I've been paying more attention this year to the lines and NFL gambling action. It might be because of my lack of a Fantasy Football league. The last few weeks I have been watching 5+ games, and making picks. My winning percentage is just over .600 against the spread. I will now share my picks with all y'all. (TO suspension discussed at the bottom) Here's a rundown of Week 9 action: (Home Team in Caps)
VIKINGS (PK) over Lions
Joey Harrington on the road against a team with a notoriously good home record the last few years. There is an extra added bonus as the Vikings lost a strugglinng QB, yet everyone feels like they lost a superstar. Look at Culpepper's numbers, Daunte Culpepper is stinking it up. I like Daunte. I think he is a good QB. I also think throwing to Moss & Carter helped inflate his numbers. Reverse McNabb and Culpepper, and the Vikings get to one or 2 Super Bowls. Hold on, Mike Tice would find a way to screw it up. Keep this in mind: Superstar in a scandal goes down....lowered expectations....a former SB QB steps in....4 more games in their weak division.
San Diego (-6.5) over the NY JETS
Vinny is still Vinny, and the Chargers have to be feeling a sense of urgency sitting at 4-4 in a super competitive division. Much talk has been made of the Patriots tough schedule, but the Chargers have faced just as tough opponents and faced more of them coming off of the bye week (this game being a cross country road game against a team coming off fo the bye). Hopfully, Marty gives LT the ball 25 times this game; that's how they are going to control the clock and soften up the defense so Brees can attack down field.
Titans (+3) over BROWNS
Trent Dilfer is still quarterbacking and putting up terrible numbers (60.53 rating last 4 games), and Romeo Crennel has no other decent options. An interesting stat about the Browns is that they have no rushing TDs this season. Steve McNair is not going to go wild in this game if he plays, and same goes for Volek if he plays instead. This has 19-13 written all over it. I'd strongly think about playing the Titans moneyline which is (+125).
CHIEFS (-4.5) over Raiders
No Moss, no win. How good does Moss look now that the Vikings are a mess offensively and off the field? Doesn't he look better now that the rest of the team can't hold it together? The Chiefs have one of the best home fields to play at, and without Moss, this game will not be pretty. The Chiefs might crack 40 in this game. The Chiefs also must know that the Chargers whupping them last week showed that the AFC West is really between the Chargers and Broncos (despite KC's record). I also question how good this 'revamped' defense is after giving up tons of points in the last five weeks (27.2 ppg). Keep this in mind, they still play Denver, San Diego, New England & Cincy at home AND Buffalo (tough team), Dallas and the NY Giants on the road. This season could have a nightmare finish at 6-10.
Bears (-3) over SAINTS
These Saints are toast. I've got a sick feeling that the Saints organization is now plotting to throw the rest of the year so they can get their hands on Matt Leinart, Vince Young or Brady Quinn. Do they want to waste another year with an airhead QB or start anew with a guy who has shown poise under pressure in big games in college? When the owner does not want to go to Baton Rogue, why should the players be expected to really show up.
Bengals (-3) over Ravens
The Ravens did show up and played hard against the Steelers last week. I don't think their defense will have problems with Carson Palmer, but Rudi Johnson is quietly having a good year. I'm a big Rudi fan, and he quietly broke the Bengals single season rushing record last year. They are not killing him with carries this year either by using Chris Perry. The Ravens offense will have some problems with Cincy. The Bengals do have a weaker defense than their Baby Triplet offense, but the Ravens have problems moving the ball. The Bengals can stack the line and make the Ravens try to go over the top of them. The Bengals air defense is a bit better than their run defense, and this will play into their hands.
Panthers (-1.5) over BUCS
The Bucs have the bad Simms calling the shots. I have no faith in him, even at home. The Panthers are going to blitz him play after play and force him to make quick reads. Simms does not excel in that environment. I don't think this will be a high scoring affair, but the Panthers will cover.
Texans (+13) over JAGS
This line should be used for Colts games only.
Falcons (-2) over DOLPHINS
I cannot believe this line is this low. I do not care how good the Dolphins have been at home; the Falcons have had a week to rest and watch film. The Dolphins defense is also a bit beat up and worn down. I can see the Falcons using the game plan that the Bucs used when they ran over the Dolphins.
NINERS (+10.5) over Giants
Eli Manning is rocking right now, but here's a few reasons why I am going against the hot Giants....
1. This is a road game. The Giants are 0-5 in their last 5 road games.
2. The 49ers defense is decent enough to bend but not break on the Giants and keep it close.
3. This is a classic trap game, and the Giants are coming off back to back emotional games.
CARDS (+4.5) over Seahawks
I feel the Seahawks will pull this out, but it will be a close game. Despite Dennis Green submarining his offense's chances at any consistency and playing musical chairs with the QB position, I feel they will keep it close. The Cards have been a tough home team the last few years. This is a divisional game, and after last week, we know how crazy divisional games can be. The Seahawks also have trouble on the road, and on grass, they 3-7 in their last 10. I would hedge my bet with a Moneyline bet (-200) on the 'Hawks to lessen the blow if the Seahawks walk away with this game.
Steelers (-3.5) over PACKERS
If the Steelers can finish drives, they have nothing to worry about. The Packers have no running game right now which places more stress on Brett Favre. Even worse, the Packers have no receivers. The Steelers are going to blitz Favre and make him force throws which will create turnovers with that secondary that the Steelers have.
REDSKINS (-3) over Eagles
I think that last week was the start of an awful stretch for the Eagles. Gregg Williams is going to blitz the heck out of the Eagles. Hopefully (for the rest of the NFC), they will knock McNabb out of the game. McNabb is one shot away from being out for 3-4 weeks and ruining the season for the Eagles. The Eagles cannot function without McNabb now. The NFC East is much better now than it was 2 years ago, and the Eagles are not as good. Success has stripped away some talent on the defense, and they have no running game (or receivers, besides TO). Hold on, ESPN is reporting that TO was just suspended indefinitely. The NFC East is officially anybody's division.
Is this the point of McNabb's career where he go down the path of Air McNair? Wasn't McNair battling chronic injuries when he was 29-30, playing games while shot up with painkillers? Doesn't that sound just like McNabb's 2005 season? They are both big, scrambling QBs and have taken tons of punishment over their careers. McNabb had the broken leg earlier in his career, but that was a freak injury he came back from quick. His body might start breaking down McNair style, where these smaller injuries slow him down. He's too much the warrior to miss games, which will only hurt him more. McNabb should have had the hernia surgery after the 33-10 loss to the Cowboys. They had a bye which would have helped with the recovery. I can see McNabb in 2-3 years trying to hold together an offense for a 8-8 record & a 6th seed, but getting knocked out of a game and talking about retiring.
Colts (-3.5) over PATRIOTS
I stated my reasons earlier why I believe the Colts will pull this game off in Foxboro. Maybe I have listened to hedge fund managers too much, but the moneyline on the Patriots is enticing (+175). If you lay a big bet (say $58 to win $50) on the Colts, it's not dumb just to bet $20 on the Pats to win outright (hedge). You come out ahead with a Colts cover, and with a Pat's victory, you only lose $23. A Colts victory with no cover kills you (-$78). I just think this game is either a Colts blowout or a Patiots 24-21 or 30-27 special.
I will not make any updates for the rest of the weekend unless something insane happens in the sports, political, or military world. TO beingn suspended does not qualify. He was going to be out 2 weeks. Sal Paolantonio said it is not for the whole season, just for now. It is because he was suppose to apologize to the whole team as well as the media, but he decided to apologize for his asinine comments about the Eagles and McNabb only to the media. I'll be back with an NFL Running Back rundown on Tuesday. Have a good weekend. Good luck with your wagers.