NFL’s bottom feeders take down two big fish

Nov 24, 2009 5:05 PM
NFL Notebook by Micah Roberts |

The tide has officially turned. After weeks of waiting for the NFL’s worst teams to show up against whatever number the Las Vegas Sports books hung on the board, Week 11 had two of the leagues worst teams not only show up, but beat two of the leagues best teams.

The Kansas City Chiefs, an 11.5-point underdog, beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 while the Oakland Raiders, a 9-point dog, beat the Cincinnati Bengals.

Through the first 8 weeks of the season, the Sports Books had been inflating the line in hopes that eventually some of the leagues bad teams would find some takers. The public had been getting the best of the Books all season, including the worst day in Las Vegas Sports Book history in week 7, but things have definitely shifted back into the Books favor over the last four weeks.

"It was a good day for the books," said Lucky‘s Sports Book Director Jimmy Vaccaro. "Anytime you get that many underdogs to come through, we’ll do okay."

The dogs once again did well going 8-5-1 against the number.

"We did well with the Chiefs and Washington early, and poorly with the Colts winning. We opened the Ravens a 1-point favorite and closed the Colts minus-1," said Vaccaro.

The Colts continue to be the public’s steady source of reliability pushing their record to 10-0 and 7-3 against the spread.

"In the late games we actually needed Cincinnati against Oakland. We opened the Bengals minus-9 and closed at 7.5," said Vaccaro. "San Diego was another game that didn’t go well for us. We opened the game minus-3½, went to 4, 5 and then closed at 6. We couldn’t get any Broncos action. Looking at Chris Simms, it was like he was looking for his dad (Phil Simms) to come in."

The Broncos definitely got off on the wrong foot with Simms, who couldn’t muster anything in the pivotal AFC West game that saw the Chargers roll 32-3. The game had been off the board all week at most Las Vegas Books and wasn’t hung until late Saturday.

Tampa Bay still showed their true colors with a 38-7 loss to New Orleans, but overall, the Books can’t ask for anything more than what was shown in week 11 where the statement "On Any Given Sunday" still means something.

Game Ball

Hello Matt Stafford! The Lions number one draft pick has arrived. Even though the game was against Cleveland, the numbers he threw up against them were quite impressive. He went for 422 yards and five touchdown passes including the game winner as time ran out in the Lions 38-37 win.

Welcome Back

The Buffalo Bills get a new Head Coach and at the same time, they get a new receiver. All season long the conservative Bills have silenced one of the leagues best weapons, but in a week 11 loss to Jacksonville, the new coach got Terrell Owens involved with a season high 9 catches for 197 yards and a TD.

Woozy Warner

Everyone has kind of been mystified how Cardinals QB Kurt Warner has been able to stay around the league so long without having any type of injury since 2005 that has kept him out of a game. On Sunday, he took a hit from the Rams that took him out the game, giving the reigns to back-up Matt Leinart with a 21-3 lead. Leinart held on to win 21-13, but gave up what looked to a be a certain cover for Cadinal bettors.

"It was one of those situations where I didn’t feel perfect, so I just wanted to be cautious with it," Warner said after the game. "I actually feel pretty good right now. Just a very, very slight headache. I remember everything that happened. I didn’t get knocked out."

Thanksgiving Thursday

The Packers-Lions and Raiders-Cowboys games are all likely to be bet one sided with the favorites, but where do you go with the Giants visiting Denver? Both teams are sliding with 6-4 records. The Giants were very fortunate to win against the Falcons last week and the Broncos have lost four straight after starting the season 6-0. The timing of the game couldn’t be worse for Denver with QB Kyle Orton’s ailing ankle on a short week.

Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Micah Roberts