The game kicked off just after 10 a.m. The texts and e-mails started arriving by about 10:30.
Hope that monkey can type.
The Chargers’ offense sucks as bad as your Eagles pick.
Hey man, now that you really went broke, will you still post your bets? I’ve been paying attention to your column for a few months now, and I always go opposite your picks.
In case you missed it, I rolled the dice last week with a $3,300 play on the Eagles and Andy “13-0 all time following a bye” Reid as a 2½-point favorite against the undefeated Falcons. By now you know the Falcons are still undefeated, Reid is now 13-1 following a bye and I’m on the verge of the unemployment line.
Hey, at least I can take comfort in knowing that several people a lot smarter (and with much deeper pockets) than me also fell for Philadelphia: Of the 10 handicappers in the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s weekly NFL contest, seven picked the Falcons-Eagles game, and five sided with Philly. Said MGM Resorts sportsbook director Jay Rood to the R-J: “We took a lot of sharp money on the Eagles.”
I’m sure many of those sharp bettors will swear that they never second-guess a losing bet. I’m also sure they’re liars. Me? I wanted to slit my wrists for not taking the Browns against San Diego. That’s because back on May 24—after noting that Cantor Gaming released odds for every NFL game through Week 16 and Cleveland was the only team not to be favored in a single game—I wrote the following: “This you can take to the bank: The Cleveland Browns are winning a football game this fall. And they’re winning one before Halloween. Mark it down: Oct. 28, at home, Browns win 21-17 vs. the Chargers.”
So why did I choose to unload on the Eagles last week and not Cleveland—particularly since the Chargers had spent the previous two weeks licking their wounds following one of the biggest collapses in NFL history? Because I’m an idiot. Fortunately, I was at least bright enough on May 24 to put $330 on Cleveland +3½ and $100 on the Browns money line (which ended up +130). Granted, the $430 those winners netted didn’t put much of a dent in my Eagles loss. But it was enough to keep the monkey in his cage … at least for one more week.
On to this week’s selections (note: all point spreads are as of Oct. 30) …
$110 on Broncos -3½ at Bengals: Denver has won (and covered) three of its last four. Cincinnati has lost (and failed to cover) three in a row (and has cashed just three times in its last 16 games). The Broncos have outscored opponents 69-14 in their last six quarters. The Bengals have been outscored 75-54 in their last three games (two of which were at home). Denver QB Peyton Manning has thrown for more than 300 yards in five straight games, with 14 TDs vs. one interception. Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton has five TDs vs. six INTs during his team’s three-game slump. And while I learned the hard way last week that bye-week stats don’t mean everything, it’s worth noting that Cincinnati is 4-9 against the spread in its last 13 games following a week off.
$110 on Kansas State -9½ vs. Oklahoma State: Yes, I’m concerned about showing up late to the Kansas State party. Yes, this line is inflated because the books are tired of getting buried by K-State (which is 6-1-1 ATS). And, yes, with the way I’m going right now, Wildcat fans dreaming of a national championship should be mortified that I’m squeezing onto the bandwagon. Sorry, can’t help myself—not when the Wildcats have scored 55 points in back-to-back contests (they’ve topped 50 points five times in eight games). And not when Oklahoma State has played just two road games: a 59-38 loss at Arizona (as a 10-point favorite) and a shaky 20-14 win at pathetic Kansas (as a 26½-point favorite)—the same Kansas that K-State throttled 56-16 a month ago.
$110 on San Jose State -19 at Idaho: San Jose State is 6-2 straight up and ATS (five wins by double digits), and the Spartans have cashed in seven of their last nine overall, and eight of their last nine on the road. Idaho has lost 21 of 26, going 1-7 SU and ATS this year, getting outscored by an average of 28 points per game. The Vandals have scored 128 points all season—only 18 more than San Jose State has put up in the last three weeks.
$88 on Seahawks -5 vs. Vikings: Minnesota has dropped two of three, and QB Christian Ponder is starting to play like, well, Christian Ponder. Now Ponder & Co. visit Seattle, where the Seahawks have already beaten the Cowboys, Packers and Patriots (whose quarterbacks are named Romo, Rodgers and Brady). Including the preseason, the Seahawks are 5-0 SU and ATS at home this year, and since late 2010 they’re 10-3 ATS in regular-season home games.