Last Week: 2-2-1
Season: 22-12-1 (.647)
When is an even score not an even score? When you’re betting games at the sports book. Last week the Chuck’s Choices gang got wins with the Chargers and Cowboys, losses on the Falcons and Titans, and a push on the Saints in that 52-49 record setter in overtime in New Orleans. Because you must lay 110 to win 100 in the Las Vegas books, winning as many as you lose means…you lose. We are still doing well for the season, hitting almost 65 per cent for the year and that keeps a smile on everyone’s faces–and groceries on the shelves.
With every setback comes a lesson, and here is what we learned from Week 8: 1)The Falcons might not be as good as they looked to start out the season. 2)It is best to stay away from the Titans until, well, next season. 3) The home-field magic may be returning for Drew Brees and the Saints.
This Week’s Choices
(Home team in ALL CAPS. Chuck’s Choice is first team named. Point spreads courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas via SportsMemo.)
VIKINGS (-1) over Rams There is much talk about the Rams defense, but not many people know the Vikings rank 6th in the league against running backs in terms of Fantasy Football points. One thing the staff at CC knows is that Jeff Fisher is so intent on beating the teams in his division (Seattle, San Francisco, Arizona) that his team has a hard time winning the following week. St. Louis has already beaten the Seahawks and Cardinals this year, then lost their next game. Last week they humiliated the 49ers. Minnesota is on a roll, winning three straight, and they have the defense to neutralize the Rams running game, namely Todd Gurley. Vikings 30, Rams 16
Dolphins (+3) over BILLS It seems everyone has forgotten how good the Dolphins have been since changing head coaches, simply because they ran into the juggernaut called the Patriots a week ago. Miami was the darling of the football world after two convincing wins under new Coach Dan Campbell. Now they take on a Buffalo team who has lost 3 of their last 4 games. Look for the Dolphins to get back on track in an important contest to see who keeps within spitting distance in the AFC East. Dolphins 24, Bills 22
49ERS (+7) over Falcons This is crazy. After all, the Niners are one of the worst teams in the NFL. They are benching quarterback Colin Kaepernick in favor of journeyman Blaine Gabbert, RB Carlos Hyde is gimpy with a stress-fracture, RB Reggie Bush is out with a knee injury and they just traded their tight end to the Broncos! I believe the bettors are only looking at how bad the 49ers are, and forgetting that this Atlanta team has just lost 2 of their last 3 games, and had to sweat out a win over the Titans to avoid losing three straight. Now they must travel across country to take on a San Francisco team who has the ability to play over their heads on their home field. It’ll be tough for the Falcons. Falcons 19, 49ers 17
COLTS (+5.5) over Broncos There is, often times, an over-reaction to one game–especially if it is the biggest game of the week on prime-time television. Such is the case with the Denver Broncos. They rolled over the Packers at Mile High Stadium and, like magic, Peyton Manning is 25 years old again? Remember what Denver was before last week’s game: a team dependent on defense, with an offense just good enough to get the job done. Remember also that the Broncos have not been exactly stellar on the road this year, getting a gift fumble to win in Kansas City; leading by only two points before winning by 10 in Detroit; getting a Pick-6 to beat the Raiders, and then eking out an overtime win in Cleveland. Now they hit the road after one of their biggest wins ever to prepare for a Colts team which doesn’t seem to present much of a challenge. It is truly hard to do. The coaching shakeup in Indy might inject some energy into a lethargic, but division-leading Colts team on their home field. They might win this outright. Colts 25, Broncos 20
COWBOYS (+3) over Eagles Sometimes the trends guide you, and R. J. Bell at Pregame has pushed me over the edge on the side of the Cowboys this week. According to Bell, Dallas is 29-13 against the spread (ATS) as a home underdog, and the underdog in the Dallas/Philadelphia series is 26-8 ATS. This is a double-whammy for the ‘Boys, and it only helps that Dez Bryant is another week healthier. This is Dallas’ last game before Tony Romo comes back, and they are desperate to keep themselves in the NFC East race for his return. Sam Bradford has thrown one TD and three interceptions in his last two games. Dallas will do it on defense this week. Cowboys 17, Eagles 10.
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