|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|12-02-12||Cleveland Browns v. Oakland Raiders +3||Top||20-17||Push||0||6 h 13 m||Show|
I'm playing on OAKLAND. Admittedly, the Browns have been more competitive than the Raiders in recent weeks. I like how this one sets up for the home team though.
The Browns were able to play their hearts out against a banged-up divisional rival last week, knocking off the Steelers. However, off that win and now playing thousands of miles away for a meaningless game against a non-divsional team, I feel they may have some trouble "getting up" for this one. Divisional wins don't come around often for this team. Note that they're 0-2 SU/ATS the last two times that they were coming off a divisional win.
On the other hand, I expect the Raiders to be extremely motivated. They've been embarrassed the last few weeks and know that this game is one of their best remaining chances at a victory. Keep in mind that the Browns haven't won a game on the road all season long.
From a line value perspective, note that the Browns haven't been favored for a game all season. (They were 2-6-1 ATS as favorites the previous two seasons.) Also, consider that the Raiders were laying 6.5 points when they hosted the Browns last season. Oakland won by seven, 24-17, dominating the Browns by a 151 to 65 margin on the ground.
Speaking of the Oakland ground game, note that the Raiders should have McFadden and Goodson back to bolster the ground game.
Carson Palmer noted: "...good to see them in the huddle and see them get reps and see Darren smiling and hitting the hole hard, and same thing with Goody. Good for the team but also good for the offense to have those guys back.''
The Raiders are 3-2 ATS the last five times that they were home underdogs of three or fewer points. I expect them to step up and improve on those stats here. *10 Best Bet
|12-02-12||Tampa Bay Buccaneers v. Denver Broncos -7.5||Top||23-31||Win||100||6 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on DENVER. I successfully played against the Broncos each of the past two weeks, including last week at Kansas City. In each case, I felt that the Broncos were laying too many points and had reason to believe that they'd be in for a dogfight. This week, however, the line is a little more reasonable and I like how the game sets up for them.
Give the Bucs credit. They've played well this season and have been very profitable to their backers. However, I feel that they're in a very difficult spot here. Last week's 1-point loss vs. Atlanta was extremely hard fought and coming up just short like that figures to have an effect here.
Peyton Manning is a master of taking what the defense gives him and exploiting weaknesses. In this case, he knows that the Bucs are tough against the run but also that they're the worst in the entire NFL against the pass - they're giving up a whopping 315.5 passing yards per game. I expect him to have a big day.
The Broncos have been very tough at home this season, outscoring opposing teams by an average of 31.4 to 18.6. They've outgained them in those games by an average of 425.6 to 297.2. On the other hand, the Bucs are being outgained by a 405 to a 361.4 margin away from Tampa.
While its only a formality at this point, the Broncos can wrap up the AFC West title with a win here. I expect them to do so in convincing fashion. *10 Annihilator
|12-02-12||Indianapolis Colts v. Detroit Lions -6.5||Top||35-33||Loss||-105||3 h 16 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. Andrew Luck and the Colts deserve credit for already exceeding this season's expectations. I feel that they're in tough here though.
The Lions have been the opposite of the Colts in that they've under-achieved. They're still a talented team though and I feel that they'll have the advantage here.
While they've had success at home, the Colts are only 2-3 SU/ATS on the road. Giving up 31.6 points per road game hasn't helped. The two wins came at Tennessee and Jacksonville. (Those two teams enter Week 13 with a combined 6-16 record, 3-8 at their own venues.)
You probably saw that the Lions are coming off a tough loss on Thanksgiving Day. That was against a very good Houston team though, one which is better than the opponent which they'll face here. Note that the Texans were the first non-divisional opponent which has beaten the Lions here. Also, note that the Lions have had an extra couple of days to prepare and heal, due to the Houston game occurring on a Thursday.
Counting the game vs. Houston as a push, the Lions have now gone 6-3-2 ATS against AFC teams the past few seasons, going 12-8-1 ATS at home. They've won six of eight December games, going 5-3 ATS.
While the Colts have more to play for, I expect the Lions to rise up and show some pride here, taking pleasure in doing damage to the Colts' playoff chances. *10 Personal Favorite
|12-02-12||Carolina Panthers v. Kansas City Chiefs +4.5||Top||21-27||Win||100||3 h 9 m||Show|
I'm playing on KANSAS CITY. I was going to play the Chiefs before the recent tragedy. While some may feel that awful event will cause them to struggle, I still like them in this spot.
The Panthers are playing on a short week, while also playing their second straight on the road. They may have defeated the Eagles, a team which is in free-fall. However, they're still 3-8 on the season and I don't believe that they have any business laying more than a field goal here. Keep in mind that this team is 5-16 SU its last 21 on the road.
The Chiefs haven't won a home game all season but they've kept fighting. With only one remaining home game on deck (Colts) and that not coming until Dec. 23rd, this represents their best shot at getting the home fans that elusive victory. Note that they covered against the Broncos last season, playing Denver tough the whole way.
Also, the last time that they were underdogs in the +3.5 to 7 range, they covered vs. Baltimore, improving to 2-0 ATS the last couple of seasons, when in that role.
The Chiefs have quietly gone 8-3 ATS in games against the NFC the past few seasons. In what could well be a close game, I'll grab the points. However, I expect the recent tragedy to help bring the Chiefs together, if only for a day, as they step up and score the upset. *9
|12-02-12||San Francisco 49ers v. St Louis Rams +9||Top||13-16||Win||100||3 h 6 m||Show|
I'm playing on ST. LOUIS. I've been very successful in picking my spots to go and against the Rams this season. Getting more than a touchdown, I feel that they're providing us with excellent value here.
The Rams have already played the 49'ers very tough at San Francisco. You may recall that the teams played to a 24-24 ties there a few weeks ago. Now, they get to face them at St. Louis, where they've played well all season. I expect them to again give the division leaders all that they can handle.
Note that the early starting time may favor the Rams, over their West Coast based guests. In addition to playing an early game in the Eastern time zone, the 49'ers are playing their second straight road game, coming off a playoff rematch with the Saints.
Yes, Kaepernick has been impressive. However, he's still only made a couple of starts and at some point he's likely to experience at least some minor growing pains. Given the fact that Jeff Fisher and the Rams have seen him first-hand, unlike San Francisco's previous two opponents, I won't be surprised if Kaepernick comes back to earth a little here. (Kaepernick played in relief in the earlier game against the Rams, at SF.)
I believe that the Rams, who are 7-3 ATS as underdogs, will really want this one. Fisher had this to say: "This game is really going to tell us who we are as a team. They're the team to beat in our division. We got close but didn't get it done the first time ... "
While I respect the 49'ers, I'm grabbing the generous points. *9
|11-29-12||New Orleans Saints v. Atlanta Falcons -3||Top||13-23||Win||100||24 h 55 m||Show|
I'm playing on ATLANTA. It goes without saying that both teams badly want this one. The Saints are looking to stay alive in the playoff race and continue their dominance over a division rival. The Falcons are looking to clinch the division, while avenging the recent loss at New Orleans, which was their only defeat this season.
I won't go as far as saying that the Falcons will want it more - but I definitely think that they'll be extremely hungry.
While I really respect Brees and the Saints, I don't think we can ignore the venue. The Saints are 2-3 on the road. The Falcons are 5-0 at home.
We may not be able to see it on the scoresheet and its possible that he may never coach here again but I do also think that Sean Payton's absence can be a factor in a big game like this.
While it admittedly didn't help out much last Thursday (Thanksgiving) I do feel that playing at home is generally an even bigger advantage than normal, when playing on a short week.
Speaking of Thursday games, its interesting to note that the Saints are 1-5 ATS their last six Thursday games (1-2 ATS past few seasons) while the Falcons are a lucrative 6-1 ATS (2-0 ATS past few seasons) their last seven Thursday games.
The Saints defense may be improving. However, the numbers are still pretty bad. They're allowing 27.6 ppg and 455.3 ypg. On the road, those numbers climb to 28.4 and 466.2.
On the other hand, the Falcons allow 19.6 ppg and 344.9 ypg.
True, these teams have played some close games in last couple of years and its also true that the Falcons have shown a tendency to play close games this season. Still, the line is low enough that I feel a win will have an excellent shot at a cover. Note that Atlanta is 12-6-1 ATS the last 19 times that it was favored by four or fewer points, 5-1-1 ATS (6-1 SU) its last seven in that role. I expect the Falcons to improve on those stats, making a statement that they're the real deal. *9 Main Event
**BONUS 1ST HALF MONEYLINE PLAY**
I like the Falcons to get off to a quick start here and am playing ATLANTA on the moneyline for the 1st Half. The Falcons found themselves trailing out at halftime (21-17) of the 11/11 meeting and I feel that they'll be on a mission right out of the gate.
The perception is that the Falcons are winning their games late. That's been true to a certain extent. However, a closer look reveals that the game against the Saints was the only time, since their bye Week, that the Falcons have been "trailing" at halftime. They were either tied or winning each other time.
The Saints defense may be improving. However, the numbers are still pretty bad. They're allowing 27.6 ppg and 455.3 ypg. On the road, those numbers climb to 28.4 and 466.2. On the other hand, the Falcons allow 19.6 ppg and 344.9 ypg. *6
|11-25-12||Green Bay Packers v. NY Giants -3||Top||10-38||Win||110||11 h 1 m||Show|
I'm playing on the NY GIANTS. These teams both command respect. Both have elite quarterbacks and both are led by Super Bowl winning coaches. Either are capable of winning anywhere, any time. That said, I still feel that home field advantage is significant. And that getting the champs, laying a field goal or less, is offering very fair value.
Obviously, both teams really want this one. Its true that the Packers are playing with "revenge" from last year's playoff loss. However, they're also off a divisional game last week and playing their second straight on the road.
I played against the Giants in their last game, a blowout loss at Cincy. The champs have had two weeks to recover from that embarrassing loss though and they figure to be motivated by it.
Note that the Giants are 2-0 the last couple of seasons, after their bye. They won those two games by a combined score of 61-24. In fact, they're 4-0 SU their last four after a bye, every victory coming by a minimum of a field goal.
Manning seems to particularly benefit off a bye. Indeed, Eli has completed better than 68% of his passed for 1,290 yards, 10 touchdowns and only one interception over that 4-game "post-bye" win streak. I'm going with the champs to bounce back. *9 Personal Favorite
|11-25-12||Baltimore Ravens v. San Diego Chargers +2||Top||16-13||Loss||-105||7 h 8 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. The Ravens opened as slight favorites in this game and that's still the case as I write this. I understand that the books are looking for balanced action. So, perhaps this will prove to be the perfect line for them to achieve that goal. However, my own "personal line" doesn't take balancing action into consideration.
Actually I make two sets of lines prior to ever seeing the actual ones. One is a line which factors in what I expect to happen in the game, my "personal line." The other is my "projected" line. In this case, I projected the game at "pick'em," which was pretty accurate. However, my "personal line" had the Chargers laying a field goal. In fact, I expect them to win by more even than that. Here's why.
The Ravens have been "unbeatable" at Baltimore. However, they're only 3-2 on the road. A closer look reveals that they are actually being outscored in their road games by a 19.6 to 16.6 margin. Perhaps more alarming, they're being outgained by a 369 to 256.2 margin, in terms of total yards, in those games.
In fact, Baltimore is currently on pace to become only the third team in NFL history to average 20 more points at home than it does on the road.
Looking at the three victories shows that their first two road wins came at Kansas City and at Cleveland. (They beat the Browns by 10 but only beat the Chiefs by three.) Let's keep in mind that those two teams have a combined 3-17 record so far this season. Clearly, San Diego represents a far more difficult opponent.
The Ravens' third and most recent win came last week at Pittsburgh, a 13-10 affair. That sounds fairly impressive until remembering that the Steelers played without Big Ben, not to mention Polamalu and others.
Speaking of that Pittsburgh game, the Ravens have a rematch against those same Steelers next week. Those two games against Pittsburgh are arguably the two most important games on their schedule. Having to fly thousands of miles for a game "sandwiched" between those two games is far from ideal. Throw in the fact that they're without a number of players and matters become even more difficult.
Baltimore has now won three straight. That's not necessarily a good thing though. Counting last week's Pittsburgh game as a "push" (it could have been counted as a loss) the Ravens are just 6-12-2 ATS the last 20 times that they were off two or more consecutive victories.
The Chargers' playoff chances certainly aren't looking too good right now. However, there's still a faint glimmer of hope. That'll be gone if they can't win this one though.
QB Rivers had this to say: "We can't worry about that. We just have to go try and win a game. We have to hang our hat on controlling what we can control.''
The Chargers are outscoring teams by a 24 to 21.2 margin here, outgaining them 335.7 to 312.7 margin. While there are no mulligans in the NFL, if one threw out the early "stinker" vs. the Falcons, the Chargers' home numbers are actually very strong.
This Chargers team is still 13-7 its last 20 games here. That includes a 34-14 victory over these same Ravens here last season. I expect them to dig deep and to find a way to come out on top once again. *10 FF GOY
|11-25-12||Denver Broncos v. Kansas City Chiefs +11.5||Top||17-9||Win||100||4 h 10 m||Show|
I'm playing on KANSAS CITY. A friend asked me what I thought of the Chiefs against the Bengals last week. I'd won with both Cincinnati (vs. NYG) and KC (at Pittsburgh) the previous week but answered him that the game made me nervous and that I wasn't playing it.
I added that I felt the Bengals could easily go on a bit of a run but that I also felt the Chiefs had "at least another cover or two" left in them. I cautioned that I didn't like the fact the Chiefs were playing on a short week. As you probably saw or remember, Cincy won big.
While it (obviously) would have been nice to cash another ticket on the Bengals, last week's result suited me just fine. That's because it has once again made the Chiefs less appealing to the average recreational bettor. Throw in the fact that they're now playing Peyton Manning's Broncos and very few "joe public" types are going to want to back KC. The oddsmakers are well aware of this fact and are forced to put out a very high number. I believe that large number is providing excellent value on what I believe will be a highly motivated home underdog.
The Broncos are having a great season, as Peyton Manning has lived up to, if not exceeded, the high expectations of the Denver fans. That doesn't mean that we can't find value in going against them though. They didn't cover last week against San Diego. The 7-point win marked the fourth time in their last six games that the final margin of victory was 11 or less. Note that the offense could take a bit of a hit with leading rusher McGahee sidelined.
The Chiefs don't have much to play for anymore, in terms of playoffs. That makes games like Pittsburgh (because it was on MNF) and divisional games like this one even more meaningful, as the players have reason to "get up" for the game.
QB Brady Quinn should have plenty of motivation. Not only is he trying to prove that he belongs as a starter, he'd also love to show the Broncos that he can actually play. Some fans may not remember that Quinn was actually a member of the Broncos the past couple of seasons. The reason that would be easy to forget is that Quinn never attempted a single pass while he was there.
He was quoted as saying: "You take the opportunity when it's given to you. I didn't really get that opportunity."
Manning didn't even listen to the Chiefs' offer last year, instead listening to what several other teams had to say.
Romeo Crennel's teams have a way of playing Manning's teams tough. In fact, Crennel is 6-3 against Manning, dating back to his time as defensive coordinator with New England. (Sports Illustrated once calling him "Peyton Manning's Kryptonite.")
Off the hard fought win and playing their third road game in the past four games, I feel the Broncos may be a little spent here. I expect Crennel's Chiefs to rise to the occasion, earning AT LEAST the cover. *10 AFC West GOM
|11-25-12||Seattle Seahawks v. Miami Dolphins +3||Top||21-24||Win||100||4 h 58 m||Show|
cI'm playing on MIAMI. I believe we're getting great value with the Dolphins as a home underdog here. Seattle may have had last week off. However, the Seahawks are still a West Coast based team which is playing an early game thousands of miles away from home. Meanwhile, the Dolphins were embarrassed last time out and should be highly motivated to atone for that performance in front of the home faithful.
As strong as the Seahawks have been in the Pacific Northwest, note that they're only 1-4 on the road. Their lone road win came at Carolina, by four points. (The Panthers are 2-8 entering Sunday's action, 1-5 at home.)
While we can't fault Pete Carroll or these current Seahawks for the problems of the past, its still interesting to note that Seattle is a dismal 5-16-1 ATS (6-16 SU) the last 22 times that it played with two or more weeks worth of rest in between games.
While they seem to stumble against losing teams at times, note that the Dolphins are a lucrative 12-7-1 ATS the last 20 times that they faced a team with a winning record. That goes hand in hand with this season's 4-2-1 ATS record as an underdog.
The Dolphins are still mathematically alive in the Wildcard race - although with games against the Patriots and 49'ers on deck, even diehard Dolphins' fans realize that their chances are obviously extremely slim. Still, having those difficult games on deck makes taking advantage of this "winnable" one even more important. Otherwise, their current skid could go on for awhile. They're 6-4 ATS against NFC teams the past few seasons and I look for them to step up and get it done. *10 Non-Conf. Best Bet
|11-22-12||New England Patriots v. NY Jets +7.5||Top||49-19||Loss||-105||24 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on the NEW YORK JETS. I quite liked the Patriots in last week's situation. Playing at home, I really felt that they'd have an advantage over the Colts and that they'd be out to show Indy's rookie QB that life in the NFL wasn't as easy as it was starting to seem. That proved to be the case, as the Pats pounded the Colts by 35 points. With everyone having watched that game, that lopsided blowout had worked in our favor here, in terms of line value. In fact, we're getting nearly as many points with the Jets as we were with the Colts last week. This, despite the fact that the Pats are now on the road instead of at home and facing a better team than they faced last week.
Some may disagree with the fact the Jets are a better team than the Colts. While everyone's entitled to their opinion, I backed the Jets when they crushed the Colts 35-9. So, I'll stand by mine.
At the very least, I feel that the Jets present a far more difficult matchup than the Colts. This is a divisional opponent that knows and hates the Pats. We already saw them give New England all they could handle in the first matchup, a 29-26 affair at Foxboro last month.
In addition to backing the Pats vs. the Jets last week, I also backed the Jets against the Rams. Winning at St. Louis isn't easy this year but the Jets went in there and took it to the Rams, winning 27-13. That loss has the Jets again thinking playoffs - but they know that they need a win here, in order to keep those faint hopes alive. The Pats have reason to win too and always like to beat the rival Jets. However, they're not dealing with the type of urgency that the Jets are facing.
The Pats obviously know how to put the ball in the end zone and its true that Brady seems to be able to work with just about anybody. The loss of Rob Gronkowski may turn a TD into a field goal though, while potentially stalling other drives altogether. It should also be noted that the Pats are giving up more than 440 yards per game in their division games and 390 per game overall on the season.
The Pats are on a real high right now. As noted, that's led to a big line. If you recall, the Jets were small favorites against the Pats here in 2011 and +3 against them in 2010.
The Jets are 6-2-1 ATS (6-3 SU) the past nine times that they attempted to avenge an earlier loss. This team has never lost its confidence and believes it can win this game. I won't be surprised when they do. *10 Roast
|11-22-12||Washington Redskins v. Dallas Cowboys -3||Top||38-31||Loss||-105||30 h 30 m||Show|
I'm playing on DALLAS. Last week's results have set this play up very nicely. Washington won big, easily covering. Meanwhile, Dallas had to eke out a win vs. Cleveland, failing to cover. Those results have kept this line very low, much lower than it easily could have been. Keep in mind that Dallas was favored by six points, when lines for this game were released before the season began.
Lets also remember that Dallas did still come back to win and that those type of "comeback" victories are often good, in terms of building momentum. That victory, combined with the Giants' recent swoon, has Dallas thinking division title again. Of course, the Redskins are thinking the same thing. However, I don't think they're quite there yet.
Sure, the Redskins looked good against the Eagles. Let's not get too carried away about that though. What team hasn't looked good against Philadelphia recently though? The Eagles have now lost six straight for the first time under Andy Reid, going 0-5 ATS their last five. Each of the Eagles' last four losses has come by at least 13 points, including a 15-point defeat vs. Dallas two weeks ago. Note that the Cowboys beat the Eagles at Philadelphia and with Vick still the starter, (He was knocked out in the 2nd quarter) while the Skins beat them at Washington, with Foles the starter. So, the Cowboys' 15 point road win vs. the Eagles was "arguably" as impressive as Washington's 25 point win last Sunday.
Prior to the victory vs. the Eagles, the Skins had lost three straight. All three losses came by greater than a field goal. In fact, all six of this season's losses have come by at least a field goal, five of those by more than three points.
Does Robert Griffin have some impressive skills? Absolutely. He's still a rookie though. There's much to like about Andrew Luck too and we saw what happened when he stepped up in class on the road last week.
Safety Brandon Meriweather returned for the Redskins only to suffer a season-ending torn right ACL last weekend. That's a blow to a defense already without starters Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker and with a banged-up London Fletcher at linebacker.
For the season, the Skins are allowing 383.8 yards per game, 26th in the league. That number climbs slightly to 386.2 at home. By comparison, the Cowboys are allowing 318 yards and just 282.5.
While the Cowboys have the superior defense, I don't feel they're giving up anything on offense. While there are some issues on the line, Romo continues to get it done, throwing for more than 300 yards in the victory over Cleveland. With last week's win, Romo is now 8-1 his last nine November games, throwing 17 TDs vs. just three interceptions.
The Cowboys are 6-0 against the Skins on Thanksgiving, 28-15-1 all-time on Thanksgiving, including 5-1 the last six. With the low line, a SU win has an excellent shot in also resulting in a cover. I look for exactly that to happen Thursday afternoon. *10 Personal Favorite
|11-22-12||Houston Texans v. Detroit Lions +4||Top||34-31||Win||100||16 h 29 m||Show|
I'm playing on DETROIT. The Lions have established an annual tradition of losing on Thanksgiving. While they're up against a tough opponent again this season, I feel that they've got a great shot at snapping their holiday slide and that getting three or more points is offering excellent value.
While its been a disappointing season, unlike many of those past teams which lost on Thanksgiving, this year's Lions are still a very talented group. They're only 4-6 but five of their six losses have come by eight or fewer points. So, things could easily be better .
The Texans were less than impressive last week, as they barely beat a bad Jacksonville team. They are undefeated on the road. However, each of the last three road wins came by a TD or less and any of those could have gone either way.
Note that the Texans are 1-16 SU and 4-13 ATS their last 17 in a dome, including 0-3 SU/ATS the last three. They're also 0-3 SU/ATS the last three times that they played a road game where the O/U line was greater than 49, going 1-8 SU and 3-6 ATS their last nine in that situation.
The Lions are 6-3-1 ATS their last 10 against teams from the AFC and 7-3 ATS the last 10 times that they were off a divisional loss. This is their opportunity to show the world that they're no longer a joke - while also keeping their very faint playoff hopes alive. I expect them to step up and earn at least the cover. *9
|11-18-12||Baltimore Ravens v. Pittsburgh Steelers +3.5||Top||13-10||Win||100||10 h 4 m||Show|
I'm playing on PITTSBURGH. I played against the Steelers last week. They were laying double-digits in that one. Now, thanks to the Rothlisberger injury, they're getting more than a field goal, at home. While I respect the Ravens, I believe that's providing us excellent value with the home underdog.
The Steelers are 18-4 their last 22 games here, including an 8-1 mark with the O/U line ranged from 38.5 to 42. During that stretch, the Ravens were only 12-11 on the road. Keep in mind that they only won one of this season's four road games by more than a field goal and that was at Cleveland.
Also, note that the Ravens are an ugly 6-12-1 ATS the last 19 times that they were off b2b SU victories, going 0-3 ATS their last three in that situation.
While losing Big Ben is obviously a blow, the Steelers are a team that finds a way. True, Leftwich isn't Ben Rothlisberger. But he has plenty of starting experience and he's got a lot to work with. Last week's relief effort should have helped get some of the rust off. Leftwich noted: "I try to prepare as if I am the starter every week. Nothing will change. I wish Ben the best. I hope he is healthy. Other than that I will be ready to go."
While all the talk will be about the QB situation, keep in mind that the Steelers are allowing 12 points per game here as compared to the 22 that Baltimore allows on the road.
The Steelers permit only 265.7 yards per game, just 252.5 at home. (That isn't Rothlisberger putting up those numbers!) On the other hand, the Ravens allow more than 390 yards per game.
With five of the last seven meetings decided by a field goal, I'm grabbing the points. *10 Main Event
|11-18-12||San Diego Chargers +8.5 v. Denver Broncos||Top||23-30||Win||100||7 h 48 m||Show|
I'm playing on SAN DIEGO. The Broncos have cost me a couple of times of late, so I'm certainly well aware of how well they've been playing. Still, I expect them to have their hands full against a revenge-minded divisional opponent which is playing for its season.
If you remember the earlier meeting, the Chargers were up 24-0 at halftime, before Denver stormed back for a 35-24 victory. So, San Diego certainly had a chance. Obviously, the Chargers haven't forgotten that loss and would obviously love some payback.
Looking at the previous three games between these teams and we find that all were decided by five points or less. Of course, Manning wasn't there for those. However, the point that I'm trying to make is that these teams have a recent history of playing close games against each other.
The Chargers tend to play well in road games which are expected to be high-scoring. They're 17-8-1 ATS the last 26 times that they played a road game with an O/U line in the 45.5 to 49 range. I look for them to give Manning's Broncos all they can handle. *9
|11-18-12||Indianapolis Colts v. New England Patriots -9.5||Top||24-59||Win||100||7 h 38 m||Show|
I'm playing on NEW ENGLAND. I give Luck and the Colts a lot of credit to be in this position. However, I still expect them to receive a reality check here.
This game reminds me a little of the Washington/Pittsburgh matchup earlier this season. At the time, Robert Griffin III was the talk of the town and many were taking the points with the Redskins when they traveled to Pittsburgh. When they got there, however, RG3 and co. received a dose of reality, as Big Ben and the Steelers laid a beating on them.
Perhaps Tebow's visit here last January is a more appropriate comparison. The Broncos came in off an upset over Pittsburgh and Tebowmania was ready to reach a frenzy. Brady and co. nipped it in the bud, however, destroying Denver by a 45-10 count. Seemingly intent on showing up the upstart Tebow, Brady would finish with six touchdowns, five of them in the first half.
The first meeting between Brady and Tebow was similar. The Broncos were off six straight wins and four straight 4-quarter comebacks. Brady went into Denver, however, and led the Pats to a 41-23 win.
Obviously, this is an entirely different matchup. However, the point that I'm trying to make is that the "flavor of the month QB" often gets exposed when stepping up against an established elite QB - and that Brady has a history of elevating his game when another QB tries to steal the show from him.
The Colts got smoked in their first two road games, losing 41-21 at Chicago and 35-9 at New York. Since then, they've gone 2-0 on the road. However, a closer look reveals that both of those road wins came against teams with losing records, Tennessee and Jacksonville. Now, they'll be at Foxboro against a future Hall of Fame QB/Coach combo which will be looking to bring the rookie down a notch.
In fact, a closer look at the last four Colts' opponents shows that they've faced the likes of Jacksonville, Miami, Tennessee and Cleveland. All four of those teams rank below the league average in terms of points scored and the Jags are the worst overall. Now, the Colts will take on the best offense in football. The Pats are averaging 33.2 ppg, which is #1 in the league.
New England's 430 yards per game is also by far the best in football. Only Detroit averages more than 400 and the Lions average 406, well below the Pats' number. Every other team is below that mark.
The comeback with vs. Green Bay was an accomplishment. However, that was at Indianapolis and that's arguably the only "good" team that the Colts have beaten all year.
The Colts and Patriots have had some great games over the years as the Manning/Brady rivalry was a good one. If Brady keeps going at a high level for a few more years, its possible that the Luck/Brady rivalry could also develop. For now, I think its still a mismatch. *10 Personal Favorite
|11-18-12||New Orleans Saints v. Oakland Raiders +6.5||Top||38-17||Loss||-100||7 h 36 m||Show|
I'm playing on OAKLAND. Off a victory over the previously undefeated Falcons and with five ATS victories in their last six games, the Saints are suddenly a popular pick again. I feel that this will be a very tough spot for them though.
As noted, the Saints are off a huge divisional victory. That puts in them in a potential "letdown" spot. They've also got a very big game vs. San Francisco on deck. You may recall the Saints were knocked out of the playoffs by the 49'ers last year, a 36-32 victory on 1/12. That's a potential cause to get caught "looking ahead."
Either way, the Raiders aren't much to get excited over. The Saints do have to travel to the West Coast, however, while also playing on a short week. That can be more difficult than it sounds. Lets not forget that the Saints only have one road win all year, a 7-point win at Tampa.
While they certainly didn't look too good at Baltimore last week, lets not forget that the Raiders have still won two of their last three home games. They're 6-1 ATS the last seven times that they were off back to back SU losses and I look for them to step up and earn at least a cover here. *10 Annihilator
|11-18-12||Tampa Bay Buccaneers v. Carolina Panthers +2||Top||27-21||Loss||-100||3 h 2 m||Show|
I'm playing on CAROLINA. Admittedly, the Bucs have been the better team in recent weeks. That doesn't mean that they're ready to become road favorites against a revenge-minded divisional opponent. Keep in mind that the Panthers were 3 point favorites when these teams met at Tampa, back in early September.
While they haven't been in that role often recently, note that the Bucs are an awful 5-13-1 ATS (6-13 SU) the last 19 times that they were listed as road favorites of three or fewer points, 0-1-1 ATS the past couple of years.
Note that Tampa was outgained 426-279 in last week's victory. So, that was a little deceiving. The previous week, the Bucs gave up 32 poins and 424 yards to the Raiders. This is a defense which allows an average of over 400 yards per game, 423.5 (and 26.5 ppg) on the road. By comparison, Carolina's 344.9 yards allowed per game looks very respectable. Losing linebacker Quincy Black last week won't help this Tampa defense.
The Panthers were outclassed by Manning's Broncos last week. However, I feel that the Bucs are a better matchup for them. Keep in mind that Carolina beat Washington the previous game and nearly beat the Bears (23-22 loss) at Chicago, the game before that. Even with last week's loss, the Panthers have still quietly gone 4-2 ATS in the underdog role.
The Panthers have long been tough in the revenge role. They're 50-34 ATS in 84 "revenge" situations, including 3-0 ATS the last three. I expect a big effort here, starting from "the top."
Cam Newton had this to say: "It's very embarrassing, but things are going to change ... there are brighter days ahead for the Carolina Panthers."
The Panthers crushed the Bucs 48-16 in last season's meeting here, laying 7.5 points. All they need is a win here; I look for them to get it. *10 NFC South GOM
|11-18-12||NY Jets +4 v. St Louis Rams||Top||27-13||Win||100||3 h 51 m||Show|
I'm playing on the NEW YORK JETS. I'm well aware that the Rams are a better team this year and that they tend to play much better at home. In fact, I'm 3-0 when backing them here at St. Louis as I supported them in their victories over the Washington, Arizona and Seattle. (I didn't play on them when they lost to Green Bay and their other "home" game was in Europe, a blowout loss vs. New England, a game I didn't touch.) The Rams were underdogs each of the three times that I backed them here. Now, however, they're being asked to win by more than a field goal. I believe that's asking too much.
The Rams haven't been favored yet in 2012 However, they were favored three times in 2011 (twice last season) and they lost all three of those games outright. On 11/27/11, they were 2.5 point home favorites vs. Arizona and lost 23-20. The previous week, on 11/20/11, they were three point home favorites vs. Seattle and lost 24-7. Prior to that, they lost a January 2011 game, when favored at Seattle, by a score of 16-6.
One of the reasons that I've "taken the points" with the Rams is that they have a tendency to play close games. That was certainly evident in last week's game, a 24-24 tie at San Francisco. It should be noted that they had to fly back from the West Coast after "leaving it all on the field" in the game vs. San Francisco. Prior to that, they'd had a little time off, but that was preceded by a trip to London. With a trip to Arizona up next, I believe all the traveling could well catch up to them here.
While they've gone through a recent tough stretch, the Jets are still 9-4-1 ATS (11-3 SU) their last 14 against teams with a losing record. The playoffs have become a pretty remote possibility. However, if they can win today, they'll still be alive. A loss here and their fate is officially sealed.
Sanchez obviously isn't Tom Brady but I still like Ryan's decision to stick with him. Here's what he had to say on the matter: "With me, I will never waver. I am not going to make a decision to save my job. I am in it to win games. I'm not sitting back concentrating on how do I save my job. I am concentrating on how do we win."
At the end of the day, the Rams are still 4-13-1 their last 18 games and two of those four victories came by three or fewer points. That means that the Rams would be 2-16 ATS their last 18, if being asked to lay more than a field goal. I'm backing the desperate visitors. *10 Non-Conf Best Bet