NFL: Week 8

Nov 2, 2010 7:10 AM

 

The favorites went 7-5 Sunday, results which would normally end up being a decent day for the players, but it wasn’t meant to be in Week 8 of the NFL season.

Even though the underdogs didn’t get there, the dogs of the past keep barking in the minds of bettors as they make their selections -- reaping havoc from all the damage done to their wallets from the first seven weeks.

Of the 12 Sunday games, eight had an initial line of -3 or lower, making them essentially pick’em games because they were at home. Of those eight games, six of the favorites won.

In a normal NFL regular season, results like that would have made the players lots of money. Laying small favorites has always been a favorite past time of recreational bettors, but this year with all the jumbled ratings and weekly upsets, things are much different.

Bettors are thinking harder than ever and trying to utilize some of the information gained through the first seven weeks to come up with strong leans, and the sports books are the beneficiaries of all their indecisiveness.

Of the five underdogs that covered, four won outright led by the Jaguars and Packers, each getting 6 to 6½ points. The Dolphins were driven to pick’em by kickoff and won at Cincinnati while Tampa Bay won at Arizona as a 3-point dog. The only underdog that covered and lost was Buffalo at Kansas City.

The poor Bills who were given every opportunity the last two weeks on the road against playoff caliber teams, and they blew it again. Last week it was a tough loss at Baltimore, but their overtime loss at Kansas City was even worse.

Several missed opportunities cost the Bills their first win of the season and wasted a great effort by their defense, who bent but didn’t break against the Chiefs’ strong running game. Each team missed field goals in overtime, and it appeared the game may end in a tie.

The Chiefs rallied with seconds to go and kicked the game winning field goal to win 13-10. The loss sent the Bills to 0-7, the only winless team in the NFL, and their third worst start in franchise history.

However, the Bills’ loss is still the Sharps’ gain. They bought the Bills at +7½ pushing the game to 7. They also did well with the Chargers and Dolphins on the day, but the sports books absorbed the Sharp plays easily as the small money made their day.

The popular plays with small money in parlays off the board and parlay cards were the Broncos, Steelers, Titans, Patriots and Rams. Only two of the five covered, making it the eighth straight week that the little guy lost.

After watching this week’s games, it looks like the tide may be turning a little bit. All 12 had the home team favored (I listed the 49ers as the home team even though it was played on a neutral field in London) and seven won.

That’s a good sign for the bettor who likes to play favorites. The ratings are settling and there are eight weeks of data to consider.

This week’s games have four with spreads at a touchdown or higher with seven road favorites. It’s time to use those ratings – that devalue favorites – now to your advantage and side with some of the favorites again.

Start chipping away at the sports books and get back some of that money they’ve been holding for you. Be confident, strong, brave and make your selections with conviction this week. No wavering with the picks.

If you have a tough time with either side of a game, then pass. Go on to the next one. You will own Week 9 of the NFL season, I can feel it.

 

Welcome Back Mike

 

 

The Eagles will have Michael Vick running the show this week, a month after suffering torn rib cartilage against the Redskins. The Eagles have a huge game against the Colts that in some ways will determine their fate on the season.

There’s a big difference between being 5-3 or 4-4. For Vick’s talents to be fully utilized this week, he’ll need DeSean Jackson back in the lineup. Jackson is questionable, but did make his first appearance in practice last week.

 

More Favre Drama

 

 

Before throwing an interception late and being carted off in Foxborough, Brett Favre actually looked pretty good on his fractured ankle. He looked quicker than any 41-year-olds I know. Last week was pretty entertaining with all the "will he start or won’t he" that was going on along with his situational limp.

The entire situation with the media feeding off it reminded me of how savvy college coaches deflect attention from their players to themselves in big games by doing something outrageous. Not to say he could have faked his broken ankle, but it did deflect attention away from his texting scandal.

This week Favre is going to have to do something really outlandish because the girl he allegedly texted, Jenn Sterger, is meeting with NFL officials to discuss the incident.

 

Well Traveled Jones

 

 

Chiefs running back Thomas Jones became the first player in NFL history to rush for 500 yards in a season with five different teams. It’s a testament to just how consistent Jones is no matter what system he get plugged into.

Jones is currently on track to get his sixth straight 1,000 yard season. The teams he’s been on include the Cardinals, Buccaneers, Bears, Jets and now the Chiefs.

 

Player of the Week

 

 

David Garrard totaled five touchdowns in the Jaguars’ 35-17 win at Dallas. He threw for 260 yards passing with four TD passes and one rushing score. Garrard helped his team dominate the Cowboys in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicates.