This Week in NFL Betting By the Numbers
by Darin Zank - 12/7/2011
Well, we sweated out another Packers victory Sunday up here in snowy Cheesehead Land, and your humble correspondent can also take a little pride in having the right side of the point spread on that game, with the Giants getting nine points. So that's 12-0 for Green Bay, one more major hurdle cleared on the way to 16-0 and a singular “up yours” from Aaron Rodgers to the clowns out there who say, “yeah, he's great, but can he perform in the clutch?”
Here are a few more interesting numbers from around the NFL as we head into the home stretch of this regular season.
-160 – The round-about odds some online sportsbooks are now offering on the Packers to finish 16-0 this season. With their exciting 38-35 victory over the Giants Sunday the Pack now finishes with three of their last four games at home. Green Bay is favored by 11 points at Bodog for this Sunday vs. the Raiders, and they might very well be double-digit chalk in their last three games, too, at Kansas City and at Lambeau vs. the Bears and Lions.
+500 - Odds you can get on the San Francisco 49ers to win the NFC Championship. But is that enough? The Niners blanked the Rams Sunday 26-0 to clinch the NFC West title and their first playoff berth since 2002. So San Francisco, at 10-2, is two games behind the Packers in the NFC standings, and a game up on third-place New Orleans. If the Niners can clinch the No. 2 seed, they'll get a first-round bye in the upcoming playoffs, and then host a conference semifinal. Win that, and it looks like they'd be headed to Green Bay for a conference championship game. Now, as far as those NFC Championship odds are concerned, you'd be asking San Francisco to stave off New Orleans for the No. 2 seed in the NFC, then beat probably the Saints in the conference semis, then win in Green Bay, all while getting just 5/1 on your risk. I'd need at least 10/1 to make that bet.
4 – AFC teams tied atop the conference standings at 9-3. The Patriots lead the East at 9-3, the Ravens and Steelers sit atop the North at 9-3 and the Texans lead the South at 9-3. New England and Houston are 7-2 in conference play, but the Patriots lost to the Steelers. Houston beat Pittsburgh but lost to the Ravens, and is down two quarterbacks. Pittsburgh is 7-3 in the AFC, but lost twice to Baltimore. And the Ravens are 6-2 in conference play with head-to-head advantage over the Steelers and Texans. So while Baltimore might appear to have the advantage in the battle for the top seeds in the AFC, it's really a bit of a mess. On Bodog's AFC Championship betting board the Patriots are 3/2 favorites, followed by the Ravens at 3/1, the Steelers at 15/4 and the Texans at 8/1.
0 – Number of interceptions thrown by Texans' rookie quarterback TJ Yates in Houston's 17-10 victory over Atlanta Sunday. Yeah, the Texans brought in Jake Delhomme and Kellen Clemens, but it looks like they might go with Yates instead as they try to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history. And if Yates can avoid the turnovers, and if Houston can be content to rely on their running game and defense, they'll make it. For this week Houston is a three-point road dog at Cincinnati, according to Bodog NFL odds.
4-1 - The Miami Dolphins' record, since their 0-7 start. Sunday the Fish surprised a lot of folks, including this hack of an NFL handicapper, by destroying the Raiders, 34-14. They've held four of their last five opponents to 14 points or less, and they have covered the spread six weeks in a row. Sunday Miami hosts the 4-8 Eagles.
486 - Yards rushing the last four weeks by Tennessee’s Chris Johnson. And that includes a 13-yard effort vs. Atlanta three weeks ago. Sunday Johnson ran for 153 yards and two TDs, helping the Titans win a tough game on the road, 23-17, at Buffalo. So with CJ2K coming around, after his holdout-induced struggles, Tennessee could be playoff-bound. The Titans are 7-5 and tied for the No. 6 seed in the AFC with the Jets, Bengals and Raiders, and they're 5-4 in AFC play. But a loss to Cincy five weeks ago could hurt. For this week Tennessee has its hands full; Bodog is listing them as four-point home dogs vs. the Saints.
2 – Number of times Dallas owner Jerry Jones should slap Cowboys HC Jason Garrett upside the head. Once for the time-out Garrett didn't call with Dallas driving for the game-winning score Sunday at Arizona, and once for the TO he did call, that apparently iced his own kicker into a miss. Just when you think the Cowboys are on their way, they pull something stupid like this and lose a game they should have won. And they also cost your increasingly humble correspondent a teaser bet. This week Dallas hosts the Giants on Sunday night.
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