NFL Bargain Bets: Week 15
December 13th 2007
by Old Man Winner
Baltimore Ravens - 3.5 @ Miami Dolphins
This is a Mendoza line game for the Ravens.
There are many motivators in football, but only a few that rank among the elite.
Playing to remain undefeated is certainly one of them, but equally motivating is
playing to ensure you are not the only team that an otherwise winless team beats
all year. Don't underestimate this! No one wants to be a laughing stock and lose
to the "high schoolers" known as the Miami Dolphins. Without Zach Thomas,
McGahee should have a monster game. The fact that the Ravens are only giving 3.5
pts. is absolutely staggering. I know that they got trounced last week by Indy,
but just two short weeks ago they took the undefeated Pats to the brink of their
first loss (brink sure is apropos, as the Ravens were robbed). I wish Ricky
Williams were around to receive one of Billick's blown kisses. That would be
almost as memorable as the wedding dress shot!
New York Jets +23.5 @ New England Patriots
The opening line was 27, setting a new NFL record. There are reasons they never
get this high. No matter how good/bad the teams are, all the players are in the
NFL and even 23.5 pts is simply too many (you may want to cut and save that
sentence because you may be using it to call me a hypocrite when I jump to the
other side next week when the Pats face the Dolphins at home). How can the Jets
keep it close, especially after losing to the Pats by 24 at home on opening
weekend? Simple - weather. This is the time of year where weather begins to
significantly affect games. The forecast for this game is calling for
temperatures in the 20's with snow likely and winds gusting to 30 mph. I don't
care who you are, that is tough weather to throw in. And, in case you haven't
seen the Pats play lately, they've become almost exclusively a pass first (and
second and third and even fourth) team. Cite: 84%/16% pass/run ratio last week.
If you've got Maroney, dust him off and throw him out there. The Pats will win,
and they may even do it by running a majority of the plays - for the same reason
a dog licks his balls.
Seattle Seahawks -7 @ Carolina Panthers
As I stated last week, this is the time of year where a team's full colors are
being flown. They couldn't be more colorful than in the flags of these two
teams. Seattle has won their last five games and covered in all of them.
Carolina has lost six of their last seven and failed to cover in the same six.
Seattle is doing it with offense. Holmgren proved his coaching prowess again,
when earlier in the year, he literally announced they were aggressively moving
to a more pass-oriented offense. Since then (their last 7 games) they are
averaging over 30 pts. On the flip side, the Panthers are averaging just over 9
pts. in that same span (if you take out the SF game anomaly). This is one of
those games where, even if Carolina pulls a rabbit out of their hat once or
twice, it still won't be enough. Unfortunately, Carolina doesn't have that much
magic left. No, when this one is over Carolina will look more like Roy than