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NFL Bargain Bets: Week 13
November 28th 2007
by Old Man Winner

Denver Broncos -3.5 @ Oakland Raiders

Let's face it, Denver owns Oakland - ever since Al Davis decided Shanahan was not a good coach. Denver has won 8 of the last 10 meetings and all 5 played in the last two years. More recently Denver has looked good in each of their last three games. They would have won all three had they not kicked the ball to Devin Hester - HELLO ! ! ! That guy is pretty good! They have scored an average of over 31 points in these games. Cutler is progressing nicely and his younger receivers are getting better. He could even get an early Christmas gift if Javon Walker is finally back to full strength, which is being reported. They should also be in the rare position of having to choose a starting RB to play as all of their recent starters (Henry, Young, and Hall) should be available. Denver has also figured out a way to plug the damn against opposing rushers. On average for the year the Broncos are giving up 147 yds/game. However, in their last three they are only allowing 107. If Oakland can't run, Oakland can't win. I've come to hate road favorites, but I think this one is pretty safe.

New Orleans Saints -3 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

All the trends and stats are in TB's favor in this matchup: TB is 7-3 ATS (against the spread) in their last 10, NO is only 4-7 ATS, the road team is 7-2 ATS in their last 9 meetings, and the underdog is 8-3 in their last 11. So why take the Saints in this one? They are at home and they need this game or their season is over. Often times, it's that simple. Besides, the Saints offense seems to be clicking much better than at the beginning of the year. They are averaging 28 pts/game over their last five (or 33/game if you subtract the dud in Houston two weeks ago). Colston looks like the stud from last year and Brees seems to be getting more time to throw. If you enjoy 'Bargain Bets', or follow my 'expert picks' regularly, you know I've enjoyed taking TB more than most and love their consistency and lack of mistakes. However, with Garcia likely out this week, I see the team being a little off kilter and maybe turning the ball over more than usual. This is also a parity bet. I just don't see TB pulling out to a 3 game lead in this division.

Washington Redskins -5.5 vs. Buffalo Bills

The answer is Fred Jackson or Dwayne Wright. Do you know the question? That's what I thought. The question is: who's going to run the ball for the Buffalo Bills. Marshawn Lynch and his backup, Anthony Thomas, are both out this week so the Bills are turning to a 4th round rookie and a promotion from their practice squad. That's OK, you might say, they can just throw the ball. NOT! The Bills are currently ranked 30th in the league in passing and have been so disappointed that they are switching back, for the second time this year, to rookie QB Trent Edwards - also not quite a household name. As for the Redskins, if you believe in emotion, you know what (or should I say who) they'll be playing for this week - the death of their pro-bowl safety Sean Taylor, who was shot and killed earlier this week. They will be playing for their buddy, in front of a jacked up crowd, and this alone should be enough to carry them. But, on the other hand, if you don't believe in pure emotion being able to will victory, how about this? Washington has the #6 rushing offense (I was shocked) and the #15 passing attack. Buffalo ranks #23 and #29 against the former, respectively. Sean - this one's for you.

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