Posted: Thursday July 21, 2005 1:37PM; Updated: Thursday July 21, 2005 1:59PM
Kind of ambitious for Dallas, huh? Well, they agree with you because if you want to bet the under you'll have to lay 119-to-100. A play on the over will give you 103-100 odds in your favor. As I said, I don't want to turn this into a tout sheet, but personally, I like the over, thanks to Drew Bledsoe, a lot of defense and a schedule that could be OK. I can hear the sneers out there. It's a sucker's play, to always take the odds. Seduced by the favorable numbers, etc.
Normally I'd agree with that philosophy, but look what happened last year. A freak season for sure. There were 12 plays you could have made that would have given you odds in your favor. If you'd have bet them all, you'd have won eight, including the five with the best price. I have never seen this. It's like eight of 12 longshots coming in.
Conversely, the oddsmakers' choices, the teams with the worst price against you, (Indy at 150-100 to go under 10 1/2 wins, Philly at 150-100 to go under 10 1/2, Dallas at 160-100 to go over nine, Miami at 150-100 to go over nine, Cincy at 150-100 to go over 7 1/2, Green Bay at 140-100 to go under 9 1/2 and Houston at 140-100 to go under 6 1/2) took the pipe. Only one of the seven, the Bengals, came through. Shocking! Stunning! So why not just make all the over-under plays that give you odds, and avoid the long prices against you? Not that easy.
In 2003, which was closer to a normal year, you'd have lost 12 of 16 plays with the odds in your favor. If you'd have played the 14 games in which you'd have had to give odds of 150-to-100 or more, you'd have won 11 of them, but paid a big vigorish on the few you lost.
Enough numbers. As I said, I don't want to make this a tout sheet, but when my West Coast informant, coach JT, provided me with the up-to-date odds, I asked him what his serious plays were.
"The under on Philly to win 11 1/2," he said, "at minus 130 (giving 13-10 odds). There's no way they're gonna beat the season over-under six straight years."
"There's an old saying in roulette," I said. "The wheel has no memory."
"You wanna ask me or tell me?" he said. OK, sorry. Proceed, please.
"Cardinals to win more than 7 1/2 is my biggest play," he said. "That's at minus 125. No way they're gonna lose to the 49ers twice this year. C'mon now. Give 'em those two and it's eight wins for them last year"
"Clancy Pendergast ... terrific defensive coach," I said, giving him a preview of what I'll probably be writing in this column in a few weeks. "But I'll give you two reasons why I don't like them. Kurt is one and Warner is the other."
"Dennis'll give him a quick hook if he screws up," Coach JT said. "Just watch. By the way, which one do you like best?"