(Tampa+9.5) at Atlanta
This game is inviting the underdog bettor to the table. The standard (sucker line) evaluation of this game is as follows: "How is a one 5-2 team, laying 9 points to another 5-2 team?" Nevertheless, our evaluation of this game is, "How is a one 5-2 team, laying 9 points to another 5-2 team?"
In horse racing (Breeder's Cup plug), the favorite who goes on to win is sometimes referred to as "much the best". That's not a term that can be used when describing either of these two teams, nor much of the NFC, for that matter. In fact, the Week 9 NFL power rankings don't even sniff an NFC team until you get to the #6 spot, the Atlanta Falcons.
26-47 is the combined records of the teams these two teams have beaten this season. Atlanta does have one semi-impressive win(at New Orleans), but we're not ready to consider them Super Bowl, nor NFC Title contenders quite yet.
Something can be said, Mike, for a coach who puts faith in his team(or a player), and has them believing they can win. Tampa coach Raheem Morris, just two weeks ago, told reporters he felt his team was the "best team in the NFC". The Bucs are tied with Mike's team in the +/- category for takeaways (+8). They've covered 5 straight road games, and 8 of their last 10 visits to the Georgia Dome. We're laying faith in the believer and his team. Bucs.
Miami at (Baltimore-5)
We're going to play the "martingale" due factor against Miami. James Gandolfini and crew are some sick bastards this year on the road, 4-0 SU and ATS. Over the last 3 seasons, they've covered 16 of their last 21 on the road, and are 13-3 in their last 16 as a road dog. However, all good things (trends) must come to an end, or at least start leveling off, and we'll take our chance betting against the team who is on the back end of consecutive road games.
The Ravens are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 following a bye week. They're 4-1 last 5 following an ATS loss (37-34 to Buffalo, two weeks ago). Chad Henne will account for at least one fumble/int for 6 the other way, and the Ravens will win by two touchdowns.
New Orleans at (Carolina +6.5)
With 8 of the 13 games on this weekend's card featuring a home dog, did you not think we would sniff one out? Saints have been up and down this year. They're coming off a big national TV win over Pittsburgh, but they also have losses to not so great opponents Cleveland and Arizona.
Carolina is no great shakes either, obviously at 1-6, but they generally play the Saints tough, covering 5 straight vs. the hurricane victims, including an ATS cover earlier in the season (16-14 loss, Week 4).
The Panthers have covered 6 of their last 7 against divisional opponents, and their defense is not yielding a whole lot(3rd in the NFL, in total yards allowed). Panthers. And consider a parlay/tease with the under.
Last Week 2-1
Point spreads courtesy of www.wagerline.com
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Stay Tuned for Beaver from Sterling, making an appearance in Tuesday's post about our beloved Washington Redskins.