Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014 | 2 a.m.
Mark Sanchez sparked a decibel-raising roar in sports books across the valley early in the fourth quarter on Monday Night Football.
Week 11: Patriots at Colts
- Which side would you take in the Sun's handicapping game of the week? (Majority Poll Opinion: 6-5 this season)
- Patriots plus-3 — 67.8%
- Colts minus-3 — 32.2%
This poll is closed, see Full Results »
Note: This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.
Sanchez had already mostly locked up a cover for the vast majority of bettors who took the Eagles minus-7 over the Panthers, but his second touchdown pass also catered to the masses. The 18-yard strike to Jordan Matthews made the score 45-7 to push the game over the total of 48.5 points, keeping intact a profitable trend that has put sports book directors' stomachs in knots this season.
The over, which is much more commonly bet than the under, has hit in 24 of 31 stand-alone primetime games this season in the NFL. To make matters worse for the house, favorites have also gone 18-13 against the spread in the games.
Favorites have cashed in both the Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football affairs in four of the last five weeks with overs going 8-2 in the games.
Sports books have mounted a winning football season, but they could be much further into the black with an underdog or under coming in on one of the most bet games of the week every once in a while.
Talking Points was right with the public in enjoying Sanchez’s renaissance, as the Eagles were the final piece of another winning week. The pick’em went 8-5 against the spread to bring the season mark to 79-66-2.
There’s some concern with the top picks going on a 1-4 skid over the past two weeks, so to switch things up, I’m going with a season-high five plays in week 11.
Check below for this week’s pick’em, with individual records attached to three separate confidence categories as always.
New York Giants plus-4.5 vs. San Francisco 49ers Easy to forget that many were raving about the Giants offense before running back Rashad Jennings, who returns this week, went down with a knee sprain. West Coast team traveling East and laying more than a field goal sounds like a recipe for disaster.
Seattle Seahawks plus-1.5 at Kansas City Chiefs Seahawks are a half-yard per play better than the Chiefs on both offense and defense. Seattle’s road struggles are almost as overstated as Kansas City’s home-field advantage, as the Seahawks are 7-5 against the spread away from CenturyLink in the last two years and the Chiefs are 5-7 at Arrowhead.
Indianapolis Colts minus-3 vs. New England Patriots Eternally fading a public underdog unanimously lauded as the best team in the NFL since their last time out — even if Bill Belichick coaches said team. Colts quarterback Andrew Luck can have his way with a reeling defense dropping to No. 22 in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders’ DVOA ratings.
Philadelphia Eagles plus-6 at Green Bay Packers Green Bay’s glaring quarterback advantage is cut into with equally pronounced coaching mismatch in Philadelphia’s favor. Throw in the Eagles having the better defense, at No. 6 in DVOA to the Packers’ No .11, and the line is too high.
Detroit Lions plus-2 at Arizona Cardinals Cardinals replacement quarterback Drew Stanton struggled mightily the only time he encountered an above-average defense this season, going 11-for-26 for 118 yards against the Broncos. He projects to play just as poorly against the only defense ahead of Denver in DVOA.
Houston Texans plus-3.5 at Cleveland Browns Having been outgained on the season and benefiting from a plus-9 turnover margin, Cleveland is a phony 6-3. Houston’s not any better, but the bye week and a switch to Ryan Mallett at quarterback trigger a spark.
Buffalo Bills plus-6 at Miami Dolphins Losing left tackle Branden Albert for the season to an ACL tear is the biggest hit yet for an injury-plagued Dolphins team. It’s disastrous timing for Miami ahead of a Thursday night game with a team that beat them by 19 points earlier in the season and left linebacker Philip Wheeler declaring that Buffalo is “built to beat us.”
Minnesota Vikings plus-3.5 at Chicago Bears Minnesota has feasted on the dregs of the NFL this season, going 4-0 straight-up and against the spread versus teams with three wins or less. Chicago belongs in any discussion of the league’s worst teams after losing a combined 106-37 in its last two games.
San Diego Chargers minus-10 vs. Oakland Raiders The Chargers are being judged on a downturn that includes a four-game against the spread losing streak, but a scorching start where they went 5-0 against the spread deserves as much, if not more, weight. Mike McCoy is too sharp of a coach not to have his team ready out of a bye week.
Denver Broncos minus-9.5 at St. Louis Rams Denver is 17-3 against the spread versus teams with losing records since signing Peyton Manning. Shudder to think what Manning is capable of against a defense that ranks 30th in Football Outsiders’ DVOA against the pass.
Carolina Panthers plus-1.5 vs. Atlanta Falcons Not ready to declare Atlanta back in the NFC South race like many others after clawing its way to victory against lowly Tampa Bay. The Falcons were outgained in their fourth straight game, relying on a plus-3 turnover margin to beat the Buccaneers 27-17.
Cincinnati Bengals plus-7 vs. New Orleans Saints Early line was only New Orleans minus-5 last week, so the shift feels a little drastic with both teams coming off of poor performances. Cincinnati’s horrendous outings in stand-alone national television games, for whatever reason, are commonplace now as it fell to 2-9 against the spread under quarterback Andy Dalton last week but Bengals are also 29-15-5 against the spread. in all other contests.
Washington Redskins minus-7 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers Not wanting to get involved with either side, but at least Washington has a minor semblance of something to play for with Robert Griffin III feeling pressure to prove himself. He’ll find a gift in a Buccaneers secondary comprised of scrap parts.
Tennessee Titans plus-6 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers The Titans played the Ravens closer than their non-covering 21-7 loss indicates last week. An underdog has got to cover in a primetime game at some point, right?