The key number from last week for your humble correspondent was 2.5, as in the number of plates of bird, stuffing, squash and gravy I inhaled last Thursday, and the length of the nap, in hours, that followed.
But with one big holiday weekend of feasting and football behind us, let's look forward to December, where the big number for NFL teams is five, as in the number of games left on their regular-season NFL schedules. Five is also the number of wins away the Green Bay Packers sit from 16-0, and the number of losses the Indianapolis Colts are away from 0-16.
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Here are a few more numbers of interest for our football-betting friends out there.
7 – Weeks in a row that ‘unders’ have outnumbered ‘overs’ on the NFL totals betting board. Football bettors know, or at least they should, that betting trends often reverse back on themselves, and NFL totals betting has done just that this season. Through the first five weeks of this season 47 of 77 games played ‘over’ their totals. Throw out the two pushes, and that's a 63 percent lean. But over the last seven weeks the totals have titled toward the ‘unders’ by a 61-37 margin. That's a 62 percent tilt. But unlike the trend toward the ‘overs’ of earlier this season, we get the feeling this lean toward the ‘unders’ could continue through the rest of this regular season.
5-1 – Denver's record this year with Tim Tebow starting at quarterback.
24-31 - Combined record of the teams the Broncos have beaten in Tebow's starts. So Denver's recent success must still be considered carefully. This Sunday Denver, now just a game back of first-place Oakland in the mediocre AFC West, plays at 2-9 Minnesota.
21 – Number of points the Patriots are favored by at 5Dimes for Sunday's game with the 0-11 Colts. And we're not sure that's enough. Then again, we remember that during its run toward perfection a few years ago New England went 0-3 vs. the pointspreads in the three games in which it was favored by 20 points or more.
25 - Number of points the offensively-challenged Chiefs have scored total over their last four games, all losses. For this week 5Dimes is giving KC nine points at Chicago. We'll put the ‘over/under’ on Chiefs points at seven.
104 – Yards Minnesota KR Percy Harvin returned a kickoff late in the Vikings' loss to Atlanta Sunday.
0 – Points Harvin scored on that return, and points the Vikings tallied on the ensuing possession. Harvin took the kickoff about seven yards deep in the end zone, slipped through a couple of arm tackles and boogied down the sideline before getting chased down heroically by the Falcons' Christopher Owens at the Atlanta three-yard line. Vikings backers then saw the cover they sought in getting 10 points pissed away when Minnesota gained two yards on three plays and then, instead of kicking a short field goal to get within one score (and covering the spread), handed the ball to their big white running back, who got stuffed for a loss. Bad coaching and lousy execution once again combined to ruin a perfectly reasonable bet.
1-4 – The Jets record on the road this year. New York is tied for the No. 7 seed in the AFC, just a game out of the six spot. But the Jets have three road games left, and they've stunk on the road this season. This week New York is on the road again, listed as three-point favorites at Washington by 5Dimes.
50 percent – The approximate number of brain cells Detroit's Ndamukong Suh and Buffalo's Stevie Johnson appear to be working with. Suh can be a monster, but he hurt his team Thursday by getting kicked out of the game against the Packers. And now he's suspended for two games, just when the Lions can least afford it. Detroit owns the No. 6 seed in the NFC at the moment, but they look like a good bet to cough that up. Johnson, meanwhile, drops too many passes to pull the celebratory shit he does. Somebody feed that kid some humble pie.
100 percent – Number of brain cells Dallas' Jason Witten appears to be working with. Make a catch, get a first down and go down to the ground with a Cowboys cheerleader in your lap. Nice.
5 percent – Number of brain cells I think I'm working on, after taking the Vikings and Eagles last Sunday. What the hell was I thinking?