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.
4:30 PM ET
Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (-3.5) – Over/Under 47
8:15 PM ET
San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (-6) – Over/Under 47
3:00 PM ET
Los Angeles Rams @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-3) – Over/Under 48.5
6:30 PM ET
Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (-1.5) – Over/Under 54
All lines are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
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.
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?
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.
Saturday 3:35 PM CT – Rams @ Packers
Aaron Rodgers to score a touchdown: +550
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
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.