One thing is certain, gamblers across the continent rejoiced after Roger Goodell finally caved, reaching an agreement with regular NFL referees.
Familiar faces like Ed Hochuli and Mike Carey will once again be dawning the stripes this Sunday.
After the Seattle Seahawks stole a victory on Monday Night Football on a horrible last-second Hail Mary toss, public outcry was at its loudest. Twitter exploded.
Not only did Golden Tate’s supposed catch give the Seahawks a victory, it also enabled them to cover the point spread. For those who followed my lead, this was a delightful turn of events.
Especially for the one lucky Ontario resident who won Proline’s weekly ProPicks pool. Having selected Seattle to win the game, this unnamed player won $725,274.00
For others, it was a nightmare; RJ Bell of Pregame.com said 68% of the public’s bets came in on the Packers. An estimated $300 million dollars changed hands after that last play. Astonishing.
The NFL doesn’t condone gambling on its games, but this was simply too much to overlook.
Farewell replacement refs, you will not be missed.
Now onto the weekly picks using odds from Pro Line.
Home team in CAPS.
New Orleans (+8.5) over GREEN BAY
The Saints have been horrible all year and a lot of that blame can be placed on their defence. However, they have been able to put up points (32, 27, 24 in losing efforts thus far). The Packers are coming off an emotional loss on Monday night and the crowd at Lambeau will surely be extra hostile. I think the Packers will win this game, but have faith that the Saints can keep it somewhat close. Drew Brees knows that falling to 0-4 would but an end to any post-season hopes.
New York (+0.5) over PHILADELPHIA
Michael Vick has thrown nine interceptions and been sacked nine times in the first three games of the season. The Giants boast one of the best pass rushes in recent memory. Eli Manning has been surgical this season, throwing for 1011 yards and 5 touchdowns. Andre Brown has come in for the injured Ahmad Bradshaw and ensured that the Giants offence hasn’t missed a step. The Giants have been road warriors in recent years; in their last 50 road games they have posted a record of 33-17.
HOUSTON (-13) over Tennessee
Are the Texans the best team in football? They rank second in defensive yards-per-game (255.7), fourth in passing yards allowed (188), and fifth rushing yards allowed (67.7). Wade Phillips has this defence playing great, and when you add the leagues fifth best rushing attack (150.3 yards per game) that is a recipe for success. The Texans have outscored opponents 88-42 this season. Meanwhile, Titans running back Chris Johnson has single-handedly destroyed more fantasy teams than anyone in the history of football.
Oakland (+7) over DENVER
Denver was supposed to be a Super Bowl contender and Peyton Manning was supposed to come back with a vengeance. Well, the reality is that the Broncos are (1-2) and Peyton can’t throw the ball down field. They have had a tough schedule vs. Steelers, @ Falcons, vs. Texans) and all signs point to them righting the ship this week when the silver and black come to town. However, I like what happened last week in Oakland, the team came from behind and defeated a veteran Steelers squad 34-31 scoring 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Darren McFadden will be 100% and that should be enough to at least keep this game within a touchdown. McFadden has torched the Broncos in his career, rushing for 434 yards and four touchdowns in his last three games against Denver. The Raiders won those meetings by an average of 21.3 points.
New England (-5.5) over BUFFALO
This line is a little high, and that does concern me. However, with the Bills bruised up backfield (CJ Spiller and Fred Jackson not expected to play) I don’t see how they can keep up with the Patriots offence. Brady and Bellichick are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 meetings at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The last time the Patriots lost three games in a row was over a decade ago, it won’t be happening this weekend.
Last week (2-2)
This season (6-7-1)
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