Looks like I can add another rule to the baseball betting notebook: If a team has won 16 of its last 17 home games (including the last 10 in a row) and said team hands the ball to Anibal Sanchez, do NOT wager on the streak continuing. Rather, as the great Al Bundy once said, “Run—run like Mexican water through a first-time tourist.” Nice effort, Sanchez. Tonight, it’s back to the gridiron as Week 1 of the NFL preseason kicks off and I look to atone for a bad call on the Arizona Cardinals in the Hall of Fame Game.
I like a few teams tonight (including the Eagles over the Steelers, who figure to be fired up for Andy Reid in the wake of the Eagels’ coach’s tragedy, and the Redskins over the Bills, because Washington coach Mike Shanahan actually tries to win preseason games). But I settled on Chicago for a couple of reasons. First, I’m pretty sure this pointspread is skewed by the public’s belief that Peyton Manning is going to come out firing tonight. Not happening. Manning is expected to be on the field for 10-12 plays, and I bet a great majority of those will be turning around and handing the ball off.
Secondly, I love Chicago’s depth. For instance, once QB Jay Cutler and RB Matt Forte depart (and they’ll depart quickly), the Bears will send in Jason Campbell and Michael Bush, two veterans who worked together the last few years in Oakland. And behind Campbell is another veteran QB in Josh McCown, plus rookie Matt Blanchard, who has received rave reviews in training camp. Conversely, Manning will be followed by Bears reject Caleb Hanie and rookie Brock Osweiler.
One last note: This line is fluctuating between Chicago minus-2½ and minus-3, so make sure you price shop and stay under that key field goal number.
Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Wednesday’s Result: Tigers (+130) vs. Yankees (Loss)
Record: 31-26 (14-8 last 22)