UPDATE: The lines have moved a bit – check the table at the top for any changes (they won’t be reflected in the capsules; it’s too much trouble to edit the code).  The biggest news is that the Miami spread is still moving up – it’s now at 4.5 – which saves me some money, but I still think it’s a terrible bet.

Last week was a disaster. The computer made a huge bet on Jacksonville, who lost Maurice Jones-Drew to injury during the week (though surprisingly the line didn’t change) and looked pathetic in losing to the Redskins – they gave up ten points within the first few minutes of the game and I knew my bet was doomed. And watching Miami, who has become my nemesis this season, blow a ten point lead in the fourth quarter didn’t make me feel much better either. Overall it was the computer’s worst week of the season, percentage-wise – Gamblor was 5-10 for a weighted win percentage of 26.9% and Son of Gamblor was 1-4 for a ridiculous 2.9%. No, I didn’t leave out a digit. Total losses were -$257. That’s not even close to the season’s worst week, but the percentages were just awful. Despite the computer’s recent difficulties, it’s still been a great season, and even if it misses every single bet this weekend it will finish with a profit for the year, so I can’t complain too much.

Week 17 is usually an interesting week, and more often than not it’s a profitable one for the computer. That’s because the action in Week 17 often depends on whether or not teams’ starters are going to play, and nobody has more inside information than Vegas. So they are usually able to trick the public a few times and win big on some games where foolish fans simply can’t imagine that their team won’t put forth 100% effort. Remember Indianapolis at Buffalo in Week 17 last year? Buffalo – at 5-10 – was favored by 8.5 points over the 14-1 Colts. 76% of bets were on the Colts. And the Bills won, 30-7. The lopsided lines during Week 17 usually get Gamblor very, very excited about a few games, and it usually works out well for the computer. However…well, just check out the Patriots-Miami capsule for my thoughts.

Away Home Spread Gamblor’s Pick Bet Amount Son of Gamblor’s Pick Bet Amount Overall Pick Overall Bet
CAR at ATL -14 CAR $9.82 CAR $9.82
PIT at CLE 5.5 CLE $5.54 PIT $0.10 CLE $5.44
MIN at DET -3 MIN $2.83 MIN
MIA at NEP -4.5 MIA $168.38 MIA $113.84 MIA $282.22
CIN at BAL -9.5 CIN $2.95 CIN $1.10 CIN
TAM at NOS -7.5 NOS $181.27 NOS $189.59 NOS $370.86
BUF at NYJ -10 BUF $3.43 NYJ $0.03 BUF
ARI at SNF -6 ARI $3.85 ARI
SND at DEN 3.5 DEN $21.68 DEN $21.68
JAC at HOU -3 JAC $3.97 JAC
TEN at IND -9.5 TEN $21.62 TEN $21.62
NYG at WAS 4 WAS $3.61 WAS
CHI at GNB -10 CHI $3.61 GNB $1.07 CHI
DAL at PHI -9 DAL $6.56 DAL $6.56
STL at SEA 3 SEA $6.99 SEA $4.17 SEA $11.16


Computer’s Pick: Carolina (+14.5)
Bet Amount: $9.64 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: Atlanta needs to win this game to lock up the division.  Carolina needs to lose this game to lock up the #1 draft pick.  Nah, just kidding – the Panthers have got that all sewn up already.  I have a feeling that the Panthers will take another quarterback in the first round and ruin him the same way they’ve done to Clausen – I don’t have any strong feelings one way or the other about the Notre Dame graduate, but he had the misfortune of ending  up on a team with absolutely no supporting cast, so it’s no surprise that he’s been lousy.  He doesn’t seem like the type to rise to the pressure of his swan song (and it’s not like his teammates are going to rally around him) so expect him to have a tough day against the NFC’s best team.  Atlanta won’t blow this game.  But I don’t see any reason why they’ll keep their foot on the gas – that extra half-point makes me kind of nervous.  I’ll take Carolina here, through the back door.
Computer’s Pick: Cleveland (+6)
Bet Amount: $4.95 (Conflict)
COMMENTS: No shady doing a-transpiring here – Pittsburgh needs this game for a chance at winning the division.  They won’t screw around here.  They’ll run into some issues, particularly with their offensive line and its ability to keep the pass rush away from Roethlisberger, but they’ll eventually get it done.  I’m expecting a solid victory from the Steelers here.
Computer’s Pick: Minnesota (+4.5)
Bet Amount: $5.72 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: Wow!  What a game for the Vikings!  They managed to dominate Philadelphia in every aspect of the game, earning both Joe Webb and Leslie Frazier legitimate shots at full-time gigs next year.  And good for them.  Will they have the same success against Detroit?  I think they probably will.  Detroit is going to be missing Calvin Johnson, and will probably be ready to pack it in and bring yet another lousy season to an end.  They won’t throw this game, but with the logjam of 5-10 team (there are currently six) they won’t be particularly inspired to push themselves back as many as five spots in the draft with a win.  Minnesota has enough weapons on offense that they should be able to win this one handily.
Computer’s Pick: Oakland (+4)
Bet Amount: None (Conflict)
COMMENTS: Neither team has anything to play for in this game.  Kansas City has got the division locked up, and isn’t going to catch Pittsburgh or Baltimore for the #2 seed and the bye.  The Raiders are done.  The only motivation they’ll have is to make it to 8-8, and break their string of losing seasons.  And Kansas City has no reason to put any of its starters at risk.  So I’m guessing the Chiefs will phone it in and the Raiders will put forth genuine effort, and will either win or stay close enough for the spread to factor in.
Computer’s Pick: Miami (+4)
Bet Amount: $316.42 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: One thing I’ve said consistently, and in fact is one of the foundations of Gamblor, is that Vegas doesn’t make mistakes when they set the lines. Sometimes they panic and move their lines around in response to lopsided betting, but it simply doesn’t happen that they set a line that is simply flat out wrong. Until this week. And I’m furious about it. Although the Patriots have locked up home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, they will play their starters against Miami. And they will run up the score. It’s simply how the organization works. Belichick is a hyper-competitive asshole, and he’ll go ahead and take chances by leaving Brady on the field well into the second half. Vegas should know this – but they opened the line with the Patriots favored by a single point. Since then it has moved – a lot – all the way up to 4. It’s rare that you’ll see a line move even a single point, opening up an opportunity for a middle (where you can bet both sides of the game and potentially win both bets), and I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the sportsbooks middle themselves across the three-point barrier, which is the most common score differential in football. So I’m stuck betting on Miami, which Gamblor perceives as a huge trap that Vegas is setting. But it’s not. Vegas just fucked up is all – and they’ll be paying out big to everyone who was smart enough to bet on the Patriots while the line was still low.
Computer’s Pick: Cincinnati (+9.5)
Bet Amount: $4.05 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: This spread seems just about right to me.  The Ravens will be taking this game pretty seriously, but Cincinnati put together a surprisingly strong effort last week.  Don’t be fooled, though – Baltimore has a much better defense, and should make Carson Palmer look the same way he did earlier in the season.  I think Baltimore will just barely cover the spread here.
Computer’s Pick: New Orleans (-7.5)
Bet Amount: $370.86 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: This is a very risky bet.  If the Falcons are blowing out the Panthers – a distinct possibility – then the Saints will have no reason to play their starters.  And Tampa Bay will be playing for pride.  However, I think New Orleans will also be interested in heading into the playoffs with a full head of steam – their offense still needs fine-tuning, and they won’t be around long in the postseason if they don’t work out some of the kinks.  Given what I’ve seen of Tampa this season, this bet makes me very nervous – I think the Buccaneers will surprise a lot of people by keeping this one close and even possibly winning it (especially if Atlanta locks the division down by halftime).
Computer’s Pick: Buffalo (+10)
Bet Amount: $3.41 (Conflict)
COMMENTS: The Jets have their playoff situation sorted out, but are pretty much in the same situation as the Saints – they will use this game as a scrimmage to iron out some of their offensive issues.  Furthermore, coach Rex Ryan won’t just let his team lie down on the job – backing into the playoffs will be unacceptable to him, so he’ll be expecting a full effort from his starters.
Computer’s Pick: Arizona (+6)
Bet Amount: $3.85 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: Who cares? No one cares about this game.  No one cares!
Computer’s Pick: Denver (+3.5)
Bet Amount: $21.68 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: Can Tebow make it two in a row?  No.  Absolutely not.  Norv Turner will be coaching for his job (if he hasn’t already lost it), so he’ll be demanding top effort from his team.  Chargers will win this one in a blowout.
Computer’s Pick: Jacksonville (-2.5)
Bet Amount: $16.63 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: I hate Jacksonville.  I shouldn’t, because they have more or less broken even for me this season, but seeing them blow things so spectacularly last week was pretty disappointing.  I am rooting for (and thus predicting) the Texans to beat the snot out of them and give their fans a shred of hope for next season.
Computer’s Pick: Tennessee (+10)
Bet Amount: $21.20 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: Important game for the Colts, meaningless game for the Titans.  Should be the Colts in a walkover.
Computer’s Pick: Washington (+4)
Bet Amount: $3.61 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: New York, with something still to play for?  This spread seems a bit fishy to me.  As such, I’ll go with Washington, though god only knows how they could possibly keep up with the Giants.
Computer’s Pick: Chicago (+9)
Bet Amount: $4.17 (Conflict)
COMMENTS: Yeah…yeah.  The Bears have the division all locked up, and home field advantage would take a miracle – a miracle which will have already occurred by the time this game is played.  I can’t imagine the Bears will bother chasing this one – and I’m not sure I’d like their chances even if they did.  Green Bay should get an easy win here as a late Christmas present.
Computer’s Pick: Dallas (+9)
Bet Amount: $6.56 (Gamblor only)
COMMENTS: I like the Eagles here.  I do not like the Cowboys here.  Although I’m thinking teams have figured out reasonably well how to slow down the Eagles’ offense, I don’t think Dallas has the energy or enthusiasm to actually pull it off.
Computer’s Pick: Seattle (+3)
Bet Amount: $11.16 (Consensus)
COMMENTS: I’m hoping that Seattle will win this game, just so we can see a 7-9 team go to the playoffs.  That won’t happen, though – St. Louis should be able to win this one, and it might be a reasonably interesting game, but I don’t think three points will be quite enough.


W L P Weighted Wins Weighted Picks Weighted Win % W L P Weighted Wins Weighted Picks Weighted Win %
1 9 4 3 1681 1876 89.6% 6 0 2 3692 3692 100.0% $647.02
2 10 5 1 918 1030 89.1% 5 3 486 491 99.0% $206.10
3 13 3 1203 1428 84.2% 5 4 1132 1988 56.9% $184.96
4 8 6 672 891 75.4% 3 4 1343 1832 73.3% $200.21
5 6 5 411 583 70.5% 9 3 974 1477 66.0% $372.58
6 4 7 1 432 559 77.3% 2 3 649 727 89.2% $121.28
7 8 6 666 2401 27.7% 3 4 1792 3924 45.7% -$291.65
8 7 5 507 1000 50.7% 6 2 1526 2876 53.1% $6.96
9 6 6 1 1625 1768 91.9% 5 2 1766 2017 87.6% $462.73
10 8 5 1077 2707 39.8% 3 5 1996 5620 35.5% -$337.12
11 6 10 260 999 26.0% 6 4 921 2577 35.7% -$204.94
12 9 7 354 631 56.1% 6 2 108 734 14.8% -$56.31
13 9 6 1084 2893 37.5% 4 4 2224 6584 33.8% -$431.29
14 10 6 515 642 80.2% 7 2 3395 3398 99.9% $479.91
15 4 11 1 144 798 18.0% 5 3 373 1569 23.8% -$215.00
16 5 10 1 192 714 26.9% 1 4 45 1577 2.9% -$256.77
Total 122 102 8 11740 20919 56.1% 76 49 2 22422 41084 54.6% $888.67