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Matt Youmans


Saints have look of Super Bowl contenders

It’s not quite the halfway point of the NFL season, and what happens from here will be as unpredictable as a drunken night on Bourbon Street. Still, it’s safe to say quarterback Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints are wholly relevant again.

Vikings are tonic for Eli, winless Giants

While all eyes are focused on his big brother this weekend, Eli Manning is staring down a big game of his own. The New York Giants are winless, and no team wants to wear that black eye into late October.

Ducks and Cover: Oregon clears big spreads with ease

What’s most important to bettors is how to cash tickets this week and, in the big picture, how to handicap explosive offensive teams such as Oregon. The Ducks scare the heck out of bookmakers, who are not setting lines high enough, and sharp bettors, who usually prefer to buy underdogs when the price appears inflated.

Brady TD dramatic ending for bettors, too

A game up for grabs came down to an unlikely play. A perfectly thrown ball into the back of the end zone, a great catch and a comeback win. Drew Brees had pulled a rabbit out of his helmet and beat the New England Patriots again.

High-flying Broncos becoming America's team

The Denver Broncos’ popularity with the betting public is so over the top, South Point sports book executive Jimmy Vaccaro was compelled to tweet, something he rarely does. “The magic carpet ride continues. Denver is now America’s team,” he posted Wednesday @JimmyVaccaro.

NFL betting: Houston backers get Schaub-ed

A stand-up comic searching for new material might want to look to the Houston Texans and their clumsy quarterback, Matt Schaub, whose latest football-throwing folly is worth a lot of laughs. “That was a joke,” said Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill sports book director. “That’s unbelievable.”

NFL bets: Laying 20 to Jags a reckless wager

The Jacksonville Jaguars opened as 20-point road underdogs to the Seattle Seahawks, and the number has dipped to 19½. The point spread is the oddsmakers’ equalizer. In this case, the number is a monster, and it presents a dilemma for a handicapper.

No draw: Verdict for Peyton unanimous

In a mismatch, Peyton Manning led the Denver Broncos to a win by fourth-quarter knockout. It’s never safe to leave it to the judges, because one might come up with a mysterious score.

Frustrating outcomes big part of NFL allure

When it goes bad, it tends to get worse before it gets better. Eli Manning’s first pass was a screen thrown directly to a defensive lineman and intercepted. That’s how the season started for the New York Giants.

NFL wagering can be risky business

One game into the season, Peyton Manning appears unstoppable and the Denver Broncos are back with a vengeance and about to bring some serious pain to every opponent in their way. Maybe that’s an overreaction.