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Week 4 Recap

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Editor's note: Paul Bovi owns an incredible 16-3-1 record (84%!) after posting a 4-1 mark in Week 4.

Monday nights’ victory by the suddenly reborn Eagles locked up an 8-6 NFL weekend for the chalk players as Philly overcame early turnovers in turning a 2 point halftime deficit into a spread covering 31-9 victory. A barrage of money on the favorite and the over gave the house a split as the total came up short of the 49.5 number which was bet up from an opening line of 46. The Eagles closed at an even dozen after beginning the week at 10 thus providing the relief to the chalk players after a few profanity laced tirades courtesy of running back Correll Buckhalter who had his hand in 2 early red zone fumbles.

NFL Home team underdogs followed up last weeks’ 4-1 performance with a 3-2 mark as the Texans, Jaguars, and Jets managed to cover the number with only Gang Green failing to get the outright victory. In that game, with the game tied at 14, New York Jets head coach Eric Mangini opted to go for the TD with his team facing a 4th and goal from the 2, which proved to be a regrettable decision as Indy pulled out a 31-28 win, courtesy of a last minute 61 yard drive that left New York less than a minute on the game clock. A last second circus play that saw the Jets lateral 5 times after a short pass nearly turned disastrous for New York backers as an Indy lineman recovered the ball and clear sailing to the end zone only to trip over his own feet as the game ended. The line took on a boomerang effect as early Indy money pushed the line from 8 to 9.5 only to see a surge of Jet money move the closing line to back down to 7.5. Those that moved the total from 45 to 47 were late to celebrate as the number was not eclipsed until Jets KR Justin Miller returned one 103 yards with just over 2 minutes to go.

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In Washington, owner Daniel Snyder partied like a rock star as Santana Moss raced down the sideline with his 3rd TD of the game, thus providing the Redskins with a 36-30 OT win and allowing them to even their record at 2 as they head to New York for a showdown with the Giants. That game proved kind to the books as the smallish number of 2.5 enticed Jaguar backers who were disappointed as their team was unable to contain Moss, or the resurgent Mark Brunell who passed for 329 yards on impressive completion stats. The Texans 17-15 victory over the confused and disoriented Dolphins, who continue to appear as though they spent the summer trolling South Beach, was also bookmaker friendly as bettors banked on Miami breaking out against the defensively challenged Texans, which was hardly the case. The Fish could manage only 289 yards of offense which against the Texans, would be the equivalent of Kobayashi only polishing off 30 hot dogs. Finally, the Raiders collapse in the black hole was also good for the house as late action took the Browns from 3 point favorites down to two, which proved dooming for those who backed Oakland. In a contest between 2 teams seeking their first win, the Raiders squandered a 21-10 lead in falling to Cleveland by a field goal, 24-21.

The players did land a big blow as the Cowboys handily disposed of the Titans 45-14 after spotting Tennessee an early field goal. Books were loaded with straight money and teaser action on Dallas in a game that featured DT Albert Haynessworth doing his best imitation of the late football player turned wrestler, Junk Yard Dog stomping Rowdy Roddy Piper, as he went midevil on the head of Dallas center Andre Gurode after his helmet became dislodged. The resulting 5 game suspension will cost the temperamental Hayensworth some major coin as he stands to lose just under a third of his salary unless Union President Gene Upshaw can somehow have his suspension reduced on appeal.

Games that were neutral for the house included Atlanta’s 32-10 pummeling of the Cardinals as the Arizona offensive line continues its’ struggles, Buffalo’s 5 point victory over the Vikings, who ran out of time as the game ended with Minnesota on the Bills’ 16 yard line, and the Chiefs whitewashing of the 49ers, though the late wave of under money was foiled courtesy of Dante Hall’s 60 yard punt return with a shade over 5 minutes to go.

Rumors of the Patriots demise were obviously premature as they easily defeated the previously undefeated Bengals in a game that saw solid two way action, though the outright victory did prove costly to a few teaser tickets. Baltimore stayed undefeated as Todd Heap scored with 34 seconds to go as he hauled in a 10 yard TD pass from Steve McNair in another contest that did not weigh in heavily on the book maker bottom line.

In a see saw battle, Carolina avoided falling 3 games behind in the division by pulling out a 21-18 victory over the upstart Saints. The line in that contest settled in at 7 after opening at 9 on Sunday night, prior to the Saints Monday evening pummeling of the Falcons. A late 86 TD pass from Drew Brees to Marques Colston cut into the margin of victory and allowed Saint backers to cash a ticket while allowing Panther supporters to keep their teaser bets alive. Rounding out the Sunday matinee, the Rams late cover on the strength of a 5 yard TD pass from Marc Bulger to Isaac Bruce and the subsequent 2 point conversion involving the same combination dented the house as the books were heavy with St. Louis money. The Rams won the shootout by 7, 41-34 as the Rams appear to be regaining their offensive mojo. Finally, on Sunday night, the Bears put on a sack attack as they floored Hasselback 5 times enroute to a 37-6 victory, furthering the case that Chicago is quickly establishing themselves as the NFC frontrunner for Super Bowl 41. This line actually opened Sunday night at pick em and by the time the dust settled, the Bears closed a 4 point favorite making the result damaging to the house

Week 4 had its share of ups and downs for both the players and the sports books although the decided edge on the teasers went to the former. The quarter pole is in the rear view mirror. Until next week.

  
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