Rams at 100-1 looking better

Oct 15, 2002 7:22 AM

   At the beginning of the season, one would have to be crazy to even suggest the St. Louis Rams would be 0-5, a 100-1 shot to win the Super Bowl and as much as a nine-point underdog at home against Oakland.

   Yet there it was for all to see and, hopefully, play. The under-valued Rams proved to be the best bet on the board, easily defeating the Raiders to the sad regret of most betting customers, who pushed the line up from an opening 7½..

   The other unwise line movement in the NFL was New England’s climb from four to six points against a Green Bay team that was playing its best ball on the road in years.

   Three weeks ago the defending Super Bowl champ Patriots were 3-0 and suddenly receiving the recognition they never enjoyed during the off-season. Tom Brady was being hailed the best QB in the business, which was an insult to Brett Favre.

   So when the two met Sunday, Favre had an answer for Brady and Green Bay was a runaway victor. Lesson learned: Don’t lay heavy points on team during a losing streak.

   In college football, you just knew Wide Left was in order when Florida State botched up its attempted last-second victory field goal try at No. 1 Miami.

   The kicker unfairly received the criticism when it should have been doled out to Bobby Bowden and his crew of merry madmen who again found a way to screw up a two-minute drill.

   The Seminoles unnecessarily risked a needless run into the line with 22 seconds left. They were lucky to spike the ball with one second remaining, but everyone on the kicking team was hurried. It caused a horrible snap that was nicely retrieved by the holder, but the placement was slightly off and the kick sailed left.

   FSU did cover easily, but its national title hopes are gone.

   And, please send your “bench Jason Thomas faxes” to the UNLV athletic department. How the Rebels opened as a 5½-point favorite and went to eight against a bad New Mexico team was both understandable, yet frustrating.

   Week after week, we have been UNLV self-destruct offensively with Thomas, whose skills have for some reason eroded over the past two seasons. Heisman? Benching is more likely.

   It’s time to bettors to start watching home conference underdogs. They usually cover 60 percent of the time and come through with several outright winners.

   Four of the first five on the covered on the rotation, including Indiana against Wisconsin, Illinois hosting Purdue and Virginia winning outright vs visiting Clemson.

   But, aren’t we all smarter after the games are played.