Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Sixty-six million dollars, about 70 billion Korean won, were in the balance when a referee reviewed and overturned a meaningless touchdown at the end of the Steelers-Chargers game on Sunday. If you missed the play, don't bother, and watch this Troy Polamalu interception instead.

Anyway, the enormity of the play highlights to the intrigue of the betting line, which keeps football games interesting even when they are by no means interesting to watch. Given that I haven't watched a football game in two weeks (it involves either staying up all night or getting up at 6 am on a weekend), I thought this would be a good way of staying in touch with the league. This can also help Richard make decisions.

Tomorrow the Steelers take on the Bengals in what will surely be an unbearably dull game. The Steelers are 11-point favourites. Somewhere, there is probably a statistic which shows, one way or the other, the likelihood of a very good team beating a very bad team at home by more than 11 points. If I had to bet, I would say that it's less than 50%. Bengals cover.

You can't bet on a 10-0 team to go 11-0, especially against a good team. The Jets will keep it within 5, and probably win.

I wouldn't bet on the Rams (+8.5) to stay within 10 points of any team. I don't think I've ever seen a team so good at losing big. They have lost 8 games by 35, 28, 24, 17, 7, 21, 44, and 19 points. This means that 7 of their 10 games this year have been loses by 17 points or more. Those are two-in-three odds!

The Lions (+8.5) are due, at least to lose respectably.

I don't have much confidence in the Dolphins (-1.5) to beat the Patriots again. I think the Patriots will win by a touchdown, maybe two or three.

The Redskins (-3.5) will definitely cover against the 2-8 Seahawks.

Other picks: Bills (-3), Eagles (+1), 49ers (+10.5), Broncos (-9.5), Giants (-3), Texans (+3), Jaguars (-2.5), Panthers (+1), Chargers (-2.5), Saints (-2.5).

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