betting analyst Frank Doyle rubs his hands in gleeful anticipation at the
release of next year’s NFL schedule.
NFL 2012 starts with a visit by the Dallas Cowboys to the New York
Giants. Every year since Tony Romo arrived in Dallas people say that this could be the
Cowboys’ year. In that time, the Giants have won two Super Bowls. What does
that tell you?
And despite these facts known to all, you can expect the line on
the Giants to be -3.5, -4, but no more once they’re posted – which will be very
soon, by the way. The reason for that is because the Cowboys in the NFL and the
Yankees in baseball are the two most public sports betting teams of all time.
No matter what their price, they’ll always get action because of their huge
reputations – reputations that don’t always match the current reality. The
Giants don’t get no respect. I guess they only have those big, fat rings to
make up for it.
The game everyone is talking about is Peyton Manning’s first
regular season outing as a Bronco. It’ll be Sunday Night in Denver
against the team that was sensationally knocked out of the playoffs by the
Broncos when Denver
had That Other Guy under center.
Pittsburgh at Denver is a really tough game to handicap. Denver’s odds to win the
Super Bowl were slashed when Peyton announced that he’d be joining the team and
we can expect the same trend on the Bronco action until he actually plays. Once
Manning plays – and it might only take a few series, rather than a few games –
it’ll be much easier for handicappers to assess how Peyton is compared to how
he was. Pittsburgh
is a tough opener, but the Broncos have a winning record against the Steelers
down through the years. It’ll be must-see TV.
The other standout game of the first weekend is San
Francisco’s visit to Green
Bay. Both those teams sat at home while the team that
beat them in the playoffs went on to win the Super Bowl. Does that make them
feel better or worse?
The Niners will feel the most pressure. Everybody expected Green Bay to be good last
year but the Niners’ season caught the world by surprise. The Niners finished
12-4-0 ATS last year. Not only did they win, they consistently covered as well.
Very few teams do that.
Question is, can they do it again? The Niners have a problem at
quarterback – they gave Alex Smith a new contract after his playoff heroics
against New Orleans,
but not before they made an attempt to land Peyton Manning. How did that make
Alex Smith feel?
As for the Packers, it always stings when you don’t follow a 15-1
season with a Super Bowl. They’ll be feeling mean and vengeful at Lambeau, and
eager to correct some perceptions. The Niners couldn’t have asked for a tougher