Tampa Bay (+7) at NY Giants
From the prognosticators I read and listened to prior to the start of the regular season, I began to realize that I was one of the few people who was concerned about the post-Super Bowl hangover in New York. Not to mention what I feel has been the G-men's style of relying on the one outer. Both in 2007 and last year, the G-men had to run the table at the end of those respective seasons, just to get into the post season. And lets not forget last year's boat races (TWICE) to the lowly 5-11 Redskins.
I'm not calling last year's (or 2007's) Championship season an anomaly, but take the previous mentioned bullets, couple them with the Giants 27th overall ranked defense from last year, and you do have to take pause.
Tampa Bay did a great job to contain Cam Newton last week. They all but shut him down in the first half, forced two untimely picks, and held him to just 4 yards total when Cam used his feet. On the offensive side of the ball, the Bucs pounded the rock for 130 yards on the ground, and although Josh Freeman didn't put up monster numbers, he was very efficient and he didn't turn the ball over.
The Giants got owned by Dallas in Week 1. The 24-17 final score was not reflective of how that game really went. Dallas pretty much kicked their asses. The Cowboys had 143 yards on the ground, they sacked Eli 3 times, out-gained NY 433 to 269, all while being flagged 9 more times then the Giants were. Tidbit: Bucs Offensive Coordinator Mike Sullivan was Eli Manning's position coach last year, and Bucs Defensive Coordinator was the Giants' DC just three years ago. Two tangibles that favor Tampa. Giants win on last second field goal, 23-20.
Oakland at Miami (+1)
To any of my Las Vegas resident brethren readers (The Legend, Norman), I'd run down to your favorite betting parlor and get down on this game before it goes Pick'em. You want to talk about getting f**ked by the schedule? The guy whose number 1 priority is player safety- (insert Jackie laugh) Roger Goodell, gave the Ray-duzz the final game in the week 1 schedule (10pm EST start Monday night), and then he has them flying across country for the dreaded 1pm EST kick this Sunday.
"Thanks, dick!"- some crazy bastard from the Bay Area, dressed in silver and black war paint, who probably has no less than 2 warrants out for his arrest.
How much of a factor is this scheduling ream job? Since 2002, West Coast teams flying across country to play a game with a 1pm EST kickoff (not to mention, having played MNF and lost a day of practice), lose SU 71% of the time. And last year these Ray-duzz lost 100% of the time in this situation. They played well versus Buffalo in week 2, but eventually blew a 21 point lead on their way to a loss. And their second 1pm EST tilt was to these Miami Dolphins in week 13, and the fish boat raced them to the tune of 34-14.
As I mentioned, I expect this spread to be a pick by kickoff. However, as of now, Oakland is the slight favorite and the favorite role is one they don't really care for (3-17-1 ATS in their last 21 as a favorite). Lastly, the Raiders- dating back to the finish of last season, have lost 5 of their last 6 games SU. The story, IMO, not getting as much run as it should: The ginger from USC via Cincinnati isn't exactly working out, Ray-duzz fan. Miami wins 26-14.
Dallas at Seattle (+3)
Here is a list of some of Seattle's home covers from last year: Atlanta, Philly, San Francisco, and Baltimore. Three of those four teams made the post season, and of those 4 covers- Seattle won two of them out right- against Philly and against Baltimore.
I was all over Dallas last week, and there was nothing flukey about the beat down they gave the G-men in their season opener. However, Dallas- like the Redskins, is going to have to win more than one game for me to think the culture has changed in Big D. This is a team who traditionally has played poorly here (lost two straight, including Tony Romo's infamous botched hold during '07 playoffs), and although the Boys did lay the wood on the road last week, they've not exactly been road warriors.
A fan's perspective of Tony's botched snap in 2007. Parental Discretion Advised, Cowboys fans.
In the 2011 campaign, Dallas had a 3-5 road record, and of their 3 victories on the road, they only won by more than 3 points one time. (at Tampa) Their other two road wins were 3 point wins at SF and at Washington.
Seahawks' rookie QB Russell Wilson didn't exactly light it up in Arizona last week. He turned the ball over twice, was sacked three times, and only threw for 153 yards. However, he did lead the Seahawks down the field with less than 5 minutes to go, and got them in a position to score in the final minute of play. The Seahawks also gained 115 yard on the ground, and their defense stymied the Cardinals to the tune of just 43 yards rushing.
Dallas did have the benefit last week of playing a Giants team whose defense isn't exactly the Steel Curtain. This won't be the case this week, as they face a Seahawks team who held Arizona to just 253 total yards, reminiscent of their Top 10 defense from 2011. Total players: Dallas has played 6 of their last 7 games under. Seahawks win 22-19.
In closing: we like almost every dog on the card this week. Good luck and ruff-ruff...
Last Week 3-1 ATS
YTD 3-1 ATS
Since 2010 78-42-7 ATS (65%)
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