As my very dear departed dad "Broadway Benny Saber" used to say on each New Year’s Eve at the dinner table as he made a toast, "Look ahead as what has passed has passed. Look ahead with hope."
What a guy. And, then it was on to Tommy’s Lounge on 4th Street in downtown Steubenville. We made a few football bets and then took the short drive to Waterford Park for a day with the ponies.
Not much has changed with me except that Bennie will be betting a few different races. I will be at the book betting games and ponies, while wishing everyone a very happy and lucky New Year.
First I will take a look at this week’s Wild Card games. I can’t remember seeing all the visitors as the favorites. What does that mean?
Falcons -2 ½ at Cardinals (50½): Atlanta won its last three and is the better team, but would not lay the number on the road. I’m looking at the total. UNDER.
Colts -1½ at Chargers (50½): Two teams on major rolls with the Colts winning their last nine and the Chargers taking their last four. San Diego’s offense has exploded. Colts won first meeting in San Diego, 23-20. CHARGERS.
Ravens -3½ at Dolphins (36½): Dolphins have won five straight while the Ravens have won five out of their last six. Baltimore can play and beat the best. I’m going with the better team. RAVENS (money line).
Eagles -3 at Vikings (42): The question here is which team will show up. Both have been helter-skelter all season. Again, I’m looking to the points. UNDER.
Nevada/Maryland OVER 58; Western Michigan/Rice OVER 73;
OREGON (money line), OVER 76½
HOUSTON -4, OVER 64; BC -3, UNDER 41; OREGON ST -2½; MINNESOTA +9, UNDER 58
LSU +4 vs Georgia Tech (53): The total opened 49½ and bet up to 53. I have monitored totals for years and moves like these are usually correct. I do believe LSU will show up and give a big effort. LSU / OVER.
S.CAROLINA +4; GEORGIA -7½; NEBRASKA (money line); CINCINNATI -2½.
Penn State +10 vs USC (45½): If you give Paterno more than a week to prepare he will beat you. Well JoePa has had the time to prepare and he just may keep this one close. PENN ST / UNDER.
KENTUCKY +3; ALABAMA -9½
Ole Miss +4½ vs Texas Tech (70): Ole Miss just may be the best team in the country at this point and look to be a good bet on the money line. OLE MISS (money line).
BUFFALO +4½, OVER 52
Ohio St +8½ vs Texas (Mon): The Buckeyes have been blown out the last two years in almost this same situation. Everyone says they will be prepared this time, but I don’t believe the third time is the charm. The Longhorns are one play away from being perfect and the best team. Another blowout? TEXAS.