The thing about backing teams with the handicap, taking the points if you will, is you have to ask yourself first, ‘Can this underdog actually win the game?’ If the answer is ‘yes’, well then, the extra points are just gravy. If the answer is ‘no’, well then you better be getting a lot of points, or you better be willing to lose a percentage of your bankroll.
Added to the equation is the home field aspect. Home underdogs with a bunch of points tacked on are obviously much more valuable than ‘road dogs’. In summary, if you fancy a home underdog, if you think they can actually win, and if you are getting a good slice of points added as the handicap, well what’s stopping you?!
Quietly efficient week last week, going 7-6 overall and inching closer towards that 50% mediocrity, here’s to another winning week and a continued crawl towards our goal of 60% winners against the spread by seasons end. Good luck to all, and enjoy the games!!
Season to date
- Last week against the spread: 7-6
- Overall record against the spread: 43-47-2
- Finest Four against the spread last week: 2-2
- Finest Four against the spread overall: 12-12
- Winning percentage: 47.7%
- The finest four percentage: 50%
The finest four.
Four picks to boost your bankroll
The Game: Baltimore Ravens At Houston Texans
Current line: Houston -6.5
The Science: Another week left on the Texans bandwagon I see, the Texans got annihilated by Green Bay and yet the Vegas odds-makers haven’t adjusted their sights as yet. Every single season Houston get off to a good start and people start talking Superbowl, only for the Texans to fade away before the big games start. Have a look at the Texans scores so far. Before they got trampled by Green Bay, they had beaten Miami, Jacksonville, Denver, Tennessee and New York (J). Not exactly a murderer’s row of NFL opposition, particularly contextually (Denver were still bedding in Manning and the Jets, well, what can you say). Houston don’t have a cup-cake schedule, but it is close. Apart from forthcoming games against the Ravens, Patriots and Bears, they should finish with double figures in wins easily enough. And, with that, once again everybody will over-inflate their value. Enough with the chit-chat, the Ravens are the second best side Houston has faced thus far. The best? They were literally run over by them.
The Score: Baltimore 26 Houston 23
The Pick: Baltimore +6.5
The Game: Arizona Cardinals At Minnesota Vikings
Current line: Minnesota -6
The Science: Last I checked this isn’t the Purple People Eaters Vikings of the 70s. Sure, they have a nice season going, however if you check their Superbowl odds, they are still down the list. Have the Vegas oddsmakers over reacted to ‘Zona QB Kevin Kolb missing this one? Bear in mind ‘Zona started the season with Jon Skelton at the helm, so, frankly, Kolb should not be a big loss. ‘Zona are built on their defence, and nothing has changed there. Expect a tight, low scoring affair, and the bet here is that ‘Zona can at the very least keep it close.
The Score: Arizona 20 Minnesota 23
The Pick: Arizona +6
The Game: Washington Redskins At New York Giants
Current line: New York -5.5
The Science: This looks, smells and feels like a ‘trap’ game. How often do you see a team ‘over-preform’ one week and then suffer a let-down the next week as they exhale after such a big effort. The Giants were immaculate last week against the 49ers, however Alex Smith must have thought he was Santa Claus as he was handing out turnovers like Christmas candy. The ‘Skins are in great hands with Robert Griffin at the helm, he is an exciting talent and should show the Giants front seven something they haven’t seen yet this season. The ‘Skins have a bit of momentum, and traditionally play the Giants hard (they swept them in two games last season). No doubt the Giants are a good side, this just looks like a ‘let down’ game for them.
The Score: Washington 33 New York 30
The Pick: Washington +5.5
The Game: Seattle Seahawks At San Francisco 49ers
Current line: San Francisco -7.5
The Science: By and large, when they are not being completely destroyed by the Giants or Vikings, the 49ers MO dating back to last season is that they win tight, ugly games with their defence. Alex Smith is basically a traffic cop, directing offensive drives designed to eat clock, score field goals, and occasionally hit a home run. When Smith’s confidence is down, as with last weekend, the 49ers are basically muck. Seattle, meanwhile, are quickly becoming a hot topic in the NFL, having shocked the Patriots last weekend with a fourth quarter come-back for the ages. ON the road, against a humbled 49ers, they might be over-reaching, however they should be able to keep it close.
The Score: Seattle 20 San Francisco 24
The Pick: Seattle +7.5
Definitely. Probably. Maybe.
Dallas Cowboys -1 At Carolina Panthers (30-26)
Green Bay Packers At St Louis Rams +5 (24-23)
Cleveland Browns At Indianapolis Colts -2.5 (17-27)
Tennessee Titans +3 At Buffalo Bills (28-30)
New Orleans Saints -3 At Tampa Bay Buccaneers (36-30)
Jacksonville Jaguars +4 At Oakland Raidersm (24-26)
New York Jets At New England Patriots -10.5 (20-38)
Pittsburgh Steelers At Cincinnati Bengals +1 (24-26)
Detroit Lions +6 At Chicago Bears (30-24)