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Posted by on Sep 30, 2018 in Blog, Essays | 0 comments

NFL Week #4

 

The Houston Texans are not a good football team.  Allow me to testify to that fact.

Last week I found this out the hard way, losing $2,250 by betting on those miserable shits.  It wasn’t a miscalculation on my part that Houston was a good team, evidenced by my bet the Texans *UNDER 9* wins for the regular season.  I just figured their opponent last Sunday, the New York Giants, were a lot worse.

Well, screw me.  For 60 horrifying minutes the Giants looked like a Super Bowl contender.  Or, maybe it was just because they were playing shit Houston.  The previous week, the Giants couldn’t make a first down.  Quarterback Eli Manning was sacked so many times he was pulling green rubber pellets out of his ass.  Then, when I faded Manning’s Giants, he goes 34 for 39 and the Giants play a nearly perfect game.  Meanwhile, the Texans RB Lamar Miller played one of the worst games I’ve ever witnessed.  I’d have cut his fucking ass on the spot.

Anyway, I’ve been zigging while the Giants and Texans have been zagging.  Like so much of the NFL, inconsistency is mighty tough to handicap.

Last week, I went 6-4, but I lost money.  Here’s a look back at the damage:

[6-pt. Teaser]:  Houston (Pick) / Dallas +7.5 (-120) — LOST $960

[6 pt. Teaser]:  Houston (Pick) / Tampa Bay +7.5 (-120) — LOST $960

Houston -6 vs. NY Giants (-110) — LOST $330

Cincinnati +3 vs. Carolina (-110) — LOST $330

Miami -3 vs. Oakland (-115) — WON $300

Washington +3 vs. Green Bay (-110) — WON $300

[First Half]  Washington +1.5 — WON $200

Chicago / Arizona UNDER 38.5 (-110) — WON $200

[First Half]  Arizona +3 (even) — WON $200

Arizona +6 vs. Chicago (-110) — WON $200

 

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2018 NFL REGULAR SEASON RESULTS

STARTING BANKROLL:  $10,000.

CURRENT BALANCE:  $7,665. [- $2,335.]

OVERALL W-L RECORD:  13 wins / 14 loses / 1 pushes

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THIS WEEK’S PICKS:  12 plays…….

New England -6.5 vs. Miami (-110) — Risking $330 to Win $300

Many sharp bettors are betting Miami this week, and I can understand why.  If New England was playing well and this were a possible down spot, I’d probably take the dog with the points and join the crowd.  Clearly, Miami looks to have value.  However, this wager is entirely counterintuitive.  The Dolphins have coasted to a surprising 3-0 mark and will face a desperate New England team that should be focused and motivated.  New England hasn’t lost three straight since 2002, which is a remarkable stat.  I do see the Patriots as a team to fade in many games, but not this week.  There are -6.5 and -7 numbers all over town.  So long as we can capture a win on the 7 (and bet -6.5), I think the Patriots are worth a wager.  It might be too early to say the Patriots’ season is on the line, but this looks to be far more critical for New England than Miami.  Miami has also lost like the last ten games ATS they’ve played in Foxboro.  Even though I have made money on two previous Miami games this season, this team isn’t as talented as their record shows.  I have a hunch this game will turn into a rout — Patriots win 41-17.

 

Indianapolis [PICK] vs. Houston (-110) — Risking $33o to win $300

Colts have looked much better than expected, especially on defense.  This much maligned unit has allowed just 56 points in three games.  Indy played Eagles tough (losing by 4);  they probably should have beat Cincinnati;  and they drummed Washington on the road.  Now, Indy returns home after a two-game road trip and should be highly focused to get back to 2-2 versus a very beatable opponent that’s struggling.  Winless Houston’s problems were exposed badly last week, and I expect the Colts to take full advantage.  The final score of the Houston loss wasn’t indicative of how badly they played, and this simply isn’t a good enough team to shake off that loss and now go win on the road.  Line should be closer to Indy -3, so I’m taking the value here and counting on QB Andrew Luck to play one of his best games of the season.   Also, keep in mind Houston really is a mess offensively.  RB Lamar Miller played one of the worst games I’ve ever witnessed (10 carries for 10 yards, a critical fumble, and a holding penalty that killed two drives in the red zone — almost like he was on the take he was so bad).  QB Deshaun Watson might not be what we were expecting, either.  Through three games, he’s shown none of the flash from last season.  Texans have lost 8 straight dating back to last year.  That mindset is becoming infectious.  Colts are the play.  My prediction:  Indy wins 27-20.

 

Atlanta -4 vs. Cincinnati (-110) — Risking $330 to Win $300

Atlanta / Cincinnati OVER 53 (-110) — Risking $330 to win $300 

Bengals suffered several injuries in loss at Carolina last week and now go on the road against arguably a better team coming off a loss and at home for their third straight game.  I think that’s trouble for the Bengals, who I’ve backed in all three previous games this season.  Falcons have played a murderers’ row of opponents (Philadelphia, Carolina, and New Orleans) and draw their softest opposition yet, which probably won’t be at full strength.  Atlanta is also burdened with some defensive injuries.  This should be a high scoring game with two experienced QBs, excellent wideouts, rules which favor passing, inside a dome, and non-conference which also sometimes produces higher scores than average.  So long as the Falcons score 29+, we can’t lose both wagers.  Bengals 24th in defense.  Falcons 25th in defense.  Scoring should be early and often.  I see this one 34-27 Atlanta.

 

Oakland -2.5 vs. Cleveland (-110) — Risking $330 to Win $300

Going against the public here which is suddenly in love with the Browns after admittedly playing three very good games on defense, all of which were winnable.  Rookie QB Baker Mayfield gets his first start.  He didn’t expect to play last week and opponent didn’t prepare for him, which sometimes translates into a great “off the bench” performance.  But we often see rookies become rookies again when they’re scheduled to start, the opposition can prepare, and the game is on the road.  Another interesting stats:  Top draft choice QBs are 0-10 last ten starts on the road.  I’m not a fan of the Raiders’ talent, but they’ve played down to the wire in all three games.  I expect they’ll deliver a home win here, while Cleveland might suffer a let down after winning their first game in nearly two years.  Be sure and get -2.5 instead of -3 (lines vary).  Oakland wins this one 31-17.

 

Dallas / Detroit UNDER 44 (-110) — Risking $330 to win $300

Cowboys are on a monster UNDER run going back to mid-2017 — a combination of a good running team, a bad passing team, a good defense, and an OC that’s not taking a lot of chances with the play calling.  No reason to expect much to change this week.  Since Detroit can’t run the ball (one of the worst rushing games in the NFL dating back to last year), Dallas defense should be able focus more on the pass (Dallas #3 ranked pass defense in NFL).  So, Dallas runs the hell out of the ball, grinds lots of clock, and makes Detroit win through the air.  Total is a few points too high.  Lions also coming off huge first win of the season and might not be quite as focused this week for a road contest.  Game is tailor-made for Dallas’ strengths.  I’d bet Dallas -3 as well, but I don’t have enough confidence to play Cowboys offense to cover any number right now — just 277 YPG ranking 30th in the league.  Anyone remember the last time Dak Prescott had a big game?  Neither do I.  Dallas wins 20-17 is my prediction.

 

Tampa Bay +3 vs. Chicago (-110) — Risking $330 to win $300

[6-pt. teaser]  Tampa Bay +9 / New England -.5 (-120) — Risking $600 to win $500

[First Half]  Tampa Bay +1.5 (-110) — Risking $220 to win $200

I’m making three plays on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  The market appears to have overreacted somewhat after the Tampa Bay loss on MNF to Pittsburgh.  Had the Bucs won that game, they’d probably be PICK or perhaps even favored here.  So, the line is moving 3+ points because Tampa Bay couldn’t quite finish their comeback.  Remember also — Chicago looked like dog shit for three quarters against the worst team in the NFL last week (at Phoenix) — and was lucky to win the game.  If the Cardinals had a QB, they would have built an insurmountable lead and lost.  This is a much more explosive offense which will be tough to stop.  Bears’ QB isn’t maturing as much as many expected.  He lacks the skill to take advantage of Tampa’s weakness, which is pass defense.  Meanwhile, Tampa QB situation is going to get very interesting with Winston eligible.  This should light a fire under Fitzpatrick’s ass and he should play a good enough game to keep it close.  Very generous points here in the first half, game, and teaser.  I say Tampa Bay pulls off a mild upset here — 31-23.

 

Tennessee +3 vs. Philadelphia (-11o) — Risking $330 to win $300

[First Half]  Tennessee +1.5 9-110) — Risking $200 to win $200

Philadelphia is as unimpressive a defending Super Bowl champion as I’ve seen.  We’ve been waiting for the spark of offense to return, but this unit appears out of synch no matter who starts at QB.  I don’t think a road game against a pretty solid Titans team is the best spot for Carson Wentz to return to his 2017 form.  He played a mediocre game last week and faces are much tougher test here.  Meanwhile, Titans QB plays much better at home than on the road and Titans are playing very well defensively — upsetting Jacksonville last week.  Should be a close game, so give me the home team with the points wherever I can get them.  My prediction:  Philadelphia wins 24-23.

 

[First Half]  Baltimore +2 vs. Pittsburgh (-110) — Risking $200 to win $200

We all know these two rivals have a history of close games.  However, instead of taking the Ravens +3, instead I’m counting on Steelers coming slow out of the gate again, as they have done in many games dating back to 2017.  Baltimore has an extra day of prep time, and even though I cringe at the prospect of putting my money on a Joe Flacco offense, this unit should be able to move the ball against a Pittsburgh defense ranked#27.  BTW, Ravens come in with #1 defense and even though Steelers’ wideouts are healthy and should get plenty of yardage, I think Ravens should match the effort.  High scoring game is predicted so the +3 won’t matter as much.  But I do think the +2 is enough of an edge to make the play, especially given what we’ve seen from Pittsburgh early in games.  Looking for a tie at half time and a late FG either way to decide the outcome.

 

OTHER GAMES AND THOUGHTS:

BUF is a very tempting play at +10 against GB.  BUF is also attractive as a first half play.  However, I’m going to pass.  FWIW, whoever lays points with GB at this point given what we’ve seen in terms of poor game preparation must not like money.

What a horrible spot for the NYJ who must play at JAX the week after they were humiliated with a loss to TENN last week.  NYJ look lost coaching wise, and JAX playing back to back home games following a defeat should run up the score here.  I should lay -7 and play the favorite here.  That’s the only play that seems reasonable given the completely ineffectiveness of Jets offense in recent weeks.

SEA playing at ARZ could be a nice live pup with the Cardinals.  I had them last week.  Defense continues playing well, and back at home for 3rd game in 4 weeks, Phoenix should make a game of this, even with questions about QB Rosen starting.  SEA really a mess right now.  I wouldn’t lay points with this team under any circumstances unless it was play money or Bitcoin (same thing).

LAC hosting SFO which has to now play the backup QB the rest of the season.  Should be a rout, but line at -10.5 is a little high.  Too many question marks about how SFO will react to this situation.  Back to back road games doesn’t help the dog’s chances.  Total at 47 might be a little high given questions about SFO’s offensive capabilities.

NOR lays -3 at NYG.  Who knows which teams will show up on both sides?  NOR is notorious for losing games like this on the road.  If anything, this one looks like it could fly OVER the 52 total.

I don’t lay points on the road in division games (usually), so I won’t touch KC -4.5 at DEN.  But it looks like suicide to step in front of the Chiefs right now, the way they’re playing.  One tidbit — KC defense could be trouble.  DEN might be able to keep up and win outright.  DEN always a tough place to play in MNF.

 

MY WAGERS ON NFL SEASON WIN TOTALS:

Arizona Cardinals OVER 5.5 wins -180 — Wagering $450 to win $250   0-3

Buffalo Bills OVER 6 wins EVEN — Wagering $400 to win $400   1-2

Cincinnati Bengals OVER 6.5 wins -170 — Wagering $680 to win $400   2-1

Dallas Cowboys UNDER 8.5 wins +110 — Wagering $500 to win $550   1-2

Detroit Lions UNDER 7.5 wins EVEN — Risking $400 to win $400   1-2

Houston Texans UNDER 8.5 wins +120 — Risking $400 to win $480   0-3

Jacksonville Jaguars OVER 9 wins -145 — Risking $725 to win $500   2-1

Indianapolis Colts UNDER 6.5 wins +170 — Risking $400 to win $680   1-2

New Orleans Saints OVER 9.5 wins -145 — Risking $725 to win $500    2-1

Seattle Seahawks UNDER 8 wins (Best Bet) -150 — Risking $1,500 to win $750  1-2

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