Football Betting 2007
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Posted on 8/15/2007 7:31:47 PM
Football Betting – NFL Opinion 2007 – Quick Hits from the AFC
By Tim Furious
The insanely frustrating tease that is the NFL pre-season is upon us. Now is the time where oddsmakers begin to narrow down the favorites for the NFC Champs, AFC Champs and Super Bowl victors. Over the next few weeks, BetUS.com will keep you updated with all the NFL betting news you need to make an informed decision before you throw down your hard earned cash. For now, here is a quick look at the main story lines in the AFC that any smart betting investor would want to know.
Things just keep getting worse for the Bengals. Outside of Carson’s promise that they will be the best offense in the NFL, Chris Henry’s suspension, a defense that couldn’t stop the Detroit Lions and their continuing legal struggles, they now must contend with an injury to rookie tailback Kenny Irons.
Irons was supposed to replace the oft-injured Chris Perry as the number two back. Now starter Rudi Johnson will be a one man workhorse in Cincy, making his job tougher and further killing their chances in 2007. The Bengals are always an attractive team at the beginning of the season, but your betting dollars are better off elsewhere.
Losing one starting defensive tackle is tough. Losing two is ridiculous. The Colts released the mysteriously injured Corey Simon, only to watch starter Booger McFarland go down with a season ending injury. McFarland was an imperative contingent of the front four in Indy that helped them win a Superbowl.
Now the Colts look like they will be vulnerable to the run once more, vastly increasing the workload on safety Bob Sanders to make plays in stopping the run while being aware of the play-action pass. This is not great news for Sanders who is still rehabilitating from his second shoulder surgery.
The Colts should still be deemed a favorite to win the Super Bowl, but those that are calling for a 7-9 season are certainly getting more and more reasons to justify their case.
Newly acquired Daunte Culpepper is impressing onlookers at camp. Whoop-dee-freaking-do. Everyone looks impressive in practice! Culpepper, despite his awesome physical attributes, has to prove he is capable of executing plays in the pressure of a game situation. He is not known for being cool under pressure.
The Raiders defense is still top-10 in the league, but this offense will struggle to put up points behind a shoddy offensive line. Jerry Porter and newcomer Mike Williams will have trouble developing chemistry with the quarterback situation in such turmoil. If that wasn’t bad enough, coach Lane Kiffen was just hospitalized with a viral infection.
The silver-and-black’s commitment to excellence is a questionable example. The only thing note worthy that this squad may be accepting is another number one draft pick in 2008 (which could very well be Jamarcus Russell if he does not sign!).
Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs look to be smartening up and inching closer to signing Larry Johnson. The scary thing for this league is that Johnson and Priest might be working in tandem this year. If that happens, oddsmakers will be skewing the numbers towards the Chiefs to win the AFC West. Keep an eye on this situation as it develops.
Matt Schaub is supposed to be a savior of sorts in Houston. His first pass went for a whopping two yards, and his second pass bounced off the hands of his receiver. Things don’t look like they have changed much, and any smart betting investor will look elsewhere when considering contenders for this season.
Trent Green looked shaky in his first start for the Dolphins, going 6-15 and accumulating a paltry 60 yards while playing the entire first half in their pre-season opener. He left the field to a chorus of boos from the Miami fans, who have rightfully grown sick and tired of watching quarterbacks submarine the Dolphins chances (read: A.J. Feeley, Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington).
Green, however, is a veteran and is most likely simply getting used to a new team, a new coach and a new offensive game plan. Give him some time and remember that this is only pre-season. Green has been a successful quarterback in the NFL for years, so hold your breath before harpooning the Dolphins chances in 2007.
Vince Young was benched for violating team rules, though coach Jeff Fischer is downplaying the severity of the incident. What you superstitious bettors should be watching, however, is Young’s shaky start to a season where he will be battling the Madden Curse and the dreaded sophomore jinx.
The NFC, as always, is as wide open as Lindsay Lohan’s nostrils on a Saturday night. Most teams are pointing towards the Saints and Bears to repeat as favorites, but anything can happen in the NFC. Here are a few notes from the lesser conference, and how they can impact on your NFL betting futures.
Warrick Dunn is back after back surgery sidelined him for the past month. The return is huge for a Falcons offense that will be missing its most important weapon in Michael Vick. Say what you will about Vick’s ability as a passer, but his rushing numbers kept the flagsticks moving along with the Dunn and Jerious Norwood.
The Falcons are long shots to win the NFC South, let alone compete in the playoffs. But having Dunn back will help the locker room and help the team move forward as they will not have Vick’s unique services for the 2007 season.
The Eagles got destroyed in a pre-season game the other night against Baltimore. They lost backup running back, Ryan Moats, for the season and nobody at the quarterback position stepped up to fill the void left by Donavan McNabb. If those backups failed in getting it done against the second and third defenses, how will they fair against a teams top defense?
More importantly, this proves that Donavan must, absolutely, stay healthy this season for the Eagles to have a chance. Without Jeff Garcia as a backup, this statement has never been more true than it is right now. The defense is aging, and the Eagles, remain a competitive +175 to win the NFC East.
The Cardinals lost two key starters in Oliver Ross, the starting offensive tackle, and Chike Okeafor, a starting linebacker. This is not a good sign for a young team that is in need of its veterans to produce. The bigger concern is Ross, who will be replaced by rookie Levi Brown.
The learning curve suddenly becomes much steeper, faster and more urgent for the rookie Brown who was taken fifth overall by the Cards in the 2007 Draft. Levi Brown will suddenly be charged with protecting Matt Leinart and opening gaps for Edgerrin James. The saving grace in all of this is that he has Russ Grimm, one of the best offensive line coaches in the business, showing him the ropes.
Okeafor was a key in the Cardinals new 3-4 defense. He moved to strongside linebacker and coach Wisenhunt was intent on using his immense pass rushing skills to make him the “Joey Porter” of this defensive attack. Filling his shoes will be a difficult task for a linebacker corps that lacks true depth.
Perhaps even more intriguing than the injuries is that Matt Leinart was able to reach a tentative custody agreement with the mother of his 10 month-old child. The agreement will last through the NFL season, and it will not become a huge distraction for the young quarterback who has enough on his plate.
Luckily for the Cardinals, they play in the easiest division in the league and have the easiest schedule of anyone in the NFL. That is why the +300 odds to make the playoffs – straight up or as a wildcard – should be justifiably tempting regardless of those injuries.
New York Giants
The Giants looked like football midgets in the pre-season, and it is a definite foreshadowing of the season to come. The Carolina Panthers top line decimated the Giants defense, which had no Michael Strahan. The face of the franchise for the past few years is likely to retire, and without him the team is going to get torn to pieces.
This Giants team is ranked behind the Redskins, Cowboys and Eagles in the eyes of the oddsmakers to escape the NFC East into the playoffs. A smart, betting man would tend to agree.
St. Louis Rams
The Rams offense is unquestionably productive. But their defense is what needs the most help. In a test against the Minnesota Vikings vaunted running game, Rams rookie Adam Carriker stood apart from the rest while helping to hold Adrian Peterson to a mere 33 yards on 11 carries.
Adam Carriker, their first round selection, helped stuff the run from his defensive end position. Carriker is a big boy who can make plays, and coach Linehan has a strong defensive weapon if he can hone the young man’s skills.
Carriker is going to be called upon to help shore this defensive unit in the face of their offensively potent division rivals. These long shots to make the playoffs may have a head butting chance if Carriker comes through.
The 2007 NFL betting season is here in full force! If you like to bet on the NFL, you are in the best possible place for online betting. Our sportsbooks have NFL odds up on a ton of futures, and you will also find NFL lines up for early games as well. Join our sportsbooks today and we’ll help guide you right through to Super Bowl XLII and beyond!
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