A 5.5 line not soon forgotten
January 16, 2018 3:00 AM
by Mark Mayer
VIP On the Mark | The Vikings closed as 5.5-point favorites and somehow pulled out an improbable 29-24 victory. It should have been 30-24 with the extra point the NFL requires to complete regulation time games.
Leave it to sports wagering to create a sidebar to the miracle Vikings win over New Orleans.
The Vikings closed as 5.5-point favorites and somehow pulled out an improbable 29-24 victory. It should have been 30-24 with the extra point the NFL requires to complete regulation time games. After a lengthy delay there were finally enough New Orleans players back on the field to complete the untimed down kick.
So what happens? The Vikes take a knee. The game stays 5. Saints bettors escape with a cover. Vikes supporters lose unless they had teasers and money-line picks. This is just an everyday bad result we all experience. Last week I had it as Vikings -4 in my GamingToday column.
In the earlier game Sunday, I still can’t conceive Blake Bortles in a starring role and the Pittsburgh Steelers scoring 42 points against the NFL’s No. 2 defense and losing. Heck the UNDER was beaten at halftime!
As for Saturday’s two games, the late great Denny Green while coach of the Arizona Cardinals, is famed for his 2006 post game tirade describing the Chicago Bears as “we are what we thought they were” after blowing a 20-point lead in less than 20 minutes.
Well, the setbacks weren’t quite that dramatic, but in the case of the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans they did show their true colors under pressure.
All season Atlanta had trouble scoring touchdowns in the red zone. Trailing 15-10 with first and goal at Philadelphia in the final minute a field goal was not an option.
Matt Ryan will likely get the blame for the loss, but it should go to the sideline playcalling, which was atrocious. A shovel pass to nobody on second down. Throwing three times to Julio Jones when the Eagles designed their defense to stop it. And no looks to the running backs either as ballcarriers or receivers. Philly again proved that in the playoffs you win with defense.
Not the case with Tennessee, which caved in during the second quarter allowing 21 straight points to New England. Too many stupid mistakes, not utilizing Derrick Henry enough and being unable to utilize the running ability of QB Marcus Mariota turned a 7-0 Titans lead into a snoozer. Again the public was rewarded by backing the Patriots/OVER straight up and teaser parlay thanks to a late Titans touchdown that beat the 48 closing total by 1 at 35-14.