Every week I take the liberty of writing an opening week point spread Head Line Play on Tuesday morning before I dive into the numbers that dictate the results. A couple weeks ago, my first call was on the Arizona Cardinals over the Seattle Seahawks with a field goal or more on the point spread.
Then I got all the reports on the game; trends, history, value on the line and other factors that pointed in one direction or the other. In this case, it pointed to the Seahawks, an appraisal that looked like a winner until the Cardinals took their first lead of the night with a winning field goal kick at the end of overtime.
The split decision on motivational and situational data that night dictated no play on the contest. In a game either side could have won, the Cardinals came out on top as a home underdog straight up winner. Tonight, possess a similar dilemma.
This week, my first column was to take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers giving the four point spread over the New Orleans Saints. I knew the spread has been depressed a bit because of the Buccaneers narrow win over the New York Giants on Monday night, and Tom Brady is in a revenge spot. He is looking to avenge his opening day loss to Drew Brees and company in New Orleans.
I still like that side of tonight’s game, but the empirical evidence does not support Tampa Bay.
What I’m looking for before recommending a money play is a matchup that couples motivational advantages with situational or physical advantages. In the best case scenario, both.
I’m really looking forward to seeing the two most prolific quarterbacks in history go against each other tonight, but giving Brees points or expecting Brady to cover the line is to ask at least one of them something that is out of their reach.
I’m just not sure who that is.