Season ATS: 25-21-1
Season Over/Unders: 1-3
Season Parlays: 1-3
Season Teasers: 2-9
Season Units: -20.5 units
Thanksgiving Recap: Just like football is a game of inches, line betting is a game of points, or more specifically, fractions of points. Thursday’s T-day slate was clear evidence of the former, on both ends of the spectrum. The positive: the Lions were +6 most of the week and closed +5 (the only possible explanation I have for this occurrence was a last second push from the sharps; the public was all over GB). I teased them down from to +12 the night before instead of the +11 option available just before game time. The popular opinion I’m assuming at the time would’ve been “the difference of a point on non key numbers is irrelevant.” Well, somehow the Lions, via an unforeseen two point conversion and a last second touchdown (their trademark as the backdoor kings of the NFL), covered 12. Clearly the extra point mattered. Now to address the negative: the Niners opened +4, and the number was quickly bet down to 3 before last minute money came back on the Ravens, pushing the line to SF +3.5 at close. I got in at +3.5 and teased it down to +9.5. What happens? The Ravens win by 10. What’s my point? In betting the NFL it’s all about getting the best of the number, arguably more so than any other sport. That’s why you should move drop everything you’re doing, move to Vegas and get your plays in on Sunday night a week ahead of time before the value is extracted. I’ll now get off my soap box (speaking to myself) and stop trying to pull out anything positive or educational from enduring another teaser blow + several years being taken off my life from that emotional roller coaster of a T-day. Really San Fran? NINE sacks? Arrggggghhhhhhhh. Onto the rest of week 12 before I break something..
Houston (-6) at Jacksonville
Ironically, after preaching getting the best of the number I open with this play, of which I was late to the party. Houston opened as -3.5 point favorites. The line has already sky-rocketed to -6. That’s a HUGE swing over 4 days, and the funny thing is, I don’t think it’s high enough. I’d play the Texans here at anything less than 7.5. Listen, I realize Matt “I like to throw hot tub parties with underage high school girls instead of footballs” Leinart is now at the helm after Schaub went on IR, but I don’t think it matters, at least here. Houston has succeeded all year by doing two things: running the ball and defense. Schaub wasn’t integral to their success like in past seasons where he had to throw for 300 yards for them to win. All Leinart has to do is do what Schaub did: throw 20 times mostly off play action and manage the game (also see Alex Smith). That recipe won’t get them to the Super Bowl against elite competition, but against a banged up Jags defense it will suffice. Also, I wont pretend like this isn’t a fade on Sunshine Gabbert, who posted this amazing stat line the last time the two teams played: 10-30 for 97 yards and 2 picks. Most importantly however, the Texans will give 100% effort coming off a bye without their starting quarterback in an attempt to make an “eff you, we’re still legit” statement. I’ll side with them.
Bet: Houston -6 (4 units)
I’d jump on the Texans ASAP. I don’t think it’s possible to be a more anti public team than the Jags, so you can bet there will be another last minute push on Houston.
Chicago (+4) at Oakland
Another crazy line swing. The Bears were projected as -1.5 point favorites with Cutler. Cutler was playing the best ball of his career, but I don’t see his line value being worth 5.5 points. Caleb Hanie actually looked good in the championship game last year against the Pack. Plus, in this game, he’ll have the luxury of relying on Forte against Oakland’s feeble rush defense with a banged up Richard Seymour. Similar to the Houston game, I see the Bears exerting 100% effort here to prove their legitimacy. Even with Hanie under center, I still can’t agree with the premise that Oakland is a point better than the Bears, but that’s probably because I love hating on and fading the Raiders (which comes from owning season tickets to Seahawks games and getting into awesomely one sided verbal beat-downs of drunk ass Oakland fans for 20 years. Yea, I spit hot fire when I was 3..).
Bet: Chicago +4 (3 units)
I think a rush of public money will come in on Oakland given the Cutler factor, so I’m waiting until the last minute to land the best possible value.
Denver (+6) at San Diego
TEEEEEEEEEEEEEEBBBBBBBBBBBOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!! I really think nothing else need be said. Tim Tebow might actually be God. I love betting on supernatural forces. Plus, I now love fading Felipe Rivers, Phillip’s turnover happy inner being that finally surfaced after 8 years. The not so super-Chargers are a mess right now. They’re defense is freaking pathetic. Seriously, they’re PATHETIC. Offensively, when Felipe isn’t throwing to the other team they aren’t nearly as explosive as in years past. Gates is a shell of his former self and Vincent Jackson is inconsistent as hell. The Broncos defensively are giving up less than 3.9 ypc over their past 5 games and with Champ Bailey now healthy and soon to be unleashed on V-Jax their secondary is improving. Most importantly however, Von Miller is a man, and by man I mean probably one of the best 15 players in the league right now. Miller and Dumerville have to be licking their chops at the opportunity to wreak havoc on San Diego’s banged up o-line. That’s all well and good, but this pick is based mostly on, you know, our gambling savior. Hell, if nothing else you know karma is on your side for the rest of your picks when you bet on Tebow..
Bet: Denver +7 (2 units)
Yea, I bought the extra point to make it a touchdown. Not a knock on you Timmy (sensing a drop in karma), it’s just good business..
Washington at Seattle (-3.5)
This one is fairly simple. The Redskins will most likely be flat coming off their game against Dallas where they lost a heartbreaker. Now they have to travel across the country to the land of the 12th Man, which for the record, is very, very, real. This line should be -4.5 when you factor in Seattle’s home field advantage. Tarvaris has actually played better lately as well. Plus, Beast Mode is recking teams right now. Overall, this is a good spot for the Hawks.
Bet: Seattle -3 (2 units)
Again, point buying just good business..
4 team 6.5 Point Teaser: Pitt -4, NYJ -2.5, Atl -3, Cin -1
As much as I want to take the Steelers -10.5 (and will probably end up doing so), they haven’t faired well in “trap” games this year (see Jacksonville and Indy). They are coming off a bye, but even so I don’t see them being 100% focused on the Tyler P–uke led Chiefs, not that they’ll necessarily need to be to cover 10.5. Basically, this is line is just ridiculously high. If this game was in Pitt and you did the 6 point swing for home field it would obviously be 16.5, the highest margin since the Pats in ’07. The circumstances scream easy money, but I’m not sold. I love Pitt at -4 though. They should definitely win by a touchdown.
The Bills wagon wheels have been blown to hell. With Fred Jackson now lost for the season the overpaid Fitzpatrick is now driving this wheelless wagon, inevitably off the deep end. Buffalo is just ridiculously easy to defend, especially when you have Revis to shadow Johnson, Buffalo’s only playmaker (sorry Spiller, you’re terrible). The Jets are coming off an embarrassing loss to God Tebow and had an extra three days to prepare for Buffalo’s ineptitude. New York is pissed and initially this was my biggest play of the week. Then I remembered the Jets aren’t good enough to make me feel confident laying 9. If they can’t cover 2.5 against the lowly Bills Rex Ryan should starve to death and Dirty Sanchize should be exiled to GQ.
I REALLY don’t trust Hotlanta, but with Peterson out I had to play this somehow. Julio Jones is expected to play, giving Matt Ryan his full arsenal of weapons against the Vikings putrid secondary. At -3 I think we’re safe from Ponder backdoor cover area..
I believe in the Bengals. I really do. They showed me a lot of heart rallying against both the Steelers and Ravens. They didn’t roll over and die like the Bungles of old, they fought and proved they’re legitimate, even without their best player. That all being said, they absolutely have to win this game if they’re going to make the playoffs. Even though the Browns blow I have a gut feeling this is going to be closer than expected, but at -1 it’s too appetizing to pass up.
Bet: 5 freaking units again (+200 odds)
Good luck this week