Opening Lines: Week 13

The Patriots opened as 9-point favorites as they travel to Miami to face the Dolphins.

Butt fumble.

I don’t usually handle the game recaps, but I simply had to work that phrase into this column because it was perhaps my favorite play of the last several years in the NFL. It’s also worth noting that the points from the aforementioned butt fumble actually helped put the Pats on pace to score more points than the video game 2007 team. Of course, it also speaks to the fact that New England has been incredibly opportunistic (that’s gambler-speak for “lucky”) over the past two weeks with five unconventional scores on defense or special teams. Those won’t happen every week (and that sentence is gambler-speak for “reverse jinx”).

In this line, New England’s gaudy point totals the past few weeks have overshadowed the plucky play of this Dolphins team. While they have a losing record, four of their six losses have come by less than a TD. And of their two blowout losses, the beat-down from the Texans is completely justified. I think you could make a reasonable argument that the Dolphins are the second-best team in the division. The question is whether they can keep this game reasonably close. Keep in mind they don’t have to win, or even play that well; they just have to suck about 60% less than the Jets. That bar isn’t too high.

This is the third game in a row where the Patriots are giving up more than a TD. In the first two games, I picked against the Pats, and they covered comfortably. It’s bad luck to be superstitious, but do you really think I’m going to mess with that mojo just to boost my own record against the spread? Pfffffft. I’m taking the Dolphins and the points.

Butt fumble.

Other Lines I Like

Panthers (-2.5) @ Chiefs

I wouldn’t pick Kansas City to keep any game within a field goal under any circumstances. None whatsoever. Not if the other team was forced to play barefoot. Not if the opposing team ate nothing but ex lax and Indian food for three straight weeks leading up to the game. Not even if they played the Eagles. They’re that bad.

Jets (-4.5) vs. Cardinals

Remember what I said last week about the Cardinals starting a house of horrors at quarterback? Now that traveling show of ineptitude goes on the road to face a team that just got humiliated on national TV and is known for disguising coverages and blitzes. As long as bookies keep offering close spreads against that mess, I’ll keep taking their money.

2012 Record ATS: 21-16

Record ATS since 2010: 92-83-4