Once again our biggest play clicked but we stumbled with the smaller unit plays.  All in all we lost a few bucks from our bankroll but we are still plus money for the year.

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How did Swinger do?

Well the long and short of it is we went 1-2-1 with last week's NFL Picks,but our biggest play, of the 4 unit variety on San Diego, dispensed with the Ravens 34-14 as a 3 point underdog. Norv’s Chargers have a penchant for getting up big, just as they did last year, late in the season when the season is virtually lost. 

Aaron RodgersOur losers came by way of Minnesota and Denver, both big home dogs squaring off against prolific offenses and legendary passers. Unfortunately for us, Tom Brady and Drew Brees missed the memo from Roger Goodell that they were both due for a letdown. It is the National Football Lottery after all and at least some semblance of gambling parity demands that the very good teams overlook the weaker teams. Don’t believe me? Ask Aaron Rodgers how that perfect season looks now as he and his Packers bowed to the Chiefs. The Chiefs of all teams!

You know guys, I think that’s why many of us are squares at heart. Because when the winners blow up the competition as New England and New Orleans did on Sunday, we kick ourselves and think, well that makes perfect sense because the Pats and the Saints are arguably two of the best teams in the NFL and who can keep pace with these guys? The easy answer is that good teams with strong defenses can hang and bang but bad teams cannot. But doesn’t Denver have a decent defense? Back and forth we go with hindsight as our only compass. 

To buy or not to buy the hook, that is the question!

There are some very respectable NFL handicappers that will swear up and down that buying a hook will not only shave years off your bankroll and do nothing but bring misery to your bottom line. I can almost hear Justin 7 snickering at the Great Unwashed Masses like myself who refuse to lay 3 ½ or even 7 ½ on the chalk of their choice. I know a handicapper (ok, he’s a square bettor) who will never lay a half point no matter the number as he refuses to get edged by that insidious hook. 

But isn’t there a happy medium? How about laying 4 ½? Isn’t four a relatively important number? Shall we go the extra mile and include 10 ½, 14 ½, 17 ½ and even 21 ½ to that list? Personally, I understand both arguments. But then again if you think half a point will be the difference between winning and pushing in NFL betting, then why play the game at all if it’s that tight?

I direct your attention to the Detroit Lions last Sunday who played the Oakland Raiders. We were fortunate enough to get them at -1 but the NFL odds soared to 2 ½ by game time. For a measly 10 cents I could have bought them to minus ½ and gotten the cover (Lions won 28-27) instead of a push. But I have a reputation to maintain and I refuse to be known as a hooker. Besides my sister already has that vocation sewn up and she’s got a very jealous pimp. 

Tell me your thoughts gentlemen. 

My number is my number

I write my NFL article and create the accompanying podcast on Friday. Oftentimes the line moves unfavorably away from my selections if one is to wait and bet them on game day. While the less cynical posters would be lauding my prescient handicapping abilities, others believe I am bumping the line in my direction. Scandalous…and untrue. Of course that’s a nifty little technique many touts use but I assure you if we are not truthful here at SBR then we are simply the same old, same old and might as well resort to padding our record while we’re at it. 

The fact of the matter is I use the best line available at SBR odds located at the top of the page. In fact, there was a span of time on Saturday that both my big underdogs (Minny and Denver) jumped a point or more above the 7 ½ I got on both heavy underdogs. Both lines eventually fell at game time to roughly the numbers I submitted in my article. Let’s not forget that my Vikings + 7 ½ came at a cost of -125. 

Power Rankings

1. Green Bay Packers (13-1) – Based on the look of Aaron Rodgers’ face late in the game he didn’t seem to mind much that the Packers perfect season had evaporated on the field of Arrowhead Stadium. I don’t think anyone would argue that Rodgers is content to lose a ping pong game let alone a football game but the pressure to remain perfect is no longer a burden. Though they did sputter against the amped up Chiefs, one loss will not topple them from their lofty perch.

2. New Orleans Saints (11-3) – Drew Brees continues his assault on NFL secondaries and he connected for 5 touchdowns and 412 yards of passing for a brilliant 149.2 quarterback rating. Now I realize there others on this team but I’m not quite sure who they are. All I know is that Drew Brees is a Hall of Famer in the making as he closes in on Dan Marino’s single season passing record.

3. New England Patriots (11-3) – Anything you can do I can do better seems to be the mantra Tom Terrific chants every time he takes the field. His counterpart Tim Tebow was the story but it was Tom Brady who piled up 312 yards of passing to go along with 2 passing touchdowns as well as a rare rushing TD. Tebow, God love him (and he does, just ask Tim), got exposed and the Patriots got a big win and a cover in Mile High.

4. San Francisco 49’ers (11-3) – I have not been a huge believer in the Niners this season because they play in the weakest division and their schedule is almost laughable. But they did knock off one of the big boys on Monday night when they took Big Ben and the Steelers to the woodshed with a dominating 20-3 performance.

5. Baltimore Ravens (10-4) – The Ravens had the misfortune of getting the Chargers while they’re hot last weekend. Their punishing defense was no match for the San Diego juggernaut but then again any time this team takes to the highway they are a different team than the one who plays so superbly at home.

As always, this recap will be a in a sticky thread posted in the NFL Betting Forum and simultaneously posted in Players Talk. I want to hear your thoughts, opinions and comments so post at the bottom of this article or in the thread.