by Stefan Tornquist and Brooke Costello
Stefan: We’re in that stretch of the season when smart bettors back off and wait for the playoffs. I didn’t last week, and got taken to the cleaners, at 5-9. The weather didn’t help on some of those Overs that looked good on paper. Brooke had the good sense to have his homework eaten by the computer.
So, what’s on tap for this week? More surprises. Marshal your resources, because the playoffs are where the money is to be made. In the meantime, choose more carefully than we will below.
Brooke: I think the message for this week is Stay In School, Don’t Do Drugs, and Under No Circumstances Should You Ask Austin for a loan to cover bad bets on the meaningless games played these next two weeks.
The computer really did eat my homework. Bad luck I say because it was A + material. I picked against Stefan nine times and with him five times.
I think the best bet you could make right now is to take the Prop Bet on Indy and/or Jacksonville to win the Superbowl.
Pittsburgh (-7.5) at St. Louis (43.5)
Stefan: Pitt ought to kill St. Louis since they’re very much in need of the win, and it couldn’t matter less to the Rams. That’s not always a great position from which to play. I’ll take Pitt and the Over as separate bets. If St. Louis covers, it won’t be with defense.
Brooke: Poor St. Louis! So close to Kansas, so far from God. I was impressed that Pitt came back to tie last week, but they showed that they are at least a year away as Fred Taylor ran up-in-‘em for the winning score. Pitt peaked in their comeback squeaker against the Browns St. Louis peaked in preseason. Take Pitt.
Dallas (-10.5) at Carolina (44)
Stefan: There wasn’t much scoring in Carolina last week. Tease the Under with Dallas.
Brooke: I started reading a great book, The Ballad of the Whiskey Robber, last night. It chronicles the fine and not so fine times of a modern day Robin Hood in Hungary. I recommend getting a copy of the book, opening a bottle of Hungarian Apricot Brandy, lighting a couple logs and enjoying fully the fact you are not watching this game. But if you must… Tease Carolina with the Over and brag to all your friends about how cool you are for wasting your life.
Cleveland (-3) at Cincinnati (43)
Stefan: Cleveland is playing well, and playing for something. Cincy ain’t. Cleveland, probably by a push.
Brooke: It isn’t likely, but it is possible that Cleveland will be hosting Pitt the first weekend of January. I would love that. The Cleveland test would be totally vindicated. We don’t give Lock picks round these parts, but let’s say this is the kind of game you could build a solid home in the Everglades on. Cleveland till Braylon and Kellen start dropping the rock.
NYG at Buffalo (32.5)
Stefan: Tease Buff with either side, the Under if the weather flares.
Brooke: Just when I thought they couldn’t crush my heart in a new cruel and unusual way they go out and lose a nail-biter in a Blizzard. We invented the Blizzard in Buffalo. Losing this game to Cleveland was like losing the family silver to the Aunt who brings potpourri to X-mas dinner. The wonderful collapsing Giants are another kettle of cuttlefish. They always lose the same way. Bad throws, bad drops, and bad coaching. Buff and the Under.
Houston at Indianapolis (-7, 45)
Stefan: Word is that the starters are playing. Take the 7.
Brooke: This game is 28-10 Indy at halftime and 28-27 Indy at the final whistle.
GB (-9) at Chicago (39)
Stefan: Green Bay has a fighting chance for home field advantage in the playoffs, so they’ll be playing hard, but 9 is a lot at Soldier Field. Give Chicago the six and tease the Under up to 45.
Brooke: I keep trying to out-think Green Bay’s success, but I can change. Through a strange twist of NFL seeding rules Green Bay has more to play for than almost every other team in the NFC. Green Bay knows it will not beat Dallas in Dallas, whereas Seattle and Tampa don’t care which of the bottom two seeds they play before losing in the second round. Mini, NY Gints, and NO are all beyond such petty motivations as motivation. More to the point, GB has much much more to play for than Chicago. Give me GB and a little side bet on the over unless the weather is horrible.
Tampa Bay (-7) at San Francisco (37)
Stefan: Gotta love Garcia back in 3Com park. San Fran’s win last week was against the Bengals. Don’t let it trouble your pretty head.
Brooke: I don’t know about you, but I would love to see Tampa beat Dallas in the second round. As the final whistle blows, I would love to see Garcia pat T.O.’s tush and whisper “Nice game, big boy.” This game is a kind of primer for the next one. It’s good to see good things happen to good people. Tampa and the Over separately.
Miami at New England (-21.5, 43)
Stefan: This line is going to move big time if the weather changes. If you have an overseas account, take it now, and then play the other sides on Sunday. You might win a bundle.
Brooke: After all their success in overtime last week Miami may be over-looking NE. They lose this one by 21 so watch the line and pick a side.
Wash at Minny (-6.5, 41)
Stefan: Under and out.
Brooke: Javaris was up to his old tricks again last week. Now that his hot streak is over I am reminded of a great lesson a college calc teacher demonstrated. He showed that if you evaporated the water from a glass in a vacuum sealed room and you left the glass there and never unsealed the room at some point in the future heading towards infinity all the water molecules would find their way back into the glass. This is a moment of molecule dispersal in Jackson’s career. Give me Wash and tease Wash w/ the Bills.
Denver at San Diego (-9, 47)
Stefan: San Diego eats up bad teams, and that’s what the Broncos have proven themselves to be. Tease the Chargers with Under.
Brooke: Ditto above.