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NFL 2019: Week #14

Posted by on Dec 7, 2019 in Blog, Essays | 0 comments

 

contrarianism

 

“Buy low, sell high” is a tried and true investment strategy that has some application to sports betting.

Certainly, we want to take advantage of undervalued teams where we’re possibly getting extra points and avoid teams where the line might be inflated.  That often means betting on teams that have struggled lately while wagering against teams that are playing well.  In a betting environment where margins are slim and information is correctly factored into the line, there’s probably some merit to adopting a contrarian strategy of buying low and selling high.

This week, the “buy low” teams appear to be:  Denver, LA Chargers, Carolina, Atlanta, Jacksonville, Oakland, NY Giants, and Philadelphia.  Despite being 10-2, some might also include New England as a “buy low” team since they’ve failed to cover the spread in the last two games.

Meanwhile, the “sell high” teams look to be:  Baltimore, Buffalo, New Orleans, and Seattle.  Some might also include Kansas City and Houston.

For Week #14, I’m combining this concept while also factoring in the high percentage of covers by road underdogs (70-48-4 ATS).  Moreover, I’m applying a couple of historical betting angles with plenty of trials that have produced a profit over the years.

Read the full write-ups on each game below.

Also, a short personal note:  Thanks to everyone for the kind wishes last weekend while I was in the hospital for the first time in my life.  I experienced a health scare, but am back to handicapping and trying to beat the point spread.  The messages were deeply appreciated.

 

**************************************************************

2019 NFL WAGERING RECORD

Wins — Losses — Pushes          39 — 41 — 1

Starting Bankroll:   $ 8,398.

Current Bankroll:   $6,676.  (- $1,722.)

Last Week’s Results (Week #11):         4 — 3 — 1  (+ $140.)

**************************************************************

 

THIS WEEK’S WAGERS:  This week, I made 13 wagers.  I’m laying $3,612. to win $3,250.  Here are the plays (each listed at -110 unless noted otherwise):

Buffalo +6 vs. Baltimore — Risking $275 to win $250
Buffalo/Baltimore UNDER 44 — Risking $275 to win $250
Denver +8.5 vs. Houston — Risking $275 to win $250
San Francisco +2 vs. New Orleans — Risking $275 to win $250
Cincinnati +7 vs. Cleveland — Risking $275 to win $250
Carolina +3.5 vs. Atlanta (-115) — Risking $287 to win $250
Miami +5 vs. NY Jets — Risking $275 to win $250
Indianapolis +3.5 vs. Tampa (-115) — Risking $287 to win $250
Oakland +3 vs. Tennesee — Risking $275 to win $250
Pittsburgh/Arizona UNDER 43.5 — Risking $275 to win $250
Tennesee/Oakland UNDER 47.5 — Risking $275 to win $250
Seattle/LA Rams UNDER 48 — Risking $275 to win $250
NY Giants +9 vs. Philadelphia — Risking $275 to win $250

 

THOUGHTS ON EACH GAME:

Baltimore at Buffalo (Bet BUF and UNDER)

BAL is laying -6 at BUF with a total at 44.  Weather is not expected to be a factor in this December Buffalo home game, which probably helps the Ravens, winners of eight straight games SU, and suddenly the odds-on Super Bowl betting favorite.  Yet this looks like a particularly tough test for BAL, which has defeated playoff-bound teams in 5 of its last 6 games.  Facing a rested BUF team off the ten-day break after beating the Cowboys on the road in a definitive statement game will be another challenge.  The Bills defense has been stellar, allowing 20 points or less in 10 of 12 games, this season.  I think given the extra rest, a solid defense, home-field advantage, and the Ravens coming off a big but exhausting win last week at home versus San Francisco, there’s sufficient reason to play the home dog.  It’s not often we see a 9-3 team getting nearly a touchdown (+6) at home.  Add the fact that BUF is 4-0-1 ATS their last five games as a dog, and that shows the market may be still undervaluing this team.  I made two wagers.  Grab the Bills at this bargain price, despite all the respect in the world for the Ravens.  I also like the UNDER in this game, especially at 44 — since BUF is 3-9 to the UNDER this season.

Washington at Green Bay (No Wagers)

GB is laying -12.5 at home hosting WAS, with a betting total of 42.  No opinion for me on this game, though the Redskins riding an unforeseen two-game winning streak should be factored in.  This is only the second Packers home game since Oct. 20th.  I think GB is too inconsistent to be laying this high a price, but a trend keeps me off the dog (historically, teams favored in the 10-14 range cover nearly 55 percent of the time when bet blind, and that includes nearly 500 trials over the past 20 seasons.  Interesting schedule quirk — Packers play each of their three division rivals the final three games of the season after this game, so GB might be content to get the lead, sit on the ball, and not show much if they can get out of Lambeau with an easy win.

Denver at Houston (Bet DEN)

Denver is a quagmire, covering in 6 of 8 games and 4 of their last 5, but few bettors look to them as an attractive play.  Big concern is the offense, but they have scored 23+ in last 3 of 4.  I’m on the Broncos here given this recent trend and the road dog phenomenon this season (covering in 60 percent of all games).  Houston might also be inflated at this high number, especially coming off the impressive win over NWE on Sunday night.  We catch several solid contrarian angles converging here, so I’m taking the Broncos getting points.  It’s also worth noting that DEN defense remains solid, ranked in the top ten in both yards and points allowed.  Hence, getting +8.5 should be the right side here, especially given HOU is just 2-4 ATS at home this season.  Hoping DEN offense can produce enough points to keep this within the margin.  I have no opinion on the total, which is 43.

San Francisco at New Orleans (Bet SFO)

Tough stretch of schedule here for 49ers which must play back-to-back road games versus two of the NFL’s best teams.  San Francisco did stay on the road all week in prep for this contest, and might be the better team by a slight margin — and yet is getting +2 points.  SFO has excelled in the dog role, going 5-1 both SU and ATS on the road this season and 4-0 as a dog.  Meanwhile, the Saints have not enjoyed as much an advantage in the Superdome as oddsmakers forecast, going just 2-7 ATS their last nine games at home.  I’ll hop onto the road underdog trend combined with those recent figures and bet on the 49ers.  Also of note — NOR has already won the division and is almost guaranteed a first-round bye.  SFO is fighting for the division crown (versus SEA) and probably needs this game slightly more.  SFO showed me a lot of determination despite the loss at BALT last week.  I think they keep this very close or win outright, so I’m taking the +2.  No opinion on the total.

Cincinnati at Cleveland (Bet CIN)

Could the Bengals be the better team at the moment?  Maybe.  CLE is banged up and yet still laying an unreasonable number of points when the respect is unwarranted.  Browns have gone just 2-5-1 ATS their last eight games.  CIN is regarded as one of the NFL’s bottom teams, but they have also gone 2-0-1 the last three games, which shows some fight.  The return of formally-benched QB Dalton sparked a win last week, and now facing the cross-state rival Browns, the Bengals are in a favorable position to keep this game close, certainly under a touchdown margin.  Credit CIN for going 4-1 on the road this season (sans the London game), despite being just 1-11 SU.  Also noteworthy — CIN has won and covered in five straight at CLE.  Glad to take the still-fighting underdog here versus one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams in 2019.

Carolina at Atlanta (Bet CAR)

CAR fired head coach Rivera this past week.  Oftentimes, when a coach is fired, that shakes up the team and players rally in their very next game.  That’s been a handicapping staple for decades now, although it might not apply as strongly to NFL games.  Nonetheless, I’ll take the Panthers here getting +3.5 juiced to -115, figuring both of these teams are in a deep funk at the moment and just about anything could happen.  CAR has played horrendous at times, but somehow is 4-2 ATS on the road.  Meanwhile, ATL gets its third consecutive home game versus a division opponent, after losing both ATS and SU the last two weeks.  We really have no idea of the mindset going into this game, so getting more than a FG seems to have significant value.

Detroit at Minnesota (No Wagers)

Just a hunch that the Vikings are going to murder the Lions in this game, but I’m still not betting it.  Third-string QB Blough filled in marvelously on Thanksgiving Day for the Lions, even with the loss.  He looked comfortable and his throws were crisp.  But Blough also struggled a bit more as the game went on, and now going on the road in a tough place for the visitor, I’m expecting a very long day for Cinderella.  The Lions’ season effectively ended with that loss, while MIN is very much in the hunt for a division title and the playoffs.  Vikings lost a tough one in SEA last week, which is no shame, and should bounce back easily versus an opponent against whom they enjoy clear superiority.  In fact, MIN hasn’t really played a solid game since mid-Oct. when they whipped DET at Ford Field.  I look for a rebound confidence builder here, but I’m not going to lay -13 points in a divisional game.  So, even though I feel confident in a Vikings possible rout, I’m passing on the wager.  Lean UNDER because I think DET will have serious difficulty putting up many points in such a hostile atmosphere.

Miami at NY Jets (Bet MIA)

Are the Jets really laying -5 to anybody?  Didn’t MIA beat these Jets only a few weeks ago?  Didn’t the NYJ get pounded by the Bengals last Sunday?  NYJ has been on a mini-roll the last month before the disaster at Cincinnati.  Now, whatever scraps of support remained for Adam Gase has evaporated and the vultures are at it again screaming for a coaching change.  I have to play MIA +5, which has covered 6 of their last 8, including a defeat of NYJ earlier.  Lean to the OVER 46 also since both teams are likely to play with reckless abandon.  MIA has crushed the OVER the last three weeks, and before the CIN loss, the Jets had scored 34 points in three consecutive games.

Indianapolis at Tampa (Bet IND)

I’ll make this one short and sweet.  Tampa is favored by -3, which seems dead on.  The Bucs remain the NFL’s most unpredictable team, capable of offensive fireworks one week and self-destruction the next.  Given many factors that are hard to measure, I’ll take the team that figured to be a bona fide playoff contender (Indianapolis at 6-6) getting points…..now up to +3.5 since I waited and juiced to -115 which I now think is a compelling play.  Moreover, the last two Colts’ losses were somewhat misleading scores.  IND had a shot to win both of those games late.  Figuring that even if TB wins the game, it won’t be by a huge margin.  The total at 47 looks dead-on perfect.  No wager on that number.

LA Chargers at Jacksonville (No Wager)

What an ugly game.  Nothing smells worse than betting on the Chargers laying points on the road, except perhaps the idea of taking the woeful Jaguars at the moment.  There’s nothing about this game tempting to me.  I’m passing.

Kansas City at New England (No Wager)

Premier game of the week looks to be lined correctly, though we rarely see the Patriots (-3) priced this low at home.  NWE hasn’t looked like the Pats of old during the last month, certainly due in part to playing a tougher schedule than the first half of the season.  Split decision on NWE as one of the “buy low” teams and the general trend of taking road underdogs.  Let’s call this a handicapping push and look for a better game with discernable edges.

Pittsburgh at Arizona (Bet UNDER)

Steelers are getting more love than I think they deserve, laying -2 to a feisty team that had no serious expectations coming into the season, yet have overachieved against the spread, going 7-4-1.  Cardinals were routed at home last week, which I think motivates a better effort here.  PIT hasn’t broken the 21-point barrier its last four games, relying on some very solid defensive play.  For this reason, the Steelers are still bidding for a wild card spot.  PIT has covered 6 of their last 7, which will keep me off the underdog Cardinals.  So, this game side is a pass.  I do lean very strongly to the UNDER 43.5 based on Steelers trends going 14-5 to the low side of the total since mid-2018.  Prediction — this total will fall to 43 by game time, so catch the half point now.  23-20 sounds perfect here.

Tennessee vs. Oakland (Bet OAK and UNDER)

Titans are suddenly hot again, at 7-4 SU and playing for a division title.  Meanwhile, OAK which was tied for the AFC West lead three weeks ago, totally shit the bed and will likely play out its last season in Oakland.  Typically, this is a game TEN should dominate with a power running game, a better defense, a hot quarterback who’s won five of his six starts, and the added motivation of chasing a playoff spot.  But in the unpredictable NFL, these are the types of games when disrespected home teams with veteran QBs will rise to the occasion and pull off upsets.  Note that QB Derek Carr was having a Pro Bowl season prior to December and the Raiders looked to be very much in the mix.  Had we lined this game just a week or two ago, it most certainly would have been around OAK -3 and perhaps -3.5.  So, linesmakers have shifted this number six points the other way based on recent results.  I think that’s an overreaction, even though the Titans’ numbers are superior in every phase since making the QB change benching Mariota in favor of Tannehill.  When line moved to OAK +3, that’s enough for me to take the home dog.  Playing contrarian to the market here.  I also like the UNDER as OAK is likely to get back to more balanced offensive attack that worked for them mid-season.  Given both teams should run a fair amount combined with a higher than average total, I’ll bet the low side of the number.

SNF:  Seattle vs. LA Rams (Bet UNDER)

So-called “sharps” continue getting burned fading Seattle.  All the Seahawks do is win and cover, it seems, especially when playing tough competition and when disrespected.  Each of the last three games (PHI, SFO, and MIN) the Seahawks have gone astray of trends and stats showing them ripe for a letdown and a defeat.  This game seems much the game.  SEA is listed as a PICK against the NFC West rival Rams, even though they’re 10-2 and tied for the best W-L record in the NFL.  I think what many bettors might be missing, however, is the way the Rams defense has been able to dictate the pace of play during the last two months when many observers might have crossed them off as a serious contender (and quite possibly the third-best team in the division).  Aside from being destroyed by BAL, LAR have allowed an average of just 11 points per game the previous six weeks.  Hence, Wade Phillips’ defense appears to be slowly coming into playoff form.  However, I still don’t trust this offense to produce points, which has been woefully inconsistent.  Given the stakes, both teams battling for playoff seeding, I look for a balanced game with few chances being taken.  Given the total seems a bit high for a Rams game (UNDER 6 of last 7 and 8 of 12 this season), I’ll wager UNDER 47.5….up to 48 now which I found, so UNDER 48 is now an even more attractive number.

MNF:  NY Giants at Philadelphia (Bet NYG)

What a gem.  It’s best to keep one’s emotions out of handicapping, but I lost all respect for the Eagles last week in losing to MIA, with the chance to jump into a first-place tie with the Cowboys.  The defense was horrendous in that game.  Under no circumstances would I wager on PHI, especially laying -9 versus a division rival.  It’s hard to make a convincing case for betting the NYG at 2-11 SU, but given the Giants are 9-3 ATS as road dogs, since late last season, that’s something to strongly consider.  There’ also the Eli Manning factor, who is slated to start again after riding the bench for eight weeks.  Manning has added nothing to the Giants the last several years, but here in the twilight of his career, with one more shot to shine, coming in healthy and rested, this could be a spark to the punchless Giants.  Rarely would Manning be worth a few points to the line, but I think he’s clearly an upgrade in this spot.  Let’s also consider the Eagles are riding a three-game losing streak and haven’t shown the ability to rise when given opportunity (Dallas lost again, this week setting up a possible first-place tie).  Here’s a couple of scary stats — PHI is 10-20-1 ATS their last 31 games, and a dismal 3-8 ATS their last 11 home games.  And the Eagles are laying -9?  I’m taking the dog plus the points.

 

CONTEST WINNER ONLY/NO POINTSPREAD [$200 entry fee]

Season Record To-Date:  113-80-1

 

BD /SM INVESTMENT GROUP [37 persons Active]

Investor  —- Amount —- Pct. of Total Fund
Heldar $ 211 2.51%
Watanabe $ 100 1.19%
Peter Lucier $ 1,000 11.91%
Kramer $ 302 3.60%
Finbar O’Mahoney $ 200 2.38%
Howler $ 100 1.19%
Linda Keenan $ 500 5.95%
John Pickels $ 100 1.19%
Patrick Kirwan $ 100 1.19%
Sean McGinnis $ 300 3.57%
Jim Anderson $ 252 3.00%
Chad Holloway $ 200 2.38%
Eric Schneller $ 500 5.95%
Randy Collack $ 351 4.18%
Dave Lawful $ 100 1.19%
Paul Harris $ 1,000 11.91%
Dan Goldman $ 51 0.61%
Sharon Goldman $ 51 0.61%
Ken QB $ 102 1.21%
Chuck Weinstock $ 102 1.21%
Peter Taki Caldes $ 102 1.21%
Kenny Shei $ 51 0.61%
Jeff Deitch $ 51 0.61%
Kevin Un $ 128 1.52%
Becca (Kerl?) $ 22 0.26%
Corey Imsdahl $ 102 1.21%
Don Bingo Rieck $ 102 1.21%
Jeff Siegel (pending) $ 1,000 11.91%
Stephen Cohen (pending) $ 100 1.19%  XXX
John Reed $ 114 1.36%
George Wattman $ 51 0.61%
Mickdog Patterson $ 51 0.61%
Larry Lubliner $ 100 1.19%
Grizz Berentsen $ 100 1.19%
Edmund Hack $ 100 1.19%
Bob Feduniak $ 500 5.95%
David “Quick” Horowitz $ 102 1.21%
TOTAL $ 8,398 100.00%

$200 Invested into Pick Contest (see above)

__________

 

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NFL 2019: Week #12

Posted by on Nov 24, 2019 in Blog, Essays | 1 comment

 

 

NFL Season Trends through the end of Week #11:

Road Teams:  90 – 68 – 4  ATS
Home Teams:  68 – 90 – 4  ATS

All Favorites:  69 – 89 – 4  ATS
All Underdogs:  89 – 69 – 4  ATS

Home Favorites:  41 – 62 – 4  ATS
Home Underdogs:  27 – 28  ATS

Road Favorites:  28 – 27  ATS
Road Underdogs:  62 – 41 – 4  ATS

Overs/Unders:  79 – 83

 

In my longevity as a sports gambler, I’ve seen just about everything imaginable, including many highs and lows.  This moment is one of those low points.  But a downswing doesn’t mean surrender, nor even despair.

This week, I’m returning to data-driven handicapping methods.  I’m (mostly) dismissing subjective analysis, which has been the foundation of my methodology for several years.  Subjectivity analysis — anticipating motivation, coaching disparities, scheduling quirks, injuries, recent results, etc. — hasn’t produced any predictive value this season.  So, I’m returning to the core basics of hard data and pure analysis in picking games and totals.  Obviously, all games and betting situations, namely which data and trends to look at, are subject to biases.

Each of this week’s plays is driven by data — including longterm history and more recent results.  The most common data point I’m looking at (and following) is the surprising success of road underdogs.  Road dogs are absolutely killing it this season, so far.  While the 61 percent against-the-spread cover trend can be explained by variance, I’m counting on what we’ve seen in Weeks 1-11 to have some real merit and continue just a while longer.  When looking at this week’s lines, it doesn’t appear oddsmakers/bettors have made adjustments for road dogs performing so well in the regular season.

I’m cutting back on the detailed usual write-ups, but will take a position on each game for those who may be interested.

Note:  Here’s a link to a primer on betting on the NFL for those who may be unfamiliar with spreads, totals, props, and so forth:  BETTING ON NFL GAMES

 

************************************************

2019 NFL WAGERING RECORD

Wins — Losses — Pushes          27 — 36 — 0

Starting Bankroll:   $ 8,398.

Current Bankroll:   $5,376.  (- $3,022.)

Last Week’s Results (Week #11):         1 — 5 — 0  (- $1,500.)

*************************************************

 

THIS WEEK’S WAGERS:  This week, I made 11 wagers.  I’m laying $2440. to win $2,200.  Here are the plays (each listed at -110 unless noted otherwise):

DEN +3.5 at BUF — Laying $220 to win $200
PIT -6 at CIN — Laying $220 to win $200
PIT / CIN UNDER 38 — Laying $220 to win $200
NYG +6 at CHI — Laying $220 to win 200
CAR +9.5 at NOR — Laying $220 to win 200
TB +3.5 at ATL — Laying $220 to win 200
TB / ATL OVER  51.5 — Laying $220 to won 200
1H — DET / WAS UNDER 20 — Laying $220 to win 200
DAL +6 at NWE — Laying $220 to win 200
GB +3.5 at SFO (-120) — Laying $240 to win 200
SEA +1 at PHI — Laying $220 to win 200

 

THOUGHTS ON ALL GAMES:

MIA +10.5 at CLE would normally be a wager on the “bet all road underdogs” angle, but a significant contrary trend keeps me off this game (favorites in the 10-14 range cover blindly 54.7 percent of the time since 2003, based on nearly 500 situations).  So, I’m avoiding dogs in this spread range.  Moreover, MIA is also suffering some alarming defensive injuries.  CLE might use MIA as a punching bag to generate some enthusiasm for a disappointed fan base, that is — if they’re able to dominate.  That could mean a blowout.  MIA was on a roll covering five straight before getting pummeled by BUF at home.  That loss might have deflated what little momentum the Dolphins were building and they could revert to their early-season ineptitude in this meaningless road spot.  It’s CLE or nothing for me in this game, along with the UNDER 46.5 because I don’t think MIA will score many points.

Playing DEN +3.5 at BUF.  Road dog angle is in place, plus DEN has looked much improved offensively since the QB change from Flacco to Allen.  These are two of the better defenses in the NFL, so in what’s projected to be a low-scoring game (total — 37), getting points could be a factor.  I bet DEN and lean slightly OVER 37, which seems a little low given DEN’s improved passing attack the last two games.

PIT is laying -6 at woeful and winless CIN.  Much media attention still focusing on brawl at the end of the CLE-PIT game.  I’m concerned about how focused PIT will be in the game versus a division rival getting zero respect.  CIN, despite being 0-10 SU, has played far better on the road this season than at home, so it would take +7 at a minimum to play the Bengals.  PIT defense has played well and given this is an absolute must-win, I think there’s enough talent on the Steelers roster to lay points here, especially when I saw tonight’s late line drop to -6.  Given the starting QBs and lack of talent at skill positions, I expect this game to be low scoring.  Cincy’s last nine drives — 44 plays, 158 yards, 3 points.  I have two wagers on this game — PIT at -6 and UNDER 38.

NYG at getting +6 at CHI, which has dropped from the +7 opener.  Given CHI offensive woes, taking the points with the dog seems to be the obvious play.  I’m making the pick based on the road dog angle but also do like the Giants here.  This just seems like too many points to give, and even with a porous defense, NYG should be able to keep the much-maligned CHI QB at bay.  Look for home crowd to turn on Trubisky quick if CHI doesn’t come out of the gate scoring points.   Bears have now lost 5 of their last 6 games.

OAK is laying -3.5 at the NYJ and many respected cappers are taking the home dog plus the points.  I can’t make that wager.  OAK got a real scare last week versus CIN and now riding a three-game win streak and tied for the division lead, I expect Raiders’ (especially Carr’s) experience will show here in a game where NYJ don’t have the weapons to take advantage of the opponent’s weaknesses (namely a passing game versus a bad bad defense).  I have no wager on the game but am inclined to lean OAK, which is on a roll and is used to the road (they played six straight games away from home earlier).

SEA has been on a roll and now plays at desperate PHI, which must have a win here.  SEA seems to get their wins through smoke and mirrors (or let’s just flat out give Russell Wilson his due for carrying this team).  Defense isn’t that good, but somehow they find ways to win.  I’ll play the road dog angle here and wager on SEA off the bye.

CAR is getting +95 at NOR.  Sorry that I couldn’t find +10.  Panthers played their worst game of the season last week, while NOR may have played its best.  CAR looked totally lost.  But based on what we’ve seen in what’s been a strange season, the Panthers should rebound and keep this close.  Had CAR not been blown out last week, I suspect this line would have been only -7 or slightly higher.  I think the public is overreacting to what happened in Week #11.

TAM is an excruciating team to watch and wager on, but the road dog angle says to do it.  I’m holding my nose and pulling the trigger with a barrel aimed squarely at my own head.  I can’t make a case for betting TAM, given they’re a league-worst 2-8 ATS.  Despite this fact, Bucs are getting only +3.5 to ATL, suddenly one of the hottest teams in the league.  Credit ATL for a huge bounce back in two road wins of the bye after being left for dead.  ATL defense has surrendered no touchdowns in the last 10 quarters.  This might be another Winston shit show.  As I said, I’m holding my nose, closing my eyes, and betting Tampa Bay.  Wake me up when the final score gets posted.  I can’t watch.  In just their last five games, TAM is -14 turnover ratio, which would be a horrible number for an entire season.  Also betting the OVER 52.5 — TAM games have gone OVER the number more than any other team and inside a dome versus an offense that can certainly score points, we might see a shootout.  Playing the dog and the OVER.

WAS might be the worst team in the NFL right now, and so getting only +3.5 doesn’t seem like enough points.  Tempting as it is to lay points with whoever plays the Redskins.  WAS lost their last four games and were outscored 52-18….scored just two touchdowns on its last 35 drives.  However, injuries for DET are a concern.  No plays.

TEN is -3.5 hosting JAX, which has been horrendous offensively in the last month.  TEN factors in on a solid angle which is to bet very good rushing teams against opponents that can’t run the ball or control time of possession.  I ran some data on this and it’s a historical moneymaker.  However, road dogs are plays for me this week, which makes this a pass.  It’s also reported RB Fournette will get plenty of carries.  Lean strongly UNDER 41.5 also.  However, I didn’t make any wagers on this game.

NWE is at home -6 vs. DAL in one of the season’s more anticipated games of Eastern division leaders.  DAL is the road dog here, but there are also reports of the flu bug in Dallas hitting some of the Cowboys.  Getting +6 is enough to make me bite and take DAL.  One thing worth considering is the NWE offense hasn’t played well in multiple weeks, so I’m not sure I’d want to lay many points with this team at the moment.  NWE is also playing the toughest part of their schedule at a really easy first two months.  That seems to be showing a few vulnerabilities.  Big coaching mismatch here, but I’m playing the Cowboys.

GBY+3.5 at SFO is the other premier matchup, which is the SNF game.  GB rates as a double play since they’re the road dog and also come up on the rushing angle I wrote about earlier.  Packers should be ready and rested coming off the bye.  Meanwhile, SFO hasn’t covered in their last three games

The other primetime feature is the LAR hosting what’s now the hottest team in the league, BAL favored by -3.5 over the Rams.  Strange, because if you had projected this line back in September, it would have been LAR -3.5 (or higher).  I suspect the Ravens might be getting just a little too much credit here, but I’m not betting on the Rams, which look soft.  This team really has taken a step back from last year’s Super Bowl run.  Some of this may be due to OL injuries, but I’ll pass on this one.  Also of note, after showcasing one of the highest-scoring teams in the league last year, LAR have turned into an UNDER team.  Last five games have gone under the number.  Leaning strongly UNDER 47 here, and might bet it late if that number is still available.

 

CONTEST WINNER ONLY/NO POINTSPREAD [$200 entry fee]

Season Record To-Date:  98-65-1

 

BD /SM INVESTMENT GROUP [37 persons Active]

Investor  —- Amount —- Pct. of Total Fund
Heldar $ 211 2.51%
Watanabe $ 100 1.19%
Peter Lucier $ 1,000 11.91%
Kramer $ 302 3.60%
Finbar O’Mahoney $ 200 2.38%
Howler $ 100 1.19%
Linda Keenan $ 500 5.95%
John Pickels $ 100 1.19%
Patrick Kirwan $ 100 1.19%
Sean McGinnis $ 300 3.57%
Jim Anderson $ 252 3.00%
Chad Holloway $ 200 2.38%
Eric Schneller $ 500 5.95%
Randy Collack $ 351 4.18%
Dave Lawful $ 100 1.19%
Paul Harris $ 1,000 11.91%
Dan Goldman $ 51 0.61%
Sharon Goldman $ 51 0.61%
Ken QB $ 102 1.21%
Chuck Weinstock $ 102 1.21%
Peter Taki Caldes $ 102 1.21%
Kenny Shei $ 51 0.61%
Jeff Deitch $ 51 0.61%
Kevin Un $ 128 1.52%
Becca (Kerl?) $ 22 0.26%
Corey Imsdahl $ 102 1.21%
Don Bingo Rieck $ 102 1.21%
Jeff Siegel (pending) $ 1,000 11.91%
Stephen Cohen (pending) $ 100 1.19%  XXX
John Reed $ 114 1.36%
George Wattman $ 51 0.61%
Mickdog Patterson $ 51 0.61%
Larry Lubliner $ 100 1.19%
Grizz Berentsen $ 100 1.19%
Edmund Hack $ 100 1.19%
Bob Feduniak $ 500 5.95%
David “Quick” Horowitz $ 102 1.21%
TOTAL $ 8,398 100.00%

$200 Invested into Pick Contest (see above)

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Dallas’ Darkest Cloud: Growing Up in the Shadows of the Kennedy Assassination

Posted by on Nov 22, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Personal, Politics | 0 comments

 

kennedy assassination

 

Writer’s Note:  Today marks the 56th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination.  Some 19 months before that tragic day, I was born in Dallas.  My family lived in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, where Lee Harvey Oswald also resided and was ultimately captured.  Today’s column reveals what life was like growing up in the shadows of the Kennedy Assassination.  A similar version of this article first appeared at this site in 2013.

 

I’m one of the few people alive who lived near the two most shocking tragedies in modern American history.  I say this with no sense of pride, but do wish to bear witness.

On September 11, 2001, I lived on the ninth floor of a high-rise condo building in Arlington, VA, across Interstate 395, directly overlooking the Pentagon, which became engulfed in flames that morning after being hit by a jet airliner in the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil.

Ironically, Arlington, VA is where John F. Kennedy’s body now rests.

On November 22, 1963, the Oak Cliff section of Dallas was my home, only a few miles from where President Kennedy was assassinated and an even shorter distance from where Lee Harvey Oswald was later caught by Dallas police at the Texas Theater on Jefferson.

I don’t remember anything about that tragic day in Dallas.  I was too young to have any memories.

But everyone from Dallas around that time developed a deeper sense of awareness than most of what the assassination meant.  Sometime later, we came to our own opinions about what had happened.  We carried around scars, lingering long afterward.  That terrible moment in our nation’s history even gave Dallas an inferiority complex.  It forced some of us to try and go out and prove to the world that we weren’t like the assassin at all (who was actually from New Orleans and even lived in New York City for a short time).  We weren’t “the city of hate,” as many suggested.

 

**********

 

The Oak Cliff section of Dallas lies just to the south of downtown, on the opposite side the Trinity River.  It’s considered the city’s stepchild.

Oak Cliff only a few miles away from the big banks, tall buildings, and giant office towers that eventually became Dallas’ trademark.  It’s only a short ride from far wealthier sections of the city — including Highland Park, University Park, and North Dallas.  But it might as well have been light-years from the rest of Dallas society — the privileged upper class who glanced across the Trinity River and the giant flood plain and looked at Oak Cliff as “the other side of the tracks.”

My mother and father divorced early in my life.  They mostly grew up in and around Oak Cliff.  So did many other famous people you may know.  For example, Stevie Ray Vaughn, the iconic blues guitarist, was from Oak Cliff.  Long before then, the notorious bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde hung out around the far western fringes of Jefferson Avenue.

For me, perhaps the most shocking common ground, however, is my parents’ connection to South Oak Cliff High School.  They were students at the same school where (now retired) NBA star Dennis Rodman later went and played high school basketball.  Pretty amazing to think my mother and father sat in the same classrooms as Dennis Rodman.

Today, Oak Cliff is just about all Black and Latino.  But back during the early 1960s, it was a vast melting pot of all ethnic groups.  Sort of a smaller Brooklyn.  No one seemed to have much money, but everyone got along fine.  We never had racial problems or the kinds of troubles associated with the Old South.  Although I moved away to Chicago and Albuquerque for a time (my father worked an air-traffic controller), we returned back to Oak Cliff again during the 1970s where I attended a half-White, half-Black school (T.W. Browne).  Race just wasn’t a big deal to us kids.  We even had lots of interracial dating.  Maybe the grown-ups thought differently about race than we did.

 

**********

 

I don’t remember ever seeing the actual house where Lee Harvey Oswald lived, nor do I know the exact spot where he senselessly gunned down a Dallas police officer named J.D. Tippet.  Oh, I probably rode my bike down those streets and later drove my car across the pavement where Oswald walked many times over the years.  But the passage of time is a giant eraser.  It tends to wipe out the things we don’t see.  Most memories fade slowly.

When I was a kid, I watched a number of movies that played at the Texas Theater.  One seat in the center of the auditorium was different than the others.  It was painted black.  That was the infamous seat where Lee Harvey Oswald was sitting when he was captured by police and tried to resist arrest.

Growing up, I also remember the tasty barbecue joint located next door.  It was called “Po’ Boys.”  That local dive served the tastiest sliced beef-brisket in the city, topped off with a spicy sauce, washed down by an ice-cold mug of root beer.  That was the best-tasting thing in the world when you’re 12-years-old, or 57-years-old.

Years later, I worked as a bartender at a restaurant downtown.  A husband-wife team waited tables where I worked and somehow managed to save enough money to lease the storefront where the old Po’ Boys had been and open up their own Mexican restaurant.  Their last name was — and I swear I’m not making this up — “Kennedy.”  Oh, the irony.

Whether it was watching movies or eating barbecue, no one ever brought up the name Lee Harvey Oswald, nor did we give much thought to the things that happened that awful day back in 1963.  No one that I around knew him, nor remembered him.  It was like he never existed.

 

**********

 

Some people think sports receives far too much attention in our society.  Perhaps they’re right.

But unless you’re around my age, or perhaps a little older, you will never be able to understand the significance of what the Dallas Cowboys football team meant to our city, and it’s people.  To most out there reading this who are from other cities and the fans of other teams, you have to try and imagine the terrible black eye Dallas suffered because of the Kennedy Assassination.

The worldwide anger directed at the city was (and is) completely unwarranted.  After all, the actual crowds that welcomed the President on that November day were friendly, even wildly enthusiastic.  Moreover, Kennedy wasn’t killed by a local right-winger.  He was murdered by an avowed Marxist who lived most of his life elsewhere.  The assassin also had no long-term links to Dallas, other than living in the city and its suburbs on two separate occasions.  At the time he killed Kennedy, Oswald had been living in Oak Cliff for about seven weeks’ time.

Yet, Dallas and its citizens were largely blamed as a whole for the crime of the century.

What happened in the aftermath of the Kennedy Assassination certainly didn’t help the city’s image in the larger court of public opinion.  Although the Dallas Police Department did a remarkable job at capturing Oswald quickly and linking the assassin directly to the crime with evidence that was overwhelming (within just hours), his shocking murder on national television only a few days later in the basement of the city jail by Jack Ruby, a strip club owner with ties to organized crime, made the world think of Dallas as an outpost in the wild west.

Fortunately, without intention, the NFL’s Cowboys came to deflect that image over the years.  They became good, very good in fact, at just the right time.  In 1965, the Cowboys began a record-setting string of consecutive playoff appearances.  To outsiders, they became a new symbol of a more modern city and a source of pride for everyone.  Much later, they even became known as “America’s Team.”  I think the adoration many people have for the Cowboys stems from people needing some sense of relief from the pain of those darkest days in the city’s history.  Back then, they were the shining star that allowed the city to heal from what happened.

 

**********

 

Growing up around where the Kennedy Assassination took place gives me a more sentimental attachment to the events of that day and the people who were witnesses of history.  But it doesn’t provide me with any special advantages as to suspecting who was really responsible.

After the Warren Commission Report was released, a cottage industry of conspiracies sprung up.  Some of the authors and investigators who penned various theories were well-intended, and even thought-provoking.  Others were total quacks.  In some cases, important questions were brought to light for the first time that needed to be asked, specifically about facts that weren’t covered in the Warren Commission Report.  Of course, the links between Oswald and Ruby to Pandora’s Box of possibilities — ranging from organized crime to the Central Intelligence Agency, to Fidel Castro, to the Russians — made for some entertaining speculation.

Now 55 years later, I think the evidence is overwhelming that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone — as did Jack Ruby when he shot his target in a moment of passion.  While plenty of other theories were worthy of consideration at one time, we’ve now reached the point when no additional information, nor final conclusive answers, are likely to be forthcoming.  Perhaps the real story of what happened in Dallas that day was just as it was initially reported.  That’s not the answer many people want to hear.  But the truth isn’t always the most interesting of possibilities.

That’s probably the saddest tragedy of all, that the leader of a nation could be gunned down and history could be forever changed — not by the hand of a grand conspiracy — but rather from a simple inexplicable act from a loner.

The streets in Dealey Plaza and around Oak Cliff where the assassination and its aftermath took place remain virtually identical today, just as they were 50 years ago.  But for all those who were around during that time and who remember, nothing is quite the same as it was, nor will things ever be the same again.

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My Thoughts on the Latest Colin Kaepernick Controversy

Posted by on Nov 18, 2019 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 2 comments

 

My Thoughts on the Latest Colin Kaepernick Controversy

Would-Be NFL Player/Activist Fumbles at the Worst Possible Moment

 

I tried. I really tried.

I tried to support and defend Colin Kaepernick, the unemployed multi-millionaire quarterback-turned-activist who was clearly the victim of disproportionate backlash from NFL fans and teams.  Please, mark me down as a supporter and a defender.

Here’s some perspective:  Women-beaters, drug abusers, accused rapists, and dog killers have signed and re-signed with teams. Those clearly guilty of serious crimes are cheered by fans, their despicable acts all but ignored by tribal mobs. But Kaepernick, an activist making a peaceful display of protest against racial injustice in America becomes an outcast and a pariah. Shame on the fans and teams for losing all sense of perspective and for their grotesque hypocrisy. Cheering for women beaters and dog killers while blasting Kaepernick makes you look like a joke.

That said, the NFL held a so-called “workout” this past weekend, which was likely Kaepernick’s one and last chance to prove he belongs in a uniform under contract. Not only did Kaepernick blow this opportunity in the worst way, but he also embarrassed himself and harmed the noble causes he supposedly espouses:

Here’s my perspective:

(1) There are approximately 96 NFL quarterbacks on 32 team rosters, and even more with practice squads and on injured reserve. Question — Is Kaepernick a “top 96” quarterback? The answer is yes, or at least *was* yes. Kaepernick took his last snap three years ago, in 2016. Nonetheless, given the current dregs of NFL quarterbacking (Chicago Bears, are you listening), Kaepernick would likely be, at worst, a capable backup who deserves a chance at playing.

(2) I was never of a fan of Kaepernick’s skill set, even when he was successful as a starter. He’s not the quarterback I’d want to build a team around. However, he was a winner, albeit on a very good team at the time.  Given the older retreads, mostly losing quarterbacks, who continue getting plenty of opportunities (Derek Anderson, Matt Cassel), and even start games (Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Schaub), Kaepernick should be on a team somewhere.

(3) Kaepernick handled the initial controversy terribly (back in 2016). Showing up to team practice in socks portraying police officers as pigs was disgraceful and stupid. His public comments about there being no difference between then-candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton showed appalling ignorance. His admission that he didn’t even bother to vote in the 2016 election reveals the downright stupidity of a social influencer and bad example for others to follow.

(4) I, and many others inclined to support Kaepernick, chalked up those dumb comments in 2016 to simple immaturity, and perhaps not understanding the gravity of his actions. Over time, we expected the activist to understand his cause has become much bigger than any individual. Given Kaepernick had three years to learn more, develop better understanding, and explain himself, we thought he’d mature and perhaps even admit he was wrong in the way he handled the scrutiny.

(5) Kaepernick’s opportunity to show his skills and demonstrate he was still in football shape was a unique chance not given to any previous player. He should have agreed essentially to do whatever it took to sign with a team and contribute. Prospective teams were reportedly not looking so much at Kaepernick’s arm or legs of physicality but wanted to see if he really wanted to play. Unfortunately, he answered these questions before the workout by getting into a pointless legal spat about liabilities and waivers, demanding that cameras be allowed onto the field when NFL rules forbid such media attention, and then moved the location at the last minute. Nothing was gained by this idiotic last-minute dispute.

(6) Showing up in a t-shirt with the letters “KUNTA KINTE” on the front of his shirt was football suicide. Anyone, including supporters, who thought Kaepernick would be focused on his game and wouldn’t be a distraction was shown to be foolish. This ridiculous optic of self-comparison to the slave from “Roots,” was mind-bogglingly stupid.

(7) Lest there remain any doubt about Kaepernick’s confusion and mixed intentions over the weekend, he also made a huge deal out of a new line of shoes being released by Nike. This was nothing but a media sideshow intended to cash a paycheck. No one should care what Kaepernick, the prospective NFL player, is wearing or promoting. But he made an embarrassing spectacle of himself in pimping his shoes. This wasn’t the first time Kaepernick has created a sideshow that detracted from his message.

(8) Kaepernick is finished as an NFL quarterback. He will never take another snap. Prior to this weekend, that was the NFL’s fault, in an obvious case of collective bias and collusion. Now, Kaepernick’s fate is his own doing. It’s his own fault, likely shared by some idiotic agents and personal advisors.

My main takeaway from this mess is that we can and should separate the message from the messenger. Indeed, the justice system in this country is biased. Protests are justified. Kneeling for the National Anthem is an act of patriotism. Speaking out for one’s personal beliefs is very American. Kaepernick is not only worth defending *on* the football field. He should be hailed as a hero and a role model.

But “off” the field, Kaepernick has fumbled at the worst possible moment. He turned over any advantage to his haters and detractors with a series of preposterous blunders. He lost the undecided and made a mockery out of those who were adamant in supporting him publically.

Surely, a decade from now, perhaps sooner, there will be an ESPN “30 for 30” when Kaepernick will be celebrated and remembered as a brave person of principle. In some respects, that praise shall be deserved. However, in the meantime, all Kaepernick has done is stupidly waste two opportunities — his chance to play in the NFL again, and our chance to evolve into a nation with a better understanding of social activism and the things worth defending.

Mr. Kaepernick — you’ve got your shoe company money. You got your media attention. Now, please — go away. I don’t want to hear from you again.

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NFL 2019: Week #11

Posted by on Nov 16, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

 

 

Spread and total numbers heading into NFL Week #11:

Road Teams:  81 — 64 — 3  ATS
Home Teams:  64 — 81 — 3  ATS

All Favorites:  60 – 85 — 3 A TS
All Underdogs:  85 — 60 — 3  ATS

Home Favorites:  37 — 58 — 3  ATS
Home Underdogs:  27 — 23 — 0  ATS

Road Favorites:  23 — 27 — 0  ATS
Road Underdogs:  58 — 37 — 3  ATS

OVERS/UNDERS:  72 — 76 — 0

 

************************************************

2019 NFL WAGERING RECORD

Wins — Losses — Pushes          26 — 31 — 0

Starting Bankroll:   $ 8,198.

Current Bankroll:   $6,158.  (- $1,435.)

Last Week’s Results (Week #9):         2 — 1 — 0  (+ $225.)

*************************************************

 

THIS WEEK’S WAGERS:  This week, I’ve made 6 wagers.  I’m laying $2,360. to win $2,100.  Here are the plays (listed at -110 unless noted otherwise):

Tampa Bay +5.5 vs. New Orleans — Laying $440 to win $400

Carolina -4 vs. Atlanta — Laying $440 to win $400

Dallas -6.5 vs. Detroit (-115) — Laying $460 to win $400

Teaser:  Jacksonville +8 / Oakland -6.5 (-120) — Laying $360 to win $300

First Half:  Miami +3.5 vs. Buffalo — Laying $330 to win $300

Kansas City / LA Chargers OVER 52 — Laying $330 to win $300

 

THOUGHTS ON ALL GAMES:

DAL -7 at DET (Total–47):   I got this number at DAL -6.5 which is nice to be inside a touchdown.  However, I did lay -115.  Lions are starting backup QB Driskell since Stafford is not fully recovered.  Stafford might not produce many quality wins, but the dropoff at QB here is huge for the Lions, and probably worth 4 points to the spread.  If DET has any strengths it’s with their passing game and that should take a serious downturn in the game.  DAL is never a bargain and an even worse prospect for betting when they desperately need the win.  But on paper, the Cowboys are the far superior team and coming off a loss in which they were dominated against Vikings a week ago, should be focused.  Meanwhile, Lions’ season is probably over with the loss to Chicago last week.  Not only are Lions likely deflated, but they’re outclassed in just about every phase of this matchup, other than coaching.  The DAL line at -6.5 (-115) was enough to make me pull the trigger with a wager.

NOR – 5.5 at TAM (Total–50):  I like the feisty Bucs getting points here not just because they’re a home division dog, but also as a fade against the Saints, who aren’t the dominant offense lately we’re used to seeing during the Payton-Brees era.  NOR was humiliated at home last week, which may have exposed some inconsistencies with the offense.  After a tough stretch of opponents in September, NOR has faced the last five foes with a combined 15-27 record.  TAM is just 3-6 SU, but has been competitive in most games, keeping things close.  Coming off a win and riding some much-needed confidence, look for TAM to be focused in their biggest game of the season at home against a division rival.  Bucs have no problem scoring points, with (scoring-wise) one of the best units in the NFL.  Obviously, the Bucs defense is a reason for grave concern.  But NOR isn’t in synch at the moment and outdoors on natural grass probably isn’t the ideal setting for a blowout road win.  In what should be a close game, I’ll take a too-generous number of points.

ATL +4.5 at CAR (Total–49.5):  Another NFC South rivalry game that’s critical to the home team Panthers.  After losing the first two games of the season, CAR has gone 6-2 SU, with the two defeats to 49ers and Packers on the road (no shame in that).  CAR tends to beat the teams it should, and ATL qualifies as a team with multiple disadvantages.  ATL’s stunning upset at Saints last week was a shocker, but that also takes off some pressure this week and bad teams off a win don’t usually fare well in back-to-back road games.  Dismissing the inexplicable win at New Orleans, ATL defense has been horrid.  I expect we’ll see the “real” Falcons back in action this week, that gave up 34 to the Cardinals, 53 to the Texans, and 37 to the Rams.  Falcons are a woeful 5-16 ATS on the road since the Super Bowl meltdown three years ago.  Panthers could be just a bit undervalued here, and that Falcons’ win last week probably pushed this number at least 2 points.  I’ll take the 5-4 team in the playoff hunt laying well under a TD against a 2-7 team that’s perhaps just another loss or two from axing the head coach.  Also lean UNDER the total as 9 of last 11 in this series have gone beneath the number.

JAX +2.5 at IND (Total–43):  Colts are in the final stretch of the 4 out of last 5 games at home, which included last week’s disastrous loss to Miami.  Colts will apparently return to Brissett at QB, which certainly helps prospects.  However, IND has simply been too inconsistent at home — with losses to Dolphins and Raiders, a false win over Broncos, a 3-point win over Falcons and a solid win over Texans.  That’s just one quality win in five home games.  Now, with QB coming off an injury and facing an opponent that was embarrassed its previous outing,  I predict the Colts will have their hands full.  JAX comes off the bye with two weeks to prepare, so I’m betting the underdog here, which has gone 3-1 ATS on the road this season.  JAX has also dominated this series lately, going 7-0-1 ATS vs. Colts.  Note that since I couldn’t find +3 earlier (it’s now available in some places juiced to -120), I opted to tease the Jaguars to +8 (got that number at reduced juice).  Hence, I have JAX in the teaser (along with Oakland).

DEN +10 at MIN (Total–40.5):  I wanted to bet the dog here, figuring Vikings could be fat and happy (and ripe for a possible upset) after the Dallas win last week.  But MIN is on a roll now, on both sides of the ball and this isn’t a team I want to bet against at the moment, especially since DEN is starting an unproven QB with one NFL start.  DEN is also giving up alarming number of QB sacks — 15 in the last three games, which doesn’t help prospects for young QB in a road game.  Vikings also enjoy a solid home edge and are a perfect 4-0 this season, 3-1 ATS.  Total at 40.5 is tempting to bet UNDER since these are two of the better units in the NFL  DEN defense, in particular, has been stellar considering they’ve had so little help from offense in time of possession, etc.  I suspect DEN defense will catch MIN napping in this game, keep things close, and the game falls under the total.  But no wager for me.

NYJ +2.5 at WAS (Total–38.5):  I wanted to jump on NYJ early and almost make the bet.  Line moved up to +2.5 from +1 early, and I couldn’t figure out why.  WAS offense has been horrendous under interim coach Callahan, setting near-records for futility.  Aside from their 17-point outburst vs. Miami, Redskins have put up 3, 7, 0, 9, and 9 their last six games.  That’s vomit worthy.  So, I’m not sure what Redskins’ backers are seeing.  Meanwhile, it’s hard to sell the idea the Jets are a team worth betting on, but they did beat the crosstown Giants last week and at least show some signs of being able to score points.  Perhaps there’s some notion the bye will help Washington here, but I don’t see it.  Jets are probably worth a wager, but I didn’t bet it (so far) with some other attractive bets on the board.  I may come to regret my caution.  Lowest total on the board this week, at 38 in some places.

BUF -6.5 at MIA (Total–40.5):  Guess which team in the hottest pick against the spread over the past five weeks?  Try this:  Miami.  They’re 5-0, with two outright wins as underdogs (Greg Dinkin, please order some wine tonight to go along with your special helping of crow).  Explaining why I’m betting the Dolphins doesn’t take a lot of words.  I’m just sticking with the hot hand here, and am glad to take the home dog against a division rival coming off a road loss.  Miami kept things close and actually led the Bills much of the game in the first meeting (before losing by 10).  If anything, MIA is probably a better team now than then, so I’ll take the Dolphins riding an unforeseen two-game winning streak.  However, since I couldn’t capture the +7 anywhere, I opted instead to go with the Dolphins getting +3.5 in the first half.  Certainly, Dolphins will be charged up for this contest and hopefully can keep it close going into halftime.

HOU +4.5 at BAL (Total–51.5):  This looks to be one of the best games of the week, with two exciting playoff contenders who can score points.  I lean towards the Ravens here based on a little more consistency.  Coaching edge also to the Ravens.  But HOU does come in off the bye with some extra rest in a laugher of a win two weeks ago.  So, that keeps me off the game.  Very solid lean on BAL at -4,  which no longer appears to be available.  Also, lean UNDER purely as a contrarian.  Figuring one of these defenses will step up this week and be the difference.

ARZ +9.5 at SFO (Total–44):  Line dropped off the +10, which tells me Cardinals are attracting some late money.  I’ve been bullish on ARZ much of the season and they certainly deserve a solid look with a 7-3 ATS record overall, including a 4-1 ATS record on the road.  What makes me pass is not knowing how SFO will react off a loss in the best game of the year, an overtime thriller on MNF.  We’re unaccustomed to seeing the 49ers in this spot.  Might there be some hangover effect coming off the loss?  Or, could SFO absolutely shut down the visitor and win easily by double digits.  Both scenarios play equally in my head, so this game is a pass.  However, I do lean OVER this total.  Arizona is 6-4 to the OVER and SFO has exceeded the number in three straight.

NWE -4 at PHI (Total–44.5):  Lots of respected handicappers tout the Eagles in this game, reported to be fully healthy for the first time all season.  Clearly, this is a perfect spot for PHI back to full strength.  However, NWE rarely loses back-to-back games and the Patriots should be in a sour mood coming off the Baltimore loss a few weeks ago, followed by a bye.  Also, NWE is 10-4 ATS dating back to last December, and 13-1 SU.  Those aren’t numbers I want to fade.  I do think this is too many points to give a pretty solid Eagles team that should be fully prepared.  Laying -3 seems to be the max line here, tops.  But this game should also be volatile, with two excellent QBs and plenty of receiving targets.  Lean to the OVER.

CIN +12.5 at OAK (Total–48.5):  Raiders will be a team to fade at some point, but not this week.  A few weeks ago, when OAK was 3-4, I predicted they would be in first place by end of November.  If they win here, they’re 6-4, in first place, tied with KC.  No way Raiders don’t roll up points here in third consecutive home game against a vastly outmatched opponent.  I do think this line is just a little high, so I’m not touching the Raiders in the highly unusual spot of laying nearly two touchdowns.  But I do see such a disparity in talent and motivation that laying -6.5 on the teaser is worth a bet.  It’s critical to get beneath a TD, so laying -6.5 was the perfect number to draw me in.  OAK offense has continuously improved and should tag plenty of points on the Bengals.  Raiders’ main vulnerability is pass defense, but CIN appears incapable of taking advantage of this with QB Ryan Finley starting in what will be his fourth NFL start.

CHI  +6.5 at LAR (Total–40):  Rams have regressed and look nothing like the NFC champions from last season.  I’ve burned enough money with this team, which is now 5-4 SU.  Offense is struggling.   Offensive line is reportedly in shambles.  Rams running game is terrible, ranks 27th in the NFL at just 3.2 YPP.  Defense looks to be back in form, and gets an easy opponent with the punchless Bears this week.  Lowest home total on a Rams game since they’ve been back in Los Angeles, justified since CHI doesn’t score and the LAR defense has allowed just 16 PPG on average in past four contests. Rams have gone 6-3 to the UNDER.  Bears have gone 6-3 to the UNDER, a combined 66 pct. to the low side of totals.  Number has adjusted here but perhaps still isn’t quite low enough.  Lean UNDER based on these recent trends.

KC-4 at LAC (Total–52):  Rare for me to bet OVER a high total like this, but I think it’s well worth a play on a MNF game in perfect conditions with two prolific QBs able to produce points in the annual showcase game in Mexico City.  Chiefs have gone 7-3 to the OVER this season, but totals don’t appear to be adjusting any higher.  Should be a do or die game for the Chargers, which spanked GB in last game and then followed that up with a heartbreaking loss to OAK in final minute.  I think this game turns into a shootout once either team take any significant lead.  More of feeling here, than anything that’s data-driven.  This is only the third-game NFL game in Mexico, which is at 7,200 alt.  Thinking the defenses may tire more quickly in a game with two teams having legit passing threats.

 

CONTEST WINNER ONLY/NO POINTSPREAD [$200 entry fee]

Season Record To-Date:  87-62-1

 

BD /SM INVESTMENT GROUP [38 persons]

211. — David Heldar
100. — Steve Watanabe
1,000. — Peter Lucier
302. — Bruce Kramer
200. — Finbarr O’Mahony
100. — Howler
500. — Linda Keenan
100. — John Pickels
100. — Patrick Kirwan
300. — Sean McGuiness
252. — Jim Anderson
200. — Chad Holloway
500. — Eric Schneller
351. — Randy Collack
100. — David Lawless Lawful
1,000. — Paul Harris
51. — Dan Goldman
51. — Sharon Goldman
102. — Ken QB
102. — Chuck Weinstock
102. — Peter Taki Caldes
51. — Kenny Shei (cashed out — paid 10-27-19)
51. — Jeff Dietch
128. — Kevin Un
22. — Becca
102. — Corey Imsdahl
102. — Don Bingo Reick
1,000. — Jeff Siegel (payment pending)
100. — Stephen Cohen (payment pending)
51.  — John Reed
51. — George Wattman
51. — Mickdog Patterson
100. — Larry Lubliner
100. — Guy Grizz Berentsen
100. — Edmund Hack
500. — Bob Feduniak
63. — John Reed

102. — David “Quick” Horowitz

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NFL 2019: Week #10

Posted by on Nov 11, 2019 in Blog | 1 comment

 

 

This past weekend, we remembered the late great Monte Christensen, a brother to many, who was memorialized in a beautiful ceremony with family and friends in Seattle, which I was fortunate to attend.

I opted to make Monte’s memory my focus these past several days.  Accordingly, there were no plays nor analysis for NFL Week #10.

Then on Sunday night, a faint voice swirled in my head which sounded just like Monte.  “You idiot — you should have bet the Dolphins plus the points,” he said.

I’ll be back next Sunday for Week #11.

R.I.P. Monte Christensen.  Thanks for the winners.

 

 

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Willie Nelson (Concert Review)

Posted by on Nov 5, 2019 in Blog, Las Vegas, Music and Concert Reviews | 2 comments

 

 

Willie Nelson Concert Review (October 25, 2019 at The Venetian, Las Vegas)

 

No one can say for sure how many more Willie Nelson stage performances remain now that he’s weathered and wrinkled in the final twilight of an astounding musical journey that first began in 1956.

So, when the opportunity arose to go see the 86-year-old country music outlaw, I viewed my surprising good fortune at getting last-minute tickets not so much a passive performance but a personal pilgrimage.  This was the chance to revere and pay tribute.

Nelson is indeed on the road again, currently in the midst of his 2019 American Tour.  This latest show was held on Friday, October 25th, the first of a six-night engagement at The Venetian Theatre, in Las Vegas.

First and foremost, Nelson remains a uniquely gifted songwriter.  But he’s just as well known as a singer, guitarist, and stage performer.  And a film star.  And a political activist.  And so much, much more.

At a time when live musical authenticity has become exceedingly rare, it wouldn’t have mattered had Nelson taken the stage, forgotten some lyrics, and missed a few notes during the show which clocked in at a racy-fast one-hour and twenty minutes.  No one in the crowd of perhaps 1,800 witnesses arrived on this night expecting to see Shotgun Willie.  Instead, most of the sold-out crowd came to pay homage.  Many wanted to see Nelson a first, or one last time.

The show began promptly at 8 pm with a warm-up act — Tennessee Jet.  I knew nothing at all of Jet, who played an acoustic guitar solo for about 30 minutes, with no other musical accompaniment whatsoever.  This was a stripped down show to the very extreme, no doubt intended to create a mellow atmosphere for what was to come later.  Jet wasn’t going to be Garth Brooks.  This was a soft-spoken man on a stool, plucking notes, singing songs, and telling stories.  Jet was perfectly fine in this role, and just the right length of time as a warm up.

Following a short intermission and some sound adjustments, Willie Nelson entered from stage left to rousing applause.  He was joined by five other musicians.  Behind Nelson and his band, a giant red, white, and blue Texas State flag the size of an Olympic swimming pool served as the backdrop.  Two large in-house television screens provided excellent visuals for everyone in the house to watch Nelson, who would be the exclusive focal point for the remainder of the evening.

Immediately, Nelson took his guitar and launched into “Whiskey River,” a surprising breakout hit from 1972 when the singer initially transitioned from an awkward-looking, hopelessly out-of-place third-rate performer into a long-haired bandana-wearing hippie who no longer attempted to hide his twangy rough-sounding nasal-driven voice.  The rebellious honky-tonk tune brought the crowd to its feet, proving again that Nelson still has the ability to work a room, even in glitzy Las Vegas.

The tight set list included 17 songs, including a mix of new material, a few familiar hits, and (surprisingly) many songs by other fellow country legends.  Spontaneity wasn’t part of this act.  This was a meticulously-scripted show from start to finish, intended to deliver Nelson not so much as a nostalgia act, but an artist who very much remains at country music’s creative apex of past, present, and future.

“This one’s for Merle,” Nelson said to the audience as he gave a solo rendition of “Reasons to Quit,” the 1983 hit he co-wrote with Haggard who passed away a few years ago.  Nelson also paid tribute to the late Waylon Jennings, his fellow Texas outlaw.  Decked in a cowboy hat during the first third of the show, he also sang the old Hank Williams’ chestnut, “Hey, Hey, Good Lookin’.”

Nelson’s vocals were remarkably strong, especially for an octogenarian.  But it was Nelson supurb guitar work that was most impressive and the biggest stunner for those unfamiliar with Nelson’s pedigree and skills as an artist.  Strumming and plucking “Trigger,” his hopelessly faded and beat up wooden guitar that was the only personal belonging salvaged from a 1970 house fire that marked his final goodbye after struggling for years as a songwriter in Nashville, the braided troubadour proved his can still bend the strings and pick notes.  In fact, Nelson’s guitar work was, there’s no other word for it but — exceptional.  Many musical icons can rely on younger backup stage performers to carry the heavy load and fill in details during a performance.  Not Nelson.  He plucks and picks every single lead melody of the entire set himself, and his finger work on the frets could easily be seen on the giant screens.  This was truly amazing to watch.

Given Nelson’s surprising guitar prowess, one of the evening’s highlights was the show’s only instrumental number, “Stardust,” the title song off of his 1982 best-selling masterpiece that once showed an alternative side to Nelson’s songmanship.  However, Nelson’s finest moment came when he performed the crossover 1970 hit, “Yesterday When I Was Young,” written and sung by Roy Clark off his Shades of Country album.  When Nelson with his heavy nasal vibrato sang the song’s final stanza, one could have heard a pin drop:

There are so many songs in me that won't be sung
I feel the bitter taste of tears upon my tongue
The time has come for me to pay for
Yesterday, when I was young.

To say Nelson’s band was restrained would be an understatement.  His backing accompaniment had no drum kit, only brush sticks with a single snare.  One sideman played harmonica.  Another plucked a stand-up bass.  Someone else in the band played soft acoustics.  A big black grand piano took up much of the stage, but never overwhelmed Nelson, the clear frontman conducting the entire performance from beginning to end.  No doubt, the singer-songwriter who’s composed more than 1,000 tunes himself, including 40 top country hits, and knows a great many more classics committed to memory, took understandable comfort in having a small screen monitor directly beneath his feet teleprompting the lyrics.  However, it appeared Nelson didn’t need the visual crutch very often.   He didn’t miss a note, not a lyric.  May we all be so mentally astute when we reach his age.

For those expecting to see and hear more of Willie the unapologetic political and social activist who participated in countless progressive causes over the years, including the annual Farm Aid concert to help support America’s farmers, that particular silo didn’t make an appearance on this night.  His show was remarkably apolitical.  One suspects Nelson might be determined to keep some would-be critics at bay, by not speaking to the crowd about controversial topics, despite the great political and social divide throughout the country.  Alas, this was a moment of reflection and unity.

Forty minutes into the show, a large American flag was unfurled and replaced the Texas flag as the band’s backdrop.  Was this a statement?  Not sure what the point of this display was, perhaps to self-identify himself with Americana, or just to prove to his audience that pot-smoking liberals can be patriots, too.

The evening’s most amusing moment came in the 16th song of the set when Nelson, an avowed proponent of marijuana use and legalization, sang “Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die.”  Even though the song might not be as well known as his other hits, most of the crowd could be seen and heard singing the catchy chorus along with Nelson, everyone willing to enjoy the free-spirited celebration.

The show did have some gaps.  One major disappointment was Nelson not performing an encore.  After what turned out to be his final song, “Still Not Dead,” off the 2017 God’s Problem Child album, the band returned to the stage and it seemed Nelson would answer the standing ovation for an obligatory curtain call.  However, the auditorium lights then came on and the show was over.  It’s uncertain whether Nelson was simply fatigued, or the 10 pm hour right on the nose marked a preset termination time.  Given this was the first of six straight nights of shows — probably the former.  Nelson would be justified preserving his energy and voice, and no one in the crowd seemed to mind.  But for $120-a-seat tickets, one final song and a hearty farewell from the country icon would have been the perfect closer.  It was only a small blemish on an otherwise wonderful experience.

Curious to learn more, I discovered that Nelson has been forced to cancel some performances in recent months due to his tireless travel and associated bouts with fatigue.  Performances are likely to be inconsistent, from now on.  But at least a few things are certain:  Willie Nelson can still sing and perform just as well as during anytime in his illustrious career, and there won’t be many more chances again to see a legend of this stature who given us so many wonderful songs for more than 60 years and invented an entire genre of music.

You’d be “crazy” not to go and see Willie Nelson if and when you still can.

 

Note:  Thanks to Dan and Sharon Goldman for the show tickets.

 

 

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NFL 2019: Week #9

Posted by on Nov 3, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

 

 

A few interesting stats worth noting heading into NFL Week #9:

— Road teams are 71-45-2 ATS so far this season.

— Division games have leaned strongly to the UNDER, going 23-12 to the low side of the total.

— In 121 games played, so far, UNDERs have prevailed overall, going 65-55-1.

— UNDERs have also produced a small profit across the board in both the first and second half.  First-halves total have landed 64-56-1 to the UNDER.  Second halves have landed 63-54-4 to the UNDER.

 

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2019 NFL WAGERING RECORD

Wins — Losses — Pushes          24 — 30 — 0

Starting Bankroll:   $ 8,296.

Current Bankroll:   $6,631.  (- $1,660.)

Last Week’s Results:         2 — 2 — 0  (+ $160.)

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THIS WEEK’S WAGERS:  This week, I’ve made three wagers.  I’m laying $1,035. to win $900.  Here are the plays:

Indianapolis / Pittsburgh OVER 40.5 — Risking $330 to win $300

Detroit / Oakland OVER 50.5 — Risking $33o to win $300

Jacksonville +7.5 / Chicago +10.5 — Risking $375 to win $300

Possible Late Additions (see Facebook):  Seattle -5, Green Bay -4, and Dallas -6

 

THOUGHTS ON ALL GAMES:

HOU/JAX — HOU is laying -1.5 to JAX in this week’s London game with the total posted at 46.5.  Rain forecast could muddy the track.  I teased the Jaguars up over a touchdown to +7.5.  Although they’ve played weak competition, CIN and NYJ, the Jaguars have won two straight and eclipsed the 20+ point mark in 5 of last six.  Strength of JAX was supposed to be the defense, and they’ve been in fine form lately, holding opponents to just 13, 17, and 15 points respectively.  At 4-4, this is a critical game for JAX, and I expect they’ll keep this one close.  Meanwhile, HOU has not looked good it’s last two games.  HOU played miserably against IND two weeks ago and might have lost at home to OAK had the officiating been more consistent.  HOU will miss Watt on the defensive line this week, which is certainly an advantage to the underdog.  JAX fields the #2 ranked pass defense in NFL and with #2 WR Fuller out for HOU, that could be problematic.  Not a huge factor, but worth mentioning — HOU has never played in London before.  This is the seventh time JAX has played in London, including last season.  So, JAX could be slightly more in tune with these travel demands.  Previous divisional matchup in HOU between these two teams produced a nail-biting 13-12 finale.  Give me the +7.5.  Also lean strongly to JAX at +1.5

WAS /BUF — WAS playing at BUF getting +10.5.  Total is a season-low, at 36.5.  Wind and some drizzle possible in the forecast, which won’t help either passing game.  Total is too low to bet UNDER so the contrarian in me wants to bet the other way.  But WAS offense is beyond anemic — producing just 36 points in its last five games, with zero TD drives their last 14 possessions.  Hard to bet the Redskins in this spot.  BUF hasn’t played well on the offensive side of the ball either.  Does seems like a great rebound situation for BUF which got beat solidly last week at home to PHI.  This is the third straight at home for BUF, which also helps the favorite.  Can’t lay -10.5 with a team that isn’t moving the ball as well as earlier in the season.  This marks the fifth time WAS has been a dog of 10+.  They’ve covered in three of those contests, including the last two weeks.  WAS starting rookie QB Haskins, which reportedly is a rushed decision (translation:  he’s not ready).  Terrible spot to start a rookie on the road off a loss versus a good Bills defense.  Hard to predict what to expect.  Between the weather, two struggling offenses, and a home team off an embarrassing loss, there are way too many variables to handicap.  So, this is a pass.

TEN/CAR — CAR laying -3.5 to TEN, with total set at 42.  CAR was destroyed at SFO last week, but that blowout might be a bit misleading.  I sensed that CAR seemed to give up after falling behind early, realizing it might be better to stay healthy and prepare for next game.  CAR has won 4/5 with backup QB Allen under center.  CAR also leading NFL in sacks, getting to opposing QB 4.3 times per game.   TEN also allowing heavy sacks last few games with new QB….Tannehill has hit the grass nine times in 10 quarters he’s played this season.  Meanwhile. TEN is notorious as a road team in recent years.  Titans just 11-22 ATS in last 32 games as a road dog.  But most of those contests were with QB bust Mariota, replaced now by the journeyman Tannehill, who has won two straight.  I was tempted to play CAR, but the hook on the -3 and the decent play of Tannehill keeps me off the home favorite.

CHI/PHI — PHI laying -4 to floundering CHI with total at 41.  CHI on a bad slide, losing three straight.  However, both teams have disappointed this season.  PHI only 3-9 ATS the last 12 home games.  PHI played best game of season last week at BUF, rushing for 200+ yards.  But I expect CHI defense to regroup for this contest with backs to the wall and their season slipping away.  Obviously, CHI offense is a monumental concern for betttors.  But the PHI defense been woefully inconsistent, surrendering 24+ points in 6/8 games this season.  I grabbled CHI +10.5 on the teaser, taking the half point on the key number (10) hoping that’s enough to get the cash.  PHI is currently in the midst of a brutal stretch of opposing defenses, facing MIN, DAL, BUF, CHI, and then NWE next week.  That’s quite an overwhelming task for any offense, especially one that hasn’t been healthy much of the season.  Taking CHI on the teaser to keep the score within single digits.  This teaser side probably won’t be appealing to many bettors, but there are some positive trends that also favor the Bears in this spot.  Teams that come off two straight home losses do tend to focus more and play above market expectation in the next game, on the road.  Lack of respect for Bears now gives some added value.

MIN/KC — Chiefs as home favorites have lost three straight games and now face what might be their toughest opponent yet, MIN coming in red hot on a four-game winning streak.  QB Mahomes listed as doubtful.  If so, Moore has played admirably and now with some experience should be able to guide the offense.  Trouble has been KC’s defense.  I wanted to play MIN in this game, but line offers no value at -4.  Might bite if the number was -3.  So, this rates as a pass.  Total stands at 47, which might be a little high with Mahomes on the sideline.  Something tells me Mahomes might see action this week if Moore doesn’t play well and KC is in the game.  Based on that intangible, I’d probably swing and bet the other way right now, getting +4.  But this isn’t a game I want to bet on at the moment.

NYJ/MIA — MIA has very quietly covered in three straight games.  Now, the Dolphins are getting +3 at home.  All the pressure seems to be on NYJ and especially QB Darnold coming off two awful games.  Head Coach Gase, who took the Jets job after spending three seasons in MIA, is probably on the hot seat, as well.  I don’t see the NYJ as a team that responds well under pressure.  Given MIA has covered the line in three straight, strong lean to Dolphins.  However, I didn’t like what I saw by MIA in second half of the PIT game, where they blew a two-touchdown lead.  Off a short week, hard to say how MIA will perform with so little talent at skill positions.  NYJ aren’t favored often, and we see why — they’re just 1-7 ATS as favorites since 2017.  NYJ also facing some reported dissension in locker room with defensive captain Adams being shopped in a trade possibility.  Jets MLB Mosley is also out for this game.  Lean Dolphins but no wager.

IND/PIT — PIT laying -1 to Colts with total at 40.5.  I like the OVER in this game, which is the lowest of any Steelers game this season by 3 points.  PIT offense has consistently produced points since the QB injury/backup situation, scoring 20+ in six straight games.  Steelers home games 13-6 to the OVER the last three seasons.  Also worth noting that this total is the lowest of any IND game this season, as well.  This is an outlier game for the Colts, who played two at home, visit PIT this week, then go back at home for two more.  Weather looks to be perfect for game day, so I’m a bit surprised this total isn’t at least 42.5 to 43.  I’ll grab some value by catching the key number 41.   Also of note:  IND is a perfect 3-0 ATS on the road this season, but line might have caught up to this fact as they’re a tiny dog.  PIT getting very lucky in turnover margin, at +9 this season.  That good fortune likely won’t continue.

DET/OAK — I like the total to fly OVER the 50.5.  Had the OVER 51.5 in OAK/HOU game last week and missed by a half-point.  But also had DET going OVER, which easily eclipsed the mark.  Both defenses give up chunks of yards, big plays, and points, and two veteran QBs should indicate another shootout.  DET has gone OVER in 5/7.  OAK has gone OVER in 4/7.   This is the Raiders first home game in Week #2.  They play a critical three-game home stretch, against beatable opponents and a chance to get back into the playoff race.  Shocking as this may sound, OAK could be in first place a month from now, if they take care of business.  DET is a perfect opponent for OAK, allowing 30 PPG its last five contests, and has injuries in the defensive secondary.  Lions awful in pass defense, ranking 32nd in the NFL in YPG allowed.  Raiders hardly any better, rank 31st.  Those are dreadful numbers.  OAK ranks fourth in the NFL in YPP (6.2) and is averaging 26 PPG in last four contests, all away from home.  More good news for OAK — offensive line playing well, allowed just 8 sacks all season of QB Carr.  Seems like a reasonable expectation for both teams to put up points.  Playing the OVER 50.5.  Also probably some value on OAK -2.5, which is available in a few spots.

TB/SEA — SEA has been dreadful as a home favorite, losing ATS in all four games this season.  Perhaps that’s why this number is down to SEA -4.5, despite the Seahawks looking very formidable at 6-2 and playing an opponent that’s lost three straight games.  Tempting to lay the chalk here with SEA.  Reason to bet here is fading a really bad defense, which has been slashed for 34 PPG on average its last five contests.  Giving up 32 to the NYG, 37 to CAR, and 27 to TEN doesn’t inspire confidence.  TB has also underperformed to the market, going just 2-5 ATS this season.  I’d like to play OVER this game as well, but total is the week’s highest number at 52.5 and I just can’t bet it, especially given some feeling the SEA defense will rise to the occasion.  SEA promises lots of value at this number.  I might reconsider and make a late play at game time, especially of line inexplicably falls to -4 (which it won’t).  Fifth straight road game for Tampa (one was in London).  Ridiculous for NFL to do this to teams (Tampa and Oakland this season).  Odd fact:  Underdog has covered in ten straight Seattle games.  Probably just a variance tic, but still worth mentioning.

CLE/DEN — Another QB with the last name Allen is starting, as Broncos found an excuse to place Flacco’s statue in the warehouse (reportedly out for the season) and will introduce a new QB who hasn’t ever taken an NFL snap.  Impossible to handicap DEN offensive situation, which looks bleak.  But back at home facing Browns’ defense that hasn’t played well in 2019, this is as good a situation as any for a new QB.  CLE laying -4 which strikes me as a little high, especially given how well DEN defense has played.  Broncos defense has come up strong much of the season, allowing just 18 PPG.  On the other wide, CLE remains one of the NFL’s biggest disappointments.  To be fair to the Browns, they’ve played a murderer’s row of games the last five weeks — LAR, BAL, SFO, SEA, NWE — and now face their softest opponent since facing the NYJ in Week #2.  CLE probably the right side if you bet the game.  Smarter bet might be UNDER 39, since DEN playbook should be abbreviated with a first-time starter and DEN defense playing well above average.

GB/LAC — Talk is this will be a home game for the Packers who will enjoy more fan support than the host.  Very tempting to bet the road favorite here at -4, but it looks almost too easy.  Chargers have been horrid in most games this year, often playing from behind in every game.   Last week, they were down by 11, but rallied late to win.  Game before that, LAC lost at TEN after being down by double digits.  LAC were being shut out at home 24-0 to PIT in previous game.  Then, in game before that, LAC lost at home by 7 to DEN.  Only real “victory” was an easy win at dreadful MIA.  Hard to see how LAC are going to turn things around.  Team appears to be badly coached, unmotivated, no home-field advantage, and aren’t scoring.  Chargers produced average of 17 PPG in last four games.  That number won’t cut it against GB, which can light up a scoreboard.  GB playing third straight AFC West foe and is on a roll, especially on offense.  It’s the Packers or nothing here for me.  Packers perfect on the road at 3-0 ATS.  LAC have failed to cover at home, going 0-4 ATS.  Shouldn’t this line be -6?  Note also that LAC fired offensive coordinator (Whisenhunt).  Head coach Lynn is taking over the play-calling.  I fail to see how that improves the situation for the Chargers.

NWE/BAL — Big game of the week on SNF has BAL getting +3 at home against the dynasty.  I’m tempted to play the Ravens off the bye in what’s clearly a statement game for the team.  But I’d like at least +4, so won’t flesh out any cash.  NWE is cheap here if you like that side.  Offensive stats are down, but the defense has been stellar against very bad competition.  There’s also the point differential, which is one of the best in history.  That’s something that could motivate Belichick and his team in crucial situations where the spread is at stake.  Remarkable Stat:  NWE defense has allowed just 4 opposing TDs scored on its last 96 drives.  That’s unheard of.  No way I can step in front of the GOAT Patriots right now.  I see compelling arguments on both side — Patriots have value at this number and the Ravens are probably a contrarian lean.  No opinion on the total.  However, these are the two top-scoring offenses in the NFL so a lean to the OVER 44.5 seems justified.

DAL/NYG — MNF features DAL in first place visiting Meadowlands again, where they were upset to Jets three weeks ago.  DAL was laying -7 but line has dropped to -6.  Probably some value at this number on Cowboys.  What keeps me off DAL (at this moment) is a general tendency to stay away from road division favorites combined with DAL’s notorious inconsistencies. losing games like this that they should win based on edge in talent.  DAL does come off a bye and played its best game of the season two weeks ago whipping PHI.  There’s no excuse for DAL not to be fully prepared for this matchup.  NYG porous defense should give Cowboys plenty of opportunities to produce yards and points.  NYG allowing nearly 50 percent 3rd down conversion rate to opponents, which is sickening bad.  DAL has won the last three meetings by average of 13 PPG.  QB Prescott playing best of his career at the moment, and get back a healthy WR corps.  Probably will look to Cowboys if line stays at -6.  NYG are an awful 2-9-1 ATS at home since the start of 2018 season (but most of those games were with QB Manning).  Will decide later.

 

CONTEST WINNER ONLY/NO POINTSPREAD [$200 entry fee]

Season Record To-Date:  71-51-1

 

BD /SM INVESTMENT GROUP [37 persons]

211. — David Heldar
100. — Steve Watanabe
1,000. — Peter Lucier
302. — Bruce Kramer
200. — Finbarr O’Mahony
100. — Howler
500. — Linda Keenan
100. — John Pickels
100. — Patrick Kirwan
300. — Sean McGuiness
252. — Jim Anderson
200. — Chad Holloway
500. — Eric Schneller
351. — Randy Collack
100. — David Lawless Lawful
1,000. — Paul Harris
51. — Dan Goldman
51. — Sharon Goldman
102. — Ken QB
102. — Chuck Weinstock
102. — Peter Taki Caldes
51. — Kenny Shei (cashed out — paid 10-27-19)
51. — Jeff Dietch
128. — Kevin Un
22. — Becca
102. — Corey Imsdahl
102. — Don Bingo Reick
1,000. — Jeff Siegel (payment pending)
100. — Stephen Cohen (payment pending)
51.  — John Reed
51. — George Wattman
51. — Mickdog Patterson
100. — Larry Lubliner
100. — Guy Grizz Berentsen
100. — Edmund Hack
500. — Bob Feduniak
63. — John Reed

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NFL 2019: Week #8

Posted by on Oct 27, 2019 in Blog, Essays | 5 comments

 

 

Last week, I went 5-3 for a net win of $340.

My positive results stemmed largely from the continuation of an unusual phenomenon this season, which is the unusually high percentage of covers by road teams.

Visitors continue to cover at a blistering pace.  In week #7, road teams went 9-5 ATS, which adds to a remarkable 61-41-2 overall ATS mark for the visitors.  Home teams are struggling badly straight up, as well — going just 45-58-1 overall.  I don’t ever recall seeing road teams producing such disproportionate results.  This is a surprise since the home field advantage is generally considered to be worth about 3 points in the NFL.  Not so, this season.

Will we eventually see if things will even out, the statistical certainty commonly referred to as “return to the mean.”  Things do usually average out with more time and/or increased sample size.  Might it be possible for road dogs to continue covering at this rate?  Probably not.  However, although opinions are subjective, I don’t see evidence of oddsmakers (or the betting public) making noteworthy adjustments to how home versus away is weighed into the line.  Consider that this week, 12 of 13 home teams are favored.  Road teams still aren’t getting enough respect, perhaps.

Accordingly, I’m quite tempted to play every road dogs this week.  Not sure why the public hasn’t caught on to this unusual trend.  Perhaps few bettors are aware of the success of road teams or there’s still a consensus that the 62 percent rate of covers (to date) is a statistical abnormality well within the margins of variance.

We’ll see what happens.  But this is something definitely worth considering when handicapping games going forward.

Now, on to Week #8.

 

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2019 NFL WAGERING RECORD

Wins — Losses — Pushes          22 — 28 — 0

Starting Bankroll:   $ 8,296.

Current Bankroll:   $6,491.  (- $1,800.)

Last Week’s Results:         5 — 3 — 0  (+ $340.)

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THIS WEEK’S WAGERS:  This week, I’ve made four wagers.  I’m laying $1,130. to win $1,000.  Here are the plays:

NY Giants / Detroit OVER 49 — Laying $330 to win $300

Oakland / Houston OVER 51.5 — Laying $330 to win $300

Teaser:  Tampa Bay +8.5 / Indianapolis +1 — Laying $360 to win $300

NY Jets + 6.5 — Laying $110 to win $100

 

THOUGHTS ON ALL GAMES:

NYG at DET with the home team laying -6.5 with a total of 49 to 49.5.  Indications are this line may close at DET -7 (movement on Saturday night in favor of DET).  I like the OVER given the way both defenses have been surrendering yards and lots of points lately.  DET last four games have produced 51, 64, 55, and 72 points, respectively.  Meanwhile, NYG offense has been average at best, but some lack of production the past month was due to RB injury (Barkley), now resolved.  NYG defense has surrendered 27 or more points in 6 of 7 games this season.  Look for the defensive lapses from both teams to continue.

TEN is laying -2.5 to TB with a total at 45.  This is a ripe number to tease up from +2.5 to +8.5, especially given TEN’s offensive inconsistencies.  TEN starting QB Tannehill this week after benching Mariota prior to last game.  TEN was fortunate to win the game, due to controversial call and a goal-line stand in final seconds.  I feel confident taking the visitor getting more than a touchdown, which has shown plenty of offensive firepower averaging 28 points per game.  Trouble has been the erratic play of QB Winston and a horrid defense.  I expect the bye week will significantly help the Bucs here, at least to keep this within the margins.

Line on LAC-CHI dropped from -4.5 to -3.5.  CHI was badly exposed last week in getting routed at home by NOR (minus Brees) and looked even worse in the loss to OAK )in London).  Bears’ offense seems to have no solution at QB, no matter who starts.  For this reason, it’s tempting to take the dog, especially getting more than a FG.  However, LAC have started their last two games in dreadful fashion, falling behind badly in both games (PIT and TEN).  This reveals serious problems with preparation, in my view.  CHI defense should step up and make a difference.  Total at 41 seems like it could play UNDER.

SEA and ATL field two defenses with serious flaws, especially the Falcons who have been horrific.  Total at 51 looked to be playable as an OVER in the dome, but QB Shaub goes under center this week (latest report Ryan is out) and that creates too many question marks.  SEA lays -8 on the road here to what is proving to be one of the worst 3 or 4 teams in the NFL.  Word is, ATL coach needs a win here heading into the bye week to save his job.  Lots of intangibles, so I’m staying off the game.

NYJ are coming off a terrible MNF loss, getting destroyed at home, but then playing against NWE can do that to teams.  Clearly, NYJ aren’t as bad as that woeful effort since they upset DAL the previous week.  Looking for a rebound, I jumped on NYJ +6.5 expecting the line would move down, perhaps to -6.  But I was wrong since line instead moved to -7 in a few spots.  Not sure what the reasoning is behind betting on JAX, given the rash of defensive injuries they will face in the games — a CB, and two starting LBs.  Defense was supposed to be strength of this team, but they’ve been up and down all year.  JAX QB Minshew has not played well the past few games.  I expect a closer game than the line indicates.

BUF continues to amaze at 5-1 and how hosts PHI laying only -2.  Sign of a good team is having an off week and still winning, which the Bills managed to do last week in a game that was closer than expected.  Home for another week, look for a better effort from BUF here versus an opponent that won’t be taken lightly.  It’s really hard to figure out what’s wrong with the Eagles and understand why they are so poorly prepared in so many games.  PHI wads badly outcoached and outplayed in DAL last week.  A road game against another very good defense doesn’t seem to be the recipe for recovery.  I suspect this total at 41 could be a nice OVER play since Eagles defense simply isn’t played well, giving up 75 points in last two games.  In fact, Eagles are getting roasted, surrendering 24+ in 6 of 7 games this season.  Lean OVER.

The LAR should destroy CIN laying -12.  But I don’t trust the Rams.  Wiping out ATL showed me nothing in the previous game because that’s ATL.  CIN is almost as bad, but there’s a big difference here laying double digits.  I can’t back the Rams until I see more consistency.  Meanwhile, important to remember the awful Bengals are 3-1 ATS on the road this year.  They seem to play much better away than at home.  I’d be very wary of betting the Rams in this spot.

ARZ is the surprise of the league at .500, winners of three straight.  Have to love the job the new regime in doing in Phoenix.  But that Cinderella story should end this week, at least temporarily as NOR will be back to near full strength.  Brees reportedly taking snaps and might start (now listed as probable).  Not that it matters since NOR is playing lights out right now, with defense leading the way.  The Superdome will be a very tough place to play for the visitors.  I won’t lay the -12, but would be wary of taking points.  ARZ defense is certainly vulnerable to being lit up and blown out in the game.  Important Note:  If ARZ falls behind early, they could mail it in and get routed.  Keep in mind ARZ hosts rival SFO on Thursday night next week, so ARZ unlikely to go all out in a game once they realize defeat is likely so as to save themselves for their biggest home game of the season four days from now.

I think points are going to be easy in the OAK-HOU game, with two experienced QBs, playmakers on both offenses, and susceptible defenses.  51.5 is a high number.  But the way this game plays out, I think it’s more likely to go OVER.  OAK playing its fifth straight non-home game (one game was in London).  OAK defense was shredded in GB last week and not gets HOU coming off a loss.  HOU building any kind of lead will force OAK to throw more, and then the fireworks begin.  OAK has played four straight OVERS.  HOU has played three straight OVERS.  Why would the points stop flowing now?  Another point:  OAK offensive line now back to full strength for the first time all season.  Giving QB Carr time will likely help Raiders with points.

SFO laying -4.5 to CAR, as line has moved in Panthers direction.  Two surprise teams.  Best unit on the field is probably the SFO defense which is playing phenomenal, just 10 points given up in last three games.  In fact, 49ers are second only to NWE in points allowed.  Laying -4.5 seems reasonable here, but CAR is also coming off the bye.  With an extra week to prepare and rest, I don’t want to fade a team on a four-game winning streak.  Two teams playing very good football at the moment.  I’ll watch as a spectator rather than as a bettor.

DEN is getting +5.5 at INDY.  Broncos are horrid offensively, so it’s hard to foresee how they’ll fix things in a road game playing back to back at home after beating KC and HOU in previous two games.  Clearly, a step down in class for the Colts here.  There’s some chance the favored Colts take DEN lightly, as they did perhaps in the inexplicable home loss to OAK a month ago.  That glaring inconsistency keeps me off the Colts laying -5.5.  But I do think they are significantly better than the opponent and worth teasing down to +1 (teased with TB).  I can’t see DEN fixing their offensive problems in a week based on watching that team’s sideline the previous game.  There is no leadership from QB Flacco, who is starting yet again this week.  I suppose they’ve invested too much in the acquisition and now must play him longer than his play merits.

NWE, statistically one of the best 7-0 teams in NFL history, is laying -10.5 to CLE coming off a bye, and desperate to reboot their season.  Believers in the Browns will look to this spot as a chance to regain some confidence after a floundering 2-4 start.  One expects CLE to be well focused while this is just another game for NWE coming off a MNF win and a short prep week.  Tempting to play CLE here getting the hook on the 10, but I can’t bet against these Patriots the way they’re steamrolling opponents.  Pass.

GB at KC is one of the more intriguing matchups this week, where the Packers are laying -5 to the host, minus injured QB Mahones.  Line shifted 8 points due to MVP’s injury, which seems about right.  KC is probably the right side here getting points at home and in a circle the wagons game versus opponent not to be taken lightly.  No opinion on the total (47).

MIA at PIT is another wreck of a MNF game, presumably only of interest to bettors.  Not sure PIT deserves to be laying -14 to anyone right now.  MIA showed some spark in last week’s 10-point loss at BUF, which covered.  Probably a play on MIA or nothing here.  Total at 43.5 might be a little high.

 

CONTEST WINNER ONLY/NO POINTSPREAD [$200 entry fee]

Season Record To-Date:  58-49-1

 

BD /SM INVESTMENT GROUP [37 persons]

211. — David Heldar
100. — Steve Watanabe
1,000. — Peter Lucier
302. — Bruce Kramer
200. — Finbarr O’Mahony
100. — Howler
500. — Linda Keenan
100. — John Pickels
100. — Patrick Kirwan
300. — Sean McGuiness
252. — Jim Anderson
200. — Chad Holloway
500. — Eric Schneller
351. — Randy Collack
100. — David Lawless Lawful
1,000. — Paul Harris
51. — Dan Goldman
51. — Sharon Goldman
102. — Ken QB
102. — Chuck Weinstock
102. — Peter Taki Caldes
51. — Kenny Shei (cashed out — paid 10-27-19)
51. — Jeff Dietch
128. — Kevin Un
22. — Becca
102. — Corey Imsdahl
102. — Don Bingo Reick
1,000. — Jeff Siegel (payment pending)
100. — Stephen Cohen (payment pending)
51.  — John Reed
51. — George Wattman
51. — Mickdog Patterson
100. — Larry Lubliner
100. — Guy Grizz Berentsen
100. — Edmund Hack
500. — Bob Feduniak
63. — John Reed

__________

 

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NFL 2019: Week #7 Picks

Posted by on Oct 19, 2019 in Blog, Essays | 1 comment

 

 

Here’s a photo certain to shock a few readers.

Go ahead.  Just call me “Bet Genius.”

Someone snapped this photo a few days ago at the Global Gaming Expo conference here in Las Vegas in front of an online company that provides high-tech sports betting software.

I wish I could claim that some of the things I observed at the four-day conference rubbed off and re-energized my betting prospects.  The fact is, most of my time was spent attending seminars and meeting people in the sports betting industry, including several sportsbook managers.  I did come away with great optimism for the future of sports wagering in America.  We are just seeing the beginnings of what I predict will become a transformative spectator experience with sports, which is destined to be far more interactive.  But that’s not why you’re here, reading this intro.

Unfortunately, I’m in the midst of a dreadful 1-11 run, my worst betting results in seven years.  There’s not much one or anyone else can do other than continue working, reading, handicapping, and trying to make adjustments.

The bad news is — I’m down about 25 percent from my starting bankroll.  The good news is — there are a lot more weeks ahead and opportunities to get back on the winning side.

Obviously, tailing my plays is not recommended unless you’re really sick and love punishment.  But for my faithful group of investors, I will continue to make wagers and then explain my reasoning.  The only way to get out of a slump is to work a little harder and try and look at things that might have been missed earlier.

Now, on to Week #7.

 

************************************************

2019 NFL WAGERING RECORD

Wins — Losses — Pushes          17 — 25 — 0

Starting Bankroll:   $ 8,296.

Current Bankroll:   $6,151.  (- $2,140.)

Last Week’s Results:         0 — 5 — 0  (- $1,320.)

*************************************************

 

THIS WEEK’S WAGERS:  This week, I’ve made eight wagers.  Each bet is to win $200.  That’s eight wagers — laying $1,780. to win $1,600.

A note about my betting strategy:  Instead of retrofitting arguments in support of each wager, which is often pointless and non-productive, I’m making spot wagers riding a trend I hope will continue.  This season through six weeks underdogs are 36-53-2 SU, but a remarkable 52-36-2 ATS.  Home teams are struggling, going just 40-49-1 SU, and even worse performers ATS, going a horrid 33-55-2.

This brings me to the basis of seven wagers, which is to bet these road dogs to continue having success.

There’s certainly something to be said for “RTTM,” which means “Return to the Mean.”  Things will average out with time and more trials.  Hence, we can probably agree road dogs are not going to cover 60 percent of the games this season.  At some point, lines will adjust and ATS results will show more balanced outcomes.

However, looking at the opening lines and line-moves this week, I’m seeing little or no adjustment in reaction to the strong showing of road dogs.  Lines moves were split 3-3, as in games where the opening line moved, home faves got just as much betting love as road dogs.  So, this tells me the market hasn’t caught on to road teams playing above expectations, so far.

What possibly accounts for road dogs performing so well ATS?  Possible theories include:

— Pure randomness

— Road teams better prepared than in previous seasons

— Home field advantage not as strong as in previous seasons

— Teams with strong home field advantages historically not faring as well in that role, so far (SEA 0-3 ATS; GB 2-2 ATS; KC 1-2 ATS)

— Inconsistent officiating increases variance, perhaps helping underdogs more than favorites

Obviously, we don’t have enough trials to draw any definitive conclusions.  However, as a bettor who generally sides with underdogs and likes taking points when capturing key numbers, I’m certainly willing to gamble this week that the success of these road dogs will continue.

Here are the plays:

Arizona +3 (Even) vs. NY Giants — Risking $200 to win $200

Houston +1 (-110) vs. Indianapolis — Risking $220 to win $200

Miami +17 (-110) vs. Buffalo — Risking $220 to win $200

Oakland +4.5 (-110) vs. Green Bay — Risking $220 to win $200

Baltimore +3 (-110) vs. Seattle — Risking $220 to win $200

New Orleans +4 (-110) vs. Chicago — Risking $220 to win $200

Minnesota / Detroit OVER 43.5 (-110) — Risking $220 to win $200

TEASER:  Detroit +8.5 vs. Minnesota / Philadelphia +8.5 vs. Dallas — Risking $240 to win $200

 

THOUGHTS ON EACH GAME:

Fezzik touted me on NYG -3 this week, and vig is steaming to -120 on the fave.  I get the reasoning for backing the rejuvenated Giants at home, which is just as much a play-against spot against the Cardinals which travel to the East Coast and might suffer a letdown off a two-game winning streak.  No argument on backing the Giants, but I’m with the well-coached, emotionally-high Cardinals getting a FG in a spot as the road dog.

INDY seems like the right side with extra rest hosting HOU off a huge road win which must go on the highway again this week.  But HOU is playing exceptional on offense, right now.  I’m happy to take them in the road dog scenario.  Bettors might not be caught on yet to how HOU could eventually be the #2 seed in the AFC.

I told myself no more MIA bets this year, but I have to pull the trigger getting +17.  As solid as BUF is playing, especially on defense, not sure if they show much or go all out here, since they won’t have to do much to win.  First of a three-game homestretch for the Bills, which could end reach midseason at 7-1.  Good sign for MIA they are starting Fitzpatrick at QB, which is probably their best chance to score points.  Getting +16.5 I might pass.  But +17 is enough points to real me in on the division road dog.  Oh, and for all their awfulness, MIA defense isn’t that bad.

Total in the MINN-DET game dropped from 44 to 43 in some spots, and historically these two rivals have played UNDERS.  However, I like OVER at this total based on two upper-third ranked offenses (11th and 13th) combined with two experienced QBs with good wideouts.  DET defense also ranks 29th.  At home on rubber grass I expect enough points to break this total.  Vikings game posted 58 points last week.  Lions have posted 45, 64, and 51 in their last three games.  Also like what I’ve seen from Lions this season, so far as a teaser bet.  Detroit suffered two losses previous two games, losing by a combined total of 5 points to Green Bay and Kansas City.  They should also keep this one close, let’s hope under a touchdown (+8.5).

Oakland is playing its fourth-straight road game (one of those in London).  This seems like a nightmare for the Raiders.  But they’ve also won two straight away from Oakland.  I can’t make a good case for my bad number +4.5 when the opener was +7 very early in the week.  But I’m riding the rested Raiders against a team that probably should have lost its previous home game, except for a few bad calls.  Packers also off short rest and in a “fat and happy” spot, ripe for an upset.

I wish I could bet Cincinnati +4.5 at home, but this defense is decimated with injuries right now.  Not that it matters, perhaps since the Bengals are so bad in every phase of the game.  Something tells me Cincinnati will finally wake up and play a solid game.  Oddly enough, Cincy is 3-1 ATS on the road, but 0-2 ATS at home.  Jacksonville offense should finally wake up, but I can’t see laying points with such an inconsistent offense.  Total dropped and settled on 44, which still looks a little high to me.

Lots of solid bettors on ATL at home catching +3 versus Rams, who are reeling at the moment on a three-game skid.  ATL was +4, and that’s a tempting side.  Wanted to go UNDER 54.5, but hard to pull that trigger as bad as the Falcons have been on defense.  Game could go in many directions.  Hard to figure which of these disappointing teams wakes up and makes a statement.

SFO laying -10 on the road seems like a stretch, especially coming off the huge road win over rival Rams last week.  But I’m now convinced this team is well-coached and the defense is solid.  I can’t possibly bet a Redskins team that barely squeaked by in a non-cover at MIA last week.  Total at 40 seems a little low.  But rain in forecast keeps me off the game.

Two miserable teams face off in the Titans-Chargers matchup.  Hard to say which team is more disappointing.  At least Chargers have some excuse with nagging injuries.  But TENN hasn’t played well either and finally woke up to Mariota being a possible draft bust.  New Titans QB starter this week, which only adds to all the uncertainty.

I really like BAL +3 at SEA, even though I missed the better number early in the week.  BAL is 4-2 SU but has gone just 1-4 ATS in last five games.  SEA is woeful ATS at home, at 0-3.  Despite the less than impressive stats, these are two good teams that should play down to the wire.  So, I like taking the points.  Rain in forecast probably slightly helps BAL since they tend to be a duel threat with rushing QB, although R. Wilson certainly belongs right up there.  SEA probably should have lost it’s last two games, and could be 2-4 at the moment — so I do like the visiting Ravens.  Also, total at 48 might be a little too high.

Understandable why CHI is getting love, with line shooting from -3 to -4 versus NOR.  But let’s remember CHI’s offensive concerns.  Let’s also acknowledge NOR continues being underestimated by the betting markets, yet again dogs to a team with offensive inconsistencies (recall NOR beating JAX las week, while inexplicably getting +2.5).  RB Kamara is out, so that hurts the Saints.  But getting +4 points with a team that’s won and covered in four straight games strikes me as a solid wager.

PHIL is +3 in a few spots, laying -120.  I like that side.  But the better value for me is the teaser up to +8.5.  Dallas has lost three straight games and hasn’t defeated anyone respectable yet.  This will certainly be a game that brings Dallas’ top effort, but the same can be said for the Eagles, also at 3-3.  In a game that should be close, I like the points.

I’m not a believer in the NYJ, even though they pulled off a big upset last week.  NWE is laying -9.5 to -10 on the road here, and it’s easy to fall into the trap and bet the home underdog.  The better play might be UNDER 44, if you can find it.  NWE defense has been suffocating.  Both teams combined at 4-7 to the UNDER this season.

 

CONTEST WINNER ONLY/NO POINTSPREAD [$200 entry fee]

Season Record To-Date:  50-43-1

Week #7 Picks:

Denver over Kansas City

LA Rams over Atlanta

Buffalo over Miami

Cincinnati over Jacksonville

Detroit over Minnesota

Green Bay over Oakland

Houston over Indy

Arizona over NY Giants

San Francisco over Washington

LA Chargers over Tennessee

New Orleans over Chicago

Baltimore over Seattle

Philadelphia over Dallas

New England over NY Jets

 

BD /SM INVESTMENT GROUP [37 persons]

211. — David Heldar
100. — Steve Watanabe
1,000. — Peter Lucier
302. — Bruce Kramer
200. — Finbarr O’Mahony
100. — Howler
500. — Linda Keenan
100. — John Pickels
100. — Patrick Kirwan
300. — Sean McGuiness
252. — Jim Anderson
200. — Chad Holloway
500. — Eric Schneller
351. — Randy Collack
100. — David Lawless Lawful
1,000. — Paul Harris
51. — Dan Goldman
51. — Sharon Goldman
102. — Ken QB
102. — Chuck Weinstock
102. — Peter Taki Caldes
51. — Kenny Shei
51. — Jeff Dietch
128. — Kevin Un
22. — Becca
102. — Corey Imsdahl
102. — Don Bingo Reick
1,000. — Jeff Siegel (payment pending)
100. — Stephen Cohen (payment pending)
51.  — John Reed
51. — George Wattman
51. — Mickdog Patterson
100. — Larry Lubliner
100. — Guy Grizz Berentsen
100. — Edmund Hack
500. — Bob Feduniak
63. — John Reed

__________

 

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