NFL's Patriots' backers will be giving

Jun 2, 2009 5:03 PM
On The Mark by Mark Mayer |

The Las Vegas Hilton’s annual release of the NFL Games of the Year has become a rite of passage.

Just seeing lines on 80 games (even if they are three months early) is enough to get our juices flowing.

Pittsburgh may be the defending Super Bowl champion but, in Vegas where it really counts, the teams of choice are New England and Dallas.

The Patriots have Tom Brady back, which means they are an across-the-board favorite to win the 2010 Super Bowl in Miami. The Hilton sees this in listing New England as a favorite in all nine appearances on the Games of the Year sheet.

Regarding the Cowboys there’s no T.O, but we have a Hilton-high 13 appearances on the list, which begin in Week 2 as a 2½-point favorite over the New York Giants in the debut of the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium.

"The public follows the Cowboys so you have to put them on a lot," said Chris Graham, race and sports supervisor at the Hilton SuperBook. "New England is even a double-digit favorite in London."

Quite right, laddie. New England is a 10-point chalk at Wembley against Tampa Bay. The Patriots are also favored by 9½ against Atlanta, 8 against Baltimore, 6 at Denver, 7 against Tennessee, 3 at Indianapolis, 4½ at New Orleans, 6½ at Miami and 5½ at Buffalo.

Betting on Games of the Year now can be good or bad. If you have a team pegged right, the line move up or down can be worth big bucks. If a team goes in the tank (hello Detroit), well don’t say you weren’t warned.

Skimming the list, a team with point spread value is Denver. The Broncos are home underdogs five times: 1½ to Dallas in Week 4, 6 to New England in Week 5, 3 to Pittsburgh in Week 9, 1½ to San Diego in Week 11 and 3 to the NY Giants in Week 12. See when Kyle Orton is your QB instead of Jay Cutler!

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Mark Mayer