NFL Week #11
Well, I’m officially in the win column for the season — up by a whopping $196. Now, let’s build on those crumbs and hopefully close out the year strong.
Two reminders for readers — both are Las Vegas and gambling related.
Here’s a link to a column I wrote about the disgraceful decision to shift the MNF game out of Mexico City. READ MORE HERE
Here’s a link to a review I wrote about The Mob Museum in Las Vegas. I visited for the first time this past week. READ MORE HERE
Now, on to Week #11. I love this week’s card. My thoughts are below.
2018 NFL REGULAR SEASON RESULTS
STARTING BANKROLL: $10,000.
CURRENT BALANCE: $10,196 [+ 196.]
OVERALL W-L RECORD: 34 wins / 34 loses / 3 pushes
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS: 5-2-0 (+$560)
Cleveland Browns +6 vs. Atlanta (-110) — WON $400
Oakland Raiders +10 vs. LA Chargers (-110) — LOST $440
Tennessee +7 vs. New England (-110) — WON $400
Arizona +16 vs. Kansas City (-110) — WON $400
Buffalo +7 vs. NY Jets (-110) — WON $200
NY Giants +3 vs. San Francisco (-110) — WON $200
6-PT TEASER: Philadelphia (-1) vs. Dallas / Washington +9.5 vs. Tampa (-120) — LOST $600
THIS WEEK’S PICKS: (Note: All lines are taken from Westgate Las Vegas as of Saturday afternoon):
ATLANTA / DALLAS UNDER 50 — Risking $330 to win $300
This total just hit 50. I would have bet it at any number 48 or higher. Inexplicably, I think this total is moving the wrong way. Dallas defense is for real, ranked near the top of most defensive categories. While Cowboys have struggled on the road, they’ve managed to hold most opponents to average or below average scoring numbers — about 20 PPG. Atlanta isn’t the high-octane offense of years past. I expect Cowboys will keep Atlanta under 28, the most they’ve allowed any opponent this season. Meanwhile, this looks to be a terrible spot for the Dallas offense. Coming off a rare road win and upset of Super Bowl champion Philadelphia likely made the Cowboys show every trick in the bag, and now headed on the road a second straight week, I don’t expect Dallas to hit the same stride against an equally desperate opponent. Both teams need this game badly. I look for Cowboys to eat up lots of clock on the ground and field position to dictate. A late field goal should decide it. Although I hate betting UNDERs in domes on carpet, I think this is one of those games that lands 23-20 and stays well under the total.
FIRST HALF: TENNESSEE + 1 vs. INDIANAPOLIS — Risking $220 to win $200
With QB Andrew Luck, Indianapolis has dominated this series, winning the last 10 games with number 12 under center. Nonetheless, I see Tennessee as the better team, especially coming off two convincing wins against Dallas and New England in successive weeks. Titans can run the ball, and Colts have one of the weaker defensive fronts. Meanwhile, Tennessee allows fewest yards per game in the league. This puts all the pressure on Luck to deliver yet again. I’m tempted to play the dog getting points for the game. However, I think the better value appears to be taking Tennessee, playing well at the moment, with a point in the first half.
HOUSTON -3 vs. WASHINGTON — Risking $550 to win $5oo
I rarely lay points in the road, but given the critical injury situation to the Redskins’ offensive line, I’m comfortable laying this number. Washington has a cluster injury problem with three OL starters replaced by backups. The Redskins picked up a false win last week, getting outgained by miserable Tampa Bay by more than 200 yards, and won due to turnovers. Houston, winners of six straight off the bye, should be focused here. The key is the Texans’ defensive front. I’m anticipating the Redskins’ offense will have serious problems rushing and protecting the QB. Even some concerns Houston should be laying points, especially with key WR out, I look for this game to be won (and hopefully covered) in the trenches.
LA CHARGERS -7 vs. DENVER — Risking $330 to win $300
Chargers have very quietly been on a roll. They get overlooked as a contender due to all the focus on KC, LAR, NOR, NWE, and PIT — but the Chargers appear to be every bit as good as those top teams. Any of these other teams would probably be laying -8 or -9, but Chargers unusual home situation probably costs them a few points, and that gives us some value. Credit LAC for two impressive road wins last few weeks and some really strong play on defense. I look for Denver to struggle big here, which hasn’t looked good on the road (just 1-3 on the highway). QB Keenum with a meager 12-10 TD/INT ratio is badly outclassed here by Rivers. These are two teams headed in opposite directions, so I’m prepared to lay the touchdown.
ARIZONA -5 vs. OAKLAND — Risking $440 to win $400
Laying points with the Cardinals is never a comforting prospect, but the Oakland Raiders’ situation is most unusual. Stocked with draft picks the next few seasons, Coach Gruden’s long-term contract, and the pending move to Las Vegas, its apparent Oakland has written off the season. Offensive production has collapsed. They’ve traded away one of their best players. Watching this team on the sidelines resembles a half-circus/half team that doesn’t care. Rarely do we see such an open display of possible tanking games, but this appears to be the case. Meanwhile, Arizona already has their future QB in position. Cardinals possess a better than average rushing game. I look for the home team to put up a much-needed confidence-building win for the home crowd. So, I’ll lay the number.
JACKSONVILLE +5.5 vs. PITTSBURGH — Risking $220 to win $200
FIRST HALF: JACKSONVILLE +3 (EVEN) — Risking $200 to win $200
It’s hard to bet on teams like Jacksonville, which presents so many uncertainties as to motivation? Have they mailed in the season, yet? I’m guessing — no. Here’s a chance to gain some much-needed respectability against a team the Jaguars have played well against in recent seasons, playing at home getting generous points. Yes, Pittsburgh is rolling, but they don’t typically go on the road and put up huge numbers. Jacksonville still has the heart of a good defense and I expect they should keep this closer than the line indicates. I’d put this number at PIT -3, so we’re getting some value. I’m also taking the dog plus a FG in the first half. PIT is frequently a slow-starting team, so I’m counting on the Jags being very much in this game at halftime.
MNF: KANSAS CITY +3.5 vs. LA RAMS — Risking $330 to win $300
The game of the year was moved (disgraceful!), but that does give us some betting opportunities that might not have existed otherwise. This game looks to be a tossup, so I’m taking the points given all the uncertainty. Although the Rams are at home, they’ve been traveling just as much as the opponent, since the Rams trained (for high-altitude MX DF) in Denver this past week. I think all the upheaval probably helps the road dog here. Moreover, the Rams haven’t shined as favorites at home — didn’t cover in previous two games and have dropped against the number the last three outings. Rams defense also looks suspect. LAR should get 30+ based on the numbers, but I expect KC can stay with them every step of the way. Here’s to hoping the hook on the FG comes into play at +3.5.
MY WAGERS ON NFL SEASON WIN TOTALS [UPDATED]:
Arizona Cardinals OVER 5.5 wins -180 — Wagering $450 to win $250 2-7
Buffalo Bills OVER 6 wins EVEN — Wagering $400 to win $400 3-6
Cincinnati Bengals OVER 6.5 wins -170 — Wagering $680 to win $400 5-4
Dallas Cowboys UNDER 8.5 wins +110 — Wagering $500 to win $550 3-5
Detroit Lions UNDER 7.5 wins EVEN — Risking $400 to win $400 3-6
Houston Texans UNDER 8.5 wins +120 — Risking $400 to win $480 6-3
Jacksonville Jaguars OVER 9 wins -145 — Risking $725 to win $500 3-5
Indianapolis Colts UNDER 6.5 wins +170 — Risking $400 to win $680 4-5
New Orleans Saints OVER 9.5 wins -145 — Risking $725 to win $500 8-1
Seattle Seahawks UNDER 8 wins (Best Bet) -150 — Risking $1,500 to win $750 4-5