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Divisional Round Gambling Guide!

| January 21st, 2022

Atlantic City at 40 (Original Photo)


Last week, the guide was actually about gambling (i.e., trying to make money) and my slips in Atlantic City proved that advice to be solid. This week, I’m going to try and nail all eight general bets. That’s every spread and every over/under. Will I achieve that? Of course not. But it’s a worthy endeavor.

As always, all lines from DraftKings Sportsbook.


Saturday

4:30 PM ET

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (-3.5) – Over/Under 47

  • Has a number one seed ever received less attention than Tennessee? They’re the least sexy team remaining but they’re also one that hasn’t been at full strength in months. If Derrick Henry returns – and all signs are pointing to him doing so – I think they move on. But the involvement of the hook (that extra half point) makes me nervous. Still, I’m taking Titans -3.5.
  • Usually when I’m playing the number, I play guess the score. I keep settling in around 23-17. Maybe 24-20? 27-17? One of these teams needs a major offensive output to get over. Under 47.

 

8:15 PM ET

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (-6) – Over/Under 47

  • Since I picked the Packers to go to the Super Bowl, I’m picking them to win this game. But I think six is a lot of points for a game with projected weather conditions around 0 degrees. Packers win, because it’s not the NFC title game yet, but it’s a close one. 49ers +6.
  • Kyle Shanahan is going to want this game slowed down to a crawl. Control the line of scrimmage. Keep it in the 20s. And I don’t think this Packers defense is good enough to prevent that, even with injury concerns at QB for San Francisco. Under 47.

Sunday

3:00 PM ET

Los Angeles Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) – Over/Under 48.5

  • Do we overreact to the Rams victory over the Cardinals Monday night? Anybody paying attention over the last six weeks knows the Cardinals have been awful. Do we overreact to the Bucs embarrassment of the Eagles early Sunday? The Eagles have a quarterback who can’t throw and were ultimately 0-8 against playoff teams this season. Sunday is the biggest game of Matthew Stafford’s career. Stafford is the story. I’m taking Tom Brady. Bucs -3.
  • The first time these two played – in September – Brady threw for 432 yards. Stafford threw for 343 yards. That’s nearly 800 yards through the air, folks. This game is going Over 48.5.

 

6:30 PM ET

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) – Over/Under 54

  • When the line is below three points, I ignore it and just pick the winner. And I find it hard to pick against Josh Allen right now. Steve Spagnuolo’s defense thrives when he’s manufacturing pressure but if the Chiefs overcommit, Allen will eat them alive on the ground. The winner of this game feels destined for the Super Bowl. Bills +1.5.
  • How do these two offenses stay under the number? Buffalo’s defense is very good, but they’ve been diced up several times this season, especially by any team with a competent rush attack. And Kansas City’s discovery of Jerick McKinnon last week gives them an additional element with which Les Frazier’s unit must deal. Over 54. 

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Things To Consider With Tonight’s Schedule Release

| May 12th, 2021


The NFL has turned everything into a television program. And who can blame them? The NFL Draft now does better ratings than almost every other sporting contest AND the damn Academy Awards. (How in the hell did that happen?)

The schedule release does not have the same ratings appeal for two reasons: (1) every local beat leaks the schedule as the day goes on and (2) we consume the schedule in one shot, in about 30 seconds, and then sort of move on.

Three things I’ll be watching with the release tonight at 8 PM ET.

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Number One. Where is the Bears bye?

With a seventeen-game schedule, most teams will be hoping their bye lands as close to the middle of the season as possible. A Week 4 or Week 5 bye leaves a long stretch of uninterrupted football (barring wildcard weekend off) in order to get to the Super Bowl.

But for the Chicago Bears the bye is entirely about one thing: Justin Fields. If the Bears stick with their current plan, and give Andy Dalton the opener, the bye will be every fan’s target to get Fields on the field. A few questions should be asked.

  • What’s the difficulty level of the schedule pre-bye? If the Bears face a murderer’s row of teams and are likely to be going into the bye with a losing record, the transition to Fields will be far easier to execute.
  • Who is the opponent post-bye? If I was making the NFL schedule, I would have the Bears at home to the Lions after their bye. Soft team, terrible defense, crazy atmosphere on the lakefront. (I know right now you’re thinking, “That’s brilliant! He SHOULD make the schedule!” You are right.)

Read More …

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Championship Weekend Gambling Guide

| January 21st, 2021

4-0 last week.

Don’t act like you’re not impressed.

Two more bets for Championship Sunday, as we try and go into the Super Bowl on a bona fide heater. (As always, betting odds come from DraftKings Sportsbook & Casino.)


Sunday 2:05 PM CT – Buccaneers @ Packers

Aaron Rodgers over 2.5 touchdown passes: +145

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Tampa Bay allowed the fewest rushing touchdowns in the sport this season, limiting their opponents to only ten over their first 17 games. So if you expect the Packers to score touchdowns – and I certainly do – you either need to pick his targets accurately or pick his total. The latter seems more appealing and the odds suggest that. (You really wanna lay +115 odds on Robert Tonyan? I don’t.)

Yes, it’s going to be cold but Rodgers has thrown more than two touchdowns in six of last eight games and this does not feel like a low-scoring affair.


Sunday 5:40 PM CT – Bills @ Chiefs

(Note: There are far fewer prop bets available for this contest due to Patrick Mahomes’ concussion/neck/foot issues. He’s going to play, but in what shape will he be?)

Josh Allen to score a touchdown: +135

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Allen looked shaky against Baltimore’s high-pressure approach last week and he should expect more of the same from Steve Spagnuolo’s unit this week. But Allen is a gamer and this feel like an evening where he’ll need to leave EVERYTHING on the field if the Bills are going to return to the Super Bowl for the first time since January 30, 1994. Brian Daboll doesn’t hesitate to call Allen’s number inside the red zone and it could be the perfect remedy to beat an ill-timed Spags blitz.

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Four Lessons From the Final Four, Volume I: Packers & Bills

| January 18th, 2021


Packers

“It’s All About the Quarterback”

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How good do you think Allen Lazard would be on other teams? Robert Tonyan? Marquez Valdes-Scantling? The answer is simple. They’d be irrelevant.

How many teams could lose their starting left tackle – a star at the position – and not miss a beat? The answer is simple. Not many.

Fans of teams that don’t have a quarterback whine about the offensive line. Fans of teams that don’t have a quarterback criticize the front office for a lack of playmakers on the outside.

Fans of teams with quarterbacks, great quarterbacks, don’t get the opportunity to complain about those issues because the quarterback covers them. The quarterback reads the defense, gets into the right protections, and gets the ball out fast when necessary. The quarterback makes the weapons outside better by getting them the football whenever a mismatch presents itself.

The Packers lucked into Aaron Rodgers, and they were in the position to let him sit on the bench for three seasons and develop. This year, in drafting Jordan Love, they risked not being improved in 2020 because they know it’s more important to have a great quarterback when Rodgers is done (if that ever happens) than another solid piece in the secondary for this coming season.

It’s all about the quarterback.


Bills

“Be Patient”

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Josh Allen was not only one of the least accurate passers in the league his first two seasons, he was one of the least accurate passers in the history of the league his first two seasons.

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Divisional Round Weekend Gambling Guide

| January 15th, 2021


Saturday 3:35 PM CT – Rams @ Packers

Aaron Rodgers to score a touchdown: +550

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There’s logic here.

The Packers are going to move the ball. They’re going to get the ball into the red zone. And then they’ll have two major issues when it comes to scoring: Aaron Donald disrupting the run game and Jalen Ramsey taking Davante Adams away. Rodgers’ improvisational skills will be on full display when he takes the ball over the goal line.


Saturday 7:15 PM CT – Ravens @ Bills

Total points even: +106

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Five of the the last eight Bills games have ended in even points. So if you’re getting plus odds on that bet, you have to take it. This game was looking like a low-scorer when the forecast called for a snow storm at kickoff but now that forecast has changed and it’s just going to be a typical, cold, blustery Buffalo evening.

Read More …

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