Furious NFL Handicapping Analysis – 29/07 July 29th, 2008
By: NFL Handicapping Staff
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NFL Furious Opinion – Stop The Insanity!
Your boy is back! I’ve had my head buried over here for quite some time, doing my research, reviewing tape and ramping up my system for the upcoming football betting season. Now I’m ready to return to my readers and put an end to the madness. There’s no better way for me to back in to the swing of things than to clear up some opinions out there that are unfathomable. They’re inexcusable, even! We need to set fire to the fog clouding the better judgment of the NFL betting community.
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE
Minnesota Vikings (+1000 to win NFC)
Two months ago, I wrote that the Vikings were a great value bet at +1000. The emphasis here is on “value”. Considering them a lock is ridiculous? They have all the right weapons in place, with perhaps the best defensive line in the NFC and a myriad of offensive weapons that should kill any team.
The bad thing is this that we said the same thing about the San Francisco 49ers heading in to 2007.
Their secondary is still lacking, and Bernard Berrian bought himself a one-way ticket to double-team-ville by signing on to the hapless Viking receiver roster. While Adrian Peterson shocked the world last year, that doesn’t mean he’s in for the same ride this year.
We don’t know how the Vikings will actually pan out this season. We can’t predict the future. But I will say this – whenever anyone is as excited for the Vikings as the betting community is now, the oddsmakers listen and the team in question never lives up to the hype. Consider yourself warned. They went 7-7-2 ATS last season, which is something that is going to be very difficult this coming year with the odds stacked against them.
WAIT AND SEE…
Oakland Raiders (+400 to make playoffs)
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Do we have to do this every year with Raider Nation? Do we have to beat off their lack of common sense with a sledge hammer every NFL betting season? So you spent a lot of money on some free agents. Whoop-dee-freaking-do (haven’t you guys missed me?).
You can’t expect me to believe that Javon Walker is a suitable replacement for a player who could actually run last year like Jerry Porter. Walker had 26 catches for 287 yards and zero touchdowns last season after battling a rambunctious knee injury. Porter had 44 receptions with 705 yards and 6 catches trying to catch passes from the lesser of two McCowns.
Great choice by the Raiders on that one. They have a decent defense on paper, but that still doesn’t overshadow the fact they ranked 26th in the league in points allowed with 24.9 points against. Signing an aging DeAngelo Hall that over-commits to coverage and doesn’t compliment the defensive strategy they are implementing in Oakland is not going to help matters.
I like the Raiders overall, but I’m in “believe it when I see it” mode with them. You should be too. A team that went 6-10 ATS last season doesn’t suddenly flip the script in the AFC West.
New Orleans Saints (-150 to make playoffs, +120 to win NFC South)
Jeremy Shockey is a savior?! Since when? He was such a miscreant in New York that he was eventually benched for Kevin Boss. With 57 receptions, 619 yards and three touchdowns, Shockey has the talent. Nobody has ever argued that. It’s his piss poor attitude that has been the persistent problem.
Now, there is the argument that Drew Brees has the leadership, credibility and experience to turn Shockey in to the next Antonio Gates. However, a sudden rally behind the New Orleans Saints shouldn’t be happening with the smart betting investors.
No team in this NFL can survive without a proper rushing attack. So here we are (again) with Deuce McAllister and the infallible Reggie Bush. I’m not going to crunch numbers. I’m just going to state the obvious: for two years they have failed to inspire hope and faith for the Saints betting faithful. Why does that change just because it’s a new year?
JUST STOP ALREADY
Philadelphia Eagles (Eagles +325 to win NFC East)
Let’s not even start with the fact that Lito Sheppard used the word “disappreciated” when describing his relationship with the team. Instead, let’s focus on an offense that revolves around an aging quarterback who has battled injuries for the last three seasons. McNabb managed a quarterback rating of 89.9 last season and showed glimpses of greatness, just like he always does.
With those miraculous moments, however, comes the sad realization nthat McNabb is constantly bailed out by Brian Westbrook. The Eagles fans aren’t dumb enough to get their hopes up, but the betting community has to be warned that the clock on McNabb is ticking. We’re talking about a guy who was sacked 44 times last season and is just getting older here. Do not expect the Eagles to surprise anyone this year.
Disappreciation is one thing (i.e. a word that doesn’t exist). “Depreciating” is the appropriate word when describing former Syracuse quarterback, Donavan McNabb.
Carolina Panthers (+250 to win NFC South, -1000 to break everyone’s heart again)
Here’s a great idea! Let’s just go back to the way we were four years ago when we went to the Superbowl! Somebody text message Steven Davis already!
Jake Delhomme had the dreaded Tommy John surgery, which is like playing 5-bullet Russian roulette if you use your arms for anything useful. Why is anyone counting on this guy? Are you going to bank on the chance that he’s the one guy in a billion that successfully walks away from Tommy John? If you bet on odds like that, then I can’t help you in any way.
I’m looking for serious bettors. My readers are guys who love football, but love making money first. To take a line from a great book that I picked up, “Use your head first, and your heart second”. Let’s have that be the mantra as we sort through the furious insanity of the upcoming NFL season. It’s good to be back, fellas. Let’s get to work.
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