Larry Johnson and the Chiefs could get their first win of the year this week.
Now that we've seen two weeks of NFL football, it's obvious that some teams have either a positive or negative public perception according to the oddsmakers. With that comes an opportunity for us to find lines that may offer value due to the perception of certain teams. Here are some lines that caught my eye this week where I think the underdog, at the very least, deserves a look.
Kansas City +5.5 - I think this is a good spot and a good matchup for the Chiefs. First off, it fits one of my NFL systems: When AFC and NFC teams of equal talent level meet and the AFC team is getting more than a field goal, take the AFC team. I still believe that overall the AFC is the much stronger conference, so I like taking points with them in spots like this. The Chiefs got killed at home by the Raiders, who were beaten like a dog the week before on Monday Night Football. That's the reason for the generous line but I think this could be a game where KC can ride Larry Johnson 35-40 times. The Falcons can't stop the run and have a defensive front far less talented that New England or even the Raiders for that matter. This looks like a low-scoring game between two bad teams, so getting 5.5 points intrigues me.
Raiders +9.5Who would have thought we would be living in a world where the Bills are laying 10 points to someone? I can tell you right now that I probably won't play this game because of the travel factor, which I put a lot of stock into. However, this is a classic letdown spot for Buffalo. They had the big win on opening day, followed up by an impressive upset of Jacksonville on the road. The Raiders don't do many things well but one thing they can do is run the football. If Buffalo isn't up for this game - a very strong possibility with a young team - then Oakland will be able to pound the football and bog things down. I think this one could be closer than the experts think.
Bengals +13.5The Bengals are in turmoil. I've been telling you that for a while now in my NFL Whispers column. However, this is a great spot for them to cover and let me tell you why. The Giants like to come up with stinkers every now and again and when they do it's usually at home against inferior opponents. Last year you may remember the Giants getting blown off the field by both Minnesota and Washington at home. Now, I'm not saying that's going to happen here but I know a lot of Giants fans who are uneasy about this game because of past history. New York tends to play down to its opponents, particularly at home for some reason. The Bengals are awful but I think catching almost two touchdowns here is good value.
Dolphins +12.5The Godfather Marco D'Angelo told me that when a star player gets injured, you bet that team the following week because the other players all rally around each other. He then told me if the team with the injured player wins that game, you go against them the following week because that's where the letdown occurs. It makes sense. The Pats went from the perception that they were going to win three games back to double-digit lines. I know this spread would be 18 with Brady but I'm just pointing out what a difference a week makes. Remember, the Patriots want to play a Princeton-like slow down with Matt Cassel at quarterback. It's awful tough to win games by a wide margin that way. It will be interesting to see how this line moves but right now, I lean toward the Dolphins.
Solid post Tommy, valid points.
PS..It was stated at KC's news conference Atlanta is going to get a healthy dose of Larry Johnson as they expect 25 touches for him in this game to him.
I agree..The Dogs are the way to look this weekend, but living in KC it is important to note that Herm Edwards as of Noon today has still not named a starting QB as of yet for this game. As Tommy posted these are not his picks, but some serious thought at my service to find every reason to take Dogs on my Sunday Card is in full review for Sunday....
I agree Matt. I can see that game being one of those ugly 17-6 Pats wins where they are never really in danger of losing but may not cover either.
I agree completely with your Dolphins - Patriots assessment. This game scares me. I won't pretend to know as much about point spreads as most people on this site, but in the NFL a 13 point win is a blowout. The Patriots, as currently constituted, are not a blowout team. Pennington has always posed problems for the Pats because he is the anti-Favre. He does not get impatient, is a good decision maker and rarely makes mistakes. He will patiently move the ball down the field (and will not try to make throws he just isn't capable of, you know, like Brett Favre) which I think is the way you beat the Pats. I don't think the Patriots are in danger of losing but, just by the style the Pats need to play to be successful, this game will be close well into the fourth quarter.
These aren't picks Samoan, they are just lines that I think represent some value. As bad as the Chiefs and Bengals are, they aren't going to go 0-16 ATS. I agree with Altham, the dogs could be barking loud on Sunday.
I must say I Dissagree with most of those picks: KC making a long trip to Atlanta and relying on Johnson to carry the ball since they dont' have a QB. I Expect the Falcon's to stuff the box to stop Johnson.
Giant's will murder the Bengal's by more than 20.
Raider's: STAYING AWAY FROM THIS ONE.
You and I are on the same page Tommy. I think the dogs will bark loud this weekend. There are some good teasers involved with thise teams. Good luck this weekend.