1-800-524-4250

Articles

Get the best handicapping articles and gambling advice throughout the football, basketball and baseball seasons from the world's top sports handicappers, as well as from Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook and Casino.

Bad Beats & Lucky Wins

   by Larry Ness - 10/27/2004

Week 7 of the NFL saw 10 games decided by eight points or more, the most of any week this season. Still, two games were decided by field goals of 50 yards or more in the final minute or overtime for the first time since 1970 (of course the Jags were involved in one of them!). While eight of Sunday's 13 games went 'over' the total, there were more than a few instances in which the 'over' bettors got very lucky. My weekly recap follows....

The 5-0 Jets and the 5-0 Pats met in Foxboro last Sunday, the first time two undefeated teams had met this late in a season since 1973. The Pats were a six-point favorite pretty much the entire week, although one could have found that extra half-point on the Jets at one time or another. Anyway, the first half flew by with just five total possessions! The Pats opened a six-point lead on two field goals and the Jets scored with just under two minutes remaining in the half to lead 7-6. However, Brady took the Pats 62 yards in seven plays, scoring with five seconds left to give New England a 13-7 lead....

Neither team threatened for most of the third quarter but the fourth quarter had a number of close calls to get the game off "six". Corey Dillon broke a 44-yard run late in the third quarter that got the Pats into Jets territory. Early in the 4th the Pats reached the New York 21-yard line but a penalty and then a fumble ended the drive. The Jets started a drive with about eight minutes left at their own 14. They faced a fourth-and-inches at their 23 but converted on a Pennington QB sneak. A failure there could have spelled doom for New York backers. Later in the drive a Pennington pass to McCareins just missed as two New England defenders sandwiched the Jet wide-out. Two plays later, the Jets were stopped on downs and the game ended 13-7....

The Bills opened as 6 1/2-point underdogs at Baltimore and bettors jumped all over the Bills driving the number down to 4 1/2! Despite outgaining the Ravens 270-160, the Bills lost 20-6 as Drew Bledsoe was just HORRIBLE! On the game's third play the Ravens fumbled on their own 22 but the Bills couldn't move the ball, settling for a 3-0 lead. It was just the first of many missed opportunities for Buffalo....

In the first quarter a tipped Bledsoe pass was returned by Deion for a 48-yard TD. In the second quarter the Ravens gained 83 of their total of 160 yards in a TD drive that gave them a 17-3 lead. The Bills had a first-and-goal at the Baltimore seven in the 3rd quarter but again had to settle for a field goal....

In the fourth quarter Bledsoe's pass from the Baltimore 19 was intercepted in the end zone, killing another scoring chance. He later drove the Bills inside the Baltimore four only to get intercepted (AGAIN!) on third down. This play ended any Buffalo hopes as it was returned 94 yards! The Ravens won and covered this game with one good drive and a great defensive effort aided by Bledsoe's poor play!...

One had to figure they were in for a long day with the Bears plus-seven points after the Bears' first play from scrimmage in the Chicago-Tampa Bay game. Chicago RB Thomas Jones took a swing pass and went 77 yards for an apparent TD. However, the play was negated by a penalty on a Bear wide receiver on the opposite side of the field! It was all downhill for Chicago backers from there!...

Down 10-0 at half the Bears fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half, leading to a Tampa Bay field goal. Down 13-0, Chicago had a great chance to get back in it as Tampa Bay fumbled on consecutive possessions. The Bears converted the first to draw within 13-7 but with a first down at the Bucs' 24-yard line after an Alstott fumble, Chicago LOST 17 yards and was forced to punt....

A tipped Krenzel pass was intercepted and returned to the Chicago 11-yard line in the 4th quarter. Even after Tampa Bay converted with a TD, giving the Bucs a 20-7 lead, the Bears were still only a 'concession' TD away from a cover. No such luck though, as Chicago was stopped on downs in its last two drives....

The Saints-Raiders total closed at 45. The Saints went three-and-out on their first four possessions, finally getting their initial first down on their fifth possession. However, Oakland could only manage three first-half field goals. New Orleans did manage to score late in the second quarter sending the game to the half at just 9-7....

The third quarter began with three-and-outs by each team but New Orleans scored to go up 14-9 in its second possession and then returned a Kerry Collins 55 yards to set up another score (now 21-9). The Raiders scored early in the fourth quarter to close to 21-16 but then each team settled for field goals bring the score to 24-19 with about 4:30 remaining....

The Raiders were getting the ball back and would have a chance to score and win. The total would be decided on whether or not the Saints could stop the Raiders but then it all changed very quickly on the kickoff return! Oakland's Carlos Francis fumbled as he was tackled and the Saints brought it back for a TD! Oakland added a meaningless TD at the end and the total 'flew' over with a 31-26 final. All 'over' bettors needed was a 27-point fourth quarter!...

How about the Seattle-Arizona game where the total closed at 40? Heading into the final minute of the third quarter, the score was just 16-3 Arizona on the strength of FOUR 50-yard field goals (how often to you see that?). Seattle finally put together a scoring drive and made it 16-10 with five seconds to go in the third quarter....

Arizona's McCown was intercepted early in the fourth quarter and even though it was returned for a TD, the score was still only 17-16. Seattle was about to punt but the snap was poor and Arizona blocked it. However, the Seattle punter 'saved' a TD by the Cards by making a great play in knocking the ball out of the end zone....

When Arizona failed to convert on the short-field and then Seattle and Arizona traded punts, the 'under' was still the favorite. Seattle had the ball trailing 18-17 at its own 17 with just under three minutes left. A first down or two and the game would be under the two-minute mark and would likely come down to a Seattle field goal attempt. Make or miss, the game stays 'under'....

However, Hasselbeck threw an interception on second down and Arizona had the ball on the Seattle 24. Still, all that was needed was a Seattle stop. An Arizona field goal would have made it just 21-17. On third-and-nine from the 23, Emmitt Smith broke free for a 23-yard TD with 1:53 left and there went the 'under'....

In the St Louis-Miami game (total of 37), Mike Martz UNBELIEVABLY accepted a penalty with about 30 seconds remaining in a 7-7 game that gave Miami another shot. On a third-and-28 play, Fiedler connected on a 42-yard TD and instead of a 7-7 halftime, it was 14-7. Still, the game entered the fourth quarter at 14-7 but a 24-point final period put the game 'over'....

Same thing in New York where the Lions led the Giants 14-13 (total of 40) mid-way through the final period. Harrington capped a 70-yard drive with a TD pass with just 2:52 left to make it 21-13. The Giants then went for it on fourth-and-five on their own 21 with just over two minutes left and failed to convert!...

If the Giants held Detroit to a field goal, the 'under' players were still in business. Detroit picked up a first down and the Giants called two timeouts and with 1:46 left, Artose Pinner scored on an eight-yard run. The final of 28-13 put the total over by a single point!...

As always, the Jags' game came down to the final seconds. The Jaguars were nine-point underdogs at Indianapolis and the total was 46. They entered the fourth quarter trailing 14-13 but the teams combined to score 24 points and send the total 'over'. The game was decided on a 53-yard field goal by Josh Scobee of Jacksonville. All five of Jacksonville's wins this year have come down to a deciding play in the game's final minute....

Bet on Sports-Join MyBookie.ag today!
Bet on Sports-Join MyBookie.ag today!
Predictem Free Sports Predictions

Follow BigAl on Twitter

Visit BigAl on Facebook

Football odds at Bovada (Bodog)
Pro football betting at Bovada (Bodog) Sportsbook!