Swinger's Record (21-17-1, +2.4 units) *Each wager is graded from 1 to 5 units*
Ah, all this hard work finally paying off after a rather inauspicious beginning to this season's NFL campaign. Sometimes it takes a while (try ten weeks before we really got rolling) to determine just what teams are capable of and how they stack up against the opposition. Yes, the Falcons tortured me this season before I finally saw what I refused to see - they truly do blow - and the Texans are but a shadow of the team they once were. I know this now and am no longer taking the chance that somehow, some way both have been the victims of bad bounces and bad calls while all along it was but one thing they were indeed guilty of, being a bad team.
But that's in the past because last week we continued our winning ways with four unit plays on the Vikings and the Giants while cashing for three units on Under in the Cardinals/Eagles tilt. But that's ancient history and in this what-have-you-done-for-me-lately business, we've got to get it done again this week. So without further ado, let's get down to it.
The Browns have one shutdown corner in Joe Haden and they also have... Get the picture? The Brownies are a team that personify the motto, wait until next year. They are a mess and the fact that Joe Haden shuts down world class receivers on a regular basis won't do his team much good because Tom Brady spreads the ball around like spiked eggnog at a Christmas party. If Haden decides to work on Danny Amendola, no problem because Brady can hammer the Cleveland secondary with flares to Gronkowski or strikes to Thompkins, Edelman or even Shane Vereen coming out of the backfield.
Belichick has had enough of these second half rallies by the Patriots so expect New England to jump out early and increase their lead over a struggling Browns team. Maybe a bet on the Patriots in the first half wouldn't be such a bad idea? But to keep the record clean we will stick to advising a play on the Pats -11 for the maximum 5 units at Bet365.com.
Over the past six weeks the Fins have alternated losses and wins. Last week they won so guess where this analysis is headed? Yes, I'm picking the Steelers here because they are getting better despite their 22-20 loss to the Ravens last week. While Miami did have a solid 23-3 victory over the woeful Jets, it took time for their offense to get going and the only reason they had as much success offensively as they did was because the New York offense was stuck in neutral all day. That allowed Miami to wear down the Jets defense who were constantly called upon to get back on the field.
This game will be different. Though I do have a lingering concern that Mike Wallace will want to show up his old team I can't let that sway me from the fact that Pittsburgh in Week 12 is simply a better football team than Miami.
Play the Steelers -3 for 2 units at WilliamHill.com
The Saints are 11-3 in NFL odds when playing at night with Drew Brees pulling the trigger at the Superdome. They love to air it out and will do so against a Panthers secondary that is unprepared to deal with the likes of Jimmy Graham in a dome that will be raising the decibel level to ear-splitting proportions.
The Woodman's Corner (8-5, +1.5 units) - Guest Handicapper
The Woodman has been en fuego lately with his latest gem being the Miami Dolphins who grounded the Jets last week as two point underdogs in NFL odds last week.
Woodman's penchant for pups is universally lauded as are his prodigious powers of prognostication but this week he's going all contrarian on our asses and laying the huge lumber on the New England Patriots -11 at Bet365.com.