between the lines

NFL Week 10 brings an assortment of byes, including the Eagles. Two teams that do play have fans that may wish they didn’t, as the Giants and Jets meet on the home field they share but can’t win on.

Good matchups around the league include Minnesota at Dallas on Sunday and Seattle visiting the last unbeaten team, San Francisco, on Monday night.

The sports books are hedging their bets that Pat Mahomes will return for Kansas City when the Chiefs visit Tennessee. After not putting the game on the board when the reigning MVP talked about coming back, they put up a line with Kansas City giving 3.5 points on Wednesday night. Early Thursday morning, one had that game at six points. If you think Mahomes won’t play, taking Tennessee with six points will seem like a gift.

Jets-Giants Underwhelm

The Futility Bowl involves the two-win Giants and one-win Jets in the stadium they mutually share. They only meet every four years because of scheduling logistics denoting that they meet only when NFC East and AFC teams play each other.

Although the Giants are favored by 2.5 points, this is one game in which BOTH teams should be getting points. The Jets were beaten by the previously winless Dolphins, and the Giants teased their fans before losing to Dallas on Monday night. Because it is a Jets home game, maybe Giants fans should pay for the right to stay home.

Combined, the teams have two home covers this year. It is November and each team has one win at home apiece.

The last time they met was in 2015.

Around the league, interesting lines include New Orleans giving a fat 13 to Atlanta, and Baltimore laying 9.5 on the road against the winless - and hapless - Bengals, who finally benched Andy Dalton and will start from scrap.

Some of the best games involve the Rams giving 3.5 in Pittsburgh and Green Bay favored by five against visiting Carolina.

This week’s lines and over-unders

Presented by DraftKings

EAGLES: Bye week

Giants -2.5 AT Jets, 43

Baltimore -9.5 AT Cincinnati, 44

New Orleans -13 Atlanta, 51

Chicago -2.5 Detroit, 42.5

Tampa Bay -4.5 Arizona, 52.5

Indianapolis -10, Miami, 44

Green Bay -5 Carolina, 47

LA Rams -3.5 AT Pittsburgh, 44

Dallas -3 Minnesota, 48

Cleveland -3 Buffalo, 40

San Francisco -6.5 Seattle, 46.5

Kansas City-Tennessee no line

Other books range from Kansas City -3.5 to -6

Studs and Duds

Now that we’re halfway through the season, we can say “who knew’ about some pre-season expectations at the books.

Who knew that San Francisco would be the league’s lone undefeated team, now 8-0, when its over-under win total was nine? Or that Cleveland, the hottest second-half team last year and with a win projection of nine, would have all of two? Who figured that Buffalo, expected to win seven games, would already have six? You would have been a prophet to predict after Week 2 that when Saints quarterback Drew Brees went down, that Teddy Bridgewater would go 5-0 as his replacement.

That’s the beauty of the NFL. There are always over-achievers and under-achievers.

Ramblin’ hambling men

Two of the most aggressive coaches, Riverboat Ron Rivera for Carolina and Jon Gruden of the Raiders, boldly employed fake punts on the first second-half possession last week. Both went for first downs and big gains. Carolina’s led to a score; Oakland to a missed field goal.

Make them miss, make them pay

A nugget for in-game bettors wagering on the next score. There were at least three instances last week in which the denial of scoring chances resulted in an immediate score by the opponents. The Jets led Miami 7-0, missed a field goal and yielded an immediate touchdown. Seattle missed a field goal and gave up a Tampa Bay touchdown. Oakland did not make the field goal it lined up for. Detroit marched down the field and got a field goal on the next possession.


The over-under on the Giants-Cowboys was 48.5 Monday night at most books. With the Giants trailing Dallas 30-18, having already missed an extra point, they were down to their final play of the game. My text messages featured some furious over-bettors, calling the Giants every name in the book. None could be published.

Then came the Met Life Miracle, for them. With 22 seconds left in the game, a sack and strip fumble sent the football to a Giant lineman. But he could not recover it. His pounce sent the ball into the flat, a Dallas defender picked it up and ran all the way in.

Craziest cover of the year. One of those things that never happen for YOU.

The text messages turned to glee. The ridicule of the Giants did not. Bad things do happen to bad teams.

But PointsBet patrons who had the under received a rare break via a company promotion that awarded a refund. The company compiles a list of bad beats and supplies a Good Karma payout, and this one fit the bill.

Play small, think big

Big wins are not as remote as we might think. Matt Stetz, the COO of Rush St. Interactive, which operates Play Sugar House in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, said a bettor turned $1 into $3,305 last week. It was a money-line play (just winners, no spreads) involving 12 teams. Ten were in the NFL, two were in the NBA. The two riskiest selections, Denver at home against Cleveland and the Los Angeles Chargers vs. Green Bay, helped complete the card. But most of the picks were favorites.

It inspires the idea that one can hit by making a core selection of picks on multiple cards. Say you play two of them, on the money line. There are five games you feel strongly about. Play those five on both cards. There are five other games you can’t decide. Play opposing teams on different cards.

If the five core selections come in, you will hit the 10-team parlay.

This week’s picks

Selections are against the spread, excerpted from Beat the Degenerates, which I co-host with Brian Cahill and Scott Cronick, director of entertainment publications for The Press of Atlantic City. The show is 5 to 6 p.m. Wednesdays on Newstalk 1400-AM, and 92.5-FM. Catch the next one 5 p.m. Nov 6.

Bontempo: Dallas

Cronick: Seattle

Cahill: Atlanta

Dave Weinberg, Press of Atlantic City Eagles writer: Buffalo

Ky Carlin, WOND sports correspondent: Detroit

Da Kipster, AKA Pickett Russell, general manager of Tennessee Ave. Beer Hall: Baltimore

Dan Skeldon, WOND meteorologist: Green Bay

Warren “Professor” Prosser, producer: Seattle

Tom Sullivan, general manager of McCullough’s, which provides $25 gift certificate to listeners with correct pick on Beat the Degenerates: Minnesota.

Listeners, looking for that gift certificate: Minnesota

Last week’s results.

Looks like we killed it.

Winners: Bontempo, Cronick and Cahill with the Eagles, DaKipster with Seattle, Weinberg with Miami, Sullivan with Houston, Professor Prosser with Pittsburgh.

Losers: Carlin, with Indianapolis, on a missed field goal; listeners with Green Bay.

Good luck this week. I hope YOU kill it.

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