Against the Spread: Week 16
By Chris, the Impaler
The best part of our sports week happened at the press conference on Monday after the Jets creamed Seattle. In case you missed it Jets QB Chad "I'm just a hick from the country unschooled in your big city ways" Pennington put all Jets reporters (and sports reporters in general) on notice. After his 19 minute diatribe I am fairly certain everyone covering the Jets - as well as other professional sports teams-understands that covering the Jets (and other professional teams) is not a birthright but a privilege.
This got me thinking that the same is true for wagering on the Jets (or any other sports team). Gambling is a privilege and not a right. And I guess this really holds true if you are betting on the Jets this weekend. Betting on the Jets is a privilege rather than a right.
Now that I understand the difference let's exercise our privileged degenerate gambling selves by kicking the man right through the teeth again with five well placed wagers that should have us flush with enough money to compensate for the ridiculous spending that thankfully ends on Saturday.
In case I haven't mentioned it to you Bob Cratchet's, Bah humbug.
Green Bay (+3) v MINNESOTA (56 o/u)
Green Bay would not be in this position if they had taken care of business at home last week against the Jaguars. Whenever a southern team travels to the frozen tundra the stats geeks quote numbers like Jacksonville is 0-4 in weather 20 degrees and below. Great, thanks for the insight. Who cares that Green Bay is now 35-1 in home games when the weather is below 10 degrees at game time? These stats become meaningless when you lose at home and the weather is sub-zero.
Now the Packers, who have already clinched a playoff berth, control their own destiny in the NFC north and might see their hopes for another division title vanish as they play on Christmas Eve day at the Minnesota Vikings coming off a short week for both teams. Both teams sport 8-6 records and the winner of this most likely wins the NFC North.
The Vikings are still in contention for the division title thanks to Detroit's inability to make an extra point as they won last week at home by one point. An ugly loss for the Lions no doubt, but in football you take wins any way you can get them. However, they have yet to clinch a playoff berth and have much to play for on Friday. The return of Randy Moss has certainly helped the Vikings who look to spread out the field against the Packers.
Impaler Perspective: Brett Favre does not play well in Minnesota neither does the Packer defense and with a division title on the line this weekend we love the Vikings to cover the three points easily for 2200.
TENNESSEE (+4) v Denver (51.5 o/u)
Denver has really played like a team that does not want to make the playoffs while the Titans have found chemistry with the Volek to Bennett connection. Volek has passed for 1,187 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Titans; eight of Volek's TD passes have been to Bennett. Denver looked awful last week at KC and will find their fortunes do not reverse in the Music City.
Impaler Perspective: Play the home team grabbing four points for 220 country-western singles.
New England (-3) v JETS (43)
Ouch. Double Ouch. Calls came in from everywhere lambasting the Impaler for his Miami play last week. If you will recall I said the tilt was just the sort of game that teams trying to clinch home field advantage through the playoffs lose or almost lose, and what happened? Pats lost. Boo-hoo. Finally the weakness I saw in the beginning of the year is paying off, big time.
This week the Pats on a short week travel to NJ to play the NY Jets. Significantly the Jets will not have stud All World defenseman Donnie Abraham there to help them fend off Brady's Offensive bunch. However, if Brady keeps throwing ass-passes then they won't really need him. Perhaps Brady and the Pats started believing what the press and the sports talk radio scum like Pete (they'll cream the Fins 30-10) Shepherd, Fred Smerlas and the rest have said and written about this team. They forgot that they actually had to play the game. Maybe this week we'll see another fabulous fashion statement by these reporters and they'll crack out the minks. BLECH!
I think we all know this is going to be a smash-mouth (sorry for using that term but a guy behind me who insists on kicking my seat on the plane has already used this term 15 times in the last eight minutes) game. Sorry, but I don't give the Patriots much of a chance against a fired up, rapidly improving Jets team.
Impaler Perspective: Jets grabbing three at home is the play for 550 Pennington's because it is not a right but a privilege to bet on the Jets.
Atlanta (+2) v NEW ORLEANS (45 o/u)
Impaler Perspective: There will be no analysis for this game since Atlanta QB Vick and TE Crumpler will sit for this game. The game opened with Atlanta as a 3-point road "chalk" but quickly went to the Saints giving two points when news was leaked that neither of these "hands" players will factor in the game. 2200 Lucky Dogs on the Saints.
Monday Night Bonus
Philadelphia (-3) v ST. LOUIS (47 o/u)
This is the exact garbage game that a home field advantage contending team loses or almost loses. Wait I said that last week about the Patriots going to Miami on Monday night. Well, I see the same result in this game. No TO? Who cares, he ain't no Muhsin Muhammad. Even with him I have had my suspicions about the Eagles. If you don't think the boys in green will lose in the NFC Title match then you don't watch enough football. St. Louis despite the really poor play in the last two weeks does enough not to lose this game against Philadelphia's second team.
Impaler Perspective: 330 on the Rams taking three points and moving into first place in the NFC West this Monday and keeping their playoff dreams alive. Well, sort of.
WEEK 15 RECRAP
Once again putting on a handicapping clinic, we hit on our big bets and lost on the small ones (this is why the Impaler is a pro). While Carolina crapped out in OT, we still hit for 3 dimes as the Falcons won by three and failed to cover the four-point spread. We also hit on Buffalo as they made a serious run for the post-season raking the Bengals over the coals for another dime. We also recommended the over play in this game which cashed another Benjamin. We lost a dime on St. Louis (yes they are as bad as advertised without Bulger-lucky for the Rams Seattle is even worse) as they lost outright to Arizona. We only risked 220 on the 49ers at home grabbing five to the Redskins. Of course on Monday night we destroyed the books personally as we hit on our 330 Miami play (personally had Miami on the money line and the over but that does not count here). We made the most money yet in week 15 clobbering the man to a tune of 4400 dollars earmarked for our favorite stripper's G-string.
Our 3-2 record in week 15 evens the Impaler to 28-28-1 ATS this season with $7950 greenbacks stuffed into the envelope marked for "BCS Betting and 10th Avenue Midnight All-star ski fund." With only one betting weekend to go in this handicapping column we see that it is still possible to hit our 10k mark for the 2004 NFL season that we set back in August.
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.
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