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Posted by on Oct 2, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 0 comments

So, You’re Upset With the Left’s Response to Trump’s COVID Diagnosis?

 

 

UPON REFLECTION, A SIMPLE MESSAGE TO MY READERS

Several readers were offended by my Facebook and Twitter posts last night, which sought to highlight the dangerous consequences of Trump’s repeated lies and grotesque negligence.

I always appreciate honest and constructive feedback — and I do wish to now set the record straight. So, please allow me this opportunity to clarify my previous remarks and rephrase an opinion on the Trump First Family’s unfortunate infliction with the virus referred to repeatedly by supporters and the President alike as “a hoax.”

A few questions:

— When Trump assured us the virus is nothing to worry about, that it’s fully contained, were you offended? Did you speak up? Did you post anything raising an objection?

— When Trump was revealed to have covered-up the dangers of COVID in the Bob Woodward interviews, that he 100 percent knew all along this was a catastrophic virus almost certain to kill tens of thousands of Americans, but then still went out in front of the American people and lied over and over again, were you offended? Did you speak up? Did you post anything raising an objection?

— When Trump promised the pandemic would magically disappear “by Easter,” then “when it gets warmer,” then “by the fall,” then “by the election,” were you offended? Did you speak up? Did you post anything raising an objection?

— When Trump ignored, contradicted, and even sometimes mocked scientists and medical experts, were you offended by that? Did you speak up? Did you post anything raising an objection?

— When Trump gave himself a grade of “A+” and stated “I handled it perfectly” — MANY, MANY TIMES — were you offended? Did you speak up? Did you post anything raising an objection?

— When Trump assured us that various cures were on the horizon — hydroxychloroquine, bleach, whatever — that a vaccine was “just around the corner,” were you offended? Did you speak up? Did you post anything raising an objection?

— When Trump openly ridiculed those who wear masks dozens of times in his campaign rallies, were you offended by that? Did you speak up? Did you post anything raising an objection?

— When Trump stated three nights ago that no one at his campaign rallies was susceptible to risk and no one caught the virus (forgetting about poor Herman Cain, R.I.P.), were you offended by that? Did you speak up? Did you post anything raising an objection?

— When Trump mocked his election opponent Joe Biden in the debate three days ago for wearing a mask, were you offended? Did you speak up? Did you post anything raising an objection?

— When Trump and his cult lied and said “it’s just like the flu,” were you offended by that? Did you speak up? Did you post anything raising an objection?

— When Trump’s loyal supporters by the thousands flung millions of incendiary posts and false memes and fake videos on Facebook alleging COVID was “a giant hoax” and “a conspiracy” and “a plot by Democrats,” were you offended by that? Did you speak up? Did you post anything raising an objection?

Let me help you, Trumpsters.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, and no.

Well, at least you’re consistent.

But NOW…..suddenly the time comes when you are OFFENDED. Now, you SPEAK UP. Now, you raise an OBJECTION.

You object to Facebook posts. And Tweets. THOSE offend you.

Uhh, huh.

Well, let me just share a simple thought with you. Here, lean in a little closer. Listen and read carefully.

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FUCK YOUR FEELINGS !!!!!

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#wordsandactionshaveconsequences

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Posted by on Sep 29, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 0 comments

My Post-Debate Analysis (Biden-Trump #1)

 

DEBATE #1:  MY POST-GAME ANALYSIS

 

1.  The first thing I wrote in my “Debate Advice for Joe Biden” article posted a few days ago was to absolutely nsist the mics be turned off when it’s not the candidate’s turn to speak. Trump was appalling tonight with his rudeness and repeated interruptions. Biden committed his share of interruptions also. But Trump trampled over the debate rules and destroyed the civility of the exchange. His backers loved it, but the bluster lost him support with independents and undecideds. Biden appeared shaken a few times but also reacted to the constant interruptions much better than expected.

 

2.  Biden started off slow. In fact, he looked alarmingly lost in the first 10-12 minutes. However, as the exchanges heated up, Biden got stronger. Most viewers, even supporters, were shocked by this. Biden performed better than we expected. He also buried the concerns about his mental capacity. We did see Biden stutter repeatedly, an affliction since childhood, but there was no indication this was a sign of any mental lapse. This issue will linger a bit longer, but it’s no longer the predominant concern on the Biden candidacy.

 

3.  How the fuck is the President of the United States and White Supremacist groups still a thing? Really? In 2020? Four years into Trump’s presidency? We all saw it. We all heard it. Trump was given the softball opportunity to reject hate groups and far-Right nutjobs. Instead, his blundering and frankly jaw-dropping response was to — “stand by.” The toy cunts who called themselves the “Proud Boys” took the declaration as an open endorsement and social media supporters went wild. I cannot fucking believe there are people out there who won’t acknowledge this is yet another disgraceful episode that SHOULD call Trump’s capacity to hold public office into question.

 

4.  The Trump campaign bragged before the debate that the president didn’t prepare himself — and it certainly showed. They spent all of Tuesday waving flags about hearing aids and hidden microphones, and questions “leaked” to Biden in advance, even though the moderator was from FOX News. It was clear Trump didn’t study, research, rehearse, or strategize. He’s so self-absorbed in his narcissistic behavior patterns, there’s no deviating from his alternative universe of reality.

 

5. Since 1976, presidential debates typically produce perfectly-timed, advance-scripted moments that are the fatal wounds of candidates…..from “there you go again,” to “you’re no (John F.) Kennedy.” Trump apparently doesn’t use or listen to experts in this field. While his unwashed simpletons might love the “spontaneity,” trouble is — that flim-flam carnival barking doesn’t work at this level. Trump clearly had no zingers, mistakenly under the spell that his bullying would be enough to shake Biden and create the knockout. Trump miscalculated and lost, largely in part because of his own arrogance.

 

6.  This will not be a popular opinion, but I thought moderator Chris Wallace did about as good a job as was possible under the circumstances. He had no OFF switch. He repeatedly browbeat Trump for the interruptions and tried to give both candidates equal time. Wallace was also slightly more skewed to Biden, when he shouldn’t have been. However, given that Trump was the violator of the rules in the vast majority of transgressions, and the president’s record is what’s at issue, for the most part, Wallace handled himself well. I don’t know any moderator who could have controlled a spoiled 5-year-old on the plane constantly kicked the back of the seat. This is what Trump is.

 

7.  It’s very clear, all the guardrails in the White House have been flattened. Nobody is left to corral the out of control elephant. All the experts who might have given Trump guidance, are gone now. Resigned. Run off. Indicted. Fired. They’re all gone. Even Scarramucci and Bannon, who might have given Trump some savvy political expertise, are long gone (it shows how deranged this Administration is, when Scarramucci and Bannon are the voices of reason). What remains are toadies and sycophants. Yes-men. Social climbers. Bimbos. Mostly young inexperienced nobodies with zippo on their resume telling Trump every hour he’s the greatest. That’s the White House staff. That’s the campaign staff, oh, except for the former campaign manager who had a gun to his head a few days ago and was dragged from his home off to the psych ward. Gee, maybe this is a problem for the Trump White House, all the military people and academics, and experts being gone, and kids and ass kissers left to stroke the king.

 

8.  Biden ran to the center, but this is because Biden has always been a centrist. Trump desperately wants to paint him with the Bernie Sanders and AOC brush. but the color won’t stick. Each time Trump tried to insist Biden is a “radical leftist,” he looked like someone facing his world possible opponent — someone who is likable, experienced, sane, and compassionate. Now, we see why Trump didn’t want to run against Biden. Progressives (like myself) don’t like Biden’s centrist views. He rejected the Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and BLM grievances tonight, which really is firing up the far-Left (that’s me). But pragmatically, we see this is who Biden is, and we will support him, because the alternative is 4 more years of a horror movie.

 

9.  Biden’s best moments were when he cut off Trump and told the American voter, “this isn’t about my family or Trump’s family….it’s about YOUR family.” Given my political background, I suspect that line was scripted for Biden to use when the inevitable attacks came on Biden’s children. This was terrific. It kneecapped Trump completely. Oh, and Trump going after Biden’s son Hunter while Biden was in the midst of sharing his story about Beau’s service in the military (interrupting Biden) was a FUCKING DISGRACE. If I would have been on that stage when the Draft Dodger leveled those remarks, the orange cunt would have needed a new set of teeth. Biden was far stronger than I could have ever been. One more thing: Biden’s best line: When Trump was talking about “Biden will destroy the suburbs,” Biden shot back, “you wouldn’t know where the suburbs are unless you made a wrong turn.” Bam!

 

10.  It’s hard to think of a good moment for Trump, but a winning strategy for him is bringing up the law enforcement endorsements, then asking which ones endorse Biden. That caught Biden off-guard. He better be ready for things like that next time. Trump can embrace law enforcement and win some votes, but it’s also hard to land a punch on Biden when he’s also speaking out against violence.

 

11.  Biden blew a golden opportunity to destroy Trump in two words tonight. While Trump was boasting about his “incredible record” on his handling of COVID and bragging about his campaign rallies, when he stated “no one has had a problem from attending the rallies,” Biden’s response should have been: HERMAN CAIN. I was screaming at the TV and twitted this out, which got picked up on social media. That was such an easy softball, but Biden missed it.

12.  Finally, DO NOT debate again until the mics are turned off for the candidate not supposed to speak. Period. End of discussion. Stand firm. Make this about Trump’s inability to control himself. Would you want this idiot negotiating with North Korea?

Oh, and one more thing: Undecided voters are fucking morons.

 

My tweets tonight in real-time:

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Posted by on Sep 29, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Politics, What's Left | 2 comments

The Trump Cult

 

 

THE TRUMP CULT AND WHAT THEY SAY….

 

“….grab ’em by the pussy”

—– Oh, that was just locker room talk.

 

“I moved in on her like a bitch.”

—– Oh, that was just more locker room talk. Boys being boys.

 

“Jeffrey (Epstein) likes ’em young, and I mean really young!”

—– Yeah, but Clinton was there, too. So that makes it okay.

 

“If she (Ivanka) weren’t my daughter, I’d probably be dating her.”

—– <<<<crickets>>>>

 

“I like people who weren’t captured.”

—– Yeah, we voted for John McCain in 2008, but now since Trump doesn’t like him, McCain must be a traitor!

 

Fact: Trump paid $130,000 to silence a porn star.

—- No he didn’t! Okay, maybe he did. Well, if he did, it wasn’t illegal. You rock, Mr. President, you sly dog!

 

Fact: Trump quotes the National Inquirer and OAN.

—– That’s the real news. Not fake news, like CNN and The Washington Post.

 

Fact: Trump is a failed businessman.

—– Well, he’s owned a lot of businesses.

 

Fact: Trump won’t show us his taxes, even though he promised to do so repeatedly when running for president.

—– He can’t. He’s under audit.

 

Fact: Any taxpayer can show their tax records, at any time, even when under audit.

—– <<<<crickets>>>>

 

“Mexico will pay for the wall!”

—– <<<<crickets>>>>

 

Fact: Trump has told more than 20,000 lies, all documented.

—– Yeah, but I trust him.  This time, he’s telling us the truth.

 

Fact: Under Trump, the national deficit exploded from $14 TRILLION to $28 TRILLION. He DOUBLED the deficit in just 3.5 years.

—– Yeah, well, we only believe in balanced budgets when Democrats are in the White House.

 

Fact: Trump tweets an average of 25 times a day, digests hours of FOX News daily, and has visited his golf courses 265 times.

—– Trump is hard working.

 

“…..maybe this Covid thing is a good thing. I don’t like shaking hands with people. [Now] I don’t have to shake hands with these disgusting people.”

—– Trump loves average working Americans like me.

 

Fact: Trump rarely attends church, unless it’s a cheap political stunt or a hasty photo op and can’t cite any passages from The Bible.

—— God sent us Donald Trump. He’s like Cyrus the Great!

 

Fact: Trump LOST money 10/15 years, and by one credible estimate may have lost more money as a businessman than anyone in America since the early 1980s.

—- Yeah, but being President has cost Trump billions!

 

Fact:  Trump charges US taxpayers up to $600 per night for government officials who stay at his properties, including his Secret Service detail.

—– <<<<crickets>>>> 

 

(On American war dead) “They’re losers. They’re suckers.”

—– But, but, but, Trump loves the troops.

 

Fact: “Officials at “the highest levels of the White House were informed that Russia had paid the Taliban a bounty to kill American troops in Afghanistan.”

—– Trump doesn’t take any shit! He stands up to threats!

 

“Russia, if you’re listening……”

—– Trump was just joking.

 

“(on meddling in the 2016 election) I don’t know why it would be Russia.”

—– He misspoke.

 

“We do a lot for Ukraine….do us a favor (threatening to withhold aid, thus breaking the law)”….investigate Biden.

—– He’s not a career politician. He didn’t know he was breaking the law.

 

Fact: Trump was impeached and came within a few votes in the Senate of being removed from office.

—— It was all a giant hoax!

 

“COVID is a hoax!”

— Yeah, it’s a hoax, a plot, by the deep state, and the doctors are lying, and the media is exaggerating, and it will go away!

 

“(On injecting bleach) …..And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning.”

—– He didn’t say that. (umm yes he did)

 

“(After 205,000 American deaths, and counting) We’re rounding the corner!”

—– Yeah, we’re rounding the corner!

 

Fact: Herman Cain died of COVID one month after attending Trump’s Tulsa rally, against the advice of medical experts.

— Huh?  Who’s Herman Cain?

 

“We have a replacement plan for Obamacare and we’re going to roll it out very, very soon”…..(three years later) “in two weeks we’re going to reveal our new health plan…..(6 weeks later)…..(we’re still waiting)

—– He’s busy! (true, with tweets, TV, and golf).

 

“I’m up to 50 percent approval in the polls.”

—– (then, when bad poll numbers are reported) Well, you can’t trust polls, they’re fake!

 

Fact: More Trump officials are under indictment or convicted than any administration in American history.

—– He’s draining the swamp!  He only hires the best people!

 

Fact: Virtually ALL of those who served in the White House, ALL of them conservatives and Republicans, who are now departed now call Trump a menace, a threat, and an idiot. “He’s a fucking moron” (former Sec. of State Tillerson).

—– They’re all lying!

 

Fact: More than a dozen books have been written by ex-Trump aids, describing him as grotesquely unfit for the office, all of them former Trump supporters who enthusiastically endorsed the president.

—– They’re all lying! Every single one of them! Instead, I prefer to trust someone who told 20,000 lies, with multiple bankruptcies, who cheated on all his wives, who ignores American intelligence and believes Putin, and pays bribes to porn stars. Trump is my President!

 

Fact:  Trumpism is a cult.  

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Posted by on Sep 28, 2020 in Blog, Essays | 0 comments

My Debate Advice for Joe Biden

 

 

MY DEBATE ADVICE FOR JOE BIDEN

1.  SILENCE THE MICS — First, please tell me the Biden-Harris campaign insisted the microphone be silenced when the candidate is not speaking. This should have been Precondition #1 for holding a debate. Trump (or Biden) should never be permitted to interrupt and bully the opponent while he’s on the clock answering a question. But that’s precisely what will happen. In 2016, we witnessed dozens of annoying interruptions by Trump when rudely blustered his way into the speaking time of Hillary Clinton. THIS SHOULD NOT BE PERMITTED. I suspect the DNC probably dropped the ball here, and we’ll be in for a clusterfuck of interruptions.

2. OUT-TRUMP TRUMP — If Trump is allowed to constantly interrupt, then that calls for a total revision of strategy: I strongly recommend Biden simply begin to talk over Trump the entire time. Fuck him. Treat him like a blabbering 2-year-old with nothing to say. Every line, Biden should just bark out — “you’re lying.” As Trump attempts to continue, yell out — “you’re lying, again.” Just fucking full-metal jacket his ass. Give Trump a double dose of interruption. Don’t let up. If Trump sets the tone, then sling back a double shitshow. If that’s how the debate is going to play out, bring a bigger gun to the gunfight.

3. NO TIME TO BE NICE:  Dear Joe: Do NOT shake his hand. Don’t pretend this is a normal political debate. It isn’t. Trump doesn’t deserve any respect. Stand your ground. Act like your handshake acts means something, that it’s bestowed when merited. For years, Trump has name-called and hurled personal insults against Biden. He made it personal. So, don’t grant him the rudiments of personal admiration. The COVID restrictions on social distancing should also make this an easy thing to do. DO NOT SHAKE HIS HAND.

4. SET THE NARRATIVE AND STICK TO IT — Make this debate about character, honesty, performance, and hope. Character — Trump versus Biden (that’s an easy win for you). Honesty (that’s an easy win for you). Performance (that’s an easy win for you, especially the Obama years versus the Trump era). Hope (this is a slam dunk for you — Trump peddles fear, you offer hope).

5. ADDRESS YOUR AUDIENCE — Talk to one segment of the audience — and that is White working-class voters. That’s the swing vote. That’s who will decide this race — in MI, OH, PA, and WI. Get them on your side. This isn’t the time or place to push BLM greivances or gay rights or other issues outside of the industrial rust-belt wheelhouse. Speak to them, about their problems.

6. ATTACK, ATTACK, ATTACK — Avoid discussing petty details. Your many years working in the US Senate created a tendency to debate figures and fumble over numbers that aren’t understood by most Americans. No one cares. No one is going to change their votes over your Senate record, or the latest data from OMB or BLS. Stick to Trump’s weaknesses and vulnerabilities, which are overwhelming and obvious.

7. SELL NORMALITY — Sell normality. Promise a return to NORMAL. Offer a respite from bitter partisanship. Push the narrative that we’re all sick of politics and scandals. This is a win, if you can sell it to the American people. No one wants more politics. We want less. OFFER THAT.

8. BE HONEST — Be HONEST with the American people. Tell us, the next four years are not going to be easy. Trump has created such a steaming pile of shit, that it will take a long time to clean up the carnage. Years. Maybe a decade. So, don’t overpromise on what you can’t deliver. And make sure to repeat that Trump has created the BIGGEST DEFICIT IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. Make this point understandable by linking it to running up all the credit cards, and now we’re broke. Trump ran up all the national credit cards with idiot spending and “tax cuts” for the rich. Hammer him on this.

9. FUCK YOUR ENDORSEMENTS — We don’t care who endorses you politically, Joe. Don’t bring up “the establishment,” or that lots of Republicans are voting for you. We get that. It’s nice. But it also re-frames the debate into a contest between INSIDERS versus OUTSIDERS. And, you can’t win on that playing field. Sure, Trump is dirty as fuck and is the ultimate swamp creature. But don’t allow him to hijack the debates with the illusion he’s for working class Americans against the establishment. Run from those big names (at least in the debate), because they don’t help. They hurt, especially with undecideds and independents.

10. BE A PITBULL — Finally, don’t be nice. Being “nice” doesn’t work with Trump. Treat him like an unrepentant criminal under cross-examination inside a courtroom. Go after his bribing porn stars. Go after him cheating on all his wives. Go after his bankruptcies. Go after him fucking college students with his fraud university. Go after him screwing charities. Go after him insulting veterans — repeatedly. Go after him failing to defend American soldiers when there was a bounty on their heads. NEVER LET UP. NEVER LET GO. Pitbull his neck. Go after him on issues he can’t possibly defend. And, if he interrupts, then when he’s explaining his indefensible actions, INTERRUPT HIM and CALL HIM OUT AS A LIAR. Make it nasty. We want to see a fighter, not a pushover.

Do these ten things, Joe — and you’ll destroy Trump in the debates.

Nolan Dalla
(Your Debate Coach)

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Posted by on Sep 26, 2020 in Blog, Essays | 0 comments

2020 NFL: Week #3 Picks

 

Watch my video “Let’s Talk Football” with this week’s analysis and picks here:

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2020 NFL WAGERING RECORD

Wins — Losses — Pushes          13 — 13 — 1

Starting Bankroll:   10,000

Current Bankroll:   9,860.

Best Bets:  2 — 0 — 0 (+$700)

Last Week’s Results:          + $910.

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THOUGHTS ON EVERY GAME:

 

Washington @ Cleveland
Cleveland -7  / Total — 44.5

Comments:  On paper, the Browns should easily handle Washington, win the game, and get the cover.  Washington trailed 17-0 and 20-0 in their two games this season.  Now, they go on the road a second consecutive week versus a more rested team coming off a confidence-building win.  CLE, with ten days rest, should be the clear choice here.  They’re more talented at virtually all skill positions and should be able to dominate both yardage and time of possession.  However, one thing concerns me and that’s Washington’s “no-quit” attitude.  In both games, they fought back and won one game and came somewhat close to a cover in the other.  So, while I’m not comfortable laying a full touchdown with the unproven Browns, I am confident they’ll win the game.  Accordingly, a teaser in recommended here, taking CLE and moving the spread down to -1.  The pick:  TEASE CLEVELAND TO -1

 

Las Vegas @ New England
New England -5.5 / Total — 47.5

Comments:  This is a perfect storm for the Patriots.  A talented, well-coached team coming off a loss, facing a team that may be a little overrated coming off their biggest win in years and now having to travel on the road to the East Coast.  Terrible spot here for the Raiders on a short week (they won the MNF game at home).  Bill Belichick coming off a loss is a cover machine — since 2013, Patriots are 16-8 ATS coming off a loss.  Last 5 years, NWE is 25-13-1 ATS as a home favorite.  There’s compelling reasons to like NWE here — based on trends, personnel, and the situation.  Cam Newton has also looked solid running the offense. Last three years, Raiders are just 9-14 ATS as a road underdog.  I feel good about laying -5.5 with the favourite, but the play here will be to take Patriots on the teaser.  Normally, we don’t tease across the “0,” but given we can take NWE plus a half-point, I’ll make that the play.  The pick:  TEASE NEW ENGLAND TO +.5

 

Houston @ Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh -4 / Total — 45

Comments:  HOU getting points should be the play here.  Texans dismal showing in their first two games can be partially explained by facing the best two team in the NFL — BAL and KC.  Things don’t get too much easier this week with a road game at PIT.  However, strength of schedule disparity is what leads me to believe the dog is the play.  PIT played two of the weakest offenses in the NFL their first two, which sets them up for a possible letdown here as they step up slightly in class.  I also suspect the PIT defensive rankings could be inflated after facing two inept offenses — tougher test here.  HOU probably needs this game to save their season given divisional rivals TENN and INDY look like playoff teams.  Even with huge concerns the Texans aren’t the same team without WR Hopkins, there’s still enough talent on this team (what’s wrong with QB Watson?) to keep this close.  HOU at +4 is worth a strong look and I expect many solid cappers will take the Texans with their backs against the wall.  But for me, the value is with HOU in the first-half getting +3.  That’s a nice edge for a team that should come out of the locker room with some intensity.  HOU may find PIT an easier foe than their last two opponents, so that’s the play in this game for me.  The Pick:  HOUSTON +3 (FIRST HALF)

 

Tennessee @ Minnesota
Tennessee – 3 / Total — 49.5

Comments:  These two teams are a combined 0-4 ATS.  Both have underachieved, but TEN is content with a 2-0 start.  Meanwhile, MIN looks like a disaster ward.  This is a critical game for the Vikings, who could fall to 0-3 and essentially be bounced out of the playoff race in September (some picked this team to win the NFC North).  Linesmakers might have overreacted here.  QB Cousins will never be a Top 5 QB, but he’s not as bad as he’s looked the first two games.  One expects a better effort this week.  If JAX posted 30 on the Titans’ defense as they did last week, there’s no excuse for MIN not to produce some points.  Lean strongly to Minnesota in the game based on motivation and some concerns TEN might not be as good a team as I forecasted (I had them challenging BAL and KC in the AFC).  But I’ll skip making any wagers.  NO PLAY 

 

Chicago @ Atlanta
Atlanta -3 / TOTAL — 47.5

Comments:  An 0-2 team is laying a field goal to a 2-0 team.? This might look odd, but a closer examination of the team strengths and weaknesses shows ATL is the superior team.  Add some extra motivation for this game off the DAL debacle last week (ATL should have won, and would have except for a special teams blunder), and the Falcons should be included in your portfolio of Week #3 wagers.  ATL offense is rocking.  Big concern is on defense.  CHI won its first two games, by four points each, and ran the ball for 149-135 yards in those games.  So, I expect CHI will pound the ball.  My initial lean was to the UNDER based on some expectation CHI will eat lots of clock with that ground attack, and neither team will blow the other out, leading to more conservative play (both ATL games were early blowouts, leading to pass-happy catch-up).  Unfortunately, I missed the 47.5 and now that total is at 47.  That’s just enough to make me skip the total wager, opting instead for ATL -3 which is certainly more talented offensively, playing at home, and will be desperate for a win.  CHI is 2-0 with turnovers and also got to play a cupcake schedule (DET and NYG).  I’ll take ATL which faced SEA and DAL and now gets a much softer opponent, especially with a weak offense.  Even a bad ATL defense won’t be tested versus the Bears.  The Pick:  ATLANTA -3 {BEST BET}

 

Cincinnati @ Philadelphia
Philadelphia -4.5 / Total — 47

Comments:  Bengals lost their first two games, by 3-5 points.  But their most glaring weakness is defense — allowing 370 rushing yards in their first two games.  This would normally make PHILA an attractive play, but there’s no way to back this team in its current funk.  Eagles lost their first two games, and were outscored 36-3 in 2nd half.  Eagles turned the ball over three times in both games, and is currently -5 in turnovers.  Eagles are just 4-10-1 ATS in last 15 games as a home favorite.  Despite their well-deserved reputation as a horrible franchise, CIN is actually undervalued on the road — Bengals are 15-8-1 ATS as a road underdog last three seasons.  I don’t think we are getting enough points for the game, but the first-half line hooked me in with CIN getting +3.5 with extra juice.  Ten days of prep time (CIN played last Thurs.) and some sparks of optimism, especially with the offense led by QB Burrow puts me on the Bengals in the first half, though we lay some extra vig.  Not sure PHILA deserves to be laying points to anyone until they show they can actually win a game.  The Pick:  CINCINNATI +3.5 (-125) IN FIRST HALF  

 

LA Rams @ Buffalo
Buffalo -2 / Total — 47

Comments:  LAR are a bit of a surprise at 2-0 in their two games both SU and ATS, running ball for 153-191 yards, converting 16-29 on 3rd downs.  LAR is also 6-2 ATS in their last eight games as a road underdog.  Tempting to play LAR catching points, and I will do exactly that.  Not sure +2 is enough to bite, but in a predicted close game I see some value with LAR, who can run the ball and move the clock, catching +1 in the first half.  BUF has played well, but look who they’ve faced — NYJ and MIA.  We haven’t seen BUF beat good teams yet, and this is their first test.  In what looks to be nearly a toss-up, I’m taking the more proven team getting a point.  The Pick:  LA RAMS +1 IN FIRST HALF   

 

San Francisco @ NY Giants
San Francisco -4 / Total — 42

Comments:  Injuries for both teams makes this a tough game to handicap.  NYG star RB Barkley (overrated) is out for the season, but what does that matter since this offensive line is so horrid — just 1o4 yards rushing so far in two games?  SFO lost a whopping NINE starters (nine!), including QB Garopollo, which means they’ll likely struggle on both sides of the ball.  Looks like a possible spot for an upset, but given NYG woeful play so far, I can’t back them.  Optimal wager here is probably the UNDER, which is close to league average, despite numerous injuries to players at skill positions.  49ers spending this week practicing in West Virginia, after playing in NY last week, so it’s a rare back to back road trip to the same stadium.  NYG are a dismal 1-11 ATS in last dozen games as a home underdog.  But it wouldn’t shock me to see NYG get their first win here.  I look for heavy running by SFO and NYG offense to continue to struggle, so the UNDER looks to be the play.  The Pick:  SAN FRANCISCO/NY GIANTS UNDER 42

 

NY Jets @ Indianapolis
Indianapolis -11.5 / Total — 44

Comments:  NYJ are widely considered the NFL’s worst team, with justification.  Jets lost their first two games, by 10-18 points — they trailed both games 21-3 at the half.  That shows a complete lack of preparation.  Oddly enough, NYJ do tend to be a pretty good bet at home when catching points, but as a road underdog, they are a horrid 8-17-1 ATS in their last 26 road games.  So, that’s why NYJ are the biggest underdog on the board this week.  Add INDY’s impressive offensive output in two games, nearly 2-1 in yardage superiority in those contests, and this should be blowout if recent trends continue.  QB Rivers has looked surprisingly efficient in this Colts offense, which is a balanced run and pass threat.  INDY enjoys just about every calculable advantage here, but they’ve also been known to letdown to opponents like this (recall home losses to CIN and OAK last season).  As a general rule, I don’t lay double digits in the NFL, but I can’t fault anyone who does in this situation.  Head coach Adam Gase likely be to be fired soon.  NO PLAY

 

Carolina @ LA Chargers
LA Chargers -6.5 / Total — 44

Comments:  LAC played a much better game than were expected in the nail-biting loss to KC last week and now get a massive step down in class, versus CAR.  Thing is, LAC just aren’t a team that blows out its opponents, even dating back to the Rivers era.  Last week, KC was caught off guard by the gametime change at Qb (a freak injury to Taylor mandated that Herbert got the surprise start).  These were very two different styles of QB and now CAR will have time to prepare for the young rookie.  Trouble is, CAR defense is horrible.  So, while I’d be inclined to take the points here, I can’t bite.  For those thinking LAC are the easy money here, consider this sobering stat:  QB Teddy Bridgewater (CAR) is 17-8 1 ATS on the road in his career starts.  And Bridgewater is now GETTING +6.5 versus a rookie starting QB?  Really?  If anything, it’s CAR on this game that deserves the money.  But I’m going to skip it for better opportunities elsewhere.  The Pick:  NO PLAY

 

Tampa Bay @ Denver
Tampa Bay -5.5 / Total — 43

Comments:  Since when does Tampa deserve to be laying close to a TD on the road against anyone?  DEN is a very quiet 2-0 ATS in two losses.  DEN lost its first two games, by 2 and 5 points, respectively.  Meanwhile, TB nearly got backdoored at home versus CAR last week.  DEN QB Lock is out for two weeks with injury, so backup Driskel gets the start — just 1-7 as a starter for the Bengals/Lions the last few years.  He’s on a better team here, especially on defense, so I’m not sure the drop off is really significant.  It’s not like QB Lock was successful moving the ball.  DEN is 7-3-1 ATS in its last 11 games as a home underdog and has historically been a very solid early season team at home.  TB has no business laying this number since DEN showed they can slow down PIT and TEN offenses, so even with the QB change I’m fading the public misperception on TB here (still unproven IMHO) and taking generous points in both the first half and the game.  The Pick:  DENVER +5.5 IN GAME and DENVER +3.5 (-120) IN FIRST HALF

 

Dallas @ Seattle
Seattle -5 / Total — 57

Comments:  Seahawks won their first two games, scoring 38-35 points (10 TD’s in 20 drives — which is NFL best percentage).  DAL scored 40 points last week, though that was due to a crazed catch-up desperation mode offense.  Points won’t be nearly as easy to come by, this week.  SEA-NWE game on SNF produced 64 points, so all those factors have driven the total up to a whopping 57 points, the highest in the NFL so far this season.  I’m fading that movement, which I think is an overreaction.  Total is too high here, perhaps by 3-4 points.  A closer game is expected, and since both teams can run the ball, that may eat up some clock.  Both defenses are certainly capable of better performances than they’ve shown through two weeks, and if one of them shows up, this game should fall UNDER the number.  The Pick:  DALLAS/SEATTLE UNDER 57

 

Detroit @ Arizona
Arizona -6 / Total — 55.5

Comments:  I don’t like laying lots of points in the NFL but I don’t understand why ARZ isn’t getting more credit.  They should be laying at least -7 in this spot, especially given the offense is improving and arguably may be right up there alongside BAL and KC.  They get another woeful defense in the Lions this week, so given the high game total, they should get into the 30s.  Credit DET for playing pretty well in first half of games, but in the second half, they’ve been dismal — Lions have been outscored 46-17 in 2nd half.  Is it a lack of conditioning, or coaches failing to make adjustments?  I don’t know.  But ARZ should be able to take advantage of the glaring pass defense lapses on the Lions side of the ball.  Also worth noting — Cardinals pounded the ball for 180-160 yards in first two wins, so that’s a balance this team didn’t have in years past (I know it’s early, but I”m very bullish on the Cardinals as the next possible dominant team in the NFC).  I’m laying -6 with confidence.  DET was destroyed by GB pass attack last week.  It’s not any easier here with ARZ’s multiple weapons.  The Pick:  ARIZONA -6

 

SNF: Green Bay @ New Orleans
New Orleans -3 / Total — 52.5

Comments:  Green Bay won its first two games, scoring 43-42 points (9 TD’s on 18 drives). Packers also ran ball for a staggering 417 yards, threw for 593.  NOR defense got shredded in last week’s game, and will be put to the test here in a game that suddenly has some urgency for the Saints.  Some concerns in NOR and NFL circles that QB Brees could be showing some signs of age, losing some velocity with passes.  I’m not ready to bench him just yet (joking), but I don’t want to lay points on the Saints in their current situation.  NOR is also a really bad early-season home favorite dating back last 5-6 seasons, so I’m not laying a FG to the Packers.  Saints are 5-11 ATS in last 16 games as a home favorite.  Some issues with injuries at well for the Saints.  GB probably deserves a wager, but I’m going to wait until gametime since the line is (inexplicably) moving to -115 and -120 in some places on the Saints at -3.  The Pick:  NO PLAY

 

MNF: Kansas City @ Baltimore
Baltimore -3.5 / Total — 54.5

Comments:  Another high total makes me go UNDER the number.  This looks to be the best MNF game in a long while, so many fans will expect fireworks.  But I also see two very good defenses.  I expect one of them to step it up here and keep this total under the number.  A close game would also help the cause for the UNDER here, as these two powerhouse teams typically build big leads, wear out opponents, and the games fly over the number as opposing offenses have to throw every down.  But here, we may see a different outcome.  Similar to last season’s 20-17 epic defensive battle (SFO at BAL), we could see something similar here if things break right and linebackers on both teams are able to pass defend (that’s the key to stopping both offenses IMHO).  Looks like a game that could go 27-24 either way, so I’m going to bite on the UNDER.  Also, tempting to play BAL here which I think has something more to prove, but the hook keeps me off them for now.  The Pick:  KANSAS CITY/BALTIMORE UNDER 54.5

 

RECOMMENDATIONS (11 picks):

 

TEASER:  CLEVELAND -1 / NEW ENGLAND +.5 — $480 to win $400

BEST BET:  ATLANTA -3 vs. Chicago — $550 to win $500

HOUSTON +3 (FIRST HALF) vs. Pittsburgh — $220 to win $200

CINCINNATI +3.5 (-125) IN FIRST HALF vs Phila. – $220 to win $200  

LA RAMS +1 IN FIRST HALF  vs. Buffalo — $22o to win $200

SAN FRANCISCO/NY GIANTS UNDER 42 — $275 to win $250

DENVER +5.5 vs. Tampa Bay — $220 to win $200

DENVER +3.5 (-120) IN FIRST HALF vs. Tampa Bay — $360 to win $300

DALLAS/SEATTLE UNDER 57 — $275 to win $250

ARIZONA -6 vs. Detroit — $330 to win $300

KANSAS CITY/BALTIMORE UNDER 54.5 — $220 to win $200

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