NFL Playoffs An Embarrassment

'Road Kill' Is Ever-Present Reality In College Basketball
There Is A Reason Kansas, Duke, WVU And Tar Heels Lost
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Snoozing Bookies Open Door For Bettors On 10 Teams

I am a bit out of sorts as I write this, since I have just witnessed a weekend of NFL football that was an embarrassment to the game. With everything on the line and with the Super Bowl just three wins away, the Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots stunk up their respective games so badly they would have made a hot and steamy cesspool smell like $1,000-an-ounce perfume.

The performances of these teams put a real crimp into what should be an exciting weekend of football for fans and bettors. I will also tell you straight out that I did not enjoy a good weekend. I brought everything I had to handicapping all four games and liked the reads I had. Whatever one can say about the poor play of the Bengals' offense, their defense had been good and I expected them to contain Mark Sanchez much better than they did. I offer my congratulations to the young Jet quarterback, but as a man who plays percentages, I have no regrets about the decisions made before having the advantage of hindsight. And I certainly expected the New England Patriots to come out with more fire and zip than they did. Whether they were flat after a long and draining season or had come to believe in their own press clippings and how homefield advantage would just result in an automatic win, the end result was the same. I trust it is not taking any credit away from the Ravens and their fine head coach John Harbaugh to point out just how uncharacteristically unprepared the Patriots seemed to be.

I can assure you I am coming right back firing this weekend and I intend to make amends. The first thing I have done is to not take for granted the mindset of the eight teams that will be playing this weekend. I have already wired myself into every camp and will get my own reports of how teams practiced this week and whether they still had the fire in their bellies that got them there. I am guaranteeing a $1,000 profit for $25-per-unit bettors on the four games this weekend--and I will come through.

Just Call it Road Kill

There is a reason Kansas, Duke, West Virginia and North Carolina--all nationally ranked--lost on the road this week and I have written what should be a helpful story (page 2) for all who bet college basketball. As pointed out in that story, it's easy that one might think to become 'road kill'. Save this story for posterity and read it every week just to keep you on your toes.You also need to make a reminder note of the fact in college basketball conference games tend to be closer than the figures say they will be. This certainly is not all of them, but there is just something about the tradition of a conference rivalry that brings out the best in underdogs, especially home underdogs.

Only 2 Undefeated Teams

With Kansas losing at Tennessee, 76-68, at Tennessee Saturday, there are but two undefeated teams left of the 345 that are playing at the NCAA 1-A level this season. They are 15-0 Texas and 16-0 Kentucky--and you can get 50-1 from me that neither will finish the season undefeated. That's just life in the very competitive world of college basketball.

In handicapping basketball over the past week, I have finally concluded such former powerhouse teams such as Washington, Creighton, Boston College, LSU and Oklahoma are simply bad basketball teams and are at this point in time strong 'go-against' teams, especially on the road.
It may surprise you that in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers (28-8) have a declining performance profile and it may be a week or two before they regain their best form. Just something to remember, since they are among the NBA's most popular teams for small bettors.

The figures also show that Indiana (11-25) is ready for a bit of a surge that may produce a string of pointspread winners. At this writing, the Pacers are just 14-22 against the spread (ATS).

The best two teams in the NBA for covering pointspreads are the Atlanta Hawks (23-13 SU and 24-12 ATS) and the Charlotte Bobcats (16-19 SU, 21-14 ATS). The worst team against the number are the New Jersey Nets (3-33 SU, 12-24 ATS), followed by the Pacers and then the Washington Wizards (12-22 SU, 13-20-1 ATS).



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