Against the Spread: Week 12
By Chris, the Impaler - Patriots Insider
Indianapolis (-9) v DETROIT (53.5 o/u)
Remember how great it was watching Barry Sanders' Lions on Thanksgiving as they clashed with NFC rivals. He always made the Lions games a must see. Now, Lions QB Harrington is just not getting it done for the Lions. Maybe the QB can convince HC Steve Marucci to have the Lions erect a huge billboard on I-75 near Lincoln Park with his smiling mug, like they did when he was a Duck and Oregon lobbied for Harrington to win the Heisman. He didn't, Chris Wienke did and you can see how far that award got the Seminole.
The Colts have been impressive this year, scoring at least 30 points in seven games. It is amazing, however, that these same Colts also have three losses which will ultimately hurt them as they'll most likely have to go on the road in the final round of the playoffs. But for now, they're playing well on both sides of the ball. Finally, it appears that Dungy has a defense led by DE Dwight Freeny who has been impressive to say the least; and the Colts' defense is playing almost as well as their offense.
This is good news for the Colts is they will capture the national spotlight as Americans everywhere get ready for some juicy dark meat, bloody red cranberry sauce and stuffing. The game is slated to begin at 12.37 and if you're not stuck in traffic you should be able to witness fireworks courtesy of Manning, James, Harrison, Stokely and Wayne.
I have looked at this game every way possible and no matter how I shake up the numbers I see the Colts scoring 30 points once again. Detroit is a weird team; they play differently from week to week. Last week at home, against a Moss-less Vikings they controlled the game for three quarters and ultimately lost to Mike Tice's purple and white crew at home. This week life doesn't get any easier with the Colts looking to make a statement with all of fat America sitting on their lard asses watching the game.
Impaler Perspective: Indianapolis should win by 16 points which means that they'll cover for 1100 Mannings.
DALLAS (-3.5) v Chicago (36 o/u)
Last spring perhaps the NFL schedulers thought this would be the perfect Thanksgiving Day compliment to the offensive showdown of the early game. But the NFL is almost impossible to predict and so the schedulers have relied on one truth; if the Lions or Cowboys don't play on Thursday in November then it is not really Thanksgiving. I mean, where else can an aero-phobic, gluttonous man showcase his nauseating amalgamation of duck, turkey and chicken to an entire nation. Believe me I'd rather have a pre-game breast any day.
But here are the facts. By the time this game starts I will be traveling (read: stuck on 128 with the other losers) to my second Thanksgiving dinner at the in-laws. I will feel like crap from eating too much L-tryptophan that I will overcompensate with too many bottles of wine and a few micro-brews. I won't be able to smoke cigarettes since I gave them up, but after a big meal I like to smoke like the chimneys in post-industrialized Sheffield regardless. And, no doubt, there will be a long drawn out argument with the wife about something silly and meaningless like not wanting to go to the second Thanksgiving dinner.
As for the game, it's going to be an offensive stinker with Dallas rookie QB Henson trying to execute Parcells' insane requests, I can imagine the miked up head coach, "Hey Stupid, Yeah you, get the ball to stupid Keyshawn and don't throw and interception stupid." Next play an interception for a TD by Chicago representing one of the only TDs of the game. I'm serious. This game will stink. Then you have rookie QB Krenzel for the Bears who is an uplifting 3-1 ATS as a starter. Amazing how he throws 0 TDs and 2 INTs and still covered the spread against the Titans two weeks ago.
Four days after their humiliating home loss to the Colts, the Bears travel south to Irving, Texas so they'll have to wait for their Turkey until they get home. This gives neither team a chance to come up with a good game plan as the Cowboys also suffered an embarrassing road defeat in Baltimore last Sunday. But at least they're playing at home which is why the Cowboys are laying the hook, or a half point over prime. And the hook is what will win or lose your bet on Thursday.
Impaler Perspective: Chicago defense has been covering these games not Krenzel. We'll take da' Bears grabbing 3.5 points for a nickel (550).
NEW ENGLAND (-6.5) v Baltimore (38 o/u)
Baltimore can actually help Pittsburgh secure home field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win in New England. However, this does not seem likely, even with New England having played a tough Monday night game at Kansas City where they not only won, but covered as a three point road favorite.
Have to believe that New England will be well received by fans for their 4:15 tilt after playing consecutive evening games on national television. Although it might still feel like a night game considering how early the darkness falls in November.
Baltimore finally scored 30 points in their home win against the awful Dallas Cowboys last week. Their defense once again showed their worth allowing three points in their victory. This week, however, the Ravens will find that Belichick's disciples won't be as easily subdued. With questions about Boller's health and Jamal Lewis nursing a swollen foot, the Patriots are lucky to get the Ravens, never an offensive power much to HC Billick's dismay, with a wounded wing. However, in recent games, Boller has made good use of his WR Kevin Johnson to make up for the loss of big TE Todd Heap.
In their last two games the Ravens have allowed their opponents to score first, but have been able to tighten up their defense and score some points. Once they have a lead they're hard to beat. But this probably won't be a problem for the Patriots who do a good job winning games when scoring first.
But points will be at a premium in this game, in fact the under is 7-1 in Baltimore's last eight games. This game in most probability will end up won or lost by a field goal.
Impaler Perspective: 110 units on Baltimore grabbing the 6.5 points
is Sunday's play. We're also putting down 110 units on the under 38 as well.
DENVER (-10.5) v Raiders (45.5 o/u)
Hey Al Davis even Jerry Rice is still scoring TDs for the Seahawks, what had happened to your "younger, new look offense?" Are there two teams who hate each other more than the Raiders and the Broncos? If there is one game every year that these two teams want to win it is against their hated nemesis.
These teams have hated each other even back when Madden wasn't a shill for Turducken farmers across the country. But hate and loathing aside there is not much you need to know about this game other than Denver HC Mike Shanahan owns his former boss Al Davis and the Raiders in head's up play and against the spread. Indeed, in their last 14 meetings Shanahan coached teams are 10-3-1 against the spread. Add the emergence of any RB that plays behind Denver's amazing OL (in this case Rueben Droughns) you have a nightmare on Raider HC Norv Turner's hands.
Impaler Perspective: Denver laying 10.5 in a rout gets my 1100 units. I just wonder if the Raiders will score a TD?
Monday Night Bonus
GREEN BAY (-6) v St. Louis Rams (51.5 o/u)
Is the season beginning to slip away from Mike Martz? Certainly their loss in Buffalo did not help their chances to secure a playoff birth in the constipated NFC. Meanwhile, the Packers are happy to play host to the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night at Lambeau Field where the temperatures are slated to drop into the low twenties; a perfect temperature for the Packers to exact their pound of flesh.
The Packers were lucky to overcome their first half mediocrity last Sunday Night against the Houston Texans and win by a field goal. But it should have never come down to Packer PK Ryan Longwell. It appears to me that the Packers either play up or down to their competition. But here is the rub. Brett Favre has only been sacked 5 times this year so the Rams will have to consistently pressure the Packers' QB if they hope to relieve their banged up secondary. With Ahman Green and the rest of their RB crew injured, the Packers will rely upon Tony Fisher Walter Williams to carry the load. I look to HC Sherman to call more pass plays than running plays and wear down the Rams' thin defense.
On the other side of the Ball, Mike Martz is still considered a genius, but seems that his QB, Mark Bugler, has not been able to execute his game plan when the Rams go on the road and play outside. It gets no easier for the Rams with this tough conference match where he Packers are still playing for what at the beginning of the season seemed unlikely; a chance to win the NFC North.
Impaler Perspective: Favre should also be dubbed Mr. Monday Night due to how well he plays in this slot. Give me the Pack and lay the six points for a nickel (550).
WEEK 11 RECRAP
Returning from the abyss we went 4-1 last week against the spread as many large
home favorites covered the number and we were fortunate to be on the correct
side. You'll notice that the strength of my bets increased substantially last
weekend. Well, much like an experienced black jack player, we know when the
count is high or low and we know when to increase our bets. We bet a dime on
Tampa Bay -8 (cover), Patriots -3 (cover), Pittsburgh -4.5 (cover - loving the
safety), Baltimore -8 (cover). Our sole loss was on the Jacksonville Jaguars
who could not hold onto their five-point lead in the fourth quarter. Our record
is still crap, but as we inch our way back to .500 we notice the debt has shrank
by 2000 to bring us to minus 1290 and a 15-20-1 record against the spread after
eleven weeks in the league that bans hot naked chicks in locker rooms before
You can find The Impaler's weekly column here each week as he contemplates the odds and provides perspective for the top 5 picks for the week. Have a bone to pick, want some more insights, just want to talk football odds? You can reach Chris in the forums, under the screenname: christheimpaler.
If you are reading this article via a news portal, you can find the original
story as well as links to others at Patriots Insider
DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is the writers opinion only. Any references to odds or wagering are are given for comparison or illustrative purposes only, and should not be taken as advice or an endorsement to gamble by this website, TheInsiders network or its affiliates. The Insiders, it's affiliates and the webmaster make no claim of responsibility for the accuracy of the information contained in this article, and have provided the content for recreational purposes only. Any other use of the material contained in this opinion piece is the responsibility of the reader.