BULL FROG FLATS, NY – Last week there was some confusion as to the results of my Sunday NFL selections, which were indeed 3-1. To help make sense of the ambiguity is a little Gambology 101 (Gambling 101). Today’s lesson centers on the Las Vegas Sports Lexicon:
Hook : the value of half often symbolized by the apostrophe (‘) key.
Back-door Cover: an expression signifying a last minute score where the underdogs lose the game but win the bet against the spread, often abbreviated (ATS).
Use in a sentence (and verbatim to Jets versus Raiders analysis): It’s not often you see five and a hook as a point spread in the NFL, as a back-door cover is looming in this contest as a result.
Make no mistakes about it folks. The Jets failed to cover the point-spread last week or in the manner predicted. If you weren’t aware of the gambling shorthand (meaning above), the synopsis implies a spread of 5 1/2 or 5.5 or 5 and a half, the selection and score also leave little doubt as to the winning pick!
As for this week…
NEW YORK GIANTS +2′ (42′) Arizona Cardinals
Maybe NFL preseason games have meaning after all. How else can you make sense of how dreadful the Giants looked on Monday Night Football (MNF) after sputtering in August exhibitions? Eli Manning is absorbing his new play-book the same way I tried making sense of high school Geometry. The score was 35-14 but it wasn’t even that close as the Big Blue secondary is still scrambling to cover Megatron and Golden Tate the third (apparently this is the new trend thanks to RG III). The Cardinals also played on MNF but won their game and have a deeper receiving corps than the Lions. The Jints will be hard-pressed to stop and keep pace with these birds as more of the same is on tap for Big Blew. One thing I can predict with certainty are drive-settling field goals that keep this game from being a runaway Arizona victory.
Final Score: Cardinals 26, Giants 21
The Picks: Arizona -2′ and OVER 42
GREEN BAY PACKERS -8′ (46) New York Jets
Where other gamblers don’t venture, I therefore go. One of my golden rules of handicapping is to take an underdog after a win and no cover like the Jets did last week. The Packers are banged up and those healthy players have had plenty of time to rest after their Thursday Night fail in Seattle. What the Jets do well on offense is the Pack’s Achilles heel on defense. Should Gang Green pound the rock like they can and will be able to and Geno Smith makes one play per half you may want to reserve a little cash for a money line (+340) wager on Gang Green. By all means do however take the points Vegas is throwing your way but root for the outright win and upset. As Amarillo Slim once said, “Sometimes the lambs slaughter the butcher.” Play all your Jets and Packers in fantasy football.
Final Score: Jets 30, Packers 28
The Picks: New York Jets +8′ and OVER 46
Come back tomorrow for a guy who can’t pick his nose right, DJ Eberle.