You Betcha: Week 1

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See that? Over there. To your right?

That's not the money you could be saving with GEICO. It's the money you lost last year betting with Richie Whitt.

But, alas, in the spirit of persistence, stubborness and doubling down, we're back at it again in 2009. I owe it to you and myself (and my bookie) to be bigger, bolder and, yes, better than a putrid 7-10 this season.

Let's kick-off the year with an aggressive play on a conservative game.

Your Dallas Cowboys start '09 missing Terrell Owens and, therefore, a vertical passing game. In 80 pre-season snaps Tony Romo had one completion of more than 25 yards and that was a run-n-catch, 42-yard screen to Felix Jones.

With Wade Phillips committed to being a Top 10 running team, I suspect offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will err on the side of caution, at least early in the season. Look for Dallas to dink, dunk and double-dip the Tampa Bay defense with doses of 8-yard passes to tight ends Jason Witten and Martellus Bennett. Covering them for the Buccaneers is no longer Derrick Brooks or Cato June, but Quincy Black and Geno Hayes. Yikes.

On the other side of the ball, Tampa Bay starts underwhelming Byron Leftwich at quarterback and boasts arguably the best running back trio in the NFL in Cadillac Williams, Derrick Ward and Earnest Graham. Tampa has a 32-year-old head coach, no Monte Kiffin, a new kicker and an apathetic fan base who hasn't even sold this game out.

I think the Cowboys win this game. But, more so, I think both teams struggle produce big offensive plays. 40 points? No way.

The last three times Dallas has played the Bucs it's held them to point totals of 9 ('08), 10 ('06) and 16 ('03). Yeah, sounds about right.

I'll start with a mythical bankroll of $10,000, courtesy of bodog Online Gaming. First of all, because their site is easy to navigate. Second, because they're based in Costa Rica and have had minimal success tracking me down in the past.

I'll analyze games/wagers of local interest each weekend and make a wager every Thursday. With any luck, by Christmas it'll be Ferraris and females for everyone.





THIS WEEK: Cowboys-Buccaneers under 39 1/2 for $1,000.

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