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01/05/2012 12:17 AM
Total Talk - Wild Card

January 4, 2012

Season Recap

Coincidentally, the season began with some shootouts and it ended with some too. Five teams busted the 40-point barrier in Week 17 and another four put up 30-plus as well. In the end, the ‘over’ went 9-7. On the season, the ‘under’ still produced a 129-120-5 (52%) mark. What’s a little surprising with the overall number is that the ‘over’ went 19-13-1 (59%) in the primetime games played on Sunday and Monday.

First Round Trends

The ‘under’ has produced a 17-11 (61%) in the first round of the playoffs the last seven seasons, which includes a 3-1 mark last year. Obviously anything can happen, evidenced by a 4-0 ‘over’ run in 2009 but the angles normally lead to low-scoring affairs.

First Round Total History (2004-2010)
2004 (Under 3-1) 2005 (Under 3-1)

St. Louis 27 Seattle 20 - UNDER 50.5 Washington 17 Tampa Bay 10 - UNDER 37

N.Y. Jets 20 San Diego 17 - UNDER 43 New England 28 Jacksonville - UNDER 37

Indianapolis 49 Denver 24 - OVER 56 Carolina 23 N.Y. Giants 0 - UNDER 43.5

Minnesota 31 Green Bay 17 - UNDER 49.5 Pittsburgh 31 Cincinnati 17 - OVER 46.5

2006 (Under 3-1) 2007 (Total 2-2)

Indianapolis 23 Kansas City 8 - UNDER 50.5 Seattle 35 Washington 14 - OVER 39

Seattle 21 Dallas 20 - UNDER 48 Jacksonville 31 Pittsburgh 29 - OVER 41

New England 37 N.Y. Jets 16 - OVER 38.5 N.Y. Giants 24 Tampa Bay 14 - UNDER 39.5

Philadelphia 23 N.Y. Giants - UNDER 45.5 San Diego 17 Tennessee 6 - UNDER 39

2008 (Under 3-1) 2009 (Over 4-0)

Arizona 30 Atlanta 24 - OVER 51.5 N.Y. Jets 24 Cincinnati 14 - OVER 34

San Diego 23 Indianapolis 17 - UNDER 49 Dallas 34 Philadelphia 14 - OVER 45.5

Baltimore 27 Baltimore 9 - UNDER 38 Baltimore 33 New England 14 - OVER 43.5

Philadelphia 26 Minnesota 14 - UNDER 41 Arizona 51 Green Bay 45 - OVER 48

2010 (Under 3-1) 2011 (TBD)

Seattle 41 New Orleans 36 - OVER 45.5 Cincinnati at Houston

N.Y. Jets 17 Indianapolis 16 - UNDER 44 New Orleans at Detroit

Baltimore 30 Kansas City 7 - UNDER 41 Atlanta at N.Y. Giants

Green Bay 21 Philadelphia 16 - UNDER 46.5 Pittsburgh at Denver



Overtime Rules

We mentioned these last year and while it may or may not matter, it’s good to know that you can still cash a late ticket or even worse, lose. From the NFL and other outlets -- this postseason, each squad will have at least one possession in overtime unless the team that wins the overtime coin flip scores a touchdown on its initial possession. If the team that receives the ball first connects on a field goal, the other team will get a chance to match that score or best it with a TD. If no one scores during the first two possessions of overtime, the game ends automatically on the next score. Should the team with the ball first be forced to punt, or is forced into a turnover, the game reverts to sudden death.

Even though it seems impossible, you could see up to 12 points scored in the extra session. How? If Team A scores 3, then Team B matches with 3. The game then heads to the regular season OT format, which could see either Team A or B win the game with a field goal or touchdown. Imagine that bad beat!

Saturday, Jan. 7

Cincinnati at Houston: The Texans beat the Bengals 20-19 in Week 14 on the road and the combined 39 points barely slid ‘over’ the closing total of 37 ½ points. The game had nine scores, but only three were touchdowns. The final score was the dagger for ‘under’ bettors, which came with two seconds left. QB T.J. Yates, who was making his first start, tied the game at 19-19 with a six-yard touchdown pass before Neil Rackers sealed the win with a PAT. The total for the second encounter opened at 39 but is sitting at 38 ½ points. You could make a case that the total is too high, considering the Texans (17.4 PPG) and Bengals (20.2) both have legit defensive units. Houston has seen the ‘under’ go 10-5-1 this season, including a 6-1-1 mark at Reliant Stadium. Conversely, Cincinnati has watched the ‘over’ go 5-3 on the road.

Detroit at New Orleans: This matchup will also feature two teams meeting for the second time this season, as the Saints beat the Lions 31-17 in Week 13 on SNF. The game went ‘under’ the number (55.5) but could’ve easily gone the other way. New Orleans led 24-7 at the break but only put up seven in the final 30 minutes. It’s hard to make a case for the ‘under’ when you look at the numbers. New Orleans has put up 41.1 points per game at home this season and Detroit’s attack (28.9 PPG) has been outside of the Motor City. The total is super-high (59), yet understood. The Lions have had three games with totals listed at 50 or higher and all three went ‘under.’ Meanwhile, New Orleans owns a 6-2 ‘over’ record with totals in the fifties.

Sunday, Jan. 8

Atlanta at N.Y. Giants: Tough total to handicap here, especially when the weather could be unpredictable by kickoff. The Falcons closed the season with four straight ‘over’ tickets, with the offense putting up an average of 33.3 PPG during this stretch. Meanwhile, the Giants closed with three consecutive ‘under’ winners behind a defense that gave up 51 combined points. So what will give here? Atlanta has been in two playoff games under head coach Mike Smith and both went ‘over’ as the team gave up 48 and 30 points albeit to Aaron Rodgers (Green Bay) and Kurt Warner (Arizona). Is Eli in that class? If you judge a quarterback by his playoff performances, then make a note that the younger Manning is 4-3 in the postseason. Ironically, all four wins came during the incredible 2007 Super Bowl run and Eli has never led the Giants’ offense to more than 24 points in the playoffs.

Pittsburgh at Denver: The last game of the Wild Card round also has the lowest total and it keeps dropping. The opener was as high as 35 ½ at a couple offshore outfits and its hovering around 34. Despite having a one-dimensional attack, the Broncos have watched the ‘over’ go 9-7 on the season, including 5-3 at home. Also, Denver has played four playoff teams this season and its defense has given up 22, 49, 45 and 41 points. Pittsburgh enters this game banged up, but the defense is playing lights out. The unit has given up an average of 7.5 PPG in the final six games, and to no surprise the ‘under’ has cashed in all of these games too. We understand that the Steelers haven’t faced any juggernauts during this stretch, and it’s hard to see Denver explode here. If you want to make a case for the ‘over’ in this spot, then perhaps turn your attention to Pittsburgh’s head coach. Mike Tomlin has been on the sidelines for seven playoff games for the Black and Gold and all seven have gone ‘over’ the number. Will the trend continue at Mile High?

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01/06/2012 12:04 AM
NFL wild card weekend biggest betting mismatches

Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (-3, 38.5)

Texans’ pass defense vs. Andy Dalton

Shutdown corner Johnathan Joseph sat out last week’s meaningless game vs. Tennessee so he’ll be ready to shadow A.J. Green

Houston owns the NFL’s fifth-best pass coverage unit and fourth-best pass rush, according to Pro Football Focus. Coordinator Wade Phillips, who missed Houston’s losses to Carolina and Indy while recovering from surgery, will call the game from the press box.

Reliant Stadium will be rocking for the first playoff game in franchise history.

None of that bodes well for Dalton.

After a sizzling start, the rookie faltered over the last seven games, completing 54.8 percent of his throws with eight touchdowns and eight turnovers. His struggles will continue Saturday.

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (-10.5, 58.5)

Saints’ weapons vs. Wishful thinking

Detroit is making a big deal out of the return of safety Louis Delmas, who missed the past five games with a torn MCL in his right knee. There’s no question he’s the Lions’ defensive leader, but it’s not like he’s 100 percent.

“He’s trending in the right direction and hope we’ll be able to get him out there,” coach Jim Schwartz said. "He’s a guy that we drafted to be one of the cornerstones defensively. He’s right in the middle of our defense, does a good job of communication. He’s a very good player -- run and pass, covers a lot of ground. But more than that, (he) brings a lot of soul to our defense. I think that’s one of the things that we miss."

Lions backers also note that Ndamukong Suh missed the 31-17 loss in New Orleans in Week 13. But he was on the field last week when Detroit, playing to win, gave up 480 passing yards and six TDs to Matt Flynn.

You know all about Drew Brees’ record season and his array of targets including Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson and Darren Sproles. You may not know New Orleans ranks sixth in rushing (129.9 yards per game) and fourth in yards per carry (4.9).

Detroit ranks 23rd in run defense (128.1) and gives up 5.0 yards per carry, tied for 29th.

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-3, 47)

Giants’ pass rush vs. Uncomfortable Falcons

Atlanta is playing outdoors for just the second time since Week 4.

Matt Ryan is a much different passer on the road. In 30 career home games, Rotoworld’s Evan Silva notes, Ryan is 26-4 with a 64.8 percent completion rate and a 49-17 TD-INT ratio. He averages 7.6 yards per attempt in the Georgia Dome. In 32 road games, here are Matty Ice’s numbers: 17-15, 58.1 percent completion rate, 46-29 TD-INT ratio, and 6.7 yards per attempt.

The Falcons’ stabilized their line by replacing left tackle Sam Baker with Will Svitek, but they’ve played only one decent defense over their last seven games.

Now they face a unit that has 11 sacks and a forced fumble the last two weeks. Jason Pierre-Paul is on fire with 37 tackles and six sacks in his last five games. Justin Tuck is regaining his Pro Bowl form. Osi Umenyiora returned last week from knee and ankle injuries and got two sacks.

Tuck can play tackle, enabling New York to get several pass rushers on the field at once. Against Dallas, the Giants harassed Tony Romo without blitzing.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos (9, 34)

Miller, Dumervil vs. Immobile Big Ben

Ben Roethlisberger aggravated his high ankle sprain against the Browns, and the Steelers failed to cover.

He was hobbling around on his left ankle late in the week.

"I felt really good going in the Cleveland game," Roethlisberger said. "I had a little setback early in the third quarter, so we're working really hard right now with the trainers and doctors to get back to even where we were before the Cleveland game.

"Because I felt pretty good going in, I moved [around] a little bit at the beginning of that game, but (there was) a little setback. ... We got set back by about a week."

In two games since returning from the injury, Big Ben has completed 48 of 84 passes (57 percent) for 551 yards, no touchdowns and three interceptions. He’s not the same when he can’t move around, plant hard and fire.

Linebacker Von Miller has 11.5 sacks, DE Elvis Dumervil has 9.5 and OLB D.J. Williams has five. The Broncos are tied for 10th with 41 sacks.

"I'm not looking at it like he's hurt. I'm looking at it like he's out here and as long as you're out there, I'm going to come at you," Dumervil said.
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01/06/2012 12:08 AM
NFL Total Bias: wild card weekend's best over/under bets

Act like you’ve been there before.

It’s a phrase that is so common in sports that it’s often pushed aside as just another tired cliché. Coaches spend hours shaping their teams to be responsible, committed and focused.

Players have heard it enough that as soon as it comes up, the headphones go on and the iPhones come out.

Most of the time it’s used to promote professionalism. Get into the end zone, give the ball back to the official and move on. Act like you’ve been there before.

But when you consider it in a literal sense, a lot of guys are shaking their heads right now. Playoffs? They know absolutely nothing about playoff football, which any veteran worth his player’s pension will tell you is a completely different animal.

That makes this weekend hell of a lot harder to handicap. There are certain things we hold dear as football bettors, certain situations we feel comfortable evaluating because we’ve seen them so many times before.

Ben Roethlisberger’s ankle is a mess and he missed practice this week, but nobody’s sounding the fire alarm. He’s Big Ben. He always shows up and moves the chains.

But what about the other guys?

Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for a billion yards this year and probably has the most dominant wide receiver the league has seen in years, but how are they going to handle a Saturday night game in New Orleans?

It might as well be Mardi Gras. Who Dat Nation will be running wild with voodoo spells, beads and boobs flying all over the place. Detroit may be playing in a dome, but this will be a road game like no other for these young Lions.

How about the rookie quarterback battle between Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton and Houston’s T.J. Yates? You might as well be shaking the Magic 8 ball for answers and to make matters worse, Dalton has been praying to the porcelain gods all week while Yates is working with an iffy shoulder.

And then, of course, there’s Tim Tebow. Against all odds, he led the Broncos to the playoffs, but his big reward is a date with Pittsburgh’s defense.

With this many question marks and so much inexperience on the field, anybody who tells you they have a lock this weekend needs to be locked up.

I know we’re all excited about playoff football, but NFL bettors need to act like we’ve been here before too.

Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (-3, 39)

While you gotta love Dalton’s moxie, he hasn’t been nearly as effective as he was earlier this year. He completed just 54.8 percent of his passes with eight touchdowns and eight interceptions in his last seven games. Houston’s pass defense ranks third in the league, so the Red Rifle has his work cut out for him.

And, in the first meeting between these teams, Yates couldn’t get anything done when the Bengals laid back in coverage and forced the young quarterback to beat them. As long as Cincinnati doesn’t get sucked into too many play-action plays, Yates will have a tough time making big strikes as well.

Pick: Under

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (-10.5, 59)

As Larry Hartstein discussed earlier this week, this might be the biggest playoff total the books ever sent out. There aren’t many people looking at the under either.

Even though you know this number is juiced with public opinion, it’s hard to make a case for the under. The Saints are averaging 44 points per game while Detroit has averaged about 35 points per contests over its last four.

Once you factor in the fast track at the Superdome, I think this total is only going to rise before Saturday night.

Pick: Over

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-3, 47)

Eli Manning deserves a ton of credit. He’s picking his spots for big plays, fitting the ball into tight holes and basically willed this team into the postseason with last week’s sparkling 346-yard, three-TD effort against Dallas.

When it comes to playoff football, Eli obviously knows what he’s doing.

Meanwhile, Matt Ryan is trying to take his game to the next level and he looks to have all the momentum he needs to do just that. Ryan has chucked 10 touchdowns in his last four games with no interceptions and ended up with more than 4,000 passing yards.

Barring a terrible weather day in the Big Apple, this one tops the total too.

Pick: Over
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01/06/2012 12:11 AM
NFL playoff action report: Pros and public backing Steelers

If the New Orleans Saints are playing, sportsbooks are rooting for the under and the underdog. Oddsmakers installed the NFC South champs as double-digit favorites against a 10-win team with a historically high total, and still the books will be pulling for the Detroit Lions and lower-scoring game.

“We’ve been burned on the Saints' totals all season,” Bob Scucci, director of race and sports at Coast Casinos, told Covers.com.

The Saints finished the season on an eight-game ATS winning streak, with the over paying in their last three contests.

“Even in games the under came through, statistically, it seemed like it should have gone the other way.” Scucci said. “They’d get 500 offensive yards but then run out the clock late, so even in those games we felt like the [total] might have been too low.”

Scucci opened the over/under line in the Saints/Lions game at 59.5 but didn’t hesitate to bump it to 60 for a little bit to try to get some under money. Coast Casinos and most other Vegas sportsbooks were using 59 Thursday morning, but that doesn’t mean the number won’t move up again if bettors keep biting on the over.

Here’s the scoop on the pointspread movement for all of this weekend’s NFL playoff games:

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (-10 to -10.5)

The Lions lost some support from the public after losing outright as 3.5-point faves and allowing Packers, with backup QB Matt Flynn under center, to score 45 points.

Detroit lost by two touchdowns at New Orleans a few weeks back but the game was closer than the final score indicates.

“You look at time of possession, it was in the Lions’ favor,” John Avello, executive director of race and sports at the Wynn Las Vegas, told Covers.com. “Detroit didn’t have Suh and they had some penalties. It could have been closer, really.”

Avello said he opened the line at Saints -10 and the sharp bettors laid the points. He moved it up to 10.5 and said he thinks that’s where he’ll probably stay until kickoff.

There have been some 11’s out there, but 10.5 seems to be the most commonly used number as of Thursday afternoon.

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos (-7.5 to -8.5)

This line went as high as Denver +9 but 8.5 seems to be the number of choice in most Vegas shops. Some offshore books that canter to public bettors are still offering Steelers -9.

“The sharps and the public are on the Steelers so far, from what I can tell,” Scucci said.

The professional players grabbed 7.5 when the line first opened and some bought back when the spread grew to 9.

Scucci and Avello both see Pittsburgh as a far superior team than Denver, but it’s difficult to inflate the spread much with the game expected to be such a low-scoring affair.

“Denver’s projected to score somewhere between 3-to-10 points,” Avello said.

The total opened at 35 but has been bet down to 34 or 34.5.

Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (-3 +100, -3 -125)

Bookmakers never like to move off a key number like a field goal spread, but we could see this line get to Texans -3.5 by Sunday. The spread opened with the plus juice for the home favorite but it’s a quarter price (-125) to back Houston.

Avello admitted he didn’t want to move off this number but conceded he couldn’t bump the juice up much higher either. Scucci said he sees this game closing at 3.5.

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-3)

Nothing really to report on this spread. New York as a 3-point home favorite is generating good two-way action and that’s why bettors haven’t seen any type of movement on the line. The total a dropped a point to half point at some shops and it seems like 47.5 to 48 seems like the most commonly used over/under line for this matchup.
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01/06/2012 12:13 AM
NFL poolies cheat sheet: Wildcard Weekend

Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (-3)

Why Bengals cover: The Texans are laying the customary three points for being at home, but oddsmakers are giving them no more of an edge than that. That’s because T.J. Yates – Houston’s third-string QB – is starting due to injuries suffered by Matt Schaub and Matt Leinart during the season. And even Yates is dinged up, recovering from a separated left (non-throwing) shoulder.

Cincy, meanwhile, is battle tested in the hotly contested AFC North. The Bengals lost five of their last eight games, but four of those were to Pittsburgh and Baltimore and the fifth was at home to these same Texans - a 20-19 setback on a last-second Houston touchdown. Marvin Lewis’ troops are a solid 6-1-2 against the spread (ATS) in their last nine on the road and they are 9-2 ATS in their last 11 catching three points or less. Cincy also has the NFL’s ninth-ranked scoring defense (20.2 ppg) and eighth-ranked yardage defense (316.3 ypg).

Why Texans cover: It never hurts to have Arian Foster (1,224 yards, 4.4 ypc, 10 TDs) toting the ball for you – or catching the ball (53 receptions, 617 yards). And he’s rested, sitting out last week after ripping off 158 yards two weeks ago against the Colts. Wideout Andre Johnson, hit-and-miss all season with hamstring issues, is also expected to play a lot Saturday.

Houston has a solid defense, at fourth in scoring (17.4 ppg) and second in yards allowed (285.7). Houston is also on several ATS upswings, including 6-2-2 overall, 7-3-1 as a home chalk and 4-0 in this occasional rivalry, winning the last three meetings straight up (SU).

Total (38.5): The bookmakers are expecting both teams’ defenses to keep things reasonable. The total has gone under in six of Texans’ last eight at Reliant Field and five of their last six as a home favorite. However, Cincy sports over streaks of 9-4 overall, 10-2 against AFC foes, 4-1 vs. winning teams and 4-1 after a SU loss. Last month’s Texans-Bengals contest seemed a sure under bet until Yates led the game-winning 80-yard TD drive, putting it narrowly over the 37.5-point number.

Detroit Lions at New Orleans Saints (-10.5)

Why Lions cover: This is the playoffs, and that’s a huge number for Saints to lay. Lions QB Matthew Stafford showed last week – and several other times this year – that he’s plenty capable of lighting up the scoreboard, hurling five TD passes while racking up 520 yards, outdoors in lousy weather against the Packers (albeit in a losing cause). Now, he gets to go back indoors with an offense that ranks fourth in the NFL at 29.6 ppg.

Detroit is 16-7-2 ATS in its last 25 catching more than 10 points, while New Orleans is 3-7 ATS in its last 10 giving more than 10 points. Saints also shoulder ATS slides of 2-7 in January games, 2-5 in postseason play and 1-5 on Saturdays.

Why Saints cover: Drew Brees & Co. are the hottest team in the league entering the playoffs, with an offense that has shattered all sorts of records this season. The Saints rate second in scoring at 34.2 ppg and No. 1 in yards gained at a hefty 467.1 ypg. Matching Detroit’s offensive prowess won’t be a problem. In fact, these two teams met just five weeks ago at the Superdome and New Orleans held up its end of the bargain while stifling Detroit in a 31-17 victory as a 9-point favorite.

Sean Payton’s squad has ripped off eight consecutive wins, cashing in all eight and winning by 11 points or more six times in that stretch. Their last three games have been laughers, with the Saints breaking 40 in all three and winning by a minimum of 22 points. New Orleans is also on an 11-1 ATS tear in its home dome. Detroit, meanwhile, has covered just one of its last six (1-4-1 ATS) and is 0-5-1 ATS in its last six vs. winning teams.

Total (58.5): That is a big total, though it’s clear these two offenses are capable of surpassing it. Detroit on over streaks of 19-9-1 overall, 34-16-1 in roadies and 5-1-1 as a road pup, while New Orleans carries over runs of 6-1-1 in the playoffs, 4-0 in home postseason play and 4-0 with Saints a chalk of more than 10.

Last month’s Lions-Saints clash reached 48 points - a touchdown short of the posted number of 55.

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-3)

Why Falcons cover: This is a team that really played its way into the postseason, winning eight of its last 11 games after a 2-3 start. Atlanta went 3-1 SU and ATS in its final four games, with the three wins coming by eight points, 27 points and 21 points, respectively. The Giants, meanwhile, were 3-5 SU in their last eight and didn’t exactly look like a playoff-worthy team at times.

Atlanta has covered in its last five roadies against the Giants and the road team in this rivalry is on an 8-0 pointspread tear. New York is in ATS ruts of 1-4-1 laying points and 1-4-1 as a home favorite.

Why Giants cover: They got their act together after a four-game dive to win three of their last four SU and ATS, including Sunday night’s 31-14 home victory over Dallas to clinch the final NFC playoff spot. With the exception of an inexplicable loss at Washington, QB Eli Manning has had the offense clicking this past month, racking up 29 points or more four times. And when it gets to crunch time, Manning has produced. He’s got a league-leading 15 fourth-quarter touchdown throws this season.

The Giants have cashed four of their last five overall and five of their last six in the postseason. Falcons have failed to cover in their last four against winning teams, and they are in playoff ATS slides of 1-4 overall and 1-4 as an underdog. Atlanta also 1-5 ATS outdoors this season.

Total (47): Over has been the play in Atlanta’s last four games and is on further runs of 6-1-2 for Falcons in January and 8-3 for Giants against winning teams. However, New York on under surges of 6-1 in playoff games, 4-1 at home and 4-0 giving points. And in this rivalry, the under is 5-1-1 in the last seven meetings.

Pittsburgh Steelers (-9) at Denver Broncos

Why Steelers cover: Pittsburgh has the league’s No. 1 defense, allowing just 14.2 ppg and 271.8 ypg, and the Broncos can’t score, even against inferior opponents. Last week, Denver’s defense held a non-descript Kansas City squad to seven points, Denver’s offense got 145 rushing yards from Willis McGahee – and the Donkeys lost 7-3. Pittsburgh is no Kansas City, meaning Tim Tebow doesn’t have a prayer, no matter how many he says.

Pittsburgh, the defending AFC champ, is at its best at this time of year, especially at the books, with ATS streaks of 10-1 in January and 9-2 in the postseason, and it’s cashed six of its last seven as playoff chalk. Denver, conversely, has lost its last three games SU and ATS and is in further ATS ruts of 0-4 overall, 1-4 in the playoffs and 15-35-2 in the Mile High City.

Why Broncos cover: It’s really hard to make a case for a team that mustered just three points against the Chiefs at home last week. The Broncos are lucking out in that Pittsburgh is dinged up. Running back Rashard Mendenhall (knee) is done for the rest of the year, QB Ben Roethlisberger has a gimpy ankle, and S Ryan Clark has to sit out due to a sickle-cell trait that doesn’t handle high altitude well.

Denver has covered in five of its last six from the underdog role and five of its last six home playoff games (though they haven’t been in the playoffs in six years). The Men of Steel have been more like tin on the road lately, at 2-7 ATS in their last nine on the highway and 1-5 ATS in their last six following a SU win.

Total (34): This is quite a low number, but based on Pittsburgh’s stout defense and Denver’s anemic offense, the under is certainly plausible. The total has gone low in six straight for the Steelers. On the flip side, though, the over is 17-4 in Pittsburgh’s last 21 postseason affairs and 10-1 with the Steelers a playoff chalk, and the Broncos sport over streaks of 25-12 overall, 13-5 at home and 14-3 against winning teams.
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01/06/2012 12:18 AM
Today's NFL Picks

Detroit at New Orleans

The Saints look to build on their 11-1 ATS record in their last 12 games as a home favorite. New Orleans is the pick (-10 1/2) according to Dunkel, which has the Saints favored by 15 1/2. Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (-10 1/2). Here are all of this week's picks.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 7
Time Posted: 10:30 a.m. EST (1/3)

Game 101-102: Cincinnati at Houston (4:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati 131.201; Houston 132.638
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1 1/2; 34
Vegas Line: Houston by 3; 38
Dunkel Pick: Cincinnati (+3); Under

Game 103-104: Detroit at New Orleans (8:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Detroit 135.158; New Orleans 150.696
Dunkel Line: New Orleans by 15 1/2; 62
Vegas Line: New Orleans by 10 1/2; 58 1/2
Dunkel Pick: New Orleans (-10 1/2); Over

SUNDAY, JANUARY 8
Time Posted: 10:30 a.m. EST (1/3)

Game 105-106: Atlanta at NY Giants (1:00 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Atlanta 135.117; NY Giants 134.383
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1; 49
Vegas Line: NY Giants by 3; 47
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (+3); Over

Game 107-108: Pittsburgh at Denver (4:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Pittsburgh 136.214; Denver 124.665
Dunkel Line: Pittsburgh by 11 1/2; 31
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh by 8; 34 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Pittsburgh (-8); Under
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01/08/2012 11:14 AM
Forgot to post here yesterday but this was my results:

But this is how i did.......Daily Pick record for 01/07/2012

Sport Game Score Pick Amount Result Units

NFL Cincinnati 10 Cincinnati +4 500 LOSS -550

Houston 31 Over 38 500 WON +500

NFL Detroit 28 New Orleans -10.5 500 WON +500

New Orleans 45 Over 59.5 500 WON +500
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01/08/2012 11:17 AM
Sunday, January 8

Game Score Status Pick Amount

Atlanta - 1:00 PM ET N.Y. Giants -3 500

N.Y. Giants - Over 47.5 500

Pittsburgh - 4:30 PM ET Denver +9 500

Denver - Under 33.5 500
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01/08/2012 11:48 AM
Steelers at Broncos: What bettors need to know

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos (+9, 33.5)

THE STORY: The Pittsburgh Steelers enter the playoffs with running back Rashard Mendenhall out for the season with a knee injury and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger hobbled by a high ankle sprain. So, it begs the obvious question for pundits as the Steelers prepare to visit the Denver Broncos on Sunday night in an AFC wild card matchup: Is Roethlisberger more effective on one leg than Tim Tebow is on two? Tebow, as has been the case all season, will again be under the microscope when he leads Denver into its first playoff game since the 2005 season. The much-maligned Tebow directed the Broncos to six consecutive wins, including four fourth-quarter comebacks, but the wheels have come off during a three-game losing streak.

TV: CBS, 4:30 p.m. ET.

LINE: Pittsburgh opened as low as -7.5 and has been bet up to -9. The total opened at 34.5 and has come down to 33.5.

WEATHER: The forecast in Denver is calling for clear skies and game-time temperatures in the low 30s.

ABOUT THE STEELERS (12-4, 7-9 ATS): Pittsburgh was in contention for the No. 1 seed entering last weekend. Roethlisberger said he aggravated his ankle in the win at Cleveland and has struggled since suffering the initial injury in Week 14, but the Steelers have their defense to fall back upon. Pittsburgh allowed a league-low 227 points and has held five of its last six opponents under 10 points. During that span, the Steelers did now permit a touchdown in four of the games. Isaac Redman stepped in for Mendenhall and ran for a career-high 92 yards last week. Although Roethlisberger has struggled since hurting the ankle, he has won two Super Bowls and lost in last season’s title game to Green Bay.

ABOUT THE BRONCOS (8-8, 7-9 ATS): The Tebow magic appears to have run out, particularly in back-to-back losses to the Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs. His passer ratings in those games were ghastly – 37.9 and 20.6, respectively. Tebow was wretched in last week’s 7-3 home defeat against the Chiefs, throwing for only 60 yards on 6-of-22 passing. He has been intercepted four times in the last two weeks and has committed 10 turnovers in the last five games. Expect the Broncos to lean heavily on running back Willis McGahee, who rumbled for 1,199 yards this season. McGahee, however, struggled against the Steelers in three seasons with Baltimore, managing only 183 yards on 61 attempts in six games.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. Roethlisberger has a 10-3 career record in the postseason.

2. The Broncos and Steelers have split six playoff matchups. The winner went to the Super Bowl on five of those occasions.

3. “People say he can’t throw the ball, he can’t do this. He finds a way to win.” – Roethlisberger on Tebow.

TRENDS:

* Over is 5-2 in the last seven meetings.
* Underdog is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Road team is 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings.

PREDICTION: Steelers 24, Broncos 13. Pittsburgh’s defense overwhelms Tebow and sends Denver to a fourth straight loss.
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01/08/2012 11:51 AM
NFL Underdogs: Wild card pointspread picks

Perception is a funny thing. Two people can look at one thing and come away with completely different outlooks.

Some people watched Avatar and thought it was the artistic achievement of decade. I saw it and wanted my money back.

Maybe I need to put on 3-D glasses to see what NFL executives see in Josh McDaniels. It seems the St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator is a hot commodity.

Yup, the man in charge of the league’s lowest scoring offense is being courted by the New England Patriots and there are rumors the Kansas City Chiefs are interested in his services, too.

McDaniels is still living off the coattails of that magical season when he was calling the plays for the record-setting 2007-08 New England Patriots. Tom Brady threw for 50 TDs, Randy Moss caught 23 of them, and the Pats averaged 36.8 points per game.

Since then, well, things haven’t gone as well for Boy Wonder.

In his first year as Denver’s head coach, the Broncos won their first six games but lost eight of their last 10 and didn’t make the playoffs. He got the pink slip after a 3-9 start the following season and we all know about how bad the Rams were with McDaniels running the offense.

If my math is right, teams with McDaniels on their staff are 7-31 straight up and 10-27-1 against the spread since November, 2009.

Suddenly my pick record isn’t looking so bad. Speaking of that, let’s get down to business.

Underdogs are 6-2 ATS in the wild card round over the last two playoffs, but I don’t think that trend will continue this year. I’m pussing out and picking some favorites now that we’re in the playoffs, but I will man up and pick every playoff game from here on out.

I’m feeling confident. I think these playoff pointspreads are formed as finely as Shakira’s backside. Let’s make some money.

Cincinnati Bengals at Houston Texans (-3.5)

I bet this game earlier in the week at Houston -3, but by Friday morning everyone was dealing 3.5. Wynn Las Vegas sportsbook director John Avello seemed surprised by the amount of action that came in on the Texans after QB T.J. Yates was upgraded to probable.

I told him it probably had less to do with Yates and more to do with his would-be replacement, Jake Delhomme.

The Texans possess one of the league’s best defenses, running games and offensive lines. They don’t need Yates to win the game; they just need him to take care of the ball and avoid a Delhomme-like performance (read turnover filled).

Pick: Texans -3.5

Detroit Lions (+10.5) at New Orleans Saints

It’s tough to beat the same team twice in one season, let alone by double digits each time. Detroit will make some adjustments and keep this one close.

Pick: Lions +10.5

Atlanta Falcons at New York Giants (-3)

Seems like every week I’ve been on the wrong side in Atlanta games. This much I do know: The Falcons don’t run the ball as well as they used to and they don’t play well on the road.

Against Justin Tuck and Co., the Falcons’ weak offensive line will be as exposed as Kris Humphries’ extreme homophobia.



Pick: Giants -3

Pittsburgh Steelers at Denver Broncos (+9)

It’s clear with a total this low (33.5), no one is expecting many points. As awful as Denver has looked over the past few weeks, it’s not hard to picture the club covering in a 13-9 type of game.

Pick: Broncos +9

Last week: 2-1
Season record: 29-23-1

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
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