Not a bad week at all, but it could have rocked! I was 8-3 heading into the last two games of the week, and I definitely liked my Eagles side. That didn’t work out, but the Broncos getting a field goal at home – I liked my chances for 9 wins in week 9, always fun to hit those week number totals when you get past Week 8. Here’s how my winning week 9 went down.
Kansas City Chiefs (+6.5) @ Jacksonville Jaguars: (WINNER) “First off, I don’t think the Jaguars have showed me enough consistency to be favored by 6.5 points against anybody in the league, even the Chiefs.”
That pretty much clears this one up. Despite being up, and probably getting to a point where they should have covered, the Jaguars just aren’t good enough to trust as touchdown favorites, or anything close to that. Any team can win by a touchdown or two (aside from obvious teams that can’t – you know who I’m talking about JaMarcus) but the chances of Jacksonville actually doing that is way to low to ever bet on. The Chiefs lost and covered, weird.
Washington Redskins @ Atlanta Falcons (-10): (WINNER) I was a little worried about this game because, well, I have no idea, but I was. It just seemed too easy. And when Washington scored early in the 4th to get within a touchdown, I finally realized why I was worried – because of the NFL, where magic covers happen. The Redskins just couldn’t seal the deal, giving up another long touchdown, this time to Michael Turner (whom rushed for over 150 yards against Albert Haynesworth and his crew of merry men) that got Atlanta the cover with is 58 yard touchdown run to basically end it. I had plenty to worry about, but the Falcons did just enough.
Baltimore Ravens (-2.5) @ Cincinnati Bengals: (LOSS) “But here’s the deal, and it’s a situation I take very much to heart when picking games over the second half of any given NFL season; Unless there is some sort of extreme mismatch between two good football teams, the chances of a split are pretty good.”
My uncle was right about this one, blast his old, fragile heart. I like the split between two good teams, but the Bengals were able to run on Baltimore again, and that was the story in this game. Benson went for over 100 yards again, and the Bengals made life tough for super sophomore QB, Joe Flacco.
Miami Dolphins (+11) @ New England Patriots: (WINNER) “Again, I just don’t think you can go against good football teams and double digit points. The Dolphins may be 3-4, but hey, they are a good football team. They can stuff the run, and if anything, they can really run the ball well offensively. They play sound football, get tough yardage, and use that dreaded and famed Wildcat offense to chew up the clock, shorten games, and keep elite offenses off the field. That’s a covering dream right there. Then you give them double digit points? Come on, this is too easy right?”
Okay, so the Dolphins didn’t run the ball that well, but you still can’t give them double digit points. This one was close, but I’m pretty sure everyone on Miami’s side got the win. The Dolphins played closer than the score indicated, but Tom Brady was on target in this one, and Laurence Maroney rushed 20 times for a little over 80 yards. Anytime that happens in New England, the patriots are going to win. But the Dolphins still covered, that’s good enough for me!
Arizona Cardinals (+3) @ Chicago Bears: (WINNER) “I think Arizona’s the better team, but more-so I think Chicago is at the wrong side of a tough match-up in this one. The Bears struggle against accurate passers, they struggle against teams that stop the run. Now, I think this could be a close game, but Arizona’s chances of winning this thing are pretty good. The Bears don’t really eliminate anything Arizona does, so the Cardinals should dictate the flow of the game. That’s bad news for Bears fans.”
And the Cardinals made the Bears look like a Canadian Football team. Jay Cutler put up big numbers, but the Bears didn’t stand a chance. Basically everything I thought about this game came true. That’s always nice.
Tennessee Titans (+5.5) @ San Francisco 49ers: (WINNER) Now for some reason this game didn’t get published, some deal where it didn’t save and I didn’t pick that up until Monday, but if you got my newsletter, you’ll see that I certainly was on the Titans side in this one, and I’m going to go on ahead and take my credit. Vince Young is a winner, he always has been, and he’s been playing great football over the last couple weeks -using his legs to make some plays, and better yet open up spaces for Chris Johnson to use his wheels. And Vince has been accurate too. This game was close, definitely, either team could have gotten the win – but the value was on Tennessee and they came through.
Green Bay Packers (-9.5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (LOSS) “I normally don’t even like thinking about Green Bay as a big favorite, they just don’t commit to running the ball enough to be a sure thing as a big favorite -but…” Who cares about the bu, it obviously didn’t amount to much. I had a flag football game on Sunday, but when I got back to the NFL couch, I had to give a chuckle when I saw Green Bay getting tricked by the salmon uniforms. How gross can the Packers be? As gross as anyone in the league, that’s why “I normally don’t even like thinking about Green Bay as a big favorite”. What can you say, everyone needs to listen to themselves a little more (well, not everyone, JaMarcus Russell needs to ignore himself) and I am no different. Those damned Packers!
Carolina Panthers (+15) @ New Orleans Saints Free Pick: (WINNER) “The value here is with Carolina and it’s because they have an elite rushing attack and any time you give an elite rushing attack 15 points on Sunday, that bet has value. Why it took this long to keep the ball out of Jake Delhomme’s hands is beyond me, but proving to me that they will run the ball to win is good enough for me to take them as a 15 point underdog, even against this year’s “best team in football”. 62% still like the Saints – come on. The Carolina value is good enough for me.”
There you have it, the Panthers led for much of this game, but of course Drew and company came back to get the best of the Panthers. Still, there was too much to like about this one, as you all recognized when the game was all but a sure cover throughout. You can’t give a great rushing attack 15 points no matter who you are.
San Diego Chargers @ New York Giants (-3.5): (LOSS) “When this line came out I was very excited, somehow, somewhere, somebody decided the Chargers were a complete enough football team to compete with even a struggling Giants squad. Nope.”
Yep. Now, the Giants still should have covered. They were up 20-14 with 25 seconds left and the Chargers stuck on the 30 yard line needing a touchdown to win. How often does a team without Brett Favre win that game? 10% would be generous. But the Giants let Vincent Jackson get behind the defense, (or he imposed his mighty will and forced himself behind them without their blessing) and he scores with 20 seconds left to lift the Chargers over the Giants by a point. You cna’t win them all. This game was tight, and despite being up late, I think the Giants weren’t the better team in this one. They had terrible play calling to start with, I mean Brandon Jacobs only gets 11 carries for more than 60 yards in a close game. That’s a joke. And they couldn’t get those big stops that have made them great. Oh well, here it is, PAPA WEIMER had it right! In fact, he should have won all 4 of his underdog picks this week!
Houston Texans (+10) @ Indianapolis Colts: (WINNER) “10 points is too much for me, mainly because good teams shouldn’t get double digits, and Houston is a good team. I know, it sounds as weird to say out loud as it does to write it, as I’m sure it’s just as odd to read. But it’s true. Another thing, Houston seems to always play Indy tough. Indy’s won 9 of the last 10, but this game has been decided by a touchdown or less in 4 of the last 5 contests. The Texans might not be getting over the hump, but they’ve been pretty damn close. 10 points for a good team is just good value-betting.”
The value was there. Houston had chances to win this game. And a 40 yard field goal to send it into overtime missed just wide left. Just the Colts luck. But this one was an easy cover, you just can’t give a good team 10 points – the value is with the dog!
Detroit Lions @ Seattle Seahawks (-9.5): (WINNER) “Ugh. This is a tough one for me. If you tune in weekly, you know I generally have some trouble picking Seahawk games, I think it’s because they are so erratic and I know so much about their team. Players wise, this team is very talented, offensively and defensively. They just have no confidence against good teams, and they can really stink it up. On the other hand, they can play awesome against terrible teams. The Lions are terrible, I mean, they just lost to the worst team in football, err Steven Jackson. The Hawks can throw the ball well, and the offensive line shouldn’t have as many problems this week when the Lions defensive front comes to Seattle. Still, this is tough because how can you take the Hawks as nearly a double digit favorite? The value isn’t there.”
One can see how I had trouble with this game. If you were unfortunate enough to be watching this game instead of, say, The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, then you were privy to how dumbfounding the Hawks entire attack is. Down 17-0 to the Lions early, they fought back and took control of the game, but only to a certain point, then it was, “Slow down, stop being aggressive, stop doing what you did well to actually get back on top in this game, see if you can’t give the Lions another chance.” Well, the Hawks pulled that off, and it looked like a sure ATS loss until my lady says, “watch, they’ll throw an interception and the Hawks will take it back to the house.” It’s hot when she gets football lingo spot on, and this time she was right, not 4 plays later the Hawks, Josh Wilson took it back to the house. Spread covered, game over. Amazing. Tough to pick the Hawks as a double digit dog indeed, but as luck would have it, they got the W.
Dallas Cowboys @ Philadelphia Eagles (-2): (LOSS) This rivalry never seizes to amaze me. I still think the Eagles are a great -2 bet at home against Dallas, but this one just didn’t work out for me. Philly had a dropped 1st down pass turn into an interception. They had an arrant throw late in the game that could have changed the game if it had more air under it. They also had a 4th and short first down that was one of the worst spots of the weekend, and then upheld in the replay booth because of a lack of evidence. Please. But the bottom line is, Dallas played better football and probably should have won. The Eagles didn’t run the ball enough, weird, and Donovan had some big drops and a couple poor throws. Close game, but Dallas got me!
Pittsburgh Steelers @ Denver Broncos (+3): The Broncos looked good early, absolutely shutting down the Steelers offense. But the final 20 minutes or so belonged to the Broncos. The big score will tell people that Pittsburgh killed Denver, but that wasn’t the case, a couple things late inflated the score – but the bottom line is, that Pittsburgh defense is explosive. Big plays galore. This may have shown that same little crack in the Broncos saddle that Baltimore exposed – without the deep pass to keep tough defenses honest, Denver might have a real tough time moving the ball consistently. We shall see. This loss brought me to 8-5, a great start, a tough finish, a decent record for the week.