Beating the Book
By Christopher and Damon Liss
RotoWire Managing Editor
Get the Liss' brothers full picks each week at RotoWire.com
Last week's Beating the Book
We had another bad week - going 6-9-1. I could break down the games where we got unlucky (the Cowboys, Redskins, Packers), the games we got lucky (the Rams) and the games we flat out got wrong (Lions, Browns), but I'm not going to get into that this week. It's boring, and it doesn't mean anything. Losing is losing. We take some consolation in that the bookies have been taking a beating along with us (according to our sources). Favorites are covering at a 58 percent clip, and that's been good to the public at large, not so good to us. Somehow, miraculously, we're still two games over .500, but that's still a losing record with the vig.
Every week, the question is whether we stick to our guns with the dogs, or let go of the stubbornness and jump on the favorite bandwagon. What if something has fundamentally changed this season - what if there is less parity, and teams are winning by bigger margins? I was talking to Romo (Mike Romanowski of Staff Picks) about it, and he pointed out that even if something were different, the lines would adjust to make the dogs cover 51-52 percent of the time as usual. And the dogs should still be a good play. And what if Vegas adjusted (not knowing the reason, only the results), made the lines even bigger, and then it turned out there was nothing different, it was all just a 12-week anomaly. Then the dogs would come in like crazy.
But Vegas is just a market maker, and if there were something different going on this year, it could take a while for Vegas to adjust and find that equilibrium again. The bottom line is that the dogs will come back eventually - we just can't say when. Which means it's game to game - when to stick with ugly, and when to let go of the stubbornness. Which it always is anyway.
Falcons +3 at Panthers
The Falcons got back on track against the Lions last week, but we see Carolina as the slightly better team, and we like parting with just three at home. Back the Panthers.
Panthers 33 - 27
Broncos -1 at Chiefs
This game could be a lot like the Dallas one - it could go either way, and you won't be able to claim a right side. We're going KC because Arrowhead's a tough place to play, and the Chiefs will be up for this one. Back Kansas City.
Chiefs 31 - 30
Raiders +11 at Chargers
The Raiders are the contrarian play after getting their asses handed to them by the Dolphins at home, but unless they protect Kerry Collins a lot better than they did last week, it's going to be a long day. Back the Chargers who roll.
Chargers 34 - 17
Seahawks -4 at Eagles
The Seahawks are pretty good, but we don't buy them as four point favorites in a cold, hostile environment like Philly. Back the Eagles who might even sneak away with the win.
Eagles 20 - 19
We were 6-9-1 against the spread in Week 12. We're 87-85-4 on the season.
Article first appeared 11/30/05