Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Thursday, December 26, 2013 at 2:06 PM
200-Unit NFL Grand Finale Wins Sunday
In World Where Teams With Nothing To Play For
Keep Beating Teams Playing For Everything
200-Unit College Bowl Game Of Year Set For Jan. 1
And It Just Might Be An Underdog That Wins Straight Up
By Kelso Sturgeon
There has seldom been a tougher week for handicapping the National Football League than the final week of this season. While five AFC and three NFC teams are at least in the playoffs, the battle for the sixth and final spot in the former and the final three positions in the latter will be in play Sunday—a fact that means bettors will face numerous challenges.
For certain, the Detroit Lions alerted the world last week in their stunning loss 23-20 overtime loss to the depleted New York Giants that nothing is written in stone when separating the winners from the losers. In that game, the Lions had everything to play for and the Giants nothing, yet the latter prevailed. All Detroit had to do to make the playoffs was to beat the Giants—9.5-point underdogs—and follow up with a win Sunday over the hapless Minnesota Vikings Sunday.
The loss to the Giants was enough to seal Detroit’s fate and the Lions head into the final week of the season with no chance to get to the post season. What else is new—this is a team that has made the playoffs for just one game in the past 10 seasons and, of course lost in blowout fashion.
High expectations, and nothing. Another season down the drain for a team that supposedly had it all this season.
If that was a wake-up call in the NFL, Colorado State delivered one in its equally stunning 48-45 New Mexico Bowl win, 48-45, over Washington State—a 5-point favorite that was up by a touchdown with just 33 seconds left to play and then gave up 10 points to lose straight up.
Teams such as Detroit and Washington State will make one want to pull out one’s hair but that is the world of football betting. Teams that have to win—teams with everything to play for—can fall flat on their face and other teams can lose, even though a bettor has done everything right, definitely has the right side and still suffer what may be the most bizarre bad-beat in history.
Loss Of Romo Real Kick In Teeth For Cowboys
Week 17 has the potential to be more challenging than any of the season, despite its importance to each team. For instance, the winner of the Philadelphia Eagles-Dallas Cowboys game wins the NFC East and the latter will most likely be without quarterback Tony Romo who has a back injury.
Much is at stake in the AFC, including which team will get the #6 seed, but also up for grabs are just how the divisional champions are going to be seeded. Denver, New England and Cincinnati have won titles but will have to await the outcome of Sunday’s games to determine just what spot they will hold.
As for the wild-card race and the sixth seed, the easiest way to determine the matter would be for just one of the three 8-7 teams won while the other two lost. In those games, San Diego plays at Kansas City, Baltimore is at Cincinnati and Miami hosts the New York Jets.
If there is a two-team tie, San Diego would lose the tie-breaker to both Miami and Baltimore has the tie-breaker over the Dolphins. If these teams end in a tie for the sixth spot, Miami wins that tie-breaker. Go figure.
As for the Pittsburgh Steelers, to get in they must beat Cleveland Sunday and hope the Ravens, Chargers and Dolphins all lose.
A complete rundown of all the playoff scenarios can be found in this week’s newsletter, available on this site.
Current NFL Injury Report
Carolina - WR Steve Smith (Knee)expected to miss Sunday vs. Atlanta.
Green Bay - QB Aaron Rodgers (Collarbone) "?" Sunday vs. Chicago.
NY Giants- WR Victor Cruz (Head) out for season.
Dallas - QB Tony Romo (Back) expected to miss Sunday vs. Philadelphia.
Minnesota - RB Adrian Peterson (Foot) "?" Sunday vs. Detroit.
Detroit - WR Calvin Johnson (Knee) "?" Sunday vs. Minnesota.
Buffalo- QB E.J. Manuel (Knee) "?" Sunday vs. New England.
Denver - WR Wes Welker (Concussion) out for regular season.
In The Bowl Games, Know What You Get
The first rule of college bowl handicapping is to make certain the team you are betting on is the same team that played during the regular season—and that will not be the case when Michigan takes on Kansas State Saturday in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, or when LSU meets Iowa New Year’s Day in the Outback Bowl.
LSU will be without superstar quarterback Zack Mettenberger who saw his season end in the last game of the season because of an injury and Michigan will most likely be without do-everything senior quarterback Devin Gardner (painful toe injury) who In his first full season at the helm show-cased his dual-threat ability, completing 208-of-345 passes for 2,960 yards and 21 touchdowns and rushing for 483 yards and 11 touchdowns on 165 carries.
LSU will replace Mettenberger with true freshman Anthony Jennings, a 4-star recruit and the quarterback of the future in Baton Rouge. Starting for Michigan will be less-heralded Shane Morris, another true freshman, who saw action in three games this season.
Bettors need to check on each team they intend to bet just to make certain they are getting what they think they are.
The Week’s Remaining Bowl Schedule
Friday, December 27
There are three college bowl games today and two of them offer decided edges for bettors—one of them grading out with an 85% chance to win and cover and I am releasing this game as a 50-unit play, plus a second game at 10 units. I find the third game unplayable because of certain factors that give each team a 50-50 chance to win. Friday’s schedule is listed below and we will be releasing two of them today. Get all the money for the reduced price of just $25, charged to your major credit card.
Played At Navy-Marine Stadium, Annapolis
Marshall (9-4) vs. Maryland (7-5)
Played At Reliant Stadium, Houston
Syracuse (6-6) vs. Minnesota (8-4)
Fight Hunger Bowl
Played At AT&T Park, San Francisco
Washington (8-4) vs. BYU (8-4)
Saturday, December 28
The betting lines on today’s four college bowl games present a major challenge to football bettors but one thing for certain has emerged—an underdog that grades out with better than a 90% chance to win and get all the money. I am so confident this ‘dog will win for us that I am designating it my 100-unit College Bowl Upset Game of the Year and expect to collect the big bucks come the end of the day. Get this 100-unit play, plus unit-rated bets on two of the other three games, for just $50, charged to your major credit card.
Played At Yankee Stadium, New York City
Rutgers (6-6) vs. Notre Dame (8-4)
Played At Bank Of America Stadium, Charlotte
Cincinnati (9-3) vs. North Carolina (6-6)
Russell Athletic Bowl
Played At Florida Citrus Bowl, Orlando
Miami (9-3) vs. Louisville (11-1)
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl
Played At Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ
Michigan (7-5) vs. Kansas State (7-5)
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