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October 30, 2009
by Jeff Briggs
Vegas got absolutely destroyed last week. They just can’t make spreads big enough. Favorites went 10-2-1 last week. That is ridiculous. This week, Vegas gets a small break, as the Lions and Rams are playing each other, and the Bucs have a bye, taking three games in which the favorite would almost assuredly cover off the board. What is really killing the books this year is the ease of teaser bets. The bet I made mention of last week (Chargers, Jets, and Eagles) not only would have won as a teaser, but also would have won as a straight parlay, and this is not an uncommon occurrence. We all probably should have been betting millions on the NFL this season.
Of course, these things all have a way of fixing themselves, which means next year is probably primed for the most unpredictable and wacky NFL season in recent memory. Who knows what can be done to counteract this season? Maybe the ultimate in parity, and no team will go better than 10-6, or worse than 6-10.
Last week: 9-3-1
Lock of the week: 6-1
Home team in CAPS
Broncos (+3.5) over RAVENS
The Broncos are 6-0 against the spread. Even though a large part of me thinks the Ravens are going to win this one, the Broncos have to be the pick when they are the underdog. They keep beating expectations and there is no reason they won’t do it again this week.
BEARS (-12.5) over Browns
The Bears got embarrassed last week and have the perfect opponent on which to take out their frustrations, the Browns. Cleveland fans might start cheering for Brett Ratliff to be the starting QB before this season is over as more evidence mounts that Eric Mangini may have been the worst hire in the history of the NFL. It’s like a restaurant hiring a manager who just got fired from his last job for angering all the waiters and cooks while alienating customers, driving away business, and spitting in the food.
Texans (-3.5) over BILLS
The Bills are incredibly confusing. Two straight weeks they’ve been outplayed and won; it’s like try as they might to be bad and get a good draft pick, they somehow always end up 7-9.
PACKERS (-3) over Vikings
Hopefully once this game is over, the fact that Brett Favre played for the Packers for a really long time can stop being news. I get it Green Bay, you don’t like him. I get it Brett Favre, you love attention. Let’s all move on.
COLTS (-12) over 49ers
Week by week, Mike Singletary looks less like the genius that has the 49ers turned around and primed for the playoffs and more like anyone else who has coached in San Francisco in the last ten years. If both Reggie Wayne and Anthony Gonzalez can’t play, it will be interesting to see how Peyton Manning and the Colts still manage to put up 30+ points.
JETS (-3) over Dolphins
I’m not sure the severity of Leon Washington’s injury is fully understood. He got Joe Theismann-ed. His bone exited the friendly confines of his leg.
LIONS (-4) over Rams
This line is off the board in almost every book. I had to search a bit to find any line to use here. I don’t know if that’s because the status of Matthew Stafford and Megatron is still up in the air, or because no one has any idea what to do in a game where the Lions are the clear favorite. This is surely a sign of the apocalypse.
COWBOYS (-9.5) over Seahawks
The Seahawks have something like 14 tackles on the injury report. This cannot be a good sign, particularly when your QB is still recovering from broken ribs. DeMarcus Ware might set the single season sack record in this game itself. LOCK OF THE WEEK.
CHARGERS (-16.5) over Raiders
It’s good to know that the Raiders’ win was just the requisite game that Andy Reid blows each year, and not a sign of any sort of football talent in Oakland. They are the same team that I will bet against every week that they have been for years.
Jaguars (+3) over TITANS
Vince Young is starting and the Titans are favored. Either of these reasons by itself would be reason to bet against Tennessee, but together it seems automatic. Isn’t it time we move the ‘Vinsanity’ nickname from Vince Carter to Vince Young, because, I mean, he might actually be crazy. Unfortunately, Jacksonville is just a little too bad to make this a lock pick.
CARDINALS (-10) over Panthers
The Cardinals have a really bad pass defense, but fortunately for them, the Panthers have made it abundantly clear they cannot pass the ball.
Giants (even) over EAGLES
Likely no Brian Westbrook for the Eagles, and the Giants will be desperate after losing two straight. More importantly, what is the over-under for number of fights in the Philadelphia sporting complex parking lots on Sunday? Game 4 of the World Series will be at 8:20 PM on this same day, and you better believe the parking lots will be full for both games and the time in between. If you are really bold, go sit in between the two stadiums with an Eli Manning jersey and Yankees hat. Three percent chance you don’t get a beer thrown on you, minimum.
SAINTS (-10) over Falcons
The Saints closest game this season was their 12-point win over the Dolphins last week. They have yet to let a team come within single digits of them.