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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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Wildcard Weekend Gambling Guide!

| January 14th, 2022


All lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook. 

Saturday

  • Money Line Parlay: Bengals over Raiders, Bills over Patriots (+112).
    • I’m a believer in Bisaccia magic, and I think the Raiders pass rush will give Joe Burrow trouble, but the Bengals just have too much firepower to lose at home in the first round. I wouldn’t feel confident laying the six points, so I’m hanging onto the money line.
    • The most overrated victory of the season was New England’s Monday night victory in Buffalo. It wasn’t a real game. It was a football chess match played in a typhoon and Belichick might be the sport’s only master. The Bills are the better team, with the better quarterback. That’s where my money goes in the postseason.

Sunday

  • Money Line Parlay: Bucs over Eagles, Cowboys over Niners (+113).
    • Philly is 0-7 against playoff teams this season and the way you exploit this Bucs defense is with an accurate quarterback. (The Eagles don’t have that.) Tom Brady isn’t losing to Jalen Hurts.
    • Cowboys vs. Niners profiles as the game of the week but I don’t think San Francisco’s secondary can hang with these Dallas weapons. How the hell are the Niners covering a receiving corps that goes 4-5 deep with talent? (They’re not.)
  • Same Game Parlay: Chiefs -12.5 over Steelers / Under 46.5 points (+264).
    • I think the Steelers score ten points in this game, which means the Chiefs need to score only 23 to cover the number. It also means they need to score 37 to hit the over, and in frigid conditions that seems unlikely. 30-10 hits both bets safely and that’s my final score prediction.

Monday

For me, Cardinals at Rams is a gambling stay away. I don’t particularly trust either team. But the guide needs to have some action.

  • Spread: Rams -4 over Cardinals.
    • Since beating the Bears on December 5th, the Cardinals are 1-4, only eking out a victory over the Cowboys. This is a team, and a head coach, that peak on Halloween every season. And last week, in a game they needed, they let Rashaad Penny run for 8.3 yards per carry. You need to be tough to win on the road in the playoffs. That’s not this team.
    • Why is it a stay away, then? Because Matthew Stafford has been sneaky terrible for over a month. Would anyone be surprised if he threw three picks and threw the Rams season away?

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237 Comments

So That Happened.

| September 14th, 2021

In David Mamet’s State and Main, Alec Baldwin plays a movie star with a penchant for young women. In the middle of the movie, he flips a car, climbs out the window, looks at Phil Hoffman, and nonchalantly says, “So that happened.” It is quite literally one of my favorite moments (and lines) in movie history.



The inevitable car wreck to open the 2021 Chicago Bears season took place in Los Angeles Sunday night. And as I turned off the television I was left with the same sentiment as Baldwin, climbing out of a comfy living room chair in Greenwood Lake, NY to toss an empty bottle of Labatt’s in the recycling bin.

So that happened.

I felt nothing about it. No emotion whatsoever. And not feeling any emotion about a Bears game actually filled me with sadness. In my game preview I had written what I thought would transpire Sunday night, predicting an outcome of 30-13 Rams. The game played according to that script. The offense was a little bit better; the defense a little bit worse. 34-14 Rams. (The most surprising aspect to the whole evening was the performance of David Montgomery and the offensive line in the run game.)

Now the Bears are left to deal with the damage.

Their stopgap, 39 year-old answer at left tackle isn’t going to hold up. The fifth-round pick that replaced him might not either.

The secondary is one of the two or three worst in the sport and can’t survive unless Khalil Mack dominates opponents. (Mack hasn’t dominated many during his Chicago tenure.)

Eddie Goldman has mysteriously vanished into injury again.

Andy Dalton is Andy Dalton and the Bears have decided to use his backup – a far superior player – for a series of moronic gadget plays sprinkled into the sea of dinks and dunks.

The Bears are bad.

Okay, so you don’t want to go that far?

Read More …

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Bears Must Acknowledge What They Are: Bad.

| September 13th, 2021


Justin Fields should be the starting quarterback Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Not because of anything Andy Dalton did Sunday night. Dalton was Dalton. He dinked. He dunked. He took no chances. He made several mistakes.

No, Justin Fields should start Sunday because the Bears must look at what transpired in Los Angeles and recognize where they are as a franchise. They’re a bad team. They don’t have top-tier weapons on offense. They don’t have a professional secondary. They don’t have an elite coaching staff. The ceiling for this group is mediocre and the more likely outcome is bottom third of the league.

The focus of this organization must shift from the futile endeavor winning games in 2021 to doing everything possible to get Fields ready for 2022. Every day that shift is delayed is wasted time.

Is this difficult for a franchise to do? Yes. Teams delude themselves to sleep each night with visions of the Lombardi Trophy dancing in their brains. But is it necessary for the Bears to do? Absolutely.

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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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