the column (9-10-1 for me) but a worse week in reality. Confident (read, large) bets on Dallas, Philly, Houston and Chicago sunk my battleship. New England was a saving grace, and it was a delight to watch the Jets suck it against Seattle. Brooke had a better week, going 10-7-1 and watching his beloved Bills force an absurd AFC West playoff to see who wins the division at…wait for it…8 and 8.
Titans at Colts (+3, 38)
ST: Neither team has anything to play for in this year’s version of the ‘Not the Face’ Bowl. These guys just want to get out of the game intact. I’d be shocked if Bob Sanders plays a down, or if Peyton sees much time (do the Colts have a backup quarterback?). The Titans are a team of equals as opposed to the Colts star chamber, so if I had to bet, and I don’t, I’d play the Titans.
B: My wife Justine and I just got back from Christmas in Austin TX. It’s a strange experience for a Buffalo guy to open presents on a sunny 72 degree morning. A few days before Christmas my in-laws and Justine and I all went to Luling and Lockhart; two small towns known for having he best BBQ in Texas. Our favorite was Smitty’s. The walls are coated with Post Oak wood smoke and the ribs, brisket, and hot links never need sauce. I’ll take the Titans and an Over.
Pats at Bills (+6.5, 42)
ST: The Pats will get theirs and Buffalo is probably worth 17 at home…give me the tease of the Pats and Over.
B: We were driven to the airport by a man from Detroit. He had moved to Austin, after 10 years in the military, with his wife, and they were looking for a fresh start. As soon as he found out I was from Buffalo he laughed and explained he’d take his Lions any day. I thought about that comment often of our 4 hrs flight back to NYC, and concluded the guy had a point. The Lions stink so bad it doesn’t hurt, but the Bills constantly promise better days. With that in mind, a Bills victory in this game will cause more pain in Western NY than a loss. A perfect and final reminder of what should have been. Give me the Bills, and tease the Bills with the over.
Jags at Ravens (-12,35.5)
ST: Oft times you can’t count on a team to do what it needs to do in order to make the playoffs. I think Baltimore is an exception. I expect them to bring the wood and stifle Jax, which won’t have a shadow of a running game. Of course, it’s the spread that’s keeping this close, so I might combine the Ravens with the Over (less than 30?!) or the Ravens with anything else on the board.
B: The Ravens are very good ATS (11-4) and the are only slightly worse (10-5) on the Over/Under. The two big questions in this one are will the Ravens generate any points on defense and if they don’t will the Ravens’ O settle for 3 or will they rack up some 6’s. The Jags are mildly better on the road then they are at home and tend to lose by less than 10. I like the Ravens and the Over teased.
Cowboys at Eagles (-1.5,42.5)
ST: It’s hard to care about either of these teams any more. Just when you think they’ll carry a spread for more than a week in a row, they go off the rails. Dallas.
B: There was talk (Who me?) of the Boys stringing together a late push and riding a Giants like wave to the Championship this year. But Wild Cards teams do not win Super Bowls and the Giant exception helps prove the rule. Neither of these teams is playing well on offense, and both D’s have been sacking the QB, and it seems like an absolute truth that the Eagles and Cowpokes play one over and one under a year. Take the under and if you feel like a walk on the wild side take the team in green.
Fins at Jets (-2.5,42)
ST: I desperately want Miami to lose this game, but they aren’t likely to. The Jets have gone soft in the head and Miami is the best balanced team in the division. I can’t load up on it, so I hope you do.
B: If Jets fans thought the second half of the regular season was hard to stomach, I’d like to welcome them to an off-season with Brett Favre. The Jets may yet squeak into the Playoffs but this is a badly demoralized crew. Their one constant, a strong run defense, has been shredded lately, and Miami is feeling zero pressure. The Fins have already won the Super Bowl 10 times this year, and they should probably win an 11th. I think a tease of the Fins and the over or the Fins and Chargers makes the most sense.
Broncos at Chargers (-8.5,50)
ST: I’m giddy with a 8-8 division winner. Now that’s parity, and a god awful division…I like the Chargers, especially when teased with the Fins or Pats.
B: Poor Denver: To pull a Buffalo against the Bills had to hurt, and now they have to go out West and save Norv Turner’s career. And poor San Diego: They worked so hard to have an early vacation, but Phillip Rivers and Vincent Jackson just can’t stop scoring. Give me the Chargers ATS, Tease the Chargers w/ the over, and Tease this over with the NO/Car over.
Raiders at Bucs (-13,38.5)
ST: Tease of Bucs/Under
B: Tease the Raiders w/ the Over
Browns at Steelers (-10.5,32)
ST: Tease of Browns and the Over
Rams at Falcons (-14.5,44)
B: Falcs and tease the Falcs w/Ravens
Chiefs at Bengals (-3,38)
Panthers at Saints (+3,53)
B: Saints and Tease Panthers and Under
Redskins at 49ers (-3,37)
Hawks at Cards (-6,45.5)
ST: Tease of Hawks/Under
B: Tease Cards and Under
Gints at Minnesota (-7, 42)
ST: Minny ATS
B: Gints and Over
DET @ GB (-11, 43)
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