Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at 9:25 AM
Kansas City Chiefs Coach Todd Haley Says He Has Plan But My Money Says He Does Not Have A Clue
Patriots Better Come Up With Pass Rush Or Being 9-2 Favorite To Win Super Bowl Will Never Happen
Back-To Back 50-Unit NFL Winners Cardinals And Patriots Close Out Shaky First Week
By Kelso Sturgeon
There was little unusual about this past weekend's football but there were two games that were not only unusual but downright shocking. First up is the Pittsburgh Steelers embarrassing 35-7 loss-a performance so bad it invites an investigation. In the colleges nothing was more shocking than New Mexico State, a 22 ½-point underdog, winning 28-21 at Minnesota. How, please?
For football bettors there were questions with answers on the most of the 98 college and National Football League we bet on this past week. On some there were many questions with no answers.
Leading the way in the no answers department is Notre Dame, which has suffered two heart-breaking losses in its first two games. Does this Notre Dame team not have the luck of the Irish? The Fighting Irish are 4 ½-point home favorites over 2-0 Michigan State Saturday.
The favored Kansas City Chiefs were blown out at home, 41-7, by a Buffalo Bills team that is 200-1 to win the Super Bowl-leaving us to ask if KC coach Todd Haley the big question. Haley said as he led the Chiefs through the most unorthodox pre-season training camp in NFL history that, not to worry, he had a plan. What is the plan and, even more relevant, does he even have a clue?
After watching Houston (-8 ½) open up a 34-0 half-time lead and then coast home a 34-7 winner over Indianapolis, one has to ask if the Colts will win a single game this season without super-star quarterback Peyton Manning? Manning just underwent his third neck surgery and may miss the entire season. The Colts have been in decline for the past two seasons, with only Manning holding them together.
The New England Patriots are the 9-2 favorites to win the Super Bowl and one has to wonder how they are going to do it on the basis of what we saw in their 38-24 win over the Miami Dolphins-by the way, a 50-unit winner for me and my clients. New England had an ineffective pass rush and its defense gave up a total of 488 yards of offense, including 390 passing. How can you win the Super Bowl with a defense that porous?
Yes, it was nice New England had 622 yards of total offense, including 516 from the passing arm of Tom Brady, but can one survive by having to out-shoot each opponent week after week.
Heavy Wiseguy Money Hits Colleges Early
The football wiseguys obviously sensed some soft college betting lines for this week and came out of the woodwork firing their big guns. Here is the list of teams they bet early, with the betting line at which they got down and what the current betting line is. For the record, they bet so much money each of the following games earned "steam" status.
Temple (+10) over Penn State...Now +7 ½
Troy (+24 ½) over Arkansas...Now +22 ½
West Virginia (+1) over Maryland...Still +1 most places, pick'em in some
Utah (+6) over BYU...Now +5
Washington State (+7) over San Diego State...Now +5 ½ and +6
Southern California (-14 ½) over Syracuse...Now -16 ½
Western Michigan (-7) over Central Michigan...Now -8 ½
Georgia Tech (-14) over Kansas...Still -14
Kansas State (-14 ½) over Kent State...Now -17 ½
As always the followers will have to pay extra to get on this bandwagon. For the record the results of a three-year study I did on steam/wiseguy plays revealed they cover 50.9% of the time. Bettor better beware.
Do Not Take Anything At Face Value
Winning in the football betting arena rests on figuring out why a team won/lost this week and how that will impact its performance in its next game. To determine this bettors have to go beyond final scores and the obvious revelations of box scores.
For instance this past Sunday host San Francisco 49ers (-6) knocked off the Seattle Seahawks, 33-17, in a game which at first glance looks like an easy rock 'n roll 49ers winner. It was anything but that and neither team played well enough to win. Seattle had 219 yards of total offense, San Francisco 209.
With 3:56 left in the game, Seattle quarterback Tavaris Jackson hit Doug Baldwin with a 55-yard touchdown pass to make it 19-17, 49ers.
On the kickoff, Ted Ginn took the ball two yards deep in the end zone and returned the ball 102 yards for a touchdown, giving the 49ers a 26-17 lead with 3:45 to play, but it was not over. One minute and one second later Ginn landed in the Seahawks end zone again on a 55-yard punt return.
This loss belonged to Seattle special teams and in the final analysis, both teams have a lot of work to do and frankly it does not appear they have the talent to go very far. One cannot win many games with 219 and209 yards of total offense.
If you need a second example of what you thought you saw but did not surfaced in the San Diego Chargers (-9 ½) 24-17 win over the visiting Minnesota Vikings.
Minnesota opened in rapid-fire fashion when Percy Harvin returned the opening kickoff 103 yards for a 7-0 lead with just 15 seconds run off the clock. At the half the Vikings held a miraculous 17-10 lead and I mean just that miraculous. This was a game in which San Diego 31 first downs to 10 for the Vikings and 407 yards of total offense compared to 187 for Minnesota. San Diego held the ball 37:17 minutes to 22:45 for the Vikings.
The most revealing figure of all-and one that deserves continued vigilance-came at the quarterback spots. Minnesota starter Donovan McNabb completed 7-of-15 passes for 39 yards, with a touchdown and an interception, and an efficiency rating of a mere 47.9. You get 25.0 for just sowing up. Chargers starter Philip Rivers completed 33-of-48 passes for 335 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions, and an efficiency rating of 85.0.
Do the math.
This Week's Betting Menu
As noted in my last column, I did not have a good weekend but can at least report I closed it out with back-to-back 50-unit NFL winners-the first one Sunday with the Arizona Cardinals (-6 ½) who nipped the Carolina Panthers, 28-21, to get the win and the cover and then on Monday night with a 50-unit play on the New England Patriots (-7) in their 38-14 win over the Miami Dolphins. Both were bet-and-sweat affairs but winners and that's quite important when one had struggled through the weekend. This week's betting menu is loaded with opportunities to make the big score.
Thursday, Sept. 15
25 Unit Chairman's Club SEC Showdown
LSU (2-0) at Mississippi State (1-1)
On ESPN...Kickoff 8:05 Eastern
Friday, Sept. 16
Best Bets Club: David Vs. Goliath
Boise State (1-0) at Toledo (1-1)
On ESPN...Kickoff 8:05 Eastern
Saturday, Sept. 17
Special 100 Unit Play: College Marquee TV Bonanza
25 Units...Tennessee (2-0) at Florida (2-0)
25 Units...Michigan State (2-0) at Notre Dame (0-2)
25 Units...Oklahoma (1-0) at Florida State (2-0)
25 Units...Ohio State (2-0) at Miami (0-1)
50 Unit Personal Best Club College Game Of The Week
Sunday, Sept. 18
Personal Best Club 50 Unit NFL Game Of The Week
All these games may be purchased on an individual basis at various prices on this website and toll free at 1-800-755-2255. All major credit cards are accepted.