After a rough start in NFL Week #1, this past slate of games and results in Week #2 produced far better results. However, there’s still a long way to go.
What’s really going well, so far, are my Las Vegas handicapping contest entries. Actually, it’s a syndicate of investors and I mange the $10,000 worth of entries week-to-week in two contests. Here’s the latest report about that:
Circa Survivor Update:
Read more about my thoughts in NFL Week #3 and more here at SurvivorSweat.com. These articles focus mainly on my entries in the $1,000 buy-in Circa Survivor contest.
If you want to read my survivor picks for NFL #3, click here and go to SurvivorSweat.com. Free to sign up and subscribe, including some really good contest content from other writers/gamblers.
In 2023 Circa Survivor, we invested $3,000 into a whopping $9,267,000 prize pool. In Circa Survivor, we currently have 2 live tickets. I like where we’re at, given that more than one-third of the field is already eliminated — only 5,924 of 9,267 Circa Survivor entries remain. We have 2 of them. Oh, and $9,267,000 winner take all goes to first place.
Nine mil. It’s going to be one helluva’ party, IF……..
One time, one time, baby, one time.
Westgate Super Contest
Aside from a perfect slate, we stand at about as good a place as can reasonably be expected right now.
In the Westgate Super Contest, we invested $7,000 into a $1,301,000 prize pool (official numbers aren’t announced yet). All 7 of our tickets are at .500 or better. So, even the worst ticket is only 4 games out of first place. Our best ticket is 2 games out of first place. I’m thrilled with this considering Week #1 was a bad start for us.
Some other facts I culled from the published online standings:
- No one is 10-0. Not even 1 ticket.
- Best record is 9-1, shared by only 5 players.
- There are 1,301 entrants.
- 480 of 1301 have a 4-5-1 record, or worse.
- 1 player is at 0-10.
Here’s the entries and standings, which are published weekly at the Westgate SuperBook website:
More About Last Week
Small win betting cash on last week’s games. You can scroll down below (all the way to the end) and see a capsule of those results, with each wager and outcome. Note that I only post what I write up in advance. Halftime wagering, in-game wagering, and so forth is not counted here, since those results aren’t verifiable. One thing I value is posting an accurate record (which many so-called “handicappers” fail to do).
Looking ahead, here are my thoughts on all the games for Week #3, along with my picks.
2023 NFL WAGERING RECORD
21 — Wins
24 — Losses
1 — Pushes
Starting Bankroll: $10,000.
Current Bankroll: $8,895.
Net Gain/Loss: – $1,465
Last Week: 11 wins – 10 losses (- $60.)
11-Year Comprehensive Record (2012-present):
Correction: Earlier, I counted ATL as a win, when it was in fact, a loss. ATL covered in my Westgate contest pick at +1, but it was -1.5 here when I made the pick and it was posted. Naturally, I count the number that appears here on my site at the time it’s posted. Hence, it’s a loss. ATL won by just 1 point, and didn’t cover the -1.5 line.
NY Giants at San Francisco
Line: 49ers -10.5
—– Question: Should San Francisco be favored by -10.5 points in the Thursday Night game versus the NY Giants? If we asked this question before the season started, the answer would have been a resounding — no. In fact, it’s likely the 49ers would have been 6 to 7 point favorites (at most). But the Giants have looked so terrible in their first two games — or at least seven of the eight quarters they played — that betting on them right now require a leap of faith, and perhaps even a death wish. It’s astounding that the Giants have been outscored 46-0 in the first half to two games, thus far. They’ve been outplayed in every facet — offense, defense, and special teams. The Giants have just one takeaway in eight quarters. The offensive line looks like shit. And QB D. Jones is back to his awful self (due in some measure to the awful OL and non-existent WRs), reminding us of why he’s 23-33-1 SU as an NFL starter. Even worse, in a case of bad timing for the struggling G-Men, RB S. Barkley — the Giant’s best offensive threat — has been ruled out with an ankle injury. But the good news for the Giants, if any, is…..they’re 1-1, which is something of a miracle when you look at stats in the box scores.
——Meanwhile, San Francisco is showing us again they they’re among the favorites to win the NFC. They put on a clinic in the opener at Pittsburgh, demolishing the Steelers. And while they were put to the test in a tougher-than-expected game vs. division rival LA Rams last week (who covered in the final seconds on a controversial “meaningless” field goal), the 49ers were up by 10 late and continued to force turnovers and make big plays when they were needed. QB B. Purdy is 9-1 in his career is appears to be as seasoned as any of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. This is also the Niners’ home opener after two road games, while the Giants are playing back-to-back roadies, which is never an easy task.
—–A few key trends worth mentioning include:
– Since 2018, NYG are 25-11 ATS as a road underdog
– SFO is 13-8-1 ATS in last 22 games coming off a win.
– SF) was 7-1 ATS as a home favorite last season.
—–I won’t bet on the Giants given all their problems, But laying 10.5 seems like a lot. There’s some temptation to tease the 49ers down to -4.5, and expect some bettors who are scared of the hook on the 10, will do exactly that. But I don’t like ugly hooks (i.e., half points) whenever they fall on the wrong side of a key number, and 4 is a key number. Looking at the betting menu, this is a tough game to find a bargain. Where I do see an opportunity is in the number of points by San Francisco in the first half. The 49ers team total is 13.5 juiced to -130. I like this number to go OVER. A few reasons why:
>SFO scored 20 in the 1H at Pittsburgh and 17 in the 1H at LA Rams. Back home versus what looks like an average defense, at best, the Niners should put up points.
>SFO averaged just 13.6 1H points last season, but that was with uncertainty at QB for half of their games and part of the season without RB McCaffrey, who was acquired in midseason. With Purdy (and McCaffrey), the offense played much better and was particularly aggressive early in games.
->With NYG awful 1H numbers, so far, that could play into an extra possession or two in the 1H. SFO also forces lots of turnovers (+5 already this season and +19 since start of 2022). Also, in their first two games, 49ers won starting field position over their opponents by 10-8 yards.
First Half: San Francisco Team Total OVER 13.5 at -130 (Risking $130 to win $100)
Tennessee at Cleveland
Line: Browns -3.5 (-115)
—– Tennessee continues to be disrespected by linesmakers and the betting public. This marks the Titans’ third straight game where they’ve been awarded a field goal or higher on the line. Fortunately, I’ve taken advantage of the undervalued Titans in the first two weeks and been rewarded by getting covers both times. Since my first two Titans dates went well, I’m asking this cutie out again and hoping to make another score. She’s been paying off like a slot machine. May the third time be a charm.
——I understand Cleveland being favored here, but I don’t understand the hook on the 3 (now at +3.5). At most, the wounded and deflated Browns should be laying a field goal. We all watched the Browns on Monday night as they disintegrated offensively, turning the ball over for 14 points and basically gifting the game to the sloppy Steelers. QB D. Watson’s stats continue to be alarming as he ranks 25th or worse in just about every meaningful statistical category. But Watson’s worst quality is making mental blunders and failing to protect the ball that’s costing his team possession (and worse even–the game). We also watched the RB N. Chubb injury, a devastating loss which has to impact the Browns’ top-5 rushing attack as a huge subtraction (Update; Chubb is out for the season). So, this seems like a great fade against a inconsistent, struggling, losing team that just lost arguably their best player and then being forced to play again on a short week. Let me credit the Browns defense which has played two outstanding games — shutting down Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. I was even impressed with their Cleveland D’s swagger, which you don’t usually see on the Browns. I’m not sure that will be enough for this offense with so many question marks right now.
——Perhaps Cleveland will continue their defensive success as Tennessee’s offense remains inconsistent. However I think there’s enough talent on the Titans and certainly experience to go into Cleveland and get the W–and if not, then at least cover a field goal. I’ve been a vocal critic of the play-calling by the Titans in recent years which can drive you crazy if you’re betting on them. That said, the offense does try to create balance with both a dual run and pass threats. I’ve been checking reports on this game and I still don’t understand why the line isn’t Cleveland -2.5 (or perhaps -3, at most). So, I’m taking the Titans for the third consecutive week on the point spread.
—–Finally, sports can also be a mental game as much as physical. I think it’s going to be tough for Cleveland to shake off that loss in Pittsburgh, which is a game they should have won (Browns out-yarded Steelers by 150+ yards) but were killed by sacks and turnovers. The Chubb injury has to impact this team’s confidence, as well. A good team can overcome setbacks, but the Browns are not a good team. Watson has yet to play a solid game since his return in midseason 2022, and his teammates will be questioning his leadership at some point. So long as the Titans don’t get foolish and feed RB. D. Henry and get enough pass completions in-between, the road underdog should keep this one close and possibly win outright.
First Half: Tennessee +1.5 (Risking $115 to win $100)
Tennessee Team Total (Full Game) OVER 17.5 (Risking $110 to win $100)
Tennessee +3.5 at -115 (Risking $230 to win $200)
New England at NY Jets
Line: Patriots -2.5
—–This is a difficult matchup to handicap because of glaring ineptitudes of both offenses. It’s hard to believe that 0-2 New England could be favored over anybody on the road after falling behind in both of their first two games by more than two touchdowns. But that’s how quickly their opponent, the 1-1 Jets, have plunged in the minds of bettors, especially after watching the horrific ineptitude from the Jets offensive unit in Dallas last week. Calling Zach Wilson a quarterback is a bit like referring to Danny Bonaduce as a celebrity. Yeah, the uniform sorta’ fits. But the longer you watch the head-scratching spectacle, the revelation gradually comes into focus and what emerges is an empty shell of confusion, utterly devoid of skill or talent. Wilson’s career stat lines are dreadful, and apparently the prep work between Weeks #1 and #2 didn’t help his development. It’s tempting to fade the Jets until they prove they can move the ball with any consistency. It’s one thing to miss throws and drop a few passes. Yet, Wilson doesn’t seem like he’s using the same playbook as his teammates. Wrong pass routes, Bad snap counts. Motion penalties. As for NY Jets defense, we keep hearing how good they are. But I remain unconvinced.
—–Betting against a team that can’t score points would normally seem like the right play, but after watching New England’s offensive line closely last week in their SNF loss to Miami, it was obvious that this unit could not run block nor past protect. Let me put it this way–when you’re team is getting run over by the Miami defense in your second of back-to-back home games and defensive linemen are breathing down Mac Jones’ shoulder pads every play that’s not a team I want to lay points with.
——Given the situation, it seems UNDER 36.5 could be the obvious play. I must say–thats a really low total. In today’s pass-happy NFL with refs throwing flags for so many tick-tack infractions – including pass interference and roughing the passer and unnecessary roughness- it’s hard for me to go UNDER these low numbers like I used to. I once used to pounce on “bad” games like this. Not anymore. Sure, this could land someplace in the 20-17 sphere. Given what we’ve seen from both teams, I’m having trouble finding any value.
—–Last week, I got burned on the Jets when I found an early rogue line on the Jets Team Total at 13.5 for the full game. I figured no NFL team should have a total of that low, ever, as long as it’s not an inclement weather situation. The punchless Jets could only muster 10 points, 7 of which came on one fluke play. I got sick watching the Jets struggle every series to make first downs and went 3-and-out several times. Even worse — the passing game just isn’t there. As much as I’m tempted to get suckered into taking “plus points” or or “plus moneyline” where it appears on various props, I just can’t pull the trigger with real money on this game. So, I’m going to pass.
LA Chargers at Minnesota
Line: Vikings -1
—–Initially, this was a matchup I had zero interest in betting. The primary excuse for my avoidance is simple– volatility. Even though both teams entered the 2023 season as playoff contenders, it’s hard to back either one of these winless disappointments considering they’re both 0-2 SU and 0-2 ATS. Both defenses have played poorly, especially the Chargers. Then there’s a stat that’s hard to believe: The Vikings’ running game ranks dead last in the NFL, averaging just 2.6 YPC in their first two games. I don’t like betting on team that can’t at least generate something close to the league average (4.3 YPC) and create some balance. Admittedly, both powerful passing attacks are among the league’s best, statistically speaking.
—–High-totaled games plays into an admitted bias on my part when it comes to NFL handicapping, I shy away from offensive-minded games, pass-happy matchups. I don’t want both QBs throwing the ball 50+ times. too many different things can happen, and no one know what they are. Instead, give me the so-called “boring” low-scoring games so far as trying to find some value from it. These “last team with the ball wins” games filled with big plays are terrible situations to bet on, unless you just want to shoot dice and gamble, because that’s all this is.
—–I presume the Vikings may get some late support simply because they’re at home while the Chargers are playing their second straight road game. Add some perceived advantage for 10 days of prep time (the Vikings played a Thursday game in Week #2). Home field “advantage” isn’t what it used to be, but it should still be worth more than a point, so I can see a slight lean to the Vikings right simply based on the number, which I expect will movie up slightly near game time. However, for me this game is a pass at the moment.
CHECK BACK LATER FOR UPDATES ON ALL NFL GAMES WHICH WILL BE ANALYZED, WITH PICKS ON THURS, FRI, AND SAT.
Note: Some of these reports were written and posted as early as Thursday, so the lines may have changed. I try to update this page until game times.
Last Week’s Results:
Atlanta -1.5 (Risking $110 to win $100)…..LOST
Cincinnati -3 (Risking $220 to win $200)…..LOST
Baltimore/Cincinnati UNDER 47 (Risking $220 to win $200)…..LOST
Seattle +5 (Risking $275 to win $250)…..WON
Tennessee +3 at -120 (Risking $220 to win $200)…..WON
First Half: Chicago +1.5 at -115 (Risking $230 to win $200)…..LOST
Jacksonville +3.5 at -120 (Risking $240 to win $200)…..LOST
Kansas City-Jacksonville UNDER 51 (Risking $220 to win $200)…..WON
First Half: Indianapolis + .5 (half point)….($120 to win $100)…..WON
LA Rams +8 (Risking $165 to win $150)….WON
NY Jets Team Total OVER 13.5 at -130 (Risking $260 to win $200)…..LOST
Washington +3.5 at -105 (Risking $210 to win $200)….WON
Washington Team Total OVER 17 at -120 (Risking $240 to win $200)….WON
New England +3 at -115 (Risking $230 to win $200)…..LOST
New England Team Total OVER 22.5 (Risking $110 to win $100)….LOST
New Orleans -3 (Risking $220 to win $200)….PUSH
First Quarter Total: OVER 6.5 at -145 (Risking $145 to win $100)….WON
First Half: Pittsburgh +.5 at -115 (risking $15 to win $100)….WON
Pittsburgh +2.5 (Risking $220 to win $200)…..WON
Minnesota +6.5 (Risking $110 to win $100)…..WON
Minnesota/Philadelphia UNDER 49 (Risking $110 to win $100)…..LOST
First Half: Minnesota Team Total OVER 9.5 at -130 (Risking $130 to win $100)…..LOST