Here's a look at the lines
Rarely will I spent much time talking about college football on this blog, but I wanted to mentioned something I noticed when looking at this week's CFB odds
on VegasInsider.com.: As a general trend, bettors appear to be taking the points this week. Does this have anything to do with Stanford covering and winning as 41-point dogs with USC, or favored LSU not covering and having to fight tooth-and-nail to beat Florida? Is ...
nails it right on the head; I don't even know any Bears fans who wanted any part of Chicago Monday night. When teams like that cover, you can bet the lines at the counter are short.
, John Henry
. The Daily Racing Form has a detailed, beautifully written obituary
(registration required). And anyone that's ever handicapped a horse race will appreciate this
Panthers QB David Carr's aching back caused him to miss another practice on Thursday, and bettors have responded by sending in the Cardinals bets. Arizona, favored by four for much of this week, is now favored by 4½-5 points. If Carr can't go, the Panthers may turn to Vinny Testaverde. This could get interesting...
Handicappers know that not only have the Patriots won every game, they have also covered
every game. And in most instances, they have covered comfortably. They score a lot — and very, very late
Handicappers crave predictability. And they crave the comfort of having a game in the bag well before it's over.
New England visits Miami this Sunday. The Dolphins are, at best, the league's 31st-best team. The defense can't do much ...
Tennessee was favored by 1-2 points at Houston for much of the betting period (the game was the last game put on the board this week) because of the perception Vince Young's quadriceps injury wasn't serious. But with Kerry Collins, not Young, slated to start vs. the Texans today, the line has moved to a pick 'em at most Las Vegas books.
The prevailing line for each game, plus a few words on each:
Giants (-9.5) at Dolphins (in London, England): This line has dropped a whole point. It can't be anything the 0-7 Dolphins have done to date, so you'll have to chalk it up to bettors thinking the travel will tire both clubs.
Lions (+5) at Bears: Bears have covered last two matchups at Chicago by an average of 29 points.
That is the questions most bettors seem to be asking, given that Indianapolis — at worst, the second-best team in the NFL — is only laying 6½-7 points at Carolina. The Panthers will start David Carr or Vinny Testaverde at quarterback. They have struggled at home all season. But are they a value at plus-7, given their ability to run the ball and the fact the Colts could be looking to ahead to New England? Oddsmakers ...
The Bears are now solid six-point favorites, and the Patriots are "only" 15-point favorites at most books. PFW is based in the Chicagoland area, and I'm getting the sense people feel the Bears will take out their frustrations on the Lions. Me? I thought Chicago would get the best of Minnesota two weeks ago, and I thought the Eagles would rout the Bears last week. So I don't have a strong feeling.
... and it's not Indianapolis. The Patriots are, amazingly, 5½-6 point favorites against the host Colts.
NFL coaches rarely, if ever, publicly talk of pointspreads. So it was interesting to hear Dungy's remarks on Monday
Stephen Nover says even some professional bettors
are taking the Patriots. This was not happening in recent weeks when New England was laying more than two TDs.
If you're looking for a new and interesting way to break down the Week Nine slate, TeamRankings.com could be the Web site for you. The site's GameZone matchup analysis tool is especially intriguing. Here's how it foresees Patriots-Colts most likely unfolding
. However, users can adjust the settings, adding or taking away weight to selected variables, to customize their own projections.
Not really, but we are likely to see a 20-point spread this season if New England keeps rolling after its upcoming week of rest. Two other factors to keep an eye on: 1) ATS favorites were 8-5 on Sunday, something sports books never like to see, and 2) quite a few teams are either going off-form or appear stuck in a tailspin. There are a handful of seemingly hopeless teams (St. Louis, San Francisco, N ...
I love Weather Games, so I really love prime-time games in Seattle. (This might be because one of my first NFL-related Christmas gifts was a green Seahawks rain poncho from the Sears Christmas catalog. You remember those catalogs: As I recall, you could order jackets, ski caps and full replica uniforms, among other things. Ah, memories.)
Anyway, the last two years, we've had at least three situations where dicey weather came into play. If ...
♣ The Week 11 lines are out
. The only games not on the board at present are StL-SF and CHI-SEA. As of Sunday night, SF was a field-goal favorite at home against one-win (finally!) StL, but I'd have to think the Niners will be favored by less than that when the lines are posted. The Niners-are-going-to-the-playoffs-bandwagon never appealed to me, but I didn't expect Mike Nolan's team to be this
bad. I'd ...