Behind The Lines Vol. 20
Courtesy of SportsInsights.com
1/15/2005 7:17PM EST
Behind The Lines Vol. 20
So who’s had a worse couple of months, Ashlee Simpson or Prince Harry? A Nazi uniform for a Halloween costume, I mean it goes beyond any concept of normal behavior. The Prince must be bipolar or something. In an awful effort at transition let’s move on to the Crown Prince of the Pigskin for a minute. Peyton Manning seems to have the world on a string doesn’t he? Finding anyone who thinks the Patriots can stop the Colts juggernaut is more difficult than finding a virgin in Curacao. We’ll get back to that game in a moment.
First let’s take a review of last week’s action. Saturday was a very good day. A lot of places were taking balanced action on the Rams and Seahawks. Nobody truly believed in the Seahawks so the Rams were the play. But even though the wrong side won, it wasn’t a lopsided decision and they managed to break up all teaser action on the Rams. As we’ve discussed in this space ad nauseam, if you can break up the teasers on most games, it’s going to make for a plus decision on the game. The rare exceptions are when you have those absolute monster decisions and that’s when you have to have a win or it’s going to be an ugly day.
The late game on Saturday was a bigger decision. All week the action was coming in fast and furious on San Diego. A couple of the places down here in Curacao were considering making the move from -6.5 to -7. But those places were wise not to make the move as there was some heavy late action on the J-E-T-S, Jets, Jets, Jets. Still was a winner as Marty Schottenheimer once again managed to have the better team and still lost.
It was a good think a profit was taken on Saturday because Sunday was ugly. The “can’t miss” Colts were once again a huge public favorite. They had been all year, so why would anyone expect that to change, especially against an overmatched Broncos team. This was a strange game because I was in the offices of Oasis Casino and Sportbook about 2 hours before kickoff. They needed the Broncos but it wasn’t anything extraordinary. However when I checked back with them just after kickoff the decision had grown to ten times the amount it was when I left!
That game was over before the first quarter ended and it was an ugly number sitting there heading into the Packers and Vikings matchup. This was another weird game in that all week the action was coming in on Green Bay and it looked like the books would need Minnesota. But again, right before kickoff the serious money came in and it was on the Vikings. So an already bad day got even worse. In fact the loss on Sunday cancelled the win from Saturday and then some. So the momentum the books were riding since early December finally hit a bump in the road.
What’s going on in the games this weekend? Well, there are four games being played again. And how many underdogs is the public backing this weekend? Four. That’s right, in every single game this weekend the team that’s getting the points is getting the wagers. With Indianapolis and Minnesota it’s not even close, they’re getting 75% of the action. A closer look at the AFC matchups …
NY Jets @ Pittsburgh – Sat. 4:30 PM (CBS)
This is one game where I think the public has a short memory. Pittsburgh’s defense has been absolutely manhandling teams and Ben Roethlisberger still is undefeated as an NFL starter. The Steeler crowd will be going absolutely crazy. The line opened Pittsburgh -9 and the Jets are getting a slight majority of the action, 55%. The number has gone down to -8.5 at most places but I think we are going to see a repeat of the Minnesota/Green Bay scenario from last week. I think the late, smart money is going to come in on Pittsburgh and I’ll still be down here in the thick of things to see if my theory holds. After sitting behind the chair for so long you just have an instinct about these things.
Indianapolis @ New England – Sun. 4:30 (CBS)
The game we touched upon in the intro. The game opened New England -2.5 and the public wasted no time in jumping on the Colts. Right now they’re getting 3/4 of the action. The line has gone down to -2 and -1.5 at some outs. The Colts looked like an absolute machine last week in their dismantling of the Broncos. But as recently as Week 15 of the regular season, the Colts were held to 20 points in a home game. Now they’re going to New England and Bill Belichick is doing his best to channel Red Auerbach by gaining every possible advantage for his team. That included leaving the Gillette Stadium field uncovered during the recent storms of mixed rain and snow. One observer said the field looks like they had a monster truck rally on it.
Throw in the fact that you’re talking about the defending world champions in a home game, then maybe the overload on the Colts should be slowed down a bit. Then again, I think New England has your cousin playing secondary this week, the one place you can’t afford to be week against the Colts. I’ve always been a guy who likes to see the champ get knocked out before you start the funeral procession.
Teaser Of The Week
The Jets cost me last week with their stunning victory at San Diego. They dominated most of the game … and still should have lost. If San Diego’s kicker had made the 40 yd. field goal, the Bolts still make the teaser cover. Oh well. I don’t see the Jets being able to keep it close in Pittsburgh, so the Steelers down to -1.5 will be the first selection. While the Colts up to +8.5 sure looks tempting, I think St. Louis has a chance of putting up a lot of points at Atlanta so we’ll take them up to +14. Enjoy the games this weekend … T.B.