Give SD pat on back

Oct 1, 2002 7:19 AM

   Oooh, La-damian!

   Thanks in large part to the splendid running of LaDanian Tomlinson, the San Diego Chargers have become the latest flavor of the month in the NFL after upsetting the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.

   The Chargers are 4-0 and alone atop the AFC West, pending the outcome of Monday night's Denver-Ravens game in Baltimore. The 21-14 final extended to 13-0 a trend that teams with 3-0 records have always gone under the posted total, which in this case was 41.

   "People were still high on the Patriots, not on San Diego yet," said Jay Kornegay, race and sports director at Imperial Palace. "Now I think there will be a coming out party for the Chargers. That bus should be full.”

   Those boarding the bus for San Diego will replace the faithful heading to St. Louis. The Rams fell to 0-4 both straight-up and against the spread after their meltdown against the Dallas Cowboys.

   It was another good performance for the bettors, who swept the board in games that moved at least one point during the week.

    "The books bounced back with the Raiders game (Oakland 55-28), but we needed the Vikings and under on Sunday night," Kornegay said.

   The Vikings were cooked in the second quarter, allowing five touchdowns alone to Seattle tailback Shawn Alexander in a game that easily went over the total.

   On the other hand, at Palace Station, the books nearly swept the board in the NFL. So where you bet can make a difference.

   Through four weeks, here are the best and worst in the NFL against the spread, which in Vegas is more relevant than the straight-up record.

   BEST: Tampa Bay 4-0, San Diego 4-0, Carolina 4-0, Jacksonville 3-0, Oakland 3-0, Buffalo 3-1, New Orleans 3-1, Cleveland 3-1.

   WORST: St. Louis 0-4, Cincinnati 0-4, Pittsburgh 0-3, Baltimore 0-2, Minnesota 1-3, NY Jets 1-3, Tennessee 1-3.

   In college football, the house did a bit better.

   "The late games involving Alabama and Auburn did well for us," Kornegay said. "More people bet those night games because the action is highly concentrated. So many teams are playing at 12:30 and 4 p.m. that the betting tends to spread itself out."

   The house did take it on the chin in late games Thursday, Friday and early Sunday morning involving Florida State, Texas Tech and Hawaii respectively.

   "Those weren't major decisions, but we did lose," Kornegay said. "At least Oklahoma was good to us. And, Iowa State didn't hurt. They look like the real deal."

 

NCAA

MAJOR LINE MOVES/RESULTS

NFL (players 3-0)

Game

Open

Close

Result

Adv

Hou-Phila

P-21.0

-19.0

P 35-17

P

NO-Detroit

N-7.5

-8.5

D 26-21

P

Tenn-Oak

O-6.0

-7.0

O 52-25

P

 

NCAA (players 4-2)

Game

Open

Close

Result

Adv

Nwstrn-Mich St.

M-21.0

-25.0

M 39-24

H

T