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I just have a few questions for my readers to think about as we go into the last weekend of pro football when we decide the conference championships.

First, do these zebras go to a school that teaches them how to become officials? If so, it must be in our public school system because they are graduating with little or no skills. I am not sure all of them can read and write.

Some have gone to the library, but must be getting all the Rodney Dangerfield reruns. They look like comedians, some of their calls are a real joke.

They continue to take the game away from teams, fans and us bettors. It all came to a head at the end of the Pittsburgh-Baltimore fiasco; the Steelers were running out the clock, getting ready to kick the game winning field goal when one of the comedians called offensive holding.

A real joke of a call and I was rooting for Pittsburgh. But I just want everything to be on the square and it doesn’t look that way to the naked eye. What all the eyes, both Steelers fans and Ravens fans, were watching must have been different than what the zebras were involved in.

The game between the Falcons and Packers was no contest. Green Bay looked like a team playing with a purpose.

On Sunday it looked like the Bears were going to wipe Soldier Field with the Seahawks but Lovie Smith decided to get away from what got him the big lead and went into the prevent defense, which almost cost the Bears’ bettors the cover.

These guys just never learn.

The most amazing game was Jets-Patriots. Did the mob have Tom Brady’s family held hostage or pull a switch-a-roo and that really wasn’t Brady but Tom Saber at QB for the Pats? I have seen Tom Saber toss the pigskin and it looked like his type of pass.

The Jets had the game wrapped up and seemingly a dead under. All they needed to do was get that last first down, run the clock and game over. But they scored a quick TD and then let the Pats get a quick score. The over got there as the under bettors just stood there in amazement.

In fact all four games went over. Both games this week will be played on Sunday. Let’s examine them.

Sunday, Jan. 23

Jets +3½ at Steelers (39): Revenge is a sweet thing, especially off a home loss. That’s exactly what the Steelers will be looking for in this return match of a 22-17 loss in front of the Steel City faithful Dec. 19.

The Pittsburgh defense looked like madmen in the second half. The Ravens may have gone into half time planning their next game. Look for a game at high pitch level if the zebras let them play. You need a lot of luck to get to the Promised Land – Super Bowl Sunday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on Feb. 6.

There has been no luckier team this year than the Jets, winning with mirrors and late comebacks. They will need a lot of calls to go their way and more luck than they have had all season long. I will be taking the +3½ to protect my play on the Steelers to win it all and hope they can win by three or less. My strong play, however, is the total. UNDER.

Packers -3½ at Bears (43½): Bears won in Chicago in the first matchup back in week two as a 3-point dog with the total 46. The second meeting at Lambeau Field saw the Bears a 10-point dog with the total around 43. Chicago lost 10-3, but got the cover.

We have two cold weather teams that have played under the total both times. I would have made this total a little lower, but making the Packers a field goal favorite is the correct line. Bettors remember the last thing they see and that was the Packers destroying the Falcons.

This game will be different; I believe it will be close again and that three and a hook look real good. I just may wait and maybe we will get +4, but I will be betting the total again even though it opened 42½ and has gone up a point. BEARS +3½/UNDER 43½.


I am not a fan of boycotts but some big players are boycotting Santa Anita since California raised the takeout because of plunging handles. Exactas and daily double takeout at Santa Anita is now 22.68%, the highest in the nation among major tracks.

The takeout for bets involving three or more horses is now 23.68%, a 14.51% increase. Handle compared with similar dates last year is off by some 17%.

I am not the smartest guy around but the solution is very easy. If you have a good product, people will go out of their way to buy it. A product that sucks will send people elsewhere. That’s exactly where players are heading – to tracks with beatable fields and fair takeouts.

California just doesn’t get it anymore. The fields are lousy. The other week the state carded a 100k stakes race and got only three horses to run. No action for the handle.

I guess that’s why California is broke and the reason a once legendary track like Santa Anita is on life support. Very sad.

last week             since Oct. 25                 PCT

1-5                         54-50-3                         51.9


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