Broncos (+9.5) over COLTS
Come on, this line shouldn't be higher than 7.
For the benefit of those of you who do not gamble on football or who do have ESPN columns advising those people who do, the betting line is designed, not to predict the outcome of the game, but to attract equal wagering on each side. And the final score of yesterday's game--Indianapolis 38, Denver 20--means that the Colts, by virtue of winning by eighteen, did what is known as "covering".
I'm not paying the Colts Tax because Denver has two quality CBs to handle Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne,
That would be two-time Pro Bowler Dré Bly, acquired this year from Detroit, and seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time All-Pro Roland "Champ" Bailey, one of the best to ever play the position.
Since Denver acquired Bailey in 2004 they have faced the Colts five times, including twice in the post-season. In one of those games, Week 17 of the 2004 season, the Colts had already clinched their playoff spot and Peyton Manning played only the first series of a Broncos 33-14 win. In the other four, all Colts wins, Manning:
is 101 of 125 (80.8%) for 1373 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 1 interception as the Colts have put up 162 points
after going 20-27, 193, with 3 TDs and no picks yesterday in a game where Marvin Harrison went out in the first quarter and the Colts offense didn't get untracked until late in the first half.
So I suppose it's understandable why The Sports Guy would think the addition of Bly was the missing piece which would shut the Colts down completely:
which means Joe Addai has to run all over them for Indy to cover this spread. (I'm not ruling it out, but it seems like a stretch.)
Addai went for 139 on 19 carries with one touchdown. It's the highest yardage total of his second-year career, but he went for 118 against New Orleans in Week one, and he gained 1000 yards last year despite splitting RB duties with Dominic Rhodes all season, so calling this "a stretch" is something of, well, a stretch. Backup RB Kenton Keith added 80 yards on 10 carries after Addai left the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Maybe the stretch was believing the Broncos, whose rushing defense ranked 29th going in, could stay in deep coverage all day and still keep Indianapolis from running the ball, let alone stopping the short passing game while they were at it.
And if that's not enough, everyone and their degenerate brother will be throwing the Chargers, Cowboys and Colts into a three-team teaser on Sunday. That's never good. Out of those three, the Colts seem like the shakiest link, don't they?
You tell me, Bill. The spread in those other two games was a dozen points, and the Chargers, last year's designated West Coast sportswriter fluff object, who're already this year's designated Two Bagger and who were getting the twelve couldn't crack it. Looks like the bookmaking industry has survived another week's encounter with the Simmons brain.
Look, I'm sure nobody in the country appreciates Simmons' four-sport, twelve-month/year mock-comic Beantown homerism any more than I do, especially those times when he imagines we aren't sated by his own production and reprints a half-dozen emails saying the same thing, except without the mock-comedy. Which is, roughly, every goddam column.
But, y'know, is it too much to ask that you remove your head from Bill Belichick's lap long enough to, say, look at the teams before you make your picks?
And aside from the joy there was in imagining you'd actually bet the mortgage on Denver, there was this:
(Random fantasy note: On my 3-0 West Coast team that's morphing into the 2007 Pats of fantasy teams, I have Kenton Keith and Selvin Young stocked on my bench just in case Addai or Travis Henry get injured and I can trade Keith or Young to the teams that have Addai or Henry. That means I'll be watching this game rooting for the starting running backs to get injured every time they touch the ball. Can you think of another avenue in life when you'd openly and shamelessly root for two human beings to pull a hamstring, sprain a knee or break a foot for three straight hours? Me neither. I love fantasy football.)
They both got hurt. Did that mean you had to wash your own underwear so your wife wouldn't see what you did to it, or is she used to that sort of thing by now?