weather icon Partly Cloudy

Underdogs look strong on NFL teasers this weekend

Updated January 11, 2019 - 7:56 pm

Funny how all that gossip about Alabama’s Nick Saban being pursued by several NFL franchises was buried alongside his football team after the Clemson beatdown.

I am still licking my financial wounds from the Tide’s debacle, not to mention the Bears’ “Pinball Wizard” field-goal kicker. I should have listened to my bookmaker friend Jimmy Vaccaro, who taught me a long time ago, “Brent, tease up, not down.” Even former mayor Oscar Goodman chided me for leading him in the wrong direction last weekend.

Saturday’s games

Colts at Chiefs

1:35 p.m., KSNV-3

Line: Chiefs -5½; total 57

The forecast calls for up to 3 inches of snow. We can’t overlook that the Colts are a dome team headed into the teeth of that weather, though they did practice out of their comfort zone in the cold outdoors this week. History still leads us to the Colts, who have beaten the Chiefs four straight times in the playoffs. But a quarterback named Patrick Mahomes was not part of that history. Along with Andrew Luck, two other Colts could be difference makers. Marlon Mack, who rushed for 148 yards last week at Houston, and linebacker Darius Leonard, who leads the NFL in tackles, should keep the Colts within 5½ points.

Cowboys at Rams

5:15 p.m., KVVU-5

Line: Rams -7; total 49½

The Cowboys can win this game outright, so the seven points are a bonus. It won’t be easy, especially if Todd Gurley is back to 100 percent for the Rams. But the Los Angeles attack hasn’t been the same since the loss of Cooper Kupp. All the gushing about Sean McVay’s revolutionary offense overlooks the fact that Jared Goff hasn’t won a playoff game. The Cowboys have become a much more dangerous offensive team since they picked up receiver Amari Cooper in midseason. But this game will revolve around running back Ezekiel Elliott and the Dallas offensive line’s ability to control Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh. There is certainly enough there for the Cowboys to at least stay within the seven.


Sunday’s games

Chargers at Patriots

10:05 a.m., KLAS-8

Line: Patriots -4; total 47½

Like the sharps and public, I also think that the Patriots are not as good as they have been over the past decade. I would love to see Philip Rivers finally make a Super Bowl, but you all know I have a time-zone bias. This is the toughest road trip of the weekend for any team. The Chargers have been great on the road, but this is three straight weeks — two in a row to the Eastern time zone — and now they will play in subfreezing weather. The Chargers might be the better team, but I’m going to pass simply because they have too much to overcome. The Patriots have not lost a playoff game at Gillette Stadium in six years.

Eagles at Saints

1:40 p.m., KVVU-5

Line: Saints -8; total 51½

This is a rematch of a game that was dominated by the Saints 48-7 on Nov. 18 at the Superdome. But both teams are far different now than they were then. Nick Foles is quarterbacking the Eagles, and New Orleans’ offense was not the same down the stretch. The Saints covered only one spread in their final five games. It says here the Eagles can stay within the eight.

I have two two-team, seven-point teasers. On Saturday, take the Colts plus 12½ and the Cowboys plus 14. On Sunday, take the Patriots plus 3 and the Eagles plus 15.

More Betting: Follow at reviewjournal.com/betting and @RJ_Sports on Twitter.

Brent Musburger’s betting column appears Saturday in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. His show on the Vegas Stats & Information Network can be heard on SiriusXM 204 and livestreamed at reviewjournal.com/vegas-stats-information-network.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Sports Betting Spotlight Videos
Brent Musburger: Here’s hoping to ‘middle’ the Super Bowl

My Super Bowl betting strategy is simple: I’m picking the Patriots to win a tight game, but I’m going to try for a “middle” by using the Rams in a 7-point teaser.

Warriors look good during winning streak, but do they cover?

The Super Bowl is still more than a week away, and I’m not falling in love with taking a chance on Sunday’s Pro Bowl in Orlando. So let’s put aside our football withdrawal and turn our attention to hoops, both pro and college.

Watch out for Patriots despite trends favoring Chiefs

Home favorites in the -3 to -6½ range have a record of 12-1 straight up and 11-2 against the spread since 2005. And home teams are 10-0 straight up and 8-2 ATS in conference championship play in the past five years.

Winners cover at stunning rate in NFL wild-card weekend

Steve Makinen, editor of VSiN’s Point Spread Weekly, found that the outright winner has a point-spread record of 37-4-1 ATS in the past 42 wild-card playoff games.

Don’t overlook underdog Raiders in rivalry game with Chiefs

Raiders coach Jon Gruden told his team after Monday’s victory over Denver: “Fellas, we’ve got one game left. It’s against the team we hate the most — the Kansas City Chiefs. They hate us, too, so it should be a heckuva game.”

Here’s hoping to cash out in the Westgate SuperContest

There is one thing I believe in down the stretch: NFL teams that have a chance to make the playoffs are far more attractive to me than teams that are jockeying for home-field advantage.

Herm Edwards proved us wrong, turned around Arizona State

Few thought Herm Edwards belonged as coach of a college team, including me. But he proved us wrong and restored the pride at Arizona State, which won four of its final five games.

NFL players competing for jobs in final 4 weeks of season

Don’t be misled by Scamdicappers who peddle their picks based on teams being out of the Super Bowl race and having nothing to play for. They will tell you that teams are playing for draft position. This is complete hogwash.

Rams favored to win Super Bowl after Saints’ loss in Dallas

Here are the revised Super Bowl odds at the Westgate. Bet $100 and you win: Rams plus 250; Saints plus 300; Chiefs plus 350; Patriots plus 600; Steelers plus 800.

Playoff push makes for tough sledding at sports books

For a handicapper, the last six weeks of an NFL season are tougher to solve than a Rubik’s Cube. And remember, it’s estimated that only 5.8 percent of the world’s population can solve the Rubik’s Cube.