With the Giants holding a precarious one-game lead in the NFC East and both the Cowboys and Redskins snapping at their heels, don’t ook for Big Blue to let up this week. The Falcons got knocked off their lofty perch last week at Carolina in Marc’s NFL Game of the Month call but we won’t be riding the bounce-back train today. Sure, we realize Matty Ice is murder in games off a loss (17-4 ATS) and at home (32-5 SU and 23-13-1 ATS) but he’s only 2-3 ATS here in December. His counterpart, Eli Manning, who has posted an excellent 19-6 ATS mark from December out versus non-division foes, actually owns a better road record in his NFL career (40-28 SU and 42-24-2 ATS) than a home record (41-30 SU and 34-36-1 ATS). And when it comes to team ATS stats, there’s simply no comparison. The Giants have cashed in six of the last seven series meetings away from the Meadowlands and boast a 17-4-1 ATS record on the road versus a squad off a double-digit loss (6-0 ATS from Game Fourteen out). Tom Coughlin’s crew is also a heady 20-5 SU and 20-4-1 ATS versus a .666 or better opponent with revenge, including 13-1 ATS as pick or dog and 11-1 ATS away. Whew! Sunday’s 52-point outburst against the ‘Aints was New York’s biggest since 1986, and the last time the Giants erupted for 50 points in a game they followed it up by trouncing the 49ers, 49-3, in a playoff game. In a marquee matchup where we feel the wrong team is favored, we’ll back the hungrier dog today.
TAMPA BAY OVER NEW ORLEANS BY 10
Bucs have got to be despondent, dejected and just about any other d-word we can come up with to describe the lingering effects of their last-second home loss to woeful Philadelphia. But even though the swashbucklers have been tossed overboard in their last two games and need this contest like blood to stay in the NFC Wild Card chase, the Bay boys are the very picture of psychological health compared to the reeling Saints, who are now just 5-8 after three SUATS setbacks in a row (not even unlimited bounties could help now). Home fi eld may be a true advantage for some teams today but the Mercedez-Benz Superdome has been nothing short of a house of horrors for New Orleans. Ready? In ‘4th quarter games’ (Games Thirteen thru Sixteen) off a non-division foe at home, the Saints really are ‘Aints, going 1-12 ATS. When asked to march in after a double-digit loss, the Crescent City crew has stumbled to a 7-21 ATS mark as home chalk, including 1-11 ATS against a foe off back-to-back losses. And if the Who Dats are entertaining an avenging NFC South opponent off a SU loss, they sink to 4-17 ATS – including 0-8 ATS in the last eight games. Damn, if this were an ‘ugly’ pageant, we’d stop the show and award the crown right now! But we’ve always got time for a clincher from ou database: Game Fourteen 6-7 division dogs off a loss are 9-2 ATS since 1980, including 5-1 ATS when seeking revenge. Hey, it’s not often you get to buck a going-through-themotions favorite that has covered only twice in the last nine series meetings – while having overwhelming historical trends and current situationals on your side, to boot. A geuine Bourbon Street fade.
BUFFALO OVER SEATTLE BY 10
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll had some ‘splainin’ to do Sunday after his offense continued to pass the ball deep and go for it on 4th down while owning a 50-point lead over the hapless Cardinals. Rest assured, if Arizona’s Ken Whisenhunt is back next year (doubtful), he’ll have the Seahawks games circled in red ink! Regardless of his tactics, Carroll and the Seahawks are closing strong with a 4-1 SUATS run and now travel to the Great White North (Canada) to take on struggling Buffalo. This little jaunt is nothing new for the Bills as they’re playing their 5th game in Toronto at the Rogers Centre (beat the Redskins 23-0 here in 2011), a venue where they’ve allowed just 14 PPG in regular season contests. Our MIDWEEK ALERT also comes to Buffy’s aid, pointing out that the Bills are +56 net YPG over the 2nd half of the season. Across the fi eld, the ever-youthful Carroll (is this guy a modern-day Dorian Gray or what?) is 0-5 ATS as non-division chalk from Game Thirteen out and his Seabags are a lifeless 0-8 ATS as road favorites off a division game. And though we’ve already got suffi cient ammo to sink him, Carroll turns out to be the answer to this week’s TRIVIA TEASER on page 2. No question that Seattle QB Russell Wilson is enjoying a stellar season but Fab 5 starting rookie QB’s are just 2-5 SU and 1-5-1 ATS as favorites away from home in 2012 – plus eight of Wilson’s nine interceptions have come on the road. Our database cements it with this beauty: teams off a win of 54 or more points
in this league are 1-4 SUATS in their next contest since 1980. With season-ending division duels against the Niners and Rams on deck, it would be no surprise to see the Hawks get their wings clipped here.