Sorry Steelers, we’re Patriotic

Jan 11, 2005 6:49 AM

They say once a horseplayer always a horseplayer. I treat playing horses as a hobby, but a very serious one. It’s no different than how an avid golfer would treat his or her pursuit of a passionate interest.

One thing I learned early from my father, "Broadway Bennie," was that in horse racing, the only way to stay in the game was betting small to win a lot. Now that was before computers and all the rebate shops, but I have stayed in the game a long time using that philosophy.

All you need is one good hit and you are in action for a long time. It happened in Vegas on New Year’s Eve to long time horseplayer Salvatore Falcone, who visited from Tucson to bet a few ponies and enjoy the New Year’s Eve festivities downtown at the Fremont Hotel. Salvatore, living by the "small bet, large win" philosophy, wagered a $1 superfecta at the Fairgrounds and watched as his horses ran 1-2-3-4.

The payoff was $58,616 for his buck. Now that’s the way to start the new year off.

As I set back and watched the Packers-Vikings wild card game on Sunday I kept wondering, who was wearing Brett Farve’s No. 4 jersey? I did bet "over" 49 on the total and thought I was home free. However, two missed chip shot field goals eventually did me in. I did lay the Pack -6 ½ in the second half, but that guy in the Farve suit was a no show once again. Well, I need to put that debacle behind me and move on.

Saturday, Jan. 15

Jets +9 at Steelers (34): The Steelers were a 5½- point favorite at home in the first meeting and won 17-6 in a game much closer than the result. Pittsburgh opened at -10 and the wise guys just knocked it down to 9. The teams have played four times since 2000, with all four going "under" the total. Another humdinger of a defensive battle is expected. As much as I love "Big Ben" and the Steelers, I’m headed the other way. JETS, UNDER.

Rams +7 at Falcons (48):St. Louis ended the season with wins over the Eagles and Jets, then beat the Seahawks last week for the third time. Atlanta opened -6 and was bet up to 7. As good as St. Louis is playing, I am inclined to take the points. RAMS.

Sunday, Jan. 16

Vikings +9½ at Eagles (49):The Eagles finished the season 2-2 SU and 0-4 ATS, not the way you want to head into the playoffs. Also in the last four games, they scored 17-12-7-10. Eagles did beat the Vikings at Philly in Week 2. The Vikings finished the regular season 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS before defeating Green Bay. In the first meeting, the Eagles were a 3½-point favorite. Too many points now. VIKINGS.

Colts +2½ at Patriots (51):This game opened New England -3 and slipped just a little. I guess that field goal looked good to the wise guys. Pats won the only meeting this year in Week 1 as a 3-point favorite, 27-24. The Colts want revenge for losing last year at New England in the playoffs, 24-14. I believe if the Colts win, they will go on to capture the Super Bowl. So if you like the Colts on the money line, also take a flyer on them to go all the way. However, I like the home team. PATS, UNDER.

Post Season: 1-3

Season: 141-111