A summary of the week that was in the NFL as it pertains to betting, the book, and the landscape ahead.
Movin’ On Up
Turkey Day was not easy for the Dallas Cowboys, but not much has been for them this season, yet they managed to hold on until the very end and edge Miami 20-19. Dallas (7-4) has an easier scheduled moving forward and is a -4.5 favorite this coming week at Arizona. The NFC East leading Cowboys are 5-1 at home this season and have now won 4 straight.
Health is a huge factor in the NFL, just as the Cowboys division rivals the Giants. New York is a hurting 7-point home dog to the undefeated Green Bay Packers on Sunday after New Orleans rolled it up on them Monday night. At 4-7 the Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins are no longer in the division conversation. Injuries? Philadelphia is another example of that.
NY Jets closed as a -9.5 favorite to Buffalo last Sunday and while they held on to win the Bills covered and really could have won that one outright. The line looked high from the start but bettors kept hitting the Jets. While I appreciate the fact that the Jets are 5-1 at home while the Bills have now lost 4 in a row and are 1-5 as visitors, this line was not an accurate indicator of the difference between the two sides.
The three games with the highest wagering volume from the past week (excluding Sunday and Monday night games as they are always the most wagered) were the three Thursday games and Sunday’s New England versus Philadelphia matchup.
As you might have guessed, the games with the lowest wagering volume were Arizona at St. Louis, Tampa Bay at Tennessee and Washington at Seattle.
You have to like how the Miami Dolphins have turned things around after starting 0-7, they have won 3 of 4 after it would have been so easy to pack it in. Give credit to the coaches and players for responding like professionals.
I mentioned last week that the Cleveland Browns-Cincinnati Bengals game was likely to be a test for the Bengals in terms of not showing up flat coming off games against Pittsburgh and Baltimore. Down 7-17 at the half Cleveland came back to get a very important win.
After writing this last week: “With all his flaws, Rex Grossman should be the starting quarterback for Washington based on the fact he gives them the best chance to win. John Beck isn’t aggressive enough to win games.” Washington went and got a tough road win at Seattle to snap a 6-game losing streak.
Tim Tebow time . . . I don’t know what else you can say anymore – he just wins games. It looks like the Denver brass really doesn’t want him as their quarterback of the future and it is understandable in that he isn’t your typical NFL signal-caller, but you have to respect the fact that Denver wins games when he is in the Broncos backfield. Denver has won 4 straight and trails division leaders Oakland by one game.
A Betting System
A betting system I have used in the past with success is this: Play ‘On’ any team that starts the season 0-4 when they are at home as a pointspread dog.
This season we have Miami Dolphins, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings and St. Louis Rams as the teams that started 0-4 out of the gate. The Colts have qualified and lost three times. As I continue to write, I don’t really like the Colts for this system simply because they have lost personnel which has put a huge strain on their defense being on the field too long and they have the look of a team that just doesn’t want to compete anymore. The case for the other 0-4 teams is different in my opinion, but the Colts, while technically qualifying, are not a team I will bet on unless it is a perfect spot.
Miami is a home favorite this week hosting Oakland, while St. Louis and Indianapolis are big road dogs. Minnesota is a favorite hosting Denver.
Our “0-4 Dog System”:
ATS SEASON RECORD: 2-0 (excluding the 0-3 Colts)
It is always tough to win on the road but I give the Carolina Panthers a chance to win their second straight on the road and upset Tampa Bay (-3 -130) this Sunday. Buccaneers don’t look good, are terrible stopping the run lately, and they lack the big play personnel to exploit Carolina. Panthers defense is equally poor against the run too, thus the 48.5 Total on this one.
The Thursday night game is Philadelphia at Seattle, I’m thinking they wish they could re-schedule this thing and hide it somewhere else.
Poor Cincinnati goes back at it with Pittsburgh, it’s been a tough run for the Bengals but such is life when trying to make the playoffs. Steelers are a -6.5 favorite at home.
New England -20 over Indianapolis goes Sunday morning, that’s a lot of points but with the Patriots off the win over Philadelphia and Washington up next week it isn’t exactly a letdown or bad schedule spot for New England.
Games of the Week
10:00 Pacific: Cincinnati Bengals (42) at Pittsburgh Steelers (-6.5)
5:30 Pacific: Detroit Lions (54) at New Orleans Saints (-9)
Games I Won’t Be Watching
10:00 Pacific: Denver Broncos (37.5) at Minnesota Vikings (-2)
10:00 Pacific: Indianapolis Colts (47.5) at New England Patriots (-20)