Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Sunday, January 1, 2012 at 9:06 AM
This is the 17th and final weekend of the National Football League regular season and the first thing bettors need to do is put aside the myth winning on such a complicated Sunday is too challenging and risky with so many added elements/hazards added to the handicapping process-teams needing to do this or that to get to the playoffs. You don't need a Philadelphia lawyer to figure it all out.
For instance the biggest game on the schedule finds the Dallas Cowboys (8-7) at the New York Giants (8-7) tonight and when it is over the winner is going to the playoffs and the loser is going on an extended vacation. It gets no simpler than that and all a bettor has to do is decide whether to lay the -3 with New York or take the +3 with Dallas.
The San Francisco 49ers, an 11-point favorite at St. Louis over a Rams team they beat 26-0 as a 4-point favorite four weeks ago. The 49ers have won the National Football Conference West but can still gain the number two seed in the NFC and a first-round bye with a win today, or with a loss by the New Orleans Saints. Is 2-13 straight up (SU) and 2-12-1 against the Spread (ATS) and is averaging just 11.1 points per game. Do you lay the 11, or take it?
Brain-dead members of the media keep asking whether the New England Patriots (12-3), who are 10 ½-point home favorites over the Buffalo Bills (6-9), will come to play today since they have already have won the AFC East and clinched a first-round bye. Read the fine print. If New England wins today it has home field advantage throughout the entire playoffs. Do you lay the 10 ½, or take it?
In the case of incentive-driven teams such as the 49ers and the Patriots it is not a matter of whether they will bring their "A" game but whether they will cover the number. That makes this weekend not a thing of mystery but exactly like Week 1 and Week 16. It's about the cover, my friend-the cover.
Special Situations Today
There certainly are special situations playing out this weekend. For instance the Indianapolis Colts (2-13) and the St. Louis Rams (2-13) have the worst records in the NFL and a win hurts them both. If the Colts lose at Jacksonville, they win the right to choose first in the coming draft and they certainly do covet quarterback Andrew Luck of Stanford who is expected to be the first player selected. A Colts win and a Rams loss gives that choice to St. Louis.
For the record the Indianapolis Colts say they care not about getting the number one draft choice and will give it 100% in Jacksonville. Kansas City interim coach Romeo Crennel says his team is going to Denver to get the money even though it is a meaningless game for the Chiefs.
And the beat goes on.
Numbers Tell All You Need To Know
There are times during the season the betting line on a football game projects the winner and that comes today on the Detroit Lions (10-5) at the Green Bay Packers (14-1). Both teams are bound for the playoffs but each is taking this game quite differently.
When the Packers and Lions met five weeks ago in Detroit, Green Bay was a 9-point favorite and won, 27-15. Today Detroit is a 4 ½-point favorite at Green Bay because the insiders know the Packers are going to sit their starters for most of the game, if not all of it, in order to be healthy for the playoffs.
No one affiliated with the Green Bay camp has said that but wiseguys and insiders know that is exactly what will happen. Green Bay has already locked up its divisional championship, a first-round bye and home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Packers simply have nothing to play for while Detroit might improve where it is seeded with a win.
The number says it all and I will be laying the 4 ½ in with Detroit today in a game that is going to be played in bitter cold, wind and snow. Please join me and tell them where you got it.
All Playoff Scenarios For Today
Here is information that may help you win a bet today. Where each team stands and the scenario it might change by winning or losing, or by other teams winning and losing.
American Football Conference
Clinched Playoff Spots
New England Patriots -- East Division and a first-round bye.
Houston Texans -- South Division.
Baltimore Ravens -- wild-card spot.
Pittsburgh Steelers -- wild-card spot.
What Else Is In Play...
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
New England clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs:
1) NE win or tie
2) BAL loss or tie + PIT loss or tie
Baltimore clinches AFC North Division and a first-round bye:
1) BAL win
2) BAL tie + PIT loss or tie
3) PIT loss
Baltimore clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs:
1) BAL win + NE loss
Pittsburgh clinches AFC North Division and a first-round bye:
1) PIT win + BAL loss or tie
2) PIT tie + BAL loss
Pittsburgh clinches home-field advantage throughout AFC playoffs:
1) PIT win + BAL loss or tie + NE loss
Denver clinches AFC West Division:
1) DEN win
2) DEN tie + OAK loss or tie
3) OAK loss
Oakland clinches AFC West Division:
1) OAK win + DEN loss or tie
2) OAK tie + DEN loss
Oakland clinches a wild-card spot:
1) OAK win + CIN loss + TEN loss or tie
2) OAK win + CIN loss + NYJ win
Cincinnati clinches a wild-card spot:
1) CIN win or tie
2) NYJ loss or tie + OAK loss or tie
3) NYJ loss or tie + DEN loss or tie
NEW YORK JETS
NY Jets clinch a wild-card spot:
1) NYJ win + CIN loss + TEN loss or tie + OAK loss or tie
2) NYJ win + CIN loss + TEN loss or tie + DEN loss or tie
Tennessee clinches a wild-card spot:
1) TEN win + CIN loss + NYJ win + OAK loss or tie
2) TEN win + CIN loss + NYJ win + DEN loss or tie
3) TEN win + CIN loss + NYJ loss or tie + OAK win + DEN win
National Football Conference
Clinched Playoff Spots
Green Bay Packers -- No. 1 seed in NFC
San Francisco 49ers -- West Division
New Orleans Saints – South Division
Detroit Lions -- wild-card spot
Atlanta Falcons -- wild-card spot
What Else Is In Play...
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
San Francisco clinches a first-round bye:
1) SF win
2) SF tie + NO loss or tie
3) NO loss
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
New Orleans clinches a first-round bye:
1) NO win + SF loss or tie
2) NO tie + SF loss
NEW YORK GIANTS
NY Giants clinch NFC East Division:
1) NYG win or tie
Dallas clinches NFC East Division
1) Dallas win
Today's Betting Menu
I have for years made big scores on the final weekend of the NFL regular season and this year should be no exception. I have found the perfect spot to bring down the curtain and in the process load up for the playoffs-and I intend to do that with my 200-unit Grand Finale Game of the Year, releasing a team that has every single edge today. It was my original intention to release this game at the 100-unit level but with a 95% chance to cover I had to upgrade it to 200 units. As I have noted many times, we must take the money where we find it and I have found it. Get this knockout 200-unit winner for just $50, charged to your major credit card. Available on this site and toll free at 1-800-755-2255.
It's all on the line tonight when the New York Giants (8-7) host the Dallas Cowboys (8-7) on national television (NBC...8:35 Eastern kickoff). The winner heads for the post-season while the loser goes on vacation until next season. It is as simple as that and I have worked overtime in handicapping this true showdown game. In the end, everything points to the winner and I am making this game my top Best Bets Club play of the day. Win this one, plus two other games, for just $15, charged to your major credit card. Available on this site and toll free at 1-800-755-2255.
I have been on quite a run with my 50-unit NFL games of the week, going 5-0 with my last five and intend to keep the string going today with another dominating winner. Last week it was the Carolina Panthers (-7 ½) with their 48-16 win over Tampa Bay and the week before that it was the Philadelphia Eagles (3) with their 45-19 victory over the New York Jets. Today it's another 50-unit Game of the Week winner that should get it done just as easily as did the Panthers and Eagles. Win this one for just $50, charged to your major credit card. Available on this site and toll free at 1-800-755-2255.