In the spirit of Jimmy the Greek, we’re going to offer you some stone cold locks this football weekend, or, just some spurious guesses based on cursory analysis and casual observation. Either way, this being Baltimore, we thought we’d hear from our favorite wholesale narcotics importer: the man known simply as “The Greek.”
Greek’s 2011 Record ATS: 28-35-2
Greetings readers. Due to some technical glitches, my column didn’t run for Week 17. Part of me felt as though it was a Santonio Holmes style benching because of an atrocious run from Week 12-15 where you could add most of Weeks 9-11 in there for good measure. However, the BSR brass promised me that isn’t the case and I may have even received the dreaded “vote of confidence”. The good news is Week 17 produced a 3-2 mark ATS (you’ll have to trust me, but the wins were Falcons -11.5, Ravens -2, Pats/Bills over 50.5. Losses were Tebows -3 and 49ers -10.5). So the overall year ended at 28-35-2, but hopefully the last two weeks (6-3-1) are the right momentum heading into the Wild Card weekend. Here are the picks.
Houston Texans -3 over Cincinnati Bengals
Houston is 11-5 ATS overall, 6-2 ATS at home and 7-3 ATS as the favorite. The Bengals do have a good record on the road ATS at 5-1-2, but Arian Foster and the Texans Defense should control this game. They have dropped off after clinching the division in Week 14, but the playoffs are a new season. Yates’ shoulder is a concern as well, but you wager assuming those starting the game also end it. The Bengals are still the same team that comes up short against winning teams.
New Orleans Saints -10.5 over Detroit Lions
It’s tough to lay so many points in a playoff game when the defense stinks and the squad getting the 10.5 can explode on offense. These are the Saints at home though and if you can’t bet against Tampa Bay any longer you choose the next best thing. That thing is New Orleans in the Dome. 8-0 ATS at home. 11-3 ATS as the favorite. Step to the edge of the board, hold your nose and watch Brees sling it.
New York Giants/Atlanta Falcons over 47.5 total points
I stayed away from the game line itself here because of my bias, but I will be taking Big Blue -3. I’ll be at this game and expect to see plenty of offense. The Giants rank 29th against the pass and the Falcons have Jones, White, Gonzalez and Turner. The Falcons do rank better against the pass (18th) but following their Week 8 bye, they didn’t exactly face a QB parade to Canton. They did get Brees twice, but also got Painter, Hasselbeck (replaced by Locker due to injury), Ponder, Yates, Newton, Gabbert, and Freeman. Manning will be able to chuck it around and Cruz/Nicks could go nuts.
Pittsburgh Steelers -8.5 over Denver Broncos
The magic seemed to run out a few weeks back as the Broncos have lost three straight and only managed to score 17 points total the last two weeks. I understand Mendenhall is out and Roethlisberger is hobbled, but that’s not enough for me. Even the Steelers bad numbers ATS in this situation (2-6 away, 6-6 as the favorite) don’t scare me. Denver has been heading in the wrong direction and is 1-6-1 ATS at home. Pittsburgh fans travel well and I have a feeling it’ll look more like Heinz Field than Mile High as the camera pans a half empty stadium with the Black and Yellow in victory formation at the 2 minute warning.