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The bettor's edge

No longer sleeping on Seattle

By Ed Ryan
Globe Staff / December 23, 2011
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The matchup of the weekend is the Jets against the Giants in New Jersey. So much is on the line.

My take: No sane gambler should trust the Giants, and I wouldn’t bet counterfeit money on Mark Sanchez.

This week’s picks (home team in caps): SEATTLE (+2 1/2) over San Francisco: Before this season I profiled Seattle as a team I wanted nothing to do with. I didn’t believe in the personnel or head coach and as a result of that judgment I stood on the sideline while the Seahawks just won three straight while dismantling their opponents by a combined score of 99-41. It’s not too late to make some money on Seattle, though. San Francisco has had a terrific season but hasn’t covered in its last two road games and is ripe for an outright loss. Risking $110 to win $100.

NEW ORLEANS (-6 1/2) over Atlanta: Does anyone believe the Falcons are a true contender? Last year Atlanta had a lot of people convinced after winning 13 games and earning a first-round playoff bye. In the second round, the Falcons were exposed, losing by 27 to Green Bay in the Georgia Dome. This season, Atlanta has a 9-5 record but is ordinary on the road (4-3 straight up and 3-4 against the spread), and its final regular-season trip is to the Superdome. The Falcons are in trouble: New Orleans is on a roll and is a beast at home, winning its six games by an average of 21.5 points. Take out a 55-point destruction of the Colts and the Saints’ average margin of victory is still an impressive 14.8. New Orleans has issues defensively but after a couple of quick scores in front of a frenzied Monday night crowd, the Saints will remind everyone that something is missing from this group of Falcons. Risking $110 to win $100.

Arizona (+4) over CINCINNATI: With four straight wins (and six of seven), the Cardinals have seemingly figured things out. They’re also getting points against the Bengals, a team that is 0-4-2 against the spread in their last six. Risking $110 to win $100.

Miami (+9 1/2) over NEW ENGLAND: The Dolphins have evolved into a quality opponent and this is a generous head start. By taking the points I’m essentially betting that Miami can score more than 21 points, because New England is going to get its 30. Risking $110 to win $100.

Last week: 3-0-1, plus $400. Season: 25-28-3, minus $755.

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