A few good plays
in b-ball playoffs

Oct 3, 2006 6:46 AM

With the baseball playoffs at hand, here are a few grains of wisdom to put under your cap.

There is no outstanding team this year, so betting underdogs should be the play.

There is very little advantage to home teams, and the odds-makers mistakenly show it in the lines.

Generally, you are better off betting the individual games over and under, and forget about the sides. As a rule of thumb — East Coast bet over, West Coast bet under.

Make a World Series bet and in most cases you can hedge out at a slight profit, or at worst break even or ideally win your bet without any sweat.

Let your wife pick a team and you’ll be shocked by the peacefulness of program selection, even during prime time. With three California teams this year there will be a ton of late games.

On Sunday, there were a few "wiseguy" moves worth noting:

The Chargers went from a 2½ point favorite to a 1 point underdog, and got beat by three points.

The Colts went from a 9 point favorite to 7, and the Jets got there by losing by only three.

The Dolphins went from a 5½ point favorite to 3½ at game time, and they got beat straight up.

Here are this week’s gems:

Giants — 3 ½ over the Redskins: The Giants are coming off a bye this week, so they have an extra few days to prepare for Joe Gibbs’ team. Washington comes off a bone-crushing victory with Jacksonville that was really impressive. However, that had to take a great deal out of this club. I’ll ride with the rested Giants.

Saints —7 vs. Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers’ season is over, and I think they may even know it. A new quarterback may help, but I think New Orleans stays on a real high at home.

Raiders +3 vs. the 49ers: Both teams stink, but head coach Art Shell may suit up to help his hapless offensive line. The points may come into play here, as the 49ers were even worse than the Raiders last week, losing 41 to zip.

I know I’m getting senile. As I watched the Monday Night Football hullabaloo from New Orleans, here I was rooting for Drew Brees and Reggie Bush to do great things. I didn’t realize until halftime that I had bet on the visiting Atlanta Falcons. It was indeed the first time in my life that I really didn’t mind losing a bet.

Speaking of Monday night, here’s this week’s Theismanism: While discussing the condition of the new turf on the field, Joe said "Because this turf is new, the players have to run with their bodies on top of their legs." I swear he said it — not once, but twice.

While I’m here discussing things I don’t understand, how about cell phones. Many of us take it for granted that we can call somebody thousand of miles away, and they answer in three rings. How can that be? Actually, why is it that cell phones always ring when you’re in a sports book?

How about sending messages across the world on the Internet — who plugs in the power and why doesn’t it bounce off or interfere with a billion other messages?

Why does the battery of a smoke detector always start beeping at exactly 3 a.m.?

I know I’ll get a lot of heat for this, but I don’t understand the fascination with "Fantasy Football." Apparently thousands of people across this country play in different leagues and are really into it. I just don’t get it! What happens if you’re not satisfied with a particular player’s performance? Do you have to give him two weeks notice before you replace him? Is there any severance pay involved? How do you replace him with another player, if someone else has that other player? And if no one else has the other player, he’s probably no good anyway. I just don’t get it!

While I’m taking heat I might as well say something about NASCAR Racing. They have 30 or so cars running around a circle. Their engines make it a somewhat deafening experience. If a driver gets in front of you it’s OK to push him off the track, or guide that driver into the wall. The spectators become excited by the anticipation of an accident, and then are depressed if it’s a serious one. Then, after the race is over, the drivers attempt to beat the hell out of each other. Once again, I don’t get it.

Have a great week!!