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NFL Fool's Gold

   by ASA - 09/30/2008

Every week I will give you a report on the NFL from the previous week from a bettor’s perspective. Many times teams score “meaninglessâ€쳌 touchdowns or field goals late in the game which to the untrained eye, might seem irrelevant. We know better. To those of us that wager on these games, we know all to well that many times those late scores are the difference between cashing in and dancing in your living room OR losing late and sitting on your couch with a blank stare on your face.

My report will focus on some teams that should have covered that didn’t and vise versa. The “bad beatsâ€쳌 or “lucky winsâ€쳌 of the business which we’ve all encountered many times. It also recaps some misleading finals where simply looking at the final score does not tell the entire story.

Here we go with this week’s report…

San Diego 28 – Oakland 18 (*closing line was Chargers -8 with a total of 45.5): Oh we feel bad for the Raiders. What a train wreck that situation has been but they have been playing decent football. While they are only 1-3, they are really “this closeâ€쳌 to being 3-1. After getting blasted at home by Denver to open the year, the Black & Silver have actually played pretty well. They whipped KC in week two. Then they blew second half leads and lost @ Buffalo and at home vs. San Diego. Speaking of the Chargers, those of you that had a wager on the Bolts, you can thank your lucky stars. Oakland led 15-3 (24-3 with the spread factored in) entering the fourth quarter before the wheels came off. The Chargers went on to rack up 25 points in the fourth quarter to just 3 for Oakland. With just 1:55 left, it still looked great for Raider backers as San Diego kicked a FG to go up 21-18. Oakland turned the ball over on downs at their own 44 yard line with just over one minute left. San Diego was simply trying to run the clock out when LaDainian Tomlinson broke off a 41-yard TD run to put the Chargers up 28-18 and give them a 1-point unbelievable cover. Oh yeah, the game went over by a half point on that play also.

Washington 26 – Dallas 24 (*closing line was Cowboys -10.5 with a total of 46): While the side was never in doubt as Dallas never led this game by more than 7 points and actually trailed for much of the game, the total was in doubt until late. This total opened at 47 and dropped to 46 by game time. With Washington leading 26-17, Dallas took over on their own 13-yard line with just over three minutes to go in the game. Tony Romo completed passes of 18, 20, 21 and 12 yards in the final drive to move it down to the Redskin 11. The Boys scored a TD with just 1:48 remaining to push the game over the total.

Kansas City 33 – Denver 19 (*closing line was Broncos -9.5 with a total of 46.5): Under players were licking their chops and ready to cash in here. As ESPN analyst Lee Corso might say, not so fast my friends. Contrary to what many may believe, this has been a high scoring series when played @ Arrowhead with an average total score of 50.5 the last 8. It looked like that may change, however the trend continued. With under four minutes to go in the game, the score was 23-16 in favor of the Chiefs. The two teams combined to score 13 points in a span of just over two minutes (from 3:53 to 1:45 left in the game) to vault over the total by over a TD.

NY Jets 56 – Arizona 35 (*closing line was Jets -1 with a total of 45): While this game was never in doubt with the side or the total, it was one of those blowouts that wasn’t really as bad as it may have looked. The Cards coughed the ball up a remarkable seven times. Those seven turnovers led to a whopping 34 points for New York. Arizona actually had 10 more first downs and nearly 100 more total yards. While much of that yardage came in the second half when the game was out of reach, the Jets still weren’t has dominant as it might have seemed.

Chicago 24 – Philadelphia 20 (*closing line was Eagles -3 with a total of 40.5): Both Chicago and Philly backers were at the edge of their seat in this one until late in the fourth quarter. Trailing 24-20, Philadelphia started their, what would be final drive at their own 24-yard line with 10:22 remaining. The Birds ate up nearly seven minutes of clock and moved the ball down to the Chicago 1-yard line. They had three shots from the 1-yard line, including going for it on 4th down and could not get in the endzone. A score would have moved the game to Philly 27-24 giving both sides a push. The Bears defense came up big and gave their fans a cover.

Pittsburgh 23 – Baltimore 20 (*closing line was Steelers -5 with a total of 34): If you had either side here it was quite a roller coaster ride. If you sided with Baltimore things were rolling along smoothly as the Ravens were dominating both lines of scrimmage and had a 13-3 lead. There was under 4:30 minutes left in the third quarter and the Steelers had only 88 yards of TOTAL offense to that point. Pitt QB then came to life for a brief moment and hit Santonio Holmes for 38-yards and a TD. Baltimore still led 13-10 and with the Birds getting 5-points and Pittsburgh doing almost nothing on offense, it still looked great for the dog. That is until 15 seconds later when the Steeler defense picked up a Joe Flacco fumble and returned in for a TD. Now it was 17-14 Pitt and the roller coaster ride was officially on. The Steelers, who had been dominated for 80% of the game, kicked a FG with 9:00 minutes left and actually had the spread covered at that point, 20-13. Raven backers did not deserve to lose this game, and they received an olive branch when the Ravens then scored a TD with about 4:00 minutes left and push the game into OT . Baltimore covered but lost the game.

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