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by Tom Stryker - 08/31/2005
Unfinished Business â€“ By Tom Stryker
The gameplan was perfect. Practice went exactly as planned. Both the offense and defense were well prepared. Unfortunately, once the actual game kicked off, nothing went right and the outcome was a complete disaster.
As you know, week three of the NFL Pre-Season is a dress rehearsal for most teams in the league. Coaches and players bring their â€œA-Gameâ€쳌 to the table and really focus on execution and performance. If you play well and youâ€™re a starter, plan on taking next week off. Thereâ€™s no need to risk injury especially on a short work week. However, if you performed like the â€œLittle Sisters of the Poorâ€쳌 and youâ€™re still stuck in training camp mode, get ready for an encore performance. No coach wants to go limping into Regular Season play. Itâ€™s like asking for trouble.
After watching some teams play poorly in week three, my brain immediately went into â€œhandicapping modeâ€쳌. I wondered how teams that performed well would do matched up against those that played poorly. Would teams in this classic â€œWin-Loseâ€쳌 set continue to dominate? Or, would our week three loser save face by responding with a solid performance the next time out? Youâ€™ll be amazed at why my NFL database found. Take a look:
Play AGAINST any NFL Pre-Season favorite in game four or five provided they are off a straight up win and their opponent enters off a straight up loss of seven points or more.
Record Since 1984 = 36-16 ATS for 69.2 percent.
This Weekâ€™s Play ON Teams â€“ JACKSONVILLE & PITTSBURGH
If you have a team that enjoyed success in its dress rehearsal performance matched up against an opponent that didnâ€™t, it makes perfect sense that the team that lost would try much harder the next time out. This NFL Pre-Season system proves that theory. Dallas looked impressive in its 21-9 win over Houston while Jacksonville looked ugly in its 23-7 home loss to Atlanta. Meanwhile, Carolina earned a hard fought 23-20 victory at Cleveland while Pittsburgh fell flat on its face in a 17-10 loss at Washington. The Jaguars and Steelers - two physical teams that flat out hate losing - will certainly look to bounce back this week.
There is one way to make this overall Unfinished Business angle a little better. If our â€œplay againstâ€쳌 team beat the pointspread by 4.5 points or more last, this amazing technical situation zips to a sizzling 31-11 ATS for 73.8 percent including a nifty 20-5 ATS for 80.0 percent since 1995! Not only did our â€œplay againstâ€쳌 team win but they did it in convincing fashion making a mockery of the line. That will cause the oddsmakers to â€œinflateâ€쳌 them a touch the next time out.
Dallas (-3) defeated Houston by the score of 21-9 last weekend and beat the line by nine points. That means Jacksonville (+) will qualify under this 31-11 ATS tightener. Thatâ€™s a good thing because Iâ€™ve got an incredible team trend that applies to the Jags on Thursday night. Check this out: Since 1995, the Jaguars are a perfect 9-0 ATS in the Pre-Season when priced as an underdog and matched up against an opponent that owns a won/loss percentage great than .000. Talk about power baby!
Good luck with the Jags and Steelers and all the best in week four of the NFL Pre-Season.