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The bettor's edge

Tebow has been money

By Ed Ryan
Globe Staff / December 16, 2011
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Want to know the real definition of “Tebowmania’’?

Tebowmania: “The emotional state of the gambler who put $100 on Denver’s money line six weeks ago and turned that $100 into $24,288 during the Broncos’ six-game winning streak.’’

Denver was an underdog in the first five games of its streak, so the money lines (odds that allow you to bet on who wins the game instead of utilizing a point spread) were healthy, as were the payouts. When their streak started against the Raiders, a $100 bet on the Broncos to win - with odds of plus $290 - earned $290. Rolling that sum into the next game against Kansas City, with odds of Denver to win at plus $165, would have earned another $479.

With a two-week total of $769, and with the Broncos continuing to be underdogs for the next three weeks, you would have been on your way. That’s Tebowmania.

This week’s picks (home team in caps): Carolina (+6 1/2) over HOUSTON: The Texans have been a terrific bet of late - they are 6-0-1 against the spread since Oct. 16 - but it’s too much to ask a rookie quarterback making his third career start to cover almost a touchdown. Houston allows the fewest yards per game in the league, but since quarterback Matt Schaub went down three games ago, the Texans are averaging 19 points per game. The Panthers will hang around. Risking $165 to win $150.

SAN DIEGO (+2 1/2) over Baltimore: The Ravens are a pedestrian 3-3 against the number on the road and don’t score enough (18.5 points per game) away from Baltimore (where they’ve averaged 28.4 ppg in seven contests) to make them anything more than an obvious play by the public. San Diego’s season was probably doomed by a five-game losing streak but it has embarked on its typical late-season resurgence. Risking $110 to win $100.

New England (-6 1/2) over DENVER: Finally, there will be some heat on Denver’s overrated defense. Don’t lay that $24,288 on the Broncos to win this week. Risking $165 to win $150.

OAKLAND (+1) over Detroit: This is a must-win game for both teams, but there’s a moral to that story line: it’s a must-win because neither team is that good. Both have struggled. In that case, I’ll take the home underdog and whatever the line provides. Betting on which team ends up with more personal fouls would be an enjoyable side bet if you’re watching the game. Risking $110 to win $100.

Last week: 2-3, minus $130. Season: 22-28-3, minus $1,155.

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