Corner says stay away from the Bears
December 20, 2006
With only two regular season games left and the playoff picture becoming a little less cloudy, I would be wise to take certain teams out of consideration when looking into the week’s bets. The only team that falls into this category for week 16 is the Chicago Bears.
The first thing I did this week is cross the Bears’ game completely off the list. The Bears cannot gain anything in their conference; they already have home field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. They have had their share of injuries and off -field problems, too. Stay away.
There are some intriguing match-ups this week that could not only determine which teams will make the playoffs, but will also go a long way to seeding in the playoffs. One of the games which unquestionably will become the “circus” game of the week will be on Christmas Day when the Dallas Cowboys and T.O. (a.k.a. “the spitter”) will host his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles. This game will have major playoff ramifications for many teams, not just the combatants on the field (too many scenarios to list here, actually).
The line on this game favors the Cowboys by 7, with the total set at 46.5. The statistic that jumps out in this game is the Cowboys rushing offense, ranked 10th in the NFL, averaging 128 yards per game, vs. the Eagles rushing defense, ranked 28th and allowing 138 yards per game. This should translate into many carries for the Cowboys running tandem of Julius Jones and Marion Barber III. The pick here is to take the under. We all know that head coach Bill Parcels likes to run the ball, and if they do so enough times, the final score should not be high.
The second pick comes from another game with both teams involved in the playoff race. The New England Patriots will travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars. The Jaguars are favored by 3 points, but the early move seems to be trending toward 2 1/2. Since we have a nice lead this season I am going to take the Patriots in the game on the money line, which should be around +$1.20.
Jacksonville is on the outside of the playoffs and needs a win, but it has been a wildly inconsistent team, while the Patriots have only lost one road game this year. This is a value play and I believe we are taking the better team and getting the best line.
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Recapping last week’s picks, the Cardinals and the over were split, as the Cardinals lost to the Broncos 37-20. For the season our record is now 18-10, and with only a couple of weeks left we can feel comfortable that we have secured a winning season.
I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season and a profitable College Bowl season as well.
Jason Kolenut is the Casino Fandango Race and Sports Book supervisor.