Bengals (+7.5) @ Colts
Titans (pk) @ Dolphins
Cowboys (+12) @ Giants
Patriots (+5) @ Steelers
Rams (+4) @ Niners
Lions (+7.5) & Patriots (+11) Teaser (6 pts)
We had a nice turnaround last weekend, back on the right side of .500.
Busy weekend, so have to be brief here:
Army (pk) @ Kent State
Wyoming (-4) @ UNLV
Indiana (+22) @ Wisconsin
Ohio State (-18) vs Penn State
TCU (-28) vs San Diego State
Illinois (-21) vs Minnesota
SportsDork Year to Date: 29-27
It’s probably best that I start out by stating the obvious: the Cowboys pitiful season is beautiful and awesome. The Cowboys being this bad — in a season with such high expectations — it’s one of those wonderful things that makes life worth living.
With that said, we can move onto the less obvious: who Jerry Jones needs to hire to coach his football team.
And to make an educated choice, one needs to understand the dynamics of this team. This starts at the top. Jerry Jones is as public an owner as anyone in the NFL. He wants it this way. He makes personnel decisions despite not having a scouting background (or much of a football background at all).
He speaks in public despite a penchant for making statements his fellow owners and quite often members of his own organization wishes he wouldn’t.
In short, he’s not your typical hands off owner. As the coach, you’ll be operating under his constantly looming personality. Then you can add to that the media dynamic. Eyes are always on the Cowboys. Local and national media. The never ending news cycle.
It’s not for the weak minded or those prone to being overcome by emotion. And it’s not for those who want total control of the organization.
You need a strong voice in the locker room. And someone who’ll need to show discipline not only there but when facing the media. For the Cowboys problems have often been aired to the public. It’s been a recipe for disaster and Jones should seek someone who gets the players’ respect and can keep it by not making mistakes in front of the press that embarrasses them.
Mike Florio says it shouldn’t be Jon Fox. I disagree. Let me explain why.
Florio claims the Cowboys need someone who will take full control.
Jones needs someone who wants full control, because Jones doesn’t know how to exercise full control.
That’s fine to say, but Jerry Jones isn’t going to let that happen. And in the long run, Jones as the final decision maker on personnel is bad for the Cowboys. But in the short-term this team has talent. It’s shallow — they need line depth, particularly — but there’s no reason this team isn’t competing for a playoff spot in 2011.
Florio also claims Fox “ran the Panthers into the ground.”
And while you can take a look at the recent history of the Panthers and draw that conclusion, keep in mind this team was a steamroller in 2008. Fox’s fall mirrors that of Jake Delhomme. When Delhomme’s play dropped off a cliff, the Panthers were not ready to replace him. You may claim that to be partially Fox’s fault too, but many good coaches have had their seasons ruined by poor quarterback play.
And the Cowboys already have a good quarterback.
Fox had this team in a Super Bowl. Fox ran a disciplined ship in Carolina. Fox knows how to deal with the media, and any coach that lasts as long as he did with one team is someone who gets the respect of his players.
As an Eagles fan, I hope Jerry Jones sticks with Jason Garrett and he fizzles. But as a non-partisan observer, I’d advise him to interview John Fox this winter.
Looking to rebound after last week’s awfulness. I can’t believe the Boise line, at home no less. Hawaii may be the best of the WAC fodder, but this is a mistake.
UCF (-2.5) @ Houston
Baylor (+8.5) @ OK St
Kansas (+8.5) vs Colorado
Boise St (-21) vs Hawaii
Teaser — Dolphins +11.5, Bucs +15
Teaser — Lions +12.5, Giants -1
Overall Record: 25-26
6-2?! I’m wondering if Doug Marrone really has turned this program around. The defensive statistics say yes — things are significantly better — but right now the offense is really taking advantage of mistakes and getting a bit fortunate.
And surely the Big East is weaker this season, but who cares? The program and the fanbase are revitalized, and this team sure seems headed for its first bowl game in way too long.
Gambling: Tonight I’m taking the Texans +6. Brutal college football slate on Saturday. Took us below .500 for the first time in many weeks.
Year to Date: 25-26
Quickly, here’s what I’m looking at for Fri/Saturday games.
WVU @ UConn OVER 45
Both of these teams played awful last weekend and will be looking to rebound. The number is lower than usual thanks to that. Looking for WVU to get up near 30 in this game.
Clemson (-7) @ BC
The Eagles are terrible and this line is too low, even at BC. Clemson is going to handle them offensively and defensively.
Utah (-7) @ Air Force
The Utes continue to be underrated. The line on this game almost makes me wonder if it’s a trap game by the books, but I’m not going to be scared away in a game I think Utah wins by 3 touchdowns.
Ole Miss (+7) vs Auburn
Auburn is coming off a huge win. Ole Miss is really tough at home and great ATS there. Love all the factors about this game.
SportsDork Bets Record to Date: 25-22
It’s been tough to keep everything logged here. During the week with the job and family, it’s been a real struggle. Hopefully I get better at it.
There’s quite a bit of action on the board that I like this weekend. NFL lines are really tight with a couple of notable exceptions. That can make some uncomfortable, but also gives opportunities.
Cleveland (+14) at New Orleans
The Saints are coming off a big road win, which pushed this line up huge. Any time you are getting two touchdowns in the NFL, you should consider taking the points. I’m going to with the Browns this week.
San Diego (-2.5) vs New England
One team is coming off a surprising road loss as the favorite. The other is coming off a big win at home against a rival. I love the Chargers here, especially with tons of action coming in on the Patriots. The Chargers are excellent at home, but have been a terrible road team. The Patriots are traveling all the way across the country, always a good reason to think about the home team. Take the Bolts.
Redskins (+10) @ Chicago and Miami (+10) vs Pittsburgh
NFL lines are so tight and so well researched, it’s the reason I love two team teasers. This week I like giving these two teams double-digit cushions.
West Virginia -14 vs Syracuse
WVU can put up points and Syracuse does not have the speed to stay with them. Syracuse has gotten better, but they don’t have the players to keep this thing close.
Nebraska vs Oklahoma St UNDER 60
The Cowboys have been scoring a ton of points — but against mediocre competition. Nebraska keeps the scoring reasonable here with their running game and their defense.
UNC (+7) @ Miami
Love the Heels here, who have been playing much better. Hold out on this one as long as possible to see if late money comes in the Hurricanes. You might get +7.5.
SportsDork.com Record To Date: 23-18
*May or may not actually be smart
The weeknd… Saturday night we get the Lincecum and Halladay matchup, which is so fantastic it actually pushed the Yankees out of primetime (and that is a beautiful thing). More Giants/Phils on Sunday night in primetime, with a weekend full of football betting.
First off, tonight’s game. You could reasonably take the Rangers ML and the Rangers with the +1.5 they are getting. But I’m throwing down on the Under. CJ Wilson is the real deal (and CC is CC), and Vegas has put the line at 8/8.5. Get 8.5 if you can, I had to settle for 8. I’m also putting a smaller wager on Rangers +1.5.
Tomorrow, nothing taken yet, but leaning:
Ohio St -4
SportsDork Bets to Date: 21-15
There are certain sounds and body movements a man really can’t get away with making while retaining his dignity. If I didn’t cross that line last night, it was damn close. And that was in my home. Saturday night, in public, Lincecum versus Halladay. If you’re with me, please leave the cameras at home.
I fell asleep last night with the score 15-13 in the Vikes/Jets game. I am able to fall asleep with bets still in play generally when there’s a fair degree of confidence I’m not going to get killed. Oops. 21 points in the last five minutes. Ridiculous, even for a game involving Favre.
Tonight: Love Cliff Lee in all circumstances. Taking the Rangers ML and Under 6.5, separately.
To Date: 19-15