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Football bets look better on the fringe

I am just back from three weeks on the East Coast and, for a variety of reasons, it is great to be back in Lake Tahoe. Not the least of those reasons is watching sports on TV in the Eastern time zone.

After watching a number of baseball games along with Monday Night Football that routinely aired well past midnight, and not seeing a single play on an NFL Sunday until after 1 p.m. — well, this just isn’t right. That is just too far from normal for me. Vacation was great, but it’s good to be home.

In my absence, the NFL has continued to be it’s unpredictable self. Week by week, teams find it hard to maintain consistency.



There are a few exceptions, however, with San Diego and Green Bay coming to mind, but can they keep winning in the weeks ahead?

More importantly for sports bettors, will they be covering the spread?




The teams with the best winning records suddenly become the choices of the public. Sports books adjust their lines accordingly. Tread carefully when betting on these teams.

I will return to this week’s NFL a little later. For now, I would like to talk college football. Things are becoming very interesting toward the top of the BCS rankings.

Who would have thought that Notre Dame could have done so well this year compared to their recent woes? An impressive win over Boston College this week should take them above their current No. 3 status. They are 10 point favorites, which appears too many points to lay. Boston College could keep it close for much of the game. The air tends to get a bit thinner for highly ranked teams at this time of year.

Take BC and the points, though the Irish should win a close one.

Other interesting games this week: Top-ranked Oklahoma hosts Colorado; No. 4 Georgia travels to Florida for a tough game, even though the Gators are not as good as usual; and fifth-ranked Ohio State could get a run for their money against an improving Minnesota team.

With baseball in hibernation, NBA is back on the boards at the sports books.

After football, basketball is the most popular sport to wager on. It comes in a distant second, however. Good to see the Lakers and Kings taking up

where they left off last season.

A little preseason overaggression does wonders to perk up some interest for the upcoming campaign. It is pretty clear that the two most talented teams in the game don’t like each other very much, but why do my thoughts keep straying to a prefight press conference for a Don King promotion?

The biggest problem the teams face is trying to stay healthy until next May, or so, when they can finally face-off again in a series that means something. Let’s hope we can be treated to another meeting between the teams as good as last season’s.

In closing, let me make some suggestions for this week’s football games. In college, I like Boston College +10 and Minnesota +13. In the pros, who will be more fired up this week than Drew Bledsoe facing the Patriots? The Bills can get it done -2.5, and the Steelers -3 look good against the Browns.

The “look-ahead” system I talked about last time has done well so far this year. There are no plays that fit for a few weeks to come, however, but hang in there. There is bound to be one down the road.

Good luck with all your sports plays.

— Paul Peterson has been a race and sports book supervisor at Caesars Tahoe for nine years.


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