Beat The Man - Week Five

"I'm the Big Wheel, baby...why dontcha roll with me?" The High Numbers sang that in 1964. Shortly after that, they became The Who. Decades later, Scott Jones wants to know WHO has been upsetting his handicapping applecart to a distressing degree. It's The Man again...back with a Hiwatt headache!

Last Week: 2-3
Season to Date: 9-12 (would you like one lump or two, Sir?)

Hey kiddies, the brain of a betting man can always reason his way out of a slump. One of our most popular forms of denial being, “Well gee, I can’t keep losing forever”. Ya gotta love that one – it’s quite sensible and very appealing. Hawk fans know it well…

Long time loyal reader ‘Noserider’ checked in to let me know the Repo Man came by to reclaim his BMW and he’s now commuting to work on a Whammo Big Wheel (thanks to my ‘professional’ betting advice). Well I’d call that resourceful, mate! Besides, those plastic wheels never met a nail they couldn’t crush right over and keep things spinnin’. And nothing corners like a Big Wheel, folks. Nothing! Most importantly, just think of all the money you’re saving on Mechanics charges? No engine – no problems! And since your wife left you as well, there’s no reason not to take all that cash yer savin’ and throw down on some more gamely picks! Cuz a bettor never quits until it’s ALL gone. Dedication, baby. Dedication!

This week our Coastal Birds fly off to the Great Gateway (Rams –3) and ya gotta believe I wanted to wager heavy on this game. The Lambs are having serious protection problems (allowing 4 sacks/gm) and their Running game has been surprisingly inept considering the double threat they possess with studs Steven Jackson and Marshall Faulk in the backfield. Jackson, in particular, really scares me and I’m quite surprised he’s been held to 3.7/carry thus far. Just to keep things messy, the entire Offense has been giving the ball away like a hot potato. And defensively – their Secondary is as thin as Saran Wrap, not stopping anybody. Can you say vengeance shall be ours?!

It now appears Mike Martz is Doubtful for the sidelines (along with stellar WR Isaaic Bruce). Is there anything else we might need to favor us this game? Well, uh, yes there is… we’ll need some Wideouts to catch the ball on our end. Ooops - suddenly, Jurevicius and DJ Hackett (Warrick?) are our starting ball hawks. That makes me more than a little uncomfortable and obliterates the match-up advantage we had against their Secondary. So I’ll be slamming Jager to calm my nerves (or set them aflame) during the most important Seahawk game of the year. Cash won’t be necessary for this one…

CHI +3 @ CLE
How ‘bout a nice dog game to start the week? FOX can thank Las Vegas for any ratings they get on this bad boy. I am loving Chicago here. I’m going to like Da Bears throughout the season as I expect they will continue to get favorable odds, while possessing a consistently outstanding Defense. They’ve snagged more INT than TD’s (to go along with a 56% completion rate). While the Run D has allowed zero TD’s and just 3.0/carry. Ya like that? Me too. Remember when Cincy went in there and spanked ‘em 24-7? Guess what. The Bengals stole a half a dozen Turnovers in that game and started drives inside Bears’ territory all damned day. That ain’t gonna happen facing a Cleveland Defense that hasn’t quite played as bad as they really are yet.

Expect Chicago to hold Dilfer and crew under 10 pts (as they did facing DC (9) and DET (6)). I like my chances to score at least 7, eh.

MIA +2.5 @ BUFF
The smartest Fish in the ocean went on my Bottom Feeders list in pre-season. Meaning, I expected them to surprise good teams and cover the spread early and often before the oddsmaker respects them. Apparently, The Man is not willing to respect them yet. While still maintaining Buffalo isn’t a runaway RV rolling downhill minus a wheel. That’s a mistake.

The Dolphins are being coached up proper. Nick Saban has them not only believing – but delivering as well. They are not an accidental 2-1. They’ve earned it, beating 2 quality teams in DEN and CAR. The Bills on the other hand are getting a spread that’s remembering week 1, and forgetting the alarming defeat of every week since then. They are moving backwards so fast we could lap them standing still. Which means all Mr. Saban needs to do is play smart Defense (his specialty) and let the herd come to him. New starter QB Kelly Holcomb doesn’t change my opinion… nor his.

This spread ought to read MIA –3 (taking into account BUF gets 3 for being at home). Grab that gift and go! In fact, take the money line if you like being bold!

TEN +3 @ HOU
Houston, we have a problem… we’re not any good. That sums up the shape of the Texans. Their Offense has shown no faculty to sustain anything whatsoever. Meanwhile, the Titans have shown some Offensive success and Jeff Fisher has his team fighting to outperform the roster. At the end of this game, one of these teams is going to claim worst in the Division. I just happen to think the Titans maintain the pride required for that to not be them. While the Texans consider… they probably belong there.

I’m all over the Catfish games this week, eh? Let’s just hang around the bottom of the tank and suck up all the algae we can find. Hey, if ya see a chance ta take it… Whaddya do, Stevie Winwood? (Actually, I’m not really sure what he does, cuz I never could figure out the lyrics to the rest of that tune. Oh well, let’s just take drugs and ignore that it has to make any sense. Worked for Stevie!). Nexxxt…

BAL +1 @ DET
I’m loving this algae so much, let’s suck up some more!

Hey, before we start thinking the Ravens can’t earn the respect I gave them to start the season… Their Pass D has given up only 3 TD and 190yds/gm (with a 53.5% comp). While the Rush D has allowed zero across the line and an even 3.0/carry. What can Detroit do against that? No better than the 13pts they managed at Tampa Bay I’d expect. So the question is, can Edgar Allen Poe manage to scare up more than a season high 13 points for themselves? Well lemme tell you this! Um… I… don’t… know (can you stand the horrific suspense?). But I’m going to bet that they will.

Besides the fact that Baltimore has an excellent chance at a Defensive TD this game, I’m thinking they’re about to turn the corner and start scoring points when they have the ball as well. The Injury to Kyle Boller likely set them back a bit (and btw, I thought he looked rather efficient in that Colts game before he went down. Give the kid a chance when he comes back). And RB Jamal Lewis is just getting his legs back following a few months in a cement cell. I’m a little confused why they haven’t been able to advantage Rookie WR Mark Clayton and Free Agent pick-up Derrick Mason to open things up for TE Todd Heap to this point. But Detroit seems as good a place as any to get this party started…

ATL –2.5 vs NE
What, you thought we’d never leave the muck? This game may serve up the best competition, but it’s also the one I’m least confident about. Which puts it at the bottom of the list (and the top of the fish tank).

San Diego did in fact Charge into New England and prove the theory that the Patriots are officially in big trouble (due to injuries and other concerns). I said last week I wouldn’t worry about it until they proved they couldn’t manage the Secondary, and – they proved it. Drew Brees blew out their candle and the Chargers tapped electricity in virtually every segment of their Offense. That’s IN New England. They’re officially now in uncomfortable territory and it will be quite interesting to see how far they’re willing to fall. (Looking at this week’s Injury list… they may have problems fielding 22 players that can play, let alone compete).

But beyond that, I just really like this Falcons team. They’re not putting up numbers in the Passing game you’d like to see. But they approach the game a certain way and it generally works for them. The team knows what they’re doing from the Coaches on down to the Special Teams, it’s a cohesive approach that you can see transfer to the field with confidence. And you can just feel what’s right about them. At home, I think they’re particularly intimidating. Much of the success depends on the Defense and when you’ve got the HC roaming the sidelines waving his arms in the air to encourage mania from the stands? You’re gonna get results (in a dome no less). Were Mike Holmgren to attempt such animated inspiration, I think we’d all collectively drop dead silent in shock.

Atlanta is not the best place to get things on track for any visiting team in the NFL right now. The Patriots have earned our respect for silencing such doubt in the past. But at some point, ya gotta be realistic… We’re fortunate to be giving less than 3.

TB –3 @ NYJ
Speaking of realistic…things are an absolute mess in New York. So much so that I’m tentative about getting on board and bashing them. In the entire betting public, I can’t imagine anyone laying money on the J-E-T-S right now. Yet, I’m given a reasonable spread here as Tampa has not lit up the scoreboard, but ought to be able to control this game and win by a FG. You cannot expect Curtis Martin to get on track against the suffocating Bucs Rush D (allowing an NFL low 61.5 yds/gm). As well, it would hardly be realistic to expect Test-my-pacemaker to step in and run a suddenly effective passing game. However – he might. And that is the only thing we have to fear here.

On the Tampa side, they’ll likely run the ball control approach they prefer (as the Ravens did last week) against that still respectable Jets Defense. I’m expecting mistake free ball there. And it sure would be nice to have the benefit of knowing Cadillac will or will not be in the game before I turn in my ticket (but that’s the price of a Thursday deadline, folks), however – this game is just too easy to pass on. But again, I get a little leery when it’s all a bit too easy. Because every bettor knows… it never ever is.

This week’s debt says:
CHI +3
MIA +2.5
TEN +3
ATL –3
BAL +1
TB –3.5

Beat The Man because… you can’t ride that Big Wheel forever.

G. Scott Jones is a freelance writer who contributes regularly to Seahawks.NET. Reaction of any sort is always encouraged at Top Stories