By Joe Duffy
Contributing Editor

Joe Duffy
It is time to close out a successful all-around and winning sports year at with two premium play winners, one from the bowls and the other from final week of NFL. The college winner is the final of the calendar year, the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.


Tuesday, December 31st
DUKE +12 Texas A&M

One of the few strategies that sharps and squares agree on is that bowl betting involves in great part handicapping motivation. Traditional doormat Duke will approach this game with the vigor of a BCS contest. Big favorite Texas A&M was a chic pick to play in the BCS Championship game at the beginning of the year.

Of course A&M played a tougher schedule, but the better record of the Blue Devils should not be taken lightly. Wins at Virginia and Virginia Tech in back-to-back weeks, plus crushing Miami and knocking off North Carolina were all quality wins.

The Aggies' four losses were all to good teams, but they lost to the four best teams on their schedule and they struggled to both Ole Miss and Miss State.

Duke held FSU scoreless in the first quarter - the first team since Florida did it in 2012. The Aggies defense allows 6.2 yards per play and 460 yards per game. Duke only allows 5.5 yards per play and 409 yards.

We are not even sure the talent gap justifies the big spread. But with Duke having a motivational edge, an upset would not be that much of a shocker.

Joe Duffy's Picks DUKE (+12)


Sunday, December 29th
DALLAS +7.5 Philadelphia

The fact that the line skyrocketed after Tony Romo was ruled out makes this game of great value. He is only 1-6 in elimination games like the one the Cowboys will play without him Sunday. Kyle Orton is 35-34 straight up as a starter.

Of course, Romo is the better QB, but Orton gives Dallas an element of surprise and makes all that game film Philadelphia has on the Dallas offense significantly less valuable. The Pokes will know his strengths and weaknesses much better than Philadelphia does.

Remember, Dallas has three, yes three one-point losses this year, plus the infamous three-point loss to Denver. Bottom line is that key mistakes by Romo are the only reason Dallas has not already clinched the playoffs.

Getting 7.5 at home without its feast or famine signal caller makes them a better play than with Romo +2.5. In fact, some sources are saying Romo is not completely ruled out.

Nick Foles is all the rage for the Eagles, but bottom line is the veteran Orton has played in more big games than the huge road favorite.

Eagles go to the playoffs, but by a slimmer margin then the oddsmakers say.

Joe Duffy's Picks Dallas (+7.5)

Copyright 2013

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