Plenty of surprises at mid-point of NFL season

Trent Richardson Browns Facebook 2

The NFL has become so unpredictable it’s become funny listening to so-called experts make definitive statements about what’s going to happen. So far the 2013 season has been one of the most unpredictable in years, and there have been tons of surprises. Last night’s Bengals/Dolphins game was one of many games that had to drive betters crazy, as the game ended up turning on a safety in overtime, which saved anyone who bet the under and killed everyone who bet the over. Of course these things happen all the time and that’s part of the fun (or agony) you know may be in store for you as you browse the lines each week with sites recommended by sites like SportsBettingPal.com, but the overall unpredictability of the NFL has added to the drama. Just consider some of these highlights:

- Who would have guessed that the New York Giants, Atlanta Falcons and Houston Texans could be this bad? The collapse of these teams has been stunning, even in a league that usually produces surprises.

- The Kansas City Chiefs are the last undefeated team in the NFL. Last year they earned the number one pick in the NFL draft by having the worst record in the NFL. Of course many predicted improvement with Andy Reid taking over for a team that was coached by the epicly inept Romeo Crennel, bit 8-0 is certainly a surprise. Now don’t let that fool you too much, as the Chiefs have been winning some close games against mediocre teams and have been very fortunate with turnovers, so the second half of the season could change this storyline quickly.

- The Cleveland Browns traded Trent Richardson, and then proceeded to win three straight after everyone had assumed that they tanked the season. Brandon Weeden played like a bust, but then Brian Hoyer came in and played like an All Pro. That’s the NFL.

- The New York Jets were left for dead even before the season started, but they’re 4-4. One week their defense look like the ’85 Bears, and the following week they give up over 40 points to Cincy along with five touchdowns for the erratic Andy Dalton.

All of this has added to the fun of picking games against the spread, but it also drives home the point that nothing is a lock in this league. Keep in mind that you’re playing probabilities, and that it can often pay to go against conventional wisdom.

  

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NFL season kicks off tonight

The 2012 football season is finally here. College football kicked off last weekend, with Alabama humiliating Michigan in one of the most high-profile games of week one. Now the NFL gets into the act tonight with the Dallas Cowboys traveling to New York to face the Super Bowl Champion Giants.

Our NFL lines page is now more robust, as it’s powered by SBRodds and features lines from a number of sportsbooks.

We’ll be posting free picks throughout the year from some top handicappers. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that you probably won’t do very well just following the herd. For example, last year everyone was convinced that the Cincinnati Bengals would have trouble winning one game with their rookie quarterback. They made the playoffs. This year you’re hearing some of the same stuff about the Cleveland Browns. But if Trent Richardson turns out to be healthy and Brandon Weeden pans out, this team could surprise some people. Meanwhile, the Bengals have lost two starters on the offensive line and Andy Dalton might be facing a sophomore slump. The NFL can be very unpredictable, so be careful about listening to the loudest voices.

Another hyped player this year is Russell Wilson. Yes, he’s looked good in preseason, but let’s wait to see him play one in one real game before electing him to the Hall of Fame and handing the division to the Seahawks.

You don’t have to bet of course to enjoy picking against the spread, as the are plenty of free football pools out there. Still, there are few things like spending a fall weekend in Las Vegas where you can spend the entire day at the sportsbook. Enjoy!

  

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