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The Bettor's Edge

Noteworthy items for future account

By Ed Ryan
Globe Staff / September 16, 2011

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A thorough gambler takes notes, and looks back on them. Last weekend, my notes included:

■Even without Wade Phillips on the sideline looking confused, the Cowboys still make costly, dumb plays.

■I was suspicious about the Buccaneers being as good as their record last season, and my suspicion was confirmed when the Lions - a true team on the rise - dismantled the Bucs in Tampa.

■The Seahawks were a dreadful road team in 2010 and there’s no reason to think that will change this season.

■Always budget for the RedZone Channel in your cable package.

This week’s picks (home team in caps):

PITTSBURGH (minus-14 1/2) over Seattle: I have no problem giving more than two touchdowns to Seattle, which had issues on the road in 2010 (six regular-season road losses by an average of just more than 20 points per game) that are likely to surface again this season. The Seahawks couldn’t handle the 49ers at Qwest Field, and now they fly to Pittsburgh to face a Steelers team that was embarrassed by a division rival (the Ravens). Who’s going to appear more bewildered, Tavaris Jackson or Pete Carroll? Risking $110 to win $100.

DENVER (minus-4) over Cincinnati: The Bengals received a gift to begin the season from a Browns squad that somehow sleepwalked through its home opener. Now Cincinnati treks to Denver, where the Broncos were just worked over by the talented Darren McFadden of the Raiders. Denver woke up late in that contest so fans are already grumbling about quarterback Kyle Orton. Now, the underrated Orton has a tremendous opportunity to showcase why he is Denver’s starter ahead of Brady Quinn and Tim Tebow. Risking $110 to win $100.

MIAMI (plus-3) over Houston: The Texans annihilated their longtime nemesis, the bewildered Colts, and now they are a road favorite in Miami Gardens. But is Houston ready, finally, to take the next step? And did anyone else feel the Dolphins looked like they may be on to something this season when they faced New England? If so, that means a good team is getting points at home. Risking $110 to win $100.

NEW ORLEANS (minus-7) over Chicago: The Saints are ready to begin their season in earnest after an emotional opener in Green Bay against the Super Bowl champions. The Bears will hang around in this one until Jay Cutler starts throwing it to the guys in the wrong jerseys. Risking $110 to win $100.

Last week: 1-2-1, minus $120.

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