Early Line, Pack a Nine-Point Favorite

The early Vegas line for Green Bay at home vs. Cincinnati is: Packers -9 (9 point favorite)

Other interesting lines are:

1. St.Louis @ Washington (-10)
2. Carolina @ Atlanta (-6.5)
3. Minnesota (-10) @ Detroit
4. New Orleans @ Philadelphia (-1)
5. Arizona @ Jacksonville (-3)
6. Pittsburgh (-3) @ Chicago
7. Indianapolis (-3) @ Miami
8. New York Giants @ Dallas (-2.5)

Some interesting games to ponder. Some thoughts. St. Louis was blown-out in Seattle, now travels to Washington, versus an outstanding defense with a mediocre offense (the ‘skins). Is St. Louis really this hideous (+10)?

Carolina in 2008 was 8-0 at home. Was blown-out at home by Philadelpia, travels to Atlanta (-6.5). Is Jake Delhomme done? Is Carolina as crappy this coming week as they were against the Eagles?

Minnesota at Detroit (+10). After watching the Lions for half-a-century, I believe they will play their hearts out against Minnesota. I expect the Lions to lead at the half and then the Vikes to pull away in the second half. My gut tells me Minnesota wins by 4 to 11 points. Detroit is not facing Drew Brees this week. They will stack the line in the first half and maybe in the second, as well. Gut feeling that Detroit keeps it under ten…and I don’t bet on losing teams…Adrian Peterson will still break a few big runs in the second half. Will Minnesota just play to win? As opposed to looking to crush?

New Orleans (+1) with Kevin Kolb (remember Ty Cobb? Same pronounciation, not a Hall-of Famer in Kolb’s instance) starting for Philadelphia. I smell a big win for New Orleans…

Arizona (+3) at Jacksonville. The Cardinals got their butts whipped at home and are already at the crossroads this season. Look for an Arizona victory…

The Steelers at Chicago (+3). This is somewhat of a must win for the Bears at home. The talk of a Super Bowl, you can’t start 0-2, can you? Look for a stunning Chicago upset.

Miami (+3) at home against the Colts. I like the Dolphins to decisively beat Indianapolis.

G-Men at Dallas (-2.5). Two very good teams. Dallas without T. Owens has much better chemistry and no distractions. Both excellent defenses. This may be the game of the week…

This is why you get the early lines. Get some initial thoughts. May not bet this week…Three initial teams I like…New Orleans straight up to win…The Bears, straight-up to win…and Miami, straight up to win. Now, these are all three minor underdogs, so I’m not betting all three. I’m going to study the injury reports, not talk or listen to any “experts” on picks and sleep on it for a couple of days and re-analyze. I’ll get back to you later in the week…My thought…Is this finally the year that New Orleans learns how to win on the road? If it is, what a better place to start than Philadelphia, with an injured Donovan McNabb. They are not the same team offensively without him. I’ll get back to you in the next few days…

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4 Responses to “Early Line, Pack a Nine-Point Favorite”

  1. John Zoul says:

    Four other notes on the Eagles…

    1. Their starting All-pro RT was just placed on season-ending IR (S. Andrews)
    2. They released a seldom used WR
    3. Signed Jeff Garcia
    4. Placed M. Vick on the 53-man roster. He’ll be eligible to play in week 3.

    Who will start? This means they currently have 4 QB’s on their 53-man roster. Someone may have to go…Kolb? A bit of turmoil in Philly.

  2. Aargh says:

    Agree that NO seems like a good bet.

    StL — staying far far away. What’s to like? Gotta have a reason to bet on them.

    Carolina — I think they were running on fumes the past couple of years, kinda like those Packer teams of the Sherman years. Now they’re out of gas.

    Cards look like bums this year. Warner doesn’t seem to be the same, at least not yet.

    Bengals’ underrated defense could be problems for the Packers offense. I think 9 is a bit much. Bengals are a good bet.

    Maybe Detroit is fired up, but Minn has a good defense. Are the Lions going to stop AP? I don’t think so. I can imagine Minn domninating TOP and the Lions never really getting a chance. I’m going to stay away from that one.

    Bears-Pittsburgh. Both teams have a bit of a problem on the OL, which means it could be another game like Sunday’s. Not ideal for any QB, but Big Ben seems to handle the pressure a little better than Cutler. Both teams are missing their defensive stars. Which hurts more? Not sure that the Bears will be in the position to exploit the Steelers weakness and vice versa. Should be an interesting game, and yeah, Bears and 3 seems like a marginally good bet, but nothing to bet the farm on. I’m expecting a Steelers to cover, though.

  3. John Zoul says:


    Thanks for your comments. My initial betting column for the week is just a brief list of my thoughts, which will be refined by the end of the week.
    I always prefer to look at all the games early and narrow down bets to three, two, one-or if I don’t have a strong sense on any game-zero. During the regular season I’ll not make ten wagers. To me, by the time you get to the end of the year, things become more clear.
    As of today, am not quite sure what if any, of the match-ups look best.
    As for the Packers favored by nine, I agree with you. We have some issues on the offensive line that need to be worked-out…as a result, our running game was all but shut-down, save two nice runs by Grant that totalled 42 yards. The Bengals seem to have improved their defense, but, am frankly not so sure that the Broncos were a major challenge offensively. It may be that both Cincy and Denver are mediocre teams this year. I prefer not to underate the Bengals, though. Carson Palmer does have a couple of solid receivers.
    I like our chances to win, but, have seen many a team up by 14 with 90 ticks to go, who then plays it soft, allowing the other team to score a TD and therefore win by 7. Not convinced we have the “killer instinct” quite yet…
    The other factor, I very rarely bet on Green Bay as a favorite or bet Packers games as a rule. It eliminates my emotion of “wanting them to win.” So, you’ll see probably zero wagers on Green Bay games throughout the season (by me).
    I do have some additional thoughts on the Saints-Eagles match-up, which I’ll include in my column on Saturday.

  4. Aargh says:

    Well, we were right about the Bengals.

    You’re wise to stay away from Packer games. I try to stay away from NFC North games altogether.

    Agree that things are clearer as the season progresses — at least until the last week or so when you never know whether the playoff teams are going to sit the starters or what. That said, the first few weeks give you a chance to win bets on overhyped and underrated teams that you won’t have later on in the season. It’s a gamble, sure, but that’s what it’s supposed to be.

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