The Patriots opened as 2.5-pont underdogs as they prepare to host the Denver Broncos in Week 12.
There are a number of interesting angles worth considering here. I could talk about the fact that the Patriots haven’t been an underdog at home for the better part of a decade (a game in which they covered). I could also discuss the anomaly that this is first time in the better part of a decade that the Patriots have been underdogs in consecutive contests. The injury status of key Denver players like Welker and Moore? Worth considering when placing a wager, for sure. The emergence of Vereen and the short and intermediate passing game would also be an angle worth considering.
But focusing on all that would be ignoring the elephant in the room – no matter what the Patriots do, the officials seem intent on unceremoniously and ruthlessly fucking them over at the end of games. Look, I hate complaining about the officials. In any game, there are at least a half-dozen calls or non-calls that are really tough judgments that could be called either way, but there are roughly a hundred calls that the casual or uninformed fan will complain about. I know this because I’ve heard them all.
“That was a hold! Come on ref!”
“Why don’t they just put a skirt on the quarterback already!?”
“He was offsides at the snap! OFFFFFSSSIIIIIDDDDESSSSS!!!!!!
And it really is no fun to watch games with that guy. So I make it a point to give the officials the benefit of the doubt whenever possible. Because more often than not, the good teams will overcome more than their fair share of ticky-tacky holding calls or a bad pass interference penalties. But when a team fights for 60 (or in some cases, 70) minutes to put themselves in position to win a game, only for the officials to shit on that effort with a bullshit call that anybody with two eyes can see is piss-poor? Then watch the brotherhood of zebras try to meekly defend their incompetence throughout the week? And knowing that they will not face any sort of discipline or repercussions for failing to do their job at an acceptable level because the league cares more about protecting officials from criticism instead of getting the call right? That is infuriating. And it’s why I have to be that guy this week. Until the league shows the slightest movement toward a system of accountability for egregiously poor officiating, I guess I’m going to continue to be that guy. And I hate it.
So my analysis of the upcoming game is pretty rudimentary. The Patriots are playing the Broncos. Broncos are horses. Zebras are horses. Zebras fuck Patriots. Hence the Broncos will find a way to win. Because even if the Patriots are the better team, it’s hard to overcome an NFL opponent when you also have to contend with stupid fucking zebras.
I’m taking the Broncos to cover.
Other Lines I Like
49ers (-5) @ Redskins
The Redskins have fallen well short of putrid the past few weeks, and a lot of their failures rest on woeful inconsistency in the passing game. They won’t be able to run on the 49ers, so I fail to see how they put up more than 14 points on the scoreboard. With lots of short fields and good field position against a suspect defense, San Fran should shine.
Steelers (+1) @ Browns
Since the epic beating at the hands of New England, the Steelers have definitely turned a corner with a pair of double-digit wins. The Browns just aren’t that good. They aren’t NFL Officials Bad, but still not very good.
2013 Record ATS: 14-17-2
Record ATS since 2010: 121-114-4