The computer had a nice week last week, going 9-6-1 against the spread.  Well, it was almost nice.  If I hadn’t dropped $340 on Pittsburgh, I’d have been up $40.  Yeah, Gamblor’s biggest bet of the year missed.  It was pretty brutal to watch the end of that game and see Pittsburgh pull out victory by a single point – one point too few to cover the two point spread.  It’s tough because I can’t even complain too much about the decisions that were made – Green Bay’s two point conversion was the right thing to do (a six point lead is infinitesimally more valuable than a five point lead) and Tomlin’s decision to go for an onsides kick to make sure his team had enough time for a drive of their own turned out to be right as well.  Overall, the week ended with a weighted win percentage of 21.5% and a loss of $301.  And I don’t even mind so much.  I’m in this for the long haul, and if the program works the way it’s expected to, I’ll be losing one out of every three of these 95% bets.  This just happened to be one of the losses. 

I have to apologize for the lack of a Simpsons clip or a feature this week – I’m in Virginia for the holiday and there’s no way I’d have time to write a feature AND burn my name onto Dan Snyder’s lawn.  So I’m listening to my heart.  Here’s your picks for the week.

Gamblor’s Pick: San Diego (+3)
Bet Amount: $4.83 (Hedge)
WHY IT’S WRONG: Last week I mentioned that San Diego has to take a game off sooner or later, and against Cincinnati they did.  Sort of.  They didn’t cover the spread, but they did lock up a bye.  With this in mind, and considering that there’s no possibility they can catch the Colts, it will be very tough for them to get motivated to play on Christmas.  On the flip side, this game means the world to the Titans.  They’re playing for their playoff lives, and although Gamblor sees nothing wrong with this spread, for most bettors it feels high.  It seems like Tennessee should be favored by less – if at all.  Most of the money is chasing San Diego, which is the way Vegas wants it.
Gamblor’s Pick: Atlanta (-9)
Bet Amount: $60.82
WHY I AGREE: This is Gamblor’s largest bet of the week, and with good cause.  It’s hard to judge whether Matt Ryan is truly healthy again, but Buffalo have nobody to play quarterback for them.  This game will unfold much the Patriots game did last week, except Buffalo will have less offense and the home field advantage will mean a few extra points for the Falcons.
Gamblor’s Pick: Kansas City (+14)
Bet Amount: $1.81 (Hedge)
WHY I AGREE: Kansas City has one of the worst defenses the NFL has seen in a long time.  The only teams they’ve held to 10 points or less have been Washington and Oakland (and they would have given up another touchdown to the Raiders if not for Darius Heyward-Bey’s ineptitude.  I wouldn’t trust that oaf to catch a cold.  Maybe the Rams should take a look at him…) and they just surrendered the second-highest total of rushing yards in NFL history to the previously anonymous Jerome Harrisson.  It’s hard to imagine how they could possibly keep up with Cincinnati – which is undoubtely how the Bengals feel.  But the Bengals haven’t secured anything yet, so they won’t take this contest too lightly.  If they had a more potent offense, I’d trust them to run up the score.  But they don’t, so instead I think they’ll play conservatively and leave themselves open to a backdoor cover.
Gamblor’s Pick: Oakland (+3)
Bet Amount: $11.68 (Hedge)
WHY I AGREE: The Browns are nowhere near good enough to be favorites, no matter who they’re playing against.  Even the Raiders.  In many of these garbage games this year, it’s been worthwhile to take the points – and this game is no exception.
Gamblor’s Pick: Seattle (+14)
Bet Amount: $0.81 (Flip and Hedge)
WHY IT’S WRONG: This spread is straddling the line between being too small and just right, which is why neither of Gamblor’s scheme is particularly interested in this bet.  It’s hard for me to stay objective about either one of these teams.  My hatred of the Seahawks is well-documented – Seattle has lost more bets for me than any other team this season.  But in one fell swoop (really, with one single two-point conversion) Green Bay ruined my largest bet of the season.  I’m a bit in awe of the Packers right now, so that’s who I’m picking in this one.  They’ve got a good reason to play hard (locking up a playoff spot) and Seattle is simply beyond helpless when playing against better teams.
Gamblor’s Pick: Pittsburgh (-2.5)
Bet Amount: $0.60 (Flip)
WHY I AGREE: I really don’t see that much of an edge in this game.  Both teams have quite a buit of momentum, both teams need this win badly, and both teams are missing important players at the safety position.  The Ravens’ secondary didn’t have any more success stopping Green Bay’s aerial attack than Pittsburgh did, so it’s possible that this game will be a shootout.  Green Bay beat Baltimore, and Pittsburgh beat Green Bay, so I guess I’ll trust Gamblor’s judgment on this one and stick with Pittsburgh.
Gamblor’s Pick: Houston (+3)
Bet Amount: $24.37 (Hedge)
WHY IT’S WRONG: These teams are both pretty unpredictable.  Wild cards, if you will.  But Houston has seemed flat lately, almost dropping an important game to the lowly Rams last week.  I think the home field advantage is what this game comes down to.  Since the game’s being played in Miami, I think they’re the right side in this one.
Gamblor’s Pick: Jacksonville (+8)
Bet Amount: $29.81 (Hedge and Flip)
WHY IT’S WRONG: I don’t trust Jacksonville.  It seems like every time they have a chance to take control of their season, they blow it.  New England is going to care an awful lot about winning this game, and Belichick is going to want to carry some momentum into the playoffs.  The Patriots are capable of putting up bing points at any time, and given that Jacksonville is susceptible to being blown out, I think that eight points isn’t nearly enough.
Gamblor’s Pick: Tampa Bay (+14)
Bet Amount: $25.17 (Hedge)
WHY I AGREE: New Orleans didn’t pull off their undefeated season.  They’ve already got home field advantage throughout the playoffs locked up.  They’re at home for the second week in a row and undoubtedly got good and stuffed at Christmas dinner with their families.  They’ll be phoning this one in.
Gamblor’s Pick: New York Giants (-7)
Bet Amount: $9.06 (Flip)
WHY I AGREE: I’m glad Gamblor likes the Giants here – I do too.  As with the Patriots, they’ll be looking to build momentum for the postseason.  Carolina, who threw the kitchen sink and Minnesota last week (and prevailed!) won’t be able to keep up.  Remember how I mentioned that lots of rookie quarterbacks get a honeymoon period in the NFL?  Matt Moore was great against Minnesota, but now the rest of the league has had a chance to study his play.  The Giants will send him home with a solid pounding.
Gamblor’s Pick: Denver (+7)
Bet Amount: $9.06 (Hedge)
WHY IT’S WRONG: Philadelphia has been incredibly dominant.  And despite Andy Reid’s incompetence, they’ve managed to hold it together this far into the season and lock up a playoff berth.  They’re due for a stinker like they put together against the Raiders, but it won’t strike here.  Denver just lost to the Raiders.  At home.  On a last minute drive by Jamarcus Russell.  It’s doesn’t get much worse than that.  Even though the Broncos still control their own destiny with regards to the postseason, I expect they’ll get beat deep, commit lots of stupid penalties, and ultimately get drilled by the Eagles.
Gamblor’s Pick: St. Louis (+14)
Bet Amount: $0.81 (Hedge Conflict)
WHY IT’S WRONG: Gamblor seems to think that fourteen points is somewhere between just right and too many, but I sure don’t.  St. Louis can’t do a single thing at even an “adequate” level, and while Arizona doesn’t have all that much to play for (coming up short of a bye but having only a very slim chance of pulling off a first-round bye), there’s nothing for the Rams to play for either.  Keith Null is an absoulte disaster at quarterback, Stephen Jackson is far from 100%, and the Rams will have big problems moving the ball.  And the only thing that’s going to slow Arizona’s offense down is having to wait for their offensive linemen to catch up to the line of scrimmage.
Gamblor’s Pick: Detroit (+12)
Bet Amount: $0.40 (Hedge)
WHY I AGREE: Hey, we all know how awful Detroit is.  But who in their right mind thinks San Francisco can cover a twelve point spread?  They’ve only won three games since Week 4!
Gamblor’s Pick: New York Jets (+5.5)
Bet Amount: $18.53 (Hedge)
WHY I AGREE: Better teams than the Jets have been underdogs of more than just 5.5 points against the Colts.  But Indianapolis’ philosophy regarding their last few games is well-known, and Caldwell certainly hasn’t given off the impression that he’s planning to risk his stars in pursuit of a perfect regular season record.  He’ll start his first team, but as soon as someone is a little slow getting up, he’ll start pulling them.  And Rex?  Rex really wants this game.  He’ll do everything he can (i.e. blitz) to keep Caldwell pulse rate nice and high.
Gamblor’s Pick: Washington (+7)
Bet Amount: $16.92 (Hedge)
WHY IT’S WRONG: Where did the Redskins go agains the New York Giants?  An emerging theory is that Jim Zorn’s ridiculous “swinging gate” play call at the end of the first half was a big “fuck you” to Dan Snyder.  Let me echo that sentiment.  I’m picking the Cowboys here, but for purely sentimental reasons.
Gamblor’s Pick: Chicago (+7)
Bet Amount: $5.84 (Hedge)
WHY IT’S WRONG: How could anyone bet on Chicago at this point?  The Vikings are lucky they’re facing a tomato can like the Bears because it’s the perfect opportunity for Farve and Childress to bury the hatchet with a big win instead of letting this thing fester and blossom into a first-round exit from the playoffs.  A better opponent would make good use of the schism – changing defensive schemes and forcing Farve to audible against his coach’s wishes – but Chicago will have their hands full just trying to keep Minnesota under 40 points.


Week Zack Gamblor Weighted Wins Weighted Picks Weighted Win % Profit
Win Lose Push Win Lose Push
1 7 9 9 7 1339 1727 77.5% $155.71
2 9 7 11 5 970 1292 75.1% $98.97
3 9 7 6 10 607 1552 39.1% -$61.75
4 8 6 5 9 288 963 29.9% -$70.33
5 6 8 6 8 655 1217 53.8% $15.46
6 7 7 8 6 625 1231 50.8% -$10.53
7 8 4 1 3 9 1 246 1161 21.2% -$127.43
8 3 10 9 7 709 1548 45.8% -$34.43
9 7 6 10 3 1152 1609 71.6% $119.67
10 7 8 8 7 660 2110 31.3% -$159.21
11 8 8 8 8 745 1614 46.2% -$29.81
12 7 8 1 6 9 496 1230 40.3% -$59.66
13 4 12 7 9 482 1037 46.5% -$20.55
14 8 8 7 9 581 1573 36.9% -$92.19
15 8 7 1 9 6 1 555 2582 21.5% -$302.82
Total 106 115 3 109 112 3 10110 22446 45.0% -$577.90

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