Come all ye office-pool players, casual bettors, wiseguys, and degenerate gamblers: the Against The Spread column is here to help you win mountains of cash and/or bragging rights. They say you need to win about 53% of your games to actually make a profit betting on NFL games. Well you and I know that I’ll probably only hit about 45% at the most, so go ahead and play the opposite of all my recommended Best Bets and you’ll be sure to make some money.
That’s how I opened it last week, and then I proceeded to go 0-3 with my NFL picks. No winners. Hey, I told you to bet the opposite of my picks. So technically I’m 3-0?
We should learn a lot this week, as Week 2 in the NFL will shed some light on just how good and bad some teams might be. It’s true in some extent for every game, but one in particular is the inter-conference matchup between the Chiefs and the Cowboys.
DALLAS AT KANSAS CITY
This game should tell us if the Kansas City Chiefs can beat a legit NFL team that’s not from Jacksonville. Cowboys QB Tony Romo has his ups and downs, but he’s light years better than Blaine Gabbert. He and his weapons are capable of getting hot, and there’s certainly a chance they could come in and win this game to go 2-0.
But, as many of us realized late Sunday night as they finally beat their rival Giants in Dallas, they got 6 turnovers, were lucky enough to recover both of their own fumbles, and still only won by 5. It’s very possible that this Dallas team is that same old inconsistent squad that shoots itself in the foot and lures people in with occasional high-profile wins but then shits the bed in a winnable game against the Chiefs.
The other intriguing aspect of this game is the involvement of Andy Reid, who looks like a tomato decked out in that Chiefs gear. I’ve always thought he was overrated, and not a great in-game coach or clock manager (his two most important jobs) but I think his record and longevity show him to be a credible NFL coach who probably knows what he’s doing. I can’t say the same for Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett.
Arrowhead Stadium will be absolutely rocking. It’s weird to be getting that excited about the arrival of not just the (in my opinion) underwhelming Reid, but also Captain Checkdown Alex Smith as your game manager at QB. He of the former Number One Overall pick/bust status; the guy who, once he was officially benched in San Francisco, watched the 49ers go to the Super Bowl. But people are excited and this is their first home game, so they have all the emotion on their side but were able to work out any first-game jitters and kinks last week against the Jaguars.
We can joke that Jacksonville sucks, but when you beat an NFL team 28-2 on the road, you’re playing well. Dallas, however, seems like they could be one crowd-noise-induced series of false starts ending in a Romo-crunching sack away from getting blown out.
This game opened with KC favored by 1, and has moved up to 2.5 and 3. That means a bunch of money came in on the Chiefs. Probably “smart” money as they say. Think about who’s laying huge bets on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Your little Yahoo Pick’em Pool isn’t moving the line in Vegas. If the Chiefs do turn out to be good, this might be the last time we see them favored by so few point at home this season.
A lot of people like to bet the Cowboys, especially as underdogs. There’s a big fight in Vegas Saturday night, and Dallas is obviously a popular team (getting 3 points) so maybe some weekend action will come in on the Cowboys and you might see this line settle at KC -2.5.
Either way, I like the Chiefs to ride the momentum of their home opener, Andy Reid’s familiarity with Dallas, a tough defense that should harass Romo into mistakes, and an efficient offense that will chew clock and manufacture enough points to win, cover the spread, and send notice to the rest of the league that the sleeper is awake.